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Demotic Papyrology I


Admission requirements

Knowledge of Middle and Late Egyptian, and preferably also hieratic. Knowledge of Coptic is not required but helpful.


Introduction to the Demotic script and language, and to the main tools to decipher Demotic papyri and ostraca. Reading of published Demotic documentary and literary texts.

Course objectives

Being a first introduction to the Demotic script, this course aims to acquaint students with various documentary and literary Demotic sources, as well as with the available literature. Students will be expected to critically assess the publications that will be used. The second aim will be for students to read a number of published Demotic texts, correctly identifying and addressing philological and palaeographical problems, and to test their ability to analyse and understand Demotic sources in the broad context of Late Period and Ptolemaic Egypt.


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

Mode of instruction

Class instruction. Students prepare for class in advance.

Course load

10 EC = 280 hours

  • Class attendance: 30 h

  • Course/Exam preparation: 250 h

Assessment method

Attendance, preparation and participation in the discussion of the Demotic sources treated in class (30%) and final exam (70%).


S.P. Vleeming, Inleiding tot het Demotische Schrift: Het Demotische Schrift, Leiden 1988


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