3. The First Theological Schools Established The first theological school in the whole world was the School of Alexandria founded by St. Mark.
It has been founded in mid first century to defend Christianity against the reputable PhilosophicalSchool of Alexandria with its famous library containing more than three hundred thousandmanuscripts.
In that library, the Old Testament has been translated into the Greek language; the translation known as the Septuagint.Hence, Egypt presented to the world - where the Greek Culture spread - the first Greektranslation of the Old Testament with its prophecies and symbols on the one hand. Whereas the Theological School of Alexandria, on the other hand, presented to the Christian world a big number of scholars and still bigger number of Fathers Sayings.Among those scholars were St. Pantaenus; St. Clement of Alexandria; Origon; St Dionysius (the fifteenth Patriarch- Pope of Alexandria); St. Didymos the Blind, the first person who invented the engraved writing fifteen centuries before Brielle, and who was dean of the Theological Faculty in the days of St. Athanasius the Apostolic.Due to this great Theological School, the Fathers of Alexandria became famous for being talented in theology and theological debate, as will be indicated hereinafter - God willing.
4. Our Church, the Mother of Monasticism:
The first monk in the world, St. Anthony the Great, was a Coptic from Upper Egypt. St Anthony was born in 251 and departed 356. All the early fathers of monasticism were his disciples. His biography has been written by St. Athanasius in his famous book "Vita Antonii".Which he sent to Rome and was a cause of the conversion of St. Augustine. St. Anthony became known as "the father of all monks". All the monks of the world are his children and owe gratitude to him as father and pioneer of asceticism. The first father who established monasteries in the whole world is St. Pachomius, who was also Coptic from Upper Egypt.He was the first to lay down laws/rules for monasticism, which laws were conveyed to France by John Cassian. Based on these laws, the Catholic Benedict monastery laws have been laid down. Furthermore, St. Basil the Great benefited from these laws in laying down the monastic laws.At this point, we'd like to mention an important historical and spiritual fact, viz: The early monks of Egypt lived monasticism rather than wrote about it. Their biographies and sayings have been recorded by the tourists who visited them. The most important of those tourists are: * Palladius, who wrote his famous book "Historia Lausiaca" addressed to a nobleman called Lausius. The English translation of this book is entitled "The Fathers' Paradise" and the Arabic translation is entitled 'Bustan Al Rohban'. The book has its great impact as it presents to the whole world the biographies of the Coptic monks and their angelic life history, which make all people long to see them.
* There is also Rufinus who wrote about the desert fathers.
* John Cassian who wrote two famous books: "Institutes" and"Conferences". In these books he explained the monastic life of the monks of Egypt. He recorded his meetings and discussions with many of those fathers on various spiritual subjects.
* St. Jerome also wrote the life history of some Coptic fathers such as St. Paul the hermit, St. John of Assiut, and others.
Through these writings monasticism spread all over the world and many fathers became disciples of the Coptic monks of Egypt: Among those are the two Roman Princes Maximus and Domadius, the sons of Emperor Valentinos; St. Arsanius the teacher of the kings sons, who was the tutor of the two princes Honorios and Arcadius; Princess Hilaria the daughter of Emperor Zeno, and many others .... Among those who became disciples of St. Anthony is St. Hilarion who spread monasticism in Syria.And among those who became disciples of other Coptic Fathers is St. Aucine who spread monasticism in Iraq. We remember also St. Mar Aphram the Syrian who visited the monasteries of Egypt, and St. Evagrius of Pontius who visited the Wilderness of Sheheit.Time is lacking to speak about all those who became disciples of the Coptic
monasticism in Egypt, or abroad through reading the history and teachings of our fathers.Those spread monasticism afterwards in their countries. And this reminds us of an important fact, which we like to record here: Whenever you see a monk in any part of the world, you can say to him assuredly: Certainly you have a Coptic origin in monasticism; for they all are the children of the Coptic Anthony the founder of monasticism and father of all monks.