LUXOR (al-Uqsur), a city located in Upper Egypt on the east bank of the Nile about nine miles northeast of Armant. The city occupies part of the area of the ancient city of Thebes, once the prosperous capital of ancient Egypt, which the Greeks called Diospolis Magna.
Arab geographers in the Middle Ages called it al-Uqsurayn (the Two Castles) after the two major temples of Luxor, and from this name the modern al-Uqsur (Luxor) is derived.
Luxor was a bishopric by the eleventh century, as evidenced by the attendance of Bishop Marqurah of al-Uqsurayn at a synod in 1078 (Munier, 1943, p. 29). Archaeological remains, however, show the imprint of Christianity in the area at a much earlier date. Copts occupied the Temple of Karnak as early as the fourth century. They built churches and monasteries in it, mutilated statues to make
crosses from them, and plastered walls in order to paint murals with apostles, saints, and Christian symbols. Climatic changes brought
about by the Aswan Dam have virtually destroyed these remains.
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