Five Private Christian Letters from Egypt
Keywords:Christian letters from late antiquity, early Christian community in Egypt, bishop Sotas, Oxyrhynchus
The article discusses five private letters found in Egypt, dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries A.D.: P. Bour. 25, PSI X 1161, P. Oxy 12 1492, PSI III 208 and PSI IX 1041. There is sufficient evidence for ascribing them to Christian authors. The indications allowing such identification are particularly the opening and closing formulae and the use of nomina sacra. The letters of Sotas, who was probably the bishop of Oxyrhynchus in the second half of the 3rd century, provide some data about the ecclesiastic organisation in this period. Furthermore, the paper draws attention to those orthographic and grammatical characteristics of the documents which deviate from the language norms of the classical period. These features grant us some insight into this stage of development of the Greek language.
P. Bour.: P. Collart, izd. Les Papyrus Bouriant. Paris: Honoré Champion, 1962.
P. Oxy 12: B. Grenfell in A. Hunt, izd. The Oxyrhynchus Papyri. 12. zv. London: Egypt Exploration Fund, 1916.
PSI III: T. Lodi, izd. Papiri greci e latini. 3. zv. Firence: Felice le Monnier, 1914.
PSI IX: G. Coppola, izd. Papiri greci e latini. 9. zv. Firence: Felice le Monnier, 1929.
PSI X: G. Vitelli izd. Papiri greci e latini. 10. zv. Firence: Felice le Monnier, 1932.
Bagnall, R. S. Egypt in Late Antiquity. Princeton, NY: Princeton University Press, 1993. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/9781400821167
Blumell, L. H. Lettered Christians. Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus. Leiden in Boston: Brill, 2012. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004180987
Burnet, R. L’ Égypte ancienne à travers les papyrus. Vie quotidienne. Pariz: Éditions Flammarion, 2003.
Di Bernardino, A. »Ossirinco.« V: Nuovo dizionario patristico e di antichità cristiane, 2. zv., ur. A. Di Bernardino, 3700–3704. Genova in Milano: Marietti, 2007.
Gignac, F. T. A Grammar of the Greek papyri of the Roman and Byzantine periods. Phonology. Zv. 1: Phonology. Milano: Istituto Editoriale Cisalpino, 1975.
Horrocks, G. A History of the Language and its Speakers. 2. izd. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, 2010.
Luijendijk, A. Greetings in the Lord. Early Christians and the Oxyrhynchus Papyri. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Theological Studies, 2008.
Martinez, D. G. »The Papyri and Early Christianity.« V: The Oxford Handbook of Papyrology, ur. R. S. Bagnall. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199843695.013.0025
Minnen, P. van. »The Millennium of Papyrology (2001–)?« Papyrologica Vindobonensia 1 (2007): 703–714.
Naldini, M. Il cristianesimo in Egitto. 2. izd. Firence: Nardini Editore, 1998.
Rees, B. R. »Popular Religion in Greaco-Roman Egypt: II. The Transition to Christianity.« The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 36 (1950): 80–100. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/030751335003600113
Roberts, C. H. Manuscript, Society and Belief in Early Christian Egypt. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1979.
Trapp, M. Greek and Latin Letters. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003.
Copyright (c) 2022 Sergej Valijev
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors are confirming that they are the authors of the submitting article, which will be published (print and online) in Keria by Znanstvena založba Filozofske fakultete Univerze v Ljubljani (University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Aškerčeva 2, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia). Author’s name will be evident in the article in journal. All decisions regarding layout and distribution of the work are in hands of the publisher.
- Authors guarantee that the work is their own original creation and does not infringe any statutory or common-law copyright or any proprietary right of any third party. In case of claims by third parties, authors commit their self to defend the interests of the publisher, and shall cover any potential costs.
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.