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Artefact ID347
TM IDTM 32657
Findspot (DEChriM ID)-   ()
Writing mediumSheet/roll
Text contentDocumentary

P.Lond. VI 1924: Letter to Papnouthios.

Ausonios, probably an official of high rank, writes to his "beloved father apa Papnouthios" (τῷ ἀγαπητῷ πατρὶ ἄπα Παπνουθίῳ) and informs him that he has followed his instructions and sent for Horus of Philonikou (Herakleopolites). He asks for more orders and to be remembered in the apa's prayers.

It's likely that the writer was Flavius Julius Ausonius, the prefect of Augustamnica in 341 and 342 (Bell 1924: 100; Choat in Choat and Giorda 2017: 32).

Recto: Two hands. The main hand is of an official type, most likely a secretary, whereas the subscription (last four lines) was written in a hand much less ornamental and more cursive, apparently of an educated writer; text written along the fibres; 10 cm of blank at the foot of the letter. Verso: Address, along the fibres.

Selection criteriaMention of Christian cult officials/institutions, Christian terms/formulas/concepts, Christian onomastics
Date from325
Date to373
Dating criteria

No date occurs in the archive but palaeographically dated to the middle of the fourth century by comparison with the archive of Abinnaeus (c. 342-351).

Absolute/relative dateRelative date
Archaeological context

Purchased with a lot comprising Papyri 2486-2542 from Maurice Nahman (b. 1868, d. 1948) in September 1922 (British Library website). According to the dealer, the seven letters of the correspondence of Papnouthios were discovered together, but there is no information regarding the place of discovery (Bell 1924: 100).

Accession number

London, British Library, Pap 2492


Editio princeps:

· Bell, Harold I. 1924. Jews and Christians in Egypt. The Jewish Troubles in Alexandria and the Athanasian Controversy. London: British Museum, 105, no. 1924.

Additional bibliography:

· Choat, Malcolm and Maria Chiara Giorda. 2017. Writing and Communication in Early Monasticism. Texts and Studies in Eastern Christianity 9. Leiden-Boston, 29-33.

Valérie Schram, 2021
Suggested citation
Valérie Schram, 2021, "Artefact ID 347", 4CARE database - Fourth-Century Christian Archaeological Record of Egypt,