Friday, July 16, 2010

Harry Tzalas on recollections of the Martyrium of St. Mark in Alexandria

Going through my collection of old Alexandrian maps I did find an interesting Latin legend on the well-known 16th century of the Braun & Hogenberg map.

If you look at this map, in attachment, it is noted on the image of a church located near the Porte du Caire [Bab El Rashid, Eastern Gate or Gate of Rosetta] "Beneath this stone the body of St. Mark was discovered. possessed [now] by Venice.."

We know of the numerous topographical mistakes of these early maps which were most of the time a compilations of ear-say and interpretations of earlier maps, but the noted church is certainly the Coptic Church of St. Mark. It confirms the legend related by many travellers that it is from that burial that the body was taken to Venice.

Of course this does not authenticate the relic, it is just an indication that the Copts succeeded after the 16th century to persuade pilgrims that they had their church built on the tomb of the martyr.

Kind regards,


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