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Still Waters

The world's oldest autograph by a Christian

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Still Waters

The earliest Christians in the Roman Empire are usually portrayed as eccentrics who withdrew from the world and were threatened with persecution. This is countered by the contents of the Basel papyrus letter P.Bas. 2.43. The letter contains indications that in the early third century, Christians were living outside the cities in the Egyptian hinterland, where they held political leadership positions and blended with their pagan environment in their everyday lives.

The papyrus P.Bas. 2.43 has been in the possession of the University of Basel for over 100 years. It is a letter from a man named Arrianus to his brother Paulus. The document stands out from the mass of preserved letters of Greco-Roman Egypt by its concluding greeting formula: 

https://phys.org/news/2019-07-world-oldest-autograph-christian-basel.html

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