39 THE GREEK PAPYRI.
 
Home
Title page
Contents
Search

 

Of the third letter only the first part is left. This reads (A. l) : - "Polykratês to his father sends greeting. [If you are well] and all things else are to your mind, it would be well. We ourselves are well. Know that I have held the office of inspecting the victims for sacrifice and that I go to the land-suveyor's office. And I have been registered at the custom-house for an estate producing 17 silver drachmae. In order that we may receive the twentieth of this amount, and not . . . . 70 drachmae. And they tell us to give way to Herôdês . . . ."

70. The " land-surveyor " is mentioned in another letter (H. 131) dated the 27th of Epeiphi, of which only a portion is left. It was sent from "Athenodôros the land-surveyor," and contains a petition. The writer speaks of himself as " falling down with tears "on behalf of one "who is an old man and of the children," and he goes on to say that "I have acted as steward," "[have gone] to Aphroditopolis with the village-scribes and fellahin," have there visited "the sanctuary" of the goddess, where I was "told that I was in danger," and was "threatened" while "in the priest's chamber in the pylon," out of which I "was able to peep." The person to whom the letter is addressed is told that he had "pitied " the author of it "either because of. . . . or because" he "had served" him ; and mention is then made of "Euêreitos the captain of the guard."

The letter was probably sent to "Diophanês the general," to whom other petitions found in the cartonnage of the same mummy-case were addressed. Here is one of them (H. 123) : - "Moskhiôn sends greeting to Diophanês. Dôrimakhos has brought me a petition, filed against Dionysios, in which it is declared that he considers he should obtain justice. Having therefore summoned Dionysios I made known to him the petition and ordered him to satisfy Dôrimakhos. As Dionysios maintained that there is nothing in the charges brought forward in the petition, I have sent him to you on the 6th of Pharmouthi. Farewell. The 25th year [B.C. 260], the 5th of Pharmouthi." This is addressed on the back in capitals ; "To Diophanês," and the date and names of Moskhiôn and Dôrimakhos are written in cursive characters below.

Moskhiôn appears to have been a deputy of Diophanês. The latter is personally addressed in a mutilated petition (H. 125) from " Onêtôr and Asklêpiadês and Mousaios," who inform Diophanês "the general" that they had already "given a petition to the name of the King." The petition relates to a lease of 107 [acres] from a certain Lysander "in the 26th year." The ground they occupied is called a Klêros or "allotment," so that they must be regarded as Greek settlers, or (as appears from other documents) retired soldiers, to whom certain lands had been allotted by the government at Alexandria. In another document (M. 172) Klêrukhs are referred to, who received 537 drachmae from the fellahin on their estates upon the produce of the 2nd year (B.C. 246). Onêtôr and his two companions had apparently suffered from bad weather, their "corn had perished on the threshing-floor," some of it had been "taken by the guardians" or police, they had been slandered by "malicious persons," and accordingly they "wanted clean corn" and some alteration in the terms of their lease.

Two more fragments of letters to Diophanês exist. One (H. 124) is from his son Dioskouridês, who remarks that "Asklêpiadês who has given you the letter is sailing up (the river)," the date of the 25th year being written on the back, and the other (H. 129) from "his daughter and [her] children," hoping that "yourself and your son Dioskouridês [are well]," and asking that "he should go to you after being thanked by me."

71. Several letters relate to agriculture. Thus (S. 251) " Diôn the son of Asklepiadês acknowledged that the vineyard [let] to me has been valued for the 23rd year, including the farmstead of Hêrakleidês, [the value] of the fruit-trees and flowers for garlands [being put] at 12 drachmae." Another fragment speaks of "the spelt and barley" having been "smitten," and refers to the "place of embarcation," as well as to "the half of the cutting (or trench) at the place of embarcation."

An interesting document on the mode in which retired soldiers were provided for is an I.O.U. from a Thrakian cavalry-soldier (D. 62). "Theotimos the son of Euphrôn, a Thrakian, of those who are under the commander of the cavalry, acknowledges that he engages to pay in full Philip who has received the share for the 2nd year of the district around Philadelpheia, consisting of vineyards and gardens (paradeisôn), to the extent of 1 talent and 3000 drachmae, and to receive from the same (Philip) the vineyards and gardens about Boubastos for 3000 drachmae, so that the whole shall amount to [two] talents; in addition to which I mortgage the rights belonging to me and the benefactions I receive (?), and I swear the royal oath which is subscribed according to this bond." The oath is written above, and runs as follows: Theotimos the son of Euphrôn [a Thrakian, swears by the


home - previous page - next page