Dating to the mid fourth century, this papyrus sheet contains a private letter. The sender is a woman called Valeria, who is afflicted by a grievous shortness of breath, and seeks healing through the prayers and compassion of Father Papnouthius, the letter’s recipient. The back contains the address.
The document is one of the seven texts on papyrus from the British Library collections that form the archive of the anchorite Papnouthius, who lived in the fourth century and is perhaps to be associated with the monastery at Hathor, Egypt. The archive consists of his private correspondence, where he figures as the recipient.
- Article by:
- Matthew Nicholls
- Papyri, Scholarship, The makers of Greek manuscripts
How were books stored and accessed in the ancient world? Matthew Nicholls explores what the surviving evidence of ancient books can tell us about libraries in antiquity.