Maspero

Memphitic

MEMPHITIC What was formerly called the Memphitic dialect (an appellation now abandoned) was one that Egyptologists and Coptologists long sought to identify and get to know, thinking that it must have been one of the principal dialects of Coptic Egypt. It was in fact known that Memphis had been one of the two very great …

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Coptological Studies

COPTOLOGICAL STUDIES Coptological studies may be divided into several periods. The oldest began in the first Christian centuries, when the Greek alphabet with the additional letters from demotic was used to elevate the spoken Egyptian language into a written language. This made it possible for many Egyptians to read the Old and New Testaments or …

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Spoken Coptic Language

SPOKEN COPTIC LANGUAGE Coptic was the spoken language of ancient Egypt until the ARAB CONQUEST OF EGYPT in the seventh century. It was recorded first in the hieroglyphic (sacred) script, the earliest form of Egyptian pictorial writing, and succeeded by the hieratic (priestly), which was the simplified running script, and the demotic (from “demos,” meaning …

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Clerical Instruction

CLERICAL INSTRUCTION Education of the clergy of the Coptic church at a church college is a modern arrangement. In antiquity, every bishop had to provide for the education and installation of the clergy of his diocese (see ORDINATION, CLERICAL). The demands made of priests and deacons are known from the church canons (see CANONS, ECCLESIASTICAL), …

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Christian Subjects In Coptic Art

CHRISTIAN SUBJECTS IN COPTIC ART Whatever its materials and techniques—stone or wood relief sculpture, painted walls or manuscripts, textiles, metalwork, ceramics, or glass—Coptic Christian iconography retained a few rare elements of pharaonic origin and many Greco-Roman elements from Alexandrian tradition. From the fifth century on, these pagan subjects mingled with Christian motifs. The Christian subjects …

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Castrum

CASTRUM A Roman military camp developed from the so-called marching camp, which was constructed each evening by troops on the march in accordance with a model in force throughout the Roman empire. The uniformity of the camps enabled the soldiers to find their way about and also enabled them to react with speed in the …

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Sinjar

SINJAR An important Christian center and episcopal see in Lower Egypt, especially from the eleventh to the thirteenth century. Sinjar is mentioned in the Coptic SYNAXARION, under 4 Misra, as the place where David and his brothers suffered martyrdom during the DIOCLETIAN persecution. By the eighth century, Sinjar had become an episcopal see. At the …

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