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The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

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

Greek land lease, from Hermopolis (Middle Egypt), mentioning an oratory dedicated to Mary, presumably *Mary (Mother of Christ, S00033), datable to the first half of the 7th century.

Evidence ID


Type of Evidence

Documentary texts - Lease or rental document

Late antique original manuscripts - Papyrus sheet

BGU 19 2815

The lease concerns a jointly owned property, one of the parties being an oratory dedicated to Mary. Lines 7–8 read as follows:

κατὰ κοινωνί[αν] τοῦ εὐαγοῦς ε[ὐ]κ̣τηρίου τῆς ἁγίας Μ̣α̣ρία̣ς̣

'… jointly with the holy oratory of saint Mary …'

(Text and German trans.: H. Maehler, Engl. trans.: G. Schenke)

A complete record of the document with images and bibliography can be found at:;19;2815

Cult Places

Cult building - unspecified


The fragmentary papyrus document, P. 21830, is housed at the papyrus collection in Berlin and has been dated on palaeographical grounds.


Text and translation:
Maehler, H., et al. Urkunden aus Hermupolis (Aegyptische Urkunden aus den Königlichen (later Staatlichen) Museen zu Berlin, Griechische Urkunden XIX; Munich, 2005), 123–124.

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, E02374 -