Ágnes Tóthné Mihálykó

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Room 517GM
Visiting address Georg Morgenstiernes hus Blindernveien 31 0313 OSLO
Postal address Postboks 1020 Blindern 0315 OSLO

Academic Interests


Early Christian liturgy

Early Christianity in Egypt

PhD thesis

Liturgy had a prominent place in the life of a Christian in the late antique and early medieval Egyptian chora. The faithful were expected to show up in church twice a day for a morning and an evening prayer, and twice a week, on Saturday evening and on Sunday morning, for the Eucharist. Turning points in their lives were marked by church services. It can therefore be expected that whatever they heard, prayed or sung in the church had an effect on them. It influenced their beliefs, entered the wording of their protective or healing practices, and left its mark on the literary, epistolary or even documentary production.

In spite of its importance in the life of the people, liturgy is little known by historians of the church or historians of religion, and it is no coincidence. Since the rituals were known to all, literary and documentary sources contain only scattered remarks on liturgical practices. Thus the researchers have to turn to the primary sources of the liturgy, the liturgical manuscripts. While in other regions liturgical manuscripts are scarce before the 8–9th centuries, Egypt is much better served. In the sand of Egypt a substantial corpus of liturgical texts has been preserved on papyrus, parchment, ostraca, and wooden tablet in Greek and in Coptic. Altogether ca. 300 of them have been edited so far. These give an insight into the earliest texts and practices of the Egyptian liturgy and are at the same time the earliest liturgical manuscripts in existence. But they have not been exploited as much as they could be, as they lack proper aids that could ease the access of scholars of liturgy or history.

This thesis envisions being a guide for this important corpus of liturgical papyri, directed towards the broadest range of possible users, scholars of liturgy, theologians, historians of the church or of religions. At the same time, the thesis treats liturgical papyri as a segment of manuscript culture in late antique Egypt. Through the systematic treatment of their chronology and geography, their material features, their possible uses, their types, and their languages, a history of writing liturgy evolves. Since the liturgical papyri are the earliest liturgical manuscripts we have, this is also our only possibility to study how liturgy was transmitted in the earliest period. The second part of the thesis reedits a selection from the most neglected category of liturgical texts, prayers, with a commentary. Besides making these texts accessible, this part also introduces the readers into the possibilities this source material reveals if examined carefully. Finally, the appendix contains a list of all liturgical papyri edited so far, Greek and Coptic, from the 3–9th century Egypt.

Education and background

2014                Master Degree in Classics (Ancient Greek), Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest.

2011 – 2012    Erasmus, University of Bologna (course ‘Papirologia’ with Giovanni Geraci and Lucia Criscuolo).

2013                Master degree in Medieval History, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest.
                        (thesis: ‘Christliche magische Kleintexte’ with Hermann Harrauer, Vienna).

2012                Bachelor degree in International Relations, University of Veszprém.

2011                Bachelor degree in History and ancient Greek
                        (thesis: ‘Ein neues Zeugnis des frühen Christentums. Der Papyrusbrief P.Laur. inv. 633. im historischen Kontext’ with Hermann Harrauer, Vienna)

2008–              Member of Eötvös Collegium for Advanced Studies, Budapest (History and Classical Philology Workshop)


Witnesses of a ‘prayer of offering’ in Sahidic from the White Monastery and the Thebaid.’ Journal of Coptic Studies 17 (2015) 127-139

'Christ and Charon: PGM P13 Reconsidered.' Symbolae Oslonienses Symbolae Osloenses 89 (2015) 183-209.

'P.Mon.Epiph. 607: Great Doxology and Trisagion. Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 194 (2015) 97- 100.

Christ and Charon: PGM P13 in Context.’ In E. Juhász (hg.), Byzanz und das Abendland III. Studia Byzantino-Occidentalia. Budapest, 2015. 283–292.

'Amulet against fever’, Proceedings of the 4th International Summer School on Coptic Papyrology, Heidelberg, 2012. Submitted, forthcoming.

‘Griechische und koptische Texte der spätantiken ägyptischen christlichen magischen Tradition.’ In E. Juhász (hg.), Byzanz und das Abendland:
Begegnungen zwischen Ost und West. Budapest, 2013. 363–370.

‘Frühchristlicher Brief’. Analecta Papyrologica XXIII-XXIV (2010-2011) 95–104.

‘Ein neues Zeugnis des frühen Christentums. Der Papyrus PL III/633 der Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana.’ Acta Antiqua Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 51 (2011) 307-314.

Á. Mihálykó– Á. T. Nagy– T. Schüszler: ‘Quittung für acht Drachmen.’ In Papirologica Eirene III. Red. J. Bazant– H. Harrauer–R. Pintaudi. Prag, 2010. 66–67. p. (P.Eirene III 22)


Tags: Papyrology, Greek, Greek papyri


View all works in Cristin

  • Tothne, Agnes Mihálykó (2017). Omvisning i papyrussammlingen av Universitetsbiblioteket (II).
  • Tothne, Agnes Mihálykó (2017). Presentation of the papyrus collection to The Museum Group.
  • Tothne, Agnes Mihálykó (2017). Reconstructing the Liturgy in Western Thebes.
  • Tothne, Agnes Mihálykó (2017). The Canons of Basil in the context of the liturgy in Western Thebes.
  • Tothne, Agnes Mihálykó (2016). Omvisning i papyrussammlingen av Universitetsbiblioteket.
  • Tothne, Agnes Mihálykó (2016). Singing in Greek, praying in Coptic: languages in the liturgy of late antique Egypt.
  • Tothne, Agnes Mihálykó (2016). The materiality of liturgical manuscripts.
  • Tothne, Agnes Mihálykó (2016). The persistence of Greek and the rise of Coptic in the early Christian liturgy in Egypt.
  • Tothne, Agnes Mihálykó (2015). ‘Forgive Me, I Know Nothing, Teach Me’: Prayers and Hymns in Educational Context.
  • Tothne, Agnes Mihálykó (2015). Liturgical Manuscripts as Amulets.
  • Tothne, Agnes Mihálykó (2015). Liturgical Papyri in Monastic Context.
  • Tothne, Agnes Mihálykó (2015). ‘Liturgical Papyri in Monastic Context.’.
  • Tothne, Agnes Mihálykó (2014). Christ and Charon: PGM P13 in context.
  • Tothne, Agnes Mihálykó (2014). 'How Can We Sing the Lord's Song?' Liturgical Papyri in Use.

View all works in Cristin

Published Mar. 5, 2014 2:49 PM - Last modified July 16, 2017 11:31 AM