Ancient writing systems in the Mediterranean

A critical guide to electronic resources


- end 1st century - 11th century AD

Online resources

Web sites of general interest

  1. Omniglot - Writing Systems and Languages of the World
    This site, published by a passionate polyglot and self-taught British citizen by the name of Simon Ager, is not affiliated with any institution. It provides a good level of general information about an impressive number of writing scripts in the world, with links to other sites.
  2. Coptica

Online documents

  1. Duke Papyrus Archive (Coptic)
    The Coptic section of the site of the Duke Papyrus Collection provides a great number of examples of documents divided in literary and sub-literary texts and documents, with an internal chronological organization. Every document is provided with a high-resolution image and cataloguing information.
  2. Coptic Scriptorium

  3. PSI - Papiri della Società Italiana

  4. The Gospel of Thomas Resource Center

Institutions, centers for study and research

  1. Deir al Surian Projects - The Levantine Foundation

Study and research centers

  1. International Association for Coptic Studies
    The IACS was founded in occasion of the 1st International Congress of Coptology in Cairo in 1976, with the aim of encouraging and contributing to the progress of all aspects of Coptic Studies.

Academic materials

  1. St. Takla
    Amatorial site, online since 1997, by Michael Ghaly. Here it is of interest only for the Coptic lessons and for the registrations, useful for those interested in phonetics. The site also offers more generic information and links, dedicated to the Coptic Church, with photographic galleries, a sort of hymnography, links of interest to Coptic clergy, etc.
  2. The St. Shenouda the Archimandrite Coptic Society
    The Society, founded in 1979 in Los Angeles as a meeting place for the Coptic communities outside Egypt, offers a series of functions not strictly of interest to Coptic language and writing. This link, all the same, leads to 12 lessons of Coptic with a final exam; browsing the main site users can find manyadditional links and downloadable fonts.
  3. Pisakho - The Great Scribe

  4. Concordance of the Sahidic New Testament - Alin Suciu

  5. Coptic Research - UK Coptic Research Centre

  6. St. Shenouda Electronic Institute of Coptic Studies (SSEICS)

  7. Iryan Moftah Coptic Language and Religion Manuscripts
    Manuscripts by Iryan Moftah (1826-1886), a Coptic language specialist who was active under the reformer papacy of Cyril IV, kept in the Library of the American University in Cairo. Among them there are his publications and a number of grammar texts he used in his lessons.


  1. Nag Hammadi Archive - Claremont Colleges Digital Library

  2. The Digital Library of Inscriptions and Calligraphies - Bibliotheca Alexandrina


  1. PLUMLEY M., An Introductory Coptic Grammar (Sahidic Dialect), 1948
    "Original mimeograph photocopied at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, 1988; transcribed and hyperlinked by George Somsel and Paterson Brown - Ecumenical Coptic Project" (defined as "non-profit and non-sectarian, publishing on the Internet the necessary resources for a thorough study of the three Nag Hammadi Gospels")
  2. CRUM W.E., A Coptic Dictionary, Clarendon Press, Oxford 1939
    Online Coptic-English/English-Coptic dictionary, can be consulted online by page number and head letter.
  3. ATIYA A.S., The Coptic Encyclopedia, Macmillan, New York 1991

  4. Journal of Coptic Studies

  5. Coptic Church Review

  6. Goussen Library Collection

  7. COONEY J.D., Late Egyptian and Coptic art, an introduction to the collections in the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences, Brooklyn 1943

  8. Pagan and Christian Egypt; Egyptian art from the first to the tenth century A.D, Brooklyn Museum Press, Brooklyn 1941.

  9. DELATTRE A., Nouveaux textes coptes d'Antinoé, in Proceedings of the Twenty-Fifth International Congress of Papyrology, Ann Arbor 2007, American Studies in Papyrology, Ann Arbor 2010, pp. 171–174.

  10. Kritische Edition der sahidischen Version des Johannesevangeliums
    Worthy project, funded by the FWF Austrian Science Fund, on the first critical edition of the Gospel of John in the Sahidic dialect. The authors (Hans Förster, Kerstin Sänger-Böhm, Matthias H.O. Schulz) made use of as many as 172 manuscripts in this important addition to the Coptic literature, freshly printed and open access.


  1. Antinoou: A standard font for Coptic
    Antinoou is a multi-platform Coptic font which supports the full set of Coptic characters encoded in the UCS, with pre-composed combinations of glyphs and overlines, dots, and accents to ensure better printing.
  2. St. Takla
    Many, paleographically varied, fonts.
  3. Coptic Orthodox Church Network
    Site of the Coptic Church of St Mark, Jersey City, New Jersey, therefore besides fonts the site also offers generic links of interest to the Coptic Church.
  4. Unicode Fonts for Ancient Scripts
    By George Douros, professor at the Technological Education Institute of Larissa
  5. Moheb's Coptic Page

  6. Font copto dell'IFAO

Museums and collections

  1. BerlPap - Berliner Papyrusdatenbank

  2. Coptic Orthodox Liturgical Chant & Hymnody - The Ragheb Moftah Collection at the Library of Congress

  3. Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale, Le Caire - Papyrus et parchemins coptes (P.IFAO copte)

  4. ARTStor: Dura-Europos Documents (Yale University)

  5. Papyrus und Ostraka Projekt: Halle, Jena, Leipzig

  6. DVCTVS - [Spanish] National Papyrological Funds

  7. Papyrus de la Bibliothèque de Genève

  8. CRUM W.E., Catalogue of the Coptic manuscripts in the British Museum, British Museum, London 1905

  9. Papyrus Portal

Collections of texts and digital libraries

  1. Brussels Coptic Database (BCD)
    Data bank containing Coptic documentary texts which is edited by the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Centre de Papyrologie et d'Epigraphie grecque (directed by Alain Delattre) and contains 100,000 entries. Information is registered in the following fields: abbreviation, inventory number, support material, provenance, date, dialect, content, bibliography, notes etc.
  2. Trismegistos Magic
    TM-Magic is the first thematic database hosted by Trismegistos and tries to fill a gap between projects such as the LDAB, HGV and BCD by collecting metadata of somewhat "dubious" nature: all things "religion", "ritual", "magic" and "divination" / "mantike". Trismegistos is an interdisciplinary portal of papyrological and epigraphical resources dealing with Egypt and the Nile valley between roughly 800 BC and AD 800.
  3. Leuven Database of Ancient Books (LDAB)
    This database storing metadata contains at the moment 15,543 Greek, Latin, Coptic and Demotic literary texts. The project is part of the portal Trismegistos which deals with texts in different writing systems from Egypt between 800 BC and 800 AD.
  4. Trismegistos
    An interdisciplinary portal of papyrological and epigraphical resources dealing with Egypt and the Nile valley between roughly 800 BC and AD 800. There are very rich databases of metadata on papyrus and parchment.
  5. CMCL - Corpus dei Manoscritti Copti Letterari
    Corpus of Coptic Literary Manuscripts. The project, sponsored by the Unione Accademica Nazionale, La Sapienza University of Rome and the Istituto Patristico "Augustinianum" is directed by Prof. Tito Orlandi, assisted by a board of renowned scholars (Edda Bresciani, Stephen Emmel, Bentley Layton, Francesco S. Pericoli Ridolfini, Manlio Simonetti)
  6. Goussen Library Collection – Universität Bonn
    The well-furnished library of Heinrich Goussen (1863-1927), specialised in the history of Eastern Churches, has been put online by the University of Bonn. It contains as many as 81 volumes in the Coptic section.
  7. MUNIER H., Manuscrits coptes, Cairo 1916
    A part of the series of the General Catalogue of the Cairo Museum, downloadable in PDF from the Ancient World Digital Library of the New York University.


  1. Tito Orlandi - Centro Interdipartimentale di Servizi per l'Automazione nelle Discipline Umanistiche (CISADU)
    Personal page of Prof. Orlandi, one of the best known Coptic scholars as well as a real pioneer in the use of computers in the Humanities and of the electronic publication of critical editions of manuscripts. There are many downloadable documents in .pdf format, both about Egyptian Coptic and about Computers in Humanities. In Italian.
  2. Alin Suciu - Personal blog
    Personal blog of Alin Suciu, PhD, Faculté de théologie et de sciences religieuses, Université Laval, Québec and visiting scholar, Department of Biblical Studies, Faculty of Theology, University of Helsinki. The blog collects a huge amount of information with ongoing updates on Patristics,. Apocrypha, Coptic Literature and manuscripts.
  3. April Deconick - Blog personale

  4. Gerard P. Luttikhuizen

  5. Roberta Mazza. Faces & Voices: People, Artefacts, Ancient History
    Blog of the Italian papyrologist Roberta Mazza (University of Manchester) which is not strictly philological; it mainly focuses on ethical questions concerning papyrology. It contains papers and inquiries of great depth on the antiques market and its many transgressions.


  1. Coptic Bibliographies
    This site hosts the essential bibliography on the different areas of Coptic studies (first millennium AC, language, dialects, art and archaeology, funerary stelae), based on the courses at the Macquarie University in Sydney.