He was the Prefect as well as Patriarch of Alexandria acting as the Governor of Egypt on behalf of the Byzantine Emperor.
The Arab historians normally mentioned him by his title ʹMuqauqisʹ but they hotly dispute his personal identity. Abu Salih who wrote in the sixth century after Hijrah (12 century A.D.) gives his name as Juraid b. Mina
al Muqauqis (which is corruption of George, son of Mina).
Ibn Khaldun says that the then Muqauqis was a Copt while alMaqrizi asserts that he was a Roman.
When the Persians conquered Egypt in 616 A.D., the Byzantine Prefect and patriarch was John the Almoner who fled from Egypt to Cyprus and died there. George was appointed in his place as the Archbishop of Merkite church who remained in office from 621 A.D. till his death
in 630 A.D. Known to the Arab historians as Juraij, they give the year of his appointment as 621 A.D. Alfred j.
Butler is of the opinion that practically seized all the Arab historians about a person by the title of Muqauqis, appointed by the Byzantine Emperor Herculius after the recovery of Egypt from the Persians, who was both its Patriarch and Governor. They have, therefore, identified
George as Muqauqis. But he also says that Muqauqis was only a title of the Patriarch since it was applied to the governor in the early Coptic manuscripts. It is also possible that some Coptic Patriarch might have assumed the ecclesiastical and political powers after the conquest of
Egypt by the Persians. However, as the treaty of peace between the Romans and the Persians was executed in the year 628 A.D., the letter of the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him was more probably received by the Patriarch of Egypt when he was more or less independent. This is why, it appears, that the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him addressed him as the chief of the Copts.
Egypt was the most fertile dominion of the Byzantine Empire, far exceeding other provinces in population as well as in resources. It was also the granary of the Byzantine capital. When ʹAmr b. alʹas entered Egypt at the head of the conquering Arab force, fourteen years after
the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him had sent his letter to Muqauqis, he wrote to Caliph ʹUmar b. alKhattab about that land: ʺThe
country is exceedingly fertile and green. Its length covers a journey of one month and its breadth is of about ten days.ʺ A census of Egypt taken by ʹAmr b. alAs in 20 A.H./640 A.D. to find out the number of persons on whom jizya could be levied, showed that the population
exceeded six million, one hundred thousand of which being Romans. ʹAmr b. Al As also wrote to the Caliph: ʺI have taken a city of which I can but say that it contains 4,000 palaces, 4,000 baths, 40, 000 Jews and 400 theatres for the entertainment of the nobles.ʺ (HusnulMUhudra by Suyuti)


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