Alin Suciu (University of Göttingen): The White Monastery Manuscripts: Reconstructing Codices from Membra Disjecta

The Papyrus Collection of the Oslo University Library and the research project Strengthening Research Capacity in the Papyrus Collection of the Oslo University Library has the pleasure of announcing the seminar

Alin Suciu:

The White Monastery Manuscripts: Reconstructing Codices from Membra Disjecta

The Monastery of Apa Shenoute, commonly known as the White Monastery, situated in Upper Egypt near Sohag, once possessed the largest Christian library in Egypt. According to some estimation, in the first half of the second millennium the library contained at least 500 codices. Unfortunately, none of them have come down to us intact. The manuscripts have exclusively survived dismembered and their fragments are scattered today in different collections all over the world. As the library probably possessed copies of most ecclesiastical works existing in Coptic, the codicological reconstruction of the manuscripts from the Monastery of Shenoute is coextensive to a certain extent with the reconstruction of Coptic literature. The present lecture focuses on the dispersal of the library of the Monastery of Apa Shenoute in modern times, and some of the problems that we encounter in the attempt to piece together its codices.

Dr. Alin Suciu is a senior researcher at the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities in the project Digitale Gesamtedition und Übersetzung des koptisch-sahidischen Alten Testamentes. He holds a PhD in Religious Studies from the University of Laval, Québec. He has widely published on Coptic literature, including his recent book The Berlin-Strasbourg Apocryphon: A Coptic Apostolic Memoir (Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament I, 370; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2017). He is author of the scientific blog on Patristics, Apocrypha, Coptic Literature and Manuscripts at

Published Aug. 6, 2017 3:10 PM - Last modified Aug. 22, 2017 1:54 PM