Archdiocese of Antinoe

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The Holy Archdiocese of Antinoe is a titular diocese in Egypt under the jurisdiction of the Church of Alexandria. The archdiocesan area is currently served by the Archdiocese of Ptolemais. Its current hierarch is His Eminence Panteleimon (Lampadarios) of Antinoe.


The city of Antinoe was probably built during the times of Pharaoh Ramesses the Great (1279–1213 BC), when he built a great temple to the Egyptian deities. It was the center of the cult of Bes, a household god, until being almost completely destroyed under Emperor Hadrian (117–138) for the construction of a city honoring his friend Antinous, who the emperor himself had made god — in fact, only Ramesses' temple lifted, until its destruction in the 19th century by the Muslims. Hadrian designed the city in a grid-like formation, brought many Greeks to settle there and allowed Greek-Egyptian marriages. Games were held every year in the city for many centuries, being noted as the most important in Egypt. Soon, Antinoe became one of Egypt's largest cities.

Christianity arrived the region at an early stage. The city was home for many saints during the Emperor Diocletian's Great Persecution (303–305), including Martyrs Basilissa and Julian (January 8), Timothy and Maura (May 3), and Virgin-Martyr Rhais and her 155 companions (March 5). Later on, the city flourished with monastics. The emperor also reorganized Antinoe into the province of Thebais, whose capital was Ptolemais.

The first known bishop of Antinoe was Tyrannos, who was present at the First Ecumenical Council which anathematized the Egyptian heresy of Arianism, whose adherents refused Christ's divinity.

During the times of Meletius of Lycopolis's heresy which opposed to the readmission of lapsed Christians (who had offered sacrifices during the Persecution), he ordained himself many of his followers as bishops, and among them was Lucius in Antinoe. Meletius later repented and had his excommunication lifted by Saint Alexander (313–328). This Lucius, though, doesn't seem to have repented, so he can't be listed as bishop.

During the 5th century, Thebais was divided into Thebais Prima, with Antinoe as its capital, and Thebais Secunda, with Ptolemais as its capital. Ecclesiastically, this meant that Antinoe was no longer a suffragan of Ptolemais, it was instead elevated to archdiocese. It had eight bishoprics: Hermopolis, Cusae, Lycopolis, Hypselis, Antaeopolis, Panopolis, Oasis and Apollonopolis.

Ruling bishops

Ancient bishops
  • Tyrannos (fl. 325)
  • Ammon (fl. 394)
  • Procopios (fl. 553)

(supressed in the 7th century following the Islamic conquest of Egypt)

Modern bishops