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Artefact ID353
TM IDTM 32662
Findspot (DEChriM ID)-   ()
Writing mediumSheet/roll
Text contentDocumentary

P.Lond. VI 1929: Letter to Papnouthios.
Letter sent by Athanasius "to the most valued and beloved father Papnouthios", with a request for prayers for himself, Didyma and her mother, all in bad health.

Tone and literary sense indicate a man of education and a person of authority. Bell suggested that the writer could be the bishop of Alexandria but Choat claims that this idea found few if any supporters (Choat and Giorda: 52).


Recto: large and sloping cursive hand by a practised writer, along the fibres. Verso: address, along the fibres.

Selection criteriaMention of Christian cult officials/institutions, Christian terms/formulas/concepts, Christian onomastics, Nomina sacra
Date from325
Date to375
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 2497


Editio princeps:

· Bell, Harold I. 1924. Jews and Christians in Egypt. The Jewish Troubles in Alexandria and the Athanasian Controversy. London: British Museum, 115-120, no. 1929.

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, 52.

Valérie Schram, 2021
Suggested citation
Valérie Schram, 2021, "Artefact ID 353", 4CARE database - Fourth-Century Christian Archaeological Record of Egypt,