Guest Post: Anthony Alcock – Panegyric on Apollo by Stephen of Hnes

Anthony Alcock’s latest translation from Coptic can be downloaded HERE.

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Guest Post: Julien Delhez – The Third Hiob Ludolf Centre Summer School in Ethiopian and Eritrean Manuscripts Studies, Mekelle, Ethiopia, 24-29 September 2018

The last week of September, 33 graduate students and faculty members took part in the third summer school on Ethiopian and Eritrean manuscript studies organized by the Hiob Ludolf Centre for Ethiopian Studies (Hamburg). This year, for the first time, thanks to generous support from the Volkswagen Stiftung, the event did not take place in Germany but in Mekelle, Ethiopia, and was organized in cooperation with the St Yared Centre for Ethiopian Philology (Mekelle). The venue was the Axum Hotel.

Summer School

The summer school had been designed to be accessible to a diverse public and did not require previous knowledge in Ge’ez or in any other language of Ethiopia. The event included both theoretical lectures and practical workshops.

The first two days (September 24-25) were dedicated to theoretical presentations. Monday’s lectures included introductions to Ethiopian and Eritrean studies, their methodology and tools, Ethiopian manuscript studies, and codicology and palaeography of Gǝ’ǝz manuscripts. Tuesday comported lectures on Gǝ’ǝz philology and literature, and it ended with four presentations on work-in-progress by summer school participants: Stanislau Paulau (University of Göttingen), Alex Dally MacFarlane (University of Oxford/British Library), Yonas Yilma (Addis Ababa University/ARCCH) and Yeneneh Tariku (Addis Ababa University/Haramaya University).

On the morning of September 26, the participants were introduced to digital resources and TEI XML for Ethiopian manuscript studies. The afternoon of the same day was dedicated to Islamic literature in Ethiopia and Islamic Ethiopian manuscript studies.

September 27 started with theoretical presentations on manuscript cataloguing. Then, in the afternoon, the attendees were split into groups and worked on two Ethiopian manuscripts (in PDF format) which they had to catalogue and describe codicologically, as well as from the point of view of textual content.

This exercise continued in the morning of September 28. Afterwards, the participants were able to have a first-hand experience of the digitization of two Ethiopians manuscripts, with the material that researchers usually resort to when they visit Ethiopian churches or monasteries: sophisticated enough to enable them to take high-quality pictures, but light enough to be carried on even up to monasteries that are difficult to access, e.g. on the top of a mountain.

The last day, September 29, was dedicated to art history and the conservation of manuscripts. The event was closed by a farewell address of Professor Kindeya Gebrehiwot, President of Mekelle University.

The summer school was followed by the International Congress of Ethiopian Studies (1-5 October 2018), which was also organized in Mekelle. Many of the participants therefore prolonged their stay in order to attend both events.

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Call for Applications: Professor of Coptology, University of Münster

Stephen Emmel writes us that, “The University of Münster in Germany is now accepting applications for the position Professor of Coptology (Professor für Koptologie), to begin on October 1, 2019. The deadline for applications is August 15, 2018. For details, see this link (or go to: and follow the links DIE WWU > KARRIERE > Ausschreibungen, and there you will find two links for the Coptology professorship under “Professuren,” one in English, the other in German).”

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5-day Reading Coptic Course in London

Monday 2 to Friday 6 July


with Dr Bill Manley

This is a brand new 5-day course for experienced readers of Coptic. It will concentrate on the great Coptic father Shenoute, as well as one of the intriguing ‘gospels’ discovered in the famous Nag Hammadi library. Studied together these texts will improve your skills and experience as a reader of the Ancient Egyptian language, while exploring some of the most distinctive words and ideas from the foundational century of the Coptic Church.

Course fee: £340

(and attached HERE)

Further information & booking:

+ 44 (0)207 679 3622

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Lecture at Matenadaran, Yerevan, May 12, 2018

I know that some friends and colleagues from Armenia are reading this blog, so I am pleased to invite you to a lecture I will give on May 12, 2018 from 12 o’clock at the Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts (Matenadaran) in Yerevan.


The lecture is entitled “From Fragments to Codices: The Reconstruction of the Library of the White Monastery.” Here is the abstract:

“During the 12th century, an Armenian community settled in the Monastery of Apa Shenoute, commonly known as the White Monastery, situated in Upper Egypt near modern-day Sohag. As a sign of their presence, the Armenians left a series of astonishing frescoes, which document their journey on the Nile, far away from their native lands. Alin Suciu’s paper introduces the monastery where the Armenian community once lived, and the vital role played by its library in the preservation of Coptic literature. During the period when the Armenians lived there, the White Monastery possessed the largest Christian library in Egypt, estimated to ca. 1000 codices. Unfortunately, the manuscripts have survived dismembered and scattered all over the world. As the library of this monastery probably contained copies of most ecclesiastical works existing in Coptic, the codicological reconstruction of its manuscripts is, to a certain extent, coextensive with the reconstruction of Coptic literature. The lecture focuses on the dispersal of the library of the Monastery of Apa Shenoute in modern times, and some of the problems that we encounter in the attempt to piece together its codices.”

The announcement on the Matenadaran website (in Armenian only).

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High-Resolution Images of London, BL Or. 5287(3) = Genesis 3:16-4:4 (Sahidic version)

Genesis 3:16–4:4 (sa 202 [Schüssler])


P.Lond.Copt. I 932                                17.4 × 13.9 cm                      probable date: 6th century

British Library Or. 5287(3)                                                                                             Akhmim

Parchment                                                                                           Acquired by B. P. Grenfell


These high-resolution photographs are meant to accompany the article of Zuzana Vítková and Hans-Gebhard Bethge, “Parchment BL Or. 5287(3) Revisited: A New Edition of the Sahidic Fragment of Genesis 3:16–4:4 (sa 202 [Schüssler]),” Journal of Coptic Studies 20 (2018) 189-203.

ABSTRACT: In this article, we present a new edition of the Sahidic Coptic biblical manuscript fragment sa 202 (Schüssler’s number in Biblia Coptica), British Library Or. 5287(3), a single parchment codex leaf with Genesis 3:16–4:4. The more legible part of the manuscript was published in the supplementary section of Crum’s Catalogue of the Coptic Manuscripts in the British Museum: London 1905, p. 391 (no. 932). The ink has significantly faded in the worse preserved parts, but many of the letters are readable anyway because they are “engraved” in the parchment due to the scribe’s use of a kalamos. Careful observation, including with the aid of ultraviolet light, has revealed the “lost” verses to a great extent. The article offers the full text of the parchment and its presumed reconstruction where the text remains unreadable as well as its comparison with the only other Sahidic Gen 3 fragment survived, sa 108L (Genesis 3:16–24; Schüssler = sa 16 L [SMR]; Rome, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Borgia copto 109, cass. XXIII, fasc. 99; probably date of origin 14-15th century; ed. Ciasca, Sacrorum Bibliorum Fragmenta 1:1–2).



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Guest Post: Anthony Alcock – John of Constantinople, Exegesis on Susanna & Frumentius, Athanasius and Constantius

Here are two recent contributions by Anthony Alcock:

John of Constantinople, Exegesis on Susanna

Frumentius, Athanasius and Constantius

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