There are various Coptic dialects; the first and oldest being the Upper Egyptian dialect known as Sahidic. It was this dialect that the Biblical texts were translated to in the 3rd century, and early Egyptian monastic texts and Coptic martyrologies were first composed. This unit will study vocabulary and grammar of Sahidic Coptic, as well as explore some of the various sources of Sahidic.

Unit code: AL1300A

Unit status: Archived (New unit)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 1

Unit discipline: Languages

Delivery Mode: Face to Face

Proposing College: St Athanasius College

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Learning outcomes


Recognise and memorise foundational Sahidic Coptic vocabulary


Read Coptic script and phonetic structure


Identify Coptic grammatical structures at an elementary level


Compare the differences between Bohairic and Sahidic dialects within the same text


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


Lectures, Seminars and Tutorials

Indicative Bibliography

  • Crum, W. E. 1939 Coptic Dictionary, Oxford (various reprints since, including Oxford 1999 and Wipf & Stock Publishers 2005).
  • Lambdin, T. O., 1992. Introduction to Sahidic Coptic, Macon
  • Layton, B. 2000 A Coptic Grammar. Wiesbaden 2000 (2nd ed. Wiesbaden 2004).
  • Plumley, J.M. 1948 An Introductory Coptic Grammar (Sahidic Dialect), London: Home & Van Thal.
  • Reintges, C. 2004 Coptic Egyptian (Sahidic Dialect). A Learner's Grammar. Köln. Shisha-Halevy, A. 1986 *Coptic Grammatical Categories. Structural Studies in the Syntax of Shenoutean Sahidic. Roma.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Written Examination

Invigilated Exam 1 hour

1000 30.0
Written Examination

Invigilated Exam 1 hour

1000 30.0

8 short reading and written exercises (Equivalent to 1500 words)

1500 40.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 1 Nov, 2017

Unit record last updated: 2022-10-31 15:50:55 +1100