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E02285: Greek amulet from Oxyrhynchos (Middle Egypt), invoking the help of *Mary (Μother of Christ, S00033), *John (the Εvangelist, S00042), *Serenos/Sirenos (probably a martyr of Oxyrhynchos, S00134), *Philoxenos (saint with cult at Oxyrhynchos, S00443), *Viktor (presumably the Egyptian martyr, son of Romanos, S00749), *Ioustos/Justus (presumably the soldier and martyr of Antinoopolis, S01172), and all saints (S01151), datable to the 5th century.

online resource
posted on 2017-01-27, 00:00 authored by gschenke
P.Oxy. 8 1151

This text was created for a woman named Ioannia to ward off fever and all other illnesses and evils. It cites the beginning of the Gospel of John and alludes to other New Testament passages, before invoking the power of a selection of saints.

Lines 38–52 read as follows:

κ̣α̣ὶ πρεσβίαις τῆς
δεσποίνης ἡμῶν τῆς
θεοτόκου καὶ τῶν
ἐνδόξων ἀρχαγγέ-
λων κ(αὶ) τοῦ ἁγίου καὶ ἐν-
δόξου ἀποστόλου κ(αὶ)
εὐαγγελιστοῦ κ(αὶ) θεο-
λόγου Ἰωάννου κ(αὶ) τοῦ
ἁγίου Σερήνου κ(αὶ) τοῦ
ἁγίου Φιλοξένου κ(αὶ) τοῦ
ἁγίου βήκτωρος κ(αὶ) τοῦ
ἁγίου Ἰούστου κ(αὶ) πάντων
[τῶ]ν ἁγίων.

'Pray through the intercession of our lady the mother of God (Theotokos) and the glorious archangels and Saint John, the glorious apostle and evangelist and divine, and saint Serenos and saint Philoxenos and saint Viktor and saint Justos and all the saints.'

(Text and trans: A. S. Hunt)

A complete record of the text can be found at:;8;1151


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Mary, Mother of Christ : S00033 John the Evangelist : S00042 Philoxenos : S00443 Sirenos, martyr of Alexandria : S00134 Viktor, son of Romanos, Egyptian martyr, ob. 303–311 : S00749 Ioustos, son of the emperor Numerian, soldier and martyr at Ant

Saint Name in Source

δεσποίνη ἡμῶν ἡ θεοτόκος Ἰωάννης Φιλόξενος Σερῆνος βήκτωρ Ἰούστος

Type of Evidence

Liturgical texts - Amulets Liturgical texts - Invocations, prayers and spells 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 - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs



The papyrus was found at Oxyrhynchos folded and bound with a string. It is now housed at Glasgow, University MS Gen. 1026/12. The text of the amulet has been dated on palaeographical grounds.


Edition: Hunt, A.S., The Oxyrhynchus Papyri vol. VIII, Published by the Egypt Exploration Society in Graeco-Roman Memoirs (London, 1911), 251–253. See further literature at:;8;1151

Usage metrics

    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity