Associations in the Greco-Roman World (AGRW)

An expanding collection of inscriptions, papyri, and other sources in translation (run by Philip A. Harland)

[299] Regulations of a Demotic Cult Association (158/157 BCE) Tebtynis - Fayum region


Tebtynis (Fayum region, Egypt — Pleiades map), 158/157 BCE
AGRW 299 = PCairDem 30606  = ID# 2984


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Papyrus (70 x 32 cm). The English text below is a translation of de Cenival’s translation of the demotic original with the list of names added from Wilhelm Spiegelberg, Die demotischen Denkmäler 30601-31270, 50001-50022 II: Die demotischen Papyrus (Catalogue général des antiquités égyptiennes du Musée du Caire 39; Strassburg: W. Drugulin, 1908) 26-29 (no. 30606). The sums in column 2 appear to represent the full yearly dues and the monthly equivalent.

(column 1)

In year 24, Mesore . . . of king Ptolemaios and Kleopatra, children of Ptolemaios and Kleopatra, the Epiphanes (“Manifest”) gods, when Ptolemaios the son of King Ptolemaios and Kleopatra, the Philometor (“Mother-loving”) gods, was priest of Alexander, the Savior gods, the Brother gods, the Benefactor gods, the Philopater (“Father-loving”) gods, the Epiphanes gods, and the Philometor gods; when the lady Nike daughter of Hieronymos was the prize-bearer (athlophoros) of Berenike, the Benefactor god; when lady Arsinoe daughter of Charimortos (?) was the basket-bearer (kanēphoros) of Arsinoe Philadelphos (“Brother-loving”); when the lady Timarion daughter of Metrophanes was the priestess of Arsinoe Philopater:

The regulations which have been adopted by the members of the association and the priest of the devotees of the Crocodile god, who gather before Souchos and the gods associated with Souchos, in the cemetery of the crocodile of the village of Sobek Tebtynis(Soknebtynis) in the division of Polemon, Arsinoite (nome).

They say: We shall apply the regulations from year 24, month of Mesore until year 25, month of Mesore, which makes one year, or twelve and one-sixth months, or a year, saying together: We shall hold an assembly before Souchos and the gods associated with Souchos for the festivals and processions of Souchos and the gods associated with Souchos and on the days which those of the House have adopted as assembly dates during the aforesaid period. We shall contribute our dues every month, besides the contributions for functions for which we must make payment. We shall hand them over to the representative of the House when they become due each month.

If one of our members does not pay his dues each month and does not hand them over to the representative of the House as stipulated above, the representative of the House shall go to his house and shall seize a surety for the aforementioned money. If he attacks him or one of his agents, the fine shall be 25 debens (= 500 copper drachmas). . . and he will continue until he pays the debt.  Whoever takes up the collection shall establish the due date for the people of the House, each 2 shares per person valued at 5 debens per share. And each shall make a pledge of resin, ointment, wreaths, greenery, ricinus, and wood for the funds of the House. If one of our members is told to bring money on the fixed day and he does not do so, his fine will be 25 debens.

We shall perform the sacrifices and the libations for the king Ptolemaios and Queen Kleopatra, children of Ptolemaios and Kleopatra, and the sacrifices and offerings of Souchos and the gods associated with Souchos, on the aforesaid festivals and processions and on the days which those of the House will have adopted as meeting days, during the aforesaid period.

. . . If one of our members will not go out with us to pull the statue of the god and will not escort him to his tomb during the aforesaid period, his fine is . . . x debens and the curses of the god Souchos shall follow him, except in the case that he is ill or in prison or is in court with the royal treasury.

If one of our members dies in the House, we shall mourn for him and then escort him to the necropolis all together. We shall contribute for him the money for dues which those of the House will have agreed to give for his burial and embalming, and we shall let them levy eight shares for him.  If one of our members will not mourn him, the fine will be 5 debens, except in the cases enumerated above. Moreover, if one of our members dies away from the village, we shall designate ten (?) men from the House and send them after him, that they might do for him in accordance with what is written above. If one of the members who is told “go after him,” does not go, his fine is 10 debens, except in the cases enumerated above. If one of our members whose father, mother, brother, sister, son, daughter, or wife dies, we shall mourn that one and escort him to the necropolis and we shall levy for him 20 shares. If one of our members will not mourn with him, the fine is 5 debens, except in the cases enumerated above. If one of our members has a son who dies at a tender age, we shall drink beer with him and comfort his heart.

If one of our members calumniates one of the members before a military or civil official or a police officer (?) without first bringing a complaint before those of the House, his fine will be 50 (?) debens. If one of the members says to one of us, “you are a leper,” though he is not a leper, his fine is 100 debens and they shall expel him from the House. If one of our members brings a complaint against one of us to a military official, civil official, or police officer (?), without first bringing the complaint before those of the House, his fine is 25 debens. If he brings a complaint against him (?) after he has received justice from them, when he brings a complaint against him (?) in that affair, his fine is 30 debens.

If one of our members insults one of us, his fine is 25 debens. The insult of the president: . . . x debens; if he commits it again: . . . x debens . . . the insult of the vice president: . . . x debens; if he commits it again, 35 debens; the insult of a non-member: 40 debens; if he commits it again: 60 debens; if one of our members strikes another member, his fine is 60 debens. The striking of the president: . . . debens; if he commits it again: 80 debens; the striking of the vice-president (?): . . . debens; if he commits it again: . . . 5 debens; the striking of an ordinary member: 80 debens; if he commits it again, 90 debens.

If one of our members finds another member on the riverband (?) road or similar and he says, “can you give me some money . . . ” and he does not give it, his fine is . . . x debens, except if he swears an oath before the god, saying, “I cannot give him anything.” If one of our members is summoned for a ruling of the association or . . .  and does not appear, his fine is . . . x debens if he has not made an appeal about it before. If one of our members goes to supplicate the god or is imprisoned, or takes asylum in the god’s temple, the representative of the House shall assist him and give him 5 shares. If one of our members is involved in an unjust trial, we shall give the dues that those of the House decided to provide for his trial.

If a member whom those of the House decided shall be the representative of the House refuses to be representative, his fine is 25 debens. If one of our members refuses to meet with us during the aforesaid period, or after he has drunk beer . . .with us, his fine is 25 debens. If one of our members insults the representative of the House, and bribes him in any matter, his fine is 25 debens. The representative of the house is the one who has authority in anything he will discuss with us, by virtue of everything aforesaid, and we shall do them at his command without delay.

(column 2)

Their names:  Pates (?) son of Pachois (?) the priest: 372 debens (per year) = 31 debens (per month); Onnophris son of Tše, the vice president: 300 debens = 25 debens; Marres (?) . . . son of Sokonopis (?), the priest of the gods: 260 debens = 21 5/10 debens; Horos (?) son of Petos, the servant of the God Soknebtynis: 270 (?) debens = 22(?) 7/10 debens; Patos (?) son of Horos the servant of Name . . ., the great god: 112 debens = 9 2/10 debens; Phaneis, son of Peteharpsenesis, the priest of Horos: 108 debens = 9 debens; . . . Name son of . . . Name, the priest ofIsis: 90 debens = 7 debens . . . Pmenches son of Sokonopis (?): 6 debens; Haryothes son of Pachois: 6 debens . . .

Translation by: Kloppenborg



Original Demotic text not yet available here.

Item added: September 17, 2012
Item modified: December 29, 2015
ID number: 2984
Short link address:
http://www.philipharland.com/greco-roman-associations/?p=2984

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