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Artefact ID526
TM IDTM 33560
Findspot (DEChriM ID)55   (Qarāra)
Writing mediumSheet/roll
Text contentDocumentary

P.Neph. 6: Letter from Paulos to Nepheros.

The letter is addressed to "our most pious father Nepheros" from Paulos. Without any greetings, he informs Nepheros that he has sent 10 sextarii of oil but could not send them earlier as he had difficulties finding vessels. The he asks again about the wheat Papnouthis owes him and to collect at last 3 artabs (out of the 16 he owes) and to give them to Protos who will make them into bread and send them to Paulos. In the end, he suggests a meeting (maybe some kind of formal procedure) between Papnuthis, a second "enemy" (Ailourion) and Nepheros: Nepheros is to persuade them to give back to Paulos his possessions. The final greetings are mostly lost, but Paulos adds a postscript in the left margin asking for information as to whether Nepheros has received two gold pieces from Hor, a monk of the monastery in Ankyron.

For a deacon of the monastery (mone) in Ankyron named Horos see SB VIII 9683, 5-6.


Recto: well-made hand with flourishes; spacing in l. 2; crasis occurs once. One rather rare word: δυσωπέω (to be importunate); but many phonetic spellings, corrections, no diacritics, 2 lines of text in the left margin (Bagnall 2018: 92). Writing parallel with the fibres.

Verso: Address; Writing parallel with the fibres.

Selection criteriaMention of Christian cult officials/institutions, Mention of Christian individuals/communities, Christian terms/formulas/concepts, Christian onomastics
Date from350
Date to370
Dating criteria

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 dateRelative date
Archaeological context

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).

Accession number

Trier, University Library, P.UB Trier S 073-14



Editio princeps

• Kramer, Bärbel and John. C. Shelton (ed.). 1987. Das Archiv des Nepheros und verwandte Texte. Part I, Das Archiv des Nepheros. Aegyptiaca Treverensia IV. Mainz, no. 6

Additional bibliography

• Bagnall, Roger. 2018. "The Educational and Cultural Background of Egyptian Monks." In Monastic Education in Late Antiquity. The Transformation of Classical Paideia, edited by L. Larsen and S. Rubenson. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 75-100.

• Bagnall, Roger. 1989. "Dating the archive of Nepheros. " In "Fourth-Century Prices: New Evidence and Further Thoughts." Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 76, 69-76 (esp. 75).

• Choat, Malcolm. 2017. "Monastic Letters on Papyrus from Late Antique Egypt." In Writing and Communication in Early Egyptian Monasticism, edited by M. Choat and M. Ch. Giorda. Leiden-Boston: Brill, 17-72 (esp. 25-29).

• Wipszycka, Ewa. 2009. Moines et communautés monastiques (IVe – VIIIe siècles). Journal of Juristic Papyrology Suppl. 11. Warsaw, 81-82.

Valérie Schram, 2021
Suggested citation
Valérie Schram, 2021, "Artefact ID 526", 4CARE database - Fourth-Century Christian Archaeological Record of Egypt,