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Description de l’éditeur
Elementa linguae copticae: Grammaire inedite du XVW siecle.By Guillaume Bonjour. Edited by Sydney H. AUFRERE and NATHALIE BOSSON. Cahiers d' orientalisme, vol. 24. Geneva: Patrick Cramer Editeur, 2005. Pp. ci + 190, plates. The history of a science is the science itself, Goethe famously stated. The last person able to read or write the hieroglyphic script died probably sometime in the sixth or seventh century C.E. But the Egyptian language remained alive in its last stage. Coptic (a variant form of "Egyptian"). Coptic is written with Greek letters supplemented by a few characters derived from hieroglyphic writing. Sometime between 1000-1500 c.e., Coptic ceased being spoken. Arabic completely supplanted it. But Coptic remained in use in the liturgy of the Coptic (or Christian-Egyptian) church. This hardly means Coptic was perfectly understood. During the Renaissance, the Latin West rose to intellectual dominance and higher learning flourished. The Catholic Church's desire to bring Christian churches of the East back into the fold played a prominent role in the nascent interest in Coptic, but the knowledge of Coptic had to be imported to Europe.