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Book/Printed Material Coptic Grammar.

About this Item


  • Coptic Grammar.


  • This manuscript consists of a portion of a Coptic primer by Iryan Moftah (1826--86). It lists useful phrases, with the Coptic in the left column and the Arabic on the right. Moftah avoids explanation of linguistic complexities or conjugations. This, along with the simple, everyday phrases, leads to the conclusion that the book is aimed at schoolchildren or young seminarians rather than advanced learners. Although the textbook is aimed at Arabic speakers, there is no assumption that students are acquainted with the complexities of classical Arabic grammar. There are no religious or Biblical references, and the author frequently uses colloquial Arabic to teach such everyday phrases as, "Wash your hands," "Never taste 'arak [the local alcoholic drink made of dates or raisins]," or "Trim the candle [wick]." The conversational phrases are grouped into topics such as "at home," "at bedtime," or "at meals." Whether Moftah's grammar texts were ever published at the Coptic press established around 1860 is not known; no printed copies are known to exist. Moftah's primers were probably intended for his own use in the classroom at the clerical college where he taught, or as models for other teachers to copy. His manuscripts on religious, historical, and linguistic subjects are preserved in the Iryan Moftah Collection of the American University in Cairo.


  • Moftah, Iryan Author.

Created / Published

  • [place of publication not identified] : [publisher not identified], [1800 to 1899]


  • -  Egypt
  • -  1800 to 1899
  • -  Arabic language
  • -  Bohairic dialect
  • -  Conversation and phrase books
  • -  Coptic Church
  • -  Coptic language
  • -  Grammar


  • -  Title devised, in English, by Library staff.
  • -  Original resource extent: 154 pages ; 19.5 x 13 centimeters.
  • -  Original resource at: The American University in Cairo Rare Books and Special Collections Library.
  • -  Content in Arabic and Coptic.
  • -  Description based on data extracted from World Digital Library, which may be extracted from partner institutions.


  • 1 online resource.

Source Collection

  • Iryan Moftah Collection of Coptic Books and Manuscripts

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2021667879

Online Format

  • compressed data
  • pdf
  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

The Library of Congress is unaware of any copyright or other restrictions in the World Digital Library Collection. Absent any such restrictions, these materials are free to use and reuse. Researchers are encouraged to review the source information attached to each item. For information on contacting WDL partner organizations, see this archived list of partners

The Library asks that researchers approach the materials in this collection with respect for the culture and sensibilities of the people whose lives, ideas, and creativity are documented here.

Credit Line: [Original Source citation], World Digital Library

More about Copyright and other Restrictions

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Moftah, Iryan Author. Coptic Grammar. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, to 1899, 1800] Pdf.

APA citation style:

Moftah, I. A. (1800) Coptic Grammar. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, to 1899] [Pdf] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Moftah, Iryan Author. Coptic Grammar. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, to 1899, 1800] Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.