reply to post by bluemirage5
The word Copt was adopted in English in the 17th century, from New Latin Coptus, Cophtus, which is derived from Arabic collective qubṭ, qibṭ
قبط "the Copts" with nisba adjective qubṭī, qibṭī قبطي, plural aqbāṭ أقباط; Also quftī, qiftī, Arabic /f/ representing
historical Coptic /p/. an Arabisation of the Coptic word kubti (Bohairic) and/or kuptaion (Sahidic). The Coptic word is in turn an adaptation of the
Greek Αἰγύπτιος "Egyptian" ultimately related to Caphtor.
The term is thus ultimately derived from the Greek designation of the native Egyptian population in Roman Egypt (as opposed to Greeks, Romans, Jews,
etc.) After the Muslim conquest of Egypt, it became restricted to those Egyptians adhering to the Christian religion.
The Greek term for Egypt, Αἰγύπτος, is itself derived from the Egyptian language, but dates to a much earlier period, being attested already
in Mycenean Greek as a3-ku-pi-ti-jo (lit. "Egyptian"; used here as a man's name). This Mycenaean form is likely from Middle Egyptian ḥwt-k3-ptḥ
("Hut-ka-Ptah"), literally "Estate (or 'House') of the Spirit of Ptah" (cf. Akkadian āluḫi-ku-up-ta-aḫ), the name of the temple complex of
the god Ptah at Memphis.
In their own Coptic language, the Copts referred to themselves as rem en kēme (Sahidic) ⲣⲙⲛⲕⲏⲙⲉ, lem en kēmi (Fayyumic), rem en khēmi
(Bohairic) ⲣⲉⲙ̀ⲛⲭⲏⲙⲓ, which literally means "people of Egypt" or "Egyptians"; cf. Egyptian rmṯ n kmt, Demotic rmt n kmỉ.
The Arabic word qibṭ "Copt" has also been connected to the Greek name of the town of Κόπτος Coptos (modern day Qifṭ; Coptic Kebt and
Keft). It is possible that this association has contributed to making Copt the settled form of the name.
In the 20th century, some Egyptian nationalists and intellectuals in the context of Pharaonism began using the term qubṭ in the historical sense.
For example, Markos Pasha Semeika, founder of the Coptic Museum, addressed a group of Egyptian students in these words: "All of you are Copts. Some
of you are Muslim Copts, others are Christian Copts, but all of you are descended from the Ancient Egyptians".
Part of the series on
Architecture · Art · Calendar
Coptology · Cross · Fasting
Flag · History · Identity · Literature
Music · Monasticism · Persecution
Egypt · United States · Canada
Africa · Asia · Australia
Europe · South America
Orthodoxy · Catholicism
Evangelicals · Other Protestants
Egyptian language · Coptic language
Hieroglyphs · Hieratic
Demotic · Coptic
v · d · e
Main articles: Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria and History of Christianity in Egypt
Coptic icon of St. Mark
The Copts are one of the oldest Christian communities in the Middle East. Although integrated in the larger Egyptian nation, the Copts have survived
as a distinct religious community forming around 10–20% of the population, though estimates vary (see Religion
in Egypt). They pride themselves on the apostolicity of the Egyptian Church whose founder was the first in an unbroken chain of patriarchs.
Foundation of the Egyptian Christian Church
According to ancient tradition, Christianity was introduced to the Egyptians by Saint Mark in Alexandria, shortly after the ascension of Christ and
during the reign of the Roman emperor Claudius around 42 AD. The legacy that Saint Mark left in Egypt was a considerable Christian community in
Alexandria. From Alexandria, Christianity spread throughout Egypt within half a century of Saint Mark's arrival in Alexandria, as is clear from a
fragment of the Gospel of John, written in Coptic, which was found in Upper Egypt and can be dated to the first half of the 2nd century, and the New
Testament writings found in Oxyrhynchus, in Middle Egypt, which date around the year 200 AD. In the 2nd century, Christianity began to spread to the
rural areas, and scriptures were translated into the local language, today known as the Coptic language (which was called the Egyptian language at the
time). By the beginning of the 3rd century AD, Christians constituted the majority of Egypt’s population, and the Church of Alexandria was
recognized as one of Christendom's four Apostolic Sees, second in honor only to the Church of Rome. The Church of Alexandria is therefore the oldest
church in Africa.
Contributions to Christianity