University of Oxford

File(s) not publicly available

E04217: Coptic document from Hermonthis (Upper Egypt) with a declaration made by a newly ordained deacon addressing bishop Abraham of Hermonthis, mentioning a presbyter of (a church of) Apa *Stephanos (possibly the First Martyr, S00030); datable around 600.

online resource
posted on 2017-10-24, 00:00 authored by gschenke
P.MoscowCopt. 45:

In this document, a man named Plein, the son of a presbyter, presumably of a church of Apa Stephanos, is addressing bishop Abraham of Hermonthis. Plein mentions his recent ordination as a deacon and pledges to follow the rules attached to such an appointment.

+ ⲁⲛⲟⲕ ⲡⲗ[ⲏ]ⲓ̣ⲛ ⲡϣ̣ⲏⲣⲉ
ⲛⲇⲓⲟⲥ · <ⲡ>ⲡⲣⲉⲥⲃ(ⲩⲧⲉⲣⲟⲥ) ⲛⲁⲡⲁ ⲥⲧⲉ-
ⲫⲁⲛⲟⲥ · ⲉⲧⲥϩⲁⲓ · ⲙⲡⲉⲛⲉⲓⲱⲧ̣
ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲃ · ⲁⲡⲁ ⲁⲃⲣⲁϩⲁⲙ ⲡⲉⲡⲓⲥⲕ(ⲟⲡⲟⲥ)
ϫⲉ ⲉⲓⲡⲓⲇⲏ · ⲁⲓⲡⲁⲣⲁⲕⲁⲗⲓ ⲙⲟⲕ
ⲁⲕⲭⲓⲣⲟⲇⲟⲛⲓ ⲙⲟⲓ · ⟦.⟧ ⲛⲇⲓⲁⲕ(ⲟⲛⲟⲥ)
ϯⲛⲟⲩ ϯⲟ ⲛϩⲁⲓ̣ⲧⲟⲓⲙⲟⲥ · ⲉⲧⲣⲁ-
ϩⲁⲣⲉϩ · ⲉⲛⲉⲛⲉⲧⲟⲗⲏ · ⲙⲛ ⲛⲉ-
{ⲙⲛ ⲛⲉ}ⲉⲡⲉⲓⲥⲧⲏⲙⲏ · ⲉⲩⲱ ⲛⲧⲁ̣-
ϫⲓ ⲡⲉⲩⲁⲅⲉⲗⲓⲟⲛ · ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ
ⲛⲕⲁⲧⲁ ⲙⲁⲣⲕⲟⲥ · ⲛⲁⲡⲟⲥ-
ⲧⲩⲑⲟⲥ ·ⲛϥⲧⲟⲟ̣ⲩ̣ ⲛⲉ̣[ⲃⲟⲧ]


ⲛⲧⲁⲉⲓ ⲉϩⲟⲩⲛ ⲛⲧⲁⲧⲁⲩ-
ⲟϥ ⲉⲧⲟⲧⲉⲕ · ⲛⲧⲁⲙⲁϩⲧⲉ
ⲙⲟϥ · ⲛⲧⲁⲣ ϩⲙⲉ ⲛϩⲟⲟⲩ [ⲉⲓ-]
ⲛⲏⲥⲧⲉⲩⲉ ·ⲛⲧⲁⲣ ϩⲙⲉ ⲛϩⲟⲟⲩ
ⲉⲓⲣⲟⲉⲓⲥ ⲉⲡⲁⲙⲁ ⲛⲕⲟⲧⲕ ·
ⲁⲩⲱ ⲛϩⲟⲟⲩ ⲛⲥⲉⲛⲁⲅⲉ
ⲉⲧⲧⲉϣ ⲉⲧⲣⲁϩⲁⲣⲁϩ
ⲉⲡⲁⲙⲁ ⲛⲛⲕⲟⲧⲕ ⲛϩⲉⲧⲟⲩ
ⲁⲩⲱ ⲛⲓⲃⲱⲕ ⲉⲡⲁ ⲉϫⲛ ϣⲓⲛⲉ
ⲁⲛⲟⲕ ⲡⲗⲏⲓⲛ
ⲥⲧⲟⲓⲭⲓ ⲙⲟⲓ

‘It is I, Plein, the son of Dios, the presbyter of Apa Stephanos, who writes to our holy father Apa Abraham, the bishop. Since I have asked you and you have appointed me deacon, I am now ready to let myself guard the rules and the knowledge with a pledge, and to receive the holy Gospel according to Mark, the Apostle, for four months and to come in and to recite it to you and to grasp it, and to spend forty days fasting and forty days keeping awake at my bed, and to let the appointed days pass to make me guard my bed. I shall not go anywhere without inquiry. I, Plein, I am in agreement.’

(Text: P. V. Jernstedt, trans.: G. Schenke)


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Stephen, the First Martyr : S00030

Saint Name in Source

ⲁⲡⲁ ⲥⲧⲉⲫⲁⲛⲟⲥ

Type of Evidence

Documentary texts - Other private document


  • 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)

Hermonthis Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - unspecified

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs



The document is housed in the Pushkin Museum in St Petersburg. Dated on palaeographical grounds.


Text and Russian translation: Ernshtedt, P.V. (Jernstedt), Koptskie teksty Gosudarstvennogo muzeia izobrazitel'nykh iskusstv imeni A.S. Pushkina (Leningrad, 1959), 109–110.

Usage metrics

    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



    Ref. manager