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Select Papyri, 2.271A


PETITION CONCERNING PRISONERS OF WAR

Greek text:   SB 28.16855
Date:   July 167 B.C.

Following the civil war between Ptolemy VI and Ptolemy VIII, and the invasion of Egypt by Antiochus IV, there were likley to be many prisoners of war in Egypt. The translation is by W. Clarysse, "Three Ptolemaic Papyri on Prisoners", p. 104 ( PDF ).


To Cydias, of the diadochi and strategos, from Heracleides, Mysian, of the troops of Panandrias.   As part of the booty in Tebetnoi four slaves were handed over to me by my fellow-soldiers . . . When I went north to Memphis, [they] were lured away by certain individuals and ran away. Because we were on the point of marching off my fellow soldiers gave security through me . . . until . . . restore [them]. Later on I found one of the women being sold in Memphis and I acquired her back. She promised me, if she would be returned there, to pay ransom to me for herself and to hand over the other captives . . . she (?) sent (?) to Pois to her father, but they did not agree (?) to give me the ransom. The above-mentioned captive woman, lured away by the priests of the village, [took refuge?] in the temple in Pois. Therefore I beg you, while I am in a sorry plight abroad not to let me down, but, please, to write to Demetrius the police officer, if things are as I claim, to hand over to me the [persons] and to make judgement according to your opinion about those who dared do such things.   Farewell.

{2nd hand}   Take care of this.     {3rd hand}   . . . Year 3, Payni 3

{Docket}   [Year 3] Payni 3. Concerning Heracleides the Mysian [about . . . ] the prisoners of war, who have run away.

papyrus 271B


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