Get Social With Us



Artefact ID333
TM IDTM 32417
Findspot (DEChriM ID)34   (Ǧabal al-Ṭārif)
Writing mediumSheet/roll
Text contentDocumentary

P.Nag Hamm. 77: Letter to Sansnos.

Bottom part of a letter in two fragments. The address gives the names of the senders: three priests (Zaccheos, Kom-- and Pechenephnibis) writing to their "[beloved] brother" Sansnos ([τῷ ἀγαπητῷ] ἀδελφῷ Σανσνῶτι). The letter concerns the recommendation by "our father, the ... bishop" (ὁ πατὴρ ἡμ[ῶν ὁ   ̣  ̣  ̣  ̣]ς̣ ἐπίσκοπος̣) to welcome some persons coming to cut down a few trees. The letter also mentions a boat, which “Besarion have to keep undisturbed”, probably the one that would use the persons to come and take away the wood.

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

Sansnos is the same person as the priest in P.Nag Hamm. 78 and most likely also as the monk in P.Nag Hamm. 72 or the "beloved father" in P.Nag Hamm. 68, see M. Choat (in Choat and Giorda 2017: 35-36); about the letters addressed to him, see also Bagnall 2018: 80-85.

About Zaccheos, see also P.Nag Hamm. 78 and M. Choat in Choat and Giorda 2017: 54.

Selection criteriaMention of Christian cult officials/institutions, Christian 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 (P.Nag Hamm. 65).

Absolute/relative dateRelative date
Archaeological context

The leather covers of eight of the twelve Nag Hammadi codices, which were 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 18 - 19 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, 73-75: no. 77.

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, 75-100.

• 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.

Valérie Schram, 2021
Suggested citation
Valérie Schram, 2021, "Artefact ID 333", 4CARE database - Fourth-Century Christian Archaeological Record of Egypt,