Peogeess op Egyptology.
Wessely's and Revillout's readings. It will suffice for the present to
point out that in place of Mr. Legge's ingenious " divine name " Isaspe,
the text has merely the words " the seven " (sc. olive branches ?); that
instead of " laugh at," we should read "be"; that instead of "this
Ethiopian Satan," the words mean merely " the Satan that is upon him."
The chief interest of such texts as these lies of course in the examples
they preserve of some of the earliest attempts to use the Greek character
for the transcription of continuous passages. As in the other specimens
of the kind, the idiom seems to combine features subsequently found
separately in the southern and northern dialects.
An Oxford papyrus, containing a prayer for vengeance upon certain
of its author's private enemies and employing expressions with a so-called
Gnostic colouring, has been edited by the present writer,8 who has also
printed, from the later text of the above-mentioned palimpsest, a Coptic
version of the prayer of the Virgin among the Parthians (" Bartos ").9
He would here add that an edition of the Ethiopic version of the latter
by Dr. Conti Rossini has since been brought to his notice.10
4. Philological. Professor Erman has shown, in his Bruchstuche
Koptisclocr Volk slitter atur ,n how much may be made from such un-
promising material as a few stray paper leaves bearing fragments of
apparently unimportant texts and written by careless scribes in the
eleventh century. These leaves contain remnants of popular tales and
songs, some liturgical, some secular. Among the former was the history
of the monk Archylides and his mother Syncletice, a story of Solomon
(in the role of magician) and the Queen of Sheba, and that of Theodosius
and Dionysius and their advancement from the rank of humble labourers
to the imperial and patriarchal thrones respectively. It may here be
mentioned that the Annals of Eutychius relate the same legend ofaDother
pair of friends (see Itenaudot, Hist. I'atr. 104). Of the songs some are
of a hortatory character, others are in honour of the Virgin. Several of
the texts have interesting rubrics relating to their public recital. But
it was not the subject-matter of these fragments which impelled Prof.
Krinan to devote so much pains to their publication. In the first place
the dialect they show is, he holds, an example not of provincialism or
ignorance in the writers, but of a deliberate literary idiom which, in the
later periods of the Coptic language, developed from the ancient
Sa'idic and of which we know very little. And secondly, these texts
appear to preserve some of the extremely rare specimens of Egyptian
formal poetry, i.e. metrical verse as opposed to compositions "poetical "
only in the ideas they contain ; and thus they may prove of the greatest