Their language has become forgotten…

“For the people of this time in this land, their language has become forgotten… Others have not abandoned their language as we have ours.”

Bishop Athanasius of Qus writing in the fourteenth century in his colourfully titled Coptic grammar, Qiladat al-Tahrir fi ‘ilm al-Tafsir or A Necklace of Composition in the Science of Interpretation (Bauer, 1972, pp. 245, 305).

Athanasius’s grammar, which was originally written for Sahidic and today survives in Sahidic and a Bohairic translation is reproduced and translated into German by Gertrud Bauer in Athanasius von Qūṣ, Qilādat at-taḥrīr fī ʿilm at-tafsīr: eine koptische Grammatik in arabischer Sprache aus dem 13./14. Jahrhundert (Freiburg, 1972). The quotation is taken from LSB MacCoull’s The strange death of Coptic culture, Coptic Church Review 10(2), Summer 1989, pp. 35-45.


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