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Select Papyri, 2.269A


PETITION CONCERNING AN ASSAULT

Greek text:   PEnt 79
Date:   218 B.C.

The translation of this petition, which was not included in the original collection, is taken from N.Lewis, "Greeks in Ptolemaic Egypt", page 61.


To King Ptolemy greeting from Heracleides, originating from Alexander’s Isle, now residing in Crocodilopolis in the Arsinoite nome.   I am wronged by Psenobastis, who lives in Psya, in the aforesaid nome. On Phamenoth 21 of year 5 in the fiscal calendar, I went to Pysa in the said nome on a personal matter. As I was passing by [her house] an Egyptian woman, whose name is said to be Psenobastis, leaned out [of a window] and emptied a chamber pot of urine over my clothes, so that I was completely drenched. When I angrily reproached her, she hurled abuse at me. When I responded in kind, Psenobastis in her own right hand pulled the fold of my cloak in which I was wrapped, tore it and ripped it off me, so that my chest was laid quite bare. She also spat in my face, in the presence of several people whom I called to witness. The acts that I charge her with committing are: resorting to violence against me and being the one to start [the fracas] by laying her hands on me unlawfully. When some of the bystanders reproached her for what she had done, she simply left me and went back into the house from which she had poured the urine down on me. I therefore beg you, O king, if it please you, not to ignore my being thus, for no reason, manhandled by an Egyptian woman, whereas I am a Greek and a visitor, but to order Diophanes the strategos . . . to write to Sogenes the police chief {epistatēs} to send Psenobastis to him to be questioned on my complaint and to suffer, if what I say here is true, the punishment that the strategos decrees.   Farewell.

{Endorsed}   Year 4, Dios 3, Phamenoth 27. Heracleides against Psenobastis concerning assault {hubris}.

papyrus 270


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