|TM ID||TM 33557|
|Findspot (DEChriM ID)||55 (Qarāra)||Class||Textual|
P.Neph. 3: Letter from Paulos to Nepheros.
Letter of apology addressed to "our most revered and beloved father Nepheros" from Paulos who informs him that he has not yet been able to get the oil he was apparently supposed to send do Nepheros. As an excuse, he explains that he had to take care of his children (maybe his wife Tapiam was already gone on her journey from Alexandria unless she has died from her illness (see P.Neph. 1). Also, he has sent to him "our brother" Horion, a monk from the monastery (mone) in Akyron (see SB VIII 9683), with some commodity whose nature is lost. Mention of one Taese, possible a nun (see P.Neph. 5).
The provision of oil is one of the constant orders Paulos receives from the monastery. The editors note that, according to the small quantities involved, the oil was probably to serve cultic purposes or reserved for the use of the higher dignitaries (rather than for cooking). But why was the oil sent from Alexandria rather than from the surrounding area? They suggest that it was the finest oil that was looked for and that it first had to be consecrated by the bishop for ritual purposes.
Recto: script written in a professional and "latinate hand" that could be dated much later without context; names of recipient and sender are artistically spaced. No elaborate Christian greetings; no diacritics and no nomina sacra (Bagnall 2018: 91). Text runs parallel with the fibres.
Verso: address, along the fibres.
|Selection criteria||Christian terms/formulas/concepts, Christian onomastics|
Palaeography, archive connection and historic context led the editors to suggest a range of date around 360 for the Nepheros correspondence (Kramer and Shelton 1987: 5). According to the study of the prices mentioned in the archive, Bagnall 1989: 75 (= BL IX, 173) suggests a range after 352.
|Absolute/relative date||Relative date|
The P.Neph. were bought on the market but according to the seller they were all found together. Nothing in the archive led the editors to doubt this statement and they add that the archive were probably found in the direct vicinity of the ancient location of the monastery of Phathor (see Kramer and Shelton 1987: 5).
Heidelberg, Institute for Papyrology, P.Heid. Inv. G 2142