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P. Utah inv. 6o
end of ninth century

“J’ai pu y decouvrir une trentaine de documents juridiques arabes inedits de toutes epoques, parmi lesquels quelques beaux specimens de contrat de vente d’esclaves.” (I have discovered thirty legal documents in Arabic…, including some fine specimens of contracts for the sale of slaves.) — Naïm Vanthieghem

Five pieces from the Arabic Papyrus, Parchment, and Paper Collection were published by Naïm Vanthieghem in The Journal of Juristic Papyrology, vol. XLIV (2014), pp. 163-187 (Warsaw). The article is titled “Quelques Contrats de vente d’Esclaves.” Unfortunately, the J. Willard Marriott Library does not hold this journal. Mr. Vanthieghem graciously sent us a pdf of his article, which we have had cataloged. It may be found under the call number HT1317 V36 2014 when requested at the Special Collections Reference Desk, Level 4. The papyrus and paper are also available for review.

Naïm Vanthieghem obtained his MA in Classical Studies (2009) and in Modern Languages and Literatures – Arabic Language and Literature (2010) at the Free University of Brussels (ULB). He then specialised in the field of Arabic papyrology at the University of Zurich (2010–11) and at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz (2011–12). He received his PhD at the Free University of Brussels with a dissertation devoted to the archive of an estate manager called Heroninus, who was in charge of a large estate in mid-third-century Egypt (2015).

Naïm Vanthieghem has written several articles and reviews in the fields of Greek, Coptic and Arabic papyrology. He has a special interest in the study of multilingualism in medieval Egypt, and in several contributions he highlighted the existence of an Arabic-Coptic bilingualism that emerged in Egypt in the ninth century and disappeared in the late Fatimid period (twelfth century). He has also worked for several years on Arabic legal documents, for the project “Islamic Law Materialized” funded by the European Research Council. In the framework of the project “The Cairo Geniza as a Source for the History of Institutions and Documentary Practices in the Medieval Middle East” led by Prof. Marina Rustow, he is studying Fatimid Arabic documents of the Cairo Geniza. He is currently a post-doctoral research associate with the department of Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University.

Among his publications is “Les archives d’un maquignon d’Égypte médiévale ?” Analecta papyrologica 26 (2014), for which he also used pieces from the Rare Books Department Arabic Papyrus, Parchment and Paper collection.

Below are the papyrus and paper fragments of legal contracts for the sale of slaves in Egypt dating from end of the third century to the 16th century, as identified by Mr. Vanthieghem.

P. Utah inv. 427 recto
end of third century

P. Utah inv. 1356 recto
26 ramadan 325 (tenth century)

P. Utah inv. 949 recto
1 ramadan 326

P. Utah inv. 949 verso
1 ramadan 326

P. Utah inv. 839 recto
6 Dec 1497