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E04367: List of offerings (prosphora and eulogia) to the monastery (mone) of *Sergios (soldier and martyr of Rusafa, S00023), certainly associated with the North Church at Nessana/Auja Hafir in the Negev desert (Roman province of Palaestina III), mentioning offerings made on the occasion of a feast (heorte) of Sergios. Written on papyrus in Greek. Probably late 6th/early 7th c.

online resource
posted on 14.11.2017, 00:00 by pnowakowski
Written on a papyrus sheet, across the fibres: 88.3 cm x 20.3 cm, probably by one hand (except for check marks at the beginning of lthe ines). The right-hand edge of the entire sheet is lost.

+ γν(ῶσις) εἰσωδιασμος κρα( ) ̣π̣ρο( ) [ -ca.?- ]
/ παρ(ὰ) Γωμασερου [ -ca.?- ]
/ παρ(ὰ) τοῦ πρεσ̣β(υτέρου) Σω̣βετ̣ώ[ης -ca.?- ]
/ παρ(ὰ) Γεωργίου πρεσβ(υτέρου) . . . [ -ca.?- ]
(5) / παρ(ὰ) γυνεκες γ [ -ca.?- ]
/ γυνὲ ἀπὸ ̣Σ̣ω̣β[άτων -ca.?- ]
/ παρ(ὰ) Θεωδόρου . . [ -ca.?- ]
/ ̣π̣α̣ρ(ὰ) Γ̣εωργίου . . . . [ -ca.?- ]
/ παρ(ά) τινο̣ς Νε̣ωτερου . . [ -ca.?- ]
(10) / ̣π̣α̣ρ(ά) ̣τ̣ι̣ν̣ο̣ς Σ̣ωβετι[νοῦ -ca.?- ]
/ παρ(ὰ) υἱὸς Θεμου ̣Σωβετι̣νο̣ῦ [ -ca.?- ]
/ ̣π̣α̣ρ(ὰ) . . . ̣ε.θερου Ἀμμον̣ί̣ο[υ -ca.?- ]
/ παρ(ὰ) ἀδελφοῦ Κ.̣α̣ε. .[ -ca.?- ]
/ παρ(ά) τιν̣ος ̣Ἐ̣λ[ουζ(ηνοῦ) (?) -ca.?- ]
(15) / παρ(ὰ) Στεφάνο[υ Ἐ]̣λ[ουζ(ηνοῦ) (?) -ca.?- ]
/ παρ(ὰ) Μαρκέου ἀπ̣ὸ ̣Σ̣ω̣β[άτων -ca.?- ]
/ παρ(ὰ) τõν Φακειδινον .[ -ca.?- ]
/ παρ(ὰ) Ζενοβίου Πυργεωτ̣ο̣υ σ.[ -ca.?- ]
/ παρ(ὰ) γυνι ἀπὸ Βετομολαχ̣ο̣ν .[ -ca.?- ]
(20) / παρ(ὰ) ἀνθρόπο̣υ ε̣ι̣υσ . .[ -ca.?- ]
/ παρ(ὰ) Γεωργίου πρε̣σ̣β(υτέρου) [ -ca.?- ]
/ παρ(ά) τινος ἀπὸ ̣Αρ[ -ca.?- ]
/ παρ(ὰ) Σωεδον (ὁμοίως) [ -ca.?- ]
παρ(ὰ) Αβδαλγου οἰκοδόμ(ου) [ -ca.?- ]

(25) + λ(ό)γ(ος) εἰσωδίον προσφορᾶς εἰς τὴν μ̣ο̣ν(ὴν) ̣ε̣ἰ̣ς τ̣ὰ ̣μ[ -ca.?- ]
/ παρ(ὰ) Αρμαλα Σαλιου (ὁμοίως) [ -ca.?- ]
/ παρ(ὰ) Θεωδ̣ό̣ρ̣ο̣υ ̣Σ̣τ̣ε̣φ̣ά̣ν̣ο̣υ [εἰ]̣ς τ̣ὴ̣ν ̣α̣ὐλ̣ή̣ν [ -ca.?- ]
/ παρ(ὰ) Θεωδόρου Βετο̣μ̣ο̣λ̣α̣χ̣ο̣ν ̣ε̣ἰ̣ς ̣τὸν ο̣ἶ̣κ̣ο(ν) ̣Γ̣ομ̣α[σερ(ου) -ca.?- ]
/ παρ(ά) τινος Σωβετινοῦ εἰ̣ς ̣τ̣ὰ ̣μ̣α̣τ̣ρ̣ο̣ν[ίκι]̣α [ -ca.?- ]
(30) / παρ(ὰ) Μαλχονος ἀπὸ Βηρθειβ̣α̣ς [ -ca.?- ]
/ παρ(ὰ) Σεργίου εἰς τὰ ματρον̣ί̣κ̣ι̣α . .[ -ca.?- ]
/ ̣π̣α̣ρ(ὰ) Ζοναινου Σαμονα (ὁμοίως) [ -ca.?- ]
/ παρ(ὰ) Καειουμου Σαμονα (ὁμοίως) [ -ca.?- ]
/ παρ(ὰ) τῆς γυνεκὸς Ζεριζας [ -ca.?- ]
(35) / παρ(ὰ) Μενᾶς ἀπὸ Βο̣τ̣ε̣ους εἰς τὸν οἶκο(ν) Γομα̣σ[ερ(ου) -ca.?- ]
/ παρ(ὰ) Ζον̣αινου Ἀβρα̣α̣μί[ου] . . . . [ -ca.?- ]
/ παρ(ὰ) Σεργίου ἀπὸ Βοτεου̣ς εἰς τὸν οἶκο(ν) Γομασερ(ου) [ -ca.?- ]
/ παρ(ὰ) τῆς πενθερᾶς τοῦ ἀββ̣ᾶ Ἠλίου . . . [ -ca.?- ]
/ παρ(ὰ) Ἰωάνου ἀπὸ Βετωμολαχον εἰς τὴν α[ὐλήν -ca.?- ]
(40) / παρ(ὰ) Ωσεδου Σωβετινοῦ (ὁμοίως) [ -ca.?- ]
/ παρ(ὰ) Ἰωάννου Στεφάνου Ἐλουζ(ηνοῦ) [ -ca.?- ]
/ παρ(ὰ) Ἀμονίου ̣χ̣ρ̣ο̣ισο̣χ̣ό̣ο̣ς [ -ca.?- ]
/ παρ(ὰ) Ἰωάννου Ρο̣κ̣ε̣ο̣ς Ἐλο̣υζ(ηνοῦ) ̣ε̣ἰ̣ς ̣τ̣ὸ̣ν ̣οἶ[κο(ν) Γομασερ(ου) (?) -ca.?- ]

† λ(ό)γ(ος) εἰσωδίον εὐλογία̣[ς εἰς τ]̣ὴ̣ν μ(ονὴ)̣ν ̣τ̣ο̣ῦ ̣ἁ̣γ̣ί(ου) ̣Σ̣εργίο[υ]
(45) / παρ(ὰ) Ἀβρααμίου Αεδου [ -ca.?- ]
/ παρ(ὰ) τοῦ αδελφ(οῦ) Αλ̣γομεου Αρακενου [ -ca.?- ]
/ παρ(ὰ) τοῦ υἱοῦ Αλχεφρι ἀπ(ὸ) Σουδανον [ -ca.?- ]
/ παρ(ὰ) Κυριακοῦ ἀπ(ὸ) Βεδορο̣θης [ -ca.?- ]
/ παρ(ὰ) τῆς ἀδελφῆς α̣ὐτ̣ο̣ῦ ̣Τ̣αμαλ̣γ̣α [ -ca.?- ]
(50) / παρ(ὰ) τοισουρθον [ -ca.?- ]
/ παρ(ὰ) Ζαχαρίου Αλθουεθηλ ̣Σ̣ωβετώης [ -ca.?- ]
παρ(ὰ) ἀβᾶ Βίκτορος πρεσβ(υ)τ(έρου) Σωβετ̣ώης [ -ca.?- ]
παρ(ὰ) τῆς γυνκ(ὸς) Γεωργί(ου) Δαρεβου Ἐλο̣υ̣σ̣(ηνοῦ) [ -ca.?- ]
/ παρ(ὰ) Ζοναινου Ἀβρααμίου (ὁμοίως) [ -ca.?- ]
(55) παρ(ὰ) Ἰωάννης Ἀβραα̣μ̣ί̣ο̣υ Ἐλου̣σ(ηνοῦ) [ -ca.?- ]

+ λ(ό)γ(ος) εἰσωδίον εὐλογίας εἰ[ς] ̣τ̣ὴν ἑορτὶν τοῦ ἁγί(ου) Σεργίου ̣[ -ca.?- ]
παρ(ά) τινος Βεροσαβῆς [ -ca.?- ]

+ / ιδ / δ πα(ρὰ) Θεωδόρῳ Στεφάνου εἰς τὴν αὐλή̣[ν -ca.?- ]
/ πα(ρὰ) κυρ(ί)ῳ Ἰωάννῃ ὀπτίονι Πακιδιν[ω -ca.?- ]
(60) / πα(ρὰ) κυρ(ί)ῳ Μάριον Πικ̣ιδινω [ -ca.?- ]
πα(ρὰ) Σιλουανοῦ Θαβ̣αθας [ -ca.?- ]
/ πα(ρὰ) Γεωργίου (καὶ) Νόνα εἰς τὰ ματρονίκια [ -ca.?- ]
/ πα(ρὰ) Γεωργίου Αρσαφου [ -ca.?- ]
/ πα(ρά) τινος Φακιδινω εἰς τὸν οἶκον Ζον̣α[ινου -ca.?- ]
(65) / πα(ρὰ) Στεφάνου Ἀγαθειμέρο̣υ [ -ca.?- ]
/ οἴνου κ(ύα)θ(ος) εἰς τὸν οἶκ(ον) Αβδελα ̣ ̣ ̣[ -ca.?- ]
/ (καὶ) εἰς τὸν οἶκ(ον) Ἰωάνου Κοτεμου [ -ca.?- ]

'+ Register of receipts ...
/ from Gomaseros/Jumāhir [- - -]
/ from the presbyter of Sobata [- - -]
/ from Georgios the presbyter [- - -]
(5) from 3 women [- - -]
/ a woman from Sobata [- - -]
/ from Theodoros [- - -]
/ from Georgios [- - -]
/ from someone from Neoteros [- - -]
(10) / from someone from Sobata [- - -]
/ from a son of Thaimos/Taim from Sobata [- - -]
/ from [- - -] son of Ammonios [- - -]
/ from a brother of [- - -]
/ from someone from Elousa (?) [- - -]
(15) from Stephanos of Elousa (?) [- - -]
/ from Markios from Sobata [- - -]
/ from the people of Phakida (?) [- - -]
/ from Zenobios, son of Pyrgeotes (?) [- - -]
/ from a woman from Betomolacha [- - -]
(20) / from a man from [- - -]
/ from Georgios the presbyter [- - -]
/ from someone from [- - -]
/ from Soedon/Suwaid, ditto, [- - -]
/ from Abdalgos/'Abd al-Gā, builder (oikodomos) [- - -]

(25) + Account of receipts of donations (prosphora), to the monastery for the [matronika (?)]
/ from Armala, son of Sallios/Ḥarmala, son of Ṣāliḥ, ditto [- - -]
/ from Theodoros, son of Stephanos, for the aule [- - -]
/ from Theodoros of Betomolacha, for the oikos of Gomaseros/Jumāhir [- - -]
/ from someone of Sobata, for the matronika [- - -]
(30) / from Malchon from Berthiba [- - -]
/ from Sergios, for the matronika [- - -]
/ from Zonainos/Zunayn, son of Samonas, ditto, [- - -]
/ from Kaeioumos/Qayyūm, son of Samonas, ditto, [- - -]
/ from the wife of Zerizas [- - -]
(35) / from Menas from Boteos, for the oikos of Gomaseros/Jumāhir [- - -]
/ from Zonainos, son of Abraamios, [- - -]
/ from Sergios from Boteos, for the oikos of Gomaseros/Jumāhir [- - -]
/ from the mother-in-law of abbas Elias [- - -]
/ from Ioannes from Betomolacha, for the [aule (?) - - -]
(40) / from Osedos/Usaid from Sobata, ditto [- - -]
/ from Ioannes, son of Stephanos, from Elousa [- - -]
/ from Ammonios, goldsmith? (chrysochoos?) [- - -]
/ from Ioannes, son of Rokeis/Raqi', from Elousa, for the oikos of [Gomaseros/Jumāhir (?) - - -]

+ Account of receipts of donations (eulogia) to the monastery of St. Sergios
(45) / from Abraamios, son of Aedos/'Ā'idh [- - -]
/ from the brother of Algomeos/al-Jumā'a, son of Arakeons [- - -]
/ from the son of Alchephri/al-Khafri, from Sudanon [- - -]
/ from Kyriakos from Bedorotha [- - -]
/ from his sister Tamalga/Taim al-Gā [- - -]
(50) from [- - -]
/ from Zacharias, son of Althouethel/ath-Thuwaitil, from Sobata
from abbas Viktor, presbyter of Soabata [- - -]
from the wife of Georgios, son of Darebos, from Elousa [- - -]
/ from Zonainos/Zunayn, son of Abraamios, ditto [- - -]
(55) from Ioannes, son of Abraamios, of Elousa [- - -]

+ Account of receipts of donations (eulogia) for the feast (heorte) of Saint Sergios [- - -]
from someone from Berosaba/Beersheva [- - -]

+ / 14 / 4 from Theodoros, son of Stephanos, for the aule [- - -]
/ from lord Ioannes, optio from Pakidino [- - -]
(60) / from [- - -] lord Marion of Pakidino [- - -]
from Silvanos of Thabatha/Thābit [- - -]
/ from Georgios and Nonna for the matronika [- - -]
/ from Georgios, son of Arsaphos/al-Ruṣafi [- - -]
/ from someone of Phakidino, for the oikos of Zonainos/Zunayn [- - -]
(65) / from Stephanos, son of Agathemeros [- - -]
/ jigger of wine for the oikos of Abdelas/'Abd Allāh [- - -]
/ also for the oikos of Ioannes, son of Kotemos/Quthaim [- - -]'

Text: P.Nessana 79. Translation: C.J. Kraemer, lightly adapted.

History

Evidence ID

E04367

Saint Name

Sergios, soldier and martyr of Rusafa : S00023

Saint Name in Source

Σέργιος

Type of Evidence

Documentary texts - List Late antique original manuscripts - Papyrus sheet Documentary texts - Donation document

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

590

Evidence not after

620

Activity not before

590

Activity not after

620

Place of Evidence - Region

Palestine with Sinai

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Nessana

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

Nessana Caesarea Maritima Καισάρεια Kaisareia Caesarea Kayseri Turris Stratonis

Cult activities - Liturgical Activity

  • Eucharist associated with cult

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Activities Accompanying Cult

  • Production and selling of eulogiai, tokens

Cult activities - Places Named after Saint

  • Monastery

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Bequests, donations, gifts and offerings

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Women Children Foreigners (including Barbarians) Officials Merchants and artisans Other lay individuals/ people

Source

Nessana/Auja Hafir was an important town (actually termed a kome/'village' in documents) in the southwest Negev desert, located on the caravan route from 'Aila/'Aqaba to Gaza, and the pilgrim route towards Sinai, and is sometimes identified with the site of the hostel (xenodochium) of Saint George, visited by the Piacenza Pilgrim (see E00507; for an alternative identification, see E02006). The site was excavated by the Colt Expedition, led by Harris Dunscombe Colt, between 1935 and 1937, on behalf of the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem. Although the site had suffered serious damage during World War I, it soon yielded rich epigraphical evidence (more than 150 Greek and Nabataean inscriptions), and two invaluable collections of 6th-7th c. documentary and literary papyri, comprising several distinguishable archives. The first, smaller collection of papyri, was found in Room 3 of the South Church (about six rolls, parts of rolls, and many fragments; they belong to a 6th c. archive, and deal mainly with property rights). The second group was found in Room 8 of the North Church (damaged and mostly fragmentary documents, including some blank sheets); the room where they were kept is unlikely to have been a proper archive room, but rather a place where unneeded documents were deposited. In 1987 Dan Urman resumed archaeological exploration of the site on behalf of the Ben Gurion University of the Negev, but no new papyri have been discovered. The literary papyri were published in 1950 by Lionel Casson and Ernest Hettich, in the second volume of the Excavations of Nessana. Among them is a fragmentary account of the miracles and martyrdom of *George (soldier and martyr of Diospolis/Lydda), see E04385. The documentary papyri, which we discuss here, were published in 1958 by Casper Kraemer Jr., in the third volume of the Excavations at Nessana. They can be divided into the following groups (termed 'archives' by their editors): 1) Legal documents concerning private transactions of soldiers (loans, a notice of tax transfers, marriages, inheritance, division of property, etc.), which cover the period between 505 and 596. Drafted by people with good knowledge of legal phrasing. This was probably the archive of the unit named the 'unit (arithmos) of the Most Loyal Theodosians', originally thought to have been based at the garrison of Nessana. This identification was later questions as the Theodosians are mentioned in just one papyrus, and could reside in the coastal city of Rhinokoroura/El Arish. It has been also suggested that this was one of the Palestinian units termed equites sagittarii indigenae in the Notitia Dignitatum (see Whately 2016, 122). 2) Five documents of one Patrikios (son of Sergios, grandson of Patrikios), abbot of the monastery of St. Sergios (to which the North Church in Nessana belonged), and of other ecclesiastics. Patrikios' father was likewise abbot of this monastery. The dated papyri come from the period 598-605. Sergios died in 592, and Patrikios in 628, as is known from their epitaphs (see I. Nessana, no. 12). As members of their family served in the military unit garrisoned at Nessana, Kraemer supposes that the two were involved in the depositing of Archive 1 in the North Church after the unit's disbandment in about 582-590. 3) Documents of Georgios, son of another Patrikios, and his son Sergios. Georgios' documents come from the period 682-684. He acts as a moneylender, and is possibly identical with an abbot who offered a column to the North Church (see I. Nessana, no. 77). Sergios, son of Georgios, appears more prominently. His papyri date to c. 682-689. He was a presbyter at the monastery of Sergios and Bakchos in 689, and (later?) its abbot. He acts also as an influential landowner, witness to other transactions, taxpayer, etc. 4) A small collection of documents of the Arab administration: written mainly in Arabic and Greek.

Discussion

The editor identifies the document as a list of gifts offered to a monastery and a church named after Saint Sergios. This is almost certainly a compilation written by one person, rather than an on-going record of donations over time. The editor divided the list into five sections, based on headings in the document: lines 1-24: a general register of gifts lines 25-43: donations (prosphora) for specific purposes lines 44-55: donations (eulogia) to the monastery of Sergios lines 56-57: donations (eulogia) connected to a feast (heorte) of Saint Sergios lines 58-67: unidentified section Remarkably, the author of this list intended to distinguish different kinds of donations (prosphora, eulogia), and, in some cases, their purposes or designated recipients. It seems that the sub-list of prosphora were subject to a much closer examination by a person reading this list, as its entries are annotated with complex check marks. Based on this fact, and given that prosphora is also a generic term for Eucharist, the editor argues that this sub-list may record offerings for the celebration of the Eucharist for the dead, and that the complex markings refer to different phases of the fulfillment of the obligation by the monks (e.g. a specific number of Eucharists celebrated for the deceased). The two sub-lists, associated respectively with the monastery of Saint Sergios and the feast of Saint Sergios, are termed eulogiai (the same designation appears in a letter of bishop Georgios concerning a feast of Saint Sergios, also found at Nessana, see E04361). Possibly, these are fees for souvenirs received in the sanctuary of the saint (ampullae with holy oil, pilgrim tokens, etc.). If so, the former list (prosphora) may actually record fees for offerings to the saint, sold at the sanctuary. The editor supposes that all these offerings were actually donations of money, based on the expression λόγος εἰσωδίων/'account of income' from line 25. At the end of the list, in line 66, we find, however, a record of a donation of wine. Sadly, as the right-hand side of the papyrus is lost, we do not know whether these offerings were substantial sums. Importantly, the list notes the identity of the donors. Sometimes they are described as anonymous persons (e.g. ‘someone of the village of Sobata’, etc.), but in many cases we get names, patronyms, and ethnics. The editor stresses the occurrence of many contributors who were not resident in Nessana; they form approximately 50% of the entire list. Of them, nine come from Sobata/Shivta, six from Elousa, one from Birosaba/Beersheva. These were major settlements in the Negev desert. Many donors are connected with unidentified toponyms: presumably small villages near Nessana. The editor hesitates whether these were pilgrims specifically to Nessana, or people travelling further south, to Mount Sinai, who sought shelter in Nessana's guesthouses. The author of the list sometimes notes specific purposes, for which offerings were made, which are often not clear from the words used. The editor suggests that the offerings for the matronika (εἰς τὰ ματρωνίκα), are for a hostel of female pilgrims. Therefore, he induces, that the offerings for the aule (εἰς τὴν αὐλήν) are for a hospice for men. The third kind of offering is to oikoi, literally, 'houses', but the term could also designate churches and other sanctuaries. As oikoi are identified here by names of some people (Jumāhir, Zunayn, Abdela, and Ioannes, son of Quthaim), the editor suggests that these could be dwellings of 'groups of sectaries' or groups of monks following the rules of respectively one Jumāhir, Zunayn, Abdela, and Ioannes. This is, of course, questionable: the existence of different houses/hospices in a saint’s sanctuary, possibly named after their founders, need not have doctrinal implications. The offerings for the matronika are made mainly by the residents of Nessana, whilst the offering for oikoi are ascribed to visitors. Dating: based on its similarity to P.Nessana 30, which is dated 13 September 596. The editor places the document in the late 6th / early 7th c. He also suggests that line 58 could contain an indictional date (perhaps 4th indiction, which falls on AD 600/601).

Bibliography

Edition: Kraemer, C.J., Excavations at Nessana (Auja Hafir, Palestine), vol. 3: Non-literary Papyri (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1958), no. 79. See also: http://papyri.info/ddbdp/p.ness;3;79 Further reading: Meimaris, Y., Sacred Names, Saints, Martyrs and Church Officials in the Greek Inscriptions and Papyri Pertaining to the Christian Church of Palestine (Athens: National Hellenic Research Foundation, Center for Greek and Roman Antiquity, 1986), 119, no. 649. Whately, C., "Camels, soldiers, and pilgrims in sixth century Nessana", Scripta Classica Israelica 35 (2016), 121-135.

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