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Coptic Papyrology


Admission requirements

A basic knowledge of the grammar of Sahidic Coptic and its vocabulary.


Coptic documentary (non-literary) texts, such as letters and official deeds, are important sources for the history of late antique and early Islamic Egypt. Particularly when they are linked to a specific urban or monastic site, they offer glimpses of social life at a local or regional level. Although many of these sources are written on papyrus, texts written on ostraca (pottery fragments, limestone flakes), wood or leather are also included in the term “papyrology”, since their contents are often similar. During this course, the student will read and study original documentary texts from photographs and learn to edit such sources according to the standards current in Coptic papyrology.

Course objectives

By acquiring a good working knowledge of non-literary Coptic, basic skills in editing Coptic texts according to the present standards in Coptic papyrology and knowledge to situate these sources in their historical and cultural context, the student will learn how to edit a text.


Please consult the Classics and Ancient Civilizations website.

Mode of instruction

Literature seminar

Course load

10 ECTS = 280 hours:

  • Class attendance: 24 hours

  • Preparation for classes: 36 hours

  • Class paper: 88 hours

  • Written paper: 132 hours

Assessment method

  • Class paper (40%)

  • Written paper (60%) on one or more Coptic papyri


The final grade for the course is established by determining the weighted average.


Should the overall mark be unsatisfactory, the written paper is to be revised after consultation with the teacher.

Exam review

Students will be invited to discuss their papers individually with the teacher, as soon as the results have been published.


Blackboard is used.

Reading list

To be announced in class.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about registration in uSis is available in English and Dutch.

Exchange and Study Abroad students: please see the Study Abroad/Exchange website for information on how to register.


Dr. R.E.L. Dekker.