Coptic Period (284 - 641 AD)

At the end of the third century AD, the religion of Egypt had become predominantly Christian, and it would remain so until the advent of Islam in the seventh century. This period of Egyptian history as part of the Eastern Roman Empire is known as the Coptic or Byzantine period. The Coptic church is one of the eastern orthodox churches, which, together with the Syrian orthodox church, separated from the church of Constantinople in 451 AD. Coptic Egypt used the indigenous Coptic language for religious matters, while Greek served as the language of the administration. The monastic movement originated in Coptic Egypt (Saints Anthony and Pachomius), and monasteries were built across the country, such as the monastery of Apa Jeremias in Saqqara that was founded around 470 AD and functioned until the middle of the ninth century. In the arts, Coptic Egypt is famous for its elaborately decorated textiles that are preserved in many collections.