§173 Jesus Son of Papius

Jesus Son of Papius

(0173) Text: διέγρα(ψε) Σαμβαθίω(ν) ὁ καὶ Ἰησο(ῦς) | Παπίου λαο(γραφίας) ιε’ ˪ Δομιτιανοῦ | τοῦ κυρίου ˫ η’. ˪ ιε’ Μεχ(εὶρ) κε’.

Translation: Paid by Sambathion, also known as Jesus son of Papius, in respect of the poll-tax for the 15th year of our lord Domitian, 8 drachmae. Year 15, Macheir 25.

Commentary: δεκανὸς may also denote either a decurion or a policeman. It is not certain which is meant here. A note on the tax in question: though designated a generic “poll-tax”, this was in fact the fiscus Iudaicus imposed upon all Jews after the destruction of the temple in 70 CE, the funds of which paid for the temple Jupiter Capitolinus. There were various ways in which Jews attempted to navigate the ethics of funding a pagan temple, but one was to treat it as a generic tax paid to the emperor and not for the purpose they knew it was for. This collection includes Jesus son of Papius’ (also known as Sambathion) tax receipts (comprising §172, §174, §175, §176, §177, §178, §179).

Provenience: Apollinopolis Magna, Egypt (Edfu, Egypt) 19 Feb 96 CE

Bibliography: SB 5817; CPJ 2.298*;