The Qurra Papyrus - Oriental Institute No. 13757, 90 AH / 709 CE

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First Composed: 2nd December 2005

Last Modified: 3rd December 2005

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Assalamu ʿalaykum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:



Figure: (a) Recto and (b) verso of the papyrus along with their contents.

[] encloses letters supplied to fill a lacuna.


Rabīʿ I, 90 AH / January 18 - February 16, 709 CE.


35 cm x 20 cm. Medium brown, very fine papyrus. Slightly worm eaten; right half much broken, but fortunately between the lines. The small writing on verso has suffered more damage than the writing on recto.

Accession No.

Oriental Institute No. 13757.


The translation of recto is:

  1. In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
  2. From Qurra ibn Sharīk to
  3. the sāhib of Ashqauh. I
  4. praise God, than whom there is
  5. no other god.
  6. Now to proceed: Look up the balance due
  7. From the bishop of your district
  8. of the amount imposed on him by
  9. ʿAbd Allāh ibn ʿAbd al-Malik
  10. and collect the first (amount) and rush it to me
  11. by my messenger and the messenger of the
  12. bishop; and do not delay
  13. any of that balance, be it little or
  14. much. Peace be with
  15. those who follow the guidance.
  16. Written in the month of Rabīʿ
  17. I of the year ninety.


The translation of verso is.

  1. ... the bishop's people ... Ashqauh regarding his account (?)
  2. | | |


Oriental Institute, Chicago.

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[1] N. Abbott, The Kurrah Papyri From Aphrodito In The Oriental Institute, 1938, Studies In Ancient Oriental Civilization: No. 15, The University of Chicago Press: Chicago (IL), pp. 42-44, Plate I.

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