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E02461: Coptic sale of a house as inheritance, from Jeme (Upper Egypt), a property purchased from the monastery of *Phoibammon (soldier and martyr of Assiut, S00080), datable to the middle of the 8th century, possibly dated 5 November 747.

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posted on 2017-03-05, 00:00 authored by gschenke
P.KRU 19

In this document, a father is handing down a house jointly to his two children, after their mother's death. The house is said to have been purchased within saint Phoibammon, which might refer to an area or a district, but could also suggest a house sold by representatives of the saint's shrine, as is the case in E02458, $Eß2459 and E02460.

Lines 24–30 read as follows:

ⲧⲉⲛⲟⲩ ⲇⲉ ⲧⲓϩⲟⲙⲟⲗⲟⲅⲉⲓ ⲁⲛⲟⲕ ϩⲗⲗⲱ ⲡⲉⲛⲧⲁϥϣⲣⲡⲥϩⲁⲓ ⲛⲏⲧⲛ ⲛⲧⲱⲧⲛ ⲛⲁⲙⲉⲣⲁⲧⲉ ⲛϣⲏⲣⲉ ⲙⲏⲛⲁ ⲙⲛ ⲧⲥⲱⲛⲉ ⲙⲡⲏⲓ ⲧⲏⲣϥ
ⲛⲧⲁϥϣⲟⲡϥ ⲙⲛ ⲧⲉⲧⲛⲙⲁⲁⲩ ⲛϩⲟⲩⲛ ⲡϩⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ ⲫⲟⲓⲃⲁⲙⲱⲛ

'And now I, the aforementioned Hello, I agree (to give) to you, my beloved children Mena and Tsone, the entire house which I (lit. he) purchased together with your mother from within saint Phoibammon'

Lines 103–105 of the verso read:

ⲡⲏⲓ ⲛⲧⲁⲓϣⲟⲡϥ ⲙⲛ ⲧⲉⲧⲛⲙⲁⲁⲩ ϩⲓ ⲡϩⲁⲅⲓⲟ(ⲥ) ⲁⲡⲁ ⲫⲟⲓⲃ(ⲁⲙⲱⲛ)

'… the house which I purchased together with your mother from saint Apa Phoibamon.'

(Text: W. E. Crum and G. Steindorff, German trans. W. C. Till, Engl. trans. G. Schenke)


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Phoibammon, soldier and martyr of Assiut (ob. c. 304) : S00080

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Documentary texts - Sale document Late antique original manuscripts - Papyrus sheet


  • Coptic

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)

Jeme Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - unspecified

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Bequests, donations, gifts and offerings


The papyrus document is housed at the British Museum in London, BM Or. 4880.


Text and Translation: Crum W.E., and Steindorff, G., Koptische Rechtsurkunden des achten Jahrhunderts aus Djeme (Theben) (Leipzig, 1971), 68–72. Till, W.C., Erbrechtliche Untersuchungen auf Grund der koptischen Urkunden (Vienna, 1954), 103–105 (German Translations).

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity