From my diary

I written a couple more emails this morning. 

The first is to a certain Ellen Black, who is apparently one of those in charge at the Project Hindsight website.  They sell what I believe are photocopies of translations of Hellenistic and Roman astrological texts, made by Robert Schmidt during the 80’s and 90’s.  There are none in the UK, and people have trouble even buying from the Project.  So I’ve asked whether they would consider placing the material online in PDF form, and offering to help with the conversion process.  After all, if no-one actually buys these things — and it seems questionable whether anyone does — there is no loss to them in putting them where people can use them.

The second is an interesting discussion that I am having on Coptic matters.  I keep feeling the urge to learn some Coptic, after all that transcribing.  I’d like to see a morphologised Coptic text or two.  The obvious choice is the New Testament, but the Gospel of Thomas is apparently of wide interest too.  I believe that electronic texts of the NT exist. I don’t know whether there is an electronic Coptic text of the GoT available.

What I want to see is something like this, only in Coptic:

010101 N- —-NSF- βίβλος βίβλος
010101 N- —-GSF- γενέσεως γένεσις
010101 N- —-GSM- Ἰησοῦ Ἰησοῦς
010101 N- —-GSM- Χριστοῦ Χριστός
010101 N- —-GSM- υἱοῦ υἱός
010101 N- —-GSM- Δαυὶδ Δαυίδ
010101 N- —-GSM- υἱοῦ υἱός
010101 N- —-GSM- Ἀβραάμ Ἀβραάμ
010102 N- —-NSM- Ἀβραὰμ Ἀβραάμ
010102 V- 3AAI-S– ἐγέννησεν γεννάω
010102 RA —-ASM- τὸν ὁ
010102 N- —-ASM- Ἰσαάκ Ἰσαάκ
010102 N- —-NSM- Ἰσαὰκ Ἰσαάκ
010102 C- ——– δὲ δέ
010102 V- 3AAI-S– ἐγέννησεν γεννάω
010102 RA —-ASM- τὸν ὁ

This is the start of Matthew’s gospel in Greek — book, chapter, verse, then whether it is a noun, then whether it is nominative singular or genetive, then the word as it appears in the NT, and then the base form of the word (nominative singular, or whatever). 

This extract is from the MorphGNT file, made by James Tauber at who knows what effort and released very generously for us all to use in computer analyses of the text and much else.  The German Bible Society responded to his generosity by threatening to sue him, on the absurd basis that they “own” the Greek New Testament (!). Rather than pay lawyers, he withdrew it and is reworking it to use the SBL Greek New Testament instead.

Something of this kind for a Coptic text would be a very useful thing to have.

Likewise we really need a Coptic-English dictionary in XML form.  Crum’s dictionary is the obvious choice.  I wonder whether the Andrew Mellon Foundation could be induced by a Coptic scholar to fund such a transcription?  They did, for the Greek dictionary of Liddell and Scott, which is part of the Perseus Hopper.  Indeed Perseus ought to know who could do it and what it would cost to do.   I wonder if it is possible to find a Coptic scholar who would cooperate?

My third email was to the Packard Humanities Institute, with a PDF of an application form for a copy of their Latin corpus CDROM.  Let’s hope that goes through OK!

2 Responses to “From my diary”


  1. Walter Dunphy

    If you can track down the author of the Wikipedia art. on
    Coptic Language…
    Same art. gives some idea of the hurdles – it doesn’t follow “our” rules of grammar!
    w.d.

  2. Roger Pearse

    Interesting. I took a look at the article. I’ve decided I need a couple of books on the subject!



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