|Unit convenor and teaching staff||
Unit convenor and teaching staff
Contact via Email
Contact via Email
This unit is an introduction to Coptic, the final stage of the Egyptian script and language. An understanding of Coptic is necessary for advanced study of late antique and Christian Egypt, and is of great benefit to those studying earlier phases of the Egyptian language. This unit focuses on the Sahidic ('Upper Egyptian')dialect, the first Coptic dialect into which biblical texts were translated in the third century. Sahidic became a pan-Egyptian written dialect in the fourth and following centuries,and boasts a rich literature, both original and translated.
Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at https://www.mq.edu.au/study/calendar-of-dates
On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
Assessment tasks are compulsory and must be submitted on time. All assessment will be submitted via iLearn, including grammar tests, which will be completed on the unit iLearn page, and the Assignments and Exam, which will be submitted via Turnitin through iLearn.
As a general rule, extensions will not be granted without a valid and documented reason (e.g. medical certificate). All requests for Special Consideration must go via ask.mq.edu.au and must be supported by appropriate documentation.
Unless a Special Consideration request has been submitted and approved, (a) a penalty for lateness will apply – 10 marks out of 100 credit* will be deducted per day for assignments submitted after the due date – and (b) no assignment will be accepted seven days (incl. weekends) after the original submission deadline.
*"100 credit" is to be understood as 100% of the marks for that task, not the entire unit.
In order to complete this unit satisfactorily students must gain a mark of 50% or more, and undertake all assessment tasks.
|Grammar Quiz||25%||No||23.59 Friday 20/8/21; 3/9/21; 1/10/21; 15/10/21; 29/10/21)|
|Assignments||45%||No||23.59 10/9/2021; 23.59 8/10/2021; 23.59 29/10/2021|
|End of Session test||30%||No||23.59 16/11/2021|
A fortnightly short-answer test of 10 points of grammar taken from the previous lessons.
Three assignments which consolidate the grammar and vocabulary learned to the time when each assignment is set.
The end of session online test brings together everything studied in the course to demonstrate an understanding of Coptic vocabulary and grammar.
1 If you need help with your assignment, please contact:
2 Indicative time-on-task is an estimate of the time required for completion of the assessment task and is subject to individual variation
The course consists of a two-hour lecture and a one-hour tutorial each week. The lecture will present and discuss Coptic grammar. The tutorial will provide the opportunity to consolidate the information presented in the lecture and will comprise working through exercises from the textbook (see below) as a group.
The lecture will be prerecorded and uploaded via Echo360 on the Monday of each week. The tutorial, at 1–2 pm on Thursday, will be offered simultaneously on campus in 12WW 435 and online via zoom (link ot be provided via the iLearn page). External students enrolled in the Fully Online mode are welcome to join tutorial via zoom.
The unit has an iLearn page which will host all the content and assessment for the unit, including the recorded lectures (via Echo360), assessment (via the iLearn Quiz function and Turnitin), lecture notes and other resources, and communications with the teaching staff. Internet access and a device (e.g. PC, tablet) are required, as are basic computer skills (e.g. internet browsing, word processing).
For the purposes of this course it is essential that you learn to type words in Coptic (and occasionally possibly in Greek). Most ancient language fonts – even if they are of the same language – have a different distribution of characters on the keyboard. So if members of the group use different fonts, this will lead to misunderstandings. We will use unicode fonts which (theoretically) display the same on all systems. I suggest therefore that you download the public domain Unicode font “New Athena Unicode”, which contains Coptic and Greek characters.
New Athena Unicode is available for both PC and Macintosh computers on the following website:
(See the link to "DOWNLOAD New Athena Unicode version 5.007 in ttf format" under "Latest Version")
For Coptic Unicode input (that is, keyboard layout), follow the directions provided at:
This contains instructions for installing the Keyboard layouts in Windows or Mac systems, and general guidance on entering Coptic on both systems.
Further advice on fonts is available on the iLearn page. If you have any problems using a Coptic font, please contact the teaching staff.
The textbook we will use is Lambdin, T. O., Introduction to Sahidic Coptic, Macon 1983 (2nd edition 1992), a copy of which all students must purchase.
As scholarly focus since the late 19th century has primarily been on Sahidic, there is a large body of teaching aids available for this dialect. The following list is not exhaustive, but lists the most important grammars. If students wish to purchase a comprehensive grammar, I recommend that of Layton, below, but this is not required.
Layton, B., A Coptic Grammar. Wiesbaden 2000 (2nd ed. 2004, 3rd ed. 2011).
Mallon, A., Grammaire copte: bibliographie, chrestomathie et vocabulaire, 4 éd. revue par Michel Malinine, Beyrouth 1956.
Plisch, U.-K., Einführung in die koptische Sprache (sahidischer Dialekt). Wiesbaden 1999.
Polotsky, H. J., Études de syntaxe copte, Cairo 1944.
Reintges, C., Coptic Egyptian (Sahidic Dialect). A Learner's Grammar. Köln 2004.
Shisha-Halevy, A., Coptic Grammatical Categories. Structural Studies in the Syntax of Shenoutean Sahidic. Roma, 1986.
Stern, L., Koptische Grammatik, Leipzig 1880.
Till, W., Koptische Grammatik, Leipzig 1961.
Till, W., Koptische Dialektgrammatik, München 1961.
Torallas Tovar, S., Gramática de Copto Sahidico. Madrid 2001.
At this point of learning Coptic it is not necessary to purchase one of the dictionaries listed below, although access to a dictionary will be necessary for the advanced study of Coptic. For the purposes of this unit, the Glossary provided in Lambdin, Introduction to Sahidic Coptic, is quite sufficient. The most important dictionary of those listed below is Crum, W.E. Coptic Dictionary.
There is now a Coptic Dictionary online (edited by the Koptische/Coptic Electronic Language and Literature International Alliance [KELLIA]) online at https://coptic-dictionary.org/ which contains both Coptic and Greek words and links to Crum and other lexical resources. For guidance on using this dictionary see https://coptic-dictionary.org/help.cgi
Černý, J., Coptic Etymological Dictionary, Cambridge 1976.
Crum, W. E., Coptic Dictionary, Oxford 1939 (various reprints since, including Oxford 1999 and Wipf & Stock Publishers 2005).
Kasser, R., Compléments au Dictionnaire copte de Crum, Cairo 1964.
Smith, R., A Concise Coptic-English Lexicon, Grand Rapids 1983.
Westendorf, W., Koptisches Handwörterbuch, Heidelberg 1965-77.
Each week, there will be a 2-hour lecture, and a 1-hour tutorial. The course material will be presented in the lecture; the tutorial will consist of exercises that will reinforce the information learned in the lecture. Listening to the lecture and attending tutorials are compulsory for students who wish to learn the language properly and thus do well in the unit. For a week-by-week overview of the content we will cover, see the unit iLearn site.
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Unit information based on version 2021.03 of the Handbook