The Qurra Papyrus - Concerning The Dispatch Of The Corn To The Capital & The Remittance Of Charges - Egyptian National Library Inv. No. 331, 91 AH / 710 CE

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First Composed: 5th September 2000

Last Modified: 24th 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.


Rabīʿ I, 91 AH / January - February 710 CE.


Two fragments: Egyptian National Library Inv. No. 331, 36.6 cm x 14.5 cm (right hand side); P. Lond. Br. Mus. Or. 6231 (3), 36.6 cm x 6.7 cm (left hand side).

It is a light brown, fine papyrus. The text of the letter is quite exceptionally written in black ink parallel to the vertical fibres, i.e., on verso; diacritical points, which in line 2 are in the form of small slanting lines, are but sparsely added. The recto is blank.

Accession No.

Inv. No. 331 + P. Lond. Br. Mus. Or. 6231 (3).


The translation of the document is:

  1. [] to
  2. al-Fusṭāṭ. I have forsooth already remitted
  3. them the charges (maks) therefore (i.e., for the corn) and they may sell it at al-Fusṭāṭ.
  4. Do this quickly for I fear
  5. a rise in the price of the corn in al-Fusṭāṭ.
  6. For if I do not exact the charges in favour of the merchants
  7. they obtain a good profit. And,
  8. if it pleases God, the harvest will
  9. take place in forty nights or thereabouts.
  10. Therefore, dispatch will all speed what thou hast
  11. gathered in (?) thereof and write
  12. me how thou hast managed matters there after,
  13. and how many vendors
  14. in the corn there are in thy district, And hail
  15. to him who follows the guidance. And Jarīr
  16. has written (it) in the month of Rabīʿ I of the year nine-
  17. ty-one.


Egyptian National Library, Cairo, Egypt.

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[1] Adolf Grohmann, Arabic Papyri In The Egyptian Library, Volume III (Administrative Texts), 1938, Egyptian Library Press: Cairo, No. 147, pp. 7-11.

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