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ARTEFACT IDENTIFIERS

Artefact ID8
TM IDTM 107765
Findspot (DEChriM ID)25   (Aḫmīm)
ClassTextual
MaterialPapyrus
Writing mediumCodex
Text contentLiterary
LanguageCoptic
Description

Berlin P 8502; Berolinensis Gnosticus; Berlin Codex; Akhmim Codex

Papyrus codex bound with wooden boards and covered in papyrus and tooled leather, containing the Gospel of Mary, the Apocryphon of John, the Sophia of Jesus Christ, and an epitome of the Act of Peter written in Coptic (S). An owner's mark was engraved onto the front cover, translated as "Zacharias, arch-presbyter (or archimandrite), abbot." [MM: Note that the abbreviation ΑΡΝ seems unsual for ἀρχιπρεσβύτερος and problematic (why N?)] Note that Schenke (2012b: 670-672) was still reserved about the identifciation of the cover regarding it as very probable but not more since the production of the cover had been dated to 6th c., whereas the manuscript itself is usually dated to the early 5th c.

Selection criteriaLiterary genre (Non-canonical), Christian symbols/gestures/isopsephy, Nomina sacra, Coptic language
Date from375
Date to499
Dating criteria

The leaves of the codex have been dated on palaeographic grounds to the late 4th or early 5th c. (Schmidt 1903: 2) but the cover has been dated as no earlier than the 6th c. (Krutzsch, Poethke 1984: 40).

Absolute/relative dateRelative date
Archaeological context

The manuscript first emerged in the shop of an antiques dealer in Akhmim but was sold to Konsul Reinhardt by the dealer from Akhmim in Cairo. Acc. to Carl Schmidt he had been informed that it was found in a niche within a wall ("Mauernische") wrapped in feathers ("eingehüllt in Federn"). Therefore, he concluded that one may  undoubtedly ("mit Sicherheit") assume that  the manuscript comes from the necropole of Achmim or at least from the surroundings of that city, see Schmidt (1903: 2) qouted verbatim in Schenke (2012b/1990: 660 note 4).

Accession number

Berlin, SMPK Egyptian Museum, Pap. Berlin P. 8502

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Reference edition

• Till, Walter Curt and Hans-Martin Schenke. 1972. Die gnostischen Schriften des koptischen Papyrus Berolinensis 8502, Texte und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur 69/2. 2nd edition, Berlin: Akademie-Verlag. 

Editio princeps

• Schmidt, Carl. 1903. Die alten Petrusakten im Zusammenhang der apokryphen Apostellitterature nebst einem neuentdeckten Fragment, Texte und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur 24/1. Leipzig: Hinrichs.

Additional bibliography

• Krutzsch, Myriam. 2013. "Beobachtungen zur Herstellungstechnik früher gnostischer Kodizes." In Zugänge zur Gnosis: Akten zur Tagung der Patristischen Arbeitsgemeinschaft vom 02.–05.01.2011 in Berlin-Spandau, edited by Christoph Markschies and Johannes van Oort, 285-293, 347-352. Leuven: Peeters.

• Krutzsch, Myriam and Günter Poethke. 1984. "Der Einband des koptisch-gnostischen Kodex Papyrus Berolinensis 8502."  Forschungen und Berichte 24: 37–40.

• Schenke, Hans-Martin. 2012a. "Bemerkungen zum koptischen Papyrus Berolinensis 8502." In Der Same Seths. Hans-Martin Schenkes Kleine Schriften zu Gnosis, Koptologie und Neuem Testament, edited by Gesine Schenke Robinson, Gesa Schenke and Uwe-Karsten Plisch, 293–304. Leiden & Boston: Brill. [Original edition, Festschrift zum 150jährigen Bestehen des Berliner Ägyptischen Museums, MÄS 8, Berlin 1974, 315–322 Taf. 45–47.]

• Schenke, Hans-Martin. 2012b. "Carl Schmidt und der Papyrus Berolinensis 8502." In Der Same Seths. Hans-Martin Schenkes Kleine Schriften zu Gnosis, Koptologie und Neuem Testament, edited by Gesine Schenke Robinson, Gesa Schenke and Uwe-Karsten Plisch, 659–676. Leiden & Boston: Brill. [Original edition, Peter Nagel (ed.), Carl-Schmidt-Kolloquium an der Martin-Luther-Universität 1988, Wissenschaftliche Beiträge Martin-Luther-Universität Hale-Wittenberg 23, Halle/Saale 1990, 71–88.]

• Treu, Kurt. 1982. "P. Berol. 8508: Christliches Empfehlungsschreiben aus dem Einband des koptisch-gnostichen Kodex P. 8502."  Archiv für Papyrusforschung und verwandte Gebiete 28: 53–54.

Authors
Mary Jane Cuyler, Matthias Müller, 2020, 2021
Suggested citation
Mary Jane Cuyler, Matthias Müller, 2020, 2021, "Artefact ID 8", 4CARE database - Fourth-Century Christian Archaeological Record of Egypt, https://4care-skos.mf.no/artefacts/8
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