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E04105: Two Coptic invocations from the monastery of Apa Apollo at Bawit (Middle Egypt) to the saint Apa *Apollo (founder of the monastery, 00160); datable to the 8th century.

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posted on 2017-10-04, 00:00 authored by gschenke
P.Brux.Bawit 40v

On the back of a fragmentary papyrus letter addressed to the head of the monastery Apa Zacharias, one finds the beginning of an invocation:

+ ⲡⲛⲟⲩⲧⲉ ⲛⲫⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ ⲁ̣[ⲡⲁ] ⲁ̣[ⲡⲟⲗⲗⲱ . . . ]

‘God of saint Apa Apollo […’

An invocation to saint Apa Apollo also heads a funerary inscription dedicated perhaps to the same superior Apa Zacharias:

MIFAO 12, p. 84, no VIII

+ ⲡⲛⲟⲩⲧⲉ ⲛⲫⲁⲅⲟⲥ ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲃ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲁⲡⲟⲗⲗⲱ ⲁⲣ ⲟⲩⲛⲟϭ ⲉⲛⲁ ⲙⲛ ⲧⲉⲯⲩⲭ<ⲏ> ⲛⲡⲁⲙⲁⲕⲁⲣⲟⲥ ⲛⲱⲧ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲍⲁⲭⲁⲣⲁⲥ ⲛⲧⲁϥⲉⲙⲧⲟⲛ
ⲉⲙⲟϥ ⲛⲥⲟⲩ ⲙⲛⲧⲁⲥⲉ ⲛⲁⲑⲱⲣ ϩⲁⲙⲏⲛ

‘God of the holy saint Apa Apollo, have great mercy on the soul of my blessed father Apa Zacharias. He went to rest on day 16 of (the month) Hathyr. Amen.’

(Text: A. Delattre; trans. G. Schenke)


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Apa Apollo (founder of the monastery at Bawit, 4th century ) : S00160

Saint Name in Source

ⲁ̣[ⲡⲁ] ⲁ̣[ⲡⲟⲗⲗⲱ and ⲁⲡⲁ ⲁⲡⲟⲗⲗⲱ

Type of Evidence

Late antique original manuscripts - Papyrus sheet Documentary texts - Letter Inscriptions - Funerary inscriptions


  • 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)

Bawit Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - monastic

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs



The papyrus document P.Brux. inv. E. 9489 belongs to the Royal Museums of Art and History at Brussels. The dating is based on palaeographical grounds. For the inscription see A. Delattre, P.Brux.Bawit, p. 268.


Text and French translation: Delattre, A., Papyrus coptes et grecs du monastère d'apa Apollô de Baouît conservés aux Musées royaux d'Art et d'Histoire de Bruxelles, (Académie royale de Belgique. Mémoires de la Classe des Lettres. Collection in-8°. 3e série. Tome XLIII, No. 2045; Brussels, 2007), 268–269.

Usage metrics

    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity