A Selection of Greek, Latin, and Coptic Texts


Much of what we know about gender in ancient Egypt comes from textual evidence, which records the words, names, written ideas, and practical record of gender in Egyptian thought and life. Texts from ancient Egypt come in many media: inscribed on stone walls and monuments, painted on wood, written on papyrus, and on the potsherds and flakes of stone known as ostraca. Egyptian texts survive in many languages--the different phases and scripts of the indigenous Egyptian language, as well as the languages of foreign travelers, settlers, and conquerors in Egypt. Whether written in Egyptian hieroglyphs, hieratic, Demotic, Coptic, Greek, Latin, or any of the other languages and writing systems known from ancient Egypt, textual evidence documents on many levels the conceptions and understandings of gender. Religious and literary sources show ancient ideas about gender, while the documents of daily life show how these ideals fared in the course of everyday living.