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Artefact ID513
TM IDTM 64637
Findspot (DEChriM ID)28   (al-Bahnasā)
Writing mediumSheet/roll
Text contentSubliterary

BASP 22 (1985): 333-348

Papyrus fragment (14.2 x 10.8 cm) containing a hymn or eulogy for local Christian martyrs or members of the Church.

The fragment has severe damage to its left side, but preserves a bottom (3 cm), right- and upper (1 cm) margin. The text is written in one column, of which 19 lines survive.

The eulogy has been written the verso of an epikrisis return (376-382; Oxyrhynchus) with the right-side of the original document becoming the upper side of the Christian text. The ed. pr. notes that the bottom of the original text seems to have been cut prior to reuse.

The hand is right-leaning, small and uneven, and resembles the Severe style. The ed. pr. offers no close parallels. The text contains several corrections (see l. 6), itacisms and spaces for punctuation, and one nomen sacrum can be found in l. 5 (θεοῦ). The scribe also curiously omits connectives and articles.

The format is particularly interesting: the line-divisions are uneven and give an appearance of a metrical division, yet several lines do not have complete words at line-end. The ed. pr. gives the following arrangement:

3 lines + gap; 13 lines + gap; 3 lines + gap; 1 line

There is a possibility that the apparent gaps could contain shorter lines or verses that have been lost in the damage of the left side of the fragment.

The content resembles the Christian hymns of the Byzantine period, but the text does not contain several of the commonplace characteristics. Nor does it too closely resemble the Christian acrostics. The metre is also difficult to discern without the necessary verse-ends, and the ed. pr. suggests perhaps a less-restrictive Greek quantitative rhythm, or an isosyllabic, stress-accented rhythm, or finally a type of "rhythmicized" prose.

Some stylistic and topical comparanda provided by the ed. pr.:

P.Amh. I 2 (acrostic hymn from the 4th century; provenance N/A)
P.Cairo Masp. I 67024 (verso; isosephic hymn from the 6th century, Aphrodito)
P.Mon.Epiph. 594 (ostracon; stress-accented hymn from the 7th century, Memnoneia)

Selection criteriaSubliterary genre (Liturgical), Christian terms/formulas/concepts, Nomina sacra
Date from375
Date to450
Dating criteria

Palaeography. The small uncial hand similar to the Severe style is placed by the ed. pr. in the late 4th to mid-5th c.

Absolute/relative dateRelative date
Archaeological context

Provenance is probably Oxyrhynchus, which is the definite provenance of the original document on the recto.

Accession number

New Haven, Yale University, Beinecke Library P. CtYBR 1360 (verso).


Editio princeps:

∙ Stephens, Susan A. 1985. "A Eulogy for Christian Martyrs?". Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists 22 (1/4). 333-348.

Sofia Heim,
Suggested citation
Sofia Heim, , "Artefact ID 513", 4CARE database - Fourth-Century Christian Archaeological Record of Egypt,