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The Book of the Cow. An Early Qurʾānic Codex on Papyrus (P. Hamb. Arab. 68)

Mathieu Tillier & Naïm Vanthieghem

The Book of the Cow. An Early Qurʾānic Codex on Papyrus (P. Hamb. Arab. 68)

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The Book of the Cow. An Early Qurʾānic Codex on Papyrus (P. Hamb. Arab. 68), Mathieu Tillier & Naïm Vanthieghem (Eds), Leiden, Brill, ("Documenta Coranica, Volume: 3"), 2024, . ISBN 978-90-04-67739-5


Mathieu Tillier, Ph.D (2004), is Professor of medieval Islamic history at Sorbonne Université (Paris) and a member of the CNRS team “Orient & Méditerranée” (UMR 8167). He is the author of books and articles mainly focused on Islamic law and institutions, among which Les cadis d’Iraq et l’État Abbasside (132/750-334/945) (Damascus: Presses de l’Ifpo, 2009), and L’invention du cadi. La justice des musulmans, des juifs et des chrétiens aux premiers siècles de l’Islam (Paris: Publications de la Sorbonne, 2017).

Naïm Vanthieghem, Ph.D (2015), is a Research fellow of the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) at the Institut de recherche et d’histoire des textes (IRHT). His work focuses on documentary sources discovered in the Nile Valley, and on their importance for economic, social and intellectual history in the Middle Age.

Since 2012, the two authors have collaborated on exploring institutional, social and intellectual dynamics in medieval Egypt, examining them through the lens of papyrological evidence. They have written numerous articles, and co-authored the book Supplier Dieu dans l’Égypte Toulounide. Le Florilège de l’invocation d’après Ḫālid b. Yazīd (IIIe/IXe siècle) (Leiden: Brill, 2022).


In the eighth century CE, the Christian theologian John Damascene referred to a Book of the Cow among the sacred texts of the Muslims. P. Hamb. Arab. 68 not only represents so far the earliest known Qurʾānic manuscript preserved on papyrus, but also bears witness to an independent circulation of the Sūra of The Cow in late seventh- or early eighth-century Egypt. Significant deviations from the commonly accepted text of the Qurʾān suggest that this copy was rapidly discarded. The present volume offers a complete edition as well as a thorough philological and historical study of the manuscript.


  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  • Papyrus Hamburg Arab. Inv. 68: Images and Papyrological Edition
  • Michael Marx "About the Corpus Coranicum mark-up system used for the edition of Hamb. Arab. 68"
  • Presumed original page display of the codex Papyrus Hamb. Arab. 68
  • Appendix: P.Wash. Libr. of Congress Inv. Ar. 176 (Qurʾan 9:67-71)
  • Bibliography
  • Index

Article : Mathieu Tiller, Naïm Vanthieghem and Claudia Colini, History of a Fragmentary "Sūra of the Cow" The Longest Quran Excerpt on Papyrus

View online : Brill