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E00241: Coptic donation document of 31 May 735 certifying the gift of property to the monastery of *Paul (the First Anchorite, S00089), on the mountain of Jeme (Upper Egypt), by a woman on her deathbed for the salvation of her soul.

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posted on 2014-12-18, 00:00 authored by gschenke
P.KRU 106

Anna, the daughter of John and Taham, from castron Djeme donates various properties to the monastery of Paul, the great anchorite, located in the vicinity of Djeme. The document is addressed to the head of the monastery together with the monastic community.

When fatally ill, Anna makes this donation on her deathbed, hoping that the saint’s prayers and intercession will help her on the day of judgement and that her name will be remembered by the poor who will benefit from her donation via the care of the monastery.

She donates the entire house of her deceased father which she inherited, in perfect condition, half the house of her deceased mother, sections of various fields belonging to her, as well as a quarter of a bakery. All this for the salvation of her soul.

In lines 44–45, Paul, the namesake saint of the monastery, is described as:

ⲡⲁⲛⲁⲭⲱⲣⲓⲧⲏⲥ ⲁⲩⲱ ⲡⲡⲟⲗⲓⲧⲉⲩⲧⲏⲥ ⲁⲩⲱ ⲡⲁⲥⲕⲏⲧⲏⲥ ⲉⲧⲥⲙⲁⲙⲁⲁⲧ ⲡϩⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲡⲁⲩⲗⲟⲥ

'the anchorite, the follower of Christian life, the blessed ascetic, saint Apa Paul"

In lines 69–77 simply as:

ⲫⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲡⲁⲩⲗⲟⲥ ⲡⲛⲟϭ ⲛⲁⲛⲁⲭⲱⲣⲓⲧⲏⲥ

'saint Apa Paul, the great anchorite'

In lines 103–104 the monastery is referred to as:

ⲡⲙⲟⲛⲁⲥⲧⲏⲣⲓⲟⲛ ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲫⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲡⲁⲩⲗⲟⲥ ⲡⲁⲛⲁⲭⲱⲣⲏⲧⲏⲥ ⲁⲩⲱ ⲡⲁⲣⲭⲏⲙⲁⲧⲣⲓⲧⲏⲥ ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ

"the holy monastery of saint Apa Paul, the anchorite and holy archimandrite'

Both houses are located in Jeme and their exact position is described. The location of the house of her mother is given in line 128 as:

ⲉϥⲕⲏ ⲉϩⲣⲁⲓ ϩⲙ ⲡϩⲓⲣ ⲙⲡϩⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲁⲛⲁⲛⲓⲁⲥ

'located in the living quarter of saint Apa Ananias' or 'located on the street of saint Apa Ananias'.

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


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Paul, the First Anchorite : S00089 Ananias, bishop in the Theban area : S01224

Saint Name in Source

ⲁⲡⲁ ⲡⲁⲩⲗⲟⲥ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲁⲛⲁⲛⲓⲁⲥ

Type of Evidence

Documentary texts - Donation document 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

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Djeme Hermonthis

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

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

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Women Ecclesiastics - abbots Ecclesiastics - monks/nuns/hermits


Complete papyrus document of 246 lines, housed at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, number 8728.


The Arabic protocol gives the year 732 instead of the year 735 mentioned in line 4 of the main part of the document. The donation made to the monastery seems not to expect anything in return from the monastery as a whole, but from its namesake saint instead. It is his help and intercession which is needed.


Edition: Crum, W.E., and Steindorff, G., Koptische Rechtsurkunden des achten Jahrhunderts aus Djeme (Theben) (Leipzig, 1971), 326–335 (P. KRU 106). German translation: Till, W.C., Erbrechtliche Untersuchungen auf Grund der koptischen Urkunden (Vienna: R.M. Rohrer, 1954), 205–212. For a full range of the documentary evidence on Paul, the Anchorite: Papaconstantinou, A., Le culte des saints en Égypte des Byzantins aux Abbassides (Paris: CNRS, 2001), 170–171.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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