Diocese of Egypt (Late Antiquity)

Diocese of Egypt (Late Antiquity)
Dioecesis Aegypti
Διοίκησις Αἰγύπτου
Diocese of Egypt
Diocese of the Roman Empire
ca. 380 – ca. 642
Location of Diocese of Egypt
The Diocese of Egypt ca. 400.
Historical era Late Antiquity
 - Established 380
 - Muslim conquest of Egypt 642
History of Egypt

This article is part of a series
Ancient Egypt
Early Dynastic Period
Old Kingdom
First Intermediate Period
Middle Kingdom
Second Intermediate Period
New Kingdom
Third Intermediate Period
Late Period
Classical Antiquity
Achaemenid Egypt
Ptolemaic Egypt
Roman & Byzantine Egypt
Medieval Egypt
Fatimid Egypt
Ayyubid Egypt
Mamluk Egypt
Ottoman Egypt
French occupation
Egypt under Muhammad Ali
Modern Egypt
Khedivate of Egypt
Sultanate of Egypt
Kingdom of Egypt

Egypt Portal
v · d · e

The Diocese of Egypt (Latin: Dioecesis Aegypti, Greek: Διοίκησις Αἰγύπτου) was a diocese of the later Roman Empire, incorporating the provinces of Egypt and Cyrenaica. Its capital was at Alexandria, and its governor had the unique title of praefectus augustalis (Augustal Prefect, of the rank vir spectabilis) instead of the ordinary vicarius. The diocese was initially part of the Diocese of the East, but in the year 370, it became a separate entity, which lasted until its territories were finally overrun by the Muslim conquest of Egypt in the 640s.

The diocese was included in the Praetorian prefecture of the East and included originally five provinces:

  • Aegyptus Iovia, later renamed Aegyptus, comprised the western Nile Delta, and had Alexandria as its capital;
  • Aegyptus Herculia, later renamed Augustamnica, comprised the eastern Delta, with Pelusium as capital;
  • Thebais, which was bounded to the south by the First Cataract of the Nile, with Ptolemais Hermiou as capital;
  • Libya Inferior (or Interior), corresponding to Marmarica, with Paraetonium as capital;
  • Libya Superior (or Exterior), corresponding to Cyrenaica, with Ptolemais as capital.

Attributes Iovia and Herculia were related to the tetrarchs Diocletian and Maximian respectively, and were later changed to remove the pagan connotations.

By the early 6th century, the provinces had increased with the creation of:

  • Aegyptus I
  • Aegyptus II
  • Augustamnica I, with Pelusium as capital;
  • Augustamnica II
  • Thebais Superior
  • Thebais Inferior
  • Arcadia, with capital Oxyrhyncus

During the reforms of Justinian I in the late 530s, the administrative structure changed again. The post of Augustal Prefect (vicar of the diocese) was abolished, and five independent governors (duces), who combined military and civilian authority, were appointed instead. Two of them, the dux Alexandriae and the dux Thebaidos also held the title augustalis (dux et augustalis).[1]

List of Praefecti Augustalii

Taken from the Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire (except for Theognostus):

  • Eutolmius Tatianus (367-370)
  • Olympius Palladius (370-371)
  • Aelius Palladius (371-374)
  • Publius (ca. 376)
  • Bassianus (ca. 379)
  • Hadrianus (ca. 379)
  • Iulianus (ca. 380)
  • Antoninus (381-382)
  • Palladius (382)
  • Hypatius (383)
  • Optatus (384)
  • Florentius (384-386)
  • Paulinus (386-387)
  • Eusebius (387)
  • Flavius Ulpius Erythrius (388)
  • Alexander (388-390)
  • Evagrius (391)
  • Hypatius (392)
  • Potamius (392)
  • Orestes (415)
  • Theognostus (ca. 482)[2]
  • Petrus Marcellinus Felix Liberius (ca. 539-542)


  1. ^ The Cambridge History of Africa, p. 447
  2. ^ Duchesne, Louis (1909): Early History of the Christian Church. From Its Foundation to the End of the Fifth Century. – Volume III: The Fifth Century – Read Books, 2008, p. 550. ISBN 978-1-44377-159-7

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Diocese of Egypt — The Diocese of Egypt may refer to: Diocese of Egypt (Late Antiquity) (in existence from c. 380 to c. 642), an administrative diocese of the Eastern Roman Empire Anglican Diocese of Egypt (founded in 1920), an ecclesiastical diocese within the… …   Wikipedia

  • Diocese of the East — Dioecesis Orientis Ἐῴα Διοίκησις Diocese of the East Diocese of the Roman Empire …   Wikipedia

  • Diocese of Pannonia — This article is about the Roman Diocese. For the Roman province, see Illyricum (Roman province). Dioecesis Pannoniarum Diocese of Pannonia Diocese of the Roman Empire …   Wikipedia

  • Diocese of Africa — Dioecesis Africae Diocese of Africa Diocese of the Roman Empire …   Wikipedia

  • Diocese of Philae — The Ancient Diocese of Philae was a Christian see in Philae, Egypt. List of Bishops Makedonios, c. 346 Mark, c. 350s, banished to the Siwa Oasis by the Arian archbishop George of Cappadocia Isaiah, c. 368 Psoulousia, c. 385 Unknown? Danielios, c …   Wikipedia

  • Egypt — • Provides information on history, religion, and literature Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Egypt     Egypt     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Christian Egypt — may refer to: Christianity in Egypt, an overview of the Christian religion in contemporary Egypt Christian majority Egypt from the 3rd to 6th centuries (see Egypt (Roman province)#Christian Egypt) See also Coptic history Diocese of Egypt (Late… …   Wikipedia

  • Roman diocese — For the Roman Catholic diocese, see Diocese of Rome. A Roman or civil diocese (Latin: dĭœcēsĭs, from the Greek: διοίκησις, administration ) was one of the administrative divisions of the later Roman Empire, starting with the Tetrarchy. It formed… …   Wikipedia

  • Coptic Diocese of Syene — The Diocese of Syene is an ancient see of the Coptic Church in Aswan, Egypt. As its first bishop Neilammon was not mentioned as a new one in the Festal Letter of 339, it is assumed the diocese was established in the early 330s. Appion referred to …   Wikipedia

  • Cyrenaica — Pentapolis (North Africa) redirects here. For other uses, see Pentapolis. Barqa redirects here. For other uses, see Barka. Cyrenaica as an administrative unit included all of eastern Libya from 1927 to 1963: Italian Cyrenaica from 1927 to 1937… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.