Associations in the Greco-Roman World (AGRW)

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

[290] Letter Concerning Transportation of a Corpse (II CE) Kerkesoucha Orous - Fayum region

Kerkesoucha Orous (Fayum region, Egypt — Pleiades map), II CE
AGRW 290 = GRA III 239 = PPetaus 28 = TM 8847 = AGRW ID# 2891


Papyrus (11 x 16.2 cm), now in Cologne (Papyrussammlung inv. 318). The sender and the addressee appear to be members of a transportation guild. Asklas is addressed as both “brother” (opening) and “friend” (end), which suggests the fictive use of sibling language here among fellow members of an occupation or guild. See Daniel 1979.

(front [recto])

Papsaus to Asklas his brother (adelphos), many greetings. I greet you and your entire household. I am already writing to you a second letter regarding the body of the soldier from Ouisemtos, a legionary, whose remains the transporters from Tmounache and Phebechis, Kuiteilis and his partner brought, whom they gave to your son. The evidence: they attached a staff to his back and, casting him on donkey belonging to you and your son, together with your son brought him to you.

Now I am writing to you about him, so that you will bring him to his village. Since I have experienced a great insult and they almost brought me before the governor.  Wasn’t this because of what you have done to me? I offer another piece of evidence about him: your wife, when she came out, bought spices for four obols for the sailor from Tmunache named Kuiteileis. You have not treated me honestly, not bringing him to his proper place. I greet you and your son and your entire house. I pray that you are well.  19th of the month of Pharmouthi.

(back [verso])

Deliver this to Ke. . . to Askas, from Papaus, his friend (philos).

Translation by: Kloppenborg

(recto) Παψαῦς Ἀσκλᾶτι τῶι ἀδελφῷ πολλὰ χαίρειν. | ἀσπάζομαί σε καὶ ὅλον τὸν οἶκόν σου. | ἤδη δεύτερόν σοι ἐπιστόλιον γράφω περὶ | τοῦ νεκροῦ τοῦ ἀπὸ Οὐισέμτου στρ[α]τιώτου || τοῦ λεγιωναρίου οὗ ἐνήνεχαν σοι οἱ ἀπὸ | Τμουναχῆ καὶ οἱ ἀπὸ Φεβῖχις Κουιτει|λεῖς καὶ ὁ μετʼ αὐτοῦ, ὃν ἔδωκαν τῷ υἱῷ σου. | καὶ σημῖον, ὅτι εἰς τὸν νῶτον αὐτοῦ || ῥάβδον καὶ ἐμβεβλημένοι εἰσὶν αὐτὸν ἐπὶ | τὴν ὄνον σου καὶ τοῦ υἱοῦ σου καὶκατέστα|καν αὐτὸν ἔσω παρὰ σὸν μετὰ τοῦ υἱοῦ | σου. τὰ νῦν ταῦτα πάντα γράφω σοι περὶ || αὐτοῦ ἵνα αὐτὸν καταστήσητε εἰς τὴν | κώμην αὐτοῦ. ἐπὶ δὲ ὕβριν προσέλαβα | ὧδε μεγάλην καὶ ἐγγὺς ἐπὶ τὸν ἡγεμό|να με εἵλκυσαν, οὐ καθʼ ὑμᾶς ὃ ἐποιήσατέ || μοι. ἄλλο σημῖόν σοι γράφω περὶ αὐτοῦ, | ὁτε ἡ γυνή σου ἐξελθοῦσα ἠγόρακε ὀβο|λῶν τεσσάρων ἀρτύματα τῷ ναυτικῷ | τῷ ἀπὸ Τμουναχῆ ἐπικαλουμένῳ Κουι||τειλεῖ. οὐ καλῶς μοι ἐχρήσαστε μὴ κα|ταστήσαντες αὐτὸν εἰς τὸν τόπον αὐ|τοῦ. ἀσπάζομαί σε καὶ τὸν υἱόν σου καὶ ὅλον | τὸν οἶκόν σου. ἐρρῶσθαί σε εὐχομαι. Φαρ̣μ̣ο̣ῦ̣θ̣ι̣ ιθ.

(verso) ἀπόδος ἰς Κε ̣ ̣ ̣ Ἀσκλᾶτι ἀπὸ [Πα]|ψαῦτος φ̣ί̣λ̣ου.

Item added: September 12, 2012
Item modified: January 22, 2020
ID number: 2891
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