The Old Coptic Schmidt Papyrus (OCSP) was first made known to me during a third year Coptic reading course. The syllabus for Undergraduates of Oriental Studies (Egyptology) at the University of Oxford who choose Coptic as their Second Subject includes the option to read the OCSP, and students were always encouraged to do so. Since attempting to read its text for the first time (2012), the OCSP has been both a source of fascination and frustration for me as an emerging 'Demoptist'. 1 Motivated
... understand the textual content of the OCSP more exactly than past treatments, as my familiarity with, and thus understanding of, the Egyptian language developed, I have revisited the text on numerous occasions, and received the help of several colleagues -principally Gesa Schenke and Joachim Friedrich Quack -in order to improve my reading of the text. Following research into the so-called Demotic and Greek Magical Papyri (PDM and PGM, aka Graeco-Egyptian Magical Papyri), culminating in the monograph Code-switching with the Gods, which re-edited the bilingual magical texts of PGM IV (Love 2016), I undertook a wider research project on the phenomenon of Old Coptic in its own right. That project began in earnest during two research years spent at the Ägyptologisches Institut of the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, under the supervision of Joachim Quack. The first of these (2014-15) was made possible by the support of the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst through the Michael Foster Memorial Scholarship, and the second (2015-16) was made possible by the Leverhulme Trust through a Study Abroad Studentship. During those two years I prepared a re-edition of the OCSP, compiling the corpus of known and unknown, published and unpublished, Letters to Gods in Demotic in order to have the largest possible source of comparanda that might aid the decipherment, and inform an interpretation and understanding, of the OCSP. This led to my first engagement with the Curse of Artemisia (CA), the academic discourse thereon, and its incorporation into the corpus of Letters to Gods from Egypt as one of several examples that happened to be written in Greek, rather than a written form of Egyptian -Demotic or Old Coptic. My project on the "nature" of Old Coptic developed subsequently into my Doctoral research on script shift and obsolescence in Roman Egypt under the supervision of Mark Smith at the University of Oxford in 2016-19, made possible by the Oxford-Nicholas Bratt-St John's Graduate Scholarship, which was completed as a DPhil thesis entitled Innovative Scripts and Spellings in Roman Egypt, and culminated in the monograph Script Switching in Roman Egypt (Love 2021a). That Doctoral research began as a study of Old Coptic in its own right, in which I analysed every || 1 Coined by the Demotists of the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg for a Demotist-Copticist.