University of Oxford

File(s) not publicly available

E02284: Greek oracle question from Oxyrhynchos (Middle Egypt), posed to *Philoxenos (saint with cult at Oxyrhynchos, S00443), and mentioning a hospital (nosokomion) of the saint, datable to the 6th century.

online resource
posted on 2017-01-27, 00:00 authored by gschenke
P.Oxy. 8 1150

The text was very likely posed in the saint's shrine together with a counterpart phrased in the opposite way, so as to get one of the texts back as the saint's answer. The question posed concerns the healing prospects of a man named Anoup; specifically whether he would benefit from being taken to the saint's hospital.

+ Ὁ θεὸς τοῦ προστάτου ἡμῶν
τοῦ ἁγίου Φιλοξένου, ἐὰν
κελεύεις εἰσενεγκεῖν
εἰς τὸ νοσοκομῖόν σου Ἀνούπ;
δεῖξον τὴν δύναμ[ίν σου]
καὶ ἐξέλθῃ τὸ πιττ[ά]κ[ιον].

'O God of our patron Saint Philoxenos, dost thou bid us take Anoup to thy hospital (nosokomion)? Show thy power and let this prayer be accomplished.'

(Text and trans: A. S. Hunt)

'O God of our patron, St. Philoxenos, if you command us to bring Anoup to your hospital, show [your] power, and let the message come forth.'

(Trans.: M. Meyer)


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Philoxenos : S00443

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Liturgical texts - Divinatory texts and oracle questions 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 - unspecified

Cult activities - Places Named after Saint

  • Hospital and other charitable institutions

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs


Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Other lay individuals/ people


The papyrus was found at Oxyrhynchos and has been dated on palaeographical grounds.


The text suggests that the cult of Philoxenos in Oxyrhynchos was in fact a healing cult with a hospital associated with it.


Edition: Hunt, A.S., The Oxyrhynchus Papyri vol. VIII, Published by the Egypt Exploration Society in Graeco-Roman Memoirs (London, 1911), 251. Translation: Meyer, M., Ancient Christian Magic: Coptic Texts of Ritual Power (San Francisco, 1994), 53.

Usage metrics

    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity