PERF No. 558 - One Of The Earliest Bilingual Papyri From 22 AH / 642 CE
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First Composed: 2nd November 2000
Last Modified: 1st December 2005
Assalamu ʿalaykum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:
(a) Papyrus PERF 558 and (b) its transcription.
Jumādā I, 22 AH / 642 CE.
It has Arabic and Greek text. The place of disocvery of this document is unknown.
The translation of the document is given below. The Arabic part is in italics:
- God! In the name of God! I, Emir ʿAbdallāh, to you, Christophoros and Theodorakios, Intendants of Herakleopolis!
- For the maintenance of the Sarasins who are with me, I took from you at Heracleopolis 65 sheep, I repeat: sixty-five and
- no more, and as an acknowledgement of this fact, we have made the present confirmation.
- In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful! This is what have taken ʿAbdallāh,
- Written by me, Jean, notary and deacon. On the 30th of the month of Pharmouthi of the 1st indiction. Son of Jabir, and his companions-in-arms, as of slaughter sheep at Heracleopolis. We have taken
- from a representative of Theodorakios, second son of Apa Kyros, and from a substitute of Christophoros, eldest son of Apa Kyros, fifty sheep as of slaughter sheep
- and fifteen other sheep. He gave them, for slaughter, for the crew of his vessels, as well as his cavalry and his breastplated infantry in
- the month of Jumādā the first in the year twenty-two. Written by Ibn Ḥadīd.
On the back
Document concerning the delivery of sheep to the Magarites and other people who arrived, as a down-payment of the taxes of the 1st indiction.
This papyrus is a part of Archduke Rainer Collection (usually abbreviated as PERF). It is one of two earliest Arabic papyri; the other one being P. Berol. 15002.
The interesting part of this document is the use of Magarites that is written in Greek and is identified as mujahirun. This manuscript shows extensive dotting of Arabic script. Diacritical dots on the letters ج، خ، ذ، ز، ش and ن are clearly visible.
Austrian National Museum, Vienna.
We are grateful to the Austrian National Museum, Vienna, for providing us the papyrus.
 A. Grohmann, "Aperçu De Papyrologie Arabe", Études De Papyrologie, 1932, Tome Premier, pp. 39-46.
 A. Grohmann, I Arabische Chronologie. II Arabische Papyruskunde, 1966, Handbuch Der Orientalistik, E. J. Brill: Leiden/Köln, Plate II:1.
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