Revisiting early byzantine mission in nubia

Author(s):  M.L. Ryabtseva, candidate of Sciences, associate Professor, Belgorod State National Research University, Belgorod, Russia,

Issue:  Volume 44, №22

Rubric:  Topical issues of world history

Annotation:  The Christian mission of Early Byzantium was conducted largely with the participation of the state and was, to a certain extent, a continuation of foreign policy. Since the overwhelming majority of the population was baptized within the empire, the main efforts to evangelize were directed at the peoples and tribes around Byzantium. The paper examines the main problems associated with attempts to Christianize the region to the south of Egypt – Nubia (Sudan). The religious policy of Justinian in the Nile valley after the baptism of Upper Egypt received a new direction – to the south. The Byzantine Empire under Justinian tried to support the orthodox mission in this region as opposed to Monophysite. The history of the Byzantine mission in Nubia is not mentioned in any Greek orthodox source. Perhaps the reason for this lay in the monophysitism of missionaries more than in the fact that the territory of the mission lay outside the territory of the empire, because the early Byzantine mission was in principle directed more for the imperial borders and was intended to create a second "security belt".

Keywords:  mission, Byzantium, Nubia, Justinian

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