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Select Papyri, 2.295


PETITION FROM A DESERTED VILLAGE

Original text: PThead 17
Date: A.D. 333.

To his eminence Flavins Hyginus, praefect of Egypt, from the community of the village of Theadelphia in the 8th pagus of the Arsinoite nome, through us, Heron and Sakaon and Kanaoug. We the aforesaid, our lord praefect, are a group of three persons in the village who pay taxes on behalf of all the village for five hundred arurae which are not even being ploughed up and for a roll of twenty-five individuals including the employees of the Treasury, so that from this state of things our village is reduced to great straits. Setting out in search of our fellow-villagers in the Oxyrhynchite nome we discovered at the farmstead of Eulogius son of Nidas, of the hamlet of Serenus, five nominated (?) men, Dionysius, Hor, Ammon, Soucheidas, Apol, and Sabbaeus, with their families ; and their landlord Eulogius, together with Arion, a vine-dresser, and Serapion, a cultivator, did not allow us even to approach the door of the farmstead, repulsing us with violence. We also found three migrants in the Cynopolite nome, Gerontius, Pathas, and Heron, holding between them a hundred arurae and more of crown land. Therefore we, humble and solitary men, beseech your excellency to give orders to the superintendent of public security to deliver up to us our fellow-villagers with their families, in order that we may be enabled by this measure of relief to remain in our village and may for ever feel grateful to your illustrious fortune. Farewell. {Signed} We, the Aurelii Sakaon and Heron and Kanaoug, have presented this petition. I, Aurelius Maximus, wrote for them, as they are illiterate.


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