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Empires to Nation-States

Late Antiquity

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St. Catherine’s Sinai Monastery

St. Catherine’s Sinai Monastery

The present St. Catherine’s monastery at Mt. Sinai, Egypt, was constructed in the sixth century CE to honor the traditional site where Moses received the Ten Commandments. Its high walls protect its Orthodox monks from raiders. It has been a place of Christian pilgrimage since at least the late fourth century. It is a repository of precious manuscripts in several languages as well as religious relics. It contains some of the oldest Christian religious paintings. Its church is an important monument of early Christian architecture and decoration and is a key site for understanding early monasticism. It received the name St. Catherine’s in the Middle Ages, not in the Roman or late antique era.

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