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Paying for a garment in Byzantine Egypt

Coptic ostracon Petrie 4, UC 71106

UC 71106

Five lines of Coptic on a pottery sherd, in fine uncial hand. The quality of the writing and the reference to gold currency imply a social setting of high status, and a garment of some value. The trimesion or tremissis was a third of a solidus, the unit introduced by Constantine after AD 306; the solidus was the principal gold coin in late Roman and Byzantine currency.



Concerning the garment which you have slit for me,

I have paid you six measures, amounting to one trimesion of gold.


Note to the translation: 'slitting' refers to the cutting of the neck-hole to turn a sheet into a garment for wearing (compare items of dress)




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