Ostracon with encrypted text and magic signs, OENB K. O. 00645 Pap



Place of storage: Austrian National Library, Papyrus Collection
Inventory number: K. O. 00645 Pap
Medium: Ostracon (sherd)
Date: 7th – 8th century AD
Provenance: Egypt
Dimensions: 16 x 12 cm
Inscription: Coptic, cypher

The ostracon is inscribed on one side with a text in cipher, followed by a psalm (not encoded), and finally with several magic signs. The final sign, the eight pointed star, is one of the most commonly used ancient magic signs.

The first two lines are written in a monoalphabetic cipher. The first line is untranslated, the second line reads: I (?) have sent to you. Die übrigen Zeilen beinhalten Psalm 144, 12-13. The meaning of the magic signs is unknown.



Link to the ostracon: http://data.onb.ac.at/rec/RZ00002763
Austrian National Library, Papyrus Collection


Walter Ewing Crum, Short Texts from Coptic Ostraca and Papyri, Oxford 1921, Seite 108, Nr. 409. Digitalisiert in: https://archive.org/details/shorttextsfromco00crum/

Walter C. Till, Die koptischen Ostraka der Papyrussammlung der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek, Wien 1960, Seite 2, Nr. 5.

Zu dem Code siehe:
Émile Gaston Chassinat, Un papyrus médical copte, in: MIFAO 32 (1921), 17-21. Digitalisiert in: https://archive.org/details/MIFAO32