We have here the most important works of the year. Prof. Steiudorff
has at length produced his long-expected Grammar," while Prof. Atkinson
of Dublin, known hitherto by his studies in Celtic philology, has found
time to devote to the criticism of Coptic publications.1" The Grammar
fulfils all expectations—and much was expected. It should not, perhaps,
be discussed apart from its companion, Prof. Br man's Egyptian grammar.
The two works mutually supplement and depend upon one another, and
with their help it is now possible for students to begin that systematic
study of the development of the language to which such concise and
scientific guides are indispensable. Prof. Steindorff's book is divided into
sections dealing with phonetic, formal and syntactical laws of the Sahidic
dialect, that idiom being now recognized as a medium with better his-
torical and literary claims than the formerly more fashionable Boheiric.
The Introduction, treating of the sounds and sound-changes, will perhaps
be found to contain the most that is new; more than one valuable
phonetic rule is there for the first time discerned, and those previously
realised are stated in terse and clear language. The Chrestomathy,
following the Grammar, contains a selection chiefiy of patristic texts,
none of them of great difficulty, but all well calculated to give familiarity
with the spirit of the language. Passages from Lagarde's " Wisdom/'
and from the " Pistis," are included as specimens of the oldest and purest
Sahidic literature. The method of word-division employed will strike
many as unfamiliar ; but on consideration it fully approves itself. The
principle upon which it is based is that defended ten years ago by Prof.
Erman, viz., that we should not divide in print what in the language
forms one whole. If exception were to be taken to any consequence of
this doctrine, it would be to Prof. Steindoiff's introduction of the hyphen
where some might prefer to see the central and the dependent word
printed together, as one undivided group. Those who would see the
results of a wholly different conception of this much-vexed question
should examine the word-division in Dr. Budge's " St. Michael." It may
be remarked here in passing that excellent photographs of the famous
Horoscope, which Prof. Steindorff speaks of (p. 3) as still unpublished,
are to be found in Mr. Kenyon's new Catalogue."
The criticisms of Prof. Atkinson deal with certain of the Turin MSS.
as edited by Prof. Rossi, and with M. Bouriant's Eulogy on S. Victor.
It hardly needed demonstrations so lengthy to prove the inferior quality
of either the Italian or the French publication ; but those who have the