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Writing in Egypt: Coptic

Coptic is the Egyptian language written with Greek letters including some few additional signs not known in Greek. Coptic is strongly connected with Christianity in Egypt and was mainly used by Christians in the Byzantine Period and under Islamic rule. It was never used in civil administration. Most texts are religious. However, a considerable number of private documents is also preserved. There are several dialects in Coptic. Sahidic is the most important. It is the classical language of literature. Bohairic is the language of the modern Coptic church.

the seven coptic letters taken from Demotic

The whole Coptic Alphabet

Example, Coptic ostracon
(click on the image to see a larger picture)

For downloading Coptic fonts click here

Further Reading:

Lambdin 1982 (a grammar and teaching book for Sahidic Coptic, most useful for self teaching and learning Coptic)




List of Coptic otraca in the Petrie Museum


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