In looking at P.Berol. 21251 (transcription, images) one runs across the term λευλευ. However, it isn’t in any lexicon that I can locate, and doesn’t seem to really be a word anyway. In the text describing P.Berol. 21251, Treu (“Varia Christiana II.” Archiv für Papyrusforschung 32 (1986): 27–29) notes it is likely a formula of some sort. He offers a few suggestions, but there is nothing firm about them.
One suggestion points to λουλου in PGM VII 494 (Greek Magical Papyri), but that instance seems to be a name: “Your name is LOU LOULOU BATHARTHAR &c.” and doesn’t fit this context at all. Treu also mentions the simliarity between λευ and the ending of βασιλευ and suggests maybe an abbreviation or code for βασιλευ βασιλευ, but (as he mentions) this doesn’t make sense of the context (best I can come up with there is some sort of shorthand for “King of Kings”, but that’s total guessing). Another suggestion simply mentions that αλλ is used as an abbreviation for ἁλληλουϊά in P.Berol. 11763 (BKT VIII 16), implicitly wondering if λευλευ may be performing the same function. This makes more sense than the others to me (not saying much) and I can force λευλευ to represent the middle syllables of ἁλ-λη-λου-ϊά.
Update: Ken Penner replied on a Facebook thread pointing to further use in the PGM as well as use in P.Berol. 21332. You can see it in the first whole line of the recto if you peek at the pictures. There also may be some discussion in Berliner Griechische Papyri, ed. Panagiota Sarischouli, published in 1995. Google Books indicates that both P.Berol. 21251 and 21332 are discussed on p. 21. If anyone has access to this, could you send a copy of the discussion?
Has anyone else run into anything like this? Any suggestions? For P.Berol. 21251, the term λευλευ occurs on the verso and recto of the papyrus and thus implies they related. The recto is simply:
- εις θεο[ς ελε]ησον ει[ς] θεος ελεη̣[σον]..*
- λευλευ ελεησον*
- λευλευ κυριε*
- λευλευ δεομεθα*
- λευλευ επακουσαν*
- λευλευ αορατε*
- λευ[λ]ευ αμιαντε*
- λευ[λευ δ]ικαιε*
- λευ[λευ κυρ]ιε*