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The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

from its origins to circa AD 700, across the entire Christian world

Coptic funerary inscription from Bawit (Middle Egypt) with a long invocation to a large number of saints including the Archangels *Michael (S00181) and *Gabriel (S00192), *Mary (Mother of Christ, S00033), *Adam and Zoe/Eve (S00772), the *Apostles (S00084), the martyrs *Viktor (son of Romanos, Egyptian martyr, S00749), *Phoibamon (soldier and martyr of Assiut, S00080), *George (soldier and martyr, S00259), *Menas (soldier and martyr of Abu Mena, S00073), the *Martyrs of Thone (S00771), and a long list of monastic figures including *Apollo (founder of the monastery at Bawit, 4th century, S00160), Anoup, and Phib (S00774), presumably 6th/8th century.

Evidence ID


Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Funerary inscriptions

KSB 1 473

+ ⲡⲓⲱⲧ ⲡϣⲏⲣⲉ ⲡⲉⲡⲛⲁ ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲡⲉⲛⲉⲓⲱⲧ ⲙⲓⲭⲁⲏⲗ ⲙⲉⲛ ⲅⲁⲃⲣⲓⲏⲗ ⲧⲉⲙⲁⲁⲩ ⲙⲁⲣⲓⲁ ⲡⲉⲛⲉⲓⲱⲧ ⲁⲇⲁⲙ ⲧⲉⲙⲁⲁⲩ ⲍⲱⲏ ⲛⲉ ⲙⲡⲁⲧⲣⲓⲁⲣⲭⲏⲥ ⲛⲉⲡⲣⲟⲫⲏⲧⲏⲥ ⲛⲁⲡⲟⲥⲧⲟⲗⲟⲥ ⲛⲉⲙⲁⲣⲧⲏⲣⲟⲥ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲃⲓⲕⲧⲱⲣ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲫⲟⲓⲃⲁⲙⲱⲛ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲅⲉⲱⲣⲅⲉ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲙⲏⲛⲁ ⲡⲉⲛⲉⲓⲱⲧ ⲓⲱϩⲁⲛⲏⲥ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲡⲟⲩⲗ̣ⲉ̣
ⲛⲓⲗⲁⲙⲱⲛ ⲕⲉⲣⲱⲛⲥⲉ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲙⲁⲝⲓⲙⲓⲛⲉ ⲛⲉⲛⲉⲓⲟⲧⲉ ⲙⲁⲣⲧⲏⲣⲟⲥ ⲛⲧⲟⲛⲉ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲡⲯⲟⲧⲉ ⲛⲉⲛⲟϭ ⲣⲱⲙⲉ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲁⲡⲟⲗⲱ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲁⲛⲟⲩⲡ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲫⲓⲃ
ⲁⲡⲁ ⲙⲁⲕⲁⲣⲉ ⲙⲉ ⲛⲉϥϣⲏⲣⲉ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲙⲱⲩⲥⲏⲥ ⲙⲉ ⲛⲉϥ(ⲥⲛⲏ)ⲩ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲡϣⲟⲓ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲡⲁⲙⲟⲩⲛ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲉⲩⲧⲉⲙⲱⲛ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲡⲁⲡⲛⲟⲩⲧⲉ ⲛⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ
ⲧⲏⲣⲟⲩ ⲛⲧⲁⲟⲩⲉⲣ ⲡⲟⲩⲱϣ ⲙⲡⲛⲟⲩⲧⲉ ⲁⲣⲓ ⲡⲙⲉⲉⲩⲉ ⲛⲁⲡⲁ ⲡϣⲟⲓ ⲛⲧϯⲁⲕⲱⲛ ⲡⲣⲙⲡⲉⲣⲛⲟ(ϭ) : ⲛⲧⲁϥⲙⲧⲟⲛ ⲙⲟϥ ⲥⲟⲩ
ⲧϯⲟⲩ ⲛⲧⲟⲃⲉ : ϩⲁⲙⲏⲛ +

‘Father, Son (and) Holy Spirit. Our father Michael and Gabriel, Mother Mary, our father Adam, mother Zoe and the patriarchs, the prophets (and) the apostles, the martyrs Apa Viktor, Apa Phoibamon, Apa George, Apa Mena, our father Ioannes, Apa Paule, Nilamon, Keronse, Apa Maximine, our fathers, the martyrs of Tone, Apa Psote, the great men, Apa Apollo, Apa Anoup, Apa Phib, Apa Makare and his children, Apa Moyses and his brothers, Apa Pshoi, Apa Pamoun, Apa Eutemon, Apa Papnoute, (and) all the saints who have fulfilled the will of God, remember Apa Pshoi, the deacon, the man from Pernog. He has gone to rest on day five of the month Tybi. Amen.’

Text: Hasitzka, 1993. Translation: G. Schenke.

Non Liturgical Activity



The grave stele is kept at the Musée du Louvre, Paris, Inv. 233 C.


For similar grave steles from Bawit, see E01251, and E01252.

The martyrs of Thone also occur in an invocation on an ostracon from Wadi Sarga, Middle Egypt (see E01245), there specified as 'the Seven Hundred martyrs of Thone'.


Hasitzka, M.R.M.,
Koptisches Sammelbuch I (KSB I) (Vienna, 1993), 168–169.

Revillout, E., "Mélanges d’épigraphie et de linguistique égyptienne," in:
Mélanges d’ Archéologie égyptienne et assyrienne (Paris, 1873–1876), II, 166–196, esp. 175.

Record Created By

Gesa Schenke

Date Last Modified


Related Saint Records
IDNameName in SourceIdentity
S00033Mary, Mother of Christⲧⲉⲙⲁⲁⲩ ⲙⲁⲣⲓⲁ Certain
S00073Menas, soldier and martyr buried at Abu Menaⲁⲡⲁ ⲙⲏⲛⲁCertain
S00080Phoibammon, soldier and martyr of Assiutⲁⲡⲁ ⲫⲟⲓⲃⲁⲙⲱⲛCertain
S00084Apostles, unnamed or name lostⲛⲁⲡⲟⲥⲧⲟⲗⲟⲥCertain
S00181Michael, the ArchangelⲙⲓⲭⲁⲏⲗCertain
S00192Gabriel, the ArchangelⲅⲁⲃⲣⲓⲏⲗCertain
S00259George, soldier and martyr, and Companionsⲁⲡⲁ ⲅⲉⲱⲣⲅⲉ Certain
S00749Viktor, son of Romanos, martyr of Egypt, and companion martyrsⲁⲡⲁ ⲃⲓⲕⲧⲱⲣ Certain
S00771700 martyrs of Thone (Middle Egypt)ⲛⲉⲛⲉⲓⲟⲧⲉ ⲙⲁⲣⲧⲏⲣⲟⲥ ⲛⲧⲟⲛⲉ Uncertain
S00772Adam and Zoe/Eveⲡⲉⲛⲉⲓⲱⲧ ⲁⲇⲁⲙ ⲧⲉⲙⲁⲁⲩ ⲍⲱⲏCertain
S00774Apollo, Phib, and Anoup, monks and monastic foundersⲛⲉⲛⲟϭ ⲣⲱⲙⲉ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲁⲡⲟⲗⲱ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲁⲛⲟⲩⲡ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲫⲓⲃ Certain

Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL:
Gesa Schenke, Cult of Saints, E01302 -