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ISAW Papers 19 (2020)

Shenoute’s Name

Roger S. Bagnall


Abstract: Despite his later prominence in the Coptic Orthodox Church, it is hard to see clearly the position of the abbot Shenoute of Atripe in his own time and the following century. His own name is virtually unknown before him, and it is rare in the papyri in the century following his death (generally said to be 465 ce), with most instances in areas near his monastery. It is suggested that its later popularity is the result of Shenoute's importance to the non-Chalcedonian church as it developed a full structure in the later sixth century, particularly under Pope Damian.

Library of Congress Subjects: Shenute, Saint, approximately 348-466; Onomastics--Egypt.

The name of the famous abbot of the White Monastery federation has acquired a certain familiarity, even fame, among those who work on Late Antique Egypt as well as in the Coptic Orthodox Church. It seems at first glance to be almost ubiquitous; it occurs commonly in documents in Coptic and Greek (mostly as Senouthios or Sinouthios, with various endings) from the late sixth to eighth centuries (a total of 894 attestations of all periods in Trismegistos Names) and has had a long posterity in the Coptic community of Egypt, where Shenoute has been venerated as one of the great figures of Egyptian monasticism and popes have borne his name.1 It is for this reason easy to lose sight of its rarity before the time of the archimandrite and, even more, the peculiar character of its chronological and geographical distribution after his life.2 These observations are not, I shall hope to show, mere curiosities without real interest for Shenoute as an historical figure and, even more, a posthumous figure of veneration, but rather markers of important aspects of his origins and later fame.

At first glance, “rarity” might seem an inappropriate term for the name before Shenoute’s lifetime. There are twenty-three attestations that do or could date before the period of Shenoute’s visible ministry, according to TM Names.3 But this number turns out to be a mirage on closer examination. Six of them do not in fact contain this masculine name, and a seventh is very insecure:

  1. P.Kellis Copt. 1.19 (two uses), 26, and 48 in fact have the feminine Coptic name Tjemnoute (the initial tu is lacking in 48).
  2. O.Stras. 1.564.8 reads not Σενούθου but Σενμούθου; the error is in the Duke Databank of Documentary Papyri, TM’s source.
  3. P.Vind.Bosw. 15.7 was reread by P. J. Sijpesteijn (BL 8.197), and Σενουθίου vanished in favor of Ταπινούτιος.
  4. SB 20.14783, a graffito at Shams-ed-Din (Mounesis) was read by Wagner with considerable doubt (he took it as a feminine name, cf. below), and it cannot be verified on the photograph in the editio princeps.

Of the remainder, eleven are assigned to vast spans of years and almost certainly belong to the sixth century or later, certainly not before the later fifth century:

  1. SB 1.4859 and 1.4936, two “Byzantine” fragments in the Louvre, likely to be late like most of their companions.
  2. SB 1.2072, a ceramic disk commemorating St. Senouthis, certainly from after the archimandrite’s death but undatable.
  3. O.Edfou 2.316.15, which belongs to the seventh century at earliest.
  4. SB 16.12525.29, “comptes byzantins” no doubt belonging no earlier than the middle of the fifth century, as the names suggest.
  5. SPP 8.1178, of which the editor’s date of fifth-sixth century is certainly too early; as Jean Gascou points out in a note, the signer is the same as in P.Pintaudi 27.7, of the later seventh or early eighth century.
  6. BKU 3.2.430.1, an undated Coptic text.
  7. P.Prag. 2.139r.i.12, a Hermopolite text dated to the fifth century by the editor, and of which the hand looks later rather than earlier.
  8. CPR 7.23, a somewhat uncertain reading and in any case certainly of the later fifth century or of the sixth.
  9. CPR 9.56.24, again of the fifth/sixth century.
  10. SB 1.4622, an undated graffito from Kalabsha.

There are two early instances to be considered:

  1. O.Oslo 6 conv. 2, from the Fayyum, dated to the first century by the editor, who reads Σενοῦθ̣ις. Although this is not impossible, on a photo kindly provided by Jens Mangerud I would prefer omega in place of ου. Theta, dotted by Amundsen, is possible but not inescapable. A feminine name Σενῶθις is reported in BGU 7.1638.B.r.2.7 (Philadelphia). On the online image this seems plausible if not certain.
  2. P.Princ. 1.10 col. 8.17, dated AD 34, reading Σενουθ(  ) as the patronymic of one Melankomas. On a photo kindly provided by Don C. Skemer, it is clear that this reading is not correct. The visible traces appear rather to be ρμουθ, with the theta raised. There is space before this where one or a few letters could have stood but are now effaced. Both Πετερμοῦθις and Θερμούθιον are common in the Philadelphia archive from which this papyrus comes; the latter seems better suited to the space, but this daybook contains no metronymics, so it is not likely.4 In any event, this cannot be considered a good attestation of Senouthis.

From the roughly century and a half before and during Shenoute’s lifetime (i.e., 300-465), there appear to be (other than the archimandrite himself) exactly two datable male individuals known bearing the name Senouthios/Sinouthios. But one of these also turns out to be doubtful.

  1. The earlier is Aurelius Sinouthios son of Anoubion, from the Oxyrhynchite village of Nesmimis, located close to the boundary with the Hermopolite nome, who submitted a petition to the riparii in 352 (P.Oxy. 60.4090).  At first glance, the name seems free of doubt: Σινούθιος. But a look at the online image shows that above the last two letters are two letters not noted in the edition, ων. Taking those into account, it would seem that an ending in θιωνος was the writer’s final intention. At the same time, the initial sigma is not free of difficulty, and what was read as upsilon before it could instead be the start of a pi. As it happens, the only attested name in –ινουθιων is Πινουθίων, evidently a variant of the very common Πινουτίων, a name extremely well known from the Hermpolite and from Aphrodito. Taking all of this into account, it seems unwise to take this papyrus as evidence for an early attestation of Sinouthios.
  2. Aurelius Sinouthes son of Victor, from Hermopolis, a rower in the state galley of the praeses of the Thebaid, who is known from a group of documents from ca. 400-403, P.Grenf. 2.80, 81, 81a, and 82. The last two of these do not appear in TM Names, because the name is there spelled Σενν- and was mistakenly classified under the feminine Senpnouthes. (There is indeed an instance of Sennouthes for Senpnouthes in PSI 9.1018, Thebes, 129 BCE. Another has been read mistakenly in SB 1.4190, a mummy label from Bompae in the Panopolite, dated ca. 220-225, in which a mother’s name was claimed to have been given in the genitive twice as Σεννούθης; in reality, the readings are the first time Σενπ<ν>ούθης and the second time Σενπνούθης).5 The multiple attestations make this Sinouthes unimpeachable. It is the first such.

Unfortunately, the names of Shenoute’s mother and father are not preserved in the hagiographic and biographical tradition known as the Life by Besa. This text, in paragraph 7, tells us that the founder of the monastery was his uncle, bearing a name variously rendered in modern times as Pcol, Pjol, Pgol, etc., but listed in TM Names as Pkol (Πκωλ). This name, unlike Senouthios, is well known in Demotic (Pȝ-gyl), and the DNB renders it (p. 279) as “Der Fremde.” Its typical Greek form is Πκῦλις.  This name is well attested in a number of regions of Egypt in the period down to 300, including some five mummy labels from Panopolite cemeteries. But Pkylis in the period after 300 is overwhelmingly Hermopolite (40 of 49 examples in a DDbDP search for after 300, 9 of 11 between 300 and 500), and none of the examples come from the Panopolite, Shenoute’s supposed origin.

What are the implications of all of this information? First, Senouthios/Senouthes or Sinouthios/Sinouthes as a masculine name was extremely rare before the abbot: indeed, there are no instances at all before him, even before his adulthood. That fact should encourage us to see the giving of this name to children after his lifetime as an indicator of posthumous veneration, as there is no other obvious channel by which the name would have become popular. Second, one might hazard a suggestion that Shenoute’s family originated in the Hermopolite nome and were newcomers in the Panopolite; or, to be more specific, that at least his mother’s family were from the Hermopolite. To be sure, this proposal rests, in the case of Shenoute’s name, on only one case, but this is the totality of our evidence for the name from the fourth and first half of the fifth century, and probably all of our evidence for any period before Shenoute’s lifetime; and in the case of his maternal uncle’s name, on the preponderance of a larger body of evidence. Perhaps “the outsider” was not a bad name for Pkol or for Shenoute. Could his famously difficult relationship with Panopolis have some connection to this status?

More complex is the question of Shenoute’s reputation as a holy man outside his monastic federation during and after his life. Certainly there is no evidence that his name was given to children during his lifetime, which is generally agreed to have ended in 465.6 Despite all of the claims in Shenoute’s own writing and in the biographical texts to lifetime pilgrimages by important officials as well as thousands of ordinary individuals, there is no known lifetime naming of children after him.7 It is only with the sixth century and the archive of Dioskoros of Aphrodito that the name achieves popularity; Ruffini’s prosopography of Aphrodito has 32 entries for the name, starting with Dioskoros’s likely older brother.8 This onomastic evidence is of interest in light of the fact that the Monastery of Shenoute owned land in Aphrodito. Aphrodito is only about 45 km northwest from Sohag, and on the same side of the Nile, so these strong connections in the immediate vicinity are not very surprising and are unlikely to be coincidental. Attestations known from the early to middle sixth century for Antinoopolis also come from the archive of Dioskoros, who spent a number of years in the provincial capital.

Only after the middle of the sixth century do we start to get any evidence from elsewhere: the Hermopolite (BGU 19.2810, of 559/560, is the first, followed by P.Grenf. 2.80 in 596), about 180 km distant, and Shenoute’s home base, the Panopolite (P.Cair.Masp. 2.67170, of 562-564—from the archive of Dioskoros, perhaps not coincidentally). And it is not until the last decade of the century that we get the first Oxyrhynchite references (P.Amh. 2.150 and P.Münch. 3.98, of 592-594, the same man’s patronymic), at a distance of 270 km. Also from 592 comes the first reference from This, one of the closest neighboring cities at only 34 km distance from Sohag (P.Paris 21bis). This is still a tiny number of attestations securely datable to the sixth century, and none of them come from as well documented a nome as the Arsinoite.

It is true that there are a number of attestations of the name in documents dated more vaguely to the sixth/seventh century, some of which may belong to the later part of the sixth century, but none of them offer any particular reason to date them that early. Overwhelmingly, the evidence of Greek documents for the name comes from the seventh century or even later. This is true, for example, in the Memphite, Herakleopolite, and Antinoite nomes, at Apollonopolis Heptakomia and Apollonopolis Magna, and in the Theban region.9 Even more striking, in some ways, is the small number from the nomes nearer the monastery from which there is the sixth-century evidence already mentioned. Some of these nomes have relatively few published texts, it is true, but this cannot be said of the Hermopolite. It is noteworthy that P.Lond.Herm. (sixth century) has no examples of the name, and even in the early seventh century tax register P.Sorb. 2.69 there are only three instances, one of them an Antinoite (54A5).10

The lack of precise, or even approximate, dates assigned to Coptic documents makes it impossible to control the picture that emerges from the Greek documents by using Coptic evidence. None of it is dated with any confidence before the seventh century except a few instances from Aphrodito. If we step away from the chronological question, however, the Coptic evidence shows later popularity of the name in the Arsinoite (where we hear in a Greek letter of a relic from Shenoute’s clothing sent from the White Monastery to an Arsinoite women’s monastery to try to heal a case of demonic possession11) and Hermopolite, along with Djeme and the Theban region generally. Obviously the popularity of the name in the seventh and eighth centuries was widespread and strong. But in the sixth century it was not nearly so great, and it was very localized. The cult of Shenoute was far from instant and took time to spread.12 This lack of early attestations of the name presents a strikingly different picture from the general popularity of saints’ names in the papyri from the middle of the fifth century on.13

The very limited evidence outside the White Monastery federation for knowledge of Shenoute’s works and of the hagiographical tradition attributed to Besa is also relevant here. Stephen Emmel has remarked that “only three undoubted works of Shenoute are known from manuscripts with a provenance other than the White Monastery.”14 Of these, the earliest may be the manuscript in the British Museum (EA 71005), dated to the seventh century or the late sixth, but of unknown provenance.15 A second, in Torino, is ascribed to the Thinite nome, “perhaps from a church in Thinis itself.”16 It is dated by Heike Behlmer to the seventh century or at the earliest to the latter part of the sixth. The third is a trilingual liturgical codex on paper, with Coptic, Greek and Arabic, and thus clearly from after the conquest. These three give us no clear evidence for any dissemination of Shenoute’s works outside the immediate region of his monastery, nor any wider distribution earlier than the seventh century. However much one may think of Shenoute as one of the twin “bases of Coptic literature,” there is not much sign of a superstructure built on that base.17 The quotations from Shenoute in other authors are almost as scanty, “drawn from a handful of Coptic writers dating from the late fifth century (Moses the archimandrite, of Abydos) to the seventh.”18 Moses of Abydos (late fifth or first half of the sixth century) is the earliest and the source of three of the seven quotations that Emmel lists. Abydos is just 51 km from Sohag, one of its nearest important neighbors. The other quoters are Constantine, bishop of Lykopolis in the late sixth-early seventh century (110 km); John, bishop of Hermopolis in the late sixth century; Moses, a seventh-century bishop of Coptos (165 km following the river); and Stephen, bishop of Herakleopolis Magna in the sixth century. Only Stephen was at any great distance from the White Monastery.

The situation with the corpus attributed to Besa is not much different. Of six manuscripts recorded in Trismegistos (LDAB), five come from the White Monastery, and the sixth (TM 108115; Vienna, K9323), of unknown provenance, is dated to the ninth-tenth century.19 There is thus no evidence for any early dissemination of the hagiographic tradition outside Shenoute’s home base, however likely such spreading of the word may otherwise be.

Slightly more informative, perhaps, are the ostraka with excerpts from Shenoute’s works found in monasteries on the West Bank at Thebes.20 A couple of these lack provenance, but the majority come from the Monastery of Epiphanius, and one now from the Monastery of Cyriacus (TM 118678). Like the bulk of the ostraka from the region of Jeme, they are dated to the end of the sixth or early seventh century.

This much seems as firmly grounded in the documentary and manuscript evidence as is possible.21 I turn now to a pair of much more speculative suggestions. The first is founded on the prominence of Shenoute’s name and monastery in the life of Aphrodito already in the second quarter of the sixth century. This has long been known and was signaled by Leslie MacCoull thirty years ago: “Dioscorus’s family and clients had ties with the White Monastery, and he most probably would have been acquainted with Shenoute’s many-sided philosophical and expository output.”22 As she also noted, “It is indicative of something—of the nature of our evidence, if little else—that it is hard for the scholar to reconstruct Dioscorus’s personal piety. One cannot even say with the hard-and-fast certainty of labeling by hindsight which side of the confessional fence, Chalcedonian or non-Chalcedonian, he came down on.”23 The juxtaposition of these two remarks is suggestive, and when one considers Aphrodito’s unique position in the documentation for the use of Shenoute’s name in the first half of the sixth century, it is hard to escape a suspicion that Shenoute’s posthumous grip on Aphrodito is related to a local predominance, and certainly a preference in Dioskoros’s own family, for the non-Chalcedonian side that Shenoute himself favored as a staunch supporter of Egypt’s patriarchs.

That leads to an attempt to explain why it is only at the end of the sixth or even the start of the seventh century that we begin to see the name Senouthios appear more commonly and find his works being cited. I start from a perceptive remark of Heike Behlmer:

The consolidation of the less formalized visits and pilgrimages of Late Antiquity into a more rigid scheme is shown in a manuscript from the Late Middle Ages, which describes a procession undertaken by the monks and the people of Akhmim. Even in its heyday, though, the White Monastery did not become the object of pilgrimage tourism from abroad or, like Abu Mena, of imperial patronage. . . . Rather, it remained well into the late Middle Ages a center of monophysite spirituality and learning, until the monastery fell into ruins and only the church remained.24

She points out in a note (367 n. 135) that “the White Monastery is not mentioned in any work of the ample Byzantine travel literature.”

This importance of the White Monastery for non-Chalcedonian thought leads to the proposition that it was only the rapid development of a parallel non-Chalcedonian hierarchy in the period after the death of Justinian in 565, which apparently accelerated under the long reign of Pope Damianos (578-607), that made Shenoute one of the few historical and literary figures that the non-Chalcedonian hierarchy could unambiguously claim as its own, and thus led to his late popularity.25 This suggestion also takes into account recent work, above all by Nina Lubomierski, arguing that the work known as the Life of Shenute is not a unitary composition but a complex combination of material developed over a long period, well into the seventh century at least.26 As Stephen Emmel has pointed out (2008: 35-36), the title of this work in the only complete Coptic manuscript is “A few of the miracles and marvels which God effected through our holy father the prophet Shenoute, the priest and archimandrite, which the holy Apa Besa, his disciple, witnessed.” Its popularity, and that of Shenoute himself, may be the result of a deliberate attempt to valorize Shenoute as an opponent of the Chalcedonian church in the last quarter of the sixth century rather than any earlier circulation.

The ostraka from the West Bank fit well into such a hypothesis. During exactly the period of their production, the non-Chalcedonian bishop of Hermonthis, Abraham, was resident in the nearby Monastery of Phoibammon. It would hardly be surprising if local abbots of desert monasteries in his vicinity encouraged their monks to copy and learn excerpts from Shenoute, if the non-Chalcedonian hierarchy was in fact using him as I have suggested.

There is thus a certain appropriateness in the fact that one of the men named Senouthios who appear in the Hermopolite tax codex (P.Sorb. 2.69) is named Senouthios son of Damianos. Senouthios, not as the historical monk, but as the figure of veneration known today, is indeed in some real sense the offspring of Damianos and of the needs of the non-Chalcedonian hierarchy that he was engaged in building.


Behlmer, H. (1996) Schenute von Atripe: De Iudicio (Torino, Museo Egizio, Cat. 63000, Cod. lv). Turin: Ministero per i beni culturali e ambientali, Soprintendenza al Museo delle antichità egizie.

Behlmer, H. (1998) “Visitors to Shenoute’s Monastery,” in D. Frankfurter (ed.), Pilgrimage and holy space in Late Antique Egypt: 341-71. Leiden: Brill.

Behlmer, H. and Alcock, A. (1996) A piece of Shenoutiana from the Department of Egyptian Antiquities (EA 71005). London: British Museum.

Davis, S. J. (2004) The early Coptic papacy: the Egyptian church and its leadership in Late Antiquity. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press.

Dijkstra, J. (2015) Review of Leopez 2013, Vigiliae Christianae 69: 97-103.

Emmel, S. (2002) “From the other side of the Nile: Shenute and Panopolis,” in A. Egberts, B. P. Muhs, and J. van der Vliet (eds.), Perspectives on Panopolis: 95-113. Leiden: Brill.

Emmel, S. (2004) Shenoute’s Literary Corpus, 2 vols. Leuven: Peeters.

Emmel, S. (2007) “Coptic literature in the Byzantine and early Islamic world,” in R. S. Bagnall (ed.), Egypt in the Byzantine world 300-700: 83-102. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Emmel, S. (2008) “Shenoute’s place in the history of monasticism,” in G. Gabra and H. Takla (eds.), Christianity and monasticism in Upper Egypt, vol. 1: Akhmim and Sohag: 31-46. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press.

Gonis, N. (2019) “Prosopographica III,” Archiv für Papyrusforschung 65: 348-356.

Kuhn, K. H. (1951) “Two Sahidic fragments containing part of a letter by Besa,” Le Muséon 64: 261-6.

Leipoldt, J. (1903) Schenute von Atripe und die Entstehung des national ägyptischen Christentums. Leipzig: J. C. Hinrich.

López, A. (2013) Shenoute of Atripe and the uses of poverty. Rural patronage, religious conflict, and monasticism in Late Antique Egypt. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Lubomierski, N. (2006) “The Vita Sinuthii (The Life of Shenoute): Panegyric or biography?” Studia patristica 39: 417-21.

Lubomierski, N. (2008) “The Coptic Life of Shenoute,” in G. Gabra and H. Takla (eds.), Christianity and monasticism in Upper Egypt, vol. 1: Akhmim and Sohag: 91-98. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press.

MacCoull, L. S. B. (1988) Dioscorus of Aphrodito: His work and world. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Orlandi, T. (1974) “Les papyrus coptes du musée égyptien de Turin,” Le Muséon 87: 115-27.

Papaconstantinou, A. (2001) Le culte des saints en Égypte des Byzantins aux Abbassides. L’apport des inscriptions et des papyrus grecs et coptes. Paris: CNRS Éditions.

Ruffini, G. R. (2011) A Prosopography of Byzantine Aphrodito. Durham, NC: American Society of Papyrologists.

Ruffini, G. R. (2018) Life in an Egyptian village in Late Antiquity: Aphrodito before and after the Islamic conquest. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Spiegelberg, W. (1901) Aegyptische und Griechische Eigennamen aus Mumienetiketten der römischen Kaiserzeit. Leipzig: J.C. Hinrichs.

Vleeming, S. (2011) Demotic and Greek-Demotic Mummy Labels and other short texts gathered from many publications (Short Texts II 278-1200). Leuven: Peeters.

Wipszycka, E. (2015) The Alexandrian church. People and institutions. Warsaw: The Journal of Juristic Papyrology.


1 “Schenute, den Vater der national ägyptischen Kirche,” as Leipoldt (1903: v) put it, a description based on the statements (191) that he gave his people a national church and a national literature, born from “echtorientalischem Fühlen und Denken.” Or compare the only slightly more nuanced formulation of K. H. Kuhn in the Coptic Encyclopedia 7: 2133: “He was not only a famous monk held in high esteem by his contemporaries as a man of God but also an important leader of the church and an author whose influence extended far beyond his own monastery.”

2 One will find the assertion, for example in the introduction to David Bell’s translation (Besa, The Life of Shenoute, Kalamazoo 1983, p. 7) and in TM Names, that the name means “son of god.” This claim goes back at least as far as Leipoldt 1903: 40 n. 1. It may be so, but the absence of a definite article with both “son” and “god” is very curious; one typically finds articles in both places in the common masculine name with this meaning, Psenpnouthes (in various spellings), as well as the feminine name (T)senpnouthes. Both of these names occur in Demotic, but there is no listing for a spelling Σενοῦθις in the index to DNB and names beginning either s3- or šr- without a definite article are almost nonexistent in the body of the work. It is therefore normal for Senpnouthes as a feminine name to be so derived, but a masculine derivation is much more dubious. (The /sh/ vocalization in Coptic in any case excludes a name in s3-.) Spiegelberg (1901, 41* no. 291a) doubted that pre-Christian names ending in –νουθις were based on nṯr, “god,” but this doubt seems not to have found any later support, and the Demotic reading in the feminine name is clear in Vleeming 2011: no. 791, although the divine determinative is omitted. However that may be, I think one should be reserved about the etymology of Senouthios as a masculine name, given the absence of any published Demotic attestations of the name.

3 Consulted 26 December 2018; observations below based on the DDbDP are also as of the same date.

4 I am indebted to Ann Hanson for discussion of this papyrus, which is part of Daybook 19 in her analysis of the archive. She agrees that the printed reading does not adequately correspond to the traces.

5 The second name was corrected by B. Boyaval, ZPE 14 (1974) 67 no. 1 on the basis of the facsimile in Spiegelberg 1901: pl. 5, no. 12a. The revised reading is printed in C.Étiq.Mom. 1706. The label is reedited by S. Vleeming (2011: no. 791) with the correct readings, which I have verified on a photo kindly provided by D. Bornemann.

6 See Emmel 2002. This date is accepted by López 2013: 131-3; his disagreement with Emmel focuses on the dates of Shenoute’s birth and early career, not death. The only instance appearing in the DDbDP of his name being borne by someone who might have been born during Shenoute’s lifetime comes in SB 6.9282, from Herakleopolis, assigned to ca. 500 on the basis of the notary. But J. Diethart eliminated the reading of his name there in favor of Anouthis, see BL 8.343.

7 Behlmer 1998 gives a detailed discussion of these visits during Shenoute’s lifetime. Shenoute’s relatinships with officials also form a major theme of López 2013; but see now Gonis 2019, identifying more of the officials with whom Shenoute claimed a relationship.

8 Ruffini 2011: 533-8.

9 P.Eleph.Wagner 318 is dated to the sixth century without discussion and with no plate.

10 It should be acknowledged that, as mentioned earlier, P.Prag. 2.139.i.12 furnishes an example of Senouthios in a papyrus dated by the editor to the fifth century. The vagueness of the date makes it impossible to interpret this occurrence with relationship to Shenoute’s lifetime.

11 Published with a rich commentary by Andrea Jördens as P.Paramone 14 and probably to be dated to the early seventh century.

12 The relative brevity of the entry in Papaconstantinou 2001: 185-6 is striking.

13 See Papaconstantinou 2001: 364-7 on this phenomenon; Shenoute does not figure in her lists of the most popular saints’ names, whether regionally or in Egypt as a whole. It is striking that the name of Shenoute’s successor, Besa, which was historically a very common name in the Panopolite, is attested in the decades after his lifetime almost exclusively in the same narrow geographical area as Shenoute’s is; almost all examples come from the archives of Diskoros.

14 Emmel 2004: 379.

15 See Behlmer and Alcock 1996. They note that the hand is probably identical to that of P.Lond.Copt. 279, which comes from the Anastasi collection.

16 Emmel 2004: 380. See on this Behlmer 1996: xi. The basis of the Thinite attribution is a discussion of T. Orlandi 1974: 115-6. It is based partly on the fact that the manuscript was acquired along with the Ptolemaic Theban papyri published in P.Tor., although Orlandi misrepresents this find (“Ils proviennent, comme l’on sait, des archives des Cachites [sic: choachytai] des ‘Memnoneia’ de la Thébaïde, c’est-à-dire dans le nomos Thinite, de même que les papyrus arrivés à la même époque à Paris, Berlin, Londres, etc.” The Memnoneia are of course on the west bank at Thebes, and have nothing to do with Thinis.), and somewhat more usefully on the fact that material from the binding of another codex from the same acquisition mentions the church of Thinis (“Tin”). Orlandi recognizes that this falls short of proof, as it is only the binding material and not the manuscript that preserves this information, but it is a plausible inference.

17 Emmel 2007: 88; he points out (92 n. 37) that there is no evidence for Leipoldt’s hypothesis that “much or even all of the translation work [from Greek into Coptic] that was undertaken between the end of the fourth century and the Arab conquest was done under Shenoute’s direction or inspiration” (Emmel’s phrasing and italics; he nonetheless sees this as possible)

18 Emmel 2004: 89.

19 See on this manuscript Kuhn 1951.

20 Emmel 2004: 88-89.

21 That reconstructing Shenoute’s posthumous influence was not a simple task was already recognized by Leipoldt 1903: 190, who writes of the inadequacy of the sources. It did not apparently occur to him that the lack of sources might point to a lack of influence.

22 MacCoull 1988: 152-3. Cf. Ruffini 2018: 157, 171.

23 MacCoull 1988: 151. Cf. Ruffini 2018: 3.

24 Behlmer 1998: 367-8.

25 See Davis 2004: 108-12 for the patriarchate of Damianos and its aftermath; and Wipszycka 2015: 140-46.

26 Lubomierski 2006 on the genre of this work, pointing to its close adherence (with some modifications for Christian and specifically ascetic use) to classical standards for the encomium and its obvious composition for oral delivery; and 2008, pointing out that there are references to the Arab conquest in the long version; accepted in essentials by Emmel 2008 and by López 2013: 135-7, although López does not consistently draw the logical consequences for the use of this work, as was pointed out by Dijkstra 2015: 100.