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Longinus
6th century
Coptic Church
Egypt

Longinus was a pioneer evangelist of Nubia. He was a Syrian monophysite long imprisoned in Constantinople for his theological beliefs. With lower Egypt a battleground between partisans of Chalcedonian and non-Chalcedonian theologies, the Byzantine emperor Justinian grew anxious to pacify the boundaries of his empire by Christianizing the natives. About 566 the Coptic patriarch Theodosius I of Alexandria consecrated Longinus as bishop of Napata (capital of the Nubian kingdom) to carry on the work of Julian two decades earlier. Amid intermittent persecution and exile, he directed the transformation of the pre-Christian temples of Upper Egypt (Nobatia) and Sudan ('Alwa) into churches and the erection of new edifices along the course of the Nile.

Paul D. Garrett


Bibliography:

William Y. Adams, Nubia, Corridor to Africa (1977), pp. 441-443.


This article is reproduced, with permission, from Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, copyright © 1998, by Gerald H. Anderson, W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan. All rights reserved.