Scribal Repertoires in Egypt from the New Kingdom to the Early Islamic Period

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Jennifer Cromwell, Eitan Grossman
Oxford University Press, 2018 - Antiques & Collectibles - 373 pages
Scribal Repertoires in Egypt from the New Kingdom to the Early Islamic Period deals with the possibility of glimpsing pre-modern and early modern Egyptian scribes, the actual people who produced ancient documents, through the ways in which they organized and wrote those documents. While traditional research has focused on identifying a 'pure' or 'original' text behind the actual manuscripts that have come down to us from pre-modern Egypt, the volume looks instead at variation - different ways of saying the same thing - as a rich source for understanding the complex social and cultural environments in which scribes lived and worked, breaking with the traditional conception of variation in scribal texts as 'free' or indicative of 'corruption'. As such, it presents a novel reconceptualization of scribal variation in pre-modern Egypt from the point of view of contemporary historical sociolinguistics, seeing scribes as agents embedded in particular geographical, temporal, and socio-cultural environments. Introducing to Egyptology concepts such as scribal communities, networks, and repertoires, among others, the authors then apply them to a variety of phenomena, including features of lexicon, grammar, orthography, palaeography, layout, and format. After first presenting this conceptual framework, they demonstrate how it has been applied to better-studied pre-modern societies by drawing upon the well-established domain of scribal variation in pre-modern English, before proceeding to a series of case studies applying these concepts to scribal variation spanning thousands of years, from the languages and writing systems of Pharaonic times, to those of Late Antique and Islamic Egypt.

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From Scribal Repertoire to Text Community The Challenge of Variable Writing Systems Merja Stenroos
Set Them Free? Investigating Spelling and Scribal Variation in Language and History Alexander Bergs
Linguistic Variation in Ancient Egyptian An Introduction to the State of the Art with Special Attention to the Community of Deir elMedina Stéphane ...
The Scribal Repertoire of Amennakhte Son of Ipuy Describing Variation Across Late Egyptian Registers Stéphane Polis
Words of Thieves Jean Winand
Scribal Habits at the Tebtunis Temple Library On Materiality Formal Features and Palaeography Kim Ryholt
On the Regionalization of RomanPeriod Egyptian Hands Joachim Friedrich Quack
Scribes in Private Letter WritingLinguistic Perspectives Hilla Hallaaho
Letters from High to Low in the GraecoRoman Period Willy Clarysse
Greek or Coptic? Scribal Decisions in EighthCentury Egypt Thebes Jennifer Cromwell
Copyist and Scribe Two Professions fora Single Man? Palaeographical and Linguistic Observations on Some Practices of the Theban Region Accordi...
A Scribe His Bag of Tricks What It Was For and Where He Got It Scribal Registers and Techniques inBodlMssCoptP a2 3 Tonio Sebastian Richter
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κατὰ τὸ δυνατόν DemoticGreek Translation in the Archive of the Theban Choachytes Rachel Mairs

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About the author (2018)

Jennifer Cromwell, Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Copenhagen, Eitan Grossman, Assistant Professor of Linguistics, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Jennifer Cromwell is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Copenhagen. She previously held postdoctoral positions at the University of Oxford and at Macquarie University, Sydney. Her work focuses on social and economic history in late antique Egypt (fifth to eighth centuries CE), utilizing the original textual material, primarily in Coptic, from villages and monasteries along the Nile Valley. Her current projects include the publication of the non-literary Coptic papyri in the University of Copenhagen, a study of life at the monastery of Apa Thomas at Wadi Sarga, and the publication of a corpus of Coptic school texts in Columbia University with Professor Raffaella Cribiore of NYU.

Eitan Grossman is Assistant Professor of Linguistics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His work focuses on the study of variation and change in language, both within individual languages and across languages. Beyond Ancient Egyptian-Coptic, he also works on Nuer, a Nilotic language of South Sudan, and several other languages. Among his recent publications is Egyptian-Coptic Linguistics in Typological Perspective (de Gruyter Mouton), co-edited with Martin Haspelmath and Tonio Sebastian Richter.

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