Associations in the Greco-Roman World (AGRW)

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

Court Records Concerning a Linen-Weaver Threatened by Builders (302-309 CE) Oxyrhynchos - Upper Egypt

Oxyrhynchos (Upper Egypt, Egypt — Pleiades map), 302-309? CE
GRA III 277 = PRyl IV 654 = TM 17320 = AGRW ID# 31537
Copenhagen Inventory info: 1934


Papyrus (31 x 25 cm) now in the John Rylands Library in Manchester (Gr. 654). Although no association is mentioned we do know that both linen-weavers and builders formed guilds in this part of Egypt.

(Latin) . . . of the city of Oxyrhynchus, Apolinarios said: (Greek) “He is a linen weaver (linouphos) by craft. Now there should be an advocate for a man fulfilling his trade. For his coworker Paulus, who has become an apprentice (mathētēs), has come to learn the practice of his trade. You too, my lord, are aware that these men, by their own activity, make more than a small contribution to the People’s needs. They contribute much to the cloak tax (anabolikon), which must be manufactured by them. But the builders (oikodomoi) are claiming that there is a pressing need that they should be regarded only as . . . lazy people (?) . . .  For they are eager to make this linen-weaver who is my client into a builder and are daring to commit a great injustice. They are tearing him away from the craft which he has learned.  They want to teach him a different craft, that of the builders. He must be guarded in his wife’s house so that he does not suffer any violence by the builders. It is important that the commander (stratēgos) and auditor (logistēs) know about this.”

(Latin) Maximianius, most perfect judge in Egypt said, (Greek) “The auditor and commander will consider these charges.  If he has been apprenticed to this craft and is already actively engaging in this trade, he should not to be transferred to another.”

Translation by: Patrick Stange (with modifications)

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- | [ -ca.?- ]ruṣṣ[ ̣ ̣ ̣ ̣ ̣ ̣ ̣]c̣[ ̣ ̣ ̣ ̣ ̣ ̣]ṣ ̣up̣ ̣[ ̣] ̣ ̣ ̣[ ̣ ̣ ̣ ̣ ̣ ̣ ̣] ̣ c̣ịvị[tat]e Oxurunch[itarum ̣ ̣] | ̣ pago ̣ c̣ịvitat[is Oxur]unch[i]tarum [A]polinar[i]us dix(it): | [λινόυφο]ς̣ τὴν τέχνην ἐστίν, σύνδ[ικον] δ̣ὲ εἶναι δεῖ τοῦ̣ τὴν ἐργασίαν πληροῦν|[τος· ἔσ]τ̣ιν γὰρ αὐτῷ συνεργὸς Παῦλο̣[ς] οὗτος μαθητὴς μὲν τυγχάνον (τυγχάνων), εἰς || [ἄσκησι]ν δὲ τῆς τέχνης ἀφεικόμενος (ἀφικόμενος). οὗτοι δὴ καθʼ ἑαυτοὺς ὡς οὐκ ὀλίγα | [ταῖς δημ]ο̣σ̣ίαις τυγχάνουσει (τυγχάνουσι) χρείαις χρήσιμοι ⟦ο⟧ καὶ σὺ οὑμὸς (ὁ ἐμὸς) δεσπότης συν|[οῖδας. τ]ῷ γὰρ ἀναβολικῷ πλῖστα (πλεῖστα) συντελουσειν (συντελοῦσι), καὶ ὅσαπερ ἀπὸ τούτων ἀπερ|[γάζεσθα]ι δεῖ. ἀλʼ (ἀλ<λʼ>) οἱ οἰκόδομοι δικουσει (δικαιοῦσι) τῆς τοσαύτης ἐ̣π̣ειγ̣ού̣σ̣η̣ς̣ χρείας | [ὡς ἀργοὺς] τούτους μόνον συνορᾶν. τὸν γὰρ δὴ βοηθούμενον οἰκ[ό]δομον || [ποιῆσ]αι σπουδασζου̣σ̣ειν (σπουδάζουσι) λινόυφον τυγχάνοντʼ ἀπράγμονα τολμοῦσ̣τ̣ε̣ς̣ (τολμοῦντες) | π̣α̣ρα[ν]ομότατον (παρανομώτατον). τῆς μὲν γὰρ τέχνης ἣν μεμάθηκεν ἀποσπωσειν (ἀποσπῶσι), | ἑτέρα[ν] δὲ τ̣ὴν τῶν οἰκοδόμων ἐκδειδάξαι (ἐκδιδάξαι) βούλονται. ἐπὶ γυναίο̣υ̣ τῇ οἰκείᾳ (οἰκίᾳ) | φυλαχθῆναι δεῖ αὐτὸν {προσήκει} εἵνα (ἵνα) μηδεμίαν ὑπὸ τῶν οἰκοδόμων (οικ⟦ ̣⟧δομων) πάσ|χοι βίαν. προνοεῖσθαι τούτου τὸν στρατηγὸν καὶ τὸν λογιστὴν ἀξειοῖ (ἀξιοῖ). || Maximiaṇụ[s] v(ir) p(erfectissimus) iuridicus Aeg(ypti) dix(it): | ὁ λογιστὴς καὶ σ̣[τ]ρατηγὸς προνοήσονται εἰς τὰ ὑπ[ὸ τού]τ̣[ων κατηγορημένα εἰ τὴν] | τέχνην ἐκμη̣μάθηκ̣ε̣ν̣ (ἐκμεμάθηκεν) κ̣αὶ ἤδη ἐν τα̣ύ̣τ̣ῃ τῇ ἐργασίᾳ ἐσ̣τ̣ὶ̣ν̣ εἰς ἑτέραν μὴ | μεταφέρεσθαι τέχνην.

Item added: July 17, 2020
Item modified: July 17, 2020
ID number: 31537
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