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Artefact ID384
TM IDTM 59242
Findspot (DEChriM ID)28   (al-Bahnasā)
Writing mediumCodex
Text contentLiterary

P.Oxy. XV 1778 + P. Heid. Inv. G 1013; KV2

Two papyrus fragments containing Aristides Apology 5.5 and 6.1, written in the defence of Christianity to the emperor Hadrian. This papyrus is the earliest discovered Greek witness to the text of Aristides (composed in the 2nd c.), the only other being P.Lond.Lit. 223 (4th c.) containing verses 15.4-16.2. The text was otherwise known through indirect attestation in the Greek text of Barlaam and Josaphat by John of Damascus as well as in Latin and Syriac translations and Armenian fragments; see Blumell / Wayment 2015: 343-344.

The fragment is comprised of pieces from two folios of the same codex; a larger fragment from the upper part of the folio (=P.Oxy. 1778) and a shorter, wide fragment from the bottom part of the folios (=P.Heid. inv. G 1013). 

The script is a neat and legible uncial, and there are no marks of punctuation. There is only one instance of nomen sacrum found in l. 24 (θν as the contracted form of θεόv) while other, usually contracted christian nouns, are written out in full. 

Selection criteriaLiterary genre (Non-canonical), Literary genre (Theological), Mention of Christian individuals/communities, Nomina sacra
Date from300
Date to399
Dating criteria

Palaeography. Dated by the ed. pr. (Hunt 1922) to the 4th c. on the basis of comparison with P.Oxy. VI 847.

Absolute/relative dateRelative date
Archaeological context-
Accession number

Heidelberg, Institut für Papyrologie P. G 1013 + Oxford, Sackler Library, Papyrology Rooms, P. Oxy. 1778


Reference edition:

∙ Pouderon, Bernard, Marie-Joseph Pierre, Bernard Outtier and Marina Guiorgadzé, eds. 2003. Aristide, Apologie. Sources chrétiennes 470. Paris. 107-109, 294-297. 

Editiones principes:

• Hagedorn, Dieter. 2000. "Ein neues Fragment zu P. Oxy. XV 1778 (Aristides, Apologie)". ZPE 131. 40-44.

• Hunt, Arthur S. 1922. The Oxyrhynchus Papyri, part XV. Published by the Egypt Exploration Society in Graeco-Roman Memoirs. London. 1-6, no. 1778 and plate no. 1.

Additional bibliography:

• Aland, Kurt. 1995. Repertorium der Griechischen Christlichen Papyri. II. Kirchenväter. Kirchenväter 2.

• Alpigiano, Carlotta. 1986. "L'Apologia di Aristide e la tradizione papiracea". CClCr 7. 333-357.

• Alpigiano, Carlotta. 1988. Aristide di Atene. Apologia. Biblioteca Patristica 11. Firenze: Nardini.

• Blumell, Lincoln H. and Thomas A. Wayment. 2015. Christian Oxyrynchus: Texts, Documents and Sources. Waco, Texas. Papyrus no. 95.

• de Zwaan, J. 1925. "A Gap in the Recently Discovered Greek of the Apology of Aristides 16, 1". The Harvard Theological Review 18 (1). 109-11.

• Epp, E. J. 2007. "The New Testament Papyri at Oxyrhynchus: Their Significance for Understanding the Transmission of the Early New Testament Text". Oxyrhynchus: A city and its texts. Bowman, A. K. et al., eds. London. 326.

• Geerard, Maurice. 1983. Clavis Patrum Graecorum. Vol. 1. Turnhout: Brepols. Description no. 1062.

• Harris, Helen B. 1891. The newly recovered Apology of Aristides, its doctrine and ethics. London: Hodder and Stoughton.

• Harris, J. Rendel and J. Armitage Robinson. 1893. The apology of Aristides on behalf of the Christians.

• Krüger, Gustav. 1924. "Aristides Apologie 15,6–16, 12 im Urtext". Theologische Literaturzeitung 49. 47–8.

• Migne, Jacques Paul. 1860. Patrologia Graeca. Vol. 96. Paris. 185-240.

• Modona, Neppi A. 1922. "L'Apologia di Aristide e il nuovo frammento di Ossirinco". Bilychinis 11. 317-27. 

• van Haelst, Joseph. 1976. Catalogue des papyrus littéraires juifs et chrétiens. Description no. 623.

• Vinson, Steve. 2010. "A Bi-graphic (Greek and Demotic) Graffito from the Tomb of Ramses IV in the Valley of the King (KV2)". Enchoria 32. 131–134.

• Vona, Costantino. 1950. L'Apologia di Aristide. Romae: Facultas theologica Pontificii Athenaei Lateranensis.

• Wessely, C. 1924. Les plus anciens monuments du christianisme écrits sur papyrus. Vol. 2. Paris. 500-502.


Sofia Heim, 2021
Suggested citation
Sofia Heim, 2021, "Artefact ID 384", 4CARE database - Fourth-Century Christian Archaeological Record of Egypt,