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The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

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

Coptic inscription on nummulitic limestone, presumably from Middle Egypt, with a long invocation to a large number of saints including *Mary (Mother of Christ, S00033), *Michael (the Archangel, S00181), *Adam (S00772), the *Patriarchs (S00138) and *Apostles (S00084), the martyrs Apa *Viktor (son of Romanos, Egyptian martyr, S00749), Apa *Phoibammon (soldier and martyr of Assiut, S00080), Apa *Paul (the first anchorite, S00089) and his brothers, as well as list of holy monastic figures, such as Apa *Apollo, Apa *Anoup, and Apa *Phib (monks and monastic founders, S00774), Apa *Patermoute (S01222), Apa *Proou, and all the saints. Datable to the 6th/9th century.

Evidence ID


Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Funerary inscriptions

KSB 1 416

The inscription mentions a man from Aqfahs in Middle Egypt and includes in its invocation the three saints Apollo, Anoup, and Phib celebrated at Bawit (Middle Egypt) which makes this a likely place of origin.

The last lines are very fragmentary, but lines 1–11 read as follows:

ⲁⲡⲁ ⲓⲟⲩⲗⲓⲟⲥ ⲡⲣⲙ ⲕⲃⲉϩⲥ
+ ⲡⲓⲱⲧ ⲡϣⲏⲣⲉ ⲡⲉⲡⲛⲁ ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲧⲉⲙⲁⲁⲩ ⲙⲁⲣⲓⲁ ⲡⲉⲛⲉⲓⲱⲧ ⲙⲓⲭⲁⲏⲗ ⲡⲉⲛⲉⲓⲱⲧ ⲁⲇⲁⲙ ⲛⲉⲛⲉⲓⲟⲧⲉ ⲙⲡⲁⲧⲣⲓⲁⲣⲭⲏⲥ ⲛⲁⲡⲟⲥⲧⲟⲗⲟⲥ
ⲙⲙⲁⲣⲧⲏⲣⲟⲥ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲃⲓⲕⲧⲱⲣ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲫⲟⲓⲃⲁⲙⲙⲱⲛ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲡⲁⲩⲗⲉ ⲙⲛ ⲛⲉϥⲥⲛⲏⲩ ⲛⲉⲛⲉⲓⲟⲧ ⲙⲛ ⲛⲟϭ ⲛⲣⲱⲙⲉ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲁⲡⲟⲗⲗⲱ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲁⲛⲟⲩⲡ
ⲁⲡⲁ ⲫⲓⲃ ϫⲉ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲡⲁⲧⲉⲣⲙⲟⲩⲧⲉ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲡⲣ[ⲱⲟⲩ ⲙⲛ] ⲛⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲧⲏⲣⲟⲩ [

‘Apa Ioulios, the man of Aqfahs.
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Mother Mary and our father Michael, our father Adam and our fathers the patriarchs and the apostles, the martyrs Apa Viktor, Apa Phoibammon, and Apa Paule with his brothers, our (monastic) fathers and elders, Apa Apollo, Apa Anoup, and Apa Phib, also Apa Patermoute, Apa Pr[ou and] all the saints […’

(Text: M. Hasitzka, trans.: G. Schenke)

Non Liturgical Activity



The nummulitic limestone stele JE 38304 is kept at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.


Hasitzka, M.R.M.,
Koptisches Sammelbuch I (KSB I) (Vienna, 1993), 150–151.

Record Created By

Gesa Schenke

Date Last Modified


Related Saint Records
IDNameName in SourceIdentity
S00033Mary, Mother of Christⲧⲉⲙⲁⲁⲩ ⲙⲁⲣⲓⲁCertain
S00080Phoibammon, soldier and martyr of Assiutⲁⲡⲁ ⲫⲟⲓⲃⲁⲙⲙⲱⲛ Certain
S00084Apostles, unnamed or name lostⲛⲁⲡⲟⲥⲧⲟⲗⲟⲥ Certain
S00089Paul, the First Anchoriteⲁⲡⲁ ⲡⲁⲩⲗⲉ ⲙⲛ ⲛⲉϥⲥⲛⲏⲩ Uncertain
S00138Patriarchs (biblical), unnamed or name lostⲙⲡⲁⲧⲣⲓⲁⲣⲭⲏⲥCertain
S00181Michael, the Archangel ⲙⲓⲭⲁⲏⲗCertain
S00749Viktor, son of Romanos, martyr of Egypt, and companion martyrsⲁⲡⲁ ⲃⲓⲕⲧⲱⲣ Certain
S00772Adam and Zoe/Eve ⲁⲇⲁⲙCertain
S00774Apollo, Phib, and Anoup, monks and monastic foundersⲁⲡⲁ ⲁⲡⲟⲗⲗⲱ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲁⲛⲟⲩⲡ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲫⲓⲃCertain
S01222Patermouthios, native of Oxyrhynchos who gathered disciples around himⲁⲡⲁ ⲡⲁⲧⲉⲣⲙⲟⲩⲧⲉ Certain

Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL:
Gesa Schenke, Cult of Saints, E04040 -