37 THE GREEK PAPYRI.
 
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Greek traders carried on a large part of the commerce of the Nile.

That the copies of the wills Mr. Petrie has discovered were merely rough draughts is evident from the numerous corrections which have been introduced into them. The same is the case as regards a good many of the letters. These, too, have been collected freely, the corrections being written in smaller letters over the line. Like the accounts, therefore, they possessed only an ephemeral value, and hence soon found their way to the waste-paper basket. It is fortunate for us that they did so.

68. The tax-gatherers' accounts throw considerable light on the geography of the Fayoum, and indicate the extent to which the district had been colonised by the Greeks after Alexander's conquest of Egypt. Many of the villages that surrounded the capital Krokodilopolis now marked by the mounds of Medinet el-Fayoum, received Greek names, from which we may infer that they had in many cases grown up around the farm or country-house of some Greek proprietor. Thus we hear of the villages of Ptolemais, Lagis, Bakkhiaa, Berenikis, Thesmophoros, Theogonis, Autodikê, Philadelpheia and Theadelpheia. Philôteris, Koitoi ("the beds"}, Philagris, Arsinoê Kastammônia, Hêphaistias, Dionysias, Lysimakhis, and Euêmeria, as well as of the village of Arsinô "the village of the cowherds," "the village of Athêna," "the town of the ovens" (probably a part of Krokodilopolis), " the harbour of Ptolemais," " the island of Dikaios," "the island of Hêra," " the sacred island of the city" (of Krokodilopolis), and the " island of Alexander." Besides these we meet with Hellenised Egyptian names: Boubastos (to be distinguished from Bubastis in the Delta), Petesoukha, Moukhis, Talithis, Thphôis, Kerkesoukha (a name which helps to explain that of Kerkasôros or Kerkesoura in the Delta, Hdt ii. 15), Karanis, Malsoutos, Anoubias, Sempathyteus, Tegotys, Tebetria, Psinteôs, Paious and Ibiôn. The most curious name among them is Samareia, which must have been so called by settlers from the northern part of Palestine. The accounts further contain the names of Oxyrinkha (never written Oxyrinkhos), now Behnesa, and Aphroditopolis, now Atfih, which were included in the province of the Fayoum, as well as those of Lêtopolis Memphis, Tanis, Sebennytos, Pharbaithos and Pêlousion. But this only means that certain persons who paid taxes in the Fayoum belonged to places in the north. The taxes were paid upon bronze, bricks and castor-oil, and for permission to sell linen, the amount in the latter case depending on the size of the business. It was generally a multiple of 21 silver drachmae, the most common sums levied being 42, 84, 168 and 336 drachmae. But we also find 16, 28, and 56 drachmae paid, and in one case we read; "Of Koitoi, Sokhôtes the son of Phanês 25 drachmae 4½ obols." The whole amount collected in one instance was 879 silver drachmae; in another instance it was 780 drachmae.

The period to which the papyri belong is fixed by the names of the Ptolemies and their sisters which occur more especially in the wills. Thus we read : " In the reign of the deified Ptolemy and Arsinoê in the priesthood of Tlêpolemos the son of [Altibios to the deified] Alexander * and to the deified [brothers, . . . being canephoros] of Arsinoê Philadelphia." In the letters and receipts it is usual to give the year only of the reigning sovereign without specifying his name. The dates of the documents I have examined range from the 20th to the 37th years of one king and from the 1st to the 13th year of another, and since the only Ptolemies who reigned more than 36 years were Philadelphus and Physkôn, it is evident that we must see Philadelphus in the one monarch and his son and successor Euergetês in the other.

69. A prominent character in the papyri is a certain Kleôn, who seems to have been the chief architect of the Fayoum in the middle of the third century B.C. One of the letters to him runs as follows (G. 111.)

" Apollônios sends greeting to Kleôn, I wrote to you on the 17th about my position as regards the tithe-collectors before Diotimos concerning the number of slaves and the arranging of the stones, and in what way acknowledgment had been made before Diotimos, and that the slaves who were needed for the placing and arranging of the stones would finish all the work by the time of the new moon if iron were furnished to them; and I wrote to you what holiday ought to be allowed to each, and the amount of work. And now you would do well to order that wedges be provided for each, as enumerated below, in order that we may disregard their excuses (for idleness). For Tekhestheus (we have reckoned) an equal number of slaves and lads, 18 in all, (and) 4 wedges; for Berotheus 15 slaves and lads (and) 3 wedges; for Anamneus 18 slaves and lads (and) 4 wedges; for Paous 16 slaves and lads (and) 3 wedges ; for Pepsa


* Tlêpolemos son of Altibios was also priest of Alexander and the deified brothers in the 2nd year of the successor of Ptolemy Philadelphus, according to the Louvre papyrus 2438; see E.Révillout, Rev. Egyptologique,I. 1, p.18.


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