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E05701: Coptic document from Hermonthis (Upper Egypt) acknowledging the receipt of payment for building activity at the city’s shrine (tops) of the *Forty Martyrs (presumably those of Sebaste, S00103) and of *Theophilos (possibly the Decian martyr of Egypt, S00236); datable to the 7th/8th c.

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posted on 2018-06-12, 00:00 authored by gschenke
O.CrumST 46

In this document, two brothers from city Hermonthis acknowledge that they have received their payment for the woodwork they had carried out on their city’s shrine dedicated to the Forty Martyrs and saint Theophilos. The list of diverse payment consists of two gold coins as well as various measures of wine, corn and meat.

The beginning of the document, lines 1–4 read as follows:

+ ⲁⲛⲟⲛ ⲥⲁⲁⲕ ⲁⲧⲣⲏⲧⲟⲥ ⲡⲣ[ⲙⲣⲙⲟⲛⲧ ⲙⲛ ⲇ]ⲓ̣ⲟⲥ ⲙⲛ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲃⲓⲕⲧⲱⲣ ⲛⲥⲛⲏⲩ ⲛⲛⲉⲩⲉⲣⲏⲩ ⲛϣⲏⲣⲉ ⲛⲁⲡⲁ [. . . . . . . ⲛⲣⲙⲣⲙ]ⲟⲛⲧ ⲉⲩⲥϩⲁ
ⲛⲡⲑⲉⲟⲫⲓⲗⲉⲥⲧⲁⲧⲟⲥ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲱϩⲁⲛⲛⲏⲥ ⲥⲁⲁⲕⲓⲟⲩ [ⲡⲟⲓⲕⲟⲛⲟⲙⲟ]ⲥ̣ ⲙⲡⲧⲟⲡⲟⲥ ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲙⲡⲉϩⲙⲉ ⲙ[ⲙⲁⲣ]ⲧⲩⲣⲟⲥ ⲙⲛ ⲫⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ
ⲑⲉⲟⲫ[ⲓⲗⲟⲥ ⲛⲧⲉⲓⲡⲟⲗⲓ]ⲥ ⲛⲟⲩⲱⲧ ⲣⲙⲟⲛⲧ ⲣⲁϣⲉ ·

‘We, Isaak (son of) Hatre, the [inhabitant of Hermonthis, as well as Dios?] and Apa Biktor, brothers with one another, the sons of Apa [personal name, inhabitants of Hermonthis], are writing to the most God loving Apa Ioannes, son of Isaak, [the steward (oikonomos)?] at the holy place of the Forty Martyrs and of saint Theophilos [in the] same [city] Hermonthis, rejoice!’

(Text: W. E. Crum; trans.: G. Schenke)


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Forty Martyrs of Sebaste : S00103 Theophilos, Decian martyr of Egypt : S00236

Saint Name in Source

ⲉϩⲙⲉ ⲙ[ⲙⲁⲣ]ⲧⲩⲣⲟⲥ ⲑⲉⲟⲫ[ⲓⲗⲟⲥ

Type of Evidence

Late antique original manuscripts - Papyrus sheet 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 - independent (church)

Cult activities - Places Named after Saint

  • Church


The papyrus document R 93 is kept at the Musée du Louvre in Paris.


Text: Crum, W.E., Short Texts from Coptic Ostraca and Papyri (Oxford, 1921), 16. German Translation: Till, W.C., Die Koptischen Rechtsurkunden aus Theben (Vienna, 1964), 219–220.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity