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Ancient Egyptian Texts:  6.7


LETTER FROM A SOLDIER TO THE RESIDENTS OF DJEME

Text:   Papyrus Erbach
Date:   ? 167 B.C. 
Language:   Demotic
Translated by:   G. Vittmann 
Format:   see key to translations

This letter has been discussed by J.K. Winnicki, in "Punica, Libyca, Ptolemaica: Festschrift für Werner Huss", pp.311-321 ( Google Books ). He suggests that it should be dated to the joint reign of Ptolemy VI and Ptolemy VIII, which places it in the year after Egypt was invaded by Antiochos IV of Syria. New military garrisons were being established during this period; see C. Fischer-Bovet, "Army and Society in Ptolemaic Egypt;", p. 97 ( Google Books ).  

The translation is adapted from the German translation in the Thesaurus Linguae Aegyptiae.


[. . . greets . . . , the] commander {hēgemōn}, and Psenmonthes son of Amenothes, [and] . . .  and those who are not regular soldiers {tōn exō taxeōn}, the troops of Djeme, the whole army of Djeme, and the lesonis of the weavers of Djeme, the guild of weavers with all the people who belong to them, and all the priests of Min, the priests of Hathor, the priests of Thot, the priests of Isis, the priests of Amenothes, the priests of Imuthes, the priests of Anubis, the (?) ibis feeders of the aviary of the Hapi-aa (?), the hekatontarchs of the young men and all of their ensign-men, and the village clerks, the district clerks, the officials, and the people sent upon the king's affairs and all the people of Djeme with their wives and children and all their households - here before Isis and Osiris, the gods of Sgntn, the ones who will cause me to see you again, with no harm done to me here.

 No harm is done to Thotsytes, the hekatontarch, to Horos son of Pachrates, to Amenothes son of Patemis, to Amenothes son of Imuthes, also no harm is done to Petesuchos son of Psenesis, to Pasemis son of Sithotes (?), to Pemsais son of Pesuris, to Psenapathes son of Psenapathes, the ensign bearer, also no harm is done to Phibis son of Petechonsis, to Teos son of Imuthes, to Thotortaios son of Hermon, to Pasemis son of Psenapathes . . .

{Date on back: }   Year 3, third month of peret {Phamenoth}, (?) day  20, [of  .  .  .] 


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