APA SHENUTE: ON GILEAD (on Christian Behaviour), Sahidic Coptic Manuscript on vellum
[Fayoum, 715 Coptic Era, i.e. 998-999AD]
Single leaf, maximum 255 x 210mm. (badly frayed and lower portion missing), double column, 30 lines remaining (of ? lines), written area ? x ca. 175mm, 36 lines on verso, written in brown ink, one 3-line initial.
This is the colophon leaf from a manuscript of the original Sahidic version of this text, one of the monuments of early Coptic literature. Only two copies of the text are known, one in the Pierpont Morgan Library (M.604], the other in the British Library [Or.12689]. It has been suggested that the leaf is a colophon to the manuscript now in the British Library. The text describes the title, date and circumstances of composition, and that the manuscript was made for a convent dedicated to the Virgin Mary at Pilgasook (now arabic Bouljouzook) in Fayoum and donated to the convent by a woman.
The importance of the leaf if further enhanced by the discovery that it is also a palimpsest of an 8th century Coptic Biblical text: the end of I Timothy from the Sahidic New Testament. This appears on the flesh side of the leaf at 180° to the later text.
B. Layton, Catalogue of Coptic Literary Manuscripts in the British Library acquired since 1906, no. 96, pp. 105-6
A. van Lantschoot, Recueil des Colophons des Manuscrits Chretiens d'Egypte. I. Les colophons des manuscrits sahidiques. Louvain 1929