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E04102: Greek letter from the monastery of Apa Apollo at Bawit (Middle Egypt), addressed to one of its monks, asking for prayers and the intercession of an *Angel (00723), as well as announcing a visit to the monastery for the feast of Apa *Apollo (founder of the monastery, 00160); datable to the late 6th/early 7th century.

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posted on 2017-10-04, 00:00 authored by gschenke
SB 10 10269

In this letter written to a monk named Ammonios, addressed here as 'father', the senders Andreas and Sophia ask for his prayers for themselves as well as for their children. They explain why they were unable to visit earlier and express their intent to come and pay a visit for the feast of Apa Apollo.

πρὸ μὲν πάντων προσαγορευβω τὸν ἐμὸν πατέραν μετὰ πασας τῶν ἀδελφῶν
εἵνα καταξιώσατε καὶ εὔξεσθαι ὑπὲρ {εμ̣} ἡμῶν μετὰ τῶν πεδίων ἡμῶν. ἐπιδὴ
ἐπροσδόκων ἐλθῖν καὶ προσκινῆσε τὸν ὑμῶν ἄνγελον, καὶ ἀπε̣τ̣ή̣θην
ἐφέτως <οὐκ> ὀλίγην ζιμίαν τῶν γεούχων, καὶ ἕως σοίμερον εἰσοῦτο εἵν̣[α](*) κ̣[ατα]ξ̣[ιώσα-]

5 τε ὁ ὑμῶν ἄνγελος εὔξασθαι ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν καὶ ἐλπίσω εἰς τὸν θεὸν ὅτι
εἰς τὸν μὴνον Μεχὶρ εἰς τὴν ἀγάπην τοῦ ἁγίου Ἀπʼ Ἀπόλλο πάντως ἔρχο-
με καὶ προσκινῶ τὸν ὑμῶν πατέραν πρῶτον μὲν τὸν θεὸν κ̣α̣ὶ̣ τ̣ὴ̣ν̣
ὑμῶν θεοφιλίαν προσκινῶ καὶ ἔξασθαι ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν, πατέραν.

'Before all else I greet my Father together with all the brethren. Do you deign on your part to pray for us together with our children. Since I was expecting to come and do obeisance to your Angel, but I was asked this year for no small landlords' tax, and until today it was being paid off, may your Angel deign to pray for us, and I hope to God that in the month Mechir I shall certainly come for the feast of the holy Apa Apollo and do obeisance to our Father. I do obeisance in the first place to God and to your Piety. And pray for us, Father.'

Address on the verso:

† τῷ εὐλ̣α̣βε<σ>τάτῳ καὶ θεοσεβεστάτῳ πατρὶ Ἀμμονίῳ † Ἀνδρέα καὶ Σουφία †

'To the most reverent and most God-fearing Father Ammonios, (from) Andreas and Sophia.'

(Text and trans.: H. C. Youtie)

A record and image of this document is available at:;10;10269


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Apa Apollo (founder of the monastery at Bawit, 4th century ) : S00160 Unnamed angels (or name lost) : S00723

Saint Name in Source

Ἀπʼ Ἀπόλλο ἄνγελος

Type of Evidence

Late antique original manuscripts - Papyrus sheet Documentary texts - Letter


  • 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)

Bawit Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - monastic

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs



The papyrus document P. CtYBR 1773 is kept at the Beinecke Library, Yale University in New Haven. The dating is based on palaeographical grounds.


Text and Translation: Youtie, H. C., Scriptiunculae Posteriores, part 1 (Bonn, 1981), 163–168.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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