The fatimid caliphs, the copts, and the coptic church

Yaacov Lev

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This paper examines the complex relations between the Fatimid rulers and their Coptic subjects, focusing on state policies and the situation in the Delta. In spite of al-hakim's persecutions of non-Muslims, Fatimid policies toward Christians and Jews can be described as non-prejudicial and surprisingly tolerant. Whether these were driven by practical considerations or Ismaili ideological underpinnings remains vague. In any case, state policies were not responsible for the Islamization of the Delta during the Fatimid period. This process was a by-product, so to speak, of the civil war of the 1060s and early 1070s and must also be examined in light of pre-Fatimid realities in the region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)390-410
Number of pages21
JournalMedieval Encounters
Issue number4-5
StatePublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2015.


  • Coptic church
  • Copts
  • Delta
  • Fatimid caliphs
  • Great calamity/civil war (1060s-early 1070s)
  • Islamization


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