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E05972: Coptic ostracon from Deir el-Bahari (Upper Egypt) with the agreement of a newly ordained deacon to serve well at a shrine dedicated to *George (presumably the soldier and martyr, S00259); datable around the year 600.

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posted on 18.07.2018, 00:00 by gschenke
O.Crum 32

⳨ ⲁⲛⲟⲕ ⲅⲉⲱⲣⲅⲓⲟⲥ ⲓⲱⲥⲏⲫⲓⲟⲩ ⲉⲧⲥϩⲁⲓ ⲛⲁⲡⲁ
ⲁⲃⲣⲁϩⲁⲙ ⲡⲉⲡⲓⲥⲕ(ⲟⲡⲟⲥ) ϫⲉ ⲉⲡⲉⲓⲇⲏ ⲁⲡⲁⲉⲓⲱⲧ
ⲡⲁⲣⲁⲕⲁⲗⲉⲓ ⲙⲙⲟ[ⲕ] ⲉⲧⲣⲉⲕⲭⲉⲓⲣⲟⲇⲟⲛⲉⲓ ⲙ-
ⲙⲟⲓ ⲛⲇⲓⲁⲕ(ⲟⲛⲟⲥ) ⲉⲙⲁ ⲛⲡϩⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ ⲅⲉⲱⲣⲅⲓ[ⲟⲥ]
ⲧⲉⲛⲟⲩ ϯⲟ ⲛϩⲉⲧⲟⲓⲙⲟⲥ ⲉⲧⲣⲁⲣⲟⲉⲓⲥ ⲉⲛⲉⲛ-
ⲧⲟⲗⲟⲩⲉ ⟨ⲉ⟩ⲧⲉⲕⲛⲁⲧⲁⲁⲩ ⲉⲧⲟⲟⲧ ⲕⲁⲧⲁ
ⲧⲁϭⲟⲙ ⲁⲩⲱ ⲟⲛ ⲡⲉⲑⲩⲥⲓⲁⲥⲧⲏⲣⲓⲟⲛ ⲙⲡ-
ⲛⲟⲩⲧⲉ ⲉⲧⲣⲁⲡⲣⲟⲥⲉⲭⲉ ⲉⲣⲟϥ ⲕⲁⲧⲁ
ⲛⲉⲛⲧⲟⲗⲟⲟⲩⲉ ⲙⲡⲛⲟⲩⲧⲉ ⲁⲛⲟⲕ ⲅⲉⲱⲣ-
ⲅⲓⲟⲥ ⲓⲱⲥⲏⲫⲓⲟⲩ ϯⲥⲧⲟⲓⲭⲉⲓ ⲉⲡⲉⲓⲡⲗⲁⲝ
ⲁⲛⲟⲕ ⲓⲱⲁⲛⲛⲏⲥ ⲡⲇⲓⲁⲕ(ⲟⲛⲟⲥ) ϯϣⲧⲱⲣⲉ ⲙⲙⲟϥ

'I am Georgios (son of) Joseph who writes to Apa Abraham, the bishop. Since my father has asked you to have you ordain me as deacon for the place of saint George, I am now ready to guard the regulations, which you will give me in accordance with my authority. Furthermore, (I am now ready) to attend to the altar of God according to the laws of God.
I, Georgios (son of) Joseph, I assent to this tablet (ostracon).
I, Ioannes, the deacon, I act as guarantor for him.'

(Text: W. E. Crum; trans.: G. Schenke)


Evidence ID


Saint Name

George, soldier and martyr : S00259

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Late antique original manuscripts - Ostracon/Pot-sherd Documentary texts - Other private document



Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Egypt and Cyrenaica

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Deir el-Bahari

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

Deir el-Bahari Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - unspecified

Cult activities - Places Named after Saint

  • Church


This ostracon is kept at the British Museum in London, inv. 32813.


Text and translation: Crum, W.E., Coptic Ostraca from the Collections of the Egypt Exploration Fund (London, 1902), pp. 9 and 10. = O.Crum German translation: Till, W.C., Die Koptischen Rechtsurkunden aus Theben (Vienna, 1964), 42.

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