ï~~Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists 45 (2008) 209-224
P. Lips. inv. 250 and 260
Two 10th/1 ith-Century Coptic Texts'
Tonio Sebastian Richter Leipzig University
This paper presents a tentative edition of two late Coptic documentary texts from the Fayyim, both of which indicate Coptic-Arabic
language contact in 10th/11 th-century Egypt.
The present writer has not had the privilege of being taught by or working with the honorand of this Festschrift. He shares a number of interests
with him, however, such as the interrelationships between language and law
in legal documents,2 the impact of indigenous genres on the shape and composition of documentary texts,3 and the history of the late antique and early
medieval Fayyim.4 It is this last subject, in fact, for which the present paper
The two late Coptic documents that are offered here in a first and, of
necessity, very provisional, edition share a few traits. To begin with, both are
'The permission to publish P.Lips. inv. 250 and 260 was granted bythe Papyrussammlung of the University Library of the University of Leipzig and its curator, Prof. Reinhold
Scholl, who also kindly provided me with photographs. My friend Eitan Grossman
(Hebrew University, Jerusalem) was kind enough to improve the English of this paper;
I also owe a number of valuable comments to him. Georg Schmelz (Heidelberg) and
Boris Liebrenz (Leipzig) read a draft of this paper and helped me with some good suggestions. Abbreviated works cited are listed at the end of this paper.
2 Cf. most recently James Keenan, "Roman Law in Greek Documents," in Law and
Justice in Egypt from Alexander to the Arab Conquest 332 BC - 640 AD (Cambridge,
3 Cf., e.g., James Keenan, "A Constantinople Loan, A. D. 541," BASP 29 (1992) 175 -189.
4 Cf., e.g., James Keenan, "Egyptian Villages in the 13th Century: Al-Nabulsi's Tarikh
al-Fayyum," in Les villages dans l'empire et le monde byzantin (Realites byzantines 11,
Paris 2005) 567-576; idem, "Deserted Villages: From the Ancient to the Medieval
Fayyum," BASP 40 (2003) 119-139.