Gaius Julius Sabinus
(0393) Text: Σαβεῖνος […]ναρ[ί]ῳ τ[ῇ] μη- | τρὶ κ[α]ὶ Δημητροῦτι | ἀμφοτέρες [χα]ίρειν. | γεινώσκειν ὑμᾶς [θ]έλω ὅτι | ἐξ ἧς εἰς Ἀλεξάνδρειαν κα- | τέπλευσα τὰς πλείους ἡμέρας | ἀχρηματίστους εὗρον [κ]αὶ | μέχρι τῆς σή[μ]ερον παρηλκύσ- | θην τοῦ ἀ[γ]ῶνος ἕνεκα. | ἔτυχεν δὲ καὶ τὸν ἀρχιδι- | καστὴν ἀλλαγῆνε τὸν π- | ρότερον, καὶ τὸν μέλλοντα | περιμένομεν. ἅμμα δὲ τῷ | αὐτὸν π[α]ρενεχθῆνε σὺν | θεῷ ἐν τάχι ἀπαλλαγήσομαι. | ἐξ ἧς δὲ ἡμέρας ἐλήλυθα | σὺν Ἀντωνίῳ τῷ ἡμετέρῳ | εἰμί, καὶ πάντα καλῶς ἐστιν. | ἄσπαζε Ἀφροτισίαν καὶ Θερμοῦτ(ιν) | καὶ Τασ[ο]υχάριον καὶ Πτολ- | λᾶν τὸν [φ]ίλ[ο]ν μου. ἀσπάζετε | ὑμᾶς Ἀντών[ι]ος πάντα[ς] κ[α]ὶ τὰ | παιδία. ― | ἐρρῶσθαι ὑμᾶς εὔ- | χομαι. || εἰς Καρανίδα εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν Σαβείν[ου] τοῦ Δη[μητρ]οῦτος.
Translation: Sabinus to […]narion, his mother, and to Demetrous, to both greeting. I want you to know that since the day I sailed down to Alexandria I have found most of the days free from public business, and up to today I have endured interminable delay in the matter of my suit. It happened indeed that the former archidikastes had departed, and we are awaiting the new man. As soon as he is brought here, with god’s help I shall leave without delay. Since the day I came I have been with our Antonius, and everything goes well. Salute Aphrodisia and Thermouthis and Tasoucharion and my friend Ptollas. Antonius salutes all of you as well as the children. I pray for your good health. || To Karanis, to the house of Sabinus, the <husband?> of Demetrous.
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) 100-120 CE
Bibliography: P.Mich. 493*