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Encyclopedia > Coptic language
Coptic
met rem en kēmɪ[1]
Spoken in: Egypt
Language extinction: Near extinct since the 17th century[2]
Language family: Afro-Asiatic
 Egyptian
  Coptic 
Writing system: Coptic alphabet
Language codes
ISO 639-1: none
ISO 639-2: cop
ISO 639-3: cop

The Coptic language is a direct descendant of the ancient Egyptian language which was once written in Egyptian hieroglyphic, hieratic, and demotic scripts. The Coptic alphabet is a modified form of the Greek alphabet, with some letters (which vary from dialect to dialect) deriving from demotic. An extinct language (also called a dead language) is a language which no longer has any native speakers. ... (16th century - 17th century - 18th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 17th century was that century which lasted from 1601-1700. ... Current distribution of Human Language Families A language family is a group of related languages said to have descended from a common proto-language. ... The Afro-Asiatic languages constitute a language family with about 375 languages (SIL estimate) and more than 300 million speakers spread throughout North Africa, East Africa, the Sahel, and Southwest Asia (including some 200 million speakers of Arabic). ... Writing systems of the world today. ... The Coptic alphabet is an alphabet used for writing the Coptic language. ... ISO 639-1 is the first part of the ISO 639 international-standard language-code family. ... ISO 639-2 is the second part of the ISO 639 standard, which lists codes for the representation of the names of languages. ... ISO 639-3 is an international standard for language codes. ... Articles with similar titles include the NATO phonetic alphabet, which has also informally been called the “International Phonetic Alphabet”. For information on how to read IPA transcriptions of English words, see IPA chart for English. ... Phonetics (from the Greek word φωνή, phone meaning sound, voice) is the study of the sounds of human speech. ... Unicode is an industry standard designed to allow text and symbols from all of the writing systems of the world to be consistently represented and manipulated by computers. ... Ebers Papyrus detailing treatment of asthma Records of the Ancient Egyptian language have been dated about 3000 BC. It is part of the Afro-Asiatic group of languages and is related to Berber and Semitic (languages such as Arabic and Hebrew). ... It has been suggested that Hieroglyph (French Wiki article) be merged into this article or section. ... Development of hieratic script from hieroglyphs; after Champollion. ... Demotic script on a replica of the Rosetta stone. ... The Coptic alphabet is an alphabet used for writing the Coptic language. ... The Greek alphabet is an alphabet that has been used to write the Greek language since about the 9th century BCE. It was the first alphabet in the narrow sense, that is, a writing system using a separate symbol for each vowel and consonant alike. ... Demotic (disambiguation) The term Demotic can refer to: The Demotic Greek dialect of the Greek language. ...


Coptic flourished from ca. AD 200 to 1100. The last record of its being spoken was during the 17th century. Coptic survives today as the liturgical language of the Coptic Orthodox Church. Egyptian Arabic is the spoken and national language of Egypt today. For other uses, see number 200. ... August 5 - Henry I becomes King of England. ... (16th century - 17th century - 18th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 17th century was that century which lasted from 1601-1700. ... A sacred language is a language, frequently a dead language, that is cultivated for religious reasons by people who speak another language in their daily life. ... Christ - Coptic Art Coptic Orthodox Christianity is the indigenous form of Christianity that, according to tradition, the apostle Mark established in Egypt in the middle of the 1st century AD (approximately AD 60). ... Egyptian Arabic (Marī مصري) is part of the Arabic macrolanguage of the Semitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family. ...

This article contains Coptic text.
Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Coptic letters.

Contents

Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... The Japanese Wikipedia article for mojibake with improper encoding. ... The Coptic alphabet is an alphabet used for writing the Coptic language. ...

Classification

Coptic is a member of the Afro-Asiatic language family and the Egyptian language sub-family. Map showing the distribution of Afro-Asiatic languages The Afro-Asiatic languages are a language family of about 240 languages and 285 million people widespread throughout North Africa, East Africa, the Sahel, and Southwest Asia. ...


Nouns in the Coptic have distinct forms for plural, but many can be used as singular or plural. Plurals, however, show a bewildering variety of formations. Definite articles singular and plural are characteristic, and differentiate gender. There are few adjectives, but this can be expressed with Coptic prepositions. Conjugation of verbs is elaborate, which are prefixed to express person, number, gender, tense and mood. Adverbs, prepositions, and conjunctions are used extensively. Prepositions have distinct forms for noun and pronoun objects.


In the Sahidic dialect, the language is known as ⲙⲛⲧⲣⲙⲛⲕⲏⲙⲉ met ən rəm ən kēmə ('language of the people of Egypt') and ⲙⲛⲧⲕⲩⲡⲧⲁⲓⲟⲛ met kuptaion ('Egyptian language'); the latter is sometimes encountered in the Graecising form ⲙⲛⲧⲁⲓⲅⲩⲡⲧⲓⲟⲛ met aiguption. The term logos ən aiguptios ('Egyptian language') is also attested in Sahidic, although logos and aiguptios are Greek in origin. In the Bohairic dialect, the language is called ⲙⲉⲧⲣⲉⲙⲛⲭⲏⲙⲓ məd rəm en kæmɪ (Old-Bohairic pronunciation) or met rem en kēmɪ (Graeco-Bohairic pronunciation - according to current Church usage) meaning 'language of the people of Egypt'.


Geographic distribution

Coptic Egyptian was spoken only in Egypt, and historically has had little influence outside of Egypt proper, with the exception of monasteries located in Nubia. Coptic's most noticeable impact has been on the various dialects of Egyptian Arabic, where an immense amount of words from the Coptic lexicon has been preserved as well as many morphological, syntactical, and phonological correspondences. There are also a handful of words of Coptic origin that have been borrowed more generally into Standard Arabic and Biblical Hebrew. These include: Nubia is the region in the south of Egypt, along the Nile and in northern Sudan. ... Egyptian Arabic (Marī مصري) is part of the Arabic macrolanguage of the Semitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family. ... Look up lexicon in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Morphology. ... In linguistics, syntax is the study of the rules, or patterned relations, that govern the way the words in a sentence come together. ... Phonology (Greek phone = voice/sound and logos = word/speech) is a subfield of grammar (see also linguistics). ... Arabic ( or just ) is the largest living member of the Semitic language family in terms of speakers. ... “Hebrew” redirects here. ...

  • timsāḥ, تمساح (Arabic), תמסח (Hebrew) - "crocodile" (Sahidic fem. def. article ta + msaḥ "crocodile")
  • ṭūbah طوبة "brick" (Sahidic to:be; Bohairic to:bi; this subsequently entered Spanish (via Andalusi Arabic) as adobe, whence it was borrowed by American English
  • wāḥah واحة "oasis" (Sahidic waḥe, Bohairic wehi)

A few words of Coptic origin are found in Greek, some of which where ultimately borrowed into various languages of Europe (e.g. barge from Coptic bari "small boat"). Andalusi Arabic was a dialect of the Arabic language spoken in Al-Andalus, the regions of Spain under Muslim rule. ... Renewal of the surface coating of an adobe wall in Chamisal, New Mexico Adobe is a natural building material composed of sand, sandy clay and straw or other organic materials, which is shaped into bricks using wooden frames and dried in the sun. ... For other uses, see American English (disambiguation). ... Self propelled barge carrying bulk crushed stone A barge is a flat-bottomed boat, built mainly for river and canal transport of heavy goods. ...


It should be noted, however, that most words of Egyptian origin that entered into Greek, and subsequently other European languages, come directly from ancient Egyptian (often demotic), and not Coptic. An example of this is Greek ὄασις oasis, which comes directly from Egyptian wḥ3t or demotic wḥỉ and not Coptic wahə. Interestingly, Coptic re-borrowed some words of ancient Egyptian origin back into its lexicon via Greek. For example, both Sahidic and Bohairic use the word ebenos, which was taken directly from Greek ἔβενος "ebony", originally from Egyptian hbny. Written records of the ancient Egyptian language have been dated from about 3200 BC. Egyptian is part of the Afro-Asiatic group of languages and is related to Berber and Semitic (languages such as Arabic, Amharic, Tigrinya and Hebrew). ... Demotic (disambiguation) The term Demotic can refer to: The Demotic Greek dialect of the Greek language. ...


Also the Greek name Paphnutius takes its origin in Bohairic pa-ph-nuti - the (man) of God. The name entered Russian as Пафнутий (for example, the famous mathematician Pafnuty Chebyshev). Pafnuty Lvovich Chebyshev (Russian: ) ( May 26 [O.S. May 14] 1821 – December 8 [O.S. November 26] 1894) was a Russian mathematician. ...


Finally, Old Nubian (and modern Nubian languages) borrowed many words of Coptic origin. A page from an Old Nubian translation of Liber Institutionis Michaelis Archangelis from the 9th-10th century AD, found at Qasr Ibrim, now at the British Museum. ... The Nubian language group, according to the most recent research by Bechhaus-Gerst] comprises the following varieties: Nobiin (previously know by the geographic terms Mahas or Fadicca/Fiadicca). ...


Official status

Coptic & Arabic Inscriptions in Old Cairo
Coptic & Arabic Inscriptions in Old Cairo

As an extinct language, Coptic does not have any official status. The medieval Bohairic dialect is, however, presently used as a liturgical language of the Coptic Orthodox and Coptic Catholic churches (along with Arabic). Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1024x768, 782 KB) Summary Coptic & Arabic inscriptions Old Cairo April 2005 M. Disdero Metadata Licensing File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Coptic language ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1024x768, 782 KB) Summary Coptic & Arabic inscriptions Old Cairo April 2005 M. Disdero Metadata Licensing File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Coptic language ... An extinct language (also called a dead language) is a language which no longer has any native speakers. ... A sacred language is a language, frequently a dead language, that is cultivated for religious reasons by people who speak another language in their daily life. ... Christ - Coptic Art Coptic Orthodox Christianity is the indigenous form of Christianity that, according to tradition, the apostle Mark established in Egypt in the middle of the 1st century AD (approximately AD 60). ... The Coptic Catholic Church is an Alexandrian Rite church sui juris particular Church in full communion with the Pope of Rome. ...


Dialects

Coptic possesses a number of regional dialects that were in use from the Mediterranean coast and south into Nubia, as well as the western oases. However, while many of these dialects reflect actual regional linguistic variations, some are more probably localised orthographic traditions and likely should not be taken as a true indication of linguistic variation. A dialect (from the Greek word διάλεκτος, dialektos) is a variety of a language characteristic of a particular group of the languages speakers. ... The Mediterranean Sea is an intercontinental sea positioned between Europe to the north, Africa to the south and Asia to the east, covering an approximate area of 2. ... Nubia is the region in the south of Egypt, along the Nile and in northern Sudan. ... The orthography of a language specifies the correct way of writing in that language. ...


The major dialects of Coptic are:


Sahidic

Sahidic (formerly called Thebaic) is dialect in which most known Coptic texts are written, and was the leading dialect in the pre-Islamic period. It is thought to have originally been a regional dialect from the area around al-Ashmunayn (ancient Hermopolis magna), but around 300 it began to be written in literary form, including translations of major portions of the Bible. By the 6th century a standardised spelling had been attained, and it was highly influential as the standard dialect for the Coptic Orthodox Church throughout Egypt. Almost all native authors in Coptic wrote in this dialect. Sahidic was, beginning in the 9th century challenged by Bohairic, but is attested as late as the 14th century. Islam (Arabic:  ) is a monotheistic religion based upon the teachings of Muhammad, a 7th century Arab religious and political figure. ... Bold textItalic text--212. ... Franks penetrate into northern Belgium (approximate date). ... This Gutenberg Bible is displayed by the United States Library. ... The 6th century is the period from 501 - 600 in accordance with the Julian calendar in the Christian Era. ... As a means of recording the passage of time the 9th century was that century that lasted from 801 to 900. ... This 14th-century statue from south India depicts the gods Shiva (on the left) and Uma (on the right). ...


While texts in other Coptic dialects are primarily translations of Greek literary and religious texts, Sahidic is the only dialect with a considerable body of original literature and non-literary texts. Because Sahidic shares most of its features with other dialects of Coptic and has few peculiarities specific to itself, and has an extensive corpus of known texts, it is generally the dialect studied by learners of Coptic, particularly by scholars outside of the Coptic Church.


Bohairic

The Bohairic (or Memphitic) dialect is generally believed to originate in the western Nile delta. The earliest Bohairic manuscripts date to the 4th century, but most texts come from the 9th century and later; this may, however, be due to poor preservation conditions for texts in the humid regions of northern Egypt. It shows several conservative features in lexicon and phonology not found in other dialects. Bohairic is the dialect used as the liturgical language of the Coptic Orthodox Church, replacing Sahidic some time in the 11th century. In contemporary liturgical use, there are two traditions of pronunciation, arising from successive reforms in the 19th and 20th centuries (see Coptic pronunciation reform). NASA satellite photograph of the Nile Delta (shown in false colour) The Nile Delta (Arabic:دلتا النيل) is the delta formed in Northern Egypt where the Nile River spreads out and drains into the Mediterranean Sea. ... As a means of recording the passage of time, the 4th century was that century which lasted from 301 to 400. ... As a means of recording the passage of time the 9th century was that century that lasted from 801 to 900. ... Look up lexicon in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Phonology (Greek phonē = voice/sound and logos = word/speech), is a subfield of linguistics which studies the sound system of a specific language (or languages). ... A sacred language is a language, frequently a dead language, that is cultivated for religious reasons by people who speak another language in their daily life. ... As a means of recording the passage of time, the 11th century was that century which lasted from 1001 to 1100. ... Coptic pronunciation reform since 1850 has resulted in two major shifts in the use of Bohairic, the dialect of Coptic which is used as the liturgical language of the present-day Coptic Orthodox Church. ...


Some members of the Church have attempted to revive the Bohairic dialect as a language of daily usage, and a number of booklets and grammars have been published to this end. (For one thorough example, see Mattar 1990.)


Akhmimic

Akhmimic was localised around the town of Akhmim (ancient Panopolis), and flourished during the 4th and 5th centuries, after which it became extinct. Akhmimic is phonologically the most archaic of the Coptic dialects. One characteristic feature is the retention of the phoneme /x/, which is realised as /ʃ/ in most other dialects. Similarly, it uses an exceptionally conservative writing system strikingly similar to "Old Coptic". Akhmim, or Ekhmim, ia a town of Upper Egypt, on the right bank of the Nile, 67 mi by river south of Assiut, and 4 mi above Suhag, on the opposite side of the river where there is railway communication with Cairo and Assuan. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Akhmim. ... As a means of recording the passage of time, the 4th century was that century which lasted from 301 to 400. ... Europe in 450 The 5th century is the period from 401 - 500 in accordance with the Julian calendar in the Christian Era. ... In human language, a phoneme is the theoretical representation of a sound. ... The Coptic alphabet is an alphabet used for writing the Coptic language. ...


Lycopolitan

Lycopolitan (also known as Subakhmimic and Assiutic) is similar to Akhmimic in terms of when and where it was attested, though manuscripts written in it tend to be localised in the area of Asyut, ancient Lycopolis. The main differences between the two dialects seem to be only graphical in nature, though Lycopolitan was used extensively for translations of gnostic and Manichaean works, including the Nag Hammadi library texts. Location of Asyut on the map of Egypt. ... Asyut (Arabic: اسيوط ) is one of the governorates of Egypt. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Manichean priests, writing at their desk, with panel inscription in Sogdian. ... The Nag Hammadi library is a collection of early Christian Gnostic texts discovered near the Egyptian town of Nag Hammadi in 1945. ...


Fayyumic

Fayyumic (or Faiyumic; in older works it is often called Bashmuric) was utilised primarily in the Fayyūm region west of the Nile Valley. It is attested from the 3rd to the 10th centuries. It is most notable for writing l where other dialects generally use r. Al Fayyum is one of the governorates of Egypt located in the centre of the country. ... // Overview Events 212: Constitutio Antoniniana grants citizenship to all free Roman men 212-216: Baths of Caracalla 230-232: Sassanid dynasty of Persia launches a war to reconquer lost lands in the Roman east 235-284: Crisis of the Third Century shakes Roman Empire 250-538: Kofun era, the first... As a means of recording the passage of time, the 10th century was that century which lasted from 901 to 1000. ...


Oxyrhynchite

Oxyrhynchite (also called Mesokemic or [confusingly] Middle Egyptian) was localised in Middle Egypt around Oxyrhynchus, and shows similarities with Fayyumic. It is attested in manuscripts from the 4th and 5th centuries. Oxyrhynchus (Greek: Οξύρυγχος; sharp-nosed; ancient Egyptian Per-Medjed; modern Egyptian Arabic el-Bahnasa) is an archaeological site in Egypt, considered one of the most important ever discovered. ... As a means of recording the passage of time, the 4th century was that century which lasted from 301 to 400. ... Europe in 450 The 5th century is the period from 401 - 500 in accordance with the Julian calendar in the Christian Era. ...


Vocabulary

The core lexicon of Coptic is derived from the ancient Egyptian language, being most closely related to the demotic phase of the language. Approximately one-third of Coptic vocabulary is drawn from Greek, though borrowings are not always fully adapted to the Coptic phonological system and may have semantic differences as well. There are instances of Coptic texts having passages that are almost entirely composed from Greek lexical roots. However, it must be remembered that the majority of Coptic texts are direct translations of Greek works. Look up lexicon in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Written records of the ancient Egyptian language have been dated from about 3200 BC. Egyptian is part of the Afro-Asiatic group of languages and is related to Berber and Semitic (languages such as Arabic, Amharic, Tigrinya and Hebrew). ... Demotic (disambiguation) The term Demotic can refer to: The Demotic Greek dialect of the Greek language. ... The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ...


Furthermore, it should be noted that the majority of Coptic texts available to us today are of a religious nature, and were translated from the Greek language. Since to the Egyptians, these texts employed some novel concepts and terminology, those words for which no adequate translation could be found were taken directly from the Greek so as not to corrupt the meaning of the message. In addition, other Egyptian words that would have adequately translated the Greek were not employed as these were seen to have overt pagan associations and so the transition from the 'old' traditions to the new Christian religion also contributed to the adoption of Greek words into the Coptic religious lexicon. However, it should be noted that it is only in religious terminology that such a large number of Greek words (1/3) have been assumed into the Coptic language. It would be safe to assume that the lexica of everyday Coptic retained to a far greater extent its ancient Egyptian heritage. In fact, many words and expressions used today by modern-day Copts and Muslims alike are of ancient Egyptian origin.


Writing system

Stone with Coptic inscription
Stone with Coptic inscription
Main article Coptic alphabet

Coptic uses a writing system almost wholly derived from the Greek alphabet, with the addition of a number of additional letters—six in the case of Sahidic—that have their origins in Demotic Egyptian. There is some variation in the number and forms of these demotic signs depending on the dialect of Coptic involved. Some of the letters in the Coptic alphabet that are of Greek origin were normally reserved only for words that are themselves Greek in origin. Photograph and editing by Imran. ... Photograph and editing by Imran. ... The Coptic alphabet is an alphabet used for writing the Coptic language. ... The Greek alphabet is an alphabet that has been used to write the Greek language since about the 9th century BCE. It was the first alphabet in the narrow sense, that is, a writing system using a separate symbol for each vowel and consonant alike. ... Demotic script on a replica of the Rosetta stone. ...


In Sahidic, syllables may have been indicated by a supralinear stroke, though many scholars hold that it was used to indicate /e/; there is currently no agreement on this issue. Some scribal traditions use a diaeresis over <i> and <u> at the beginning of a syllable. Bohairic uses a superposed point or small stroke known as a djinkim. It is thought to be unrelated to the Sahidic supralinear stroke, and may possibly indicate a voiceless glottal plosive. In linguistics, a, diaeresis, or dieresis (AE) (from Greek (diaerein), to divide) is the modification of a syllable by distinctly pronouncing one of its vowels. ... A syllable (Ancient Greek: ) is a unit of organization for a sequence of speech sounds. ... The glottal stop or voiceless glottal plosive is a type of consonantal sound, used in many spoken languages. ...


Most Coptic texts do not indicate a word division.


History

Coptic was predominantly used from its Christian beginnings in the late 2nd century till the time of the Great persecution of Diocletian in the late 3rd century as a translational tool from Greek to Egyptian. After the persecution, the monastic movement picked up tremendous steam. The monastic communities were large and mostly Egyptian. This generated the need for the abbots of these communities to write their rules in the Egyptian language. Furthermore, the Fathers of the Egyptian Church, who otherwise usually wrote in Greek, addressed some of their works to the Egyptian monks in Coptic. Hence, with monastic fathers like Saint Anthony the Great, Saint Pachomius, and Saint Macarius and their respective disciples writing to their monks; and with Church Fathers like Saint Athanasius, Saint Theophilius, and Saint Cyril writing also to them in Coptic, the Golden Age of the Coptic language was about to begin. This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... The 2nd century is the period from 101 - 200 in accordance with the Julian calendar in the Christian Era. ... Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus (c. ... // Overview Events 212: Constitutio Antoniniana grants citizenship to all free Roman men 212-216: Baths of Caracalla 230-232: Sassanid dynasty of Persia launches a war to reconquer lost lands in the Roman east 235-284: Crisis of the Third Century shakes Roman Empire 250-538: Kofun era, the first... Monasticism (from Greek: monachos&#8212;a solitary person) is the religious practice of renouncing all worldly pursuits in order to fully devote ones life to spiritual work. ... Monasticism (from Greek: monachos&#8212;a solitary person) is the religious practice of renouncing all worldly pursuits in order to fully devote ones life to spiritual work. ... Written records of the ancient Egyptian language have been dated from about 3200 BC. Egyptian is part of the Afro-Asiatic group of languages and is related to Berber and Semitic (languages such as Arabic, Amharic, Tigrinya and Hebrew). ... Jesus Christ in a Coptic icon. ... Saint Anthony the Great, Father of all Monks Saint Anthony the Great ( 251 - 356), Christian saint, also known as Saint Anthony of Egypt, Saint Anthony of the Desert, Saint Anthony the Anchorite, and The Father of All Monks was a leader among the Desert Fathers, who were Christian monks in... Pachomius, who died around AD 345 in Tabennisi, Egypt, was one of the founders of Christian monasticism. ... Saint Macarius of Jerusalem was bishop of Jerusalem from 311/312 to shortly before 335, according to Sozomen. ... Athanasius of Alexandria (also spelled Athanasios) was a Christian bishop of Alexandria in the fourth century. ... Please see: Theophilus of Adana Theophile of Antioch Bishop of Antioch Theophilus of Alexandria Theophilus (thēŏf`ĭləs), person to whom St. ... St. ...


It was not until Saint Shenouda the Archimandrite came on the scene that Coptic really achieved its literary excellence. Saint Shenouda was able to transform the language from a tool to communicate instructions to the monks to a wide-variety literary language that addressed monks, ecclesiastic authorities, laymen, and even government officials. His charisma, knowledge of Greek language and rhetoric, as well as his innovative mind gave him the necessary tools to elevate the Coptic language, in content and style, to a literary height never achieved before nor equaled since. The Coptic scholars are constantly astounded by his great writings as more and more of them are being studied and accurately published. Shenoute is considered to have been very austere as a person and an author of some of the best Coptic prose that has come down to us. ... Shenoute is considered to have been very austere as a person and an author of some of the best Coptic prose that has come down to us. ... Greek ( IPA: or IPA: — Hellenic) is an Indo-European language with a documented history of 3,500 years, the longest of any single language in that language family. ...


This literary legacy continued to a lesser degree through the writings of his disciple Saint Besa in the second half of the 5th century. But such writings were mostly for the edification of the large monastic community in the White Monastery. Later in the 6th and 7th centuries other fathers wrote many works in Coptic like Rufus of Shotep, Constantine of Asyut, and Pisentius of Qift. Europe in 450 The 5th century is the period from 401 - 500 in accordance with the Julian calendar in the Christian Era. ... Monasticism (from Greek: monachos&#8212;a solitary person) is the religious practice of renouncing all worldly pursuits in order to fully devote ones life to spiritual work. ... The White Monastery is a Coptic Orthodox monastery named after Saint Shenouda the Archimandrite. ... The 6th century is the period from 501 - 600 in accordance with the Julian calendar in the Christian Era. ... The 7th century is the period from 601 - 700 in accordance with the Julian calendar in the Christian Era. ...


Coptic during the early Arabic period (7th to 10th centuries)

8th century Coptic manuscript of Luke 5.5–9
8th century Coptic manuscript of Luke 5.5–9

By the middle of the 7th century, Egypt came under the dominance of Arab rulers with the spread of Islam. At the turn of the 8th century, Caliph Abd al-Malik bin Marwan made Arabic the sole official language of Egypt, replacing Koine Greek as the language of government affairs. The move further eroded the number of literate Coptic readers, most of whom made up the ranks of government workers and their families and who were also educated in Greek. This pressured Egyptian government officials to learn Arabic so that they might also pass on such work to their offspring. The move may have helped bring about the birth of modern Egyptian Arabic. The combined ascendancy of Greek and especially Arabic eventually relegated literary Coptic. Within a few hundred years, Bishop Severus of Al-Ashmunain found it necessary to write his History of the Patriarchs in Arabic to address such a drastic decline. Download high resolution version (502x768, 102 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Download high resolution version (502x768, 102 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... The Gospel of Luke is the third and longest of the four canonical Gospels of the New Testament, which tell the story of Jesus life, death, and resurrection. ... The 7th century is the period from 601 - 700 in accordance with the Julian calendar in the Christian Era. ... Languages Arabic other minority languages Religions Predomiantly Sunni Islam, as well as Shia Islam, Greek Orthodoxy, Greek Catholicism, Alawite Islam, Druzism, Ibadi Islam, and Judaism Footnotes a Mainly in Antakya. ... Islam (Arabic:  ) is a monotheistic religion based upon the teachings of Muhammad, a 7th century Arab religious and political figure. ... For main article see: Caliphate Khalif is the head of state in a Caliphate, and the title for the leader of the Islamic Ummah, or global Islamic nation. ... Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan (646-705) (Arabic: عبد المالك بن مروان ) was an Umayyad caliph. ... Arabic ( or just ) is the largest living member of the Semitic language family in terms of speakers. ... Koine redirects here. ... Arabic ( or just ) is the largest living member of the Semitic language family in terms of speakers. ... Egyptian Arabic (MarÄ« مصري) is part of the Arabic macrolanguage of the Semitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family. ... bishop severus (in arabic often referred to as ibn al muqafa) was one oof the bishops of the coptic church in egypt during the 10th century AD. he was one of the leading figures during the akhsheedic state in egypt and also during the early fatimic era. ... Arabic ( or just ) is the largest living member of the Semitic language family in terms of speakers. ...


Ecclesiastically, the language continued strong. In fact, a great number of Hagiographic texts were composed during the early parts of this period. Coptic continued to be used in the Church with Greek as the second language, as seen from the texts that survived from the period. However a relatively small number of liturgical manuscripts survived from such period to show how it was being used. This was due to the heavy use to which such manuscripts were subjected, poor preservation during the period of decline in use, and the parchment material they were written on that did not lend itself to such heavy use. Hagiography is the study of saints. ...


During this period some Arabic loan-words made their way into the language. But there was no indication that the Arabic language was used in the Church. There were no Coptic-Arabic manuscripts that belong to this period or any literary citation to indicate its possible use. Coptic also remained the spoken language of the peasants and probably the clergy. Arabic ( or just ) is the largest living member of the Semitic language family in terms of speakers. ...


Coptic versus Arabic (11th to 14th centuries)

As the 11th century approached, the relatively good relations between the rulers of Egypt and the Church were drastically changed as the Hakem b'Amr Allah became the ruler. His violent mood swings took their toll on the Christians who were periodically subjected to open persecutions, had their churches closed for up to two years at a time, and saw their language being prohibited from use. This period did not last long, but it definitely left open the door for further decline in Coptic use. During the same period, the European Crusaders waged wars against the Muslim rulers of the Middle East in an effort to recapture Jerusalem and the Holy Land. Their presence in the area generated waves of persecutions and oppressions against the Copts. Introduction of literary Arabic in the 12th century by the Patriarch Gabriel ibn Turaik was probably an attempt to show the Muslims that the Copts are different from the enemy they were fighting. As a means of recording the passage of time, the 11th century was that century which lasted from 1001 to 1100. ... Christ - Coptic Art Coptic Orthodox Christianity is the indigenous form of Christianity that, according to tradition, the apostle Mark established in Egypt in the middle of the 1st century AD (approximately AD 60). ... Tāriqu l-Ḥakīm, called bi Amr al-Lāh (Arabic الحاكم بأمر الله Ruler by Gods Command), was the sixth Fatimid Caliph in Egypt, ruling from 996 to 1021. ... This article is about the religous people known as Christians. ... ‹ The template below (Religious persecution) has been proposed for deletion. ... World map showing the location of Europe. ... This article is about the medieval crusades. ... There is also a collection of Hadith called Sahih Muslim A Muslim (Arabic: مسلم, Persian: Mosalman or Mosalmon Urdu: مسلمان, Turkish: Müslüman, Albanian: Mysliman, Bosnian: Musliman) is an adherent of the religion of Islam. ... A map showing countries commonly considered to be part of the Middle East The Middle East is a region comprising the lands around the southern and eastern parts of the Mediterranean Sea, a territory that extends from the eastern Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf. ... For other uses, see Jerusalem (disambiguation). ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Holy Land (Biblical). ... Arabic ( or just ) is the largest living member of the Semitic language family in terms of speakers. ... (11th century - 12th century - 13th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 12th century was that century which lasted from 1101 to 1200. ... His Holiness Gabriel II was the Coptic Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. ... A Muslim is a believer in or follower of Islam. ... The word Copt signifies the natives of Egypt as a nationality, and in popular common culture in Egypt it is used to specifically signify Christian Egyptians, although its use to mean Egyptian is not unwitnessed. ...


Such move may have been considered wise at the time but it actually opened the flood gates. Christian Arabic literature flourished afterward. Later in the period, literary Arabic spread into liturgical books, replacing Greek in bilingual texts and intruding on traditionally non-bilingual ones. Even purely Arabic liturgical texts began to appear, indicating that Arabic moved from a mere reference translation to actual use in the churches. Original composition in Coptic became limited to liturgical hymns and prayers. The only Coptic literary texts composed in the later part of the period were the martyrdom of Saint John of Phanidijoit, written as such to shield from the eyes of the Muslims, and compositions, urging the Copts to revive their language. Arabic ( or just ) is the largest living member of the Semitic language family in terms of speakers. ... Arabic ( or just ) is the largest living member of the Semitic language family in terms of speakers. ... A Muslim is a believer in or follower of Islam. ...


Further testimony to the gradual decline of the language as a reading tool was supplied by the many lexicographic works that were introduced during the period. They were in the form of Muqadimat (Grammar) and Salalem (Scalae or word lists). Another sign of decline were Arabic texts circulating among the monks but written in Coptic characters, as they could not still read the Arabic script. This was eventually replaced with the writing of Coptic text in Arabic letters that we see nowadays in the Coptic Church. Arabic ( or just ) is the largest living member of the Semitic language family in terms of speakers. ... Arabic ( or just ) is the largest living member of the Semitic language family in terms of speakers. ... Christ - Coptic Art Coptic Orthodox Christianity is the indigenous form of Christianity that, according to tradition, the apostle Mark established in Egypt in the middle of the 1st century AD (approximately AD 60). ...


In summary, this period saw the decline of Coptic literary use in its last stronghold, the Church. Eventually, it led to the weakening of the Church which subsequently weakened the language more, a natural chain reaction. The number of Christians declined due to conversion to Islam. This article is about the religous people known as Christians. ... Islam (Arabic:  ) is a monotheistic religion based upon the teachings of Muhammad, a 7th century Arab religious and political figure. ...


Decline as a spoken language (up to the 17th century)

After the 14th century the Church experienced a decline spiritually and numerically. The dominance of the Ottoman Empire over Egypt in the early 16th century seemed to accelerate such decline. Production of Coptic Manuscripts slowed down to a trickle. This is an indication that Coptic books were not used as often as before in the Church, so there was no need to produce more. Tradition still mandated that Coptic be used in Church services but in a decaying fashion. Eventually Vansleb, the German traveler, concluded upon seeing an old man speaking in Coptic that with his death (the man's) Coptic would die. Such observation may not have been completely accurate but it gave an indication that Egyptian Arabic has replaced Coptic as the primary spoken language among the Copts, if not the only one. This 14th-century statue from south India depicts the gods Shiva (on the left) and Uma (on the right). ... Christ - Coptic Art Coptic Orthodox Christianity is the indigenous form of Christianity that, according to tradition, the apostle Mark established in Egypt in the middle of the 1st century AD (approximately AD 60). ... Motto دولت ابد مدت Devlet-i Ebed-müddet (The Eternal State) Anthem Ottoman imperial anthem Borders in 1680, see: list of territories Capital Söğüt (1299–1326) Bursa (1326–65) Edirne (1365–1453) Constantinople (Ä°stanbul, 1453–1922) Language(s) Ottoman Turkish Government Monarchy Sultans  - 1281–1326 Osman I  - 1918–22 Mehmed VI... (15th century - 16th century - 17th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 16th century was that century which lasted from 1501 to 1600. ... Egyptian Arabic (MarÄ« مصري) is part of the Arabic macrolanguage of the Semitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family. ... The word Copt signifies the natives of Egypt as a nationality, and in popular common culture in Egypt it is used to specifically signify Christian Egyptians, although its use to mean Egyptian is not unwitnessed. ...


Revival in the 19th century

In the beginning years of the second half of the 19th century, Pope Cyril IV of Alexandria started a Church-sponsored movement to educate the clergy and the new generations. Revival of Coptic seemed to be a necessary tool for such a movement. So Coptic language education was offered in all the schools that he built alongside the other curricula that was needed to make a new, better, and educated generation. Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century &#8212; 19th century &#8212; 20th century &#8212; more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... Icon of HH Pope St. ...


Pope Cyril IV of Alexandria did not last long on the throne of Saint Mark. His death was in part brought upon by opponents of his reforms. But he had laid the ground work for such movement to continue. In the last half quarter of that century, the movement to revive the Coptic language intensified. Icon of HH Pope St. ... Mark the Evangelist (מרקוס, Greek: Μάρκος) (1st century) is traditionally believed to be the author of the Gospel of Mark and a companion of Peter. ...


These dedicated people spread the language among the masses. They printed many of the Coptic service books for the first time, as they were only extant in manuscript form, thus reviving the use of Coptic in the Church services. Several works of grammar were produced as a result, along with a more comprehensive dictionary than was then available. The establishment of the Clerical College also aided in the propagation of the movement.


Coptic in the 20th century

Coptic continued its growth in the Church and among the Ecclesiastically-educated groups that were produced in the early parts of the 20th century. Coptic schools, instituted by Pope Cyril VI and others that emulated them, continued their valuable work among the Coptic community. The clerical college also continued the tradition of the 19th century revival of Coptic. After the 1952 Revolution the Arabic language became more prominent in Egypt and had eventually an influential effect on the new educated classes among the Copts. As members of these groups were called upon to serve the Church, they brought with them a preaching spirit that put Arabic in a new prominent position in the services, i.e. sermons. Unintentionally, and in spite of the good will of such people and their love of the tradition of the Church, they introduced again an element that eventually weakened the revival process. The language is spoken today by only two families in Egypt [1]; (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901&#8211;2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900&#8211;1999... St Kyrillos VI, 116th Pope of Alexandria: A man of prayer, who held daily masses and had his door open to everyone His Holiness Pope Cyril (Kyrillos) VI of Alexandria, born Azer Ioseph Atta (August 8, 1902 – March 9, 1971), was Coptic Orthodox Pope from 1959 to 1971. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century &#8212; 19th century &#8212; 20th century &#8212; more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... The 1952 Revolution was a military coup détat that took place on July 23rd, 1952 by a group of young army officers who named themselves The Free Officers Movement. The revolution initially aimed at overthrowing the corrupted king FaroukI. However, the movement soon decided to abolish the monarchy and... Arabic ( or just ) is the largest living member of the Semitic language family in terms of speakers. ... The word Copt signifies the natives of Egypt as a nationality, and in popular common culture in Egypt it is used to specifically signify Christian Egyptians, although its use to mean Egyptian is not unwitnessed. ... Arabic ( or just ) is the largest living member of the Semitic language family in terms of speakers. ...


Notes

  1. ^ ⲙⲧⲣⲙⲛⲕⲏⲙⲉ (Sahidic dialect) met rem en kēme ⲙⲉⲧⲣⲉⲙⲛⲭⲏⲙⲓ (Bohairic dialect) /məd rəm en kæmɪ/ (Old-Bhairic pronunciation) /met rem en ke:mɪ/ (Graeco-Bohairic pronunciation - according to current Church usage) "language of the people of Egypt"
  2. ^ may have survived in isolated pockets in Upper Egypt into the 19th century (James Edward Quibell, When did Coptic become extinct? in: Zeitschrift für ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde, 39 (1901), p. 87). According to The Daily Star Egypt (Tuesday, 23 January 2007), there are even two families still speaking the language today. In continued use as the liturgical language of Coptic Christianity.

A sacred language is a language, frequently a dead language, that is cultivated for religious reasons by people who speak another language in their daily life. ... Jesus Christ in a Coptic icon. ...

References

General studies

  • Emmel, Stephen. 1992. "Languages (Coptic)". In The Anchor Bible Dictionary, edited by David Noel Freedman. Vol. 4 of 6 vols. New York: Doubleday. 180–188.
  • Rodolphe Kasser. 1991. "Dialects". In The Coptic Encyclopedia, edited by Aziz Suryal Atiya. Vol. 8 of 8 vols. New York and Toronto: Macmillian Publishing Company and Collier Macmillian Canada. 87–96.
  • Loprieno, Antonio. 1995. Ancient Egyptian: A Linguistic Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Polotsky, Hans Jakob. 1971. "Coptic". In Afroasiatic: A Survey, edited by Carleton Taylor Hodge. (Jana Linguarum: Series Practica; 163). 's Gravenhage and Paris: Mouton. 67–79.

Rodolphe Kasser, philologist and archaeologist is one of the worlds leading Coptic scholars. ...

Grammars

  • Lambdin, Thomas Oden. 1983. Introduction to Sahidic Coptic. Macon: Mercer University Press.
  • Layton, Bentley. 2000. A Coptic Grammar (Sahidic Dialect): With a Chrestomathy and Glossary. (Porta linguarum orientalium; N.S., 20). Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.
  • Mallon, Alexis. 1956. Grammaire copte: bibliographie, chrestomathie et vocabulaire. 4th edition. Beyrouth.
  • Mattar, Nabil. 1990. A Study in Bohairic Coptic. Pasadena: Hope Publishing House.
  • Polotsky, Hans Jakob. 1987. Grundlagen des koptischen Satzbaus. American Studies in Papyrology 28. Decatur, Ga.: Scholars Press.
  • Plumley, J. Martin. 1948. An Introductory Coptic Grammar (Sahidic Dialect). London: Home & van Thal.
  • Shisha-Halevy, Ariel. 1988. Coptic Grammatical Chrestomathy: a course for academic and private study. Orientalia lovaniensia analecta 30. Leuven: Peeters.
  • Shisha-Halevy, Ariel. 1986. Coptic Grammatical Categories: Structural Studies in the Syntax of Shenoutean Sahidic. Analecta Orientalia 53. Roma: Pontificium Institutum Biblicum. ISBN 88-7653-255-2.
  • Till, Walter C. 1994. Koptische Dialektgrammatik. Berlin: Walter De Gruyter.
  • Vergote, Jozef. 1973–1983. Grammaire copte. Leuven: Peeters.
  • Younan, Sameh. 2005. So, you want to learn Coptic? A guide to Bohairic Grammar. Sydney: St.Mary, St.Bakhomious and St.Shenouda Coptic Orthodox Church.

Jozef Antoon Leo Maria Vergote (1910–1992) was a Flemish Egyptologist and Coptologist. ...

Dictionaries

  • Černý, Jaroslav. 1976. Coptic Etymological Dictionary. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Crum, Walter Ewing. 1939. A Coptic Dictionary. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  • Vycichl, Werner. 1983. Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue copte. Leuven: Éditions Peeters.
  • Westendorf, Wolfhart. 1965/1977. Koptisches Handwörterbuch. Heidelberg: Carl Winter.

Phonology

  • Depuydt, Leo. 1993. "On Coptic Sounds." Orientalia 62 (new series): 338–375.
  • Loprieno, Antonio. 1997. "Egyptian and Coptic Phonology". In Phonologies of Asia and Africa (Including the Caucasus), edited by Alan S. Kaye. Vol. 1 of 2 vols. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns. 431–460.
  • Peust, Carsten. 1999. Egyptian Phonology: An Introduction to the Phonology of a Dead Language. (Monographien zur ägyptischen Sprache; 2). Göttingen: Peust & Gutschmidt.

Bibliography

  • Kammerer, Winifred (compiler), A Coptic Bibliography, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1950. (Reprint New York: Kraus Reprint Co., 1969)

See also

The Coptic alphabet is an alphabet used for writing the Coptic language. ... Christ - Coptic Art Coptic Orthodox Christianity is the indigenous form of Christianity that, according to tradition, the apostle Mark established in Egypt in the middle of the 1st century AD (approximately AD 60). ... Written records of the ancient Egyptian language have been dated from about 3200 BC. Egyptian is part of the Afro-Asiatic group of languages and is related to Berber and Semitic (languages such as Arabic, Amharic, Tigrinya and Hebrew). ... Egyptian Arabic (Marī مصري) is part of the Arabic macrolanguage of the Semitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family. ... The Nag Hammadi library is a collection of early Christian Gnostic texts discovered near the Egyptian town of Nag Hammadi in 1945. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Ancient Near East .Net - Coptic Language (683 words)
Although extinct as a spoken language, Coptic is nonetheless retained as a liturgical tongue within the Coptic Orthodox Church and preserves a rich heritage of written documents from the ancient and medieval periods.
The retained knowledge of Coptic was essential to the linguistic analysis of the ancient Egyptian language in its earlier phases and for the nineteenth century decipherment of the Egyptian hieroglyphic script.
Sahidic was firmly established as the standard literary dialect of Coptic by the 4th century CE (being employed within the first official translation of the Bible) and maintained its preeminence until its replacement by the Bohairic dialect in the 10th to 11th centuries CE.
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