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E02158: Coptic will from the area of Hermopolis (Middle Egypt), mentioning among other beneficiaries 'the altar of *Herouodj' (martyr probably of Hermopolis, S01187), datable to the 7th century.

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posted on 2016-12-21, 00:00 authored by gschenke
CPR 4 177 (SB Kopt. 4 1808):

The will is made by a deacon named Basile from Hermopolis in which he indicates who is and who is not to benefit from his property and who is to pay for his various debts listed. The document includes the following lines:

CPR 4 177, 11–13

ϯⲟⲩⲱϣ ⲁⲩⲱ ⲧⲓⲕ[ⲉ]ⲗⲉⲩⲉ
[ -ca.?- ϫⲉ ⲡⲑⲩⲥⲓ]ⲁⲥⲧⲏⲣⲓⲟⲛ̣ ⲉ̣ⲧ̣ⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲛⲫⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ ϩⲉⲣⲟⲩⲟϫ ϩⲓⲧⲛ
[ⲁⲡⲁ ⲕ]ⲩⲣⲓⲕ[ⲟⲥ] ⲕⲁⲧⲁ ⲕⲁⲓⲣⲟⲥ ⲣϫⲟ̣ⲉⲓⲥ ⲉⲥⲟⲟⲩ ⲛⲣⲧⲟϥ ⲛⲥⲟ[ⲩ]ⲟ

'I wish and I command [… that the] holy altar of saint Herouodj, represented through [Apa] Kyrikos, at any time be in charge of six artabas of wheat … '

CPR 4 177, 17–12:

[  ̣  ̣  ̣ ϣ]ⲁ ⲉⲛⲉϩ ϩⲁ ⲟⲩ̣-
ⲁⲛⲁⲡⲁ[ⲩⲥ]ⲓⲥ [ⲛⲧⲁⲯⲩⲭⲏ] ⲙⲛ ⲟⲩⲕⲱ ⲉ[ⲃ]ⲟⲗ ⲛⲛⲁⲛⲟ̣ⲃⲉ ϩⲛ̣
ⲡⲉϩⲟⲟⲩ ⲛⲛ̣ϩ̣ⲁ[- ca.7 -]ⲟ̣  ̣ⲧ̣

'… eternally for a repose [of my soul] and a forgiving of my sins on the day of the [saints …?] …'

Text and German translation: W.C. Till. English translation: G. Schenke.

A full record of this document complete with image can be found at:;4;177


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Herouodj, martyr together with Moui : S01187

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Documentary texts - Will Late antique original manuscripts - Papyrus sheet


  • 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

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Bequests, donations, gifts and offerings


This fragmentary papyrus document P.Vindob. K 4912 A belongs to the papyrus collection in Vienna. The document is dated on palaeographical grounds.


The payment in wheat for the shrine of Herouodj seems to be intended as a yearly donation, possibly on the saint's feast day, to be made for the benefit of the soul of the deceased himself. The same saint can be found in E02156, E02208, E02209, E02210, E02211, and E02212.


Text and translation: Till, W.C., Corpus Papyrorum Raineri IV (CPR IV): Die koptischen Rechtsurkunden der Papyrussammlung der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, 1958), 161–163. Mention: O'Leary, De L., Saints of Egypt (London: SPCK, 1937), 151. Papaconstantinou, A., Le culte des saints en Égypte des Byzantins aux Abbassides (Paris: CNRS, 2001), 222–223.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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