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Artefact ID221
TM IDTM 16856
Findspot (DEChriM ID)55   (Qarāra)
Writing mediumSheet/roll
Text contentDocumentary

P.Lond. VI 1918: Letter to Apa Paieous.

After lengthy greetings, Charisios announces to Apa Paieous, head of the Melitian community in Hathor, the dispatch of provisions (dates, grapes, lentil meal and sweet olives), and expresses his intention to visit him.


Hand: neat, well-made semi-cursive, very much a letter hand, including diacritics (diaeresis, nomina sacra); typical Egyptian spelling (Bagnall 2018: 97).

Recto: written along fibres; Verso: Address, along fibres, between two diagrams marking the place where the string passed round the folded letter – thus confirming the frequent practice of folding letters in two directions before sealing them (see ed. pr. l. 21-22 n.).

Selection criteriaMention of Christian cult officials/institutions, Christian terms/formulas/concepts, Nomina sacra
Date from330
Date to340
Dating criteria

Range of Apa Paieous' archive

Absolute/relative dateRelative date
Archaeological context

Purchased with a lot comprising Papyri 2543-2551 from Maurice Nahman (b. 1868, d. 1948) in September 1923 (British library website – but ed. pr.: "acquired 1922").

Accession number

London, British Library Pap 2546


Editio princeps
· Bell, Harold I. 1924. Jews and Christians in Egypt. The Jewish Troubles in Alexandria and the Athanasian Controversy. London: British Museum, 86-88, no. 1918.

Additional bibliography
· Bagnall, R. 2018. "The Educational and Cultural Background of Egyptian Monks." In Monastic Education in Late Antiquity, L. Larsen and S. Rubenson (ed.), Cambridge.
· Choat, Malcolm and Maria Chiara Giorda. 2017. Writing and Communication in Early Monasticism. Texts and Studies in Eastern Christianity 9. Leiden-Boston, 25-29, 31, 48, 49, 51, 60.
· Choat, Malcolm. 2006. Belief and Cult in Fourth-Century Papyri, Studia Antiqua Australiensia 1. Turnhout: Brepols, 159
· Hauben, Hans. 2002. "Aurêlios Pageus, alias Apa Paiêous, et le monastère mélitien d'Hathor." Ancient Society 32, 337-352.

Valérie Schram, 2021
Suggested citation
Valérie Schram, 2021, "Artefact ID 221", 4CARE database - Fourth-Century Christian Archaeological Record of Egypt,