ASHMUN, a city in the Nile Delta in the Minufiyyah Province 23 miles (about 37 km) northwest of Cairo. It appears in Coptic documents with the name [moumi (Gjmoumi). In older Arabic sources it is known as Ashmun al-Juraysat.
In his encomium of MACROBIUS (who preceded him as bishop of NIKIOU) Bishop Mena of Nikiou mentions that Macrobius was from the village of Gjmoumi in the eparchy of the city Psati. After his martyrdom in Alexandria, Macrobius' body was brought back to Gjmoumi, where the Christian inhabitants built a church as a memorial for him (Zoega, 1810, pp. 133-34). The SYNAXARION gives a similar account of Macrobius for 2 Baramudah, the day of his commemoration. These sources make it evident that in the early fourth century there were not only Christians in Gjmoumi/Ashmun but a church as well.
The colophon in a Coptic manuscript in the Vatican Library (no. 59, fol. 29) suggests that at the end of the ninth century there may have been a church or a monastery in Gjmoumi/Ashmun where manuscripts were being copied. The colophon, dated to the year A.M. 600 (A.D. 884) contains the subscriptions of a lector named Isaak and a deacon known as Kiriani, son of the deacon Stauros from Gjmoumi (Hebbelynck and Lantschoot, 1937, no. 59).
Beyond this colophon, definite attestations of Christianity in Gjmoumi/Ashmun during the Arabic period are wanting. Nonetheless, there is still a church in Ashmun. This building, probably of more recent construction, is dedicated to Takla Haymanot (see ETHIOPIAN SAINTS).
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