Published at the occasion of the 7th International Congress of Coptic Studies, Leiden, August 27 - September 2, 2000,accompanying an exhibition in Leiden University Library

Compiled by Nico Kruit and Jan Just Witkam

Coptic texts in the Papyrological Institute Leiden
by Nico Kruit

Coptic manuscripts in Leiden University Library
by Jan Just Witkam


In its long history the Library of Leiden University has never actively collected Coptic manuscripts. This is proven by the mere number of some 13 Coptic manuscripts, which came in a period of over four centuries in the Library, all in a rather incidental way. This is the first time that a list of the Coptic manuscript materials has been compiled. All manuscript materials mentioned here are in Coptic, except Or. 243, which is a Greek and Arabic manuscript of the Coptic Church.


Or_243_284-285klein(2423 bytes) Or. 243
Greek, Arabic, paper, 556 pp. (but without pp. 333-4, 433-4 and 505-6), dated 981 (Era of the Martyrs = 1265 AD, colophon on p. 555). Before p. 1 are 10 ff. of more recent date containing an Index Lectionum, quae hoc Codice continentur, ex Euangeliis, Actis Apostolorum et Epistolis, with reference to the pages in the main text. On p. 556 a poem in Latin, beginning: ‘Dum trepidant itali...’ The copyist of the Greek text is called Petros (p. 554), and he is apparently a monk at one of the monasteries in the Wadi Natrun. The copyist of the Arabic text is Rahmat Allah b. al-Qiss Rashid al-Misri. He dates his work as 19 Ramadan 981. He first started using the remainder of p. 554 for a colophon, then took p. 555 for that purpose. Greek-Arabic Lectionary of the Coptic Church. Lectures from the Gospels, the Acts, the Epistles and the Psalms. See Voorhoeve, Handlist, p. 50. CCO V, pp. 78-79. P.C. Molhuysen, Codices Scaligerani (praeter Orientales), Leiden 1910, p. 29. See now especially H.J. de Jonge, ‘Joseph Scaliger’s Greek-Arabic lectionary’, in Quaerendo 5 (1975), pp. 143-172. Earlier provenances: In about the year 1500 the codex may have been brought to France by emissaries of Louis XII to the Mamluk Sultan in Cairo, and by the end of the 16th century it became the property of Daniel Chamier (1565-1621), who gave the MS to J.J. Scaliger (1540-1609).
Provenance: Legacy J.J. Scaliger (1609).
Or_431_B_473klein.jpg(4337 bytes) Or. 431 B
Coptic, Latin, paper, 686 pp. and blanks, autograph, dated March 3, 1721, copied by Maturinus Veyssiere La Croze in his 60th year (colophon on p. 686), 18th cent. leather binding, with gilded spine. Lexicon Aegyptiaco-Latinum. Ex veteribus illius Linguae monumentis summo studio collectum et elaboratum a Maturino Veyssiere La Croze. Berolini, Anno Christi D.n. MDCCXXI. Coptic-Latin dictionary by Maturinus Veyssière La Croze (1661-1739) for the Memphis dialect, completed in 1721. The Leiden manuscript has been used in Lexicon Aegyptiaco-Latinum. Ex veteribus illius linguae Or_431_B_95klein.jpg(3351 bytes)monumentis summo studio collectum et elaboratum a Maturino Veyssiere La Croze, quod in compendium redegit ita ut nullae Voces Aegyptiacae, nullaegue earum significationes omitterentur, Christianus Scholtz. Notulas quasdam et indices adjecit Carolus Godofredus Woide. Oxford 1775. [877 C 9]. CCO 209 (I, p. 108). Title on spine: ‘Lexicon Aegyptio-Latinum.’ Earlier provenance: Inside the front board a bookplate with text: ‘C.S. Iordani, et amicorum’. Provenance: Legacy Prosper Marchand (1756).

Or_908_92v-93rklein.jpg(3085 bytes) Or. 908
Coptic and Arabic, paper, 221 ff. (f. 13 is more recent), not dated but certainly old, illuminations (ff. 45b, 93a, 147a) and numerous illuminated capitals and smaller ornaments (e.g. f. 150a). Incomplete copy (beginning and end are missing) of a Coptic liturgy with Arabic translation, written in two columns. See Graf, GCAL I, 645. CCO 2398 (V, p. 92): ‘Codex pulcherrime exaratus antiquus est.’ Not in Voorhoeve’s Handlist. Provenance: Legacy Levinus Warner (1665).

Or_1507_1klein.jpg(8376 bytes) Or. 1507
Arabic and Coptic, paper, 152 pp., before 1758 AD, copied by Dr. J. Smith, who had been a minister of the divine word in Lille. On p. 152 is a copy of the Arabic colophon of the exemplar, which was completed on 19 Amshir of the year... (= 1399?) of the Martyrs, corresponding with the third decade of Safar 1094 (1683). A note in Latin on p. 152 also mentions 1671 AD as a date in the exemplar. Liber Leviticus Mosis Coptice et Arabice Ex Biblioth. Hoingtington: descriptus ab Doct. domino Smith quondam V.D.M. in Lillo. (titlepage). Leviticus, in Coptic and Arabic, copied from MS 33 in the Hointingdon (?) Library which is dated 1671 AD. CCO 2366 (V, p. 77). See Voorhoeve, Handlist, p. 49. Earlier provenance: Gerardus Kuypers (Dutch theologian, 1722-1798), received the book in 1758 as a present from Dr. J. Smith from Bremen, who had made the copy in England (prelims, opposite title-page). Provenance: Purchased in 1838 from a private collector through the intermediary of Dr. C.J. van der Vlis.

Or_1595_1rklein.jpg(7270 bytes) Or. 1595
Coptic, Latin, paper, 4 ff. Psalms 1, 3, 6 and 15, in Coptic, with interlineary Latin translation. Copied in a European hand from a manuscript in Berlin. CCO 2397 (V, pp. 91-92). Provenance: Collection J.H. van der Palm (1763-1840). Auction catalogue Van der Palm, p. 19, No. 35.

Or_4997_los1klein.jpg(3941 bytes) Or. 4997
(7) Sheaf containg leaves with specimens of exotic scripts, parly taken by (?) the Utrecht professor H.C. Millies (1810-1860) from the collection compiled by the Bamberg historian and librarian H.J. Jaeck (1777-1847), entitled Viele Alphabete [...] (Leipzig, 1833-1835), and also from other published sources and manuscripts. Among the numerous scripts, there are also a few specimens of Coptic. It would seem that the specimens were made or collected by Millies in order to serve as study or teaching material. Provenance: Purchased in March 1905 from Mrs. J.C.W. de Boer-Roorda van Eisinga, and before that in the private collection of H.C. Millies.

Or_8819_1klein.jpg(7383 bytes) Or. 8819
Coptic, European paper, 1 f., 33.5 x 22.5 cm, 17 lines per page, black ink with rubrics. Leaf from a Coptic Lectionary. The beginning of a Letter of St. Paul to the Hebrews. Provenance: Gift from Mr. J. Bosch of Breda, received July 2, 1957.

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