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Sunday at the Met: Preserving the Immaterial

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Ostrakon with a Letter from Gennadius to Peter

Date:
580–640
Geography:
Made in Byzantine Egypt
Culture:
Coptic
Medium:
Pottery fragment with ink inscription
Classification:
Ceramics
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1912
Accession Number:
12.180.143
  • Description

    Ostraca are texts written on broken pottery, which were employed when parchment was unavailable or too expensive. At Epiphanius a large number of ostraca were discovered in the monastery, including in its rubbish heaps; they record biblical verses, legal documents, sermons, financial accounts, school texts, and letters requesting assistance and prayers. Some reveal that, even at the southernmost border of the Empire, people were still aware of events in the capital, Constantinople.

    Ostracon with a Letter from Gennadius to Peter
    I, Gennadius, do write and greet Peter, (saying,) Be pleased to enquire for these eggs for me, for there is need of them. Lo, the money have I sent with the servant and I will send and summon thee at this Feast.
    Give it unto Peter; from Gennadius.

  • Provenance

    West Court of the Monastery of Epiphanius, Thebes

  • See also
    What
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    In the Museum
473399

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