Those on a fairly standard tour of Egypt that includes the Aswan area will most likely visit St. Simeon (Deir Anba Sim'an), the monastery otherwise known as Anba Hatre. It is very likely that this will also include their one substantial camel ride (about 15 minutes), which is how these ruins, located some one thousand two hundred meters from the west bank oppose the southern tip of the island of Elephantine, are usually accessed. The Monastery was given the name St. Simeon by archaeologists and travelers, but earlier Arabic and Coptic sources called it Anba Hatre (Hidra, Hadri, Hadra), after an anchorite who was consecrated a bishop of Syene (now Aswan) by Patriarch Theophilus (385-412 AD). Anba Hatre married at the age of eighteen. Tradition provides that just after the wedding, he encountered a funeral procession which inspired him to preserved his chastity and later become a disciple of Saint Baiman. After eight years of ascetic practices under the supervision of his teacher, he retired to the desert and applied himself to the study of the life of Saint Antony. He died during the time of Theodosius I. Little actual archaeological attention has really ever been paid to this ancient site. It was examined and published by Grossmann in 1985, and in 1998 the inspectors of the antiquities removed some debris from the church, but apparently little else was accomplished.
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