This book uses a wide breadth of Coptic documentation to explore for the reasons in which the Coptic language has long been confined to the private domain, and under which conditions it gradually gained official status from the 6th century onwards.
Jean-Luc Fournet is the Chair of Written Culture in Late Antiquity and Byzantine Papyrology at the College de France in Paris.
"In this outstanding and original book, Fournet provides a general
synthesis on the 'invention' of Coptic and its progressive
development until its recognition as an official
language."-Alain Delattre, Universite libre de Bruxelles
"A major contribution. Fournet is the first to thoroughly explore the paradox of Coptic as a creation of Hellenized Egyptian intellectual circles. The linguistic-historical panorama he provides is wide and coherent, and his philological method is impeccable."-Anne Boud'hors, coeditor of Monastic Estates in Late Antique and Early Islamic Egypt