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E00162: Greek writing exercise of the 6th/7th c. from Egypt, mentioning *Menas (soldier and martyr of Abu Mena, S00073).

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posted on 08.11.2014, 00:00 by Bryan
P.Rain.Unterricht 46

A parchment fragment of unknown provenance, with writing exercises on flesh and hair sides, including the line:

Μηνᾶς ὁ ἅγιος
'Menas, the saint'

Translation: Gesa Schenke.

History

Evidence ID

E00162

Saint Name

Menas, soldier and martyr Abu Mena : S00073

Saint Name in Source

Μηνᾶς

Type of Evidence

Documentary texts - Other private document

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

500

Evidence not after

699

Activity not before

500

Activity not after

699

Place of Evidence - Region

Egypt and Cyrenaica

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Transmission, copying and reading saint-related texts

Source

A small piece of parchment used for writing practice (P.Rain.Unterricht 46).

Discussion

Writing the name Menas here has clearly not been a cult activity, but a mere practice of writing skills. This piece of parchment is covered with letter formations and kalamos testing, making it clear beyond doubt that this piece was not intended to be used as an amulet. See Harrauer and Sijpesteijn 1985, 44; Papaconstantinou 2001, 146–149.

Bibliography

Edition: Harrauer, H., and Sijpesteijn, P.J., Neue Texte aus dem antiken Unterricht (MPER 15; Vienna: In Kommission bei Verlag Brüder Hollinek, 1985). Further reading: Papaconstantinou, A., Le culte des saints en Égypte des Byzantins aux Abbassides (Paris: CNRS, 2001). For a full range of the documentary evidence on Menas: Papaconstantinou, A., Le culte des saints en Égypte des Byzantins aux Abbassides (Paris: CNRS, 2001), 146–154.

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