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Select Papyri, 1.87


DEED OF DISOWNMENT

Original text: PCMasp 67353
Date: A.D. 569.

In the 5th year of the reign and consulship of our most godlike master Flavius Justinus the eternal Augustus and Imperator, Hathur 16, 3rd indiction, in the most illustrious Antinoopolis.
[Fragment 2 . . . proclamation of disownment and rejection, having my mind and understanding unaffected, with true and unerring judgement, without any guile or fear or violence or compulsion or deceit, in a public place of business. And this I transmit to my parricidal children, though children in name only, that is, to Dionysia and John and Paulina and Andrew the outcast ones . . .
[Frag. 3 . . . thinking to find you helpful in all things, a comfort to my old age, submissive and obedient, and on the contrary you in your prime have set yourselves against me like rancorous things, as I learned through experience of your heartless parricidal conduct and lawless disposition, seeing that I fell grievously ill through you . . .
[Frag. 4 . . . in every quality and quantity, from things costly down to one as or one obol, excepting only the Falcidian portion prescribed by law or the twelfth part of your lost inheritance, and it is no longer lawful for you in future to call me father, inasmuch as I reject and abhor you from now to the utter end of all succeeding time as outcasts and bastards and lower than slaves . . .
[Frag. 5 . . . for ravens to devour the flesh and peck out the eyes, in this manner I debar you from receiving or giving anything on my behalf, whether I be alive or dead, because I have rightly and justly thus resolved. And I adjure every judge and arbitrator and every tribunal and magistracy and authority to uphold always this deed of rejection and disownment executed on my behalf against these so ill-conducted children . . .
[Frag. 6 . . . place. I also adjure the public scribe and the tabularius and the public defensor of this illustrious Antinoopolis, by God before all and by the divine and heavenly fortune of our universal rulers and sovereigns Flavius Justinus and Flavia Aelia Sophia the eternal Imperators, to give the customary publicity to the decisions formulated by me and always to arbitrate and give judgement quite inflexibly, to the terror especially of such as are disposed to imitate the deeds of these impious ones. For whereas according to the divine law they ought to have most highly honoured their own parents, these most wicked ones have contrariwise reviled and contemned the parental ordinance. And this, along with the aforesaid Falcidian provision, I have set forth in my will, and I have put up this proclamation of disownment so that all men may know, being valid and guaranteed wherever produced.

papyrus 88


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