University of Oxford

File(s) not publicly available

E04027: Coptic settlement of a dispute over inheritance, from Jeme (Upper Egypt), recording an oath sworn at a shrine (topos) dedicated to Abba *Viktor (presumably the Egyptian martyr, son of Romanos, S00749); dated 10 September 728.

online resource
posted on 2017-09-15, 00:00 authored by Bryan
P.KRU 44:

In this document a dispute over inheritance is settled after an oath has been sworn by one of the parties involved, serving as proof of sincerity. The oath was sworn by the power of the altar in the shrine of Abba Viktor.

Lines 20–25 read as follows:

[ⲛ]ⲧⲟⲕ ⲫⲟⲓⲃⲁⲙⲙⲱⲛ ⲛϩⲟⲩⲛ ⲙⲡⲕⲁⲗⲗⲓⲛⲓⲕⲟⲥ ⲁⲩⲱ ⲡⲁⲅⲱⲛⲓⲥⲧⲏⲥ ⲡϩⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ [ⲁ]ⲃⲃⲁ ⲃⲓⲕⲧⲱⲣⲟⲥ ⲙⲡⲉⲓⲕⲁⲥⲧⲣⲟⲛ ⲛⲟⲩⲱⲧ
ⲡⲣⲟⲥ ⲧϭⲟⲙ ⲛⲧⲙⲉⲍⲉⲧⲉⲓⲁ ⲛⲧⲁⲩ[ϩⲟⲣⲓ]ⲍⲉ ⲙⲙⲟ[ⲥ] ⲉϫⲱⲛ ⲉⲁⲕⲡⲗⲏⲣⲟⲫⲟⲣⲉⲓ ⲙⲙⲟⲛ ⲛⲧⲉⲓϩⲉ ϫⲉ ϣⲉ {ⲡⲉ}ⲧϭⲟⲙ
ⲙⲡⲉⲑⲩⲥⲓⲁⲥⲧⲏⲣⲓⲟⲛ ⲧⲓⲥⲟⲟⲩⲛ ϩⲛ ⲟⲩⲱⲣϫ ϫⲉ

'You, Phoibammon, inside (the church/shrine of) the gloriously triumphant one and the champion, saint Abba Viktor at this same castron (Jeme), due to the power of the mediation that was arranged for us, you assured us in this way: "By the power of the altar: I know with certainty that …'

At the end of the document, the oath is referred to again and repeated in full. Its introductory formula is recorded in line 140 as follows:

+ ⲓⲥⲱⲛ ⲟⲣⲕ(ⲟⲥ)
ϣⲉ ⲡⲉⲧⲟⲡⲟⲥ ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ϣⲉ ⲧⲉϥϭⲟⲙ ϯϩⲛ ⲡⲉⲓⲁⲛⲁϣ ⲧⲁⲯⲩⲭⲏ ⲛϩⲏⲧϥ

'Copy of the oath:
By this holy shrine (topos) (and) by its power, I am (bound) through this oath (and) my soul is in it.'

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


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Viktor, son of Romanos, Egyptian martyr, ob. 303–311 : S00749

Saint Name in Source

ϩⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ [ⲁ]ⲃⲃⲁ ⲃⲓⲕⲧⲱⲣⲟⲥ

Type of Evidence

Late antique original manuscripts - Papyrus sheet Documentary texts - Other private document


  • 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



The papyrus document BM Or. 4884 is housed at the British Museum in London.


For a similar procedure used to settle a dispute over inheritance see E04024 where an oath is sworn inside (the church/shrine of) saint Kyriakos at Jeme. For evidence of the same procedure in other provinces, see E03663 (P.Petra IV 39).


Edition and Translation: Crum, W.E., and Steindorff, G., Koptische Rechtsurkunden des achten Jahrhunderts aus Djeme (Theben) (Leipzig, 1971), 151–157. Till, W.C., Erbrechtliche Untersuchungen auf Grund der koptischen Urkunden (Vienna, 1954), 136–140 (German Translation).

Usage metrics

    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



    Ref. manager