|38||THE GREEK PAPYRI.|
17 slaves and lads (and) 4 wedges; for Phamouneus 12 slaves and lads (and) 3 wedges ; for Spsint . . . "
It is plain that reference is here made to the working of certain quarries in the neighbourhood of the Fayoum, the wedges being required to split the rock. Each gang of quarry men was under an overseer who was responsible for their work, and kept them employed at it, no doubt with the aid of the lash.
From the same mummy-case has come another fragment of a letter to Kleôn (G. 108). This is addressed to him by a certain Dêmêtrios, who begins by saying that "on the 22nd when I was going down to the works. . . Theokleidês came down again to the doors."
Another letter is addressed to Kleôn by the quarry-men themselves (M. 163). The handwriting of it is very bad, the spelling is defective, and various corrections have been scribbled here and there above the lines. The injuries the papyrus has received add still further to the difficulty of deciphering it. I read it thus : "Greeting is sent to [Kle]ôn by the quarry-men working in Pastôntis, who have received [from] you (the order for) the stones. Choose what has been already hewn in the gypsum (quarries). But now we do no work, because we have no slaves to clear away the sand above the rock [from] the city of Apthi[s] to Eiê. To-day * [from] the day on which they began to work [is an interval ?] of two months, and you know that the place is desert; and we have no food, though we want to finish the [work in order that] we may go away. Grant indeed our request quickly in order that we may not desert, FarewelL The ist year ** the 9th day of Thoth."
A few years previously Kleôn had received another letter from the quarry men in his employment. It was as follows (B. 31): - "To Kleôn the architect, greeting. We who belong to the original quarry-men from the place of embarcation are being wronged by Apollônios the ganger. He having set us to work at the hard rock and having selected us as against the rest, has shown (us only) the soft rock that he has (in the quarry), and now we are ruined, spoiling (our) iron (to no purpose); therefore we pray you that we may obtain justice; having cut the hard rock .... that we be not injured. Farewell." On the back is a note by Kleôn to the effect that the letter was received on the 24th of Phaôphi in the 30th year of Ptolemy (B.C. 255).
It is evident that "Apollônios the ganger" mentioned in the letter is the same as the Apollônios who asked that wedges might be provided for the workmen. Dêmêtrios seems to have been his assistant. A curious letter of the latter has been preserved, which may be translated thus (B. 27): - "To Kleôn Dêmêtrios sends greeting. On a previous occasion also did I write to you about the arrest which I have now undergone. You know also how in former years we have been injured, and how I am at present being injured by being carried off to the prison . ... you who brought me as your own son out of the prison, not wishing me to suffer harm, [help me) for I am in the prison. Farewell."
In another fragment Kleôn is appealed to for the repair of a "fortress" the exact position of which is not stated. This is in a letter from Polykratês which begins: "Polykratês to Kleôn sends greeting. As for the southern wall of the fortress, a part of it has fallen, and now that it has fallen the part which looks south is in danger of becoming exposed: about 29 slaves have been farmed out on account of it by Dionysios . . . "
Dionysios is the writer of a letter of which unfortunately only the beginnings of the lines are preserved (G. 115). " Dionysios to Dôros sends greeting. I have sent . . . the copies (of the letters). Keep in good health. The 30th year, the 4th day of Athyr . . . We want an assistant-architect to build the dykes [from] ....... to Hêphaistis in order that they may patrol the nets . . . and to finish the rest of the design of Kleôn .... in order that [we may irrigate] the saltish land called ...... "
Polykratês also appears among the correspondents. One of his letters is dated in the 30th year of Ptolemy (B.C. 365). in a second letter addressed to his father he says (A. 2); " Polykratês sends greeting to his father. You do well if you are well and all things else are according to your mind. We also are well. I have often written to you begging you to come and introduce me so that I may be released from my present leisure; and now, if it is possible and nothing hinders you, try to come to the Arsinoite nome. For if you are here, I am persuaded that I shall easily be introduced to the king. And know that I have received from Philônidês 70 silver drachmae, half of which I have kept for necessary expenses and the rest I have lent out on loan. I have done this in order that we may not have it all at once, but receive it little by little. Write to us on your side in order that we may know how you are, and may not be anxious (about you). Take care of yourself in order that you may be in good health and come to us strong and well. Farewell."
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