From my diary

Apparently Coptic doesn’t have “endings”,  in the way that Greek and Latin do.  Not sure how it does things, then — apparently prefixes are important.

I’ve ordered a copy of So you want to learn Coptic? A guide to Bohairic grammar, available here with sample chapter, and from here.  Lulu have lately been sending out books very quickly, so I chose the latter.  The sample chapter seemed easy enough reading, and since I can only glance at these things in odd moments, easy is what it had better be.  Let’s hope it arrives before New Year.

Meanwhile my quest for electronic Coptic resources has continued.  A search in the Yahoo groups gthomas group — which I joined ages ago but never read — for “electronic” revealed the existance of something named Marcion 1.3.  It’s not quite clear what this does or how it does it.  Complaints there were many!  But it displays various resources and seems to have a list of Coptic words in it.  I downloaded the source, which was in C++, but not in Visual C++ (which would have been much too simple!)  It does contain some lists of Coptic word and English meaning, which is the key thing after all.  I will try to make more sense of this over the coming days.

An update on one of my commissions.  Andrew Eastbourne has emailed me the completed translations of the fragments of Philip of Side, plus the Religious dialogue at the court of the Sassanids.  All that is now required is an introduction, which he has promised to write.  When this is all done, I shall place it all in the public domain as usual and upload it to my own site,, etc.

I’m sitting on the Eusebius book.  I suspect I will do the last touches at Christmas.  I need to tweak the Coptic bits a little, and it may be simpler just to pull the Coptic out of the PDF into Word, edit it myself, and invite the typesetter to reset those fragments.  Because otherwise he has to go through and make a lot of changes from spurious grave accents, and change them to dots above the word.

The other reason for delay is that I have yet to get the formal approval from Les editions du Cerf.  I’m reprinting their Greek text for part of it, and the contract specifies I need their approval.  It’s been two months now since I asked.  My spies tell me that approval has been given, but the clerk who handles the paperwork has not replied to any email of mine in two months.  It’s disappointing, such needless delays.

I did some more on the Greek translation assistant today.  I hope to do some more over the coming days. 


3 thoughts on “From my diary

  1. English doesn’t have endings like Latin and Greek either but we seem to muddle along quite nicely without them. Presumably, the Copts did the same.

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