The Nubian languages are a group of Eastern Sudanic languages spoken in what is not Egypt and Sudan. Old Nubian is an ancient variety of one or more of these languages, which was used until the 15th century.

Old Nubian writing came into existence after Christianity had penetrated the region around the 4th century. It was an offshoot of the Coptic alphabet, itself derived from the Greek alphabet, and consisted largely of Greek symbols, with some additional symbols specific to the Coptic script, and some symbols from Egyptian Meroitic hieroglyphs. Diacritics were used to indicate numerals and separate words. A mark was also used, unique to Old Nubian writing, at the end of proper names.

Old Nubian writing was used from the 8th to the 11th centuries. There are some efforts underway to revitalize the script, but the Nubian languages today are commonly written with the Latin or Arabic scripts.