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Artefact ID533
TM IDTM 33566
Findspot (DEChriM ID)55   (Qarāra)
Writing mediumSheet/roll
Text contentDocumentary

P.Neph. 13: Letter from Lykarion to Nepheros.
Left part of a letter sent by Lykarion to his “beloved father Nepheros, priest”. The content of the letter seems to be only concerned with greetings to Nepheros and all the brethren. Nothing in the letter indicates where or under what circumstances it was written. Whether the writer could possibly be identical with the Lykarion of P.Neph. 27,9 is unsure. On the back, Nepheros is said to be “priest of Neson in (the monastery of) Phathor” (Νεφερῶτι πρ(εσ)β(υτέρῳ) τῆς Νήσου ἐν Φαθώρ).


Recto: final greetings on the right side; use of nomina sacra; writing runs parallel with the fibres.

Verso: address, parallel with the fibres.

Selection criteriaMention of Christian cult officials/institutions, Mention of Christian individuals/communities, 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 corespondence (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. They add that the archive was probably found in the immediate 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 073-13


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, 77-79.

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. C. 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 533", 4CARE database - Fourth-Century Christian Archaeological Record of Egypt,