The Lower-Egyptian Bohairic dialect is only one of several Coptic dialects, and had begun to supplant the Upper-Egyptian Sahidic dialect as the dominant form of Coptic in the 9th century. Consequently, there exists of rich repertoire of Early Medieval manuscripts of martyrdoms, saints’ lives, sermons, and liturgical texts transcribed in Bohairic. Today, Bohairic Coptic is still of vital importance as the liturgical language of the Coptic Church. This unit introduces students to the basic morphology, syntax, grammar and vocabulary of Bohairic Coptic language. Throughout the unit selected Coptic texts will be studied from Coptic liturgical books and the Bible.

Unit code: AL1200A

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 1

Unit discipline: Languages

Delivery Mode: Blended

Proposing College: St Athanasius College

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Learning outcomes


Read Bohairic Coptic script and phonetic structure


Recognise and memorise foundational Bohairic Coptic vocabulary


Identify Coptic grammatical structures at an elementary level


Integrate knowledge of grammar and vocabulary in reading and/or writing simple Coptic texts



12 weekly sessions, synchronous and asynchronous. Each session consists of the teacher’s multi-media lessons augmented by the set texts, online quizzes and tasks. The unit will include a blended combination of 12 weekly zoom and face to face tutorials (3 hours each).

Indicative Bibliography

Anonymous. The Holy Euchologion of the three anaphora’s of Sts Basil, Gregory and Cyril. Cairo: Dār ālǧyl llṭbāʿh, 1993.

Labib, Kladios. Alābṣlmwdyh ālsnwyh ālmqdsh (The Holy Annual Psalmodia). Cairo, 1908.

Mallon, Alexis. Grammaire Copte. Translated by Boulos Ayad. Boulder: Colo, 2004.

Younan, Sameh. So, You Want to Learn Coptic?: A Guide to Bohairic Grammar. Sydney: St Bakhomious & St Shenouda Coptic Orthodox Church, 2005.

Crum, W. E. A Coptic Dictionary. Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 1990.

Daoud, Mouawad. A Coptic Dictionary, Coptic-Arabic, 2ed. Edition. Cairo, 2000.

Horner, G. The Coptic Version of the New Testament in the Northern Dialect. 4 vols. London: Clarendon Press, 1969.

Houghton, Herbert Pierrepont. The Coptic Verb: Bohairic Dialect. Leiden: Brill, 1948.

Kasser, Rodolophe. "Language(s), Coptic. In Clarement Coptic Encyclopedia, online:

Shisha-Halevy, Ariel. “Bohairic”. In Clarement Coptic Encyclopedia, online:


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Short Answer Tests

8 short exercises (of 200 words each) that include vocabulary, translation of phrases, sentences and larger portions of text, grammatical questions.

1600 40.0
Written Examination

Exam (1 hour = 1000 words), including vocabulary from weeks 1-8

1000 30.0
Written Examination

Exam (1 hour = 1000 words), including vocabulary from weeks 9-12.

1000 30.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Prof Albert Haddad on 25 Sep, 2023

Unit record last updated: 2023-09-25 09:16:13 +1000