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Artefact ID450
TM IDTM 20309
Findspot (DEChriM ID)12   (Ismant al-Ḫarāb)
Writing mediumSheet/roll
Text contentDocumentary

P.Kellis I 48: Manumission of a female slave

This fragmentarily preserved papyrus contains the copy of a deed of manumission of a female slave Hilaria by her master Aurelius Valerius, former magistrate of the city of the Mothites. The reason given for this manumission is quite remarkable since Aurelius Valerius states: "I have set you free because of my exceptional Christianity" (διʼ ὑπερβ̣ολὴν χ[ρι]στιανότη̣τ̣ο̣ς̣) and combines it with the traditional formula "under Zeus, Earth and Sun", which, according to the editor, "offers a nice illustration of the amalgam of Christian and pagan elements sometimes occurring next to each other in 4th-century documents" (Worp 2004: 142). The substantive  χριστιανότης seems to be attested here for the first time.

 A priest,  Aurelius Psekes, acts as a witness to this deed (l. 20) and might be referred to as "our most reverend father Psekes" (l. 9-10); monks may have been present too (l. 11n.).


On both sides of the sheet the writing runs parallel with the fibres. The sheet was folded 7 times vertically and 3 times horizontally.

Selection criteriaMention of Christian cult officials/institutions, Mention of Christian individuals/communities, Christian terms/formulas/concepts, Archaeological context associated with Christian markers
Date from355
Date to355
Dating criteria

Text dated 355.

Absolute/relative dateAbsolute date
Archaeological context

House 3, room 9, level 3, Western doorway; P. 61.F+G + U + V: House 3, room 8, level 4; P. 65.F+J: House 3, room 8, level 3.

Accession number

Kellis, excavations Dakleh Oasis Project 1986-, inv. P. 56.C + P. 61.F+G + U + V + P. 65.F+J.


Editio princeps

• Worp, Klaas, with contributions by J.E.G. Whitehorne and R.W. Daniel. 1995. Greek Papyri from Kellis I. (P.Kell.G.). Nos. 1-90. Dakhleh Oasis Project: Monograph 3. Oxford: Oxbow Books, no. 48: 139-143 and pl. 48.

Valérie Schram, 2021
Suggested citation
Valérie Schram, 2021, "Artefact ID 450", 4CARE database - Fourth-Century Christian Archaeological Record of Egypt,
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