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The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

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

Greek papyrus from Oxyrhynchos (Middle Egypt) with the beginning of a lease involving a church of Mary, presumably *Mary (Mother of Christ, S00033), as the lessor to a female lessee, dated 17 October 516.

Evidence ID


Type of Evidence

Documentary texts - Lease or rental document

P.Oxy. 71 4833:

† ὑπατείας Φλα̣[ουΐου Πέτρ]ου τοῦ λαμπροτάτου,
Φ[αῶ]φ̣ι̣ κ̣, ἰνδι(κτίωνος) ι.
τῇ ἁγίᾳ ἐκκλησίᾳ καλουμένῃ̣
τῆς ἁγίας Μαρίας τῇ διακιμένῃ
κατὰ ταύτην τὴν Ὀξυρυγχιτῶν π̣όλ[ι]ν
διὰ σοῦ τοῦ εὐλαβεστάτου Καλάμω̣ν̣ος
πρεσβυτέρου καὶ οἰκονόμου τοῦ αὐ[το]ῦ
τόπου Α̣ὐ̣ρηλία Σοφία θυγάτηρ Πραοῦ[τ]ο̣ς̣
μητ̣ρὸς Ἡ̣ραείδος κατ̣α̣μ̣ένουσα ἐνταῦ̣θ̣[α]
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

'In the consulship of Flavius Petrus,
vir clarissimus, Phaophi 20, indiction 10.
To the holy church called of St Mary, situated at this city of the Oxyrhynchites, through you the most pious Kalamon, priest and steward (
oikonomos) of the same topos, Aurelia Sophia daughter of Praus, mother Herais, resident here in …’

Text and translation: R. Hatzilambrou

For a full record of this document complete with image see:;71;4833

Cult Places

Cult building - independent (church)


This document, 63 6B.67/C(1–3)d, found at Oxyrhynchos is located in the Sackler Library at Oxford.


The church mentioned here was probably dedicated to the Virgin Mary rather than to a saint of the same name.


Text and translation:
Hatzilambrou, R., "4833. Top of a Lease," in: R. Hatzilambrou, P.J. Parsons, and J. Chapa (eds.), The Oxyrhynchus Papyri Volume 71 (London, 2007), 139–140.

Record Created By

Gesa Schenke

Date Last Modified


Related Saint Records
IDNameName in SourceIdentity
S00033Mary, Mother of ChristΜαρίαUncertain

Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL:
Gesa Schenke, Cult of Saints, E02151 -