A Coptic Charm for Wealth and Well-Being


Location: Yale University, Beinecke Library, Papyrus Collection
Inventory number: P.CtYBR inv. 1793
Material: Papyrus
Dating: 6th-7th century
Provenance: unknown
Dimensions: 8.9 cm x 9.9 cm


The papyrus leaf is inscribed in Coptic and illustrated with three human-like figures with raised arms and holding various objects in their hands. These cannot be identified with certainity. Petersen describes them as branches and a ring, bit the “branches” resemble magic signs with ring-endings and it is likely that they represent magical objects. The objects in the hands of the figure to the right are unidentified.

Each figure is accompanied by an inscription to the side, all of which remain untranslated. Underneath the figures are four lines of an incantation in which the practitioner asks for preservation of life. The term “holokottinoi” = “money” is also preserved.

Above the head of the left figure the name “Archôn” is preserved, and above the head of the figure to the right the name “Lameï”. The name of the largest figure in the middle is either not preserved or was written with the magic ring-signs which are only partially preserved.


Yale University, Beinecke Library, Papyrus Collection, P.CtYBR inv. 1793



Link: https://hdl.handle.net/10079/digcoll/2759461


Theodore C. Petersen, A Collection of Papyri: Egyptian, Greek, Coptic, Arabic , H.P. Kraus Catalogue, New York, 1964, 43, no. 55. Link to the publication on archive.org: https://archive.org/details/collectionofpapy0000hpkr/