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Artefact ID530
TM IDTM 33563
Findspot (DEChriM ID)55   (Qarāra)
Writing mediumSheet/roll
Text contentDocumentary

P.Neph. 10: Letter from Horion to Nepheros.

The letter opens on "greetings in Lord God" and prayers to God Almighty (εὔχομαι τῷ παντο|κράτορι θεῷ) for Nepheros's good health. The main object of the letter concerns the gratitude Horion expresses for Nepheros' intercessory prayers that made him well, and the confidence that they will allow him to be able to come back home. Finally, he offers his service and greets the community.


Recto: written in an upright cursive hand, somewhat stylish, with careful layout; pretence to a certain degree of education (use of optative, although incorrect; distinctively correct form of γιγνώσκω; apostrophe marking an uninflected Coptic name (l. 23); Greek ending to the name Nepheros (l. 1)); on the other hand the script shows various defaults in spelling. Nomina sacra abbreviated in the greeting formula but written in full in the text. It is possible that P.Neph. 14 is also from the same Horion. Writing runs parallel with the fibres.

Verso: address, parallel with the fibres.

Selection criteriaMention of Christian cult officials/institutions, Christian terms/formulas/concepts, Nomina sacra
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. papyri 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 073-19


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. 10.

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 (esp. 85-96).

• 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).

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


Valérie Schram, 2021
Suggested citation
Valérie Schram, 2021, "Artefact ID 530", 4CARE database - Fourth-Century Christian Archaeological Record of Egypt,