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The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

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

Coptic will of Paul, from Jeme (Upper Egypt), requesting a donation for his soul to be made to the shrine (topos) of the martyr Apa *Phoibammon (presumably the soldier and martyr of Assiut, S00080). The scribe of the document seems to be a lector of the church of *Mary (Mother of Christ, S00033); dated to 28 December 733 or 748.

Evidence ID


Type of Evidence

Late antique original manuscripts - Papyrus sheet

Documentary texts - Will

Documentary texts - Donation document

P.KRU 74

Paul, a local from castron Jeme, bequeathed his property to his wife and children. In his will he also requests that a donation is made to the shrine of Phoibammon for his salvation. The donation is to be paid in gold coins, though the exact amount is now missing.

Lines 57–59 read as follows:

Ϯⲟⲩⲱϣ ⲇⲉ ⲟⲛ ⲁⲩⲱ ϯⲕⲉⲗⲉⲩⲉ ⲉⲧⲣⲉⲩϯ […] ⲛϩⲟⲗⲟⲕ(ⲟⲧⲧⲓⲛⲟⲥ) ⲉϩⲟⲩⲛ ⲉⲡⲧⲟⲡⲟⲥ ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ <ⲙ>ⲡϩⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲫⲟⲓⲃⲁⲙⲱⲛ
ⲡⲙⲁⲣⲧⲩⲣⲟⲥ ⲛϫⲱⲱⲣⲉ ϩⲁ ⲡⲥⲱⲧⲉ ⲛⲧⲁⲯⲩⲭⲏ

‘I also wish and command that [an amount of] solidi are to be donated to the holy shrine of saint Apa Phoibammon, the strong martyr, for the redemption of my soul.’

The scribe of the document mentioned, is the son of a priest and a lector, presumably at the church of Mary.

Line 111 reads as follows:

+ ⲁⲛⲟⲕ ϩⲏⲗⲓⲁⲥ ⲡϣⲏⲣⲉ ⲙⲙⲱⲩ̣ⲥ̣ⲏⲥ ⲡⲡⲣ(ⲉⲥⲃⲩⲧⲉⲣⲟⲥ) ⲡⲉⲓⲉⲗⲁⲭ(ⲓⲥⲧⲟⲥ) ⲛⲁⲛⲁⲅⲛⲱ(ⲥ)ⲧ(ⲏⲥ) ⲛⲑⲁⲅⲓ[ⲁ ⲙⲁⲣⲓⲁ] ⲁⲓⲍⲱⲙⲁⲧⲓⲍⲉ +

‘I, Elias, the son of Moyses the presbyter, the least lector of saint [Mary], I have produced (this document).’

(Text: W. E. Crum and G. Steindorff, German trans. W. C. Till, Engl. trans. G. Schenke)

Cult Places

Martyr shrine (martyrion, bet sāhedwātā, etc.)
Cult building - monastic


This papyrus document Ms. G. fol. 34 belongs to the papyrus collection in Berlin.


Edition and Translation:
Crum, W.E., and Steindorff, G., Koptische Rechtsurkunden des achten Jahrhunderts aus Djeme (Theben) (Leipzig, 1971), 235–239.

Till, W.C.,
Erbrechtliche Untersuchungen auf Grund der koptischen Urkunden (Vienna, 1954), 193–198 (German Translation).

Record Created By

Gesa Schenke

Date Last Modified


Related Saint Records
IDNameName in SourceIdentity
S00033Mary, Mother of Christⲑⲁⲅⲓ[ⲁ ⲙⲁⲣⲓⲁ] Certain
S00080Phoibammon, soldier and martyr of Assiutⲁⲡⲁ ⲫⲟⲓⲃⲁⲙⲱⲛ Certain

Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL:
Gesa Schenke, Cult of Saints, E04036 -