Get Social With Us



Artefact ID248
TM IDTM 35474
Findspot (DEChriM ID)28   (al-Bahnasā)
Writing mediumSheet/roll
Text contentDocumentary

P.Oxy. LVI 3863: letter to the priest Philoxenos.

Part of a collective letter sent by the priests and deacons from the village of Akoutou to "the most discreet and the most pious Philoxenos, priest". The priest Philoxenos seems to have arranged for the religious community of the village the loan with interest of one gold coin belonging to a certain Iohannes, through the intermediary of "my son" Poemen. Thus, after salutations to "your goodness", the senders inform him through this letter that they have sent off interest in the form of twelve double-jars of wine with "our same son" Poemen. Eventually addressing the priest as "your holiness" they ask something else but the papyrus breaks off and the rest is lost.

Recto: letter written along the fibres; use of nomina sacra. Verso: address, along the fibres.

Selection criteriaMention of Christian cult officials/institutions, Christian terms/formulas/concepts, Christian onomastics, Nomina sacra
Date from350
Date to450
Dating criteria

Dated 5th c. in the, but palaeography, absence of initial cross, format and honorific address "your goodness" (ἡ σὴ χρηστότης) which is no longer in use after the 4th c. point rather to a date in the 4th c. or early 5th c.

Absolute/relative dateRelative date
Archaeological context-
Accession number

Oxford, Sackler Library, Papyrology Rooms P. Oxy. 3863


Editio pinceps:

• Sirivianou, M.G. 1989. The Oxyrhynchus Papyri, vol. LVI. Graeco-Roman Memoirs 76. London, 138-140, no. 3863.

Valérie Schram, 2021
Suggested citation
Valérie Schram, 2021, "Artefact ID 248", 4CARE database - Fourth-Century Christian Archaeological Record of Egypt,