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The Monastery of Apa Thomas at Wadi Sarga: Points of Departure for a Relative Chronology - Coptic Wiki

The Monastery of Apa Thomas at Wadi Sarga: Points of Departure for a Relative Chronology

This chapter discusses the identification of the superiors of the Monas­tery of Apa Thomas at Wadi Sarga and presents some points of departure for reconstructing a relative chronology of this monastic community on the basis of Coptic epitaphs and documents.[1]

The Monastery of Apa Thomas, also called‘the Rock of Apa Thomas,’ is situated on the west bank of the Nile, north of modern Kom Isfaht, at the mouth of Wadi Sarga. It was supposedly named after its founder, a certain Apa Thomas, and was inhabited until about the eighth century (Crum and Bell 1922: 6-9; cf.Timm 1984-92, vol. 3:1400-1403; Wipszycka 2009: 90, 155—57).[2] The excavations by R.C. Thompson on behalf of the Byzantine Research Fund in 1913—14 yielded an abundance of textual and archaeo­logical material, but as this has only partly been published, the history of the monastery is obscure (Thompson 1914: 187—88; Thompson in Crum and Bell 1922:1—5).[3] Nevertheless, the published Coptic material provides sufficient information for setting some chronological parameters.[4]

In the first part of this chapter I will demonstrate that the monastic saints invoked in the epitaphs on stelae were in fact superiors of the Monastery of Apa Thomas, and that some of them are also attested in Coptic documents. The second part discusses a recent hypothesis proposed by Alain Delattre (forthcoming) that the monastery at Wadi Sarga was possibly dependent on the Monastery of Apa Apollo at Bawit. The last section presents the individuals who occur in several texts and can also be linked to one of the leaders. As a result, their appearance not only enables us to distinguish dos­siers of contemporary texts, but also to refine the relative chronology of the superiors of the monastery.

The Superiors of the Monastery of Apa Thomas

According to WE. Crum, Apa Thomas presumably was the founder of the monastery at Wadi Sarga and the first of a group of local saints invoked at the beginning of many Coptic epitaphs on stelae and ostraca from Wadi Sarga (Crum and Bell 1922: 7—8, 57—84). The persons listed in the invocation formula after Thomas include Peter, Joseph, Anoup, Pamoun, Germanus, Justus, and Enoch, some of whom also appear in Coptic docu­ments. At first, Crum could not decide whether they formed a group of contemporaries or a sequence of successive officials (Crum and Bell 1922: 8). In a later publication, when writing about the Topos (Monastery) of Epiphanius, he remarked that “one imagines a series of names—such as that customary, for instance, at Wadi Sarga—to indicate a chronological succession of abbots” (Winlock and Crum 1926: 214).

The gradual but consistent development of the invocation formula indeed confirms Crum’s theory that the list of names refers to a sequence of monastic leaders (fig. 1.1). At the beginning, the formula only mentioned “Thomas and his brethren” (I.Sarga 29-30), but in the course of time it was expanded until it included the names of nine superiors, the latest being Apa Am[…], whom Crum did not identify (I.Sarga 54).[5] The name can be supplemented as “Apa Amoun,” for P..Copt. 294 shows that one of the fathers of “the Rock of Apa Thomas” was thus named (fig. 1.2).[6]

The invocation formula developed in seven phases, five of which are represented by a single inscription only. No fewer than eight epitaphs record the formula in phase 3, when it ended with Pamoun (I.Sarga 35, 37, 39—42, 50, 59). His inclusion in the list of the persons invoked implies that he had died and that these epitaphs date to the period when his suc­cessor, Germanus, was leader of the monastery. The list of names provides an excellent starting point for a relative chronology, but since none of the epitaphs bear an absolute date, clues for dating have to be derived from other textual sources.

Crum suggested that Thomas probably lived shortly before ad 600, on account of a list of names in a Syriac palimpsest that is presently kept at the British Library in London (Crum and Bell 1922: 8-9),[7] This parchment book contained biblical texts (Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Judith, and Esther) in Sahidic, which were overwritten with extracts from patristic writings in Syriac when the book was reused in Wadi al-Natrun in ad 913.[8] The dating of the Sahidic texts is problematic since they are “extremely difficult to read,” as Crum had already observed (Crum 1905: 5). H. Thompson, the editor of the Sahidic texts, consulted H. Hyvernat, who proposed a dating “not later than ad 650, probably about 600” on the basis of the palaeogra­phy (Thompson 1911: vi), which Crum accepted (Crum and Bell 1922: 9). Nevertheless, the dating of a text on the basis of its script alone is hazardous.

The list of names, written at the end of the book of Esther, mentions Apa Thomas, Apa Peter, Apa Joseph, and Apa Mena.[9] The first three names correspond with those of the earliest superiors of the Monastery of Apa Thomas, but a leader called Mena is not attested. Perhaps he was the copy­ist of the manuscript, who wanted to commemorate the first superiors of his community (Crum and Bell 1922: 9),[10] or a monk who was him­self commemorated together with the early superiors by the copyist. If the list was indeed intended for commemorative purposes, and if Thomas, Peter, and Joseph were dead when the Sahidic texts were copied, the copy­ing should have taken place in the time of Anoup, Joseph’s successor, and during the first phase of the invocation formula. When the dating proposed by for the Sahidic texts is accepted, Anoup’s leadership and phase 1 can be tentatively dated to about 600—50.

When Anoup died, his name was added to the invocation formula (phase 2) and Pamoun succeeded him as leader of the monastery. He, in turn, was succeeded by Germanus, who was the superior when the above- mentioned epitaphs of phase 3 were carved. One of them dates to year 13 of the indiction cycle (I.Sarga 35). Germanus probably was the same person as the superior Apa Germane who appears in a tax receipt as the representative of the dikaion, or juridical body, of the Monastery of Apa Thomas in a first indiction year (O.Sarga 344).[11]

Judging from an acknowledgment of a debt, Apa Justus, the seventh superior listed in the invocation formula, represented the dikaion of the Monastery of Apa Thomas in year 13 of the indiction cycle (P..Copt. 201). Either Justus succeeded Germanus in year 13, and so both the above-mentioned epitaph associated with Germanus (I.Sarga 35) and the document date to the same year and cycle, or the document is to be dated to a subsequent cycle, that is, fifteen years later. The reference to a dux in a letter addressed to Apa Justus (O.Sarga 102) indicates that this monastic leader must have headed the monastery well before ad 750 in view of the fact that the office of dux disappeared in the course of the first half of the eighth century (Sijpesteijn 2010: 111 and n. 23).

Apa Enoch appears once as the superior who represented the dikaion of the Monastery of Apa Thomas (Apa Efnoch]; O.Sarga 164),[12] and as the sender of instructions to “my brother” Apa Enoch, the steward (O.Sarga 104). In addition, it was probably the superior Enoch, and not the homonymous steward, who sent an instruction to the steward Papnoute, since the sender referred to himself as “his father” (O.Sarga 95). It is likely, but not completely certain, that Papnoute was steward before Enoch, as I will discuss below.

When Enoch was superior of the monastery and his namesake was stew­ard, the sailor of a lihumus-ship came to the former with a request for cables and ropes (O.Sarga 104). Crum suggested that the libumus “should be a war­ship” (Crum and Bell 1922: 97 n. 1). According to P. Sijpesteijn, the ship belonged to the Muslim fleet (Sijpesteijn 2010: 111). Since the Muslim navy was founded during the caliphate of‘ Uthman (644-56) by Mu‘awya, the governor of Syria, any reference to the Muslim fleet postdates about 650.[13] If Sijpesteijn is right, the letter mentioning the ship is of a later date, and Enoch must have been superior of the monastery after ad 650.[14]

Apa Amoun, the “father of the Rock ofApa Thomas,” features in a letter about the donation of a garden to the monastery (P..Copt. 248). He was the ninth and last superior to be included in the invocation formula and appears on a single epitaph (I.Sarga 54).

One of the superiors of the Monastery of Apa Thomas and his second- in-authority, or steward, received a letter from his bishop, Eunomius of Sbeht (Apollinopolis Parva/Kom Isfaht; O.Sarga 375). Unfortunately, the name of the superior is lost.

The relative chronology should also include five monastic leaders who are attested in documents, but not on the epitaphs:

  • Sarapamon, superior of the Rock of Apa Thomas, who sent a letter to the anonymous of another monastery, requesting a deed of protection on behalf of certain youths who had fled from his (Sarapamon’s) monastery (P..Copt. 289);
  • the anonymous who received Sarapamon’s letter (P..Copt. 289);
  • Apa George, the head and archimandrite, who represented the dikaion of the Rock ofApa Thomas when paying their taxes (P..Copt. 124);
    Daniel, the archimandrite, who employed a carpenter in indiction year 12 to work at the monastery, presumably that of Apa Thomas (O.Sarga 161);
  • Apa Victor, of the “Holy Mountain,” which probably does not refer to the Monastery of Apa Thomas, for the latter is never called “Mountain” (P.Sarga 96).

Judging from the documents, the leader of the Monastery of Apa Thomas was called “father” or “superior” (proestos) when he represented the dikaion of the monastery, and the archimandrites were associated with another monastery, which is once designated as the “Holy Mountain.” At a later stage, archimandrites interfered with the administration of the Monastery of Apa Thomas: Apa George paid the taxes due from the monastery, and Daniel employed a carpenter. This observation also seems to apply to Dayr al-Bala’iza, or the Monastery of Apa Apollo, in the same district of Sbeht (Apollinopolis Parva/Kom Isfaht): five leaders were called “superiors,” but two others were “archimandrites.”[15] Interestingly, the title ‘archimandrite’ is particularly attested at the Monastery of Apa Apollo at Bawit (in the Her- mopolite district), whereas only a few of its leaders were designated proestos.[16]

In the context of the Pachomian koinonia and the Shenoutian federa­tion, the title ‘archimandrite’ designated the supreme leader of a group of monasteries, who resided at the main monastery.[17] It referred to a specific function and is likely to have been borne by a limited number of monastic leaders, but the documents from the monasteries at Wadi Sarga, al-Bala’iza, and Bawit provide various examples. In my opinion, it is unlikely that each of these monasteries housed proestotes as well as archimandrites. Since most archimandrites are associated with the Monastery of Apa Apollo at Bawit, I inclined to think that this monastery was, or became, the center of a monastic congregation, which included at least the Monastery of Apa Thomas and Dayr al-Bala’iza.[18]

A Relationship with the Monastery of Apa Apollo at Bawit?
In a recent article, Delattre (forthcoming) observes that the monastery at Bawit was indeed involved with the administration of other monastic institutions, “peut-etre dans le cadre d’une congregation dont il aurait ete l’element central.”[19] In addition, he proposes the hypothesis that the Mon­astery of Apa Thomas was administratively dependent on the Monastery of Apa Apollo at Bawit on the basis of P.Sarga 175 (P.Bawit.Clackson 60, seventh—eighth century(?), and P.Mich. XV 749, eighth century).

P.Sarga 175, which is only partly preserved, seems to be a Coptic “Our Father”—formula text, a type of document that is typical for the mon­astery at Bawit, but this example was discovered at Wadi Sarga.[20] It was issued by Daniel, whose title is not specified. P.Mich. XV 749, a Greek account relating to the corn tax, lists the Monastery of Apa Thomas (with­out mentioning a superior) as one of the suppliers of corn. According to Delattre (forthcoming), P.Mich. XV 749 is likely to have been issued by another institution, possibly the monastery at Bawit. He compares it with a tax account (P.Brux.Bawit 31) that refers to land holdings in the area of Kusai (al-Qusiya, between Mallawi and Asyut), but certainly originates from Bawit. It should be admitted that the texts referred to by Delattre do not mention the Monastery of Apa Apollo at Bawit, and that his hypothesis is mainly based on the discovery of an “Our Father”—formula text, suppos­edly originating from Bawit, at Wadi Sarga.

If Delattre s hypothesis is correct, at least with regard to the fiscal administration during the seventh/eighth centuries, it should be possible to identify the archimandrites attested in the documents relating to the Monastery of Apa Thomas (George, Daniel, and Victor) with namesakes at Bawit. At present, however, any suggestion is speculative. It appears that there were two archimandrites at Bawit called Daniel. On the basis of the script, Sarah Clackson (2008:4,94) distinguished the Daniel of P.Sarga 175 (P.Bawit.Clackson 60, seventh—eighth century?) from that of P.Sarga 174 (P.Bawit.Clackson 14, cf. 15-17, eighth century, indiction 8-9).We should also be cautious when attempting to equate Apa George, the of P..Copt. 124, with Apa George, the archimandrite of P.Mon.Apollo 26 (eighth century) and the signatory of three “Our Father”—formula texts (P.Bawit.Clackson 18—20, indiction 6—7).

Dossiers of Texts Relating to Well-attested Individuals

The relative chronology of the Monastery of Apa Thomas can be refined, not only by examining its ties with other monastic communities, but also by distinguishing groups of texts among the material from Wadi Sarga itself. The priestsVictor and Phoibammon, the stewards Papnoute and Enoch, and Apa Hor and Apa Mena each appear in several texts and their individual dossiers can be linked directly or indirectly to a monastic leader (fig. 1.3).

The papa or priest Victor from Hage, “surnamed the less,” is men­tioned on no fewer than six epitaphs, after the invocation formula and the name and day of death of the deceased monk or priest (I.Sarga 35, 37, 42, 44-46).[21] These deceased individuals originated from various places (cf. nos. 35,37,42), and their relation to Victor remains unclear.The prominent appearance of his name on the funerary stelae suggests that he was either the dedicator or the sculptor (Crum and Bell 1922: 65 n. 2). In view of the fact that the invocation formula represents phase 3, the stelae and Victors activities can be dated to the period of the superior Germanus. One of the stelae dates to a thirteenth indiction year.

Another dossier consists of the Coptic inscriptions that people from lorn (the Fayoum?) left during several visits. The priest Phoibammon was the first to have a commemorative slab carved with his prayer (I.Sarga 39). Judging from the invocation formula (phase 3), it dates to the period of Germanus. On another occasion, the priest Phoibammon returned together with a large group of people, including the priest Wenofer and the baker Anoup (I.Sarga 55). Part of this company returned and left another graffito (I.Sarga 56). One of the two persons called Hor, the one associ­ated with Paul (and Hale), afterward died and was commemorated by an epitaph (I.Sarga 57).The dossier should also include the graffito by master Elias, the mason, and his apprentice Enoch, since Elias had also joined the company from Iom (I.Sarga 74, 55).

The dossiers of the steward Papnoute, the steward Enoch, Apa Hor, and Apa Mena at least partly date to the period when Apa Enoch was superior of the monastery (see above). Perhaps Papnoute was already present at the time of Apa Justus, but, if so, he was not yet called a steward (O.Sarga 113, 186). In his capacity as steward, Papnoute sent messages to Apa Hor, asking him to give wine or oil to certain individuals (O.Sarga 91,177—78), and to Apa Mena, instructing him to give a priest called John a can of oil and a little meat (O.Sarga 181). Apa Hor and Apa Mena apparently were responsible for distributing supplies from the storeroom of the monastery. Apa Mena also received instructions from “Apa Enoch, his father,” who was either the superior or the steward (O.Sarga 167—72). Crum attributed ten orders and receipts to “Enoch, doubtless the oft recurring steward” on account of his “clumsy hand” (O.Sarga 167—73,176,182,183).[22]

Further study of the texts is Ekely to reveal more possible dossiers, which could contribute to the refinement of the relative chronology.[23]


As Crum already suggested, the group of individuals invoked in many of the epitaphs from Wadi Sarga can be identified as the earlier superiors of the Monastery of Apa Thomas in view of the gradual and consistent devel­opment of the invocation formula. The first leader to be commemorated was Apa Thomas, whereas Apa Amoun was the ninth and last leader whose name was added to the formula. Like his predecessors Germanus, Justus, and Enoch, Amoun is also attested in Coptic documents.

Some Coptic documents also record the activities of other monastic leaders, including Sarapamon, father of the Rock of Apa Thomas, and three archimandrites, who were perhaps associated with the Monastery of Apa Apollo in Bawit. Like Delattre, I inclined to think that the monastery at Bawit formed the administrative center of a congregation consisting of various monasteries, including the Monastery of Apa Thomas and perhaps Dayr al-Bala’iza.

This contribution presents the first attempt to reconstruct a relative chronology of the Monastery of Apa Thomas by identifying its leaders, and isolates some dossiers relating to well-attested individuals in order to refine the* chronology. However, before we can sketch the history of the site, it is essential that the unpublished material also be examined, and that the possible ties between this monastery and other monastic communities in Middle Egypt be clarified. It is, therefore, excellent news that the unpub­lished material in the British Museum and the British Library is now being prepared for publication.

Fig. 1.1. The superiors invoked in the Coptic epitaphs





Thomas “and his brethren”



Thomas, Peter, Joseph, Anoup



Thomas, Peter, Joseph, Anoup, Pamoun

35 (indiction 13), 37,

39-42, 50, 59


Thomas, Peter, Joseph, Anoup, Pamoun, Germanus



Thomas, Peter, Joseph, Anoup, Pamoun, Germanus, Justus



Thomas, Peter, Joseph, Anoup, Pamoun, Germanus, Justus, Enoch



Thomas, Peter, Joseph, Anoup, Pamoun, [Germanus],Justus, [Enoch], [oun]



Fig. 1.2. The superiors attested in the Coptic documents in chronological order


Coptic document

Apa Germane, “our father” superior representing the dikaion of the

Mon(astery) of Apa Thomas

I.Sarga 84 (and 85:“saint”?) O.Sarga 344 (Tut 9, indiction 1)

Apa Justus (Jouste), father, superior representing the dikaion of the [Monastery] of ApaTh[omas]

O.Sarga 94,102-103,113, cf. 186
P.Ryl.Copt. 201 (indiction 13)

Apa Enoch, father, superior representing the dikaion of the

Monastery of Apa Thomas

(no title; giving instructions to his “brother,” the steward Enoch)

“his father” (giving instructions to the steward Papnoute)

O.Sarga 164

O.Sarga 104

O.Sarga 95

Apa Amoun, father of the Rock of Apa Thomas

P.Ryl.Copt. 294

[…], superior representing the Monastery of Apa Thomas, a contemporary of Bishop Eunomius of Sbeht/Kom Isfaht

O.Sarga 375

Sarapamon, (father) of the Rock of ApaThomas, writing to [.. .], the archimandrite (of another monastery)

P.Ryl.Copt. 289

Apa George, father superior (“great man”)

representing the dikaion of the Rock of Apa Thomas

P.Ryl.Copt. 124,1, ro. and II. ro. text I. ro. (indiction 14)

Daniel, the archimandrite, presumably the

O.Sarga 87,

O.            Sarga 161 (Tut 26, indiction 12)

P.             Sarga 175

(= P.Bawit.Clackson 60)

Apa Victor, of the “Holy Mountain” (probably not of the Rock of Apa Thomas)

P.Sarga 96


Fig. 1.3. A relative chronology of the Monastery of Apa Thomas


Contemporary texts

Proposed dating

1. Apa Thomas


Shortly before ad 600?

2. Apa Peter


(ca. 600?)

3. Apa Joseph



4. Apa Anoup

British Library, Add. MS

17183, fol. 147a
I.Sarga 29-30 (fig. 1.1, phase 1)

ca. 600-50?

5. Apa Pamoun

I.Sarga 31 (phase 2)


6. Apa Germanus

papa Victor “the less” fiom Hage, who produced epitaphs

papa Phoibammon papa Wenofer of


Paul, Hor, Hale, etc.

indiction 13) Cf. I.Sarga 37,39-42,50,


O.Sarga 344 (Tut 9, indiction 1)

I.Sarga 42 (Kiyahk 22),

37 (Amshir 7), 35 (Baramhat 4, indiction 13), 44-46

I.Sarga 39, 55

I.Sarga 55-56

I.Sarga 55-56 (alive); cf. 57 (Hor is dead)

(Before ad 750, like Apa Justus)

6 September (657, 672, 687,702,

18 December, 1 February, 28

February (655, 670,685,…)

7. Apa Justus

O.Sarga 94,103,113, cf. 186

O.            Sarga 103: reference to a dux

P.             Ryl.Copt. 201 (indiction 13)

I.Sarga 48 (phase 4)

Before ad 750

(…, 669/70,684/5,699/700,


8. Apa Enoch


Papnoute and Apa Hor and Apa Mena Steward Enoch

and Apa Mena

O.Sarga 164, cf. 99,104,

170-71,183: I.Sarga 36 (phase 5)

O.Sarga 95, cf. 97-98,110, 177-78,181

O.Sarga 91,177-79

O.Sarga 181

O.Sarga 88,104 (“libumus- ship”), 378, cf. 173 (Thoth 1, indiction 12),

176 (Thoth 10, indiction 7), 182 (Pamenoth 11, indiction 12), 183

O.Sarga 168-69 (Misra 20), 170-71

(Thoth 1, indiction 3), cf. 167,172

After ad 650?

29August (668,683,698,…)

7 September (678,693, 708,…)

7 March (684, 699,714,…)

13 August

29 August (674,689,704,…)

9. Amoun

P.Ryl.Copt. 294

I.Sarga 51 (phase 6)

Seventh/eighth century

(?) Sarapamon

P.Ryl.Copt. 289

Seventh/eighth century

(?) George, the

P.Ryl.Copt. 124: II. ro. (indiction 13)

II. vo (Baba 26, indiction 14)

I. ro. (Amshir 3, indiction 14)

I. vo. (Misra 24, indiction 4)

Seventh/eighth century

23 October (685,700,725,…)

28January (686,701,716,…)

17August (691,706,721,…)

(?) Daniel, the

O.            Sarga 87,161 (Tut 26, indiction 12)

P.             Sarga 175 (= P.Bawit. Clackson 60)

23 September (698,713,728 …)

Seventh/eighth century

(?) Victor, the

P.Sarga 96


Renate Dekker

[1] I would like to thank Dr. Gawdat Gabra for inviting me to write a contribution on Wadi Sarga. I also much indebted to Jennifer Cromwell for sharing her views, for engaging in a stimulating discussion, and for correcting the English; to Elisabeth O’Connell for sending me the text of her 2012 Rome Coptic Congress paper and for her editorial comments; and to Alain Delattre for sending me three articles that are relevant to this topic, including one that is still in press.

[2] Cf. Kahle 1954, vol 1: 26; Meinardus 1977: 398-99; Coquin and Martin 1991g: 2312; and Sijpesteijn 2010: 110, who incorrectly located the monastery at Wadi Sarga “close to Edfu”;Tudor 2011:75,414—15, cf. 204. For an elaborate description and photographs of the site, see Doresse 2000: 360-410, 532-33, figs. 26-41. Wadi Sarga is presently used by the military and inaccessible; cf. Klemm and Klemm 2008: 117,144;Wipszycka 2009: 157.

[3] During the Tenth International Congress of Coptic Studies in Rome (17—22 September 2012), Elisabeth O’Connell presented a paper on the unpublished excavation documentation and objects now in the British Museum. For information on the British Museum Research Project “Wadi Sarga at the British Museum” and scholars currently working on various corpora of objects, see British Museum, “Wadi Sarga at the British Museum,” https://www.britishmuseum.org/research/research_projects/all_current_projects/ wadi_sarga.aspx. Object records for Wadi Sarga are available via the British Museum Collections on-line database: British Museum, “Collection Online,” http://www. britishmuseum.org/ research/collection_online/search.aspx.

[4] For the nonliterary texts relating to the Monastery of Apa Thomas/Wadi Sarga, see P.Sarga (also including ostraca) and I.Sarga 29-85: ed. Crum and Bell 1922; P.Ryl.Copt. 124, 201, 289, 294: ed. Crum 1909; National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden, F. 1946/4.6: ed. De Nie 1941: 615-18 (cf. Raven 1982: 80-81); P.Vat. Copt. Doresse 7: ed. Forster 2001: 195-97 (corrected reading by Lucchesi 2008: 203-206); P.Mich. XV 749: ed. Sijpesteijn 1982: 134. On the basis of the toponym ‘Apollinopolis,’ Sijpesteijn assumed that the last-mentioned papyrus came from Apollinopolis Megale/Edfu, but A. Delattre (forthcoming) argued that Apollinopolis Parva/Kom Isfaht is more likely. It probably dates to the eighth century (Delattre), rather than the seventh century (Sijpesteijn). Since Crum included P.Mich. Inv. 578 (= P.Sarga 174/P.Bawit.Clackson 14) in his edition, although it was not discovered at Wadi Sarga, E.M. Husselman (1951: 332-38) suggested that two similar texts, P.Mich. Inv. 1300 and 1520 (incorrectly “1524”), also came from Wadi Sarga. S. Clackson (2008: 4-5, 20), however, demonstrated that “Our Father’-formula texts like these are typical for the Monastery of Apa Apollo at Bawit. Cf. Delattre 2007: 147-51; Delattre 2010a. For a Coptic epistolary exercise from Wadi Sarga, see Cromwell 2013: 272-75.

[5] This observation is contrary to Crum’s remark (in Crum and Bell 1922:7) that the names following that of Thomas were sometimes omitted.

[6] Crum (in Crum and Bell 1922: 8 n. 3) assumed that the Pamoun mentioned in the invocation formula and the Apa Amoun of P.Ryl.Copt. 294 were one and the same, but I.Sarga 54 demonstrates that Pamoun and “[oun] ” were two different individuals. The former is listed before Justus, the latter after Justus.

[7] British Library, Add. MS 17183: ed. Thompson 1911; cf. 1888: pl. 7.1, 56.1; Crum 1905:4-7, no. 12, when the manuscript was still in the British Museum.

[8] Thompson 1911: v; cf. Crum and Bell 1922: 8.

[9] British Library, Add. MS 17183, fol. 147a: ed.Thompson 1911: viii, 372; cf. Crum 1905:7.

[10] British Library, Add. MS 17183, fol. 147a: ed.Thompson 1911: viii, 372; cf. Crum 1905:7. Previously, Crum (1905:7) suggested that the names were “presumably those of the owners of the book.”

[11] On the term dikaion, see Kahle 1954, vol. 1: 31—32; Wipszycka 2009: 547—48, with further references.

[12] Crum (Crum and Bell 1922:135 and n. 2-3) read the abbreviated tide as pro(noetes), ‘agent,’ but it actually stands for pro(estos), ‘superior’; cf. Forster 2002: 679-80. In P.Ryl.Copt. 201, the dikaion of the Monastery of Apa Thomas is indeed represented by a ‘proe(stos).’

[13] On the foundation of the Muslim navy, see Fahmy 1966: 76—79. For ‘Uthman, see Lapidus 2002: 45-47.

[14] In a personal communication by e-mail on 6 October 2013, Jennifer Cromwell wrote to me that the text does not necessarily refer to the Muslim fleet. She observed that the monastery seems to have owned ships, and that ships were used for the transport of wine.

[15] Proestotes during the seventh/eighth centuries: Abraham (P.Bal. 109), Ammone (P.Bal. 159,100),Apa Kyre (P.Bal. 102),Apa Psha (P.Bal. 103-104), Isaak (P.Bal. 115). Archimandrites: Peter (P.Bal. 210), also called “father superior” (lit.: ‘great man’; P.Bal. 291, 359), and John (P.Bal. 459): ed. Kahle 1954, vol. 1; cf. Wipszycka 2009: 330 n. 6,450-51; Markiewicz 2009:182-83,201-202.

[16] Archimandrites: Serenos (P.Amst. I 47-48; sixth century): ed. Salomons, Sijpesteijn, and Worp 1980; Daniel (P.Mon.Apollo 25; eighth century), George (P.Mon.Apollo 26; eighth century),Theodore (P.Mon.Apollo 38; eighth century), Zacharias (P.Mon. Apollo 59b; eighth century): ed. Clackson 2000; Delattre (forthcoming). Proestotes: Athanase (P.Mon.Apollo 24; eighth century): ed. Clackson 2000; Mena (Rome, Campo Santo, Inv. C 1 (EnB 3);eighth century):Delattre 2010b:26—27.Delattre (2010b: 29-30) proposed identifying this Mena with the person depicted on the well-known icon of Christ and in the Musee du Louvre (E 11565; eighth century).

[17] For the title, see Wipszycka 2009: 329—31; cf. 335—40, on the superiors of the Pachomian and Shenoutian communities.

[18] For the other monasteries in the neighborhood of Dayr al-Bala’iza, see Kahle 1954, vol. 1:22-26.

[19] Cf. Clackson 2000:23,32—33; Delattre 2007: 64—65.

[20] For a reconstruction of the text, see Clackson 2008: 93—94. Jennifer Cromwell, however, observes that the text could also begin with “n6N6 IU)[t 6HC2XI]” instead of“neNeio>[T n6TC2Al],” which is not a formula restricted to Bawit.

[21] For the title papa/papas, see Derda and Wipszycka 1994: 54—56.

[22] Crum and Bell 1922: 144 (O.Sarga 167, 176, 182), cf. 139—41 (O.Sarga 167 n. 3, 168 n. 3—4,169 n. 2,170 n. 2,171 n. 2,173 n. 3), 146 (O.Sarga 183 n. 3; “The same unskilled hand as in [O.Sarga] 167 etc.”).

[23] Jennifer Cromwell has photographed all the ostraca from Wadi Sarga, which are now available in the British Museum’s online catalogue. See also her contribution “Wine and Monks in Christian Egypt” on the British Museum blog, http://blog.britishmuseum.org/2013/07/10/wine-and-monks-in-christian-egypt/.