DAYR AL-RUMANIYYAH. On the right bank of the Nile, about 2 miles (3 km) north of the town of Isna, is situated the village of al-Dayr (the Monastery), the name of which suggests a monastic origin. Near this village are the ruins that the inhabitants call DAYR AL-RUMANIYYAH (the Greek Monastery).
This is without doubt the one that F. L. Norden (1795-98, Vol. 2, p. 138) called Deir Omali. In fact, Ramzi (1953-1968, Vol. 2, pt. 4, p. 154) wrote that the ancient name was Jazirat al-Dayr (Island of the Monastery) or Dayr al-Jazirah (Monastery of the Island), which seems to indicate that the monastery was at first on an island. The State of the Provinces (al-Latif, 1810), dating from A.H. 777/A.D. 1375-1376, calls it Jazirat al-Dayr wa Umm ‘Ali (Island of the Monastery and of Umm ‘Ali), which explains the name transcribed by Norden.
These ruins were excavated by A. H. Sayce (1905, p. 159). Meinardus (1965, p. 324; 1977, p. 439) mentioned them, although he was mistaken in his reference, sending the reader to Palanque's article, but the latter concerns a village of the same name situated near the ancient Monastery of Nahya, not that placed to the north of Isna.
MAURICE MARTIN, S.J.
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