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E05971: Coptic ostracon from the area of Hermonthis (Upper Egypt) with an excerpt from a calendar of saints’ feast days, such as those of *Jakob (S00858), *Arsenios and Loukios (ascetics of Syrian origin, and martyrs near Panopolis, S02600), *Theognosta (perhaps the mother of George, S01537), *Athanasios (possibly the bishop of Alexandria, ob. 373, S00294), *David (Old Testament king of Israel and Psalmist, S00269), *Daniel (possibly the disciple and biographer of Arsenios, S02379) *Zoilos (possibly the disciple of Arsenios, S02378) and *Anna (possibly the mother of Mary, S01614), *Maria (possibly Mary, mother of Christ, S00033) and *Sophia (perhaps the head of a convent in Edessa, ob. 363, S02381); datable to the 7th century.

online resource
posted on 2018-07-18, 00:00 authored by gschenke
O.Crum 26:

         ⳨ ⲓⲁⲕⲱⲃⲟ̣ⲥ̣ ⲥⲟⲩ ϫⲟⲩⲧⲥⲁϣϥⲉ ⲛⲑ̣ⲱ̣ⲑ̣
            ⲁⲣⲥⲉⲛⲓⲟⲥ ⲗⲟⲩⲕⲓⲟⲥ ⲥⲟⲩ ⲙⲛⲧⲁⲥⲉ ⲛⲕ[ⲟⲓⲁϩⲕ]
            ⲑⲉⲟⲅⲛⲱ̣ⲥⲧⲁ ⲥⲟⲩ ⲓⲍ ⲛⲑⲱⲑ
4          ⲁ̣ⲛ̣ⲑ̣ⲁⲛ̣ⲁ(ⲥⲓⲟⲥ?) [ⲙ]ⲛ ⲛⲉϥⲙⲁⲑⲏⲧ(ⲏⲥ) ⲥⲟⲩ ⲕⲁ̣ ⲙⲫⲁⲱⲫ(ⲓ)
            ⲇⲁⲩ̣ⲉ̣ⲓ̣ⲧ̣ (?) ⲙⲛ [ⲇ]ⲁⲛⲓⲏⲗ ⲙⲛ ⲍⲱⲓⲗⲟⲥ
            ⲙⲛ . ⲁ̣ⲛⲛⲁ ⲥⲟⲩ ϫⲟⲩⲧⲥⲛⲟⲟⲩⲥ ⲛⲕⲟ̣[ⲓ]-
            ⲁϩⲕ ⲙⲁⲣⲓⲁ ⲙⲛ ⲥⲟⲫⲓⲁ ⲙⲛ ⲛⲉⲩⲥ̣ⲛ-
8          ⲛϣⲏⲣⲉ ⲥⲟⲩ ⲕⲇ̣

‘Jakob: Day 27 of Thoth (24/25 September).
Arsenios (and) Loukios: Day 16 of [Choiak] (12/13 December).
Theognosta: Day 17 of Thoth (14/15 September).
Athana(sios?) together with his disciples: Day 21 (?) of Phaophi (18/19 October).
David (?), together with Daniel and Zoilos, and Anna: Day 22 of Choiak (18/19 December).
Maria and Sophia together with their monastic daughters (?): Day 24 of Choiak (20/21 December).’

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


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Arsenios and Loukios, ascetics and martyrs near Panopolis (Upper Egypt), of Syrian origin : S02600 George, soldier and martyr : S00259 Jacob (unspecified) : S00858 Zoilos, disciple of Arsenios, ob. 449 : S02378 Daniel, disciple and biographer of

Saint Name in Source

ⲁⲣⲥⲉⲛⲓⲟⲥ ⲗⲟⲩⲕⲓⲟⲥ ⲑⲉⲟⲅⲛⲱ̣ⲥⲧⲁ ⲓⲁⲕⲱⲃⲟ̣ⲥ̣ ⲍⲱⲓⲗⲟⲥ [ⲇ]ⲁⲛⲓⲏⲗ ⲇⲁⲩ̣ⲉ̣ⲓ̣ⲧ̣ (?) ⲥⲟⲫⲓⲁ ⲁ̣ⲛⲛⲁ ⲙⲁⲣⲓⲁ

Type of Evidence

Liturgical texts - Calendars and martyrologies Late antique original manuscripts - Ostracon/Pot-sherd


  • 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 - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast


This ostracon is kept at the British Museum in London, inv. 32951.


The order of the feast days listed here is obviously not chronological, but presumably follows the importance of saints or is perhaps dictated by buildings in which these festivities were to be celebrated or by amounts of payments made on these occasions. Arsenios and Loukios appear as a pair of martyrs in E06902. For the same pair and date, see E06818: ‘Likewise for the Syrian saints Loukios and Arsenios: Choiak 16 (12/13 December)’. The two saints are mentioned in the typika of the White Monastery and the Arabic Synaxarion as Arsenios and Eulogios under the date 16 Choiak (12/13 December). They are said to have been ascetics near Panopolis, both of Syrian origin and both suffering martyrdom together. For similar dates see: Athanasios of Alexandria (S00294), 13 October in the Martyrologium Hieronymianum (E04985). David, Old Testament King of Israel (S00269), 26 December, in two Georgian calendars (E03470, E03970). Check also E05892. Daniel, the Old Testament prophet (S00727), 18 December in the Georgian calendar (E03962). Anna, the mother of Mary (S01327), 9 December in the Georgian calendar (E03953). Zoilus appears three times in the Martyrologium Hieronymianum, 1 July, 24 May, and 30 June.


Text and comments: Crum, W. E., Coptic Ostraca from the Collections of the Egypt Exploration Fund, the Cairo Museum and Others (London, 1902), 5 and 7. O'Leary, De L., Saints of Egypt (London: SPCK, 1937), 134. Papaconstantinou, A., Le culte des saints en Égypte des Byzantins aux Abbassides (Paris: CNRS, 2001), 59.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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