§396 Gaius Julius Apollinarius

Gaius Julius Apollinarius

(0396) Text: Σαβεινιανὸς Ἀπολιναρίῳ | τῷ ἀδελφῷ καὶ κυρ[ί]ῳ πλεῖστα | χαίρειν. | καθʼ ἡν ἡμέραν καὶ αὐτὸς ὑπὲρ τῆς | σωτηρίας (σου) εὐχὰς ποιοῦμαι παρὰ τοῖς | ἐνθάδε θεοῖς ὑπὲρ τοῦ ζώσζεσθαί | σε ἰς μακροὺς χρόνους. πλεῖον ἢ μᾶλ- | λον παρέχεις καὶ παρέ[σ]χες τῇ ἀδελφῇ, | ὅθεν ἀνθομολογοῦμ[α]ι̣ πᾶσην χάριν | σοι παρὰ πᾶσιν θεοῖς, ἐμαρτυρήθη γάρ | μοι καὶ ὑπὸ τῆς ἀδελφῆς καὶ τῆς μητρός. | πολλάκι σοι ἔγραψα, κα[ὶ] ἡ τῶν παρακο- | μισζόντων ἀμέλεια διέβαλεν ἡμᾶς | ὡς ἀμελεῖς. ὡς πάντος ἐμοὶ κύριον | λαμβάνῃ, παρακαλῶ προσέχειν την | ἀδελφῇ ἐν οἷς ἐάν σου δεηθῇ. ἀσπάσζ- | ομαι Ἀβάσκαντον τὸν χρησιμώτατον | καὶ τοὺς σοὺς πάντας κατʼ ὄνομα. | ἐρρῶσθαί σε εὔχομαι | πανοικεί. | Μεχεὶρ ιη’. || Ἰουλίῳ Ἀπολιναρίῳ ἀπὸ Σαβεινιανοῦ ἀδελ[φο]ῦ | Ἀπολ[ι]ναρίου τοῦ […]

Translation: Sabinianus to Apollinarius, his brother and lord, very many greetings. Daily I myself offer prayers for your well-being in the presence of the local gods, that you may be preserved for many years. You provide and have provided more than enough for our sister, and for this I acknowledge all thanks to you in the presence of all the gods; for it has been attested to me both by our sister and mother. I have written to you often, and the negligence of those who carry the letters has slandered us as negligent. So that she may surely take me as her guardian, I beg you to give heed to our sister in whatever she may ask to you. I salute the most worthy Abaskantos and all of your household, each by name. I pray for your good health as well as that of your entire household. Mecheir 18. || To Iulius Apollinarius from Sabinianus, brother of Apollinarius […]

Commentary: This papyrus records a letter to Gaius Julius Apollinarius from his biological brother Sabinianus. 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) 117-150 CE

Bibliography: P.Mich. 8.499*