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E07744: A 5th century papyrus from Oxyrhynchos contains fragments from Greek martyrdom accounts of *Paphnoutios (ascetic and martyr of Egypt, S01509) and *Christina (martyr of Tyre, S00907).

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posted on 2019-08-27, 00:00 authored by erizos
Papyrus Soc. Ital. 26, 27.

This Oxyrhynchus papyrus (30 x 24 cm) was probably part of a sizeable volume of hagiographical texts. It is written in uncial calligraphic script, inclined to the right, and can be dated on palaeographic grounds to the 5th century. A fragment from the Martyrdom of Paphnoutios and his Companions (BHG 1418z) is found on the recto (Papiri greci e latini, vol. I, Florence, 1912, n. 26), while a fragment of the Martyrdom of Christina of Tyre (BHG 301y) is on the verso, written by the same hand (ibid. n. 27).


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Paphnoutios, anchorite and martyr in Egypt under Diocletian : S01509 Christina, martyr of Tyre and of Bolsena (central Italy) : S00907

Saint Name in Source

Παπνούτιος Χριστίνα

Type of Evidence

Late antique original manuscripts - Papyrus sheet


  • Greek

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)

Oxyrhynchos Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Transmission, copying and reading saint-related texts


This papyrus proves the existence of these two hagiographic legends already in the 5th century. The fragment on Paphnoutios' story corresponds to paragraphs 11 and 12 of the fully surviving version of the Greek martyrdom account of the saint (BHG 1419, E01400). The fragment on Christina corresponds to paragraph 14 of the fully surviving Greek text of her martyrdom account (BHG 302, E07745). For an analysis of the legend of Christina, see E02090.


Text: Papiri greci e latini, vol. I (Florence, 1912), n. 26, 27. 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), 180. Baumeister, T., Martyr Invictus. Der Märtyrer als Sinnbild der Erlösung in der Legende und im Kult der frühen koptischen Kirche (Münster, 1972), 124-126, 161-172.

Usage metrics

    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity