§391 Gaius Julius Apollinarius

(0391) Text: Ῥούλλ[ι]ος [Ἰουλίῳ Ἀ]πολλιναρί[ῳ] τῷ ἀδελφῷ | χαίρειν. | θα[υ]μ[ά]ζω πῶς ἐπισόλιον ἡμεῖν οὐκ ἔπεμψας | διʼ οὗ ἡμεῖν φανερὸν ποιήσῃς [ε]ἰ κατὰ τὰς | εὐχὰς ἡμῶν διεσώθης κα[ὶ] τί ἄρτι πρά[σσ]ε[ις], | ἵνʼ εἰδῶμεν πῶς τὰ πραγμάτιά σου φέρα[ι-] | ται. τὰ ἐρει[ό]ξυλα τὰ λευκά, καθώς σε παρὼν | παρεκάλασα πέμψον Μ[έ]νονι. ἂ[ν μ]αλακὰ | ἦν, εἶπε πα[ρώ]ν σοι, πεμφθῇ ἀπὸ Ῥώμης. | ἀνακομίσω ἂν ἐθέλῃς ἀν[α]πέμψασθαι κ[…] | […]ι̣πινασουει[…]υ[…]οκαιντ ἀντίγρα ον ἀπέ- | πεμψά σοι ἵνα μὴ παραπέσῃ […] ̣ενεικον | πολλάκι Σεμπρωνίῳ κα […]ο[…] | περισπωμεν[…] περὶ τὰ στρατιωτικὰ […] | […]εστιν παρενοχλοῦν ἵνα μὴ […] | […]ε[…]ομέν[ο]υς καὶ δυναμένους […] | […] | […] | (hand 2) ἐρρῶσθαι σαι β[ού]λομαι, ἄ[δ]ελφε,  | π[…]α[…] | ἄσπάζεταί σε Σιτέλκας καὶ τὰ παιδία α[ὐ-] | τοῦ κατʼ [ὄ]νομα.

Translation: Rullius to Iulius Apollinarius, his brother, greeting. I marvel that you did not send us a letter to let us know whether you had come through safely, in accordance with our prayers, and how you are doing now, so that we might know how your affairs are going. Send the white cottons, as I requested of you when I was with you, to Menon. If there are soft ones, he said when he was with you, let them be sent from Rome. I will deliver them if you wish to send them …. I sent you a copy so that it might not go astray ….  (2nd hand) I wish you good health, brother, …. Sitelkas and his children salute you, each by name. 

Commentary: Apollinarius probably has some Jewish heritage: his paternal great-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 Apollinarius. Apollinarius’ father 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) 108-131 CE

Bibliography: P.Mich. 500*