Demotic papyrus

From Thebes, Egypt
Ptolemaic period, reign of Ankhwenennefer, 194 BC

An ancient loan agreement

Loan agreements are not a modern invention. This papyrus is a typical example of an ancient Egyptian contract by which one party agrees to repay something loaned by another, in this case a quantity of grain. The period of the loan is approximately seven months and interest is not charged on the basic loan. However, if the loan is not repaid by the set date, the debtor Amenhotep agrees to pay an additional fifty percent to Padimin, the owner of the grain, a month later. A summary was written at the top of the papyrus, which was then sealed up, so that the contents could be checked if it were felt that the main text had been tampered with.

The text was written in the name of King Ankhwenennefer (Greek: Chaonnophris). He was one of two leaders of a revolt against the Ptolemaic rulers in Upper Egypt. They declared themselves kings, and began a period of local rule in the south, from 205 BC, the first year of the reign of Ptolemy V. Ptolemy finally put down the insurgency in 186 BC.

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More information


P.W. Pestman, 'Haronnophris and Chaonnophris' in Hundred-gated Thebes-2 (Leiden, 1995), pp. 101-37

R.B. Parkinson and S. Quirke, Papyrus, (Egyptian Bookshelf) (London, The British Museum Press, 1995)

C.A.R. Andrews, Catalogue of demotic papyri in (London, The British Museum Press, 1990)


Height: 22.600 cm (max.)
Width: 15.600 cm (max.)

Museum number

EA 10831



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