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E00731: Greek supply order from the Oxyrhynchite nome (Middle Egypt) concerning wheat and vegetable seed for the shrine of a local martyr, perhaps Apa *Taurine (S02678), providing a precise date on the document, 14 August 398.

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posted on 22.09.2015, 00:00 by dlambert
P.Haun. 3 67, lines 1–3:

Φιλέας.
παράσχου εἰς τὰ ἅγια μαρτυρα ἄπα Τ̣[  ̣]  ̣  ̣  ̣  ̣ σίτου ἀρτάβας ὀκτώ, λαχανο-
σπέρμου ἀρτάβας δύο, (γίνονται) σίτ(ου) (ἀρτάβας) η, λαχ(ανοσπέρμου) (ἀρτάβας) β. μ(όνας)

(r.2. l. μαρτύρ<ι>α)

'(Order from) Phileas:
Deliver to the holy martyr shrine of Apa T … eight artabas of wheat (and) two artabas of vegetable seed. (Makes in total) 8 artabas of wheat, 2 artabas of vegetable seed.'

(Trans. Gesa Schenke)

The full record is available online at: http://papyri.info/ddbdp/p.haun;3;67

History

Evidence ID

E00731

Saint Name

Saints, name wholly or largely lost : S01744 Taurinos, saint with cult in Hermopolis (Middle Egypt) : S02678

Type of Evidence

Documentary texts - Other private document Late antique original manuscripts - Papyrus sheet

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

398

Evidence not after

398

Activity not before

398

Activity not after

398

Place of Evidence - Region

Egypt and Cyrenaica

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Oxyrhynchos

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

Oxyrhynchos Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - unspecified

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Bequests, donations, gifts and offerings

Source

P.Haun. 3 67, the papyrus is in Copenhagen, Institute for Greek and Latin, inv. no. P. Haun. 63.

Discussion

This document presents so far the earliest dated evidence from Egypt for the use of the term martyrion/martyria (martyr shrine). Since the delivery ordered here does not include a list of how to distribute the amount of goods among several martyr shrines, one needs to assume that the plural form used refers to just one shrine dedicated to a saint named Apa T… If the reading of the first letter of the saint’s name is correct, then Apa Taurine/Taurinos would spring to mind, for whom a shrine (εὐκτήριον) is known from Hermopolis. One artaba of wheat equals roughly 30kg. Similarly large amounts were left to a martyr shrine in Hipponon in the Herakleopolite nome, very near to Oxyrhynchos, see E00734. What exactly was the intended use of these 'donations' remains a matter of speculation. The supplies might well have been for the distribution of alms, but may also have fed the clergy responsible for the shrine, or even constitute payments of produce from land owned by the shrine.

Bibliography

Edition: Larsen, T. and Bülow-Jacobsen, A., Papyri Graecae Haunienses, fasciculus tertius. Subliterary texts and Byzantine documents from Egypt (Papyrologische Texte und Abhandlungen 36; Bonn, 1985).

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