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E05996: Coptic ostracon from the region of Hermonthis (Upper Egypt) with a guarantee given to bishop Abraham,concerning the topos of Apa *Leontios (possibly the martyr of Tripolis, Phoenicia, S00216); datable around the year 600.

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posted on 2018-07-18, 00:00 authored by gschenke
O.Crum ad. 9

In this document addressed to bishop Abraham of Hermonthis, Psate, a man from Jeme, gives surety for his two sons who are either taking on responsibilities at the topos, most likely a church, of saint Leontios, or are just joining their father, to stay with him there as his children. Should the father, or his sons, fail to perform their duties satisfactorily, the father will stand responsible for their deeds, and they will leave their post at the topos. What function Psate fulfilled at the shrine of Leontios is not specified.

+ ⲁⲛⲟⲕ ⲯⲁⲧⲉ ⲡⲣⲉⲙϫⲏ[ⲙⲉ] ⲉⲓⲥϩⲁⲓ ⲛⲁ ⲡⲁϫⲟⲉⲓⲥ ⲛⲓⲱⲧ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲁⲃⲣⲁϩⲁⲙ ϫⲉ ϯϣⲉⲡⲧⲱⲣⲉ ⲁⲧⲱⲧⲕ ⲙⲡⲁⲥⲛⲁⲩ ⲛϣⲏⲣⲉ ⲡⲁⲡⲡⲁ ⲙⲛ
ⲁⲛⲁⲛⲓⲁⲥ ϫⲉ ⲁⲓⲡⲁⲣⲁⲕⲁⲗⲉ ⲙⲙⲟⲕ ⲁⲕⲣⲡⲛⲁ ⲙⲛ ⲛⲁϣⲏⲣⲉ ϯⲛⲟⲩ ⲧⲉⲛⲟⲩ ⲉⲥ ⲡⲟⲩⲛⲁⲃⲉ ϩ[ⲓ]ϫⲱⲓ
ⲁⲩⲱ ⲉⲓϣⲁⲛⲕⲁⲧⲁⲫⲣⲟⲛⲉ ⲉⲡⲧⲱⲡⲟⲥ ⲛⲁⲡⲁ ⲗⲉⲱⲛⲧⲓⲟⲥ ⲏ ⲁⲛⲟⲕ ⲏ ⲛⲁϣⲏⲣⲉ ⲧⲛⲱ ϩⲉⲧ[ⲉ]ⲙⲟⲥ ⲛⲧⲁϣⲉ ⲛⲁⲓ ϩⲛ ⲧⲱⲡⲟⲥ ⲛⲁⲧⲗⲁⲁⲩ
ⲛⲁⲇⲓⲗⲱⲅⲓⲁ ϫⲉ [ⲡ]ⲱⲕ ⲡⲉ ⲡⲧⲱⲡⲟⲥ ⲁⲩⲱ ⲕⲱ ⲙⲡⲉϥϫⲟⲉⲓⲥ ⲁⲛⲟⲕ ⲯⲁⲧⲉ ϯⲥⲧⲟⲓⲭⲉ ⲉⲡⲓⲡⲗⲁⲝ

'I, Psate, the man from Jeme, am writing to my paternal master Apa Abraham. I act as guarantor to you for my two sons, Pappas and Ananias, because, I have asked you and you have been merciful with my sons. Now then, behold, their sin is upon me. If I neglect the topos of Apa Leontios, either I or my children, we are ready and I depart from the topos without any objections. For yours is the topos and you are its master.
I, Psate, I assent to this tablet (ostracon).'

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


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Leontios, martyr of Tripolis (Syria) : S00216

Saint Name in Source

ⲁⲡⲁ ⲗⲉⲱⲛⲧⲓⲟⲥ

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


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

Hermonthis Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - unspecified

Cult activities - Places Named after Saint

  • Church


The ostracon belongs to the Collection Georg Steindorff, inv. 8.


For oracle questions posed at a shrine of Leontios, see E02625.


Text and translation: Crum, W.E., Coptic Ostraca from the Collections of the Egypt Exploration Fund (London, 1902), pp. 11 and 89. = O.Crum German translation: Till, W.C., Die Koptischen Rechtsurkunden aus Theben (Vienna, 1964), 69.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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