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Coptic Papyrology


Admission requirements

Regular MA admission.


Coptic papyri (non-literary documents) are an important source for the history of late-antique and early-Islamic Egypt. During this course, the student joins in editorial work focused on the archive of Bishop Pesynthios of Koptos (died 632), and will learn to read and study original papyri from photos. The course will include a practical introduction into the editorial procedures current in Coptic papyrology.

Course objectives

Acquiring a good working knowledge of non-literary Coptic; acquiring basic skills in editing Coptic papyri in accordance with the standards current in present-day Coptic papyrology; acquiring the knowledge to situate these texts within their historical and cultural context.


Please consult the timetable on the Classics and Ancient Civilizations website.

Mode of instruction

Literature seminar.

Course load

10 ECTS = 280 hours

  • Class attendance: 24 h

  • Preparation for classes: 36 h

  • Class paper: 88 h

  • Written paper: 132 h.

Assessment method

  • Class paper (40%)

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


See Blackboard&

Reading list

  • J. van der Vliet, « Pisenthios de Coptos (569-632) : moine, évêque et saint. Autour d’une nouvelle édition de ses archives ». In Boussac, M.-F., ed. Autour de Coptos. TOPOI. Supplément 3. Lyon: TOPOI, 2002 : pp. 61-72.


Registration via uSis


Prof. dr. J. van der Vliet.