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E07308: Greek building inscription mentioning *Menas (soldier and martyr buried at Abu Mena, S00073). Found at Nazleh near Polydeukeia (Fayum, Egypt). Probably the end of the 7th/the beginning of the 8th c.

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posted on 2018-12-31, 00:00 authored by Malgorzata
ἐγένετω τὸ καλὸν ἔργον τῆς πλακώσεως
τῆς ἁγίας ἐκκλησίας τοῦ ἁγίου Μηνᾶ,
ἐπὶ ἀββᾶ Πέτρου ἐπισκόπου, ἐν μηνὶ μεσορῆ
ιϛ’ ἀρχῇ πέντε καὶ δεκάτης ἰν(δικτιῶνος)· // Κ(ύρι)ε, βοήθη-
5 σον τῷ δούλῳ σου Μηνᾷ στρατηλάτῃ // καὶ τοῖς παισὶ[ν]
α[ὐ]τ̣ο̣ῦ̣. ἀ̣μ̣ὴ̣ν̣ // ...Ϥ̅Ⲑ̅...

'The beautiful work of the covering of the holy Church of Saint Menas with marble slabs took place under the episcopacy of Abba Peter, on the 16th of the month Mesore, at the beginning of the fifteenth year of indiction. O Lord, help your servant Menas, stratelates and his slaves. Amen.'

Text: SB I, no. 1449.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Menas, soldier and martyr buried at Abu Mena : S00073

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)


  • Greek

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Egypt and Cyrenaica Egypt and Cyrenaica

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Nazleh Polydeukeia

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

Nazleh Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis Polydeukeia Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis


Large stone block, found in 1910 at Nazleh near Polydeukeia (Fayum, Egypt). Preserved dimensions: H. 0.33 m; W. 0.87 m. The part intended to receive the inscription had been previously polished: it measures 0.55 m of length on 0.33 m of width. Last seen in the Museum of Cairo.


This text commemorate the καλὸν ἔργον τῆς πλακώσεως of a church dedicated to Saint Menas, which is not known to us, but which was to rise not far from the modern village of Nazleh, in the western part of Fayum province, somewhere near Polydeukeia (Qasr el Gebeli), or the Hamouli monastery (DACL, 2548-2549).


Edition: Bernand, É., Recueil des inscriptions grecques du Fayoum, vol. 2: La «Meris» de Thémistos (Institut français d'archéologie orientale du Caire, Bibliothèque d'étude 79, Cairo, 1981), no. 131. Cabrol, F. & H. Leclercq (eds.), Dictionnaire d’archéologie chrétienne et de liturgie 4/2 (Paris, 1921), 2546-2549 and fig. 4025 (facsimile). Lefebvre, G., "Égypte chrétienne, IV”, Annales du Service des antiquités de l'Égypte 11 (1910), 245-247, no. 831 and plate. Further Reading: Papaconstantinou, A., Le culte des saints en Égypte des Byzantins aux Abbassides: L'apport des inscriptions et des papyrus grecs et coptes (Paris: CNRS Éditions, 2001), 148-149. Wipszycka, E., Les ressources et les activités économiques des églises en Égypte du IVe au VIIIe siècle (Papyrologica Bruxellensia 10, Bruxelles, 1972), 109 and n. 1 (date). Reference works: Sammelbuch Griechischer Urkunden aus Ägypten, I (Straßburg, 1915), no. 1449. Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 31, 1515.

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