Gaius Julius Apollinarius
(0168) Text: [Ἀπολινάρι]ος Τασουχαρίῳ τῇ κυρίᾳ | [μου μητ]ρεὶ πλεῖστα χαίρειν. | [πρὸ μὲν πά]ντων εὔχομαί σε ἐρρῶσθαι, ὅ μοι | [εὐκταῖόν ἐ]στιν [προ]σκυνῆσαί σε ἐρρωμένην | […]μοι π[…] καὶ βίος. σὺ γάρ μου | […] σε ἐὰν εἰδῶ ἐν τοῖς | […]νεται. οὔπω γὰρ | […] τῶν γονέων, μάλιστα δέ | [ἐστί μοι διʼ ε]ὐχῆς. ὁσάκι γὰρ ἐὰν μνησ- | [θῶ ὑμῶν] οὔτε ἔσθω οὔτε πίνω ἀλλὰ κλαίω | […]νηση[…]σο[…]ιου ἐμοὶ μόνῳ | […]εβη[…]μενος ὅτι […] | [… ε]ιμι καὶ εἰς τοῦτο […]υομαι. εὐχαρισ- | [τῶ δὲ] τῷ Σαράπιδι καὶ [Ἀγαθῇ] Τύχῃ ὅτι πάν- | [των κο]πιώντων ὅλην [τὴν ἡμ]έραν κοπτόν- | των λίθους ἐγὼ ὡς πριγκ[ι]πᾶλις διακινῶ | μηθὲν ποιῶν. καὶ χαλκὸν [ἀ]πέσχον, καὶ ἠ- | θέλησα ὑμῖν πέμψαι θαλλὸν ἐκ τῶν Τυ- | ρίων, κα[ὶ] διὰ τὸ μὴ ἀντιγράψαι ὑ[μᾶς οὐ πε-] | πίστευκα οὐθενὶ διὰ τὸ μέγεθο[ς τ]ῆς | ὁδοῦ. ὧδε γὰρ ἱμάτια καλὰ καὶ ἔβ[ε]νος καὶ | πινάρια καὶ μύρα ἀν[άγετα]ι [εὐ]πόρος. διὸ | ἐρωτῶ [σε τὴ]ν κυρ[ίαν μου …]χως καὶ ἱλαρῶς | εὐφραί[ν]εσθαι. καὶ γὰρ ὧ[δ]ε καλῶς ἐστιν. | ἐὰν γὰρ ὑμ(ε)ῖς λυπῆσθε ἐγὼ ἀδημονῶ. | ἐργασίαν οὖν δώσ(ε)ις ἐρωτῆσαι φίλον μου | ἐπʼ Ἀλεξανδρείας εἵνα διʼ αὐτοῦ μοι πέμψῃς | λίνα στυ[π]έα. ὧδε γὰρ οὐκ ἔνι, καὶ μεγάλα | καύμα[τ]α γείνεται. ἐρωτῶ δέ σε πολλὰ | τὴν κυ[ρί]αν μου Ἰουλίαν μ[η]θὲν λυπ(ε)ῖν | αἰσθομ[έ]νη ὅτι ἐμοὶ δισσῶ[ς ὑπ]ερέχ(ε)ις […]ι. | [… ε]ὔχομαι μετὰ το[ὺς θ]εοὺς ὑμᾶς | [προσκυν]ῆσαι ἐρρωμέν[ας]. καὶ εἰ ἐκομί- | [σασθε τὴ]ν σύνθεσιν τῶν […ω]ν καὶ τὸν | […] παρὰ Π[λ]ούτ[ο]υ […]υ ἐρωτῶ | [ὑμᾶς ἀόκν]ως μοι ἀντιγράψαι περὶ τῆς σω- | [τηρίας] ὑμῶν εἵνα καὶ ἐγὼ παραψυχὴν | [ἔχω. ἀσ]πάζου Ἰουλίαν, Σαραπιάδα τὴν | [κυρίαν ἀ]δελφήν, τὴν μάμαν Σαμβᾶθιν, […] Ἔρωτα, Πτολεμαῖον τὸν μικρόν, | […] τὸν ἀδελφόν, Ἀμμωνοῦν καὶ | [τὰ τέκ]να αὐτῶν, Βετῆν Δεῖον Πτολλᾶν | […] Πτολεμα[…] Πτολλοῦν. Κλήμης δὲ | […] ῆλθε μετὰ τοῦ παρʼ αὐτοῦ. ἀσπά- | [ζομαι πάντ]ας τοὺς ἐν οἴκῳ. ἐρρῶσθαί σε | [εὔχομαι κ]αὶ εὐφραίνεσθαι. | Μεχεὶρ κε’ || [ὥστε Τασουχαρίῳ] μητρεὶ ἀπό(δος) Ἰουλίᾳ | [hand 2] […] φριμινίου | Κρητικοῦ […]
Translation: Apollinarius to Tasoucharion, my lady mother, many greetings. Before all else, I pray for your good health, as it is [my wish], to make obeisance to you and find you in good health […] and life. You […] me […] if I know in the […] for […] not yet […] of my parents, and it is most of all my wish. For each time I remind myself of you, neither do I eat, nor do I drink, but I cry […] to me alone […] I give thanks to Serapis and Good Fortune that while all are laboring the whole day through at cutting stones I as an officer move about doing nothing. And I received some money and wanted to send you a gift of Tyrian wares; and since you did not reply, I have not entrusted it to anyone on account of the length of the journey. For fine garments and ebony and pearls and unguents are brought here in abundance. Therefore I ask you, my lady, to be […] and merrily joyful; for this is a good place. For if you are grieved, I am uneasy. Do you now give yourself the trouble to make inquiry of a friend of mine at Alexandria, so that you may send to me through him coarse-fibered linens. For there is none here and the weather is very hot. I ask you seriously not to annoy my lady Iulia in anything, since you know that […] protects me doubly […] I pray that I may make obeisance to you, after the gods, and find you in good health. And if you received the set of […] I ask you without delay to reply to me concerning your health, so that I also may have consolation. Greet Julia, Sarapias my lady sister, grandmother Sambathion, […], Eros, little Ptolemaios, […] my brother, Ammonous and their children, Betes, Dius, Ptollas, […], Ptollous. Clemens […] came with his man. I greet all those at home. I pray that you be well and happy. Macheir 25. || For Tasoucharion, my mother; deliver to Iulia […].
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. Julius himself is mentioned in §167, §169, §170, §171.
Provenience: Karanis, Egypt (near Fayuum, Egypt) 19-20 Feb 108 CE
Bibliography: P.Mich. 8.465*; CPJ 3.486a