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October 13, 2017


Matt. 3:17 in Bohairic Coptic

I have read an interesting story about the Coptic language which I share with you. Apparently, Coptic was still spoken in Manqabad, a village that falls 10 km north of Asyut, until at least the 1860s. The anecdote comes in a book published first time in 1990 titled “دير جبل قسقام: قدس – تراث” (The Monastery of the Mountain of Qusqam: Its Holiness and Heritage).[1] I translate the passage:

“130 years ago, the inhabitants of Manqabad spoke Coptic. And it is told that one day, a Coptic lady immersed her son in the Nile, and said in Coptic (translated into English), ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’[2] And one of the rulers heard her, and thought that she was swearing at him; and, so, he passed an edict that no one should use Coptic.”[3] (Second edition, undated, page 220)

I cannot find any other source to collaborate the story but there is no reason to doubt it. Anyway, it is interesting story.


[1] Monastery of the Mountain of Qusqam is also called Monastery of the Virgin Mary and Mount Qusqam Monastery. It is located near the western mountains of Qusqam, just south of Cusae (al-Qusiya), some 50 km northwest of Asyut in Upper Egypt.

[2] Matt. 3: 17.

[3] دير جبل قسقام: قدس – تراث (The Monastery of the Virgin Mary in al-Muharraq, 2nd ed., undated); p. 220.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Emad permalink
    January 15, 2018 5:15 am

    i don’t belive this myth coptic stopped because the copts abandoned it and it was stopped being used in ordinary life day use thousad year before that year in that unproved story

    • Dioscorus Boles permalink*
      January 15, 2018 6:53 am

      What you say is inaccurate

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