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Coptic Texts in Context

Vak
2019-2020

Admission requirements

Option 1: Coptic papyrology

This class can be taken in fulfilment of the requirements of both the MA and the Research MA program in Classics and Ancient Civilizations (track Egyptology), with differential requirements.

Required knowledge to take this course: the BA courses Koptisch I and Koptisch II.

Admission requirements for other students: a BA degree in Egyptology obtained from a university in the Netherlands, or a comparable qualification obtained from a university outside the Netherlands. Moreover, students with an international degree have to contact the instructor to check admissibility.

Option 2: Bohairic Coptic

This class can be taken in fulfilment of the requirements of both the MA and the Research MA program in Classics and Ancient Civilizations (track Egyptology), with differential requirements.

Required knowledge to take this course: none, but a basic knowledge of Sahidic Coptic is very helpful.

Admission requirements for other students: a BA degree in Egyptology, Classics, Hebrew and Aramaic Studies/Bible studies, Middle Eastern Studies (track Arabic) or religious studies obtained from a university in the Netherlands, or a comparable qualification obtained from a university outside the Netherlands. Moreover, students with an international degree have to contact the instructor to check admissibility.

Description

Option 1: Coptic papyrology

Sahidic Coptic documentary (non-literary) texts, such as letters and official deeds, are important sources for the history of late antique and early Islamic Egypt. Particularly when they are linked to a specific urban or monastic site, they offer glimpses of social life at a local or regional level. Although many of these sources are written on papyrus, texts written on ostraca (pottery fragments, limestone flakes), wood or leather are included in the term “papyrology” as well, since their contents are often similar. During this course, the student will read and study original documentary texts from photographs and learn to edit such sources according to the standards current in Coptic papyrology.

Option 2: Bohairic Coptic

Originally, the use of Bohairic was limited to the western Nile Delta and monastic centres in the Western Desert (and Sahidic was the standard literary variant), but in the eleventh century, Patriarch Christodoulos of Alexandria decided that Bohairic should become the standard form of Coptic used by the Coptic Orthodox Church. It is still in use as a liturgical language. During this course, the student will learn to read simple Bohairic texts, prepare an edition of an original inscription or (part of) a manuscript, and examine the provenance and historical context of that textual source.

Course objectives

Option 1: Coptic papyrology

  • Acquiring a good working knowledge of non-literary Sahidic Coptic

  • Acquiring skills for editing documentary texts according to the current standards in Coptic papyrology

  • Placing documentary texts in their cultural and historical context

Option 2: Bohairic Coptic

  • Acquiring a good working knowledge of Bohairic Coptic

  • Acquiring skills for editing Bohairic texts according to the current standards in Coptic papyrology

  • Placing Bohairic texts in their cultural and historical context

Timetable

  • Research MA students may choose between semester 1 and semester 2.

  • MA students who go to Egypt in semester 2 may choose between following the course in semester 1 or taking double sessions in the second part of semester 2, in order to attend the required 12 sessions.

  • MA students who do not go to Egypt can start at the beginning of semester 1.

Please consult the Classics and Ancient Civilizations website.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Course load

10 EC = 280 hours:

  • Class attendance: 24 hours

  • Preparation for classes: 36 hours

  • Class paper: 88 hours

  • Written paper: 132 hours

Assessment method

Assessment

Option 1: Coptic papyrology

  • Class paper (40%)

  • Written paper (60%) on one or more Coptic papyri

Option 2: Bohairic Coptic

  • Two intermediate tests on grammar: take home examination (20% each)

  • Written paper on a Bohairic text (60%)

The requirements for MA and ResMA students are differentiated: ResMA students are expected to come up with their own original research topic, find literature, and write a scholarly report; MA students may expect more help in choosing their topic and their papers may consist of an assessment of the status quaestionis on a given question.

Weighing

The final grade for the course is established by determining the weighted average.

Resit

  • Should a mark for an intermediate test be unsatisfactory, the student is offered a third intermediate test, and the two best marks count.

  • Should the overall mark be unsatisfactory, the written paper is to be revised after consultation with the teacher.

Inspection and feedback

Students will be invited to discuss their papers individually with the teacher, as soon as the results have been published.

Blackboard

Blackboard will be used for:

  • publishing important announcements

  • offering more elaborate information about the course

  • sharing texts to be read during the seminar

  • making tools accessible, such as (references to) grammars, additional course material, dictionaries, fonts, examples for editing texts

  • making texts for assignments accesible

Reading list

Option 1: Coptic papyrology

Option 2: Bohairic Coptic

  • In order to learn Bohairic in a relatively brief period, it is strongly advised to consult Annette Imhausen’s An elementary Bohairic grammar in advance. It is only available online, at https://www.academia.edu/3623127/Bohairic_Grammar.

  • Bohairic-English dictionary, available online at http://copticlang.bizhat.com/coptdict.pdf (initiative by an anonymous Coptic author).

  • Guide to Academic Skills for students of Classics and Ancient Civilizations, Leiden University 2018-2019.

Registration

Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about registration in uSis is available in English and Dutch.

Exchange and Study Abroad students: please see the Study Abroad/Exchange website for information on how to register.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Contractonderwijs

'Studeren à la carte' is not applicable.

Contact

Dr. R.E.L. Dekker