§397 Gaius Julius Apollinarius

Gaius Julius Apollinarius

(0397) Text: Ἀπολ[…]ς Ἀ[πο]λινα[ρ]ί[ω]ι [τῷ] | ἀ[δελ]φῷ χ[αίρειν]. | πυθόμενος ἐν Βαχιάδι σε εἶνα[ι] | ἀσπάζ[ο]μαί σε, ἄδ[ε]λφε, κα[ὶ ἤ]δ[η] | προτρ[έ]πομαι ἐπιστέλλειν ἡ- | μῖν περὶ τῆς ὑγείας σου. ἐγὼ | γὰρ ἤδη χάρτην ἀνήλωσα |γράφων σοι καὶ μόγις ἓν ἐπισ- | τόλιόν σου ἐκομισάμην ἐν ᾧ | ἐδήλους τοὺς φαινόλας με καὶ |τὸν δέλφακα κομίσασθαι. τὸν | μὲν δέλφακα οὐκ ἐκομ[ι]σά-| μην, τοὺς δὲ φαινό[λας] | ἔλαβον. (hand 2) ἐρρῶσθαί σε εὔχομαι, ἄδ[ε]λφε, | εὐφραινόμενον. κόμισαι καλὰς θρίδακας | τέσσα[ρ]ος καὶ δέσμην σεύτλου καὶ βόλ- | βακας ἀριθμῷ κα’ χλοῦς ιϛ’ καὶ μαιώτας | καλοὺς τρεῖς ἡμινήρους. ἀσπάζεταί σε | Θέων ὁ ἀδελφὸς καὶ προτρέπεταί σε | (hand 1) ἔρρωσο. Φαρμοῦθι δ’ | (hand 2) ἀπὸ Βακχιάδες ἐλθεῖν πρὸς ἡμᾶς. | ὅρα γὰρ τοὺς ἐρχομένους ἐκεῖθεν μέ- | χρι δευτέρας ὥρας παραγεινομένους. || (hand 1) Ἀπολιναρίωι X φίλῳ

Translation: Apol[…]s to Apollinarius, his brother, greeting. Having learned that you are in Bacchias I salute you, brother, and I urge you to write to us immediately concerning your health. For I have already used up a papyrus roll in writing to you, and I received barely one letter from you, in which you informed me that I should receive the cloaks and the pig. The pig I did not receive, but the cloaks I did get. Farewell. Pharmouthi 4. (2 hand) I pray for your good health and pleasure, brother. Do you receive four good lettuces, a bundle of beets, 21 bulbs, 16 greens, and three good semi-salted fish. Theon, my brother, salutes you and urges you to come to us from Bacchias. For observe that those who come from there arrive within the second hour. || (hand 1) To Apollinarius, his friend. 

Commentary: This papyrus records a letter to Gaius Julius Apollinarius from an unknown sender. 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) 130-150 CE

Bibliography: P.Mich. 8.496*