Associations in the Greco-Roman World (AGRW)

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

[292] Letter of Complaint Against a Society Regarding Funeral Fees (218 BCE) Magdola - Fayum region

Magdola (Fayum region, Egypt — Pleiades map), 218 BCE
AGRW 292 = GRA III 190 = PEnteuxis 21 = TM 3296 = AGRW ID# 2897
Copenhagen Inventory info: 766


Four fragments of a papyrus. The letters in small typeface are insertions above the line.


To king Ptolemy, greetings from Therous and Teos. We have been wronged by Temsois and Senemenopis and Teteim . . . and Herieus and by the other women who are fellow members of the society (synthiasitidai) who are from Kerkethoeris in the division of Polemon.  Soeris my sister and wife of the aforementioned Teos, a fellow member of the society (thiasos) along with the aforementioned women, who held the priesthood of the society for four years, happened to die . . . Since she had no relatives except us, when the aforementioned women were asked, they did not reimburse the funeral fee (taphikon). We beg you therefore, O king, to order Diophanes the commander (stratēgos) to write to Ptolemaios the superintendent (epistatēs), so that if they now will submit to pay us the funeral fee the matter will rest.  But if not, we ask that you send them to Diophanes so that he may compel them to reimburse us, so that through you, O king, I may have justice.  Farewell.

(2nd hand) To Ptolemy. Do your best to resolve the dispute of the parties. If that is not possible, send them to me – after the 10th of the month of Choiak – so that the case may be heard at the proper court. Year 4, 27th of the month of Daisios, which is the 29th of the month of Hathyr.


Year 4, 27th day of Daisios which is the 29th of Hathyr. Therous and Teos versus Temsois and her fellow association members, in regard to a funeral fee.

Translation by: Kloppenborg

(recto) βασ[ιλ]εῖ Πτο[λεμαί]ωι χαίρειν Θερῶυς καὶ Τεῶς. ἀδικούμεθα ὑπὸ Τεμσώιος καὶ Σενεμενώπιος | καὶ Τ̣ετειμ̣[ - - - κ]αὶ Ἑριέως καὶ τῶν λοιπῶν [σ]υνθιασιτίδων τῶν ἐκ Κερκεθοήρεως, τῆς Πολέμωνος μερίδος/. Σοήριος γὰρ τῆς ἀδελφῆς μου, | γυναικὸς δ[ὲ Τεῶ]τος τοῦ προγεγραμμένου σ[υ]νθιασιτευούσης τα̣ῖ̣ς προγεγραμμέναις κ̣α̣ὶ | ἐ̣χούσης τὴ[ν [ἱερ]οσύνην τοῦ θιάσου ἐφʼ ἔτη δ, συμβέβηκεν αὐτὴν τετελευτηκέναι || [ - - - ] οὐκ ἐχούσης δὲ αὐτῆς τ[ῶ]ν ἔγγιστα γένους ἀλλʼ ἢ̣ [ἡ]μᾶς, ἀπαιτούμεναι | αἱ προ[γ]εγραμ[μ]έναι τ[ὸ] τ[α]φικὸν οὐκ [ἀ]ποδιδόασ[ιν]. δεόμεθα οὖν σου, [βα]σιλεῦ, προστάξαι Διοφά|νει τῶι στρατηγῶι γ[ρ]άψαι Πτολεμαίωι τῶι ἐπιστάτηι, ἐὰν μὲν ἔτι καὶ ν[ῦν] ὑπομένωσιν [ἡ]μῖν | ἀποδοῦναι τὸ ταφικόν, εἰ δὲ μή, ἀποστεῖλαι αὐτὰς ἐπ[ὶ] Διοφάνην ὅπως ἐπαναγ[κασ]θῶσι ἀποδοῦναι ἡμῖν,ἵνα διὰ σέ, βασιλεῦ, τύχω τοῦ δικαίου. || εὐτύχει. (hand 2) Πτολεμαίωι. μά(λιστα) δι(άλυσον) αὐ(τοὺς)· εἰ δὲ μή, ἀπ(όστειλον) πρ(ὸς) ἡμ(ᾶς) ἐκ τῆς δεκάτης τοῦ Χοία[χ]/ ὅπ(ως) ἐπὶ τοῦ | κ̣α̣(θήκοντος) δ̣ι̣(καστηρίου) δ̣ι̣(ακριθῶσιν). (ἔτους) δ, Δαισίου κζ, Ἁθὺρ κθ.

(verso) (ἔτους) δ, Δαισίου κζ, Ἁθὺρ κθ. | Θερῶυς καὶ Τεῶς πρ(ὸς) Τεμσῶιν | καὶ τὰς συνθιασιτίδας περὶ | ταφικοῦ.

Item added: September 12, 2012
Item modified: May 26, 2021
ID number: 2897
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