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Artefact ID368
TM IDTM 13067
Findspot (DEChriM ID)52   (Ḫarabat Ihrīt)
Writing mediumSheet/roll
Text contentDocumentary

P.Sakaon 48; SB VI 9622: Petition to a Praepositus Pagi.
The petition, addressed to Aurelius Ision, curialis, praepositus of the 8th pagus of the Arsinoite nome, is sent by Aurelius Zoilos son of Melas, deacon of the universal church (δ[ι]άκονος τῆς καθολικῆ̣ς ἐκ̣κ̣λη[σ]ία[ς]) from the village of Theadelphia in the same nome. The complaint concerns the times when his son, Gerontios, was about to die from an illness, and a man named Sakaon, from the same village, came into his home and took his wife away, with the help of his brothers and the wife's mother. After the death of Gerontios, his brother wanted to confront them but they attacked him and stole the sheep, cows and asses which his sons had on loan. Zoilos is thus asking that they be arrested and punished.

The end subscription, from Zoilos' hand, states that he is illiterate and that a scribe wrote for him.

This seems to be one of the rare texts documenting Christianity in the 4th c. declining village of Theadelphia (with the magical roll P.Oslo I 1) but it shows that there was a church and all the usual hierarchy (see Horsley 1983).

Selection criteriaMention of Christian cult officials/institutions
Date from343
Date to343
Dating criteria

Dated to April 6th, 343 ("Consulship of the most glorious Furius Placidius and Flavius Romulus. Pharmouthi 11").

Absolute/relative dateAbsolute date
Archaeological context

Accession number

Oxford, Sackler Library, Papyrology Rooms EES without number


Editio princeps

• Barns, John. 1957. "A fourth-century deacon's petition from Theadelphia." In Studia Patristica 1. Papers Presented to the Second International Conference on Patristic Studies held at Christ Church, Oxford, 1955. Part 1, edited by K. Aland and F.L. Cross. Texte und Untersuchungen 63. Berlin, 3-9.

Additional bibliography

• Bryen, Ari. 2013. Violence in Roman Egypt: a study in legal interpretation. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 263-264, no. 106.

• Horsley, G.H.R. 1983. New Documents illustrating early Christianity, 3. Macquarie University: The Ancient History Documentary Research Centre, §101: 149-155.

• Parássoglou, G.M. 1978. The Archive of Aurelius Sakaon: Papers of an Egyptian Farmer in the last Century of Theadelphia. Bonn, no. 48.

Valérie Schram, 2021
Suggested citation
Valérie Schram, 2021, "Artefact ID 368", 4CARE database - Fourth-Century Christian Archaeological Record of Egypt,