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Coptic Legal Documents, with Special Reference to the Theban Area

Coptic Legal Documents, with Special Reference to the Theban Area

Chapter:
(p.121) 12 Coptic Legal Documents, with Special Reference to the Theban Area
Source:
Christianity and Monasticism in Upper Egypt
Author(s):
Gawdat GabraHany N. Takla
Publisher:
American University in Cairo Press
DOI:10.5743/cairo/9789774163111.003.0012

The number of Coptic documents seems to shrink sharply, and even more conspicuously. Legal documents, seen in a functional perspective, are writings whose principal aim is to record, and thus to preserve, promises or acknowledgments made by one party to another one, in an intentionally binding way. Implicit readers of such text are persons belonging to a court or to another legal authority who have to gather an idea about what really happened, after the events themselves have passed, and even if contradictory versions of them are circulating. Coptic labor contracts vary a great deal from region to region. Shorter types of documents are attested in any local dossier, such as acknowledgments of indebtedness and receipts acknowledging the fulfillment of an obligation.

Keywords:   Coptic documents, legal documents, labor contracts, indebtedness, receipts, obligation

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