Contact Information

Voice: 657-278-2464
Fax: 657-278-2101
Dept: 657-278-3474


Maged S.A. Mikhail, Ph.D.

Professor of History


I was born in Cairo, Egypt, and immigrated to the United States with my parents in 1983. I grew up in Southern California, where I completed my Ph.D. at UCLA in 2004.

Research Areas

Late Antiquity, Early Islam, Coptic Studies


Select Publications: 


The Life of Bishoi: The Greek, Arabic, Syriac, and Ethiopic Lives, edited with Tim Vivian (Cairo and New York: American University in Cairo Press, 2022).

On Cana of Galilee: A Sermon by the Coptic Patriarch Benjamin I. A Revised Expanded Edition (Anaheim, CA: St. Athanasius and St. Cyril Theological School Press, 2019).

The Legacy of Demetrius of Alexandria 189-231 CE: The Form and Function of Hagiography in Late Antique and Islamic Egypt, Routledge Studies in Early Christianity (London and New York: Routledge, 2017).

From Byzantine to Islamic Egypt: Religion, Identity, and Politics after the Arab Conquest (London and New York: I.B. Tauris, 2014). Paperback 2016.

The Holy Workshop of Virtue: The Life of John the Little by Zacharias of Sakhā, with Tim Vivian. (Collegeville: Liturgical Press/Cistercian Publications, 2010).

Christianity and Monasticism in Wadi al-Natrun, editor with M. Moussa (Cairo and New York: American University at Cairo Press, 2009). 


Articles and Book Chapters:

“Utilizing Non-Muslim Literary Sources for the Study of Egypt, 500 – 1000 AD.” in Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean World: From Constantinople to Baghdad, 500-1000 CE, ed. J. Bruning, J.H.M. de Jong, P.M. Sijpesteijn (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022), 465-92. 

“Historical Definitions and Synonyms for “Copt” and “Coptic”: the Construction of Communal Identity in Pre-Modern Egypt at the Nexus of Language, History, and Ethnogenesis,” Journal of the Canadian Society for Coptic Studies 13 (2021), 11-45.

"The Evolution of Lent in Alexandria and the Alleged Reforms of Patriarch Demetrius,” in Copts in Context: Negotiating Identity, Tradition, and Modernity , ed. Nelly van Doorn-Harder (South Carolina: The University of South Carolina Press, 2017), 169-180, 252-258.

“The Fast of the Apostles in the Early Church and in Later Syrian and Coptic Practice,” Oriens Christianus 98 (2015), 1-20.

“A Lost Chapter in the History of Wadi al-Natrun (Scetis): The Coptic Lives and Monastery of Abba John Khame,” Le Muséon: Revue d’études orientales 127.1-2 (2014), 149-85.

“The Early Islamic Period (641 – 1517): From the Arab Conquest through Mamlūk Rule,” in The Coptic Christian Heritage: History, Faith, and Culture, ed. L. Farag (New York: Rutledge Press, 2013), 39-53.

“An Orientation to the Sources and Study of Early Islamic Egypt (641 - 868 ce),” History Compass 8.8 (2010), 929-950.

“Notes on the Ahl al-Dīwān: The Arab-Egyptian Army of the Seventh through Ninth Centuries ce,” Journal of the American Oriental Society 128.2 (2008), 273-284.