§169 Gaius Julius Apollinarius

Gaius Julius Apollinarius

(0169) Text: Ἀπ[ο]λλινάριος Σεμπρωνίῳ τῷ | τιμιωτάτῳ ἀδελφῷ χαί(ρειν). | γενάμενος ἐν Ῥώμῃ ἐπέγνων | σε ἐκ(ε)ῖθεν, ἐξεληλυθέναι πρὸ τοῦ | με ἐλθ(ε)ῖν, καὶ λείαν ἐλυπήθην διὰ | τὸ μὴ τεθεωρηκέναι σε. ἀλλὰ νῦν | παρ[α]καλῶ δῆλόν μοι ποι(ῃ)σις | ἀγωνιῶντι τί πράσσ(ε)ις. τὰ γὰρ πε[…]υιου μέχρι νῦν οὔπω βε- | […] ἔπεμψα Ἔρωτα τὸν ἡμέ- | τε[ρο]ν. διὸ ἐρωτῶ συνλαβοῦ αὐτῷ | ὅπως διὰ σο[ῦ εἰ]ς οἶκον διασωθῇ. | ἔδωκα γὰρ αὐτῷ εἰς ἀνακομιδὴν | δι[…] κε’. ἐάν σοι εὔκαιρον ἦν | παράπ[εμψον ἀ]νακομίζοντα αὐτὸν | […]

Translation: Apollinarius to Sempronius, his most esteemed brother, greetings. When I reached Rome I learned that you had departed from there before I came, and I was deeply distressed because I did not see you. But now I beg you to let me know how you are, since I am anxious. For inasmuch as I have not yet to this moment […] I have sent our man Eros. I ask you therefore to assist him so that through you he may reach home safely. For I gave him 25 […] to deliver. If you have the opportunity, give him an escort for the delivery […]

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, §168, §170, §171.

Provenience: Karanis, Egypt (near Fayuum, Egypt) 108-131 CE

Bibliography: P.Mich. 8.487*