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PERF 558

perf 558 area, perf 558 credit
PERF 558 is the oldest surviving Arabic papyrus, found in Heracleopolis in Egypt, and is also the oldest dated Arabic text using the Islamic era It is a bilingual Arabic-Greek fragment, consisting of a tax receipt, or as it puts it "Document concerning the delivery of sheep to the Magarites and other people who arrived, as a down-payment of the taxes of the first indiction"

Features of interest include:

  • The first well-attested use of the disambiguating dots that would become an essential feature of the Arabic alphabet;
  • It begins with the Greek formula "ev onomati tou teou" In the Name of God after a Sign of the Cross
  • It records the date both in the Islamic calendar Jumada I, year 22 and in the Alexandrian calendar 30 Pharmouthi, 1st indiction, corresponding with 25 April 643 in the Julian calendar
  • In Greek, it calls the Arabs "Magaritae", a term, believed to be related to the Arabic "muhajir" often used in the earliest non-Islamic sources It also calls them "Saracens"

After excavation, the papyrus was put in the Erzherzog Rainer Papyrus Collection in Vienna

Arabic textedit

Dots and hamzas added; otherwise, spelling uncorrected

  1. بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم هذا ما اخذ عبد اله
  2. ابن جبر واصحبه من الجزر من اهنس
  3. من خليفة تدراق ابن ابو قير الاصغر ومن خليفة اصطفر ابن ابو قير الاكبر خمسين شاة
  4. من الجزر وخمس عشرة شاة اخرى اجزرها اصحاب سفنه وكتئبه وثقلاءه في
  5. شهر جمدى الاولى من سنة اثنين وعشرين وكتبه ابن حديدو
  1. In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful This is what `Abdallah,
  2. Son of Jabir, and his companions-in-arms, have taken as of slaughter sheep at Heracleopolis Ihnas
  3. from a representative of Theodorakios Tidraq, second son of Apa Kyros Abu Qir, and from a substitute of Christophoros Istufur, eldest son of Apa Kyros Abu Qir, fifty sheep
  4. as of slaughter and fifteen other sheep He gave them for slaughter for the crew of his vessels, as well as his cavalry and his breastplated infantry in
  5. the month of Jumada I in the year twenty-two Written by Ibn Hadidu

See alsoedit

  • Pre-Islamic Arabic inscriptions

External linksedit

  • PERF No 558
  • A Jones, "The Dotting of a Script and the Dating of an Era: The Strange Neglect of PERF 558

perf 558 area, perf 558 credit, perf 5580, perf 5585

PERF 558 Information about

PERF 558

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