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Select Papyri, 2.409


ABOUT THE GOLD COINAGE OF PTOLEMAEUS PHILADELPHUS

Greek text:   PCZen 59021
Date:   258 B.C.

To Apollonius greeting from Demetrius. If you are in good health and your affairs are satisfactory, it is well. As for me, I am attending to the work as you wrote to me to do, and I have received in gold 57000 pieces, which I minted and returned. We might have received many times as much, but as I wrote to you once before, the strangers who come here by sea and the merchants and middlemen and others bring both their local money of unalloyed metal and the gold pentadrachms, to be made into new money for them in accordance with the decree which orders us to receive and remint, but as Philaretus does not allow me to accept, not knowing to whom we can appeal on this subject we are compelled not to accept . . . ; and the men grumble because their gold is not accepted either by the banks or by us for . . ., nor are they able to send it into the country to buy goods, but their gold, they say, is lying idle and they are suffering no little loss, having sent for it from abroad and being unable to dispose of it easily to other persons even at a reduced price. Again, all the residents in the city find it difficult to make use of their worn gold. For none of them knows to what authority he can refer and on paying something extra receive in exchange either good gold or silver. Now things being as they are at present, I see that the revenues of the king are also suffering no little damage. I have therefore written these remarks to you in order that you may be informed and, if you think fit, write to the king about the matter and tell me to whom I am to refer on this subject. For I take it to be an advantage if as much gold as possible be imported from abroad and the king's coinage be always good and new without any expense falling on him. Now as regards the way in which certain persons are treating me it is as well not to write, but as soon as you arrive you will hear . . . And write to me about these matters that I may act accordingly. Goodbye.

{Addressed}   To Apollonius.

{Docketed}   From Demetrius.


papyrus 410


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