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Artefact ID710
TM IDTM 64377
Findspot (DEChriM ID)-   ()
Writing mediumUncertain
Text contentLiterary, Subliterary, Uncertain


Papyrus fragment probably containing a hymn describing Christ's descent into Hell.

The fragment measures 4 x 10.5 cm, and contains 5 lines of text on the recto and 6 lines of text on the verso (written in another hand). The fragment is an opistograph: when reused, the fragment was turned 180 degrees before the other side was inscribed.

The hand of the recto is described as a small and fairly regular, upright, rounded book font. It appears rather spacious (with relatively wide line spacing) and uses single and double points for punctuation or verse-indication. Diaeresis is visible in l. 3 and 4, and the text contains nomina sacra.

The hand of the verso (written upside down in relation to the recto) is described by the ed. pr. as larger and more effaced/paler than the recto, right leaning and overall less careful. The text also contains dicola with the upper point in the shape of a comma.

The text is apparently poetic. Although both sides could suggest a connection, the ed. pr. recommends that the two texts should be considered separately.

Selection criteriaSubliterary genre (Liturgical), Nomina sacra
Date from300
Date to499
Dating criteria

Palaeography. Dated to the 4th c. by the ed. pr. The fragment has also been assessed to belong to the 5th c.; see Mihálykó 2019:  81, 102 and 290.

Absolute/relative dateRelative date
Archaeological context

The provenance is the Arsinoites (Fayûm), and belonged to box 106.

Accession number

Berlin, Staatliche Museen, Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung P. 21124.


Reference edition:

∙  Ioannidou, H. Grace. 1996. Berliner Klassikertexte IX: Catalogue of Greek and Latin Literary Papyri in Berlin. Berlin. Papyrus no. 24 and plate no. 12

Editio princeps:

∙ Treu, Kurt. 1986. "Varia Christiana II". Archiv für Papyrusforschung 32. 23-24.

Additional bibliography:

∙ Mihálykó, Ágnes T. 2019. The Christian Liturgical Papyri: An Introduction. Studien und Texte zu Antike und Christentum 114. Tübingen. 81, 102 and 290.

∙ Treu, Kurt. 1986. "Christliche Papyri XII". Archiv für Papyrusforschung  32. 92, record no. 892f.

Sofia Heim, 2021
Suggested citation
Sofia Heim, 2021, "Artefact ID 710", 4CARE database - Fourth-Century Christian Archaeological Record of Egypt,