ï~~Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists 47 (2010) 295-297
S.J. Clackson, ItIs Our Father Who Writes: Orders From the Monastery
of Apollo at Bawit. American Studies in Papyrology 43. Cincinnati:
American Society of Papyrologists, 2008. xviii + 146 pages + 39 plates.
In this posthumously published edition, Sarah Clackson gathers, organizes, and interprets 91 documents concerning the administration of an Egyptian
monastery in the eighth century. Almost all of the documents are connected
with the Monastery of Apollo at Bawit, the site which was central to Clackson's
work.1 Most of them are "orders issued by a monastic superior, probably the
head of the monastery himself, to various subordinates." A standard opening
formula, "It is our father who writes to his son,;' is found in 71 of the texts. This
"Our father-formula" unites the collection and allows comparison of many
documents within a genre.
The texts are organized by signatory (27 documents), with 7 different
signatories certainly attested. Texts lacking a signatory are arranged by types
of orders (33 documents). The collection concludes with fragmentary texts (11
documents) and editions of texts found on the other side of some "Our fatherformula" texts (20 documents). Each text receives full treatment, including
physical description, palaeography, transcription, critical apparatus, English
translation, and commentary. In addition to Clackson's attentive editing and
annotating of each document, the volume also includes a clear introduction to
interpretive issues, 11 topical and linguistic indexes, 39 representative plates,
and 3 tables arranging the "Our father-formula" documents by date, addressee,
or scribe. The introduction isolates new or distinctive features of the corpus,
such as place names, foods, fuel, fodder, construction materials, and textiles.
Economic issues dominate the collection, as is often the case with documentary papyri. The orders for payments, invoices, or receipts are based on
Opening formula: "It is our father who writes to his son[s], NN" (n6N61UT
Introduction: "[Be so kind to]" (Xe [apil TaFrJ1H])
S.J. Clackson, Coptic and Greek Texts Relating to the Hermopolite Monastery of
Apa Apollo (Oxford 2000); and eadem, "Museum Archaeology and Coptic Papyrology:
The Bawit Papyri," Coptic Studies on the Threshold of a New Millennium: Proceedings of
the Seventh International Congress of Coptic Studies, ed. M. Immerzeel and J. van der
Vliet (Leuven and Dudley, MA, 2004) 1:477-490; and eadem, "Archimandrites and
Andrismos: A Preliminary Survey of Taxation at Bawit," Akten des 23. Internationalen
Papyrologenkongresses, ed. B. Palme (Wien 2007) 103-107.