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E00734: Greek list from Hipponon in the Herakleopolite nome (Middle Egypt), presenting items bequeathed, handed over, or promised to the shrine of an unnamed martyr, datable to the 5th c.

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posted on 2015-09-23, 00:00 authored by gschenke
P.Baden IV 54=VBP IV 54, lines 1–12:

βρέουιον σκευῶν ἁγίου μαρτυρίου.
Αὐρ(ήλιος) Πτολεμαῖος ἀφῆκεν
ποτήρια ἀργυρᾶ γ καὶ χρυσοῦ νο(μισματα) ϛ
5 λύχνοι ἀργυρ(οῖ) ϛ
ἐλαίου ῥαφανίνου σικελι(κὰ(?)) β (ἔνατον)
λαχανοσπέρμου (ἀρτάβαι) ζ 𐅵
ἐλαίου χρηστοῦ ξ(έσται) ξ
σίτου ἀρτάβ(αι) ἐν τῇ κώμῃ (ἀρτάβαι) κα 𐅵
10 κ[αὶ] ὁμοί(ως) ἐνταῦθα σίτο(υ) (ἀρτάβαι) ξ χρεωστῖ
[ -ca.?- ] (ἀρτάβαι) δ Παῦλος διάκων(ος)
[λαχανοσ]πέρμου (ἀρτάβαι) γ σίτ(ου) (ἀρτάβαι) ζ

The next five lines (lines 13–17 of the document) are very fragmentary. They offer two other male names most likely followed by the commodities they handed over.

“List (brevium) of items of the holy martyr (shrine),
Aurelios, son of Ptolemaios, left
as follows:
3 silver wine-cups and 6 gold coins,
6 silver lamps,
2 Sicilian measures of radish oil,
7 ½ artabas of vegetable seed,
60 sextarii of fine oil,
21 ½ artabas of wheat in the village,
and likewise there 60 artabas of wheat,
4 artabas of […] from Paul, deacon,
3 artabas of vegetable seed, 7 artabas of wheat.”

(Trans. G. Schenke)

Text and image are available online at:;4;54/


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Anonymous confessors : S00184

Type of Evidence

Documentary texts - List Late antique original manuscripts - Papyrus sheet


  • 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)

Hipponon Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - unspecified

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Bequests, donations, gifts and offerings

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - lesser clergy Other lay individuals/ people


The document P.Baden IV 54=VBP IV 54 is located at Heidelberg, Institut für Papyrologie P. G 24 [old].


The list consists of several entries most likely giving the names of the donors of the items listed. Only the first one has given valuable silver objects and gold coins in addition to consumables, while for the others only consumables are listed. One entry seems to refer to the village as a whole as the donor of large amounts of wheat. Another entry lists the deacon Paul who seems still to be owing what he has promised to hand over. This list is similar to that on a papyrus from the Oxyrhynchite nome, dated 14 August 398 (P.Haun. 3 67), where a certain Phileas orders the delivery of wheat and vegetable seed for a saint’s martyr shrine (E00731). What exactly the intended use of these 'donations' was, remains a matter of speculation. The supplies might well have been for the distribution of alms, but may also have fed the clergy responsible for the shrine, or even constitute payments of produce from land owned by it. Uncertainty about this seems also to have been common in Antiquity, as a story in the Life of Apa Shenoute, head of the White Monastery at Sohag from 385–466, seems to suggest. A rich man from Oxyrhynchos is willing to make an offering to the monastery of Apa Shenoute, but decides to test the abbot first, wanting to find out if he can be trusted to use them for alms as intended: From Besa’s Life of Shenoute, chap. 33 Boh. Text, J. Leipoldt and W. E. Crum, Scriptores Coptici: Sinuthii archimandritae vita et opera omnia, CSCO 41, Paris 1906, p. 22: ⲁⲥϣⲱⲡⲓ ⲇⲉ ⲟⲛ ⲛⲟⲩⲥⲏⲟⲩ ⲁϥⲓ ⲛϫⲉ ⲟⲩⲣⲱⲙⲓ ϣⲁ ⲡⲉⲛⲓⲱⲧ ⲙⲡⲣⲟⲫⲏⲧⲏⲥ. ⲫⲁⲓ ⲟⲩⲛ ⲛⲉⲟⲩⲣⲉⲙⲡⲉⲙϫⲉ ⲡⲉ ⲉⲣⲉⲟⲩ ⲟⲛ ⲣⲕ ⲛⲗⲟⲩⲕⲟϫⲓ ⲛⲧⲟⲧϥ ⲟⲩⲟϩ ⲛⲁⲣⲉⲟⲩⲟⲛ ⲕⲉⲟⲩⲁⲓ ⲙⲟϣⲓ ⲛⲉⲙⲁϥ ⲉⲟⲩϣⲫⲏⲣ ⲛⲧⲁϥ ⲡⲉ ⲟⲩⲟϩ ⲡⲉϫⲓ ⲡⲓⲣⲱⲙⲓ ⲙⲡⲉϥϣⲫⲏⲣ ϫⲉ ⲉⲓⲟⲩⲱϣ ⲉϯⲟⲩⲕⲟⲩϫⲓ ⲛⲥⲙⲟⲩ ⲉϧⲟⲩⲛ ⲉⲡⲧⲟⲡⲟⲥ ⲛⲁⲡⲁ ϣⲉⲛⲟⲩϯ ⲛⲥⲉⲧⲏⲅⲅⲟⲩ ⲛⲁⲅⲁⲡⲏ ϧⲁ ⲡⲁⲛⲟϩⲉⲙ. ⲡⲁⲏⲛ ϯⲛⲁⲧⲏⲅⲅⲟⲩ ⲁⲛ ϣⲁϯⲉⲙⲓ ⲛϣⲟⲣⲡ ϫⲉ ⲡⲓⲛⲓϣϯ ⲛⲣⲱⲙⲓ ⲛⲁⲧⲏⲅⲅⲟⲩ ⲛⲁⲅⲁⲡⲏ ϣⲁⲛ ⲙⲙⲟⲛ. 'It happened one day that a man came to our father the prophet. This then was a man from Pemje (Oxyrhynchos). One hundred and twenty gold coins were in his hand. Someone else came with him, a friend of his. The man said to his friend, "I want to donate a small gift to the place (topos) of Apa Shenoute to be given as alms for my salvation. However, I am not going to hand them over until I know first, whether the great man will give them as alms to us or not."' (Trans. G. Schenke)


Edition: Bilabel, F., Veröffentlichungen aus den badischen Papyrus-Sammlungen IV: Griechische Papyri. Heidelberg 1924. Further reading: Schmelz, G., Kirchliche Amtsträger im spätantiken Ägypten nach den Aussagen der griechischen und koptischen Papyri und Ostraka (München/Leipzig, 2002), 93–94.

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