University of Oxford

File(s) not publicly available

E04145: Coptic ostracon from western Thebes (Upper Egypt) with a letter written by a monk saluting Apa *Sourous (most likely the head of the monastery of Apa Phoibammon, S01584) as a holy man/saint; datable to the first half of the 8th century.

online resource
posted on 2017-10-12, 00:00 authored by gschenke
O.Frange 42

The letter was written by the monk Frange, possibly as a model letter or an exercise, addressing a monastic authority. It features polite greetings and honours Sourous, most likely the superior at the monastery of Apa Phoibammon on the mountain of Jeme, as a saint, presumably a living saint/holy man.

⳨ ϩⲁⲑⲏ ⲙⲉⲛ ⲙⲡⲁϣⲁϫⲉ
ⲛⲉⲗⲁⲭ(ⲓⲥⲧⲟⲥ) ⲉⲥϩⲁ ⲉϣⲓⲛⲉ ⲉⲧⲉⲕ-
ⲙⲛⲧⲉⲓⲱⲧ · ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲙⲛ ⲛⲉ̣ⲕ̣-
ⲥⲛⲏⲩ ⲧⲏⲣⲟⲩ ⲙⲙⲁⲛⲟⲩ[ⲧⲉ]
ⲉⲧϩⲁϩⲧⲏⲕ ⲁⲩⲱ ϯϣⲓⲛ̣ⲉ̣
ⲉⲡϩⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲥⲟⲩⲣⲟⲩⲥ
ⲉⲙⲁⲧⲉ ⲁⲣⲓ ⲧⲁⲅⲁⲡⲏ ⲛⲅⲣ
ⲡⲁⲙⲉⲉⲩⲉ ϩⲙ ⲡϥⲓ ⲉϩⲣⲁ
ⲛⲛⲉⲕϭⲓϫ ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲧⲁⲁⲥ
ⲙⲡⲁϫⲟⲉⲓⲥ ⲛⲉⲓⲱⲧ ⲙⲙⲁ<ⲛⲟⲩⲧⲉ>

'Before my most humble message, I write greeting your holy paternity and all your pious brothers who are with you. I salute saint Apa Sourous exceedingly. Be so kind and remember me in the raising of your holy hands.
Give it (this message) to my pious paternal lord.'

(Text: A. Boud'hors and Ch. Heurtel, trans.: G. Schenke)

A complete record of the text is available at:;;42


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Sourous, Apa Sourous, superior and holy man at the monastery of Apa Phoibammon on the mountain of Jeme : S01584

Saint Name in Source

ⲁⲡⲁ ⲥⲟⲩⲣⲟⲩⲥ

Type of Evidence

Late antique original manuscripts - Ostracon/Pot-sherd Documentary texts - Letter


  • 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)

Thebes Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - monastic

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs



The ostracon inv. O.291918 is a fragment of an amphora and was found during a season of the Belgian excavation at the Theban necropolis. It is part of the archive of the monk Frange who inhabited the tomb of Amenemope (TT29) in the Valley of the Kings.


Text and French translation: Boud'hors, A., and Heurtel, C., Les ostraca coptes de la TT 29. Autour du moine Frangé (Études d'archéologie thébaine 3; Brussels, 2010), 62–63.

Usage metrics

    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



    Ref. manager