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E02303: Greek account from Oxyrhynchos (Middle Egypt), listing among many expenses also some paid to a martyr shrine (martyrion) of *Serenos/Sirenos (probably a martyr of Oxyrhynchos, S00134), dated 557.

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posted on 2017-02-02, 00:00 authored by Bryan
P.Oxy. 16 1911

This very long document (belonging to the Apion Archive) lists the income and expenditure of large estates in wheat and money during the course of the year AD 557. Among the entries are many concerning expenses paid for churches and monasteries named after their founders (e.g. lines 70–76, 150, 147, 153–154), as well payments made to a martyr shrine of Saint Serenos, lines 92–95 (which happen to equal an entry in another annual account, P.Oxy. 55 3804, lines 164–167):

εἰς τὸ μαρτύριον τ̣[οῦ] ἁγί(ου) Σερήνου κατὰ δω[ρ]εὰν Ἀπολλῶ τοῦ υἱοῦ τ[οῦ] ἐπισκόπου
ἐν κτήμα(τι) Ταρουθίνου δικαίου τοῦ κτήμα(τος) Κοτυλεείου κατὰ τὸ ἔθος καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς ε ἰνδ(ικτίονος)
σίτου κ(αγκέλλῳ) (ἀρτάβαι) γ̣ 𐅵 [  ̣] καὶ κατὰ δωρεὰν Φοιβάμμωνος υἱοῦ τοῦ ἐπισκόπου ἐκ Τοὲ δ(ιὰ)
Ἔρωτος καὶ Ἀμάτου καὶ τοῦ ἄ̣λ(λου) ἐργ(άτου) τῶν ἀμπέλ(ων) νο(μίσματα) β.

'To the martyrium of St Serenus according to a grant of Apollos son of the bishop in the holding of Taruthinu, in right of the holding of Cotyleeiu according to the custom, wheat by cancellus art. 26, sol. 1 1/2, and according to a grant of Phoebammon son of the bishop in the holding Cotyleeiu from the ground of Eros and Amatus and of the vinedressers sol. 2.'

(Text: B. P. Grenfell, A. S. Hunt, and H. I. Bell, trans.: J. R. Rea, in P.Oxy. 55 3804)

A complete record of the document with images and bibliography can be found at:;16;1911


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Sirenos, martyr of Alexandria : S00134

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Documentary texts - List 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

Martyr shrine (martyrion, bet sāhedwātā, etc.)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Bequests, donations, gifts and offerings


This large but slightly fragmentary papyrus document, P.Cairo 10154, is housed in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.


This payment to the martyr shrine of Serenos seems to have been made annually, as the same entry occurs in a list of expenditures concerning a different year, P.Oxy. 55 3804, lines 164–167.


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), 144–157.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity