Trilingual sale contract from Islamic Egypt

Description

This contract on papyrus is dated 14 August 758 CE and records the sale of a building by Senuthius, son of Enoch, to Aaron, son of Senuthius. It was written in the town of Djeme in southern Egypt.

It opens with the date and an invocation of Allah in ornate Arabic script, followed by a further Christian invocation in Greek, before the practicalities are laid out in Coptic. It is clear evidence of the multilingual nature of Egyptian society in the 8th century.

The papyrus was discovered during excavations at Djeme. E. A. W. Budge acquired it for the British Museum at the beginning of the 20th century.

Full title:
Trilingual sale contract from Islamic Egypt
Created:
758
Format:
Manuscript
Language:
Greek
Usage terms

Public Domain in most countries other than the UK.

Held by
British Library
Shelfmark:
Or 4872

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Multilingualism in Greek manuscripts

Article by:
Peter Toth
Theme:
The Greek World

Byzantium’s interactions with other cultures – both East and West – is made clear from the multilingual nature of many Greek manuscripts. Peter Toth explores this aspect of Byzantine book culture.