Copto-Arabic Book of Prayers

Object Name: Non-Illustrated manuscript

Date: 17th–18th century

Geography: Found/excavated Egypt, possibly Dal al Suriyan

Medium: Black and red ink on Venetian paper

Dimensions: H. 8 7/8 in. (22.5 cm)
W. 6 5/8 in. (16.8 cm)

Classification: Codices

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1919

Accession Number: 19.196.3


The Metropolitan Museum acquired the book of Coptic prayers following excavations by a Museum team at the site of the Syrian Monastery (Deir al-Surian) in the region of Wadi an-Natrun in Egypt in 1919. It is not clear whether it was actually found at the site or acquired nearby, since there are no records and it does not present evident signs of burial. In a rapidly growing Arabic-speaking area, the Coptic text was supplemented with an Arabic translation on the right-hand side of each page, thus making this prayer book more accessible to a wider section of the population.