A Greek-speaking dynasty, the Ptolemies, ruled Egypt from the death of Alexander the Great until Egypt became part of the Roman empire. Egypt remained a Roman, and later Byzantine, province until it was conquered by the Arabs in the seventh century. The Greek language was used in Egypt for administrative purposes throughout the period of Roman and Byzantine rule. For more information about classical Greek and Byzantine names, see the Greek and Byzantine section of the Medieval Names Archive.
The Coptic language is related to ancient Egyptian, but written in a script derived from the Greek alphabet. Coptic was the primary language of the Egyptian Christian church.
After the Arabs conquered Egypt, Arabic became the language of administration. As more and more people converted to Islam, Arabic became the dominant language in Egypt, and the use of Coptic declined. For information about Arabic and Islamic names, see the Islamic section of the Medieval Names Archive.
Medieval Nubia was a region corresponding to southern Egypt and northern Sudan. Nubia was divided into several kingdoms, and had a complicated political history. The region was slow to convert to Christianity: it remained predominantly Christian until the sixth century AD. Though the Nubian kings paid tribute to the Arab rulers of Egypt for several hundred years, they remained independent until conquered in the fourteenth century.
The Greek, Coptic, and Old Nubian languages were all used as languages of record in medieval Nubia until the Islamic conquest.
Coptic and Nubian Names
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