The Christian Epigraphy of Egypt and Nubia: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Christian Epigraphy of Egypt and Nubia

1st Edition

By Jacques van der Vliet


438 pages | 38 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2018-04-26
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Collected Studies CS1070

The present book collects 31 articles that Jacques van der Vliet, a leading scholar in the field of Coptic Studies (Leiden University / Radboud University, Nijmegen), has published since 1999 on Christian inscriptions from Egypt and Nubia. These inscriptions are dated between the third/fourth and the fourteenth centuries, and are often written in Coptic and/or Greek, once in Latin, and sometimes (partly) in Arabic, Syriac or Old Nubian. They include inscriptions on tomb stones, walls of religious buildings, tools, vessels, furniture, amulets and even texts on luxury garments.

Whereas earlier scholars in the field of Coptic Studies often focused on either Coptic or Greek, Van der Vliet argues that inscriptions in different languages that appear in the same space or on the same kind of objects should be examined together. In addition, he aims to combine the information from documentary texts, archaeological remains and inscriptions, in order to reconstruct the economic, social and religious life of monastic or civil communities. He practiced this methodology in his studies on the Fayum, Wadi al-Natrun, Sohag, Western Thebes and the region of Aswan and Northern Nubia, which are all included in this book.

Table of Contents

Part 1: A general introduction

  1. The Christian epigraphy of Egypt and Nubia: State of research and perspectives

Part 2: Egypt

2. "In a robe of gold": Status, magic and politics on inscribed Christian textiles from Egypt

3. Christus imperat. An ignored Coptic dating formula

4. Perennial Hellenism! László Török and the al-Mu‘allaqa lintel (Coptic Museum inv. no. 753)

5. History through inscriptions: Coptic epigraphy in the Wadi al-Natrun

6. Reconstructing the landscape: Epigraphic sources for the Christian Fayoum

7. Monumenta fayumica

8. Monuments of Christian Sinnuris (Fayyum, Egypt),

with Peter Grossmann and Tomasz Derda

9. Four Christian funerary inscriptions from the Fayum (I. Dayr al-‘Azab 1-4),

with Tomasz Derda

10. A lintel from the Fayum in the British Museum, with Adeline Jeudy

11. A Naqlun monk brought home. On the provenance of Louvre inv. E 26798-26799

12. I. Varsovie: Graeco-Coptica

13. A Coptic funerary stela in the Museum of Fine Arts in Montreal,

with Jitse H.F. Dijkstra

14. Snippets from the past. Two ancient sites in the Asyut region: Dayr al-Gabrawi and Dayr al-’Izam

15. Monks and scholars in the Panopolite nome: The epigraphic evidence,

with Sofia Schaten

16. Parerga. Notes on Christian inscriptions from Egypt and Nubia

17. Epigraphy and history in the Theban region

18. From Naqada to Esna: A late Coptic inscription at Dayr Mari Girgis (Naqada),

with Renate Dekker

19. "In year one of King Zachari": Evidence of a new Nubian king from the Monastery of St. Simeon at Aswan, with Jitse H.F. Dijkstra

20. Contested frontiers: Southern Egypt and Northern Nubia, a.d. 300-1500. The evidence of the inscriptions

Part 3: Nubia

21. Coptic as a Nubian literary language: Four theses for discussion

22. Gleanings from Christian Northern Nubia

23. Four north-Nubian stelae from the Bankes collection, with Klaas A. Worp

24. Churches in Lower Nubia, old and "new"

25. Two Coptic epitaphs from Qasr Ibrim

26. The Church of the Twelve Apostles: The Earliest Cathedral of Faras?

27. Exit Tamer, bishop of Faras (SB V 8728)

28. Rich Ladies of Meinarti and their Churches. With an appended list of sources from Christian Nubia containing the expression ‘having the Church of so-and-so’,

with Adam Łajtar

29. From Aswan to Dongola: The epitaph of Bishop Joseph (died a.d. 668),

with Stefan Jakobielski

30. Rome – Meroe – Berlin. The southernmost Latin inscription rediscovered (CIL III 83), with Adam Łajtar

31. "What is man?" The Nubian tradition of Coptic funerary inscriptions

About the Author

Jacques van der Vliet is an Egyptologist and Copticist, specializing in Coptic, the indigenous language of Christian Egypt, which lives on in the present-day Coptic Orthodox church as its liturgical language. He is interested in the rich Coptic literature from Late Antiquity, including magical, gnostic and hagiographic texts and inscriptions. As a papyrologist and epigrapher, he participates in several fieldwork projects in Egypt and Nubia, and he is involved in the (re-)edition of various kinds of Christian inscriptions from Egypt and Nubia.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at [email protected]

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General