Thursday, February 17, 2011

Book Review: Qasr Ibrim - The Greek and Coptic Inscriptions

Bryn Mawr Classical Review (Reviewed by Pieter W. van der Horst)

Adam Lajtar, Jacques van der Vliet, Qasr Ibrim: The Greek and Coptic Inscriptions (Journal of Juristic Papyrology Supplement XIII). Warsaw: University of Warsaw Press, 2010.


Qasr Ibrim is an archaeological site in the southern area of Egypt (between Aswan and Abu Simbel) that in antiquity and the Middle Ages was part of Nubia. In the sixth century CE, Nubia converted to Christianity and remained a country with a rich Christian culture till the fourteenth century when it was forced to accept Islam. The town of Qasr Ibrim had a cathedral, several churches, monasteries, and other buildings. Excavations have been going on there since the beginning of the previous century and these have yielded, inter alia, quite a number of inscriptions, both in Greek and in Coptic, not all of which have been published so far. The Polish epigraphist Lajtar and the Dutch Egyptologist Van der Vliet now present in this volume almost one hundred Christian inscriptions discovered during archaeological field work of the Egypt Exploration Society at Qasr Ibrim since 1963. All inscriptions are described in detail (in most cases with photos added), transcribed, translated, and commented upon. Since both editors have much experience in this field, they do an excellent job.

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