Rostovtzeff Lecture Series: Egyptian versus Greek in Late Antique Egypt: The Struggle of Coptic for an Official Status, III
Collège de France, Paris
Jean-Luc Fournet is a papyrologist and a specialist in late antiquity. In March 2015, he was appointed professor at the Collège de France (Paris), which created for him its first chair of papyrology named “Written Culture in Late Antiquity and Byzantine Papyrology.” Prior to his current position, he was a scientific member of the Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale in Cairo (1992-1996), researcher at the CNRS in Strasbourg (1996-2004), and professor at the École Pratique des Hautes Études (Department of Historical and Philological Sciences) in Paris (2004-2015). He devotes much of his scholarly activity toediting new texts, including papyri and Greek inscriptions on late antique amphorae, which he was the first to decipher, and has a special interest in the culture of late antiquity—particularly poetry, multilingualism, and modalities of written culture.
In the middle of the 6th century, Coptic began to be used in a limited way for some documents other than purely private letters or accounts. Cultural and political considerations may account for the progressive use of Coptic for legal documents, but the key to this linguistic revolution must be sought in the situation of the judicial state institutions after Justinian and before the Arab Conquest.
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