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E04199: Coptic ostracon from Jeme (Upper Egypt) with a loan agreement, mentioning a presbyter of an institution dedicated to Apa *Kyri(a)kos (presumably the child martyr of Tarsus, S00007) as the scribe of the document and its sole witness; datable to the 8th century.

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posted on 2017-10-22, 00:00 authored by gschenke
O.Medin.Habu Copt. 56

A man named Palou is issuing a receipt for a loan of 2000 copper coins (ϫⲟⲩⲱⲧ ⲛϣⲉ ⲛϩⲟⲙⲛⲧ) from a man named Daniel. The priest Abraham of (the church of) Kyriakos is a witness to the transaction and the scribe of the document.

Lines 7–10 of the document read as follows:

ⲁⲛⲟⲕ ⲁⲃⲣⲁϩⲁⲙ <ⲡ>ⲡⲣⲉⲥⲃ(ⲩⲧⲉⲣⲟⲥ) ⲛⲁⲡⲁ ⲕⲩⲣⲓⲕⲟⲥ ⲁϥⲡⲁⲣⲁⲕⲁⲗⲉⲓ <ⲙ>ⲙⲟⲓ ⲁⲓⲥⲱϩ ⲧⲉⲓⲃⲗϫⲉ ⲛⲧⲁϭⲓϫ ⲙⲁⲣⲧⲩⲣⲱ

'I, Abraham, the priest of (the church of) Apa Kyrikos, he (i.e. Palou) asked me and I gathered (i.e. picked up to write on) this potsherd with my own hand. I am a witness.'

(Text and trans.: E. Stefanski and M. Lichtheim, modified)


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Kyrikos/Cyricus, child martyr of Tarsus (son of *Ioulitta/Julitta) : S00007

Saint Name in Source

ⲁⲡⲁ ⲕⲩⲣⲓⲕⲟⲥ

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)

Jeme Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - unspecified


The ostracon MH 2868, now in the Museum in Cairo, is a brown ribbed pottery fragment showing traces of black coating on what was once the inside. The dating is based on context and palaeography.


Text and translation: Stefanski, E., and Lichtheim, M., Coptic Ostraca from Medinet Habu (Univ. of Chicago. Oriental Institute Publications 71; Chicago, 1952), 11.

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