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E01733: Coptic list of holy books belonging to the monastery of Apa *Elijah (S00667) on the mountain, presumably at Aphroditopolis/Atfih (Middle Egypt), listing a papyrus manuscripts containing the Lives of Apa *Epiphanios (S00093) and Apa *Petros (S00036), most probably the Lives of Epiphanios of Salamis and Peter II of Alexandria, as well as Encomia by Apa *Athanasios (S00294) and others, datable to the 7th/8th century.

online resource
posted on 2016-07-16, 00:00 authored by gschenke
KSB 1.12

A large limestone ostracon preserves one hundred and fifteen lines written in two columns, listing all the books belonging to the monastery of Elijah on the mountain. The list begins with books from the Old Testament followed by the gospels, and various other manuscripts, including Encomia ($E01733, $E01737, $E01738, $E01740), Lives (E01732, $E01733, $E01734, $E01736, $E01741), and Martyrdoms (E01731, $E01735, $E01739, $E01742, $E01743). The material of the books is listed either as papyrus (ⲭⲁⲣⲧⲏⲥ) or as parchment (ⲙⲉⲃⲣⲁⲛⲟⲛ), specifying whether these manuscripts are old or new.

[ⲡⲗ]ⲟ̣ⲅⲟⲥ ⲛⲛϫⲱⲱⲙⲉ ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲙⲡⲧⲟⲡⲟⲥ ⲛⲁⲡⲁ ϩⲏⲗⲓⲁⲥ ⲛⲧⲡ̣ⲉ̣[ⲧⲣⲁ]

‘[The] list of holy books at the monastery (topos) of Apa Elijah on the mountain.’

In lines 50–52 one finds the entry:

⟨ⲡⲃⲓⲟⲥ ⲛ⟩ⲁⲡⲁ ⲉⲡⲓⲫⲁⲛⲓⲟⲥ ⲭⲁⲣ(ⲧⲏⲥ) : ⟨ⲡⲃⲓⲟⲥ ⲛ⟩ⲁⲡⲁ ⲡⲉⲧⲣⲟⲥ ⲙⲛ ⲛⲉⲅⲕⲱⲙⲓⲟⲛ ⲛⲁⲡⲁ ⲁⲑⲁⲛⲁⲥⲓⲟⲥ ⲙⲛ ϩⲉⲛⲕⲟⲟⲩⲉ ⲭⲁⲣ(ⲧⲏⲥ)

‘⟨The Life of⟩ Apa Epiphanios, papyrus (χάρτης), ⟨The Life of⟩ Apa Petros, and the Encomia by Apa Athanasios and others, papyrus (χάρτης), new (καινούργιος).’

Text: M. Hasitzka, KSB 1.12. Translation: G. Schenke.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Elijah (unspecified) : S00667 Epiphanios : S00093 Peter the Apostle : S00036 Athanasios, bishop of Alexandria, ob. 373 : S00294

Saint Name in Source

ⲁⲡⲁ ϩⲏⲗⲓⲁⲥ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲉⲡⲓⲫⲁⲛⲓⲟⲥ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲡⲉⲧⲣⲟⲥ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲁⲑⲁⲛⲁⲥⲓⲟⲥ

Type of Evidence

Documentary texts - List 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

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


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

Atfih Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - monastic

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Transmission, copying and reading saint-related texts


The limestone ostracon belongs to the IFAO in Cairo, Inv. 13315, and has been dated to the 7th/8th century according to its script.


Since the manuscripts mentioned here are most probably the vitae of Epiphanios of Salamis and Peter II of Alexandria, both anti-Arian wonder-working bishops of the 4th century, the encomia mentioned as being by Athanasios and others most likely concern the same two men, i.e. an encomion by Athanasios on Epiphanios and an encomion by Athanasios on Peter II of Alexandria.


Text: Hasitzka, M.R.M., Koptisches Sammelbuch (KSB), vol. 1 (Vienna, 1993), 9–12.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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