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5 V: Arietta Papaconstantinou (University of Reading), The monks and the consul: status and precedence in the resolution of a debt dispute (P.Oxy. LXIII 4397).


The paper discusses P.Oxy. LXIII 4397, one of the longest documentary texts on papyrus. It is a composite document, signed on 17 March 545 between the Apion estate and the monastery of Apa Hierax, settling a long saga of competing claims on a piece of land that had been mortgaged for a loan. It raises all sorts of legal issues, which have been partly discussed by Jakub Urbanik in a couple of papers. It is also interesting for several other reasons, such as the economic activities of ecclesiastical institutions, relations between the elites, the credit economy and its role in shaping social bonds and facilitating predatory acquisition of land, and the role of  documents and documentary practices in late antique Egypt.