The Qurra Papyrus - Order For Payment By The People Of Psyrou - Egyptian National Library Inv. No. 335, 91 AH / 710 CE

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First Composed: 23rd December 2005

Last Modified: 23rd December 2005

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Assalamu ʿalaykum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:



Figure: (a) Picture of the papyrus and (b) the content of the papyrus.

[] encloses letters supplied to fill a lacuna.


Ṣafar, 91 AH / December - January, 710 CE.


The document consists of two pieces; the smaller one measures 8.3 cm x 20.8 cm and the larger one is 12 cm x 20 cm. Both joined together meaure 20.3 cm x 20.1 cm.

Brown, tolerably fine papyrus. The bilingual text contains twelve lines written at right-angles to the horizontal fibres. The Arabic part is written in black ink by the hand of Rāshid, diacritical points are few but sparsely added, ق has one point above. The Greek text is in the brown ink in a neat miniscule hand. Verso blank. It is a good state of preservation. The clay-seal on the folded margin below the text has disappeared, but the place where it was originally affixed is still recognizable.

Accession No.

Inv. No. 335.


The translation is given below. The Greek text is in italics:

  1. [Homestead of Psyrou. Solidi 104⅔, artabas of wheat 11⅓]
  2. In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful.
  3. This is a letter from Qurra bin Sharīk
  4. to the people of Subrā Psīrū of the district of Ishqauh. Verity, it hath fallen upon
  5. you (as your part) of the gold-tax of the year eighty-eight, hundred and four counted
  6. dīnārs and a third of a dīnār, and of the corn-tax e-
  7. leven artabas and a third artaba of wheat; and Rāshid
  8. has written (it) in Ṣafar of the year ninety-one.
  9. In the name of God. Corra, son of Szerich, governor, to you, people
  10. of the homestead of Psyrou of the village of Aphrodito: It has fallen to you (as your contribution) to the public taxes of the sixth indiction (or)
  11. according to the reckoning of the Arabs, of the year 88, 104½ counted solidi, hundred four and a half, and
  12. for the embola 11⅓-eleven and a third-artabas of wheat. Written in the month of
  13. Thot of the eighth indiction.


Egyptian National Library, Cairo, Egypt.

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[1] L. Caetani, Annali Dell'Islām, 1912, Volume V, Ulrico Hoepli: Milano, Plate facing p. 448.

[2] A. Grohmann, Arabic Papyri In The Egyptian Library, Volume III (Administrative Texts), 1938, Egyptian Library Press: Cairo, No. 160, pp. 47-50.

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