Almost seven years ago, I had a post linking to somebody else’s posting of Coptic resources online; alas, that blog is defunct, but a correspondent has remedied that by sending me (presumably in celebration of recent developments in Egypt) an up-to-date list of links, which I will share here:
Remenkimi (“we thought of building this website to share it with more people and promote learning and reading Coptic… you can join the Remenkimi Group, but first you need to install Coptic Fonts so that you may read/write in Coptic.”): started as a Yahoo Group
Coptic alphabet
Coptica (“Le site personnel COPTICA est destiné à tous les étudiants et amateurs de langue et littérature copte. Les uns y trouveront des textes et indices nécessaires à la poursuite de leur cursus universitaire, ainsi que des liens essentiels. Les autres y trouveront informations et outils de travail.”): texts, documents
Coptic YouTube videos (annoyingly, the one for numbers doesn’t include any pronunciations, just background music!)
Pisakho Internet resources (“This page is intended to provide you with links to aid the study of the Coptic language on the internet.”)
In an amazing instance of synchronicity, I am at this very moment engaged in proofreading a set of apocryphal gospels in Coptic, so this comes in very handy. Thanks, Paul!
Addendum. I’ve discovered Metalogos: The Gospels of Thomas, Philip and Truth, which has complete editions of those Coptic gospels with English, Spanish, and Greek translations and hyperlinks to Walter Ewing Crum’s A Coptic Dictionary and J.M. Plumley’s Coptic Grammar.


  1. proofreading a set of apocryphal gospels in Coptic
    Gospels IN Coptic ? I’m not sure I understand what you mean here by “proofreading” – nor what it means in general.
    I think of both copy-editing and proofreading as activities performed on a preliminary version of a text, copies of which will be made available later to potential readers (I’m trying to formulate this in such a way that it applies to printed results as well as to manuscripts, whether scrolls or manual samizdat). For some reason I imagine that copy-editing is primarily concerned with recognizing and correcting mistakes in spelling, or infelicities of grammar and word use in a text that is (an initial manual copy or print version of) the one the author submitted. A copy-editor must have full command of the language or languages in which the text is composed. Possible mistakes due to copyists or printers are not what copy-editors are looking for.
    Proofreading, by contrast, I imagine to be a later stage of quality assurance dealing with penultimate versions of the text, as produced by copyist and printers. The proofreader compares the (print) proofs with a previously copy-edited version of the text. Here full command of the text language or languages is not necessary. I myself have proofread mathematical texts whose arguments I could not follow, but did not need to follow because I was looking primarily for printer’s mistakes in the formulas, by comparing the proofs with a copy-edited manuscript.
    Are these distinctions overdone, or have I more or less correctly understood what is generally meant by “copy-editing” and “proofreading” ? So “proofreading a set of apocryphal gospels in Coptic” would mean you are “visually comparing” a newly printed version of them with a reliable older version of some kind. Or are you a Master of Coptic ? Or both a comparer and a Master ?

  2. OK, I have now looked up the two terms in the Kikipedia. Seems like I got things right – even though I was merely inferring, from the component words “edit” and “read”, what the activities might consist in.
    The English terms “copy-editing” and “proofreading” were only words to me when I came to Germany. I had never thought about what the activities might consist in. I just now investigated what the corresponding German terms are. Copy-editing is one of the things a Redakteur does, and this includes checking facts – an aspect I ignored in my first post, because I didn’t think it likely that Coptic gospels would need “fact-checking”. Korrekturlesen is proofreading, and der Korrektor is the proofreader. The Kiki article I just linked says that in earlier times text scholars (Schriftgelehrte) could earn quite a bit of money on the side as Korrektoren:

    Einst war der Beruf des Korrektors hoch angesehen und eine lukrative Einnahmequelle für Schriftgelehrte. Seine Stellung resultierte aus dem hohen Aufwand, der sich aus der nachträglichen Korrektur von bereits in Bleilettern gesetzten Druckplatten ergab. Die Sorgfalt seiner Arbeit konnte ein Vermögen sparen – oder kosten, wenn er sie nicht walten ließ oder ihm beim Lesen von Lettern auffallende Flüchtigkeitsfehler unterliefen.
    Zu seiner herausragenden Stellung trug seinerzeit der Umstand bei, dass nur wenige tatsächlich des Lesens und Schreibens mächtig waren. Ferner schrieben selbst manche Autoren die Wörter lange Zeit so, wie sie ihnen in den Ohren klangen. Die ersten Korrektoren der alten Drucker waren Gelehrte, die neben den Fremdsprachen Griechisch und Latein auch in den damals geläufigen Wissenschaften bewandert waren: Medizin, Theologie und Philosophie.

    The article also says that the profession of Korrektor is dying out (at least in German publishing houses ?). I can confirm that, by God – the number of typos in the stw books (Suhrkamp Taschenbuch Wissenschaft) that I read is considerable, and considerably annoying. I just don’t understand it: have these people never heard of spell-check programs ?

  3. By the way, the word auffallende in the above clause “oder ihm beim Lesen von Lettern auffallende Flüchtigkeitsfehler unterliefen” is an example of sloppy writing. Wenn man von jemandem sagt, ihm sei ein Fehler unterlaufen, vollends ein Flüchtigkeitsfehler, sagt man mit aus, daß er den Fehler nicht bemerkt hat. Deswegen verfängt man sich in einem Widerspruch, wenn man auch noch behauptet, die Fehler, die er gemacht hat, wären (ihm) auffallende.

  4. Yes, you have the distinction pretty much correct. For this job they needed someone who could check the editor’s corrections in the text of the Greek, Latin, and Coptic gospels as well as catching errors the editors missed. The latter I can do for Greek and Latin; they’ve got somebody else checking the Coptic, but I’m still expected to make sure the editor’s changes are correctly made.

  5. aquilluqaaq says

    The Jewish-Christian-Hermetic-Platonist-Barbeloite-Ophite-Sethian-Basilidian-Thomasine-Valentinian Nagʿ-Hammâdi corpus is bound always be the first thing people think of when Coptic literature crops up, but the best Coptic original compositions I ever read are by Shenoute: eihmoos anok hijnoutoou (As I sat on a mountain), for example, is really lucid, compelling stuff.

  6. The Jewish-Christian-Hermetic-Platonist-Barbeloite-Ophite-Sethian-Basilidian-Thomasine-Valentinian Nag-Hammâdi corpus
    That’s not so much a corpus as a rat king, I’d say.

  7. eihmoos anok hijnoutoou (As I sat on a mountain)
    Here, maybe.

  8. A paragraph starts off with “eihmoos anok,” but I don’t see the hijnoutoou. Impressive work, though, and maybe aquilluqaaq misremembered?

  9. but I don’t see the hijnoutoou
    Something like it immediately follows “eihmoos anok”. It looks like “ihxee o?toou” (of course I know zilch about Coptic).

  10. That is the right text, and no misremembering the title. The only difference is that this editor hasn’t given the preposition hijn (here with final -m) as a pronominal affix to the noun outoou.

  11. Preposition (hijn/hijm) plus indefinite article (ou) plus noun (toou), that is.

  12. Leipoldt’s edition, more or less contemporary with Amelineau’s, prints words the way aquilluqaaq learned (from a more modern = not-free / not-online book, I imagine). Here.

  13. And just to round out the old free online versions, Zoega’s is here, this time with Latin translation.

  14. Remarkable, and of course I should not have doubted aquilluqaaq’s memory!

  15. aquilluqaaq says

    Yes, the edition I originally read was Leipoldt (rather than Amélineau or Zoega), which has it under the name Ad philosophum gentilem (No. 18). For the titles of Shenoutean works I go by the incipit as given in Stephen Emmel, Shenoute’s Literary Corpus (2 voll.) (Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium, voll.599-600, subsidia tom. 111-112) (Lovanii: in Ædibus Peeters, 2004). According to my notes this text occupies: cod. A (HB 261:i.5-268), cod. B (XN 227-240), cod. C (XN 259-270), cod. D (HB 305-306) [also attested at DQ 287-288, 295-296] and Emmel lists it as T21 (‘as cited in the liturgical typika’), and assigns it to Discourses 1, 2, or 3?, Work 5. The best source on Shenoutean Coptic language I know is Ariel Shisha-Halevy, Coptic Grammatical Categories: Structural Studies in the Syntax of Shenoutean Sahidic (Analecta Orientalia 53) (Roma: Pontificum Institutum Biblicum, 1986).

  16. (Roma: Pontificum Institutum Biblicum, 1986)
    In that connection, I recently learned that the Spanish pontificio is an adjective (the noun being pontífice). I’m currently in a project with a Peruvian who graduated from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.

  17. Note that there are, irritatingly, two ways to do Coptic in Unicode. One is to use a Coptic font that displays Greek character codes as Coptic for the letters shared with Greek, the other is to use the separate Coptic repertoire that was added later, when people complained that the unification made it hard to create bilingual Greek/Coptic documents.
    The unshared letters have always had their own characters, fortunately.

  18. aquilluqaaq says

    Yep, I mistyped: pontificium neut. nom. sg. adj., not pontificum masc. gen. pl. n.

  19. marie-lucie says

    I am not sure why some universities are called Pontifical, pontificia, etc. Were they started by Popes, or sponsored by them? as opposed to what? There are some very old universities in France, and at least one (not too old) is specifically called Catholic (the others being state-run), but I have never heard of any French university being called “pontificale”.

  20. Apparently it was originally just a Catholic university. “Pontifical” was an honorific conferred later, possibly in the hope that this would deter unruliness.

    La Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú se estableció en 1917 con dos facultades, Letras y Jurisprudencia. Su primer rector fue el R.P. Jorge Dintilhac SS.CC. el Estado la reconoció oficialmente mediante la Resolución Suprema del 24 de marzo del 1917.
    Adquirió autonomía en virtud de las leyes N° 11003, del 17 de abril del 1949, y N° 13417, del 8 de abril del 1960, al serle otorgado el carácter de nacional. Esta autonomía ha sido mantenida por las leyes posteriores.
    Al cumplir sus bodas de plata institucionales, la Universidad Católica recibió de la Santa Sede el título honorífico de Pontificia, mediante Decreto de la Sagrada Congregación de Seminarios y Universidades de fecha 30 de septiembre del 1942.

    The university is currently involved in warding off the unwelcome attentions of the archbishop of Lima. I didn’t look closer to find out what it is all about:

    la sentencia que el Tribunal Constitucional hizo pública el 19 de abril con respecto a la acción de amparo iniciada por la PUCP para protegerse de las pretensiones del Arzobispo de Lima.

  21. marie-lucie says

    Thanks, Grumbly. So the title seems to have been a kind of seal of approval from the Papacy.

  22. eihmoos anok hijnoutoou (As I sat on a mountain)
    Interesting that what appears to be the Coptic first-person singular pronoun, anok, is cognate with the first-person singular Hebrew pronoun anoki (אנוכי), used by the biblical Cain when he asks, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

  23. the biblical Cain when he asks, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
    Of course it’s actually a sarcastic answer to a question by God. It’s one of my favorite bits of biblical dialog (of which there is too little anyway, the monologs having pride of place). Such delicious uppityness !

  24. aquilluqaaq says

    In e-i-hmoos anok hijn-ou-toou, there are two 1st person singular pronouns: -i- in e-i-hmoos and anok.
    Altogether there are four; for the 1st sg.: (i) -i-, (ii) ti-, (iii) ang-, (iv) anok.
    The fourth is the lexical (or independent) form, often used as a predicate in delocutive nominal sentences.

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