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Translations of Hellenistic Inscriptions: 84


A BACTRIAN TAX-RECEIPT

Greek text:   IKEO_459
Provenance:     Bactria
Date:   c. 180-170 B.C.
Format:   see key to translations

This document, one of the few Greek texts to survive from Bactria, was found in Sangcharak, Afghanistan. It was written in ink on a strip of leather.

The most interesting feature of the document is the dating formula at the beginning, with its list of joint rulers. Some of the names in the list can be identified with known rulers of Bactria in the early 2nd century B.C.: Antimachos I, Antimachos II, and possibly Apollodotos I. Eumenes is otherwise unknown, unless we believe that it refers to Eumenes II of Pergamon.

The translation has been adapted to reflect the analysis of the text, using an infrared photograph, by J. Jakobsson and S. Glenn, "New Research on the Bactrian Tax-receipt" ( PDF ). For some comments on the significance of the document, see F.L. Holt, "Lost World of the Golden King: In Search of Ancient Afghanistan", pp.118-9 ( Google Books ).


In the reign of Antimachos Theos {"the God"} and Eumenes and Antimachos [and] (?) Apollodotos, year 4, month of Olos, in (?) Asangorna, when . . . was nomophylax {"guardian of the law"}. Menodotos, tax-gatherer, in the presence of . . ., who was sent out likewise by Demonax the former . . ., and of Simos, who was . . . by agency of Diodoros, controller of revenues, acknowledges receipt from . . . the (?) son of Dataēs, out of the (?) priests/sacrifices . . . of the due payment of (?) 20 staters.

inscription 85


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