Main Page:Coptic/Introduction to Coptic Wikisource

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Coptic Wikisource is a project that started in May 2008, aiming to digitalise sources written in the Coptic language, for the purpose of providing them to the general readers and academics alike. Coptic Wikisource currently has 30 articles.


Coptic language, is the main language that is going to be used on Coptic wikisource, but for ease of communications between the editors, English language as the current Lingua Franca will be the medium of communication until the Coptic language editors are satisfied that there is no need for another language in the wikisource apart from Coptic.

Unicode should be set for the Coptic text as a universal medium, however, to provide for standardization of texts, CS Fonts may be used as well. Transliterations should also be applied to encourage participation and proper rendering of the Coptic text.

Coptic literature[edit]

Coptic literature is the body of writings in the Coptic language, of Egypt, the last stage of the indigenous Egyptian language. It comprises mostly Christian texts dating after the 2nd century AD, but also includes Old Coptic writings that pre-date the Christian era. There have been only a few attempts to comprehensively present Coptic literature[1]

Religious literature[edit]

The writings of Anthony the Great, Pachomius and Shenouda the Archimandrite are among the earliest examples of Egyptian Christian literature in Coptic. Shenouda was a popular religious leader who made extensive use of his native Coptic tongue instead of Greek as was the custom during his time. This led to an increase in the use of Coptic and its standardization as a literary language. Most Coptic literature was written in the Sahidic dialect until about the 11th century AD.[2]

The earliest original writings in Coptic language were the letters by St. Anthony of Egypt, first of the “Desert Fathers.” During the 3rd and 4th centuries many ecclesiastics and monks wrote in Coptic. The first Pope of Alexandria to write in both Coptic and Greek was Pope Athanasius [3].