Gaius Julius Sabinus
(0389) Text: Ἀμμώνιος Σαβείνωι τῶι τειμιωτάτωι | πλεῖστα χαίρειν. | ἔγραψέ μοι Ἀπολινάριος προσ[κ]ληρω[θῆνα]ι̣ | ὑπὸ [Ο]ὐαλερίου Πείου καὶ γεγ[ο]νέναι σεκο[ύτ]ορα | αὐτοῦ, ἅμα δὲ δηλῶν ὅπως Οὐαλέριος γράψῃ | αὐτ[ῶ]ι εὐχαριστῶν αὐτῶι καὶ ἐπιδεχόμενος | τὴν γεν[η]θεῖσαν πρὸς αὐτὸν στάσιν καὶ δεξιάν, | ἵνα [κ]αὶ ὅ[πο]υ ποτὲ ἐὰν ὑπάγῃ ἔχῃ αὐτὸν μεθʼ ἑ- | αυτ[ο]ῦ. δ[ιὸ] παρακαλῶ σε, ἄδελφε, ἀντʼ ἐμοῦ | πάλ[ι]ν γενέσθαι καὶ προτρέψασθαι τὸν | Οὐ[λ]έρι[ον] γράψαι τῶι Πείωι πειθόμενον | τῇ ἐμ[ῇ] πίστει καὶ δεξιᾷ, ἵνα πάντοθεν | ᾖς ο[ὐ] μὴ [μό]νον βοηθὸς τοῦ πράγματος | ἀλλὰ καὶ ἀγαθὸς κυβερνήτης, υἱὸν πατρὶ | χαρ[ι]ζόμεν[ο]ς. ἐὰν δέ πως […]δησης | χρ[… ὥρ]ας οὔσης τοῦ καταπλεῦσαι δήλω- | σόν μοι καὶ τάχειόν σοι ἐλεύσομαι. μέντοι | πεί[θ]ομαί σε μηδὲ ἓν διστάζειν ἐν τοῖς | προκ[ειμένοις]. πρὸ πάντων εὔχομαί σε | ὑγα[ί]νειν. | ἔρρωσό μοι, τειμιώτατε Σαβεῖνε. || Ἰουλίωι Σαβείνωι σημεαφόρωι X ἀπὸ Ἀμμωνίου φίλο[υ].
Translation: Ammonios to his most esteemed Sabinus, very many greetings. Apollinarius wrote me that he has been given an assignment by Valerius Pius and has become his aide. At the same time he informed me that Valerius should write to him [Valerius Pius], thanking him and accepting the position and assurance which have been given him, in order that wherever he [Valerius Pius or Apollinarius?] goes he may have him [Valerius] with himself. I therefore beg you, brother, to act again in my place and urge Valerius to write to Pius, relying on my good faith and assurance, so that in every way you may be not only a helper in the affair but also a good pilot, restoring a son to his father. If perchance … when the moment comes to sail down, let me know and I will come to you at once. I trust you, however, to show no hesitation whatsoever in the aforesaid matter. Before all else I pray for your health. Farewell, most esteemed Sabinus. || To Iulius Sabinus, standard bearer, from Ammonios, his friend.
Commentary: Sabinus probably has some Jewish heritage: his aunt bears the name “Sambathion.” While the name Sambathion does not prove with certainty his Jewish ancestry, it remains likely. Tcherikover notes the mix of Roman, Greek, and Egyptian names in the family (CPJ). Several other letters from the family have been found but are omitted from those collected here – these are limited to those mentioning Sabinus and his son Apollinarius. Sabinus’ son Apollinarius was also a soldier of legio III Cyrenaica. See the fuller discussion of the family’s archive in Elinor M. Husselman, ed., Papyri From Karanis, Third Series: Michigan Papyri IX 29 (Cleveland: The Press of Case Western Reserve University, 1971), 5-8; K. Vandorpe, W. Clarysse and H. Verreth, Graeco-Roman Archives from the Fayum, Collectanea Hellenistica 6 (Leuven: Peeters University Press, 2015), 186-198.
Provenience: Karanis, Egypt (near Fayuum, Egypt) 105 CE
Bibliography: P.Mich. 485*