PERF No. 557 - An Early Islamic Papyrus In Greek From 22 AH / 643 CE

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First Composed: 12th April 2014

Last Modified: 3rd May 2014

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Assalamu ʿalaykum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:




Papyrus PERF 557: (a) recto, (b) verso and (c) the transcription.


Safar, 22 AH / 26th January, 643 CE.[1]


It has Greek text. The place of disocvery of this document is probably Egypt.


The translation of the document is given below.


  1. In the name of God! I, Emir ʿAbdallāh, to you, Christophoros and Theodorakios, Pagarchs of Herakleopolis.
  2. Give my 342 soldiers and 12 armourers [de mon train] as provision on 1st Mecheir, 342, three hundred
  3. forty two artabes of wheat and not more, 171 xestes of oil and not more, and grain.


Document to ʿAbdallāh, the Emir - 342 artabes of wheat and 171 xestes of oil and the 171 flasks provided.


This document should be read in conjunction with PERF 555 and PERF 558. ‘Emir ʿAbdallāh’ here is none other than ʿAbdullāh b. Jābir, who was commander of the expeditionary corps to Upper Egypt in 641-643 CE. Here we notice that even the armourers accompanied the troops in order to repair the damaged arms.

This papyrus is a part of the Archduke Rainer Collection (usually abbreviated as PERF). Other papyri from 22 AH / 643 CE are PERF 555, PERF 556, PERF 558 and P. Berol. 15002.


The Austrian National Museum, Vienna.


We are grateful to the Austrian National Museum, Vienna, for providing us a photo of the papyrus.

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[1] A. Grohmann, "Aperçu De Papyrologie Arabe", Études De Papyrologie, 1932, Volume 1, pp. 43-44.

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