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Rare Books goes to Ghent!

#933-Front“It is a contract of sale concluded between parties whose anthroponymy shows that they were exclusively Coptic; it was found in the east of Fayoum, a region which was still largely occupied by Copts in the Fatimid period.” — Naïm Vanthieghem

Naïm Vanthieghem took Rare Books to a colloquium at Ghent Univeristy. His paper was published in Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta, 244 “Egypt and Syria in the Fatimid, Ayyubid and Mamluk Eras VIII,” Peeters: Leuven, Paris, Bristol, CT, 2016. The title of the paper is “L’arabisation des Coptes: un Temoin inedit.”

Mr. Vanthieghem has dated this fragment to avril-mai 1030. The contract is for the sale of a portion of a home in the village of Barbanūda. Mr. Vanthieghem posits that the geographic origin of the document, the name of the parties involved and grammatical errors in the Arabic text suggest that it was created by Copts, who hoped to give more legal authority to the contract by recording it in Arabic.

His paper is available in Special Collections. Call number: DT 72 C7 V36 2016. The paper fragment, no. 933 from the Arabic Papyrus, Parchment, and Paper collection, is also available to look at.

View the original article on the OpenBook Blog

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