PERF No. 555 - An Early Islamic Papyrus In Greek From 22 AH / 642 CE

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First Composed: 12th April 2014

Last Modified: 3rd May 2014

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Assalamu ʿalaykum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:




Papyrus PERF 555: (a) recto, (b) verso and (c) the transcription.


28th Muharram, 22 AH / 26th December, 642 CE.[1]


It has Greek text. The place of disocvery of this document is probably Egypt.


The translation of the document is given below:


  1. [In the na]me of God! I, Emir ʿAbdallāh, to provosts of Psophthis. Please sell
  2. [to ʿĀmir, son of] Aslaʿ, for Kouta troop for three gold pieces fodder of two arourai to each soldier and
  3. to each (soldiers) a three-course meal per month. In the month of Choiak, 30 of the first indiction (i.e., 26th December 642 CE).


Submitted by the inhabitants of Sophtys: For three gold pieces, provided are fodder and meals consisting of three full meals.


This document should be read in conjunction with PERF 557 and PERF 558. ‘Emir ʿAbdallāh’ here is none other than ʿAbdullāh b. Jābir, who was commander of the expeditionary corps to Upper Egypt in 641-643 CE. In this papyrus, we notice that cavalry and food for soldiers is demanded in exchange for gold pieces.

This papyrus is a part of the Archduke Rainer Collection (usually abbreviated as PERF). Other papyri from 22 AH / 643 CE are PERF 556, PERF 557, PERF 558 and P. Berol. 15002.


The Austrian National Museum, Vienna.


We are grateful to the Austrian National Museum, Vienna, for providing us a photo of the papyrus.

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[1] A. Grohmann, "Aperçu De Papyrologie Arabe", Études De Papyrologie, 1932, Volume 1, pp. 45-46.

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