The first image is the name 'Judas' from the third/ fourth century (?) manuscript the Gospel of Judas
written in Coptic. The second is 'Judas' from the Codex Alexandrinus
, a major fifth century Greek New Testament manuscript in the British Library.
Just to be clear. I am not commenting on these manuscripts other than describing the script they are written in. They are both written in Greek Uncials. To scholars studying these manuscripts, these two documents appear to be written in the same writing system, and they are.
However, the Coptic script
has a few more letters.
Greek letter shapes changed over the centuries and the uncials are no longer used, even for copies of the Greek New Testament. They exist in manuscripts studied in museums. Coptic, however, did not evolve in the same direction. The Coptic church still uses a system which resembles the Greek uncials. This website
is posted in English and Coptic, so there it is on the web, the Coptic writing system.
The Coptic and Greek writing systems were disunified in Unicode last year. Yesterday
, I linked to the two relevant Unicode blocks. Scroll to the bottom of this page
for a discussion on the disunification.
I haven't tried a google search yet - some other time. You should google 'Gospel of Judas' in English, not Coptic, to read all about it. For more on Coptic with images of other manuscripts see this site.
Now, to get down to business. I am having a few of the usual problems. I did not include the diacritics in my image in yesterdays post
. The three that should have been included are the combining diaeresis U+ 0308
, the combining macron U+ 0304
and the combining overline U+0305
. The combining overline was perfect and I will use it sometime. But I could not get the other two in the right place. I am hoping for help on this.
I even tried to select text from the PDF file
supplied by the National Geographic Society and, of course, do I need to say this. It appears to be a precomposed non-Unicode font. Then I went back to the Tenaspi Remenkimi
site and it isn't Unicode either.
So the Coptic writing system appears on the net. It is visible and it is in the process of being implemented as a Unicode writing system. It will be interesting to watch.
Please comment if you can add to or correct any of this information. Or just to say "Hi".