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Introductory remarks

For all topics, a good place to start is Atiya, Aziz S. (1991) The Coptic Encyclopedia, 8 vols. (New York: Macmillian Publishing Company).

For a detailed bibliography, you should consult Kammerer, Winifred (compiler). A Coptic Bibliography (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1950; Reprint New York: Kraus Reprint Co., 1969). Updates to be found in Simon, J. Bibliographie copte. In: Orientalia 18 (1949) - 36 (1967). There is also a good selected biography from Macquarie University.

General discussions

Emmel, Stephen


Languages (Coptic). In: David N. Freedman (ed.), The Anchor Bible Dictionary (Volume 4). New York: Doubleday, pp 180–188

Loprieno, Antonio


Ancient Egyptian: A Linguistic Introduction (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)


Ancient Egyptian and other Afroasiatic Languages. In: J. Sasson (ed.), Civilizations of the Ancient Near East. London: Scribners, pp 2135-2150


From Ancient Egyptian to Coptic. In: Martin Haspelmath, Ekkehard König, Wulf Oesterreicher, Wolfgang Raible (eds.), Language Typology and Language Universals: An International Handbook (Volume 2). Berlin: Walter de Gruyten, pp 1742-1761 Book Preview


Ancient Egyptian and Coptic. In: Roger D Woodard (ed.), The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World’s Ancient Languages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp 160-191

Polotsky, Hans J.


Coptic. In: Carleton Taylor Hodge (ed.), Afroasiatic: A Survey (Jana Linguarum: Series Practica 163). The Hague: Mouton de Gruyter, pp 67–79


For a historical overview of Coptic grammars, see Fort, Jean-Louis. Temps et Aspect:Les Données des Grammaires Coptes (Paris: 2002), on which the bibliography below is based. For a discussion of the personalities behind those early grammars, see Hamilton, Alastair. “Grammars, Dictionaries, and Dialects” pp. 229-249. The Copts and the West (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006); Preview the book here.

The most recent and widely used Coptic grammars of the Sahidic dialect are those of Lambdin (1983), Layton (2004), Reintges (2004) and the newest grammar by Layton (2007). Another Sahidic grammar, now sixty years old but freely available on the internet is that of Plumley (1948). The newest Bohairic grammars are those of Horrocks (1985), which is not widely available, Mattar (1990) and Younan (2005).

Blumberg, Christian G.


Fundamenta Linguae Copticae (Leipzig: Groschuff) Scanned copy

Black, George F.


Grammar of the Coptic Language with Easy Reading Lessons [A copy of MacDonald (1856)]

Bonjour, Guillaume W.

    1698 (compl.)

Elementa Linguae Copticae seu Aegyptiacae [published recently in Elementa Linguae Copticae: Grammaire inèdite XVIIe siècle (Eds. Sydney H Aufrère and Nathalie Bosson. Geneva: Patrick Cramer Éditeur, 2005)]

Chaîne, Marius


Compendium Morphologiae Copticae (Rome: Pont. Universitatem Gregorianam)


Éléments de Grammaire Dialectale Copte: Bohairique, Sahidique, Achmimique, Fayoumique (Paris: Geuthner)


Les Dialectes Coptes Assioutiques A2: Les Charactéristiques de Leur Phonétique, de Leur Morphologie, de Leur Syntaxe. Supplément aux Éléments de Grammaire Dialectale Copte (Paris: Geuthner)


Le Verbe Copte: Sa Conjugaison dans Ses Rapports avec l’Égyptien (Paris: Geuthner)

Eccles, Lance


Introductory Coptic Reader. Extracts from the Gospel of Thomas with Full Grammatical Explanations (Kensington: Dunwoody Press)

Guidi, Ignatius


Elementa Linguae Copticae: Brevi Chrestomatia et Indice Vocabularum Instructa (Napoli: Ricciardi) Scanned copy

Kosack, Wolfgang


Lehrbuch des Koptischen. Teil I: Koptische Grammatik. Teil II: Koptiche Lesetücke (Graz: Akademische Druck- und Verlaganstalt)

Kircher, Athanasius


Prodromus Coptus Sive Aegyptiacus (Rome) Scanned copy


Lingua Aegyptiaca Restituta (Rome) Scanned copy

Horrocks J. B.


An Elementary Coptic Grammar (Bohairic Dialect; in 3 parts)

Houghton, Herbert P.


The Coptic Verb: Bohairic Dialect 2ed rev (Leiden: EJ Brill; 1ed 1948) Preview book

Lambdin, Thomas O.


Introduction to Sahidic Coptic (Macon: Mercer University Press) Preview book

Layton, Bentley


A Coptic Grammar with Chrestomathy and Glossary: Sahidic Grammar 2ed rev (Porta Linguarum Orientalium 20, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz; 1ed 2000)


Coptic in 20 Lessons: Introduction to Sahidic Coptic with Exercises and Vocabularies (Leuven: Peeters) Preview book

MacDonald, William B.


Sketch of a Coptic Grammar: Adapted for Self-Tuition (London: George Philip & Son) Scanned copy

Mallon, Alexis & Malinine Michel


Grammaire Copte: Bibliographie Chrestomathie et Vocabulaire 4ed (Beyrouth: Imprimerie Catholique; 1ed 1904, 2ed 1907, 3ed 1926) Scanned copy

Maspero, Gaston


Des Formes de la Conjugaison en Égyptien Antique, en Démotique et en Copte (Bibliothèque de lÉcole des Hautes Études 6, Paris: Libraine A Frank) Scanned copy

Mattar, Nabil


A Study in Bohairic Coptic (Pasadena: Hope Publishing House) Preview book

Murray, Margret A.


Elementary Coptic (Sahidic) Grammar 2ed (London: Quaritch; 1ed 1911)

Orlandi, Tito


Elementi di Lingua e Letteratura Copta. Corso di Lezioni Universitarie (Milan: La Goliardica)


Elementi di Grammatica Copto-Saidica (Roma: Corpus dei Manoscritti Copti Letterari) Pdf copy

Peyron, Vittorio A.


Grammatica Linguae Copticae (Turin) Scanned copy

Plisch, Uwe-Karsten


Einführung in die Koptische Sprache: Sahidischer Dialekt (Sprachen und Kulturen des Christlichen Orients 5, Wiesbaden: Reichert)

Plumley, John M.


An Introductory Coptic Grammar: Sahidic Dialect (London: Home & Van Thal) Scanned, hypertext and pdf copy

Polotsky, Hans J.


Études de Syntaxe Copte (Cairo: Société d’Archéologie Copte)


Collected Papers (Jerusalem: The Magnes Press, The Hebrew University)

Reintges, Chris


Coptic Egyptian (Sahidic Dialect): A Learner's Grammar (Afrikawissenschaftliche Lehrbücher 15, Köln: Rüdiger Köppe Verlag)

Rosellini, Ippolito


Elementa Linguae Aegyptiacae Vulgo Copticae (Rome: commissioned by Francisci Archini) Scanned copy

Scholtz, Christianus & Woide, Carolus G.


Grammatica Aegyptiaca Utriusque Dialecti (Oxford: Clarendon Press) Scanned copy

Schwartze, Möritz G.


Koptische Grammatik (Berlin: Dümmler) Scanned copy

Sethe, Kurt


Das Aegyptische Verbum im Altaegyptische, Neuaegyptische und Koptischen (Leipzip: Henrichsche Buchhandlung) Scanned copy

Shisha-Halevy, Ariel


Coptic Grammatical Categories: Structural Studies in the Syntax of Shenoutean Sahidic (Analecta Orientalia 53, Roma: Pontificium Institutum Biblicum) Preview book


Coptic Grammatical Chrestomathy: A Course for Academic and Private Study (Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 30, Leuven: Peeters)

Steindorff, Gerog


Koptische Grammatik mit Chrestomathie, Wörteverzeichnis und Litteratur 2ed (Porta Linguarum Orientalium 14, Berlin: Reuther un Reichard; 1ed 1894) Scanned copy


Kurzer Abriss der Koptischen Grammatik: mit Lesestücken und Wörterverzeichnis (Berlin: Reuther & Reichard)


Lehrbuch der Koptischen Grammatik (Chicago: University of Chicago)

Stern, Ludwig


Koptische Grammatik (Leipzip: Weigel) Scanned copy

Tattam, Henry


A Compendious Grammar of the Egyptian Language 2ed rev (London: Arch; 1ed 1830) Scanned copy (also here and here)

Till, Walter C.


Achmîmisch-Koptische Grammatik mit Chrestomathie und Wörterbuch (Leipziz: Hinrichs)


Koptische Dialektgrammatik mit Lesestücken und Wörterbuch 2ed (Munich: Beck; 1ed 1931)


Koptische Grammatik (Saïdischer Dialekt) mit Bibliographie, Lesetücken und Wörterverzeichnissen 2ed (Lehrbücher für das Stadium der Orientalischen Sprachen 1, Leipzig: Otto Harrassowitz; 1ed 1955)

Tuki, Raphael


Rudimenta Linguae Coptae Sive Aegypticae (Rome: 1778) Scanned copy

Uhlemann, Maximilian A.


Linguae Copticae Grammatica (Leipzig: Weigel) Scanned copy

Valperga Di Caluso, Tommaso


Didymi Taurinensis Literaturae Copticae Rudamentum (Parma) Scanned copy

Vergote, Jozef


Grammaire Copte. Ia. Introduction, Phonétique et Phonologie, Morphologie Synthématique (Structure des Sémantèmes). Partie Synchronique (Leuven: Peeters)


Grammaire Copte. Ib. Introduction, Phonétique et Phonologie, Morphologie Synthématique (Structure des Sémantèmes). Partie Diachronique (Leuven: Peeters)


Grammaire Copte. IIa. Morphologie Syntagmatique. Syntaxe. Partie Synchronique (Leuven: Peeters)


Vergote, Jozef. Grammaire Copte. IIb. Morphologie Syntagmatique. Partie Diachronique (Leuven: Peeters)

Walters, Clifford C.


An Elementary Coptic Grammar of the Sahidic Dialect 2ed (Aris & Phillips, 1ed 1972)

Wilson, Marvin R.


Coptic Future Tenses: Syntactical Studies in Sahidic (Janua Linguarum – Series Practica 64, The Hague: Mouton)

Younan, Sameh


So, You Want To Learn Coptic? A guide to Bohairic Grammar (Sydney: St.Mary, St.Bakhomious and St.Shenouda Coptic Orthodox Church) Preview book

Dictionaries and lexicons

For a discussion of the first Coptic dictionaries written, see Hamilton, Alastair. “Grammars, Dictionaries, and Dialects” pp. 229-249. The Copts and the West (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006); Preview the book here. An overview of early earliest Coptic dictionaries is supplied in the a review of the first part of Crum's dictionary, available through JSTOR.

The most comprehensive dictionary is Walter E Crum's A Coptic Dictionary (1963), which is now available on the internet. Smith's (1999) Coptic-English lexicon is a far smaller and easier to use resource of the Sahidic dialect. A good Coptic-English dictionary of the Bohairic dialect is that of Makar (2001). Forster's (2002) dictionary of Greek words found in Coptic documents is useful as Crum's dictionary does not include Coptic words of Greek origin.

Azevedo, Joaquim


A Simplified Coptic Dictionary: Sahidic Dialect (Centro Pesquisa de Literatura Biblica Publication Series: Tools for Exegesis 1, Cachoeira: Seminario Adventista Latino-Americano)

Černy, Jaroslav


Coptic Etymological Dictionary (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)

Crum, Walter E.


A Coptic Dictionary (Oxford: Oxford University Press) Scanned copy (and here in a different format)

Dawoud, Moawad
    2000 Ⲡⲓⲁⲛⲥⲁϫⲓ ⲛ̀ϯⲁⲥⲡⲓ ⲛ̀ⲧⲉ ⲛⲓⲣⲉⲙⲛ̀ⲭⲏⲙⲓ (The Dictionary of the Language of the Egyptians 2ed) Scanned copy

Förster, Hans


Wörterbuch der griechischen Wörter in den koptischen dokumentarischen Texten (Texte und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur 148, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter) Preview book

Kasser, Rodolphe


Compléments au Dictionnaire Copte de Crum (Institut Français d'Archéologie Orientale, Cairo: 1964)

Kircher, Athanasius


Lingua Aegyptiaca Restituta (Rome) Scanned copy

Labib, Claudius


ⲡⲓⲗⲉⲝⲓⲕⲟⲛ ⲛ̀ϯⲁⲥⲡⲓ ⲛ̀ⲧⲉ ⲛⲓⲣⲉⲙⲛ̀ⲭⲏⲙⲓ (The Lexicon of the Language of the Egyptians, Cairo) Scanned copy, part 1 2 3 4 5

La Croze, Maturin V., Scholtz, Christianus & Woide, Carolus G.


Lexicon Aegyptiaco-Latinum (Oxford) Scanned copy

Makar, Adeeb B.


The Abbreviated Coptic-English Dictionary (San Francisco Bay: St. Antonius Coptic Orthodox Church)

Metzger, Bruce M.


A List of Words Occuring Frequently in the Coptic New Testament (Sahidic Dialect) (Leiden: EJ Brill) Pdf copy

Parthey, Gustav


Vocabularium Coptico-Latinum et Latino-Copticum (Berlin) Scanned copy

Peyron, Vittorio A.


Lexicon Linguae Copticae (Turin) Scanned copy


Auctarium ad Peyronis Lexicon Copticum (Berlin) Scanned copy

Rossi, Ignatius


Etymologiae Aegyptiacae (Rome) Scanned copy

Smith, Richard


A Concise Coptic-English Lexicon 2ed (Atlanta: Scholars' Press; 1ed 1983)

Spiegelberg, Wilhelm


Koptisches Handwörterbuch (Heidelberg) Scanned copy

Tattam, Henry


Lexicon Aegyptiaco-Latinum (Oxford) Scanned copy

Vycichl, Werner


Dictionnaire Étymologique de la Langue Copte (Louvain: Peeters)

Westendorf, Wolfhart

    1965 -1977

Koptisches Handwörterbuch (Heidelberg: Carl Winter Universitätsverlag)

Coptic script

Gessman, Albert M.


The Birth of the Coptic Script. University of South Florida Language Quarterly 14 2-3 Scanned copy 


This page was last modified 30/07/2011