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CIRCULARS OF A STRATEGOS AND DIOIKETES

Greek text:  POxy 1409
Date:   A.D. 278.

Aurelius Harpocration, strategos of the Oxyrhynchite nome, to the decemprimi of the nome greeting. A copy of the circular letter addressed to us, the strategoi and decemprimi of the Heptanomia and the Arsinoite nome, by his excellency the dioiketes, Ulpius Aurelius, concerning the consolidation of the dykes and the cleansing of the canals is sent to you, dear friends, in order that you may know and follow his instructions. Whoever of you first receives this order should transmit it to the others. I pray for your health, dear friends. The 3rd year of our lord Marcus Aurelius Probus Augustus, Pharmouthi [.].

Ulpius Aurelius to the strategoi and decemprimi of the Heptanomia and the Arsinoite nome greeting. The season for the consolidation of the dykes and the cleansing of the canals having arrived, I thought it necessary to instruct you by this letter that all the cultivators and . . . ought now to carry out these operations with all zeal on the . . . belonging to them, with a view both to the public good and to their own private advantage. For I am persuaded that everyone is aware of the benefit resulting from these works. Therefore let it be the care of you, the strategoi and decemprimi, both to urge all to take in hand this most necessary labour and to see that the overseers usually elected for the purpose are chosen from magistrates or even private individuals, their task being to compel everyone to perform his proper work in person, according to the rule given in the constitution of the appointment, without enmity or favour, so that the dykes are brought up to the prescribed height and breadth and the breaches filled in, to enable them to withstand the flood of the most sacred Nile auspiciously approaching, and that the canals are cleansed to the depth of the so-called standards and the usual width, in order that they may easily absorb the coming influx of water for the irrigation of the fields, this being a matter of public utility, and that in no case is money exacted from any person instead of work. If anyone dares to attempt such a thing or disregards these orders, let him know that by impairing measures designed for the welfare of the whole of Egypt he will put to stake not only his property but his very life. I pray for your health. The 3rd year, . . .

{Subscribed} Presented by Aurelius Silvanus, assistant, in the 3rd year, Pharmouthi 6.

papyrus 226


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