The Qurra Papyrus - Concerning The Enrolling Soldiers In The Local Lists- Egyptian National Library Inv. No. 329, 90 AH / 709 CE

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First Composed: 14th December 2005

Last Modified: 15th December 2005

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Assalamu ʿalaykum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:

Figure: (left) Picture of the papyrus and (right) the content of the papyrus.

[] encloses letters supplied to fill a lacuna.


Rabīʿ I, 90 AH / January-February, 709 CE.


71 cm x 20.7 cm. Light brown, fine papyrus. The papyrus is in a very fragile and brittle condition, especially in the outer parts. The ends of the lines 2, 5, 9, 11-13, 16, 18, 20-22 are broken off, but besides this mutilation, the leaf is perforated and badly worm-eaten. Verso blank.

Accession No.

Inv. No. 329.


The translation of text is:

  1. In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful.
  2. From Qurra b. Sharīk t[o]
  3. Basil, administrator of Ishqauh.
  4. I praise God, be-
  5. sides [whom] there is no god.
  6. As to the matter in hand: men of the military force
  7. Mentioned to me a (certain) registration (kitba) practiced [b]y their villages
  8. On their behalf constantly for the past for-
  9. ty years, though we did not find (?)
  10. any of such documents. Therefore I cannot tell
  11. the truth of this from the false.
  12. Now when [this] my letter comes to thee
  13. thou shouldest not [come] to any village of they dis[trict]
  14. without asking its people
  15. about what ther may be of this
  16. registration (kitba) in their village, and in whose favour it is. And when thou knowest
  17. what there is thereof in each village, submit
  18. to me a report of what thee hast fou[nd]
  19. thereof in each village,
  20. and though shalt write for each man such a certificate as he has applied for
  21. [to] me. And Wa[līd(?)] wrote (it) [in]
  22. The month of Rabīʿ I of the y[ea]r
  23. ninety.


Egyptian National Library, Cairo.

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[1] B. Moritz (Ed.), Arabic Palaeography: A Collection Of Arabic Texts From The First Century Of The Hidjra Till The Year 1000, 1905, Publications of the Khedivial Library, No. 16, Cairo, Plates 102 and 103.

[2] A. Grohmann, Arabic Papyri In The Egyptian Library, Volume III (Administrative Texts), 1938, Egyptian Library Press: Cairo, No. 150, pp. 19-23.

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