Donations of Children in Western Thebes in Late Antiquity

Liverpool Egyptology Seminar: Donations of Children in Western Thebes in Late Antiquity (Dr. Jenny Cromwell, Manchester Metropolitan University)

5:00pm - 6:00pm / Thursday 7th February 2019 / Venue: Seminar room 10, Rendall Building
Type: Seminar / Category: Department / Series: Egyptology Seminar Series
  • Admission: Free. All welcome.
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Dating to the mid-8th century CE, a corpus of 25 Coptic legal documents records the donation of male children to the monastery of Apa Phoibammon built upon the temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahri. Who donated the children, why, and what was the status of these boys? This paper will present this corpus of documents and discuss the social and economic reasons for their donation and the context of the phenomenon in late antique Egypt.

In order to foster discussion and questions from the audience, we have asked the speaker to recommend some preliminary readings to set up the research background for the talk.

O’Connell, E. (2007) ‘Transforming Monumental Landscapes in Late Antique Egypt: Monastic Dwellings in Legal Documents from Western Thebes’, Journal of Early Christian Studies 15: 239-273.
Richtern, T.S. (2005) ‘What’s a Story? Cultural Narratology and Coptic Child Donation Documents’, The Journal of Juristic Papyrology 35: 237-64.

Unfortunately, the holdings of the SJ Library do not cover this material. To obtain a copy of the recommended readings email: or check