Translations of Hellenistic Inscriptions: 30


Greek text:   P.Dura_15
Provenance:     Dura-Europos , Syria
Date:   195 B.C.
Tags:     land_ownership
Format:   see key to translations

This is by some way the oldest document found at Dura-Europos, and it is claimed to be the oldest surviving document written in Greek on parchment. It reveals a culture that was - superficially, at least - thoroughly Hellenised, and the handwriting is very similar to documents found in Ptolemaic Egypt.

The text was first published with a French translation by F. Cumont, "Fouilles de Doura-Europos", pp. 286-296 ( PDF ). There is a more recent Portuguese translation and commentary by B. Moraes,"Documentação bancária dos leilões gregos - Exegese de P.Dura 15 ", pp. 293-316 ( ). The interpretation of some of the details remains unclear; but there is a useful summary by R. van der Spek, "Factor Markets in Hellenistic and Parthian Babylonia", p. 215 ( PDF ).

. . . with the fruit-trees and the out-building and all the property located in the division {ekas} of Arybbas in the allotment {klēros} of Konon, 2 within the existing borders with neighbouring properties, for one hundred and twenty drachmas of silver and an equal amount as a potential penalty. 3 Ph[ilippos?] says that he has [paid] this money to Amynandros, for the account of Aristonax of Europos, the son of Ariston, in accordance with the contract . . . 4 . . . in the one hundred and (?) seventeenth year, in the month of Panemos; when .  .  . has provided (?) the account . . . 5 . . . by Aristonax in the one hundred and twenty-third year, in the month of . . . 6 . . . for the transfer (fees) and the auctioneer's pay; he sold it on condition that it can be redeemed in accordance with the law . . .  7 [witnessed by] . . . Heliodoros the tax collector and . . . 8 . . . (?) Antigonos bought . . . 

inscription 31

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