Letter: ENA 1822a.46Letter ENA 1822a.46
Input dateIn PGP since 2016
Letter in Arabic script concerning a governor, a bishop and monasteries. In the formal third-person address, the writer apologizes for sending the request in writing instead of making it in person; his excuse is that he’s pressed for time since he’s currently studying (ḥadīth? jālis ilā) at the feet of a certain Ibn Ṣāʿ. Asks the addressee write to the scribe of a Fatimid governor titled ʿAzīz al-Dawla with a request for two documents. The first document should be addressed to the bishop Binyāmīn of Ṭamwah (Dammūh), who is responsible for two monasteries, Shahrān (in Minyat al-Shammās) and Ḥilwān (also south of Cairo), “strengthening his hand,” presumably meaning reinforcing his property rights over the monasteries' property; the second should be addressed to the overseer of Shahrān itself, both strengthening the hand of the bishop and establishing who owns the property that belongs to the two monasteries. The property in question may be waqf property of the monasteries. The title of the governor, ending in al-dawla, dates the letter to the Fatimid period; contains a taqbîl clause, kissing the hand of the addressee rather than the ground, so likely 12th century rather than earlier.