Hagia Koryphe (Jabal Musa) in Sinai, Egypt

Georgios Manginis
2010
The present thesis examines the history of Hagia Koiyphe, a mountain peak above the Monastery of Saint Catherine at South Sinai. It has been known for centuries as 'Mount Sinai,' the place where Moses received the Law from God, as described in Exodus. The thesis explores the ways in which the landscape of Hagia Koiyphe was experienced and transformed, using textual criticism, historical analysis, art historical appreciation and, for the first time, archaeological interpretation. The narrative
more » ... gins in the third century AD, when the identification of the Biblical 'Mount Sinai' with Hagia Koiyphe was made, and extends to World War I. Chapter 1 deals with the aims, method and problems of the research, the toponymy and natural environment. Chapter 2 examines the Bedouin, the anchorites and their relationship. An analysis of the material record from and textual references to Hagia Koiyphe in the Early Christian period follows. Chapter 3 delves into the building programme of the emperor Justinian (mid-sixth century). It presents written sources on and describes the imperial foundations. Earlier research on the basilica of Hagia Koiyphe and the programme's impact on locals are discussed. Chapter 4 covers the years between the 630s and 1822: the continuation of earlier ways of life and the changes due to the coming of Islam, the importance of Hagia Koiyphe in Muslim tradition, the collapse of the summit basilica and the cult of Saint Catherine. The medieval period was dominated by the pilgrimage phenomenon and the patronage of Muslim rulers. In Ottoman times the Monastery was consolidated within Orthodox hierarchy and the era of pilgrimage ended. Chapter 5 examines the 'Mount of the Law controversy' and the scholarly, artistic and tourist phenomenon of nineteenth-century Sinai. The Epilogue focuses on the future of Hagia Koiyphe at the beginning of the twenty-first century.
doi:10.25501/soas.00028729 fatcat:yr3o45rthbbnpcd77gqqxdma3a