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E04179: Coptic ostracon from western Thebes (Upper Egypt) mentioning a monastery of Apa *Pesynthios (possibly Pisenthios, the ascetic and bishop of Koptos, S00057); datable to the first half of the 7th century.

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posted on 2017-10-19, 00:00 authored by Bryan
O.Frange 776

The text mainly records witnesses, possibly just as an exercise, mentioning also a monk of the monastery of Apa Pesynthios as a witness.

Lines 13–18 on the verso read as follows:

† ⲁⲛⲟⲕ ⲡⲁⲧⲁⲡⲏ ⲡ̣[ⲉ-]
ⲗⲁⲭ(ⲓⲥⲧ)ⲟⲥ ⲙⲟⲛⲟ̣ⲭⲟⲥ ⲙⲡⲙ[ -ca.?- ]
ⲡⲁⲙⲟⲛⲁⲥⲧⲏⲣⲟⲛ ⲉⲧⲟⲩ-
ⲁⲁⲃ ⲛⲁⲡⲁ ⲡⲉⲥⲩⲛ-
ⲑⲓⲟⲥ ⲧⲉⲓⲟ ⲙⲙⲛⲧⲣⲉ
ϫ̣ⲉ ⲁⲁⲍⲁⲣⲁⲥ

‘I, Patape, the most humble monk of the […] holy monastery of Apa Pesynthios, I act as a witness for Aazarias.’

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

A complete record of the text is available at:;;776


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Pisenthios/Pesenthios, bishop of Koptos, ob. 632 : S00057

Saint Name in Source

ⲁⲡⲁ ⲡⲉⲥⲩⲛⲑⲓⲟⲥ

Type of Evidence

Documentary texts - Other private document Late antique original manuscripts - Ostracon/Pot-sherd



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


The ostracon inv. O.291125 is a limestone ostracon written on both sides. It 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.


Pesynthios is not explicitly referred to as a saint, so he may just be the abbot of that monastery.


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), 415.

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