Gaius Julius Apollinarius
(0167) Text: Ἰ[ο]ύλιος Ἀπ[ολινάριος Ἰο]υλίῳ Σαβείνῳ τῷ | γλυκυ[τάτῳ πα]τρὶ πλεῖστα χαίρειν. | πρὸ τῶν ὅλ[ων εὔχομ]αί σε ἐρρῶσθαι, ὅ μοι εὐκτόν | ἐστιν, [ὅτι σέβομ]αί σε μετὰ τοὺς θεούς. τοῦ- | το δέ μ[οι ἠνώχ]λησεν ὅτι πλειστάκις | μου γρ[άψαντος διὰ] Σατουρνίνου τοῦ ση- | μεαφ[όρο]υ, ὁμ[ο]ίως διὰ Ἰου[λ]ιανοῦ τοῦ τοῦ | Λονγείν[ο]υ καὶ διὰ Δίου, καὶ οὔπω μοι ἀντέ- | γραψες περὶ τῆς σωτηρίας σου. ἀλλʼ ὅμως | ἐρω[τηθ]εὶς ἀναγκαίως σχέθητι πρὸ πάν- | των [γρά]ψαι μοι περὶ τῆς σωτηρίας [ὑ]μῶν. | πολ[λάκις δέ] μου ἐρωτήσαντος Λονγεῖν[ο]ν | τ[ὸ]ν κομείζοντά σοι τὸ ἐπιστόλιον εἵνα | β[α]στάξῃ σοί τι, καὶ ἠρνήσατο λέγων οὐ δύ- | ν[ασθαι αὐτὸ λαμβάνειν. γι]νώσκ(ε)ιν δέ σε | θ[έλω ὅτι σφυρίδα μετεβάλ]ετο Δομίτιος | ὁ ἀρμι[κούστωρ ἐν ᾗ …]ς σοι ἐνῆν. | γίνετα[ι δὲ καλῶς μοι. μετὰ τὸ] τὸν Σάραπιν | εὐτυχῶ[ς ἐνθάδε με εὐοδῶσαι ἄ]λλων ἀλ- | [λ…] | […]ν [ὅ]λης τῆς | [ἡμέρ]ας λίθους κοπτ[ό]ντων καὶ | [ἄλλα π]οιούντων, ἐγὼ μέχρι σή- | [μερον] οὐθὲν τούτων ἔπαθον, ἀλλὰ | [καὶ ἐρω]τήσαντός μου Κλαύδιον | Σε[ουῆ]ρ[ο]ν τὸν ὑπατικὸν εἵνα με | λιβράριον ἑαυτοῦ ποιήσῃ, εἰπόντος | δὲ [α]ὐτοῦ ὅτι τόπος οὐ σχολάζ[(ε)ι], ἐν | τοσούτῳ δὲ λιβράριόν σε λεγεῶνος | ποιήσω ἐφʼ ἐλπίδων, κλήρῳ οὖν | ἐγενόμην ἀπὸ τοῦ ὑπατικοῦ τῆς | λεγεῶνος πρὸς τὸν κορνικουλάριον. | ἐὰν οὖν με φιλῇς εὐθέως ἐργασίαν δώ- | σις γράψαι μοι περὶ τῆς σωτηρίας σου καὶ | ἐάν μοι μεληθῇς πέμψαι λίνα διὰ | Σεμπρωνίου· ἀπὸ Πηλουσίου γὰρ καθʼ ἡ- | μέραν ἔρχονται πρὸς ἡμᾶς ἔμποροι. | ἐργασίαν δὲ δώσω εὐθέως ἐὰν ἄρ- | ξηται ὁ ἡγεμὼν διδόναι κομμεᾶτον | εὐθέως ἐλθ(ε)ῖν πρὸς ὑμᾶς. ἀσπάζεταί | σε Οὐολύσσιο[ς] Πρόκλος Λονγεῖνος Πάκκιος | Οὐαλέριος Σεμπρώνι[ο]ς Οὐαλέριος Ἑρμα […] || Ἰούλιος Πρίσκος Ἀπολλινάριος […]ίων [καὶ ο]ἱ κοντ[ουβε]ρ[ν]άριοι πάντες. ἀσπάζου Ἰουλίαν τὴν κυρίαν | μου ἀδελφήν, ὁμοίως Σαραπιάδα καὶ τ[ὴ]ν μητέραν, τὴν μάμαν Σαμβάθιον, Θερμοῦθιν καὶ τὰ | τέκνα αὐτῆς, τὸν πατέρα Πακκίου καὶ πάντας τοὺς κολλήγας σου κατʼ ὄνομα καὶ τοὺς ἐν οἴκῳ. | ἐρρῶσθαί σε εὔχομαι. ἔτους ι’ Τραιανοῦ τοῦ κυρίου Φαμενὼθ λ’. || εὐχαριστῶ Οὐολυσσίῳ καὶ Λονγείνῳ τῷ Βαρβάρῳ. μεταδώσις τοῖς παρὰ Ἀφοδᾶτος τοῦ τοῦ ἀρτυματοπώλο[υ] | ὅτι ἐστράτευσάν (με)ἰς χώ[ρ]την εἰς Βόστραν. κάθηται [π]ρὸ η’ ἡμερῶν Πέτρας καὶ τ[…] || […] | στρατ[ιώτου …]
Translation: Iulius Apollinarius to Iulius Sabinus, his dearest father, very many greetings. Before all else, I pray for your good health, which is my wish, since I revere you next to the gods; but this has troubled me, that I have very often written to you through Saturninus the signifer, likewise through Iulianus the son of Longinus and through Dios, and not yet have you answered me concerning your health. But nevertheless, now that you have been asked, do you give your attention necessarily before all else to writing to me concerning your health. A number of times I asked Longinus, who brings you the letter, to take something for you, and he refused, saying that he was unable to take anything; but I want you to know that Domitius the armicustos took a long a basket in which there was a […] for you. Things are going well for me. After Serapis conducted me hither in safety, while others […] all day long were cutting building stones and doing other things, until today I endured none of these hardships; but indeed I asked Claudius Severus the consularis to make me a secretary on his own staff and he said, “There is no vacancy, but meanwhile I shall make you a secretary of the legion with hopes of advancement.” With this assignment, therefore, I went from the consularis of the legion to the cornicularius. If then, you love me, you will straightway take pains to write me concerning your health and, if you are anxious about me, to send me linen garments through Sempronius, for merchants come to us from Pelusium every day. I shall take pains, as soon as the prefect begins to grant furloughs, to come to you immediately. Volusius Proclus greets you, as do Longinus Paccius, Valerius Sempronius, Valerius Herma […], || Julius Priscus, Apollinarius […]ion, and all their comrades. Greet Julia my lady sister, likewise Sarapias and my mother, my grandmother Sambathion, Thermouthis and her children, the father of Paccius, and all your colleagues individually, and those at home. I pray for your good health. The 10th year of Trajan, our lord, Phamenoth 30. || I am grateful to Volusius and Longinus Barbarus. You will tell the firm of Aphrodas, the son of the condiment dealer, that they enrolled me in the cohort at Bostra. It lies 8 days’ journey from Petra and […] || […] soldier […]
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 Sabinus 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. Julius himself is mentioned in §168, §169, §170, §171.
Provenience: Karanis, Egypt (near Fayuum, Egypt) 26 Mar 107 CE
Bibliography: P.Mich. 8.466*; CPJ 3.486b; Michael P. Speidel, “The Roman Army in Arabia,” ANRW II.8: 691-694; Brian Campbell, ed., The Roman Army, 31 BC–AD 337: A Sourcebook (London: Routledge, 1994), no. 36.