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E00236: Coptic will of Jacob, head of the monastery of Apa *Phoibammon (soldier and martyr of Assiut, S00080) at Deir el-Bahari (Upper Egypt), from the second half of the 7th c., specifying a duty to care for the lamp of the holy topos.

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posted on 2014-12-18, 00:00 authored by gschenke
P.KRU 65

Following bishop Abraham of Hermonthis ($E00237), Apa Viktor, and Apa Petros (E00233), all heads of the monastery of Apa Phoibammon through succession determined by the will of its superior, Jacob follows in this line (lines 35–37) and produces his own will. His successor is to be Viktor, son of Theodoros (line 38 and 45), for the entire duration of his life. He is to be the legal owner of all the monastery’s common property. His duties are administrative as well as liturgical, especially with respect to the care for the lamp of the holy topos. In addition, he is responsible for the giving of alms to the poor, and for the celebration of the days of commemoration for each one of the holy fathers (lines 63–66).

The care for the lamp mentioned in lines 64–65:

ⲡⲣⲟⲟⲩϣ ⲛⲡϩⲏⲃⲥ ⲛⲡⲧⲟⲡⲟⲥ ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲡⲣⲟⲥ ⲧⲥⲩⲛⲏⲑⲉⲓⲁ ⲁⲩⲱ ⲧϭⲟⲙ ⲛⲡⲟⲩⲟⲉⲓϣ ⲡⲟⲩⲟⲉⲓϣ

'the care for the lamp of the holy topos, according to what is customary and necessary from time to time'

(Text: W. E. Crum and G. Steindorff, German trans. W. C. Till, Engl. trans. G. Schenke)


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Phoibammon, soldier martyr of Preht (ob. c. 304) : S00080

Saint Name in Source

ⲁⲡⲁ ⲫⲟⲓⲃⲁⲙⲱⲛ

Type of Evidence

Documentary texts - Will Late antique original manuscripts - Papyrus sheet


  • Coptic

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Egypt and Cyrenaica Egypt and Cyrenaica Egypt and Cyrenaica

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Deir el-Bahari Djeme Hermonthis

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

Deir el-Bahari Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis Djeme Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis Hermonthis Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - monastic

Cult activities - Places Named after Saint

  • Monastery

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Bequests, donations, gifts and offerings


Fragmentary papyrus document with the beginning of the text missing, housed at the British Museum in London, number 78.


There can be no certainty over this, but the lamp referred to could well be the one kept burning in front of the saint’s shrine.


Edition: Crum, W.E., and Steindorff, G., Koptische Rechtsurkunden des achten Jahrhunderts aus Djeme (Theben) (Leipzig, 1971), 193-200 (P. KRU 65). German Translation: Till, W.C., Die Koptischen Rechtsurkunden aus Theben (Vienna: H. Böhlaus, 1964), 152-158. For a full range of the documentary evidence on Phoibammon: Papaconstantinou, A., Le culte des saints en Égypte des Byzantins aux Abbassides (Paris: CNRS, 2001), 204–214.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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