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A painting of a cross from Kellia, late 6th century.
‘Coptic Baptismal Procession’ by English Pre-Raphaelite painter Simeon Solomon, 1865.

Coptology is the scientific study of the Coptic people.


The European interest in Coptology may have started as early as the 15th century AD.[1] The term was used in 1976 when the First International Congress of Coptology was held in Cairo under the title "Colloquium on the Future of Coptic Studies" (11-17 December). This was followed by the establishment of the "International Association for Coptic Studies".[2] One of the founders of the Colloquium and the Association was Pahor Labib, director of the Coptic Museum in Cairo during 1951-65. The words 'Coptology' and 'Coptologist' were introduced into the English language by Aziz Suryal Atiya.[3]

Worldwide institutions[edit]

There are now institutions that give more or less regular courses of Coptology in 47 countries around the world, including Australia, Great Britain, Canada, Germany, Israel, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States. A rotating chair of Coptic studies was opened at the American University in Cairo in 2002.[4]



Prominent Coptologists[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hamilton, Alastair (2006-07-27). The Copts and the West, 1439-1822: The European Discovery of the Egyptian Church. OUP Oxford. ISBN 9780199288779.
  2. ^ International Association for Coptic Studies Archived 2011-02-01 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ " Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs & more". Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  4. ^ What is Coptology?, Al-Ahram Weekly Archived September 17, 2007, at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]