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E01147: Coptic emphyteutic contract (permanent lease) of a small house belonging to an oratory which is to receive annual rent payments for it, from Hermopolis (Middle Egypt), written in the 7th century.

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posted on 2016-02-24, 00:00 authored by CSLA Admin
CPR 4 128

The rent payments agreed are four carats (keratia) annually and something else. The small house seems to come with land which is to be cultivated.

CPR 4 128,10–12:

ⲁⲩⲱ ⲁⲃⲁⲙⲁϩⲉ ⲕⲁⲧ ⲉ̣ⲙⲫⲩⲧⲉⲩⲥⲓⲛ ⲛⲡ̣[ⲓ]ⲕⲟ̣ⲩ̣ⲓ ⲛⲏⲓ ⲧⲏⲣϥ ⲛϥϭⲱ ⲛⲧ̣[ -ca.?- ]
ⲉϥ̣ⲭ̣ⲟⲣⲏⲅ̣[ⲉⲓ] ⲁⲩⲱ ⲉϥⲥⲩⲛⲧⲉⲗⲉⲓ ⲉⲡⲇⲓⲕⲁⲓⲟⲛ ⲛⲡⲉⲩⲕⲧⲏⲣⲓⲟⲛ ⲉⲧⲟ̣ⲩⲁⲁ[ⲃ -ca.?- ]
ⲛⲁⲧⲱϫⲛ [ⲕ]ⲁⲧⲁ ⲣⲟⲙⲡⲉ ⲛ[ⲧⲉⲓϥⲧ]ⲟ ⲛⲕⲉⲣⲁⲧⲓⲛ [  ̣  ̣  ̣] ⲙⲛⲧⲏ ⲡⲉϫ[  ̣]ⲛ̣ⲟ̣[ -ca.?- ]

“He has taken the entire small house on a permanent lease (κατ᾿ ἐμφύτευσιν), so that he remains […] supplying and contributing to the dikaion of the holy oratory [of …] continuously every year [these four] carats […] fifteen … […].”

A full record of the text is available at:;4;128


Evidence ID


Type of Evidence

Documentary texts - Lease or rental 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 - unspecified


CPR 4 128 is a fragmentary papyrus belonging to the Papyrus Collection in Vienna, inv. K 6090. The handwriting of the document has been dated to the 7th century.


The papyrus document is very fragmentary so that many questions remain. What seems to be clear is that a small house belonging to an oratory is leased out on a permanent basis to bring in annual rent payments. Whether this is the oratory of Abba Theodore Stratelates mentioned in other documents (cf. E01146) or that of *John (cf. E01145) remains unknown.


Text: Till, W.C., Corpus Papyrorum Raineri IV (CPR IV): Die koptischen Rechtsurkunden der Papyrussammlung der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, 1958), 121-123.;4;128

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