ï~~Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists 45 (2008) 69-85
Further Letters from the
Archive of Apa loannes
Nikolaos Gonis University College London
Publication of five papyrus letters in Greek, of which three certainly
and two possibly belong to the archive of Apa loannes.
The Archive of Apa loannes' is a group of letters in Greek2 and in Coptic3
mostly addressed to an influential monk of this name, active somewhere in
Upper Egypt at the close of the fourth century. Five new texts are published
below; in 1-3 Ioannes is mentioned by name, while 4-5 may be associated with
the archive on account of phraseology and content.
The historical and cultural context of this archive has been sketched, albeit
briefly, in the studies mentioned in n. 1; with a full re-edition of the archive
under way, it seems sensible not to offer further contextual comment. I will
1 The Greek and Coptic parts of the archive were first brought together by P. van
Minnen, "The Roots of Egyptian Christianity" APF 40 (1994) 81-84. C. Zuckerman,
"The Hapless Recruit Psois and the Mighty Anchorite Apa John," BASP 32 (1995) 188 -194, added further detail, and suggested that loannes was to be identified with John of
Lycopolis. M. Choat, "The Archive of Apa Johannes: Notes on a Proposed New Edition,"
Pap.Congr. XXV, 1:175-183, offers the latest update (the texts edited here receive brief
mention on p. 180, n. 23) and investigates the origins of the collections to which the
2 P.Herm. 7-10, 17,PRLond. 3.981 (p. 241),PRLond. 3.1014 descr. =SB 18.13612;P.Amh.
2.145 = WChr. 53 is a letter written by Apa loannes. It is less likely that SB 14.11882,
tentatively associated with the archive by Choat (n. 1) 180, has anything to do with it;
the loannes who is the recipient of the letter is not addressed in terms that would point
to a monk or other clergyman.
3 pRyl.Copt. 268-274, 276, and most probably a few other letters in the same collection, i.e., 275, 292, 301, 310-314, 352, 396 (see Choat [n. 1] 179); P.Mich. inv. 6626
(ined.); and perhaps PRLond.Copt. 1.1123, re-ed. M. Choat and I. Gardner, ZPE 156