Get Social With Us



Artefact ID372
TM IDTM 92734
Findspot (DEChriM ID)35   (Qarāra)
Writing mediumCodex
Text contentSubliterary

P.Math.: School book.

Twelve leaves papyrus codex containing mathematical problems, metrological texts, and model contracts, with drawings and decoration such as twigs and ansate crosses [crux ansata].

Internal evidence in P.Math. supports a general provenance in the Oxyrhynchite nome: one of the model documents, h3, is an agreement between (fictitious) residents of Oxyrhynchos and of the 6th pagus, and features of the model documents, including year numbers, are characteristic of documents from the Oxyrhynchite nome (Bagnall and Jones 2020: 2).

Selection criteriaChristian symbols/gestures/isopsephy, Writing medium suggestive of Christian context, Archaeological context associated with Christian markers
Date from350
Date to375
Dating criteria

Palaeography. Also, some elements of the model contracts point to a date after the middle of the 4th c.: the use of solidus and the use of year 10 according to the Oxyrhynchite era, which would give year 364/365 for the composition of the model contracts, or slightly later (Bagnall and Jones 2020:8).

Absolute/relative dateRelative date
Archaeological context

Unverifiable reports, relying on pseudonymous informants, allege that the codex was found with three others (Codex Tchacos, TM 66871, 108582, 113825) in a tomb in the Jebel Qarara in the 1970s. While it seems credible to the editors that the codices were found together, B. Nongbri is more sceptical about the provenance (Nongri 2018: 95-96 and n. 45). The assignment of the find to the general area of Oxyrhynchus fit the content of the model contracts.

Nine of the leaves (A - I; E and F constituting an intact bifolium) were purchased by the anonymous owner of the "Archimedes Palimpsest" in 2001; the other three (M - O), around the same time, by the late Lloyd Cotsen, who donated them to the Cotsen Children's Library, Princeton University. Previous to these acquisitions, all the leaves had been in the hands of the antiquities dealer Bruce Ferrini (Bagnall and Jones 2020: 1, see also Pearse 2011).


Accession number

Princeton, University Library, Cotsen Library Q 87167


Editio princeps

• Bagnall, Roger S. and Alexander Jones. 2020. Mathematics, Metrology, and Model Contracts. New York. 

Additional bibliography

• Nongbri, Brent. 2018. God's Library. The Archaeology of the Earliest Christian Manuscripts. New Haven - London: Yale University Press.

Valérie Schram, 2021
Suggested citation
Valérie Schram, 2021, "Artefact ID 372", 4CARE database - Fourth-Century Christian Archaeological Record of Egypt,