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Development of Coptic Literature


Egyptian Literature

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It is a name for Egyptians of the Christian faith and their Church. It is also the name for the last form of the ancient Egyptian language, which was written with mostly Greek letters. The Coptic language survives only as a liturgical language of the Coptic Orthodox Church.


The Patriarch is the Bishop of Alexandria. The Patriarch has authority over the other bishops of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

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Lasting Influence of Coptic Literature
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The most influential book in Coptic literature was "The Life of Antonius" written by Saint Athanasius the Patriarch of Alexandria at the request of the people of Rome. This book ignited the spirit of monasticism and asceticism in the West.

Reading this book was a turning point in the life of Saint Augustine, who was so moved by what he read, as he later confessed in his writings, that he relinquished his old life and became not just a Christian, but one of the foremost figures of Christianity.

The fame of the sayings of the Fathers outlived their times. They are still of great importance and immediate relevance to this very day, widely studied, translated, and published in the West.

Not all the writings were in the Coptic language, a good part of them were in Greek. The Copts had an influential effect on Greek literature, to which they added a mine of human knowledge. These works were in turn translated back into Coptic by the Copts, especially the monks.

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Manuscript of Four Gospels with Pictures of Saints
Manuscript of Four Gospels with Pictures of Saints

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