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Artefact ID309
TM IDTM 32410
Findspot (DEChriM ID)34   (Ǧabal al-Ṭārif)
Writing mediumSheet/roll
Text contentDocumentary

P.Nag Hamm. 68: Letter to Sansnos.

Letter sent by Harpocration to "[his] beloved father" Sansnos – elsewhere called a monk (PNH 72) and priest (PNH 78) – with a request for assistance regarding a "brother" harassed by a certain Peter in some business matter, and an appeal to the love of Christ (τῇ ἐν Χρηστῷ (l. Χριστῷ) σου ἀγάπῃ). He also asks Sansnos to "help us" obtain loads of chaff, and greets "all the brothers with whom you are".

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


Selection criteriaChristian terms/formulas/concepts
Date from325
Date to375
Dating criteria

Palaeography. Also, other waste papyri recovered from the same cartonnage used to construct the Nag Hammadi codex VII include contracts dated 341, 346 and 348 (PNH 65).

Absolute/relative dateRelative date
Archaeological context

The leather covers of eight of the twelve Nag Hammadi codices found in a sealed jar by Egyptian agricultural workers in 1945 (see ID 23) had been strengthened by cartonnage made of waste papyri. This papyrus comes from the richest of these cartonnages, codex VII.

Accession number

Cairo, Coptic Museum Nag Hamm. VII 8 c


Editio princeps

• Barns, J.W.B., G.M. Browne and J.C. Shelton (ed.). 1981. Nag Hammadi Codices. Greek and Coptic Papyri from the Cartonnage of the Covers. Nag Hammadi Studies XVI. Leiden, 61-63: no. 68.

Additional bibliography

• Choat, Malcolm and Maria Chiara Giorda (ed.). 2017. Writing and Communication in Early Monasticism. Texts and Studies in Eastern Christianity 9. Leiden-Boston, 33-36.

• Lundhaug Hugo and Lance Jenott. 2015. The Monastic Origins of the Nag Hammadi Codices, Tübingen, 46-54, 104-145.

 • Wipszycka, Ewa. 2000“The Nag Hammadi Library and the monks: A Papyrologist’s point of view”, Journal of Juristic Papyrology 30, 179-191.

Valérie Schram, 2021
Suggested citation
Valérie Schram, 2021, "Artefact ID 309", 4CARE database - Fourth-Century Christian Archaeological Record of Egypt,