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E01245: Coptic ostrakon from Wadi Sarga (Upper Egypt) with an invocation to *Peter (the Apostle, S00036), the *Seven Hundred Martyrs of Thone (S00771, Middle Egypt), and a list of holy men; datable to the 6th–8th century.

online resource
posted on 2016-04-06, 00:00 authored by gschenke
O.Sarga 54

+ ⲡⲉⲓⲱⲧ ⲡ[ϣⲏⲣⲉ]
ⲡⲉⲡⲛⲁ ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ̣ [ⲟ ⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ]
ⲡⲉⲧⲣⲟⲥ : ⲡⲥⲁϣϥ ⲛϣⲉ̣ [ⲛⲙⲁⲣ-]
ⲧⲩⲣⲟⲥ ⲛⲑⲱⲛⲉ : ⲙⲛ ⲡⲉ̣[ⲛⲉⲓⲱⲧ]
ⲁⲡⲁ ⲑⲱⲙⲁⲥ : ⲙⲛ ⲁⲡⲁ [ⲡⲉⲧⲣⲉ]
ⲙⲛ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲱⲥⲏⲫ : ⲙⲛ ⲁ[ⲡⲁ ⲁⲛⲟⲩⲡ]
ⲙⲛ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲡⲁⲙⲟⲩⲛ [
ⲙⲛ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲟⲩⲥⲧⲉ [: ⲙⲛ
ⲁⲡⲁ ⲁⲙ̣[ⲱⲛⲉ? ⲁⲙ̣[ⲟⲩⲛ? :

'Father, [Son], (and) Holy Spirit. [Saint] Peter, the Seven Hundred martyrs of Thone, and [our father] Apa Thomas with Apa [Petre], and Apa Joseph, and Apa [Anoup], and Apa Pamoun, [and …?] and Apa Juste, [and] Apa Am[one?/ Am[oun? , and …'

Text: W.E. Crum. Translation: G. Schenke.

For a full reference with an earlier edition, a translation, and images see: (accessed 8 July 2019).


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Peter the Apostle : S00036 700 martyrs of Thone (Middle Egypt) : S00771

Saint Name in Source

[ⲟ ⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ] ⲡⲉⲧⲣⲟⲥ ⲡⲥⲁϣϥ ⲛϣⲉ̣ [ⲛⲙⲁⲣ]ⲧⲩⲣⲟⲥ ⲛⲑⲱⲛⲉ

Type of Evidence

Liturgical texts - Invocations, prayers and spells Late antique original manuscripts - Ostracon/Pot-sherd


  • 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

Thone Wadi Sarga

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

Thone Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis Wadi Sarga Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs



The ostrakon (British Museum EA 55804) has been found at Wadi Sarga and is now housed in the British Museum in London.


The list is incomplete and the reason for this invocation lost. The names in the list are not explicitly given with the title ⲡϩⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ 'saint' or ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ 'holy', as far as the text is preserved, but many of them are familiar figures. The list also seems to include holy men, i.e. abbots and former abbots of the monastery at Wadi Sarga. The figures invoked seem to be in descending order of importance, i.e. from major Biblical saints via martyrs to holy men, for the latter of whom there is very little evidence of significant cult. The formula used is similar to invocations heading funerary inscriptions: see $ E01247–E01249. Martyrs of Thone are mentioned as a general group in an invocation on a grave stele most likely from Bawit: see E01302.


Text and translation: Bell, H.I., and Crum, W.E., Wadi Sarga: Coptic and Greek Texts from the Excavations Undertaken by the Byzantine Research Account (Copenhagen: Gyldendalske Boghandel-Nordisk Forlag, 1922), 73-74. Further reading Revillout, E., “Mélanges d’épigraphie et de linguistique égyptienne,” Mélanges d’ Archéologie égyptienne et assyrienne 2 (1875), 166-196, esp. 175. Trismegistos 372002 (

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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