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E00113: Two Greek documents from the Dioskoros Archive in Aphrodito (Upper Egypt), a land lease and an account, refer to the cult of *Onnophrios (Egyptian Anchorite, 4th c., S00055), mention a cult topos (in 532) and expenses for the Saint’s feast day, dated prior to 547/548.

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posted on 2014-10-30, 00:00 authored by dlambert
P.Cair.Masp. 1.67105,20
In a land lease from Aphrodito of the year 532 a topos of Apa Onnophrios is mentioned.

ἐκ βορρᾶ το(ῦ) τόπο(υ) Ἄπα Ὀννοφρίο(υ)

'north of the topos of Apa Onnophrios'

Full text and image available under:;1;67105

P.Cair.Masp. 2.67141 Fol. 5r, 24
An account relating to the administration of private land in Aphrodito offers a list of various different kinds of expenses in lentils, dated before 547/548. The expense for the feast day of saint Onnophrios is given on 16 Pauni (10 June).

Παῦνι ιϛ, εἰς ἡμέρ(αν) το(ῦ) ἁγίο(υ) Ὀννοφρ[ίο(υ) φ]ακ[(ῶν) (ἀρτάβ )   ̣], ι̣(*)φ̣(  ) α̣

'Pauni 16: For the day of saint Onnophrios: … amount of lentils.'

Full text and image available under:;2;67141

Translation: Gesa Schenke


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Onnophrios, Egyptian Anchorite : S00055

Saint Name in Source

Ἄπα Ὀννόφριος

Type of Evidence

Documentary texts - Lease or rental document


  • Greek

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Egypt and Cyrenaica

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Aphrodito Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)


P.Cair.Masp. 1.67105 is a fragmentary papyrus leaf; P.Cair.Masp. 2.67141 consists of seven fragmentary papyrus leaves.


Both a cult building dedicated to Onnophrios, as well as a certain amount of expenses mentioned for the saint’s feast day indicate that a cult of Onnophrios was active in the village of Aphrodito in the first half of the 6th century. Payments in kind, such as in corn, wine, oil, and the like were not uncommon.


Edition: Maspero, J, Catalogue général des antiquités égyptiennes du Musée du Caire. Papyrus grecs d’ époque byzantine, I–III (Cairo: 1911–1916). = P.Cair.Masp. Further reading: Papaconstantinou, A., Le culte des saints en Égypte des Byzantins aux Abbassides (Paris: CNRS, 2001), 161.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity