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- The author of this work, Shaykh al-Islām Ahmad al-Bashtakī, lived in Bashtak near central Cairo. The work goes through the 13 months of the Coptic calendar: Tūt (Thout), Bāba (Paopi), Hātūr (Hathur), Koihak (Koiak), Tūba (Tobi), Imshīr (Meshir), Baremhāt (Paremhat), Barmūda (Paremoude), Bashons (Pashons), Bawna or Būna (Paoni), Ibīb (Epip), Misurī (Mesori), and the Days of Nasī (ayyām al-nasī; also known as the Little Month, Pi Kogi Enavot, or El Nasii). The work gives the corresponding months in the Roman and Persian calendars, notes the astrological significance of days, and marks changes in the seasons and zodiacal signs. Also mentioned are festivals and religious observances. The first day of the month of Tūt, for example, marks the Coptic New Year, or al-Nawrūz al-qibt)ī. The first day of the month of Mesori inaugurates the fast for Lady Mary (Sayyida Maryam). Some time during the month of Bawna, the zodiacal sign of Cancer rises and ushers in summer. Based on astronomical observation and calculation, the author also specifies the average length, in hours, of the parts of the day in each month, such as the time between afternoon (‛asr) and dusk (ghurūb), or the time between noon (zuhr) and afternoon. The manuscript was copied in 1678 (1089 A.H.).
Title in Original Language
توقيعات الفلكية على الشهور القبطية
Type of Item
- 16 leaves; 15 x 21 centimeters
- Black, with names of Coptic months in the margin in red ink.