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ARTEFACT IDENTIFIERS

Artefact ID183
TM IDTM 10040
Findspot (DEChriM ID)50   (Qaṣr Qārūn)
ClassTextual
MaterialPapyrus
Writing mediumSheet/roll
Text contentDocumentary
LanguageGreek
Archive/DossierArchive
Description

P.Abinn. 5, P.Lond. II 414: Letter to Abinnaeus.

Aetius writes to his "master and brother Abinnaeus", greets him "in God" and prays "before our Lord God" for his health. He reports to him on his success or failure in a number of commissions similar in nature to those of his other letter (P.Abinn. 4), but in a different hand – it is likely that this letter (and P.Abinn. 52, 53, 56 and 57) was written by a professional scribe.

On the question whether Abinnaeus, commander of the cavalry (praefectus alae) in Dionysias, was a Christian and for his relationship with monks and clergy, see Barnes 1985: 373-374, Choat 2006: passim, Luijendijk 2008: 35, n. 42, Kaiser 2015: 383, Choat 2017: 47.

Recto: text written along the fibres. Verso: address, along the fibres.

 

Selection criteriaChristian terms/formulas/concepts
Date from342
Date to351
Dating criteria

Dated to ca. 346 in ed. pr.

According to Gallazzi (2015: 177-178), all of the dated texts of Abinnaeus archive are dated between 343 and 351 AD, that is, in the period in which Abinnaeus exercised his functions of praepositus of the castra (342-351).

Absolute/relative dateRelative date
Archaeological context

Purchased as part of a lot comprising Papyri 401-447 from the Reverend Chauncey Murch (b. 1856, d. 1907) on 15 May 189 (British Library website).

While it was previously thought that Fl. Abinnaeus' archive was found in Philadelpheia where he went to live after his retirement, Gallazzi 2015 argued that Fl. Abinnaeus should have left his papers in his office (or in his lodgings), in Dionysias, when he left the army and handed over the command of the castra to others. The material would have been recovered in Qaṣr Qārūn, at the end of the nineteenth century, by antiquities seekers or sebâkh quarrymen and given to merchants of Medînet el-Fayûm, where they would have been intermingled with the documents recovered at Kharabet el-Gerza (Philadelphia), before reaching European collections.

Accession number

London, British Library, Pap 414

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Publications:

· Bell, Harold Idris, Victor Martin, Eric G. Turner and Denis van Berchem, 1962. The Abinnaeus Archive. Papers of a Roman Officer in the Reign of Constantius II. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 42-44, no. 5.

· Kenyon, Frederic G. 1898. Greek Papyri in the British Museum II. London: British Museum, 291-292, no. 414.

 

Other studies:

· Barnes, Timothy D. 1985. “The Career of Abinnaeus.” Phoenix 39, 368-374.

· Choat, Malcolm. 2006. Belief and Cult in Fourth-Century Papyri. Studia Antiqua Australiensia 1. Turnhout: Brepols.

· Choat, Malcolm and Maria Chiara Giorda. 2017. Writing and Communication in Early Monasticism. Texts and Studies in Eastern Christianity 9. Leiden-Boston.

· Gallazzi, Claudio. 2015. “Dove è stato ritrovato l’archivio di Abinneo?” Archiv für Papyrusforschung und verwandte Gebiete 61, 170-179.

· Kaiser, Anna Maria. 2012. “Die Fahndung nach Deserteuren im spätantiken Ägypten.” In Actes du 26e Congrès international de papyrologie, Genève 16-21 août 2010, ed. Paul Schubert. Genève: Droz, 381-390.

 

· Luijendijk, AnneMarie. 2008. Greetings in the Lord: early Christians and the Oxyrhynchus papyri. Cambridge, Mass.-London: Harvard University Press.

 

 

 

 

Authors
Valérie Schram, 2021
Suggested citation
Valérie Schram, 2021, "Artefact ID 183", 4CARE database - Fourth-Century Christian Archaeological Record of Egypt, https://4care-skos.mf.no/artefacts/183