New Coptic Dynasty of Egypt?

What if a Christian Coptic dynasty of Egypt comes into power sometime in the Middle Ages, either from a successful Crusader kingdom gone native or a successful invasion of Egypt by the Mongols? How thoroughly could they re-Coptify Egypt, and how would this affect Ethiopia and Nubia, the Eastern Mediterranean, and the wider Islamic world? Would they take more of their influence from the Ancient Egyptian past, or Orthodox Christian traditions?
 
A mongol Egypt would more likely turn Islamic than Christian I think and a Crusader state would most likely stay Catholic and treat the Copts as bad as theh did Muslims.

As for re-coptification, I think a majority of the rural Egyptians were Christian until the 14th century. So we'd need a group that:

1. Won't convert to Islam.

2. Is willing to replace most of the administartion and urban elite.
 
As for re-coptification, I think a majority of the rural Egyptians were Christian until the 14th century. So we'd need a group that:
1. Won't convert to Islam.
2. Is willing to replace most of the administartion and urban elite.
There were Christian, non-Arab kingdoms to the south of Egypt, the most arguably "topic-adequate" of which would be Makuria, which spoke a Nilo-Saharan language and until its demise had cultural and artistic influence from the Byzantine Empire. Their "less Firanji" character could also make them more palatable to Muslim populations and elites in Egypt than a Crusader regime. Perhaps they could swoop into Egypt at a moment of weakness around the 11th or 12th centuries AD?
 
Perhaps there is some armed resistance to Saladin's take over during the implosion of the Fatimids, and in the ensuing civil war (which is repeated prolonged and intensified by Crusader interventions) a Coptic faction forms and ultimately comes out victorious.
 
As for re-coptification, I think a majority of the rural Egyptians were Christian until the 14th century. So we'd need a group that:

The tipping point toward a Muslim majority came in the 9-10th c. according to a study that I read. I'll post the name when I find it.
 
A mongol Egypt would more likely turn Islamic than Christian I think and a Crusader state would most likely stay Catholic and treat the Copts as bad as theh did Muslims.

As for re-coptification, I think a majority of the rural Egyptians were Christian until the 14th century. So we'd need a group that:

1. Won't convert to Islam.

2. Is willing to replace most of the administartion and urban elite.


It depends, I am of the opinion that a Crusader state over Egypt would most likely find levels of compromise with the locals. Namely, jizya upon Sunni Muslim, accommodation to Jews and Shi’a Ismail’i and then some sort of Miaphysite compromise.

If I am not mistaken, the Council of Chalcedon and subsequently Constantinople II permitted Miaphysitism but remained in condemnation of Monophysitism of both Apollinarian and Eutychian forms and likewise declaring Monothelitism as heresy.

Making the crusaders somewhat appeasing to Monophysite and Monothelites by way of supporting Miaphysitism is a great possibility. In otl, Justinian I was able to *manage* the worst reprisals by way of appealing to Miaphysitism until he took to radical positions.
 
It depends, I am of the opinion that a Crusader state over Egypt would most likely find levels of compromise with the locals. Namely, jizya upon Sunni Muslim, accommodation to Jews and Shi’a Ismail’i and then some sort of Miaphysite compromise.

It could happen and would probably be the best for a crusader Egypt, but it'd go against the pattern of all the crusader states.

But still, the Crusaders would never give up Catholicism so even a tolerant Crusader dynasty wouldn't be a Coptic one, which is the thread goal.
 
It could happen and would probably be the best for a crusader Egypt, but it'd go against the pattern of all the crusader states.

But still, the Crusaders would never give up Catholicism so even a tolerant Crusader dynasty wouldn't be a Coptic one, which is the thread goal.

A Crusader Dynasty would not give up Catholicism, but it would expand the Christians population, if the Copts are excepted from the extra taxes and discriminating practices Muslim would be under, I could see some a increased birth rate and reconversion favor Copts. This would means Copts would increase in importance, it’s not impossible to imagine that at some point, the Crusader dynasty would be replaced in a coup by a Coptic dynasty.
 
It could happen and would probably be the best for a crusader Egypt, but it'd go against the pattern of all the crusader states.

But still, the Crusaders would never give up Catholicism so even a tolerant Crusader dynasty wouldn't be a Coptic one, which is the thread goal.

The Kingdom of Jerusalem was not particularly harsh though and adopted exceedingly the Fatimid policy toward other religions.
 
A Crusader Dynasty would not give up Catholicism, but it would expand the Christians population, if the Copts are excepted from the extra taxes and discriminating practices Muslim would be under, I could see some a increased birth rate and reconversion favor Copts. This would means Copts would increase in importance, it’s not impossible to imagine that at some point, the Crusader dynasty would be replaced in a coup by a Coptic dynasty.

Or eventually the local Crusader ruler in attempts to assert temporal authority progresses towards Miaphysitism? Even so, as I mentioned, the position of Miaphysitism was not considered heresy, only less than ideal.
 

Philip

Donor
If I am not mistaken, the Council of Chalcedon and subsequently Constantinople II permitted Miaphysitism but remained in condemnation of Monophysitism of both Apollinarian and Eutychian forms and likewise declaring Monothelitism as heresy.

Miaphysitism is certainly permitted under Ephesus. It is a possible interpretation of Chalcedon (especially in light of Neochalcedonianism) but not explicitly permitted. It seems the bishops favoring Dyophysitism, particularly the Latin bishops, either could not or would not see the differences between Mia- and Monophysitism. Exploiting this opportunity faces several challenges. Among them,

  1. The Dyophysites must be convinced that the Miaphysites are indeed Miaphysites and not Monophysites (which both condemn).
  2. The Miaphysites must be convinced that the Dyophysites are indeed Dyophysites and not Nestorians (which both condemn).
  3. The Dyophysites must be convinced that the accepting a Miaphysite understanding as a valid interpretation of Chalcedon does not invalidate their Dyophysite understanding.
If this can be worked out there is, as you say, great possibility.
 
Or eventually the local Crusader ruler in attempts to assert temporal authority progresses towards Miaphysitism? Even so, as I mentioned, the position of Miaphysitism was not considered heresy, only less than ideal.

The problem is that for the dynasty there will be a price to pay, the political isolation from Rome and Catholic states in the region. So it would demand that there’s other strong Miaphysite states in the region they can ally with. As political isolation could be deadly and risk a recon quest from Muslim states.
 
The problem is that for the dynasty there will be a price to pay, the political isolation from Rome and Catholic states in the region. So it would demand that there’s other strong Miaphysite states in the region they can ally with. As political isolation could be deadly and risk a recon quest from Muslim states.

Well, if we assume that Jerusalem is also hanging on, then we can certainly question the ability for an Islamic counter to capture Egypt, at least for a few centuries. Though, certainly, I would not advise the Crusader state to separate from Rome, it would be best if they can remain under the Papacy whilst moving towards a Miaphysite position.
 
Miaphysitism is certainly permitted under Ephesus. It is a possible interpretation of Chalcedon (especially in light of Neochalcedonianism) but not explicitly permitted. It seems the bishops favoring Dyophysitism, particularly the Latin bishops, either could not or would not see the differences between Mia- and Monophysitism. Exploiting this opportunity faces several challenges. Among them,

  1. The Dyophysites must be convinced that the Miaphysites are indeed Miaphysites and not Monophysites (which both condemn).
  2. The Miaphysites must be convinced that the Dyophysites are indeed Dyophysites and not Nestorians (which both condemn).
  3. The Dyophysites must be convinced that the accepting a Miaphysite understanding as a valid interpretation of Chalcedon does not invalidate their Dyophysite understanding.
If this can be worked out there is, as you say, great possibility.
Could you please detail what exactly are the differences between Mia- and Monophysitism? I must admit, I'm still confused even after reading about both.
 

Philip

Donor
Could you please detail what exactly are the differences between Mia- and Monophysitism? I must admit, I'm still confused even after reading about both.

It can be confusing, especially since many Christians do not allow for a difference between mia- and mono-physitism. That we are using English words to stand in for Greek words with technical philosophical meaning that don't really match their standard English meaning only complicates matters.

Mia-, mono-, dyo-physites, and Nestorians all agree that in the Incarnation, the human nature and divine nature came together in Christ. They disagreed on how they came together and what resulted from them coming together. The groups disagree on other matters as well, but in my view these other differences all stem from the primary difference of the understanding the Incarnation.

Mia- and mono- agree that the two natures, divine and human, came together to create a new single nature in Christ. Hence the names mia- and monophysitism. Both mia and mono indicate one in Greek. But they are not synonymous. Mono suggests a unity and simplicity. Mia is a little softer. It allows for a 'one' to be a single union of two things. If you will permit a Scripture reference, Mark 10 has Christ speaking of marriage and divorce saying

For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.​

Here, 'one flesh' is μία σάρξ (mia sarx). Two joined into one that within the union still retain their two-ness. Although they are one joined together by God, the two individuals are still two individuals that still have all their original attributes. Thus the Miaphysites speak of Christ's nature. It is a new single nature that is the union of the two natures that retain their two-ness inside the union.

This was not acceptable to Monophysites. The divine nature is just that --- divine. It is infinite. The finite human nature can not be compared to it. Thus when the two natures come together, the divine nature overwhelms the human nature. The common metaphor was that the human nature was like a drop of vinegar disolved in the sea. After the union, both the sea and the vinegar still exist in some sense, but we can also say the vinegar has been dissolved into what is effectively nonexistence. Thus the Monophysites speak of the nature of Christ. Of course the human and divine natures came together in the Incarnation, but the infinite divine nature overwhelmed (or even consumed) the finite nature.

Does that help? Should I address specific points more?
 
Probably the best opportunity would have been a successful Byzantine / Crusader invasion of Egypt (the one in 1168-9 see below);

Have the joint invasion be more cooperative (the Fatimids were very weak) and successful. The Byz receive the coast and the Crusaders receive the interior. Utilizing the Copts as the new minor gentry vs the Muslim rulers you would have the Copts become wealthier. If history follows suite then the 4th crusade (might never happen) goes after Saladin and if they sack Constantinople then the Copts (based upon Alexandrea gain independence or a Byz/ Copt nation.
 
A Coptic Dynasty in Egypt would probably allow for Makuria to survive and expand, similarly with Ethiopia if there's not a hostile Islamic Egypt meddling in Northeast Africa and the Red Sea.
 
It can be confusing, especially since many Christians do not allow for a difference between mia- and mono-physitism. That we are using English words to stand in for Greek words with technical philosophical meaning that don't really match their standard English meaning only complicates matters.

Mia-, mono-, dyo-physites, and Nestorians all agree that in the Incarnation, the human nature and divine nature came together in Christ. They disagreed on how they came together and what resulted from them coming together. The groups disagree on other matters as well, but in my view these other differences all stem from the primary difference of the understanding the Incarnation.

Mia- and mono- agree that the two natures, divine and human, came together to create a new single nature in Christ. Hence the names mia- and monophysitism. Both mia and mono indicate one in Greek. But they are not synonymous. Mono suggests a unity and simplicity. Mia is a little softer. It allows for a 'one' to be a single union of two things. If you will permit a Scripture reference, Mark 10 has Christ speaking of marriage and divorce saying

For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.​

Here, 'one flesh' is μία σάρξ (mia sarx). Two joined into one that within the union still retain their two-ness. Although they are one joined together by God, the two individuals are still two individuals that still have all their original attributes. Thus the Miaphysites speak of Christ's nature. It is a new single nature that is the union of the two natures that retain their two-ness inside the union.

This was not acceptable to Monophysites. The divine nature is just that --- divine. It is infinite. The finite human nature can not be compared to it. Thus when the two natures come together, the divine nature overwhelms the human nature. The common metaphor was that the human nature was like a drop of vinegar disolved in the sea. After the union, both the sea and the vinegar still exist in some sense, but we can also say the vinegar has been dissolved into what is effectively nonexistence. Thus the Monophysites speak of the nature of Christ. Of course the human and divine natures came together in the Incarnation, but the infinite divine nature overwhelmed (or even consumed) the finite nature.

Does that help? Should I address specific points more?
Thank you, that's indeed much more clear. So the POD would be a Crusader conquest of Egypt, successful because of Byzantine help, and the conversion of the conquering crusaders to the Miaphysitic doctrine in order to get willingful acceptance from the large Coptic minority in Egypt? And with Byzantine support again, this school would be accepted as in full communion with the Church of the East?

Since this is after the East-Western Schism, but before 1204, can this be done in a larger context of a full reconciliation of the Christian Church, on the back of such a resounding success of intra-faith cooperation in the Middle East (saving the Promise land and winning a huge victory against Islam)?
 
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Thank you, that's indeed much more clear. So the POD would be a Crusader conquest of Egypt, successful because of Byzantine help, and the conversion of the conquering crusaders to the Miaphysitic doctrine in order to get willingful acceptance from the large Coptic minority in Egypt? And with Byzantine support again, this school would be accepted as in full communion with the Church of the East?

Since this is after the East-Western Schism, but before 1204, can this be done in a larger context of a full reconciliation of the Christian Church, on the back of such a resounding success of intra-faith cooperation in the Middle East (saving the Promise land and winning a huge victory against Islam)?

No reconciliation with the west cannot happen because orthodox christians wouldn't support papal supremacy (all patriarchs are equals« primus inter pare»was the roman patriarch which gave him more of a spiritual power, he was equal with the patriarchs on all other things)
And from what I know the catholic church at that time was pretty corrupt
 
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