Site logo

The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

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

Greek account, from Oxyrhynchos (Middle Egypt), concerning the collection of bricks for building works, listing some intended for an institution dedicated to Mary, presumably *Mary (Mother of Christ, S00033), datable to the 6th century.

Evidence ID


Type of Evidence

Documentary texts - List

Late antique original manuscripts - Papyrus sheet

P.Oxy. 18 2197:

This account concerns the collection of bricks from various villages, most likely located on the Apion estate, intended for building enterprises, mostly cisterns and wells, but also religious buildings, as indicated in line 11:

[εἰς] χ̣ρ̣ε̣ίαν τῆ(ς) ἁγί(ας) Μαρίας κ̣[αὶ   ̣  ̣  ̣  ̣  ̣  ̣]τ̣ηρο(υ) ὀπτ(όπλινθοι) Γ

'[For] the need of saint Mary [and …] … 3000 bricks.'

(Summary and text: E. Lobel, C. H. Roberts and E. P. Wegener, trans.: G. Schenke)

A complete record of the document with images and bibliography can be found at:;18;2197

Cult Places

Cult building - unspecified

Non Liturgical Activity

Bequests, donations, gifts and offerings


The document was found in Oxyrhynchos and is housed in the Sackler Library at Oxford. Its date is fixed by the document's connection to the Apion family.


Lobel, E., Roberts, C.H., and Wegener, E.P., The Oxyrhynchus Papyri XVIII, published by the Egypt Exploration Society in Graeco-Roman Memoirs (London, 1941), 169–178.

Record Created By

Gesa Schenke

Date Last Modified


Related Saint Records
IDNameName in SourceIdentity
S00033Mary, Mother of ChristΜαρίαCertain

Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL:
Gesa Schenke, Cult of Saints, E02346 -