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Artefact ID587
TM IDTM 86539
Findspot (DEChriM ID)-   ()
Writing mediumSheet/roll
Text contentDocumentary

P.Mich.Copt. 1

Letter from John to 'his father, the great man' Apa Dorotheos 'head of … of the mountain' in Coptic (S) reporting back on an issue with a peasant Dorotheos has been involved (probably on behalf of the peasant to intercede for him), to message carrier is to be asked to confirm the issue.

There is a stylised staurogram before the first line on recto and a triple staurogram at the end of the letter; another staurogram stands before the address on verso.

Recto: the text is written across the fibres in a horizontal format (transversa charta); verso: address along the fibres on the left side of the middle folding.

The document might be associated with the Melitian community (Choat 2001: 98 and n. 36).

Selection criteriaMention of Christian cult officials/institutions, Mention of Christian individuals/communities, Christian terms/formulas/concepts, Christian symbols/gestures/isopsephy, Coptic language
Date from350
Date to450
Dating criteria

Dated to late 3rd or early 4th c. in, but, as Choat 2006: 117 n. 50 suggested, a 4th c. date is more likely [and even 5th c. considering the format; VS].

Absolute/relative dateRelative date
Archaeological context

Purchased by Prof. Worrell in Egypt in the spring of 1936.

Accession number

Ann Arbor, Michigan University, Library P. 6867 [P.Mich. inv. 6867]


Editio princeps

• Worrell, William Hoyt & Husselman, Elinor Mullett in: Worrell, William Hoyt. 1942. Coptic Texts in the University of Michigan Collection, University of Michigan Studies. Humanistic Series 46. Ann Arbor & London: The University of Michigan Press & Humphrey Milford, The Oxford University Press, 171-173 #1.

Additional bibliography

• Choat, Malcolm. 2006. Belief and Cult in Fourth-Century Papyri. Turnhout.

• Choat, Malcolm. 2001. "Fourth-century monasticism in the papyri", In Akten des 23. Internationalen Papyrologenkongresses Wien, 22-28. Juli 2001, edited by B. Palme, Vienna: Verlag der Oesterreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 95-101.

Matthias Müller, Valérie Schram, Victor Ghica, 2021, 2023
Suggested citation
Matthias Müller, Valérie Schram, Victor Ghica, 2021, 2023, "Artefact ID 587", 4CARE database - Fourth-Century Christian Archaeological Record of Egypt,