Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Ba(si)leia as nomen sacrum?

Perhaps lots of other people have, but I haven't seen basileia written as a nomen sacrum. (I mentioned this to Larry Hurtado and he hadn't either.) I think there is one in POxy 5072. Richard Goode has discussed the Egerton Papyrus's use of basileus as a nomen sacrum (in the 2007 Birmingham conference volume), and I looked at the nice photo in Bell and Skeat, and interestingly the supralinear stroke starts in almost exactly the same place there as it does in POxy 5072 - at the very end of the beta, almost at the beginning of the alpha. The abbreviation is - mutatis mutandis - in the same form as well (BALEUSI in P.Eg. and BALEIA in the text below).
Check out line 9 of POxy 5072:
(It's one of the images posted by when they publicised the open access of the papyri images. It'll be the first in the next POxy vol.)


  1. Thanks for posting this Simon. Are you saying that basileus is a rare nomen sacrum? I don't believe I have ever seen basileia, but in the collation I just finished (GA2907), I found basileus to be abbreviated to bleus.

  2. My post was really just a comment on basileia. Re basileus, it is found as BC in P.Oxy. 2068 according to Bell and Skeat (Frs. of an Unknown Gospel, 4), who have a list of various nomina sacra I haven't seen, e.g. XRANOUC for Christianous and ECTPW for estaurothe.

  3. Look at Mk. 1:15 in MS 1241.

    Yours in Christ,

    James Snapp, Jr.

  4. I'm pretty sure I came across it in a lectionary at some point too.