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E02302: Greek will from Oxyrhynchos (Middle Egypt), leaving a half-share of a house to an institution dedicated to *George (presumably the soldier and martyr, S00259); datable to the 6th century.

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posted on 2017-02-02, 00:00 authored by gschenke
P.Oxy. 16 1901

This is the will of a man named Flavius Pousi who bequeathed a half-share of his house to an institution dedicated to George.

Lines 58–64 read as follows:

Φλάβηο̣[ς Ποῦσι ἀπὸ]
τη σχολῆς τον κουρσαρν̣ τῆς ἡγεμονικῆς τάξεος τῆς Ἀρκαδ[ίας υἱὸς τοῦ]
τῆς μακαρησας μνήμης Παύλου ὁ προγεγραμμένος πεποίημ[αι τὴν διαθήκην]
νοο͂ν καὶ φρονο͂ν καὶ ἐπὶ γ̣ῆς βαζήδον ἐνστησάμενος κληρονόμο[υς τὴν ἐ̣κ̣κ̣λ̣η̣σ̣ί̣α̣ν̣]
τοῦ ἁγήου Γεοργήου τοῦ καλουμένου ἄπα Σημεονήου τοῦ ἡμή[σους μέρους τοῦ εἰρη-]
μένου ὁλοκλήρου μου οἰκήματος

'I, Flavius Pousi, of the school of couriers of the praeses of Arcadia's staff, son of Paul of blessed memory, the abovewritten, have made the will being sane and in my right mind and walking the earth, and have appointed as heirs the church (?) of saint George called Apa Symeonius' to the half-share of my said entire dwelling, …

(Text and trans.: B. P. Grenfell, A. S. Hunt, and H. I. Bell)

A complete record of the document with images and bibliography can be found at:;16;1901


Evidence ID


Saint Name

George, martyr in Nicomedia or Diospolis, ob. c. 303 : S00259

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Documentary texts - Will Late antique original manuscripts - Papyrus sheet



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 - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Bequests, donations, gifts and offerings

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives



This fragmentary papyrus document was found at Oxyrhynchos and is housed in the Sackler Library at Oxford. The dating of the document is based on palaeographical grounds.


Presumably the institution inheriting a half-share of the testator's house was a church dedicated to George, which was also known under the name of its founder, Apa Symeonios.


Edition: Grenfell, B.P., Hunt, A.S., and Bell, H.I., The Oxyrhynchus Papyri XVI, published by the Egypt Exploration Society in Graeco-Roman Memoirs (London, 1924), 120–126.

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