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The Eastern Desert of Egypt during the Greco-Roman Period: Archaeological Reports

 | 
Jean-Pierre Brun
, 
Thomas Faucher
, 
Bérangère Redon
, 
et al.

Documentary and Literary News on Clysma1

Jean Gascou

Testo integrale

I- P.Oxy. XVI 1905 (Clysma during the 4th century AD)

  • 1 A short version of this paper was presented to Hélène Cuvigny at a seminar in November 2015. Thanks (...)
  • 2 Bagnall 1980, pp. 185-196 (BL VIII)= Bagnall 2003, n° 2, paper XVIII.
  • 3 For the later date see Bagnall 1991, p. 39 (BL VIII)= Bagnall 2003, n° 3, paper XX.

1The starting point of this study is the tax schedule P.Oxy. XVI 1905 (Fig. 1). The monetary data in this document allows us to date it to 356/57 or 371/72,2 although there are reasons to favour the later date.3 Taxes are apportioned according to groups of arourai (a unit of area of about 1/5 ha).

Fig. 1

Fig. 1

P.Oxy. XVI 1905 ; Courtesy of the Egypt Exploration Society and Imaging Papyri Project, Oxford.

© All rights reserved

2The photography is accompanied by the Greek text in which I have kept the special spellings. I have incorporated emendations, done by myself (JG) or other specialists (BL), which I explain in the notes. It is followed by a translation.

  • 4 Mερισμ(ὸς) ἀρουρ(ῶν) ιε (ἔτους) ἰνδικ(τίονος) editio princeps. The plural μερισμ(ῶν), in the “genit (...)
  • 5 This line records either a further assignment in connection with the l. 3, or a conversion rate.
  • 6 Θαλαττίωνος editio princeps. A form interpreted without excessive conviction (only on the basis in (...)
  • 7 On this fee, see Carrié 1979, pp. 156-176 and on its relationship with other military taxes (mules, (...)
  • 8 Ἀμμωνιακῆς (JG). The editio princeps wrote ἀμμωνιακῆς with no capital letter and suggests with some (...)
  • 9 Reading of Déléage 1945, pp. 73 and 77 (BL III), instead of [βοῶ]ν̣ (editio princeps) the reading (...)
  • 10 The tax on oxen and asses is mentioned in the 5th century by P.Oxy. LI 3636, 17 (see l. 4).
  • 11 L. 18: read probably 4 myriads, to remain in the order of magnitude of the allocation rate for oxen (...)
  • 12 [ἀχύρ]ου (suggested by Déléage 1945, p. 73; not included in BL), instead of [  ̣  ̣  ̣  ̣]ου in the (...)
  • 13 The editors proposed with some reservations, without integrating it into the text, but certainly ri (...)
  • 14 [  ̣  ̣  ̣  ̣]ριας editio princeps The first sign, reduced to its upper part, could be the top of t (...)
  • 15 κρ(ιθῶν) instead of κρ(ιθῆς) (editio princeps) would be consistent with the classicising use of the (...)

Mερισμ(ῶν) ἀρουρ(ῶν) ιε ἰνδικ(τίονος)

            οὕτως

Mερισμ(ῶν) ἀρουρ(ῶν) ιε ἰνδικ(τίονος)

    κα̣ὶ τῶν (ἀρουρῶν) ροε στιχ(άριον) α καὶ

5

    τῶν (ἀρουρῶν) Αϡκε πάλλ(ιον) α καὶ

    τῆς χλαμ(ύδος) α στιχ(άριον) λινοῦν Ľγ’ ιβ´

χρυσ[ο]ῦ βουρδόνων τῶν (ἀρουρῶν) μϛd γρ(άμμα) α

τ̣ι̣ρ̣ώ̣νων τῶν (ἀρουρῶν) κε† χρ(υσοῦ) γρ(άμμα) α

[ναύ]λ̣ου θαλαττίων ὁς τῶν (ἀρουρῶν) σμγ νό(μισμα) α

10

[π]ρ̣[ι]μ̣ι̣πίλου τῶν (ἀρουρῶν) Αχξ νόμ(ισμα) α

Ἀμμωνιακῆς τῶν (ἀρουρῶν) Δρ γρ(άμμα) α

[ναύ]λου Κλήμ(εντος) τῇ (ἀρούρῃ) [α] (δηνάρια) Ζφ

[ὀρνέω]ν̣ καὶ ͅῶν τῇ (ἀρούρῃ) α (δηνάρια) Ε

[  ̣  ̣  ̣  ̣]πορείας [τ]ῶν (ἀρουρῶν) ιη χρ(υσοῦ) γρ(άμμα) α

15

ὄνων] Μαξιμιανοπόλεως τῶν

[ vac. ? ] (ἀρου.) Βϡ ὄνος α ῥαβδούχ(ου) Ľ

[βοῶν] καὶ ὄνων Ἀλεξανδρίας τῶν

[(ἀρουρῶν)  ̣]δ ὄνος ἐκ νομ(ισμάτων) γ καὶ τῶν

[(ἀρουρῶν)] μ̣[ο(ιριάδος)] α Ϛ βο̣ῦ̣ν α ἐκ νομ(ισμάτων) β

20

[ἀχύρ]ου τῇ [(ἀρούρῃ)] α λί(τραι) ζ ɰ

[  ̣  ̣  ̣  ̣  ̣] ης λο[υσω]ρίου ἡγεμόνος τῇ (ἀρούρῃ) α (δηναρίων) μο(ιριὰς) α

[  ̣  ̣  ̣  ̣] ̣ιας κα̣ὶ̣ [στ]ηπτη̣ρίας τῇ (ἀρούρῃ) α (δηναρίων) μο(ιριὰς) α

[  ̣  ̣  ̣  ̣  ̣  ̣] κωμητ̣ι̣κῇ κτήσι τῶν (ἀρουρῶν) ριγ

[ vac. ] χρυσοῦ νόμ(ισμα) α

25

[  ̣  ̣  ̣  ̣  ̣  ̣] τῶν (ἀρουρῶν) ριϛ κ̣ρ̣(ιθ- ) ἀ̣ρτ̣[άβῃ α ( ?)]

[  ̣  ̣  ̣  ̣  ̣  ̣]τ̣ικης κ̣[

Apportionment by arourai for the 15th indiction

        as follows4

uniforms: for 234 arourai, 1 chlamys

and for 175 arourai, 1 tunic and

5

and, for 1925 arourai, 1 coat and

by chlamys 1/2 1/3 1/12 linen tunic5

Gold for the mules: for 46 1/4 arourai, 1 gram (of gold)

Recruits: for 20 3/4 arourai, 1 gram of gold

Freight (boats) by sea:6 for 243 arourai, 1 solidus

10

Primipilon:7 for 1660 arourai, 1 solidus

Ammoniake:8 for 4100 arourai, 1 gram of gold

Freight of Clemens: for one aroura, 7500 denarii

Chickens9 and eggs: for one aroura, 5000 denarii

Expedition of (...): for 18 arourai, 1 gram of gold

15

Donkeys of Maximianopolis: for

        2900 arourai, 1 donkey and 1/2 chief of the donkey drivers

Oxen and donkeys from Alexandria:10 for

        40000 (?) arourai,11 at a rate of 3 solidi per donkey and for

        16 000 arourai, at a rate of 2 solidi per oxen

20

Straw (?):12 for one aroura, 7 2/3 pounds

Expenses ( ?) for the yacht of the praeses (?):13 for one aroura 10,000 denarii

Wool (?)14 and alum: for one aroura 10 000 denarii

(Tax on?) The village property: for 113 arourai,

        1 solidus

25

(Fodder?) For 116 arourai (...) artabe (s?) of barley15

        (...........)

3My main point concerns l. 12, marked in bold. It was read by the editors [ναύ]λου Κλήμ(εντος): this is either a small tax of 7500 denarii per aroura to pay the cost of freight, or the freight itself (these are the meanings of the Greek word ναῦλον) of a certain Clemens (Κλμης). The reading [ναύ]λου is certain with regard to the length of the gap and especially the parallel formulation of l. 9, where the reference to sea-going vessels (θαλαττίων, sc. πλοίων), and above all other texts relating to this tax, make this reading [ναύ]λ̣ου obvious. However, the reading Κλήμ(εντος) is wrong. The real reading is Κλσμ(ατος), “of Clysma” (Fig. 2).

Fig. 2

Fig. 2

P.Oxy. XVI 1905, ligne 12.

© All rights reserved

  • 16 Bruyère 1966, pp. 90-91 and 92-94.
  • 17 Bruyère 1966, pp. 91-92.
  • 18 Brun 2014-2015, pp. 498-499.
  • 19 Schwartz 1948 [1949], pp. 27-28.

4This is about a tax, occasional or permanent, for the freight of Clysma. This is a new documentary evidence for Clysma in full 4th century. If it were not for the association with ναῦλον, this would not be so remarkable, since this period is represented in the archeology of the site and even, gathering together all the facts, better represented than one might think. Bernard Bruyère discovered a large quantity of copper alloy coins of the 4th century on this site (about 3000 coins).16 According to this archaeologist, a hoard of 80 gold coins was found at Clysma before 1914. It disappeared before publication, but Bruyère was able to examine and identify two of these coins as solidi of Valentinian I and Valens, emperors whose reigns coincide with the lower date for P.Oxy. XVI 1905.17 Jean-Pierre Brun, in his lecture course of 2014-2015 at the Collège de France,18 attributed the baths southwest of Qulzum to the 4e century. On the other hand, a Greek letter on an ostracon found by Bruyère, SB VI 9549, dated mid 3e century by Jacques Schwartz, its editor,19 can easily be attributed to the 4th century, according to the writing (Fig. 3).

Fig. 3

Fig. 3

SB VI 9549.

© IFAO

  • 20 P.Abinn. 30, 23-24; 35, 29; 37, 3-4, (under Constantius II). P.Mich. VIII 519, 6-7 is later (probab (...)
  • 21 Bruyère 1966, p. 118 (noting that Roger Rémondon was of the same opinion); see also Bruyère p. 52.

5Further more, it includes (l. 13-16) a final apotropaic formula where the author wants the household of his correspondant to be spared by the βασκανία, envy or the evil eye (μετὰ ὅλου σοῦ τοῦ οἴκου τοῦ ἀβασκάντου), but four of the five examples of the expression οἶκος ἀβάσκαντος are Byzantine and three are placed in the reign of Constantius II.20 Before Schwartz published the Greek texts of Qulzum, Octave Guéraud had, according to Bruyère, “found that some private letters are from the Byzantine era of the fourth and fifth centuries AD.”21

  • 22 P.Bub. I 4 lxix, 2.
  • 23 P .CairoIsid. 81: it deals with the substitute for a villager from Karanis charged with two months (...)
  • 24 Sheehan 2015.
  • 25 According to the milestone of Tell al-Maskhuta (Heropolis), placed in 306/7, CIL III 6633, 6= ILS 6 (...)
  • 26 In 332, P.Oxy. XII 1426 refers to the sending to the ποταμός of Trajan of a worker, ἐργάτης, assign (...)
  • 27 In 423, according to PSI I 87, an ἐργάτης of the διῶρυξ addresses an epimeletes about the cleaning (...)
  • 28 Aubert 2004a, p. 239.
  • 29 The traveler simply refers to a branch of the Nile that flows Hero(polis): pars quaedam fluminis Ni (...)
  • 30 Mayerson 1996a, p. 64.

6What is particularly worth mentioning, with this correction, is that public cargoes were sent by water to Clysma at the expense of the taxpayers. Which waterway? It is difficult not to think of the Trajan's channel, which, according to a course not yet fully established, connected the fortress of Babylon of Egypt with Clysma, by a sluice that opened at the moment of the flood. Its last truly Roman documents stop in 22122 but reappear at the end of the 3e century. Documents spread between 297 and at least up to 423, attest work on the canal. The requisition of workers in 297, which affected the whole Arsinoite nome and probably all Egypt, was extensive and fits well with the takeover of Egypt under Diocletian and his immediate successors.23 Diocletian is thought to be responsible for the fortifications of Babylon at the western entrance of the waterway.24 Meanwhile, in 306/7, the military road connecting Heropolis to Clysma was marked out.25 Around 332, which brings us closer to the time of P.Oxy. XVI 1905, maintenance of the waterway required workers and masons or carpenters.26 The canal was still being cleaned in 423/24, and possibly 420/421.27 Nothing, however, occured between 332 and 423. Jean-Jacques Aubert,28 specialist in the history of Trajan's Canal, was struck by this documentary void, which is only very slightly filled towards 383 with a passage of Egeria's Travels.29 Philip Mayerson even believes that the waterway may have been silted up.30 But, if my interpretation of P.Oxy. XVI 1905 is correct, it was opened to transport in the middle of the 4th century.

  • 31 In addition to the article cited in n. 27, see the same Aubert 2004b, pp. 93-107. Despite objection (...)
  • 32 Mayerson 1996b, pp. 121 and 123.

7This is not in line with contemporary research. Scholars don't reject the testimony of Lucian, Alexander § 44, relating that a young patrician dwelling at Alexandria would have gone up the Nile to Clysma, before embarking for India, because he could not have used any waterway other than the canal. However, Aubert believes that its role in trade transport would have been casual and secondary. According to Aubert, it would have been used mainly for irrigation.31 This is a supposition considered by Mayerson, who also mentions the fresh water supply to Clysma.32 I admit that this document deals with public transport, probably of strategic value and for which there was no need to spare at expenditure, rather than with private commercial activities, but it should be taken into account in discussions for the purpose of this work.

II- SB V 7756 and the nautai of India

  • 33 Bell 1934, pp. 105-111.
  • 34 I admit that this view is isolated, but this is not the place to discuss it, even though I would be (...)

8Speaking of India, now is the time to examine SB V 7756. This document is linked to the previous one because of its date, 27 ix 359, and location (Oxyrhynchus).33 The object itself is alike, since it starts, l. 1-12, with a tax schedule. The taxable units are peasants heads rather than areas like P.Oxy. XVI 1905, but this double base, properties and persons, is a feature of the taxation of Late Roman Egypt.34 The total per head is 383, 5 myriads of denarii (l. 10). This rate is then applied to 1 1/6 head, i.e., at a slight approximation, 450 myr. (l. 11-12). This scale is followed (l. 13-23), by a receipt issued to a lady of the local bourgeoisie on the basis of this fare, in respect to 1 1/6 of its tenants (epoikiôtès). The text reproduced here has been revised on the plate of the editio princeps (Fig. 4).

Fig. 4

Fig. 4

SB V 7756.

© All rights reserved

  • 35 Rémondon 1970, p. 435, BL VI.

9It adds a correction to l. 19-20 by R. Rémondon35 and personal readings, explained in notes. The writings of the scribe are preserved.

  • 36 On the canal of Alexandria, see Bernand 1970, I, 1, pp. 329-380, which does not discuss the papyrus (...)
  • 37 The editor links γρι and γρῦ (κόκκος, grain) and interprets it as a tax for grain impurities. He th (...)
  • 38 R. Rémondon (Rémondon 1970) thought with some reservations that it was connected to the quality of (...)
  • 39 See Sheridan 1999, pp. 211-217.
  • 40 The trimitarioi (weavers of looms with three lisses) are attested in P.Ant. I 33, r 10, within the (...)
  • 41 The reading of the editio princeps [μ]ερι̣σ̣μῶ̣ν̣ α̣ρ̣  ̣τ̣ο̣  ̣τ̣ε̣ was amended by Rémondon 1970, (...)
  • 42 Déléage 1945, p. 113, and n. 3 followed by Rémondon 1970, restored, τπγ ϛ´ (1/6) (BL III), to arran (...)
  • 43 Déléage 1945 added [ϛ´] (BL III), to make sense of his calculations, but Rémondon 1970 does not tak (...)
  • 44 These tow bunches are not priced and the taxpayer does not receive a receipt, unless these deliveri (...)
  • 45 γενημά̣(των) editio princeps. The plural is not required. The word kept the meaning of “harvest” by (...)
  • 46 The numeral mark after β is interpreted in the editio princeps as a symbol of the year (ἔτους), whi (...)
  • 47 (ἔτους) καὶ β (ἔτους) μερισμοῦ editio princeps (followed by Rémondon 1970). The numeral marks were (...)
  • 48 A place north of the Oxyrhynchite nome (Benaissa 2012, p. 369).
  • 49 This person, perhaps a curial of Oxyrhynchus during the years 359-365, is known in this function by (...)

Διώρυγος Ἀλεξανδρίας με̣ρ̣ι̣-

   σμῶν β τῇ κεφ(αλῇ) α (δηναρίων) (μυριάδες) ογ̣

γρι καὶ σιρώματος τῇ κεφ(αλῇ) α (δηναρίων) (μυριάδες) γ̣

πρωτίου τῇ κεφ(αλῇ) α (δηναρίων) (μυριάδες) με

5

ἀναβολικοῦ τῇ κεφ(αλῇ) α (δηναρίων) (μυριάδες) ξη

ναύλ(ου) στιππίου τ̣ κεφ(αλῇ) α (δηναρίων) (μυριάδες) κε

τ̣ριμιταρίων τῇ κεφ(αλῇ) α (δηναρίων) (μυριάδες) οε

[ν]α̣υτῶν Ἰνδίας τῇ κεφ(αλῇ) α (δηναρίων) (μυριάδες) ν̣ϛ̣

[δ]ε̣[υτ]ερίο̣υ [traces]

10

   Τῇ κεφ(αλῇ) α (δηναρίων) (μυριάδες) τπγ Ľ

̣(πὲρ) κεφ̣(αλῆς) α ϛ´ (γίνονται) (δηναρίων) (μυριάδες) υν

κὲ στιππίου δεσ(μοὶ) β γ´

(m. 2) Παρέσχεν Φιλαδέλφη θυγάτηρ

Θέωνος ἀπὸ β(ενε)φ(ικιαρίων) ὑπὲρ γενμα(τος)

15

β ἰνδικτ(ίονος) διώρυγος Ἀλεξανδρεί-

ας καὶ γρει καὶ σιρώματος καὶ πρωτίου

καὶ δευτερίου καὶ ἀναβολικοῦ καὶ ναυ-

τῶν Ἰνδίας α καὶ β μερισμοῦ

καὶ̣ τ̣ριμιταρίων ὑπὲρ ἐποικιώτου

20

ἑνὸς ἕκτου ἐποικίου Τανχεω τὰ αἱρ-

οῦντα πλήρης

(Ἔτους) λϛ ε, Θὼθ κθ. (m. 3) Εὐλόγιος πραι̣(πόσιτος)

διʼ ἐμοῦ τοῦ υἱοῦ σεσημίωμαι

          [Price scale]

Canal of Alexandria,36

   two assignments: per capita, 73 myriads of denarii

gri and sirôma [obscure words and taxes]:37 by head, 3 myriads of denarii

first quality [obscure]:38 per capita, 45 myriads of denarii

5

flax tax:39 per capita, 68 myriads of denarii

freight of tow: per capita, 25 myriads of denarii

Trimitarioi:40 per capita, 75 myriads of denarii

sailors of India, per capita, 56 myriads of denarii (?)

second quality [: per capita x myriad denarii?]41

10

   (in total) per capita, 383 ½ myriads42 of denarii

or, for 1 1/6 capita, 45043 myriads of denarii

and 2 1/3 tow bunches.44

          [Receipt]

Paid Philadelphia, daughter of Theon, ex-beneficiarius, in accordance with the product45 of

15

the second indiction,46 for Alexandria Canal

grei and sirôma, first quality,

second quality, flax tax,

sailors of India, 1st and 2nd assignment,47

trimitarioi, for a tenent

20

and 1/6 of the hamlet of Tancheô,48

her full share,

Year 36 = 5, Thôth 29. Eulogios, praepositus (sc. pagi),49

represented by me, his son, I have subscribed.

  • 50 P.Oxy. XLVIII 3408, 17-19: καὶ τὰ ἀργύρια τῆς Ἰνδίας τῇ κεφαλ() σὺν ἀλλαγῆς (δηναρίων) (μυριάδας) (...)

10Among other taxes, the document refers, l. 8 and 17-18, to a tax for the nautai (sailors) of India. This tax is mentioned, still assigned per capita, by another contemporary Oxyrhynchite text.50

  • 51 For the ancient conceptions of India, see Schneider 2004.

11I do not know how to interpret “India”. Until recently, it was admitted that, unlike during the high imperial period, there were no direct relations between the Indian continent and the Roman-Byzantine world and that India thus extended from Eritrea, to the Horn of Africa, South Arabia and the island of Socotora. The Axumite kingdom, especially via the port of Adoulis, would have served as a mediator in these long-distance exchanges.51 It seems to me that opinions are evolving. The editor of our papyrus already noted signs of the development of relations between Byzantium and India when it was written and recent archaeological excavations at Berenike suggest that trade with India was still active during the 4th century.

  • 52 Lucien, Alexandre § 44 ; Anonymous of Piacenza § 41, 6, Milani p. 217 : civitas parva, quae appella (...)

12Be that as it may, since Lucian and Byzantine sources present Clysma as a centre connected to India and welcoming ships and products coming from India, it seemed to me sensible to connect our sailors of India and our new evidence for Clysma.52

  • 53 P.Oxy. XLVIII 3408 n. 18, “crew”.
  • 54 Philostorgius, Ecclesiastical History III 4-6, Bidez, Des Places, Bleckmann, Meyer, Prieur, pp. 242 (...)
  • 55 Athanasius, Apologia ad Constantium, § 31, Szymusiak, pp. 124-126 (Ivanov 2015, p. 32).
  • 56 CTh XII 12, 2 (15 i 356): nullus ad gentem Axumitarum et Homeritarum ire praeceptus ultra annui tem (...)
  • 57 Geyer, CSEL 39, 116; see Mayerson 1996b, p. 124 and Mayerson 1996a, pp. 61-64.
  • 58 Power 2012, p. 52.

13Who are these nautai? The simplest explanation would be that they are sailors and technical staff of a public fleet connected to India53 and that taxpayers paid for their maintenance. Perhaps, considering the tax base, we are dealing with the redeeming, by the “fiscal heads”, of a personal service on this fleet. The document (as perhaps also the previous one) can be dated to the reign of Constantius II. Now this emperor was interested in controlling “India”, as evidenced by the diplomatic mission of evangelization among the Himyarites, led by Theophilus the Indian (or Blemmye), a mission datable from 340-342, which would have extended to Axum and Aden,54 evidenced also in his letter of 357 to the Ethiopian kings Aizanas and Sazanas.55 One of his laws, dated 356, mentions sending agents to these regions, via Alexandria and, who knows, perhaps even by Clysma.56 Since these people are paid by the annona, they must be Imperial agents and not merchants as has sometimes been argued. Another passage, difficult to date, but certainly Byzantine, is the Liber de locis sanctis of Peter the Deacon mentioning an annual embassy to India of the logothete of Clysma on the orders of the Emperor.57 In short, the idea of an imperial fleet in India would fit well with the rest of Constantius II actions in the Red Sea, which Timothy Power characterizes as a “deliberate Red Sea policy”.58

  • 59 Tran 2013, pp. 103-104.
  • 60 See remarks of Mitthof, CPR XXIII 34, n. 2-3, p. 219 and CPR XXIV 23, n. 2.
  • 61 SCA II, Orlandi, p. 14 and p. 62: mercatores, qui ibant in Indiam et in (alias) regiones remotas, f (...)
  • 62 SB XXII 15373 (Bagnall, Sheridan 1994, p. 112). A Latin inscription of the Tetrarchy from Abu Sha’a (...)
  • 63 Commentary on Aristotle's Meteorology, Stüve (quoted by Bagnall and Sheridan), l. 81, 26: ἀμέλει δι (...)
  • 64 Christian Topography II 54, Wolska-Conus p. 365 (the subject matter is Adulis): ἔνθα καὶ τὴν ἐμπορί (...)

14Although I should say it is a little obscure, another hypothesis was put forward by the editor of the document (pp. 108-109). He makes a case of the plural ναῦται, where he seems to see a community of shipowners. In fact, the collective nautai may designate guilds of merchants and shipowners, rich and high ranking figures as the nautae trading along the Gallic rivers.59 For their part, the late Egyptian documents show equivalence between ναύτης and ναύκληρος, but the naukleroi, whatever their functions, have greater responsibilities than those of ordinary seamen.60 The nautai in our papyrus would, therefore, not be sailors in the technical sense, but an association of businessmen invested in navigation and/or trade with India. Because of the services they carried out for a state anxious to regain its influence in this part of the world, they could have received public support. Whatever the case may be, a similar association is attested at the time in Coptic Egypt by the so-called chronicle Storia della Chiesa di Alessandria (SCA). At the end of the 4th century, a group of “big ἔμποροι” specialized in long-distance trade, particularly with India, richly endowed the Alexandrian martyrium of John the Baptist which was under construction61. I am tempted to identify these characters with the ἰνδικοπλευσταί from later periods, known by a graffito from Abu Sha'ar,62 two passages of the Alexandrian philosopher Olympiodorus,63 the most famous being his contemporary who was the Alexandrian merchant and geographer of the 6th century, Cosmas (floruit between 547 and 549).64

III- Other sources on Byzantine Clysma

Bruyère’s finds

  • 65 Schwartz 1948, p. 26.

15Among the useful sources for the history of Byzantine Clysma, it is worth mentioning the Greek texts discovered by Bruyère, which take us up to the beginning of the 7th century. They are not all published and those that have been published require revision. Even if port activities do not appear in the texts, they still offer useful insights. I have, thus, examined, using a photograph provided by the Ifao, the image of the ostracon SB VI 9549-2, judged as almost certainly Byzantine by Schwartz, his editor,65 but in which neither the writing nor the onomastics are compatible with the 3rd century as we see in the DDBDP (thus Petros, Jôannes). The 5th or even 6th century are possible (Fig. 5).

Fig. 5

Fig. 5

SB VI 9549.

© IFAO

  • 66 Bruyère 1966, pp. 69-70, pp. 73-74.
  • 67 SB X 10459, 5: δαπάνης τῶν τωρ̣ν̣ε̣υ̣τῶν τοῦ Κλύσ[ματος. Bruyère 1966, pp. 85-86, found evidence of (...)

16Schwartz has transcribed only the names and left out the bottom of the document and everything on the right hand side, where individuals are described. But I think I can read at l. 2, in the abridged form, the profession of Jôannes, that of a plumber, Ἰωάννης μολιβ(ουργός), or μολιβ(δουργός), for μολυβδουργός, a word and a profession especially attested in the Late Empire, and notably related to the thermal baths. Indeed, Bruyère observed lead pipes on the site and in particular the thermal baths.66 This text is, therefore, useful to the history of craft at Clysma, which is well attested by finds, but hardly mentioned in the texts. According to a papyrus of the Arabic period, wood turners are known, perhaps mushrabiya manufacturers.67 Finally, one has to note that the papers and the scapular bone used for writing found by Bruyère, are currently being studied by Naïm Vanthieghem, and should bring new information.

Edict of Arabia

  • 68 Mayerson 1966b, p. 123 (“controler of foreign trade”; the author has commercius, commercii); Power (...)

17I sometimes see a well-known inscription, the Edict of Arabia on the military organization of the Diocese of the East, promulgated by the Emperor Anastasius (491-518), linked to the economic life of Clysma. It has been considerably revised by Denis Feissel. Here is the beginning of the text, which has not changed between Feissel’s edition and SEG 1554 XXXII. According to many historians, including Mayerson and Power,68 this passage would attest a kommerkiarios at Clysma, that is to say the head of a border trade place (commercium).

3 §1Ὥστε τὸν δοῦκα μόνα λαμβάν[ειν τὰ ἀφωρισμένα αὐτῷ κατὰ τ]
4 ἀρχαῖον ἔθος ὑπὲρ ἀννωνῶν καὶ καπ[ίτω]ν̣ ̣κ το[ δημοσίου καὶ ἐκ] τοῦ
5 μέρους τῆς δω[δ]εκάτης κα[] ἀπὸ κομμ[ερ]κιαρίου [τε τὸν ἐν Μεσοπο]τα-
6
μίᾳ καὶ ἀπὸ τοῦ [Κ]λύσματος [τ]ὸν ἐν Παλ̣[αισ]τίνῃ

18That the duke of Arabia contents himself with perceiving what has been reserved to him according to the ancient custom for his annona and rations of fodder from the public funds, on his share (of the tax) of a twelfth, and from the commerciarius for the Duke of Mesopotamia, and from Clysma for the Duke of Palestine.

  • 69 The two hypotheses on this mention of Clysma in the Edict are still considered by Montinaro 2013, p (...)

19Taken literally, as Feissel points out to me, the document simply says that the Duke (military governor of Palestine) will be paid on Clysma's income. So no kommerkiarios or commercium at Clysma.69

Anastasius Sinaita

  • 70 The Greek papyri mentioning Clysma are easily accessible by DDBDP; for other sources, see the rich (...)
  • 71 CPR XXII 22, l. 2; 43, l. 3, l. 44, l. 10; to the same Morelli we owe new mention of boats at Clysm (...)
  • 72 Alleged however by Hoyland 1996, but not according to the current perspective.
  • 73 Binggeli 2001.

20Most of the ancient sources dealing with the history of Clysma are dated to the 7th and 8th centuries, which is mainly the early Arab period. This corpus is, of course, not closed.70 So we owe to turn to Federico Morelli the publication in 2001 of papyri that mention Clysma in informative contexts.71 I want to focus above all on a little known Greek source, parts of which are even unknown,72 edited by our colleague André Binggeli (IRHT), in a thesis he is preparing for publication,73 part of which he has kindly allowed me to quote here. This is the edifying book called Tales useful to the soul by the monk and theologian Anastasius of Sinai, who wrote in the late 7th century and which records the frustrations and hopes of a subjugated Christian population, harassed by the Arab-Muslim conquerors.

  • 74 Binggeli 2001, vol. II, p. 4, n. 77: his son the ἐπικείμενος ʽAbd al-Raḥmān is mentioned at the beg (...)

21It contains anecdotes about Clysma which have a background of authenticity, if only because one of them refers to an Arab governor of the city, hostile to Christians, named Elias (Ilyas), whose son appears in the papyri.74 These stories sometimes happen in the milieu of the ναῦται of the city, sailors or, given the context of the following narrative, the “ship owners” (Binggeli, linking with this translation one of the hypotheses envisaged earlier on the nautai of SB V 7756).

  • 75 Binggeli 2001, tale n. II, l. 9 (vol I, p. 229; Vol II, p. 544). Given the responsibilities entrust (...)
  • 76 Θεοδώρητός τις τὴν θρησκείαν Ἰουδαῖος ὑπάρχων ναύτης ἐτύγχανε πρὸ τούτων τῶν ἐτῶν ἐν τῷͅ Κλύσματι. (...)
  • 77 SB XXVI 16763 ii, 16 (Mitthof 2000, pp. 259-264, and n. 16 of the p. 264, referring to P.Bad. IV 49 (...)
  • 78 § 29, Detoraki, Beaucamp 2007, p. 263.
  • 79 Flusin 1991, p. 407.
  • 80 Aubert 2004a, p. 246 and 2004b, p. 13, consider this and specifically mentions the Diolkos.

22During the years 685/90, there was a Jewish ναύτης from Clysma named Theodoretus.75 His son, who hated the Christians, was appointed epistates (director) of the ergateia (compulsory works?) at the shipyards by this Elias named above.76 The workers, who were Christians, wanted to go to the synaxis of the feast of the Theotokos and this wish was met with a refusal and blasphemies on the part of the epistates. At the moment when the staff were struggling εἰς τὸ νεωλκὸν τῶν πλοίων, a large beam falls on the blasphemer (ἔπεσεν ἄνωθεν ξύλον τέλειον) and kills him. The word νεωλκν is absent from the papyrus, but we have the verb νεωλκέω in two late documents where it means to take a boat to land or a dry dock, “Ins Trockendock gehen sollten” or “ein Schiff an Land ziehen”.77 We will compare, in the Martyrdom of St. Arethas § 29, dry docking, at the anchorage at Gabaza near Adulis, of vessels mobilized for the Ethiopian expedition against the Himyarites (ἐκέλευσεν διολκηθῆναι ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς).78 The νεωλκόν could be a device or a place to put boats in dry dock, a “capstan” according Binggeli, or a “boathouse”.79 However, by analogy with the famous boat ramp at the Isthmus of Corinth, the Δίολκος, we could still see a transhipment device towards the Trajan's canal, a ramp, or a kind of elevator.80 Anyway, this anecdote tells us something about Clysma's port facilities.

  • 81 Binggeli 2001, tale n. II, l. 13 (vol I, pp. 233-234; vol II, pp. 548-549, with n. 87 of the p. 548 (...)
  • 82 Thus a unit of equites ducatores Illyriciani Amida according to Notitia Dignitatum Or. xxxvi (Duke (...)
  • 83 Si navis alteram contra se venientem obruisset, aut in gubernatorem aut in ducatorem actionem compe (...)
  • 84 See Mayerson 1996b, p. 120, alleging adverse winds, changing currents, the reefs.

23There was then at Clysma a certain Azariah, chief of the doukatores, πρῶτος τῶν λεγομένων δουκατόρων.81 The word δουκάτωρ which is of latin origin, is mainly known in the sense of a scout, and in military contexts.82 The Glossaries have ἀγοί, ἀγωγεύς, ἡγεμόνες, προηγούμενοι (CGL, Goetz, II, 56), qui viam ostendit (ibid. 452 V). At Clysma there would have been a corporation of scouts or guides presided over by a foreman (πρῶτος). Such an institution seems necessary in a desert environment like that of Clysma. Egeria § 7, 2 and 4, Maraval, p. 154 and 156 says that she used military guides qui nos deducebant semper de castro ad castrum (...) et nos juxta consuetudinem deduxerunt inde usque ad aliud castrum, on her way from fort to fort in the desert, from Clysma to the city of Arabia. Another meaning could be given by Dig. IX, 2, 29 § 4. The jurist Ulpian defines the civil liabilities if a ship collides with another and if damage results. The lawsuit will target the gubernator or ducator.83 Ulpian, therefore, puts ducator on the same level as the gubernator who is the commander of the ship, without combining them. I suppose we should see a ducator a “pilot”, guiding the ship in its movements. As maritime access to Clysma was difficult,84 we can conceive that sailors needed experienced pilots or tugs to get into or out of the port.

24This information is intended only to add more to Clysma's history, but does not call for any conclusions. I hope at least to have shown that it is beneficial to revise the edited texts.

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Bagnall R.S. 1991, “The Taxes of Toka”. Tyche 6, pp. 37-43= reprinted in Later Roman Egypt, Religion, Economy and Administration, 2003, article XX.

Bagnall R.S., Sheridan J. 1994. “Greek and Latin Documents from ʼAbu Shaʽar, 1990-1991”. BASP 31, pp. 109-120.

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Note

1 A short version of this paper was presented to Hélène Cuvigny at a seminar in November 2015. Thanks for photo credits EES (Dr Carl Graves) and the archives of the IFAO (Cédric Larcher).

2 Bagnall 1980, pp. 185-196 (BL VIII)= Bagnall 2003, n° 2, paper XVIII.

3 For the later date see Bagnall 1991, p. 39 (BL VIII)= Bagnall 2003, n° 3, paper XX.

4 Mερισμ(ὸς) ἀρουρ(ῶν) ιε (ἔτους) ἰνδικ(τίονος) editio princeps. The plural μερισμ(ῶν), in the “genitive of the accountants”, is preferable to μερισμ(ὸς) since the text details several assignments (JG). There is no need to see in the numerical mark that follows ιε the symbol of ἔτος (editio princeps).

5 This line records either a further assignment in connection with the l. 3, or a conversion rate.

6 Θαλαττίωνος editio princeps. A form interpreted without excessive conviction (only on the basis in accordance of the deceptive parallelism of l. 12) as a non existent proper name. This hapax has been removed by reading ὁς for ὡς, “in proportion of” (P.CairoIsid. 59, n. 4; BL IV). The tax on θαλάττια (sc. πλοῖα) is well known (as in P.Oxy. XLVIII 3424, 3).

7 On this fee, see Carrié 1979, pp. 156-176 and on its relationship with other military taxes (mules, recruits), see Gascou and Worp 1984, pp. 122-126.

8 Ἀμμωνιακῆς (JG). The editio princeps wrote ἀμμωνιακῆς with no capital letter and suggests with some reservations, the complement ὠνῆς, probably in the meaning of buying or farming ammonia salt (“monopoly of the ammonia” according to Déléage 1945, p. 73), a product of the Ammoniace (Siwa), but as the word ἅλς is masculine, it is better here to see the place name itself, with the paralipsis of Ὀάσεως (P.Oxy. XLIII 3126, i. 1, ii 4-5) or Λιβύης (Olympiodorus, Commentary on Aristotle's Meteorology, Stüve, p. 119 and 124). The tax was to finance some public activity at Siwa, or some transport related to Siwa.

9 Reading of Déléage 1945, pp. 73 and 77 (BL III), instead of [βοῶ]ν̣ (editio princeps) the reading ὀρ]ν̣(έων). The meaning of “chickens” is confirmed by a heracleopolitan fiscal text from the years 320-330 connected to two mentions of chickens and eggs (treats for the senior military or government officials), SB XXVI v ° 16441, 2 (πρώτου) μερ(ισμοῦ) γάλ(ακτος) ϛ´ ὀρν(έων) α ᾠῶ̣ν̣ α Ľ; 5 γάλ(ακτος) ḍ ὀρν(έων) β γ' ᾠῶν [ ; same context in l. 6 and 7 (see editio princeps of Mitthof 1998-1999, pp. 89-92).

10 The tax on oxen and asses is mentioned in the 5th century by P.Oxy. LI 3636, 17 (see l. 4).

11 L. 18: read probably 4 myriads, to remain in the order of magnitude of the allocation rate for oxen (JG).

12 [ἀχύρ]ου (suggested by Déléage 1945, p. 73; not included in BL), instead of [  ̣  ̣  ̣  ̣]ου in the editio princeps. It is straw or chaff for the cavalry. The allocation, 7 2/3 pounds per aroura is of the same order of magnitude as in P.Leid.Inst. 67, 15 (5th century): 12, 5 pounds.

13 The editors proposed with some reservations, without integrating it into the text, but certainly rightly, the reading λο[υσω]ρίου ἡγεμόνος, a fee for the yacht of the provincial civil governor (praeses). Other texts refer to these official boats in similar contexts. So we have a contemporary text, SB VI 9563, i 13 and ii 15, payments for the λουσώριον κόμητ[ος], that is to say to the military governor of Egypt. What precedes in P.Oxy. XVI 1905 is mutilated. The editors suggest [δαπάν]ης, “for the expenses”, a reading which fills the gap well.

14 [  ̣  ̣  ̣  ̣]ριας editio princeps The first sign, reduced to its upper part, could be the top of the loop of an α, which suggests a reading ἐρ]α̣ίας, for ἐρέας (JG). It is not unusual to see wool and alum associated.

15 κρ(ιθῶν) instead of κρ(ιθῆς) (editio princeps) would be consistent with the classicising use of the time (Clarysse 2014, pp. 101-108). Compare at the same period P.Oxy. XLVIII 3408, 8, 14.

16 Bruyère 1966, pp. 90-91 and 92-94.

17 Bruyère 1966, pp. 91-92.

18 Brun 2014-2015, pp. 498-499.

19 Schwartz 1948 [1949], pp. 27-28.

20 P.Abinn. 30, 23-24; 35, 29; 37, 3-4, (under Constantius II). P.Mich. VIII 519, 6-7 is later (probably 5th century; BL X). P.Mert. I 24, 21-22 is certainly older (around 200 AD), but this date, according to the plate, may be changed for the 2nd half of the 3rd century.

21 Bruyère 1966, p. 118 (noting that Roger Rémondon was of the same opinion); see also Bruyère p. 52.

22 P.Bub. I 4 lxix, 2.

23 P .CairoIsid. 81: it deals with the substitute for a villager from Karanis charged with two months labour in the canal (ποταμός).

24 Sheehan 2015.

25 According to the milestone of Tell al-Maskhuta (Heropolis), placed in 306/7, CIL III 6633, 6= ILS 657: ab Ero in Clysma m. VIIII θ.

26 In 332, P.Oxy. XII 1426 refers to the sending to the ποταμός of Trajan of a worker, ἐργάτης, assigned to two villages; about the same time, according to P.Oxy. LV 3814, thirty τέκτονες are sent to the said ποταμός.

27 In 423, according to PSI I 87, an ἐργάτης of the διῶρυξ addresses an epimeletes about the cleaning of the waterway, ἀνακάθαρσις; PSI VI 689 A is a guarantee issued in 423/4 to the epimeletes of the διῶρυξ for a worker sent for a period of three months; PSI VI 689 B and C seem to have the same purpose; PSI VI 689 D probably contains a similar provision for 420/21. P. Wash. Univ. I 7, 5-6, attributed to the 5/6th century, refers to cleaning the διῶρυξ.

28 Aubert 2004a, p. 239.

29 The traveler simply refers to a branch of the Nile that flows Hero(polis): pars quaedam fluminis Nili ibi currit (§ 7, 8, Maraval, p. 158).

30 Mayerson 1996a, p. 64.

31 In addition to the article cited in n. 27, see the same Aubert 2004b, pp. 93-107. Despite objections from Jördens 2007, p. 470, n. 3, repeated view in Jördens 2009, p. 422, n. 113), J.-J. Aubert maintains his views in Aubert 2015, pp. 33-42. This is the place to thank J.-J. Aubert for providing me with these two studies.

32 Mayerson 1996b, pp. 121 and 123.

33 Bell 1934, pp. 105-111.

34 I admit that this view is isolated, but this is not the place to discuss it, even though I would be able to justify it.

35 Rémondon 1970, p. 435, BL VI.

36 On the canal of Alexandria, see Bernand 1970, I, 1, pp. 329-380, which does not discuss the papyrus, and Hairy, Sennoune 2009, pp. 140-161. According to P.Lond. IV 1353 (10 ii 710), it was like Trajan’s canal, it was an intermittent waterway, which was used only during the flood.

37 The editor links γρι and γρῦ (κόκκος, grain) and interprets it as a tax for grain impurities. He thinks σίρωμα derives from σιρός, storage vessel. Rémondon (1970) translates “digging and building silos”. He refers γρι via Crum (Copt.Dic., 828A), to the Coptic ϭΡΗ, “dig” (BL VI, also citing a similar opinion of Hélène Cadell). I cannot comment.

38 R. Rémondon (Rémondon 1970) thought with some reservations that it was connected to the quality of wine (and the same for the δευτέριον, l. 15-16 and possibly l. 9), which is not without papyrological examples, but these terms are also used for other products (PUG V 209 ii, 1 with a copious note from the editor). Note, in this case, that the tax under πρωτεῖον comes back at the same period in P.Oxy. XLVIII 3408, 12. The context, an ambiguous syntax, highlighted in n. 10-11 and 13, suggests that it is of some variety or quality of flax, since the collection of πρωτεῖον is under the responsibility of τοὺς ἐπὶ σιππίου of the village of Tampemou, loaded at the same time, in addition to the tow, of the ἀναβολικόν, a type of tax that was also related to flax.

39 See Sheridan 1999, pp. 211-217.

40 The trimitarioi (weavers of looms with three lisses) are attested in P.Ant. I 33, r 10, within the context of military taxation. Bell 1934, from the Glossaries (CGL, Goetz, III, p. 309, l. 44), links triliciarius, a maker of τρίμιτος (trilix, fabric with three yarns or made on a loom with three bars). Denis Feissel indicated to me Ζωσίμη τριμιταρία in a funerary inscription from Syracuse (Wessel 1989, n. 153, p. 40), which is also a nickname of Laodicea on the Lycus (Feissel, referring me to the miracle n° 13 of Saints Cosmas and Damian, Deubner, p. 132, with note of pp. 235-236, and concilar lists of 449 and 451). As Laodicea was famous for its wool (Deubner quoted), it may be that the trimitarioi worked with this material, but I do not wish to discuss further the technical sense of the τρίμιτος base (see Lauffer, 1971, p. 265, n. 37). I wish to thank Dominique Cardon for a helpful message to measure the complexity of a problem whose solution is more within her research than mine.

41 The reading of the editio princeps [μ]ερι̣σ̣μῶ̣ν̣ α̣ρ̣  ̣τ̣ο̣  ̣τ̣ε̣ was amended by Rémondon 1970, p. 432, in [μ]ερι̣σ̣μῶ̣ν̣ α (ἔτους) καὶ β (ἔτους), “for distributions of the 1st and 2nd year”, implicitly after Déléage 1945, p. 113 (BL IV). The last reading was rightly rejected by Bagnall 1980 (cited n. 2), p. 188, n. 7. Judging from the receipt, l. 17, this line should relate to the tax of the “second quality” δευτέριον. Bell 1934 considered this, but sticks to [μ]ερι̣σ̣μῶ̣ν̣. He undervalued the initial gap that he filled in with a single sign, the μ of [μ]ερι̣σ̣μῶ̣ν̣, while the textual loss is 3 or 4 letters. Moreover, this gap is not empty, because we distinguish, through the υ of the ναυτῶν of l. 8, the upper traces (reduced to a point) of a high letter, which could be an ε. Then we can retain ]ερι̣, because the ι, although reduced to its upper part is almost certain. We have therefore, [  ̣]ε̣[ . ]ερι̣. It is tempting to read [δ]ε̣[υτ]ερίο̣υ̣. The final υ̣, very thin, is not certain, but we have similar forms in the rest of the text. I admit that my ο is difficult to read and I understand that Bell 1934 has read it as a σ, but as any papyrologist knows, the ancient ο results from the vertical adjustment, not always successful, of two semicircles. In this case, I guess that the scribe used the second half element to link the ο to the υ. Thus ο remained opened and it took the morphology of a σ. As for the traces that follow, I do not feel able to go further, as there seems to have been a correction above the line, at the end. It must, in any case, contain a similar expression to the rest of the contribution rate namely τῇ κεφ(αλῇ) α (δηναρίων) (μυριάδες) x. The amount of δευτέριον should be about 38 myriads.

42 Déléage 1945, p. 113, and n. 3 followed by Rémondon 1970, restored, τπγ ϛ´ (1/6) (BL III), to arrange his calculations, but the plate makes a reading of the fraction 1/2 better, as in editio princeps.

43 Déléage 1945 added [ϛ´] (BL III), to make sense of his calculations, but Rémondon 1970 does not take into account this reconstruction.

44 These tow bunches are not priced and the taxpayer does not receive a receipt, unless these deliveries in kind balanced the freight for the tow bunches mentioned in l. 6.

45 γενημά̣(των) editio princeps. The plural is not required. The word kept the meaning of “harvest” by commentators, especially Bagnall 1980 to justify a contemporary theory of κεφαλή as a land unit and not attached to a person (BL IX), but those taxes are unrelated to crops and their tax base is not land. I think that this is a way to express the idea of tax revenue per year.

46 The numeral mark after β is interpreted in the editio princeps as a symbol of the year (ἔτους), which is not necessary (JG in BL VIII).

47 (ἔτους) καὶ β (ἔτους) μερισμοῦ editio princeps (followed by Rémondon 1970). The numeral marks were taken as the symbol of the year, but there could be several μερισμοί per year (JG in BL VIII). Read μερισμῶν.

48 A place north of the Oxyrhynchite nome (Benaissa 2012, p. 369).

49 This person, perhaps a curial of Oxyrhynchus during the years 359-365, is known in this function by P.Oxy. XLVIII 3400, 30 and 3425, 7. See P.Oxy. XLVIII 3393, introduction.

50 P.Oxy. XLVIII 3408, 17-19: καὶ τὰ ἀργύρια τῆς Ἰνδίας τῇ κεφαλ() σὺν ἀλλαγῆς (δηναρίων) (μυριάδας) μ σὺν ἀλλαγῆς ou συναλλαγῆς (ed, n. 18.).

51 For the ancient conceptions of India, see Schneider 2004.

52 Lucien, Alexandre § 44 ; Anonymous of Piacenza § 41, 6, Milani p. 217 : civitas parva, quae appellatur Clysme, ubi de India naves veniunt (...) 9 illic accepimus nuces plenas virides que de India venerunt (...) ; Peter the Deacon, Liber de locis sanctis, Geyer, CSEL 39, p. 116 : portus mittit ad Indiam uel excipit uenientes naues de India; alibi enim nusquam in Romano solo accessum habent naues de India nisi ibi. Naues autem ibi et multae et ingentes sunt; quare portus famosus est pro aduenientibus ibi mercatoribus de India (sometimes considered as a loan of a lost part of Egeria’s Journal).

53 P.Oxy. XLVIII 3408 n. 18, “crew”.

54 Philostorgius, Ecclesiastical History III 4-6, Bidez, Des Places, Bleckmann, Meyer, Prieur, pp. 242-256, with n. 3 p. 243 ; Ivanov 2015, pp. 27-28.

55 Athanasius, Apologia ad Constantium, § 31, Szymusiak, pp. 124-126 (Ivanov 2015, p. 32).

56 CTh XII 12, 2 (15 i 356): nullus ad gentem Axumitarum et Homeritarum ire praeceptus ultra annui temporis spatia debet Alexandriae de cetero demorari nec post annum percipere alimonias annonarias. It is the interpretation of Darley 2013, 299: “bureaucrats”.

57 Geyer, CSEL 39, 116; see Mayerson 1996b, p. 124 and Mayerson 1996a, pp. 61-64.

58 Power 2012, p. 52.

59 Tran 2013, pp. 103-104.

60 See remarks of Mitthof, CPR XXIII 34, n. 2-3, p. 219 and CPR XXIV 23, n. 2.

61 SCA II, Orlandi, p. 14 and p. 62: mercatores, qui ibant in Indiam et in (alias) regiones remotas, ferentes ei res omnis generis.

62 SB XXII 15373 (Bagnall, Sheridan 1994, p. 112). A Latin inscription of the Tetrarchy from Abu Sha’ar (by the same authors) reported mercator[, in an unclear context. I cannot comment on the interpretation of the site as a port, which is not clearly established.

63 Commentary on Aristotle's Meteorology, Stüve (quoted by Bagnall and Sheridan), l. 81, 26: ἀμέλει διὰ ταύτην τὴν αἰτίαν πολλοὶ ἰνδικοπλευσταὶ ναυάγουσι μὴ εἰδότες τοῦτο; 163, 3 ὅθεν ἰνδικοπλευσταὶ πολλάκις ζημιοῦνται πάνυ. Seawater (Olympiodorus follows Aristotle here) is denser and, therefore, more buoyant than lake water, so ignorant of that, the indikopleustai often sank and lost their cargo in the lakes. We see that the indikopleustai were not just on the seas.

64 Christian Topography II 54, Wolska-Conus p. 365 (the subject matter is Adulis): ἔνθα καὶ τὴν ἐμπορίαν ποιούμεθα οἱ ἀπὸ Ἀλεξανδρείας καὶ ἀπὸ Ἐλᾶ ἐμπορευόμενοι; understand that Cosmas was πραγματευτής according from II 56, Wolska-Conus p. 369 (the title of indikopleustès is however awarded to him only after the 11th century; Wolska-Conus p. 16).

65 Schwartz 1948, p. 26.

66 Bruyère 1966, pp. 69-70, pp. 73-74.

67 SB X 10459, 5: δαπάνης τῶν τωρ̣ν̣ε̣υ̣τῶν τοῦ Κλύσ[ματος. Bruyère 1966, pp. 85-86, found evidence of this kind of work at Clysma (wood crafts at Clysma are indicated by Arabic literature).

68 Mayerson 1966b, p. 123 (“controler of foreign trade”; the author has commercius, commercii); Power 2012, p. 32.

69 The two hypotheses on this mention of Clysma in the Edict are still considered by Montinaro 2013, pp. 382-383 (reported by Denis Feissel).

70 The Greek papyri mentioning Clysma are easily accessible by DDBDP; for other sources, see the rich collection of Timm 1991, pp. 2164-2171.

71 CPR XXII 22, l. 2; 43, l. 3, l. 44, l. 10; to the same Morelli we owe new mention of boats at Clysma in a bilingual document in the file of Qurra b. Sharik, P.Schott Rein. I 22, l. 10 (SB I 5643) (BL XI).

72 Alleged however by Hoyland 1996, but not according to the current perspective.

73 Binggeli 2001.

74 Binggeli 2001, vol. II, p. 4, n. 77: his son the ἐπικείμενος ʽAbd al-Raḥmān is mentioned at the beginning of the 8th century in P.Lond. IV 1414, 57 and 100 and CPR XXII 43, 3 gap ]  ̣  ̣ τε̣χ̣ν(ι)τ(ῶν) κα̣μ̣ό̣ν̣τ(ων) εἰ(ς) τ() πλοῖα τοῦ Κλύσμα̣τ(ος) ̣π̣() Αβδερααμα̣(ν) υἱο() Ἠλία [π]ι̣κ̣ε̣[ιμένου.

75 Binggeli 2001, tale n. II, l. 9 (vol I, p. 229; Vol II, p. 544). Given the responsibilities entrusted to his son by the authorities, this ναύτης was more than just a marine or sailor.

76 Θεοδώρητός τις τὴν θρησκείαν Ἰουδαῖος ὑπάρχων ναύτης ἐτύγχανε πρὸ τούτων τῶν ἐτῶν ἐν τῷͅ Κλύσματι. Τούτου τοῦ Θεοδωρήτου, ἤτοι θεοχολώτου τὸν υἱὸν Ἠλίας μισόχριστος, τοῦ Κλύσματος κατέστηκεν ἐπιστάτην ἐπάνω τῆς ἐργατείας.

77 SB XXVI 16763 ii, 16 (Mitthof 2000, pp. 259-264, and n. 16 of the p. 264, referring to P.Bad. IV 49 [VBP IV 49], 12-13 read νεώλκησον δὲ τὴν σκ̣[ά]φην ἐκ τοῦ ὕδατος by Hagedorn 1997, p. 224).

78 § 29, Detoraki, Beaucamp 2007, p. 263.

79 Flusin 1991, p. 407.

80 Aubert 2004a, p. 246 and 2004b, p. 13, consider this and specifically mentions the Diolkos.

81 Binggeli 2001, tale n. II, l. 13 (vol I, pp. 233-234; vol II, pp. 548-549, with n. 87 of the p. 548).

82 Thus a unit of equites ducatores Illyriciani Amida according to Notitia Dignitatum Or. xxxvi (Duke of Mesopotamia).

83 Si navis alteram contra se venientem obruisset, aut in gubernatorem aut in ducatorem actionem competere damni iniuriae Alfenus ait, etc. “If a boat collided with another coming in the opposite direction, the court action motivated by the wrong of the damage will be applicable to the captain or the skipper, according to Alfenus”.

84 See Mayerson 1996b, p. 120, alleging adverse winds, changing currents, the reefs.

Indice delle illustrazioni

Titolo Fig. 1
Legenda P.Oxy. XVI 1905 ; Courtesy of the Egypt Exploration Society and Imaging Papyri Project, Oxford.
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Titolo Fig. 2
Legenda P.Oxy. XVI 1905, ligne 12.
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Titolo Fig. 3
Legenda SB VI 9549.
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Legenda SB V 7756.
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Titolo Fig. 5
Legenda SB VI 9549.
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