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Artefact ID721
TM IDTM 64378
Findspot (DEChriM ID)30   (al-Ašmūnayn)
Writing mediumSheet/roll
Text contentDocumentary, Subliterary, Uncertain

AfP 32 (1986): 26-27

Papyrus fragment possibly containing a Christian letter. 

The letter measures 21,3 x 13,5 cm, and preserves 27 lines of text. It is written on the verso of a documentary text, which is not described in the ed. pr.

The ed. pr. describes the hand as a somewhat irregular, right leaning bookhand, with no apparent punctuation or diacritical aids.

The nature of the content of the letter is unclear, but the nomen sacrum in l. 23 indicates a Christian context. The ed. pr. mentions the name of Bardaisianos (l. 23-24) as evokative of the theologian and poet Bardesames (Syr. Bardaisan) of Edessa (154-222 AD), but the assosiation is presented as speculative. The letter appears to concentrate on issues concerning liguistical ability and translation (see esp. l. 6, 11 and 12).

The ed. pr. finally adds that πληροφόρημα (l. 21; "full satisfaction") is comparably rare in NT letters (in comparison with πληροφορά), but that it is documented as a variant.

Selection criteriaMention of Christian individuals/communities, Nomina sacra
Date from300
Date to399
Dating criteria

Palaeography. Dated by the ed. pr. to the 4th c.

Absolute/relative dateRelative date
Archaeological context

The provenance is probably the Hermoupolis Magna (al-Ašmūnayn), and the fragments belonged to metal box 261 (documentary text of recto) and metal box II (verso; Christian letter).

Accession number

Berlin, Staatliche Museen, Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung P. 21162



Reference edition:

Ioannidou, H. Grace. 1996. Berliner Klassikertexte IX: Catalogue of Greek and Latin Literary Papyri in Berlin. Berlin. Papyrus no. 65 and plate no. 31.

Editio princeps:

Treu, Kurt. 1986. "Varia Christiana II". Archiv für Papyrusforschung 32. 26-27.

Additional bibliography:

Treu, Kurt. 1986. "Christliche Papyri XII". Archiv für Papyrusforschung 32. 94, 1126d.

Sofia Heim, 2021
Suggested citation
Sofia Heim, 2021, "Artefact ID 721", 4CARE database - Fourth-Century Christian Archaeological Record of Egypt,