|TM ID||TM 87475|
|Findspot (DEChriM ID)||58 (Dayr al-ʿIẓām)||Class||Textual|
Letter from a widow to a superior in Coptic (S), relating her sad story of her husband allegedly owing 170.000 talents to a merchant resulting in the writing over of their children as well as the wife (the letter writer) to the merchant in Antinoe (?), she being a widow now for twelve years. On verso, remains of a Greek (?) list or account (TM 108604).
Assigned to the Apa John/Iohannes archive.
|Selection criteria||Mention of Christian individuals/communities, Coptic language|
Palaeography, possible archive connection, mention of talents
|Absolute/relative date||Relative date|
According to Constantine Zuckerman's reconstruction, the Apa-John-letters were presumably found in September 1897, during the excavations of Farag Ismael and Yassa Tadros on the mountain of Siout (Lykopolis), in the ruins of the Dayr al-ʿIẓām, the presumed site of the monastery of John of Lycopolis. (Note, however, that the German team prefers the Asyūṭ tombs II–IV to have been John's abode, as was definitely later venerated there; see Kahl 2014; 2015; Eichner 2020: 5–10; the Dayr is ca. 300m away as the crow flies on the desert plateau from the group of tombs, see Eichner 2020: 11-38.) However, they never reached the museum in Gizeh – like the other objects unearthed during these excavations – and must have ended on the market, where they were bought soon after the excavations (Zuckerman 1995: 191-192; Van Minnen 1994: 80-82, Gonis 2008: 69-72). Although not proven, this attractive hypothesis is generally accepted by scholars (see discussion in Van der Vliet 2015: 166-167 & Fournet 2020: 13 note 39, and some reservations in Choat 2017: 37-40).
Manchester, John Rylands Library, Coptic P 310