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Select Papyri, 1.24


CONTRACT FOR THE CHARGE OF A STABLE

Original text: POxy 138
Date: A.D. 610-611.

In the name of our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, our God and Saviour, in the 1st year of the reign of our most godlike and pious master and greatest benefactor, Flavius Heraclius the eternal Augustus and Imperator, . . ., 14th indiction, year 287=256. To Flavius Apion the all-honoured and most magnificent, of consular rank and patrician, landowner at this illustrious city of Oxyrhynchus, through Menas his servant, who is acting on his behalf and assuming for his master, the said all-honoured personage, the rights and obligations of the agreement, I, John, by the grace of God contractor for the express post belonging to your honourable house and for the riding stable belonging to your said honourable house, son of the late Theodorus, of the city of Oxyrhynchus, make the following acknowledgement. Wishing to undertake the business of the riding stable belonging to your honourable house in addition to the express post which is under my care, for one year reckoned from Choiak 15 of the present 14th indiction to Choiak 15 of the (D.V.) coming 15th indiction, I proposed to your magnificence through your representatives that this riding stable also should be entrusted to me by your magnificence; and accordingly the representatives of your magnificence gave me the charge of it for the aforesaid one year reckoned from Choiak 15 of the present 14th indiction. I agree to undertake this duty and all the services that may arise in connexion with the estate, and to find mounts for the noble superintendents and the most illustrious secretaries and the servants who go forth on business of the estate of whatsoever kind, without giving any ground for dissatisfaction, at the risk, uncontestedly, of myself and of my property; and I agree to accept from you as stipulated fee for the said services during the said year one pound of gold on the Alexandrian standard, undertaking for my part, as aforesaid, to perform all the business of the said stable and to furnish horses for the needs of the estate at the risk, as already said, of myself and my property, and to find mounts for the noble superintendents and the most illustrious secretaries and the servants who go forth, as aforesaid, on business of the estate. To all this I swear by Almighty God and by the supremacy, security, and permanence of our most pious sovereigns Flavius Heraclius and Aelia Flavia a that I will abide by and observe these conditions and in no way infringe them, and I pledge for the rights of this agreement all my property present and future, in its separate parts and as a whole, by way of security and by right of mortgage. This agreement, written in duplicate, is valid, and in answer to the formal question I have given my consent. {Signed} John. (Signed by deputy) I, John, the aforesaid, contractor for the express post of the honourable house of your magnificence and for the riding stable, have made the present agreement also concerning the riding stable for the one year from Cholak 15 of the present 14th indiction, at the stipulated fee of one pound of gold on the Alexandrian standard, as aforesaid. I, Phoebammon, his hired assistant, son of the late Papnouthius, have written for him by his authorization, he having first signed his own name. {Subscribed} Executed by me, Papnouthius, notary. (Repeated in Latin characters) Executed by me, Papnouthius. . . . indiction 14, year 287=256. {Endorsed} . . contractor for the express post and the riding stable.

papyrus 25


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