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20 January , 2007, 05:45:18 pm
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Offline nn

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nai nai
« on: 20 January , 2007, 05:45:18 pm »
Dear all!

I am interested in late antique jewellery and came across a late antique pendant found in Egypt with the inscription Nai Nai. Nai Nai, of course, means yes yes in Greek, but this did not help me finding out the exact meaning of this inscription. I do not speak any Coptic, but found on your page a wallpaper saying

"Have mercy upon me, O God, according to the greatness of your mercy
ارحمني يا الله كعظيم رحمتك

and it is pronounced like that
**nai nai** ebnoode kada bak-ne-shde ennai"

Do you maybe know when this saying was first used, in which context, and by whom? Is there anything I can cite? Or do you have any other idea what nai nai could mean? I checked the Greek bible, and there were some references, but none of which I would have considered so vital that someone would want to engraved it onto a pendant.

Sorry for so many questions and for my ignorance, but I hope that you can help me,

Kind regards,

nn

20 January , 2007, 07:59:35 pm
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Re: nai nai
« Reply #1 on: 20 January , 2007, 07:59:35 pm »
Nai Means "Mercy" (the letter a here is pronounced like far, war, amin)
The second Nai means "me" (the letter a here is pronounced like man, sad, say)
So Nai Nai means Mercy me (Mercy upon me)
And it is the beginning verse of the 51th (or 50th) psalm of David
You wouldn't find this in the Greek bible, because this is Coptic Language

20 January , 2007, 10:30:29 pm
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Offline nn

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Re: nai nai
« Reply #2 on: 20 January , 2007, 10:30:29 pm »
Thank you very much for all these explanations. I was so confused as I first thought the inscription was Greek. Again, I would like to apologise for my ignorance and wish you a very nice weekend,

nn


21 January , 2007, 01:40:45 am
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Re: nai nai
« Reply #3 on: 21 January , 2007, 01:40:45 am »
if you have a digital camera then, it will be very nice from you if you could send us a photo of this jewelery
and you are alway welcome to ask and participate here

22 January , 2007, 05:32:01 pm
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Offline nn

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Re: nai nai
« Reply #4 on: 22 January , 2007, 05:32:01 pm »
Thanks!

Well, this is the pendant. It has been excavated in Abuqir Bay and has recently been published in the catalogue of an exhibition in Berlin (Egypt's Sunken Treasures). As you can see, the pendant has the shape of a tabula ansata and the second nai is turned upside down. The suspension rings are on the back of the pendant.

All the best,

nn 

22 January , 2007, 05:43:16 pm
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Re: nai nai
« Reply #5 on: 22 January , 2007, 05:43:16 pm »
I don't know,
The second word doesn't seems to be NAI
It could be something like IVN or IHN (or I something N)
this letter in the middle is not Coptic Letter for sure

even if it is Nai Nai I don't know why would any one write the word's pronunciation instead of writing the word it self

If it is coptic it should be written like that NAI NHI (As you can see in the wallpaper)

22 January , 2007, 08:50:44 pm
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Offline nn

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Re: nai nai
« Reply #6 on: 22 January , 2007, 08:50:44 pm »
I always thought the thing in the second line was a mirror-inverted nai. Thanks for making me aware that it could in fact be something else.

Don't you think, they could have used a Greek-based script as it appears in early Coptic manuscripts? The pendant, by the way, comes from a pre-Medieval context, probably a pilgrimage shrine.

Well, it's all very mysterious, but identifying the inscription as the Greek yes, yes would make no sense at all.

Thanks again,

Best,
nn
 

22 January , 2007, 09:27:45 pm
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Re: nai nai
« Reply #7 on: 22 January , 2007, 09:27:45 pm »
Well Coptic alphabet consist of 24 letter from Greek and 7 letters derived from the Demotic
This table show the Coptic letters http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:CopticLetters.png
and as you can see the first 24 letter are very similar to Greek

although the Coptic fonts in the old manuscripts varies a lot (especially the Demotic letters), I have never never seen letter like the one in the second line

I don't know which period is called pre-Medieval, but if it is before the 200 A.C then is it less likely to be Coptic letters or maybe very primitive form of it

22 January , 2007, 09:45:51 pm
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Offline nn

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Re: nai nai
« Reply #8 on: 22 January , 2007, 09:45:51 pm »
Sorry, I could have been more precise: with pre-Medieval I meant 5th to early 8th century AD.

Thanks a lot,

nn

22 January , 2007, 09:52:42 pm
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Re: nai nai
« Reply #9 on: 22 January , 2007, 09:52:42 pm »
This pendant is the only thing you have that contains such writing?
If yes, then i am afraid there is no much to do
Am I sorry I couldn't help

22 January , 2007, 10:10:46 pm
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Offline nn

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Re: nai nai
« Reply #10 on: 22 January , 2007, 10:10:46 pm »
Yes, it's the only piece I know with such an inscription, and no, you were a great help! It's always good to discuss things and get different opinions. Thanks!