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E02310: Greek order to a wine-merchant, from Oxyrhynchos (Middle Egypt), to deliver wine to the 'widows of *Michael' (the Archangel, S00181), datable to the 6th century.

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posted on 2017-02-02, 00:00 authored by gschenke
P.Oxy. 16 1954:

An order addressed to a wine-merchant to deliver one double jar of wine to the 'widows of Michael', a charitable foundation:

Βίκτορι οἰν̣ο̣π̣ράτῃ.
δὸς ταῖς χήρ(αις) τ̣ο̣ῦ̣ Μιχαηλ̣ίου
οἴν(ου) δι(πλοῦν) α μ(όνον). Μεσορ̣ὴ̣ ιϛ ἰνδ(ικτίονος) ε
ἀρχ(ῇ) ϛ.

'To Victor, wine seller. Give to the widows of (saint) Michael one double jar of wine only. Mesore 16, indiction 5, beginning of 6.'

(Summary and text: B. P. Grenfell, A. S. Hunt, and H. I. Bell, trans.: J. Rowlandson)

A complete record of the document with images and bibliography can be found at:;16;1954


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Michael, the Archangel : S00181

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Documentary texts - Other private document 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 Named after Saint

  • Hospital and other charitable institutions

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Bequests, donations, gifts and offerings


The document was found at Oxyrhynchos and is now housed in the Sackler Library at Oxford. it has been dated on palaeographical grounds.


Very similar documents are E02130, E02311 and E02312, written by the same scribe on the same day, and addressed to the same wine-merchant (and E02126, by the same scribe and to the same wine-merchant, but on a different day), all ordering wines for charitable distribution to the widows of individual churches.


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), 219. Translation: Rowlandson, J., Women and Society in Greek and Roman Egypt: A Sourcebook (Cambridge, 1998), 80, no- 64.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity