Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Reading Coptic texts day symposium April 24 London

Birkbeck College in London is hosting the following day symposium on April 24th

Literature, Language and Life in Late Antique Egypt, North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean'
FFEY054N0 – Reading Coptic Texts
Saturday 24th April 2010

Welcome and Introductions 9.45am – 10:00am
Session I - 10.00am - 11.00am
A brief introduction to the history of the Late Antique period in the area, with its literary, documentary and historical sources. The spread of Christianity and its impact, particularly during the periods of persecution, leading to the growth of the monastic movement in Egypt. The spirit and influence of the desert fathers. The contribution of Egyptian Christianity to the great Ecumenical councils, and the influence of its monasticism on the rest of the Byzantine world. (Dr. Graham Gould, formerly of King's College, London and author of The Desert Fathers on Monastic Community, Oxford 1993)

Coffee Break - 11.00am - 11.30am
Session 2 - 11.30am - 12.30pm
The particular contribution of Egypt to Literature in Late Antiquity (with selected readings in translation, some of them by actress and Shakespearean scholar, Kay Senior).

Session 3 - 12.30pm - 1.30pm
Communication in Late Antique Egypt. The languages used in different spheres of activity, and the development of Coptic dialects especially in the Christian context. Depending on the experience of those who applied for the course, I would propose a two-tier language taster, with an explanation of the Greek and Coptic alphabets and principles of language for those who have done no Greek or Coptic, and a chance to read one or two easy texts for those who already do have some experience (with help from Basil Stein). (Dr. Carol Downer, Birkbeck)

Lunch Break – 1.30pm – 2.30pm
Session 5 - 2.30pm - 3.30pm
A practical demonstration of techniques of writing these languages - from the calligraphic expert, Paul Antonio. A chance to try one's hand at writing in the ancient style.

Tea Break - 3.30pm - 4.00pm
Session 5 – 4.00pm – 5.00pm
An introduction to Coptic music and chant (with recorded music and part of a DVD of Coptic liturgy), followed by a slide session on the artistic life of the Egyptians in the Coptic period.

call the central enrolment team on 020 7631 6651 to enrol, or online by going to this link:

For any further information please contact Brett O’Shaughnessy on 020 7631 6627
Course title: 'Literature, Language and Life in Late Antique Egypt, North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean'
Course code: FFEY054NO/ACB
Course venue: Birkbeck College, Malet Street, University of London
Fee: £42 (full) / £21 (Concession)
By phone:

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