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Artefact ID406
TM IDTM 20705
Findspot (DEChriM ID)28   (al-Bahnasā)
Writing mediumSheet/roll
Text contentDocumentary

P.Oxy. I 43 vo; Chrest.Wilck. 474: List of Guards or Watchmen of Oxyrhynchos

Both sides of this papyrus roll contain long official documents. The one on the recto, of a military character, gives an account of supplies provided to various troops and officers. The document on the verso was written after and contains a list of the guards who were distributed over the chief streets and public buildings of Oxyrhynchos. As such, it contains useful topographical information, in particular the earliest mention of churches in Oxyrhynchos, namely the North church (col. 1, l. 10: πρ(ὸς) τῇ βοριν[ῇ] ἐκκλησίᾳ) and the South church (col. 3, l. 19: πρ(ὸς) τῇ νοτινῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ). Also, among the watchmen, three of them bear the name Theodoros (with different patronyms) that are suggestive of Christianity (see Depauw Clarysse 2103: 416).

Another document mentioning a church in the early 4th c. is P.Berl.Bork. (c. 298-325, Panopolis).

Selection criteriaMention of Christian cult officials/institutions, Christian onomastics
Date from295
Date to310
Dating criteria

The document on the recto is dated 295. The ed. pr. suggested the document on the verso was written not long after, whereas Wilcken places it under Diocletian.

Note Bagnall's opinion: "perhaps as late as the 320s" (Bagnall 1993: 164, n. 83).

Absolute/relative dateRelative date
Archaeological context-
Accession number

London, British Library, Pap 748 Vo.


Editio princeps

• Grenfell, Bernard P.  and Arthur S. Hunt. 1898. The Oxyrhynchus Papyri. Published by the Egypt Exploration Society in Graeco-Roman Memoirs. London, no. 43.

Additional bibliography

• Blumell, Lincoln H. and Thomas A. Wayment. 2015. Christian Oxyrhynchus: Texts, Documents and Sources. Waco, Texas, no. 113.

• Bagnall, Roger. 1993. Egypt in Late Antiquity. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

• Depauw, Mark and Clarysse Willy. 2013. "How Christian was Fourth Century Egypt? Onomastic Perspectives on Conversion". Vigiliae Christianae 67, 407-435.

• Wilcken, Ulrich. 1912. Grundzüge und Chrestomathie der Papyruskunde, I Bd. Historischer Teil, II Hälfte Chrestomathie. Leipzig-Berlin, no. 474: 559-561.

Valérie Schram, 2021
Suggested citation
Valérie Schram, 2021, "Artefact ID 406", 4CARE database - Fourth-Century Christian Archaeological Record of Egypt,
External links