|TM ID||TM 33565|
|Findspot (DEChriM ID)||55 (Qarāra)||Class||Textual|
P.Neph. 12: Letter from Serapion to Petechon and Nepheros.
This letter is first and foremost a greeting letter that serves to maintain contact between Serapion, a monk who went on a journey to Omboi in Upper Egypt and his community in the monastery of Phathor.
Although the address on the back says that the letter is to be handed to "Nepheros, priest", the actual letter is addressed to "my beloved father Apa Petechon father of the monastery". Serapion greets firstly the abbot, then the two priests named Nepheros, followed by other brothers. As he immediately asks the first-named Nepheros to include him in his intercessory prayers, he must be the famous priest, the addressee of the other letters. The series of greetings is interrupted l. 12 with a direct address to Apa Nepheros and personal concerns that he brings to his attention: Paulos, a skipper from Toeto, will deliver monk's robes and sickles. Then the series of greetings start again until l. 18 where Serapion asks Nepheros to take care of his piece of land and to harvest the grain while he is away.
Recto: The format of this letter differs from the others in the archive (here wider than high); the hand is a fast and very practiced cursive; the greetings at the end are indented. Use of nomina sacra and diacritics but spelling and case endings often wrong. Use of Coptic letter hori within the Greek place name and pa ("the man of") in ἀσπάζομαι Ὧρ πα Ταxμουρώ ("I salute Hor from Tahmuro"). The writer was probably comfortable in both Greek and Egyptian but didn't go to the grammarian class (Bagnall 2018: 86-89). Writing runs parallel with the fibres.
Verso: address, parallel with the fibres.
|Selection criteria||Mention of Christian cult officials/institutions, Mention of Christian individuals/communities, Christian terms/formulas/concepts, Christian onomastics, Nomina sacra, Coptic language|
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 2146