Select Papyri, 2.213


Greek text: BGU 140
Date:   A.D. 119.

Copy of a letter of the emperor, translated . . ., which was publicly displayed in the 3rd year of Trajanus Hadrianus Augustus, in the consulship of Publius Aelius for the 3rd time and of Rusticus, at Alexandria (?) in the winter camp of legion III Cyrenaica and legion XXII Deioteriana, on the 4th of August which is the 11th of Mesore, at headquarters.

I know, my dear Rammius, that persons whom their parents in the period of their military service acknowledged as their issue have been debarred from succeeding to their fathers' property, and this measure did not appear to be harsh as their action was contrary to military discipline. But for my own part I have much pleasure in enunciating a principle which allows me to interpret more liberally the rather strict rule established by the emperors before me. For although those who were thus acknowledged in the period of military service are not legitimate heirs of their fathers, nevertheless I decide that they also are able to claim possession of the property through that clause of the edict which gives this right to kinsmen by birth. This bounty of mine it will be your duty to make well known both to my soldiers and to the veterans, not to enable me to take credit in their eyes, but in order that they may use this privilege, should they be ignorant of it.

papyrus 214

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