The Qurra Papyrus - Oriental Institute No. 13756, 91 AH / 709-710 CE

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First Composed: 3rd December 2005

Last Modified: 6th 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.


Ṣafar, 91 AH / December 9, 709 CE - January 6, 710 CE.


53.7 cm x 20 cm. Medium fine papyrus, light brown. The entire length of the piece is preserved, but it is considerably damaged by worms, especially line 14. Much of the right half is broken off and lost; the left side is likewise broken, but to a lesser degree.

The seal in the end is of dark clay, in perfect condition, showing the figure of a four-footed animal with a star above its back.

Accession No.

Oriental Institute No. 13756.


The translation of recto is:

  1. In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
  2. Qurra ibn Sharīk to
  3. the sāhib of Ashqauh. I praise
  4. God, than whom there is no other
  5. God. Now, Ibshādah ibn Abnīlah
  6. has informed me that there are owed to him
  7. by farmers of the people of your district
  8. ... And ten dīnārs, and he claims
  9. that they have denied him his right.
  10. When this my letter has reached you
  11. and he has established the proof of what
  12. he has told me, then secure (it) for him,
  13. and do not oppress your slave.
  14. But should his case prove other than
  15. that, then write me.
  16. Peace be with those who follow
  17. the guidance. Written by Muslim ibn
  18. Labnan and copied by al-Ṣalt
  19. in Ṣafar of the year one
  20. and ninety.


The translation of verso is.

  1. From Qurra ibn Sharīk to Basil
  2. regarding Ibshādah ibn Abnīlah about his farmers (?)


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. 47-49, Plate III.

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