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E01143: Coptic donation document addressing the dikaion of the topos of *Markos (presumably Mark, the Evangelist,S00293) located in the south of Hermopolis (Middle Egypt), datable to the 7th-8th c.

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posted on 2016-02-23, 00:00 authored by gschenke
CPR 4 32:
The widow Mariam of a shepherd from Hermopolis authorises this donation document to the monastery or shrine (topos) of Markos located in the south of Hermopolis. Neither the object of the donation nor a reason for donation are preserved.

CPR 4 32, line 3–5:

[ -ca.?- ⲡ]ϣⲱⲥ ⲡⲣⲱⲙ[ⲉ] ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ [ⲉ]ⲓ̣ⲥ̣ϩ̣ⲁ̣ ⲛⲡⲇⲓⲕⲁⲓⲟⲛ ⲛ[- ca.6 -]
[ -ca.?- ]ⲧ[ⲟⲡⲟⲥ] ⲛⲫⲁⲅⲓ̣ⲟ̣ⲥ ⲙⲁⲣⲕⲟⲥ [ⲡⲉⲧ]ϩⲛ ⲡⲥⲁⲣⲏⲥ ⲛⲧⲓⲡⲟⲗⲓⲥ
5 [ⲛⲟⲩⲱⲧ -ca.?- ] ϩⲓⲧⲟⲟⲧⲥ̣ ⲛⲧⲛ̣  ̣ⲛ̣ⲁ  ̣  ̣ⲙⲁ̣ⲣⲟ̣ⲩ̣ ⲡ̣ⲟ̣ⲓⲕⲟⲛⲟⲙⲟⲥ ⲛⲡⲉⲓ̣ⲧⲟⲡⲟⲥ
[ⲛⲟⲩⲱⲧ -ca.?-]

'… the shepherd, inhabitant of Hermopolis. I am writing to the […] dikaion of [the topos?] of saint Markos, located in the south of this [same] city, represented through NN, the oikonomos of the [same] topos.'

On the other side of the papyrus (verso), information on the type of the legal document is given:

+ ⲧ̣ⲇⲱⲣⲉⲁ ⲛⲙⲁ̣ⲣⲓϩⲁⲙ ⲧⲉⲛⲧⲁⲥ vac. ? ϣⲱⲡⲉ ⲛⲥϩⲓ[ⲙⲉ -ca.?- ]
vac. ? ⲡϣⲱⲥ ⲉⲧⲃⲉ   ̣  ̣[ -ca.?- ]

'The gift of Mariam, the one who was a wife [to NN], the shepherd, concerning [type of gift/donation specified] …'

A full record of the text is available at:;4;32


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Mark the Evangelist : S00293

Saint Name in Source

ⲫⲁⲅⲓ̣ⲟ̣ⲥ ⲙⲁⲣⲕⲟⲥ

Type of Evidence

Documentary texts - Donation document


  • Coptic

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)

Hermopolis 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 - monks/nuns/hermits Other lay individuals/ people


CPR 4 32 is a fragmentary papyrus belonging to the Papyrus Collection in Vienna, inv. K 3146. The handwriting of the document has been dated to the 7th–8th century


Of what value Mariam’s gift had been and whether it was given annually, or just once after having received a favour from the monastery/shrine of Markos remains equally unknown. One possibility would be that the donation was intended for the salvation of her deceased husband’s soul.

Bibliography;4;32 Papaconstantinou, A., Le culte des saints en Égypte des Byzantins aux Abbassides (Paris: CNRS, 2001), 141–144, 423. Till, W.C., Corpus Papyrorum Raineri IV (CPR IV): Die koptischen Rechtsurkunden der Papyrussammlung der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, 1958), 36–37.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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