University of Oxford

File(s) not publicly available

E05992: Coptic ostracon from Deir el-Bahari (Upper Egypt) with the remains of a contract concerning cultivation of land, mentioning an institution, most likely a monastery, dedicated to Apa *John (presumably either the Baptist, S00020, or the Apostle and Evangelist, S00042) as well as the one dedicated to Apa *Phoibammon (soldier and martyr of Assiut, S00080); datable to the 7th/8th century.

online resource
posted on 2018-07-18, 00:00 authored by gschenke
O.Crum 482

Only the end of this fragmentary contract is preserved, involving a man named Biktor, from the monastery of Apa Ioannes/John. The contract was drawn up in the presence of Apa Biktor, the presbyter of saint Apa Phoibammon.

Lines 4–9 read as follows:

ⲁⲛⲟⲕ ⲃⲓⲕⲧⲱⲣ ⲙⲡϩⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲓⲱϩⲁⲛⲛⲏⲥ ⲡⲉⲛⲧⲁϥⲣϣⲣⲡⲥϩⲁⲓ ⲛⲧⲡⲉ ϯⲥⲧⲉⲭⲉ
ⲁⲛⲟⲕ ⲡϣⲏⲣⲉ ⲁⲓⲥϩⲁⲓ ⲡⲉⲡⲗⲁⲝ ⲛⲧⲁϭⲓϫ ϩⲓⲃⲟⲗ ⲛⲁⲡⲁ ⲃⲓⲕⲧⲱⲣ ⲡⲉⲡⲣ(ⲉⲥⲃⲩⲧⲉⲣⲟⲥ) ⲙⲡϩⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲫⲉⲃⲁⲙⲱⲛ [ⲁⲩⲱ ϯⲟ] ⲙⲙⲁⲣⲧⲏⲣⲟⲥ +

'It is I, Biktor of saint Apa Ioannes, who was already mentioned above, I assent.
I, Pshere, I have written this tablet (ostracon) with my own hand, in the presence of Apa Biktor, the presbyter of saint Apa Phoibammon [, and I act] as a witness.'

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


Evidence ID


Saint Name

John the Baptist : S00020 Phoibammon, soldier and martyr of Assiut : S00080 John, the Apostle and Evangelist : S00042

Saint Name in Source

ⲡϩⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲓⲱϩⲁⲛⲛⲏⲥ ⲡϩⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲫⲉⲃⲁⲙⲱⲛ ⲡϩⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲓⲱϩⲁⲛⲛⲏⲥ

Type of Evidence

Late antique original manuscripts - Ostracon/Pot-sherd 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

Deir el-Bahari

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Deir el-Bahari Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - unspecified

Cult activities - Places Named after Saint

  • Monastery


This ostracon is kept at the British Museum in London, inv. 33044.


Text and translation: Crum, W.E., Coptic Ostraca from the Collections of the Egypt Exploration Fund (London, 1902), p. 22–23 and 79. = O.Crum German translation: Till, W. C., Die Koptischen Rechtsurkunden aus Theben (Vienna, 1964), 68.

Usage metrics

    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



    Ref. manager