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Select Papyri, 1.5


MARRIAGE CONTRACT

Greek text:   POxy 1273
Date:   AD. 260.

For good fortune. Aurelia Thaesis daughter of Eudaemon and of Herais, of Oxyrhynchus, acting with Aurelius Theon also called Nepotianus and however he is styled, has given her daughter Aurelia Tausiris in marriage to Aurelius Arsinous son of Tryphon and of Demetria, of the said city, as husband, to whom the said giver brings as the dowry of her said daughter the bride in common gold on the Oxyrhynchite standard a necklace of the kind called maniaces with a stone, weighing without the stone 13 quarters, a brooch (?) with 5 stones set in gold, weighing without the stones 4 quarters , a pair of earrings with 10 pearls, weighing without the pearls 3 quarters, a small ring of half a quarter, and in clothing, of which the value is estimated, a silvery, striped Dalmatiart shawl worth 260 drachmas, a white, single tunic, tasseled and striped, worth 160 drachmas, a turquoise-coloured Dalmatian shawl worth 100 drachmas, another Dalmatian shawl, white with purple border, worth 100 drachmas, making the total of the whole dowry 1 mnaiaion, 41/2 quarters in common gold and 620 drachmas in estimated value of clothes, a sum total to which no addition has been made; and questioned concerning the aforesaid dowry by the giver of the bride, Aurelia Thaesis, the bridegroom Aurelius Arsinous acknowledged that he had received the full number at the aforesaid weight and valuation. Wherefore let the parties to the marriage live together blamelessly, observing the duties of marriage, and let the bridegroom supply his wife with all things necessary in proportion to his means. But if - which heaven forbid - owing to disagreement a separation takes place between the parties, the bridegroom shall restore to the giver of the bride, if still alive, or, if not, to the bride, the aforesaid dowry in full within sixty days from the date of the demand, the gold objects in accordance with the count of their several weights, while for the clothes of which the value is estimated the bride's representatives shall have the choice of taking them at a valuation to be then made and receiving the balance in silver or of accepting the amount of the aforesaid valuation, and the wear and waste of all these objects shall be debited to the bridegroom. If at the time of the separation the bride is pregnant, the bridegroom shall give her for the expenses of her confinement 40 drachmas. In demanding restoration of the aforesaid dowry the bride's representatives shall have the right of execution upon the bridegroom and upon all his property. This contract is valid, being written in duplicate so that each party may have a copy, and whenever they choose or either of them chooses, he or she shall make it public through the bureau of the archidicastes without requiring the concurrence of the other or any further approval, because the future publication is herewith approved, and to each other's questions whether this is done rightly and fairly they have given their assent. The 7th year of the Emperors and Caesars Publius Licinnius Valerianus and Publius Licinnius Valerianus Gallienus, Germanici Maximi Pii Felices, and Publius Licinnius Cornelius Saloninus Valerianus, the most noble Caesar, Augusti, Mecheir 2.

{Signed}   I, Aurelia Thaesis, have given my daughter in marriage to the above-mentioned Arsinous and have presented to him the aforesaid dowry as stated, and in answer to the formal question I have given my consent. I, Aurelius Theon also called Nepotianus, acted with her and wrote on her behalf, as she is illiterate. I, Aurelius Arsinous, have received the aforesaid dowry, and if - which heaven forbid - a separation takes place, I will restore it as stated above, and in answer to the formal question I have given my consent.

papyrus 6


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