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See of Berenice

Titular see in Egypt

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Berenice, a titular see of Egypt which was situated at the end of Major Syrtis where Bengazi stands today. Its old name was Euhesperides, or Hesperides, for which Ptolemy III Evergetes substituted Berenice in honor of his wife (Droysen, Geschichte des Hellenismus, III, 2, 331). Like the other cities of Cyrenaica, it had received a Jewish colony, so it became early an important Christian center. Dionysius of Alexandria (264-282) wrote a letter to its bishop, Ammonas (Eusebius, H. E. VII, 26), who is also spoken of in the “Apophthegmata Patrum” (Cotelier, Monum. eccles. graec. I, 385; Migne, P.G., LXV, 119). Daces was present at the Council of Nicaea in 325 (H. Gelzer, Patrum Nicn. nomina, 219). In 394, Probatius followed to Constantinople the Patriarch of Alexandria, Theophilus (Mansi, III, 852). The city was restored by Justinian (Procopius, De Aedif. VI, 2). It is mentioned with the wrong spelling “Beronice”, by Hierocles (733, 3) and by Georgius Cyprius (n. 794) among the bishoprics of the Lybian Pentapolis, but is omitted by the later “Notitiae”. It must have disappeared, like so many other sees, at the time of the Arab invasion in the seventh century.

L. PETIT


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