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E02232: Greek letter, from Oxyrhynchos (Middle Egypt), requesting help to gain access to a piece of land of a monastery of *Ioustos (presumably the soldier and martyr of Antinoopolis, S01172), mentioning also a martyr shrine (martyrion), probably of the same saint, datable to the 6th century.

online resource
posted on 2017-01-06, 00:00 authored by gschenke
P.Oxy. 6 941:

The sender of the letter asks the addressee to help him get access for brick making to a piece of land belonging to the monastery of saint Ioustos.

Lines 3–5 read as follows:

ὡς δὲ λέγει ὅτι ἐὰν σ̣[κ]υ̣λῇ̣ πρὸς τὸν υἱὸν
τοῦ οἰκονόμου τοῦ ἁγίου Ἰούστου παρέχει σοι τόπον ὀλίγον ἢ ἀντὶς τοῦ μαρτυρίου
ἢ ἐξ ἀρ[ι]στερῶν αὐτοῦ ἤγουν ἐκ δεξιῶν

'…, and as he says that, if you will trouble (yourself) to go to the son of the steward (oikonomos) of the monastery of saint Ioustos, he will provide you with a small space, either opposite the martyr's shrine, or on the left of it, or on the right, …'

(Text and trans: B.P. Grenfell and A.S. Hunt)

A complete record of the text, with images, can be found at:;6;941


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Ioustos, son of the emperor Numerian, soldier and martyr at Antinoopolis, under Diocletian : S01172

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Documentary texts - Letter Late antique original manuscripts - Papyrus sheet


  • Greek

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)

Oxyrhynchos Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - monastic


The papyrus is kept at the Sackler Library in Oxford. The document has been dated on palaeographical grounds.


It is interesting to see that the area for brick making is expected to be located close to the martyr shrine, presumably of Ioustos to whom the monastery is dedicated, and from which the spot is to be obtained. Whether this is in line with workshops centred around sites of pilgrimage, or a specific situation, perhaps to facilitate immediate building activities or repairs at the shrine, remains unknown.


Edition: Grenfell, B.P., and Hunt, A.S., The Oxyrhynchus Papyri, vol. VI, Published by the Egypt Exploration Society in Graeco-Roman Memoirs (London, 1908), 310–311. Mention: O'Leary, De L., Saints of Egypt (London: SPCK, 1937), 175–176. Papaconstantinou, A., Le culte des saints en Égypte des Byzantins aux Abbassides (Paris: CNRS, 2001), 108–109. See further literature at:;6;941

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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