Version classiqueVersion mobile
OpenEdition Books

L’identification des personnes dans les mondes grecs

 | 
Romain Guicharrousse
, 
Paulin Ismard
, 
Matthieu Vallet
, 
et al.

Troisième partie. L’identité en procès

Persuasive identities

An examination of rhetorical self-presentation strategies in Ptolemaic petitions

Gert Baetens

Texte intégral

Introduction

  • 1 Anne-Emmanuelle Veïsse, “Les identités multiples de Ptolémaios, fils de Glaukias”, Ancient Society, (...)
  • 2 For Ptolemaic petitions, see in particular Gert Baetens, I Am Wronged: Petitions and Related Docume (...)
  • 3 In his study on the “captatio benevolentiae” of the petitions from the Roman period, Papathomas nam (...)

1In a 2007 article about the petitions by Ptolemaios son of Glaukias, recluse in the Memphite Sarapeion, Anne-Emmanuelle Veïsse argued that Ptolemaios tries to strengthen the claims and requests which he makes in these documents by stressing various parts of his identity.1 Petitions lent themselves perfectly for such “stratégies identitaires”: they were used to obtain support from the authorities, and as a consequence petitioners had to deliver their story in a convincing way.2 In order to influence their audience, several petitioners emphasised that they belonged to a certain category of people. This paper aims to examine this trend of persuasive self-identification by looking at six major topoi that appear throughout the corpus of Ptolemaic petitions (ca. 900 papyrus documents): gender, orphanhood, old age, physical impairment, poverty and ethnic and territorial outsiderness. Parallels from Roman Egypt will also be discussed, albeit not exhaustively, in order to investigate the evolution of these themes in later times and in order to come to a better understanding of the texts from the Ptolemaic period.3

Gender

  • 4 On the basis of a corpus of 356 Ptolemaic petitions, Veïsse has estimated that 15% of the known pet (...)
  • 5 The Ptolemaic petition P. Yale IV 146 forms another good example: see forthcoming publication by Ru (...)

2Women in Ptolemaic Egypt were allowed to submit petitions in their own name, without a κύριος (guardian). As a consequence, a considerable group of the Ptolemaic petitions are addressed by women.4 Some of these petitioners stress their disadvantaged status as women:5

[διὰ τὸ] ἀβοήθητον εἶναί µε, “because I am helpless.”
BGU VIII 1820 (TM 4899; hypomnema to strategos from 55 BC), l. 13.

κατεγνωκὼς | τῶι γυναῖκας ἡµᾶς εἶναι, “thinking low of us because we are women.”
P. Dryton 34 (TM 284; hypomnema to epistrategos from 115–110 BC), ll. 22–23.

κατε|γνωκὼς τῶ̣ι̣ γ̣υναῖκά µε | εἶναι καὶ ἀβο̣ήθητον, “thinking low of me because I am a woman and helpless.”
P. Giss. Univ. I 1 (TM 44587; hypomnema to village epistates (?) from 144–143 BC), ll. 13–15.

διὸ ἀξιῶ σε δεοµένη γυνὴ οὖσα | καὶ ἀβοήθητον, “therefore I ask and beg you, being a woman and helpless (, to…).”
P.Tebt. III 776 (TM 7851; hypomnema to oikonomos from ca. 179–177 BC), ll. 27–28.

  • 6 In P. Enteux. 22 (TM 3297) and SB VI 9065 (TM 5721), for example, the petitioners do mention the de (...)

3A special category of female petitioners who emphasise their vulnerability is made up of widows. Of course, the mention of one’s widowhood can be essential for a good understanding of certain problems (e.g. inheritance disputes) and is not persuasive per se,6 but in many cases female petitioners seem to mobilise their widowhood for rhetorical purposes:

τοῦ [ἀνδρὸς] | µετηλλαχότος τὸν βίον ἀπολιπόντος | ἐ[µὲ σὺν] τέκνωι καθυστεροῦσα τοῖς δέ̣ο̣υ̣σ̣ι̣ | τυγχάνωι, “since my man has passed away, leaving me with a child, I am short of necessities.”
BGU VIII 1833 (TM 4912; hypomnema to strategos from 51–50 BC), ll. 4–7.

διὸ ἀξιῶι | χήρα οὖσα ἐκθεῖναί µοι καὶ τῶι ὀρφανῶι | παιδίωι τὸ δίκαιον, “therefore I ask, being a widow, to procure justice to me and my orphan child.”
BGU VIII 1849 (TM 4928; hypomnema to strategos from ca. 47 BC), ll. 20–22.

  • 7 Several 3rd century BC enteuxis – petitions were nominally addressed to the Ptolemaic king, but in (...)

καταφρονῶν ὅτι ὁ ἀνήρ µου τετελεύτηκεν, “thinking low of me because my husband has died.”
P. Enteux. 13 (TM 3290; enteuxis to king/strategos from 222 BC7), l. 6.

γυνή ἰµὶ χέ[ρα], “I am a widowed woman.”
P. Mich. Zen. 29 (TM 1929; enteuxis to estate manager Zenon from 256 BC), l. 12.

καταφρονήσασα | ὅτι χήρα εἰµὶ | καὶ ἀβοήθητος, “thinking low of me because I am a widow and helpless.”
SB XXIV 16285 (TM 8808; hypomnema to strategos from ca. 202 BC), ll. 19–21.

4The wording and placement of the above expressions show clearly that these self-identifications as women and widows are used in a persuasive way. In P. Dryton 34, P. Enteux. 13, P. Giss. Univ. I 1 and SB XXIV 16285, the petitioners’ gender/widowhood is mentioned as a motive for κατάγνωσις or καταφρόνησις (two closely related concepts that imply a negative judgment of certain persons or facts) by the offending party, which has led them to the alleged offenses. Similarly, the petitioner of BGU VIII 1820 explains that her husband has taken advantage of her helplessness as a woman. The abuse of one’s vulnerable identity by the other party is a common rhetorical device in petitions. In BGU VIII 1849 and P. Tebt. III 776 another typical strategy is adopted: the statements concerning the gender/widowhood of the petitioners are integrated into the request formula in order to evoke pity from the addressee. BGU VIII 1833 and P. Mich. Zen. 29 try to achieve the same effect in other ways.

  • 8 P. Coll. Youtie I 16 (TM 5041): see section about physical impairment below. Another formula referr (...)

5The central issue for women and widows seems to be their ἀβοηθησία or “helplessness” (see BGU VIII 1820, P. Giss. Univ. I 1, P. Tebt. III 776 and SB XXIV 16285). With only one clear exception,8 this theme appears exclusively in petitions written by women, and in these texts it seems to refer to their weak socio-legal and socio-economic position. Some women were less helpless than others, however: in SB XXIV 16285 the widow Thasis complains that another woman is thinking low of her because of her widowhood and helplessness, while she herself is “strong on her own” (ll. 19–23: καταφρονήσασα | ὅτι χήρα εἰµὶ | καὶ ἀβοήθητος | αὐτὴ δὲ ἰσχύουσα | τοῖς ἰδίοις).

  • 9 The editor of P. Oslo II 22 (TM 12552, petition to strategos from 127 AD) has read the expression o (...)

6The theme of female helplessness also appears in many petitions from the Roman period:9

γυ[νὴ] χήρα καὶ ἀθοήτητος, “being a widowed and helpless woman.”
BGU II 522 (TM 28173; petition to ἐπὶ τῶν τόπων from 2nd century AD), l. 7.

αὐτὴ γυνὴ ἀβοήθητος καὶ µηδεµίαν βοή[θει]α[ν] | ἔχουσα εἰ µ̣ὴ̣ ὑπὸ σοῦ τοῦ κυρίου, “I myself being a helpless woman without any aid, if not for yours, lord.”
BGU III 970 + BGU II 525 (TM 9420 + TM 9217; petition to prefect from 177 AD), ll. 8–9.

καταφρο|νή[σ]ας µου ὡς γυναικὸς ἀ|βοηθήτου, “thinking low of me because I am a helpless woman.”
Chrest. Wilck. 364 (TM 9037; petition to epistrategos from ca. 170 AD), ll. 9–11.

τὴν γυναῖ|καν ἀβοήθητον, “being a helpless woman.”
P. Heid. IV 297 (TM 21093; petition to epistrategos from 171–176 AD), ll. 24–25.

γυναῖκα ἀβοήθητον οὖσαν | καὶ µόνην, “being a helpless and solitary woman.”
P. Oxy. L 3555 (TM 24921; petition to strategos from 1st or 2nd century AD), ll. 9–10.

[γ]υνὴ οὖσα ἀβοή|θητος πο̣[λλο]ῖς ἔτεσι βεβα|ρηµένη, “being a helpless woman, burdened by old age.”
P. Tebt. II 327 (TM 13486; petition to epistrategos from 180–191 AD), ll. 24–26.

καταφρονοῦντές µου ὡς | γυναικὸς ἀβοηθήτου καὶ χήρας | κατεσστώσης, “thinking low of me because I am a helpless and widowed woman.”
SB XIV 11904 (TM 14527; petition to centurion from ca. 184 AD), ll. 8–10.

7Interestingly, however, this stress on the helplessness of women disappears from the 3rd century AD onwards in favor of a new topos, the ἀσθένεια or “weakness” of women:

γυνὴ | [ἀσθε]νὴς καὶ χήρα, “being a weak and widowed woman.”
P. Amh. II 141 (TM 21706; petition to praepositus from second half of 4th century AD), ll. 15–16.

[καταφρονο]ῦ̣ντές µου ὡς̣ γ̣υναικὸς ἀσ[θ]ε̣[νο]ῦ̣ς̣, “thinking low of me because I am a weak woman.”
P. Flor. I 58 (TM 23567; petition to epistrategos from middle of 3rd century AD), l. 14.

γυνὴ ἀσθ[ε]νὴς καὶ χήρα τυγ|χάνουσα, “being a weak and widowed woman.”
P. Oxy. I 71 col. II (TM 12592; petition to prefect from early 4th century AD), ll. 7–8.

γυνὴ χήρα καὶ ἀσθενής, “being a widowed and weak woman.”
P. Oxy. VIII 1120 (TM 31719; petition draft from beginning of 3rd century AD), l. 12.

  • 10 Cf. Chrysi Kotsifou, “Papyrological Perspectives on Orphans in the World of Late Ancient Christiani (...)

8This ἀσθένεια does not refer to the weak socio-legal or socio-economic position of women like the ἀβοηθησία, but to the weak female nature. In P. Oxy. XXXIV 2713 (TM 16586; petition to prefect from ca. 297 AD), the petitioner says that the addressee knows very well “that the female gender is by nature easily despised because of the weakness of [their] nature” (ll. 8–9: ὅτι τὸ γυναικεῖον γ[ένος] | εὐκαταφρόνητον πέφυκεν διὰ τὸ περὶ ἡµᾶς τῆς φύσεως ἀσθενές). Similarly, the petitioner of P. Oxy. I 71 col. II begins her plea with the following statement: “to all you give help, lord prefect, and to all you give their due, but especially to women, because of their weak nature” (ll. 3–4: πᾶσι µὲν βοηθεῖς, ἡγεµὼν δέσποτα, καὶ πᾶσι τὰ ἴ[δ]ια ἀπονέµις [µάλιστα] | δὲ γυναιξεὶν διὰ τὸ τῆς φύσεως ἀσθενές). As one might have expected, the petitioner in question turns out to be a weak and widowed woman herself. Interestingly, this idea of female weakness can be linked directly to Roman law.10

  • 11 This starts to change from the time of the emperor Justinian: see Kotsifou, “Papyrological Perspect (...)
  • 12 The Ptolemaic petition P. Yale IV 147 offers another good example of this strategy: see forthcoming (...)
  • 13 For a general commentary on the phenomenon, see Chrysi Kotsifou, “Emotions and Papyri: Insights int (...)

9Some widows involve their children in their pleas as well. In the Greco-Roman period, minor children who had lost their father were considered as orphans, even if their mother was still alive.11 Such orphaned children could be deployed by their mothers to add some more drama to a petition, as can be seen in the above-cited BGU VIII 1833 and BGU VIII 1849.12 This rhetorical connection between widows and orphans has been noted in documents from the Roman period before,13 but these petitions show that the topos already existed in the Ptolemaic period.

Orphanhood

  • 14 BGU VIII 1813 (TM 4892); BGU XIV 2374 (TM 3994); P. Enteux. 32 (TM 3307); P. Gen. III 126, ll. 21–4 (...)
  • 15 P. Dryton 33 (TM 253); P. Duke inv. 360 (TM 58466); P. Enteux. 9 (TM 3286); P. Enteux. 15 (TM 3292) (...)
  • 16 UPZ I 17 (TM 3408); UPZ I 18 (TM 3409) = UPZ I 19 (TM 3410) = UPZ I 20 (TM 3411); UPZ I 39 (TM 3430 (...)
  • 17 UPZ I 24 (TM 3415); UPZ I 35 (TM 3426) = UPZ I 36 (TM 3427); UPZ I 52 (TM 3443) = UPZ I 53 (TM 3444 (...)
  • 18 UPZ I 22 (TM 3413); UPZ I 32 (TM 3423); UPZ I 33 (TM 3424) = UPZ I 34 (TM 3425); UPZ I 43 (TM 3434) (...)
  • 19 One can think, for example, of the famous case of Demosthenes, who was bereft of most of his inheri (...)
  • 20 For P. Enteux. 68, see next footnote.

10Quite a few petitions from the Ptolemaic period concern problems experienced by or related to orphans. These petitions could be submitted by the guardian(s) or some other associate(s) of the orphan in question,14 or by the orphan him/herself.15 The famous petitions concerning the troubles of the Sarapeion orphan twins are partly written in the name of the orphans themselves,16 partly by their guardian Ptolemaios son of Glaukias,17 and partly by the twins and Ptolemaios together.18 Another special example is SB XVI 12720 (TM 4148), submitted jointly by an orphan, his mother and a man who has swapped pieces of land with the deceased father/husband of the first two parties. Just like the self-identifications as widow discussed above, the mention of one’s orphanhood did not necessarily have a persuasive character and could be essential to contextualise certain events. Due to their precarious legal status, individuals who were still minors at the time their father passed away could easily be taken advantage of.19 Nevertheless, certain petitioners seem to put special emphasis on the fact that they are orphans for rhetorical purposes. In this context, two petitions that use a καταφρόνησις formula can be noted:20

καταφρονήσας τῶι νε[ω]τέρας ἀπολελεῖφθαι, “thinking low of us because we have been left as minors.”
P. Dryton 33 (hypomnema to epistrategos from 136 BC), l. 6.

καταφρονοῦσα ἐπὶ τῶι ὀρφανόµ µε εἶναι, “thinking low of me because I am an orphan.”
P. Enteux. 9 (enteuxis to king/strategos from 218 BC), l. 6.

  • 21 This text may have originally contained a καταφρόνησις formula linked to the petitioner’s orphanhoo (...)

11Less straightforward is the purpose of the explicit self-designations as ὀρφανός in the prescript of three petitions: P. Enteux. 68 (enteuxis to king/strategos from 222221 BC),21 SB VIII 9790 (hypomnema to strategos from ca. 7525 BC) and SB XVI 12720 (hypomnema to head of the syntaxis from 142 BC). Perhaps it was very normal for orphans to identify themselves as such in official correspondence with the authorities, but it might also have been an opportunity to stress their vulnerable position right from the start of their pleas.

12In the Roman period, καταφρόνησις formulas remain common:

καταφρονεῖν µου τῆς ἡλικίας, “thinking low of me because of my age.”
P. Gen. I2 6 (TM 11240; petition to strategos from 146 AD), l. 13.

[τῆς δὲ ἡ]µετέρας ὀρφανίας καταφρονῶν, “thinking low of us because of our orphanhood.”
P. Oxy. XII 1470 (TM 21871; petition to prefect from 336 AD), l. 15.

κατα̣φρονήσα̣ς̣ τ̣ῆ̣ς̣ ὀ̣ρ̣φανίας | µου, “thinking low of me because of my orphanhood.”
P. Oxy. L 3581 (TM 32313; petition to tribune from 4th or 5th century AD), ll. 12–13.

  • 22 P. Oxy. I 71 col. II (TM 12592) and P. Oxy. XXXIV 2713 (TM 16586), both discussed in the section ab (...)

13More elaborate expressions of orphanhood appear in two petitions from the 4th century AD, following the general trend to a more literary petition style manifesting itself from this period onwards:22

[εἰς το]ὺς π̣ό̣δας σου καταφυγὴ[ν] | ποιοῦµ̣αι παῖς ὀρφανὴ δ̣εοµένη, “I flee to your feet, being a needy orphan child.”
P. Col. VII 173 (TM 10527; petition to prefect (?) from 330–340 AD), ll. 19–20.

τοὺς ἀδικουµένους | ὀρφανο[ύς], ἡγεµὼν δέσποτα, ἐκδικεῖν εἴωθεν τὸ µεγαλεῖον τὸ σόν. | ἑαυτὸς τοί[ν]υν ὀρφανὸς καταλελιµµένης στερηθεὶς ἑκατέρων τῶν γονέων, “Your majesty is used, lord prefect, to avenge the wronged orphans. Now, I myself am an orphan, left bereft of both my parents.”
P. Sakaon 40 (TM 13059; petition to prefect from 318–320 AD), ll. 4–6.

Old age

  • 23 In P. Enteux. 22 (TM 3297), the petitioner also states that she is old and weak (l. 9: ἐ̣π̣ε̣ι̣δ̣ή̣ (...)

14A third group of petitioners who regularly emphasise their vulnerability are the elderly. In their petitions, both κατάγνωσις/καταφρόνησις formulas and more simple statements of old age can be found:23

καταφρονῶν µου | ὅτι πρεσβύτερoς εἰµὶ καὶ ἀσθενῶ τοῖς ὀφθαλµοῖς, “thinking low of me because I am old and weak-sighted.”
P. Enteux. 25 (TM 3300; enteuxis to king/strategos from 222 BC), ll. 8–9.

καταφρονοῦ[σά µου τοῦ γ]ή|ρως κ[αὶ τ]ῆς ὐπ[αρ]χούσης µ̣οι ἀκληρίας, “thinking low of me because of my old age and infirmity”; see also l. 3: ἀκληρήσαντος δέ µου κατὰ τὸ ἴδιον σῶµ[α] καὶ τοῖς ὀφθαλµοῖς ἀδυνατοῦντος, “while I am infirm of body and weak-sighted.”
P. Enteux. 26 (TM 3301; enteuxis to king/strategos from 221 BC), ll. 9–10.

[ὄ]ν̣τα ἐπὶ γήρως, “being old.”
P. Enteux. 43 (TM 3318; enteuxis to king/strategos from 221 BC), l. 1.

πρεσβύτερον ὄντα, “being old.”
P. Petr. II 1 = P. Petr. III 36 c (TM 7435; hypomnema to epimeletes from 3rd century BC), l. 5.

καταγνούς µου ὅτι πρεσβύτερός | εἰµί, “thinking low of me because I am old.”
P. Sorb. III 104 (TM 121857; enteuxis to king/strategos from 220 BC), ll. 2–3.

15P. Enteux. 25 and 26 are petitions from indignant fathers, complaining that their children fail to take care of them in their old age. Interestingly, both petitioners also refer to their visual impairment. This connection between old age and feeble eyesight appears in three petitions from the Roman period as well: P. Oslo III 124 (TM 25908; petition to nomarchai of the Arsinoites from 75–100 AD), PSI X 1103 (TM 13828; petition to strategos from 192–194 AD) and P. Wisc. I 3 (TM 16812; petition to unknown official from ca. 256–259 AD). In P. Oslo III 124, a man named Theabennis asks to be relieved from the weaver’s tax because he is “no longer in shape for doing a weaver’s job, due to [his] weak eyesight and old age” (ll. 8–13: ἐπεὶ οὐκέτι εὐτονῶι τὴν γερδια|κὴν τέ̣χνη<ν> ποιεῖν | [δ]ι̣ὰ̣ τὸ ἀσθενῆ µε εἶν̣α̣ι | τ̣ῇ̣ ὁράσει καὶ ὑπὸ | γ̣ήρους̣). In this text, the old age and weak eyesight of the petitioner clearly have a financial dimension: due to his visual impairment, Theabennis cannot earn his living as a weaver and as a consequence cannot pay his taxes. The petitioners of PSI X 1103 and P. Wisc. I 3 ask for relief of a liturgy: here, too, the old age and visual impairment of the petitioners are used as financial arguments. Probably, the bad eyesight references in P. Enteux. 25 and 26 can be interpreted in a similar way: the petitioners are struggling financially because of their old age and lack of sight, and still their children refuse to take care of them.

16A theme that appears in petitions by elderly people from the Roman period, but that has not yet been attested in Ptolemaic petitions by elderly people, is the loss of one’s children. In two petitions from the Roman period, the petitioners lament the death of their children:

γέροντα | ἄνθρωπον καὶ ἄ[τ]εκνον | διὰ τὸ τοὺς υἱούς µ̣ου τετε|λευτηκέναι, “being an old man, and childless because of the death of my sons.”
P. Oxy. XXXIV 2708 (TM 16580; petition to epistrategos from 169 AD), ll. 14–17.

ὅπως οἰκτείρῃς µου τὸ γῆρας καὶ τὴν κατα|λαβοῦσάν µε συµφορὰν τῶν ἀπογενοµένων µου τέκνων, “so that you may take pity on my old age and the disaster of my children’s death that has befallen me.”
P. Sakaon 41 (TM 13060; petition to prefect from 322–324 AD), ll. 11–12.

Physical impairment

  • 24 As a rule, distinguishing physical features are not included in formal identifications in petitions (...)
  • 25 For the ἀβοηθησία of women, see section about gender above.

17Most of the examples of petitioners who stress their physical impairment have already been referred to in the preceding section: physical weakness in general and feeble eyesight in particular are regularly named in Ptolemaic and Roman petitions by elderly people. Physical impairments do not appear exclusively in petitions by the elderly, however. In P. Coll. Youtie I 16 (TM 5041), a hypomnema to the strategos from a man named Petermouthis son of Peteesis, dating to 109 BC (?), the petitioner underlines the fact that he is crippled (ἀνάπηρος) on two occasions. First, Petermouthis identifies himself as a cripple in the prescript of the text (l. 5), suggesting that he considers this impairment as part of his official identity.24 Second, he states that the other party has been thinking low of him because he is helpless and crippled (ll. 29–31: κατεγνωκὼς ἐπὶ τῶι | ἀβοήθητόν µε εἶναι καὶ ἀνά|πειρον). This is the only known instance in which a male petitioner stresses his ἀβοηθησία.25

  • 26 P. Mich. VI 422 (TM 12261), ll. 29–31 = SB XXII 15774 (TM 41698), ll. 15–16; P. Mich. VI 423 (TM 12 (...)
  • 27 P. Mich. VI 426 (TM 12264), l. 3; P. Sijp. 12 f (TM 110146), l. 3.

18For the Ptolemaic period, the theme of visual impairment has so far only been attested in petitions by elderly people. The Roman period archive of Gemellus Horion shows – unsurprisingly – that the theme could also appear in petitions without reference to old age. On several occasions, Gemellus Horion attempts to mobilize his identity as visually impaired in order to influence the addressees of his petitions. In three of his petitions,26 he uses a καταφρόνησις formula: he claims that his offenders think low of him because of his weak eyesight. In two other petitions,27 he identifies himself as “weak-sighted” (ἀσθενὴς τὴν ὄψιν/τὰς ὄψε̣ι̣ς) in the prescript of the texts, suggesting that he considers his impairment as part of his official identity, just like Petermouthis son of Peteesis in P. Coll. Youtie I 16.

  • 28 P. Hels. I 2 (TM 5139); P. Ryl. II 68 (TM 5286); P. Tebt. III 800 (TM 5383); P. Tebt. III 960 (TM 7 (...)
  • 29 P. Köln VI 272; P. Ryl. II 68; P. Tebt. I 44 (TM 3680); P. Tebt. II 283 (TM 42986); P. Tebt. III 79 (...)
  • 30 See UPZ I 122 (TM 3514); P. Ryl. II 68 (TM 5286) and P. Tebt. III 800, respectively.

19In several instances, from the Ptolemaic as well as the Roman period, petitioners claim that they themselves or their relatives/associates are in a critical physical condition as a result of a violent assault by their adversaries. In most cases, the petitioners or their relatives/associates are said to be bedridden,28 and/or in mortal danger.29 Others are said to be lame (χωλός) or sick (ἄρρωστος/κακόπαθος).30 As often, it is very difficult to determine to what extent these additions have to be interpreted as rhetorical finery and/or relevant information. In any case, they are closely related to the narrated events.

Poverty

20Financial/material difficulties are a rather recurrent theme in the Ptolemaic petition corpus. This is unsurprising, as most petitions are in some way related to property. The (mostly implicit) financial aspect of the female ἀβοηθησία and the mention of old age and weak eyesight have already been discussed above, but several petitions contain more explicit references to poverty. Most commonly, petitioners point to their lack of necessities (ἀναγκαῖα/δέοντα). Five out of eight examples of this topos, however, appear in petitions from prisoners, and might refer to the specific hardship they experience in prison rather than to their financial/material situation in general.

τοῦ [ἀνδρὸς] | µετηλλαχότος τὸν βίον ἀπολιπόντος | ἐ[µὲ σὺν] τέκνωι καθυστεροῦσα τοῖς δέ̣ο̣υ̣σ̣ι̣ | τυγχάνωι, “since my man has passed away, leaving me with a child, I am short of necessities.”
BGU VIII 1833 (TM 4912; hypomnema to strategos from 51–50 BC), ll. 4–7.

[οὐκ ἔχ]ων τὰ ταναγκαῖα, “being short of necessities.”
P. Coll. Youtie I 12 Ro (TM 5038; hypomnema from prisoner to unknown official from 177 BC), l. 11.

ὥστε καὶ τῶν ἀνανκαίων ἐνδεὴς εἶναι, “so that I am short of necessities.”
P. Lond. VII 2045 (TM 1607; enteuxis from prisoner to estate mananger Zenon from 263–229 BC), l. 3.

κοὐκ ἔχων τὰ ἀναγκαῖα, “being short of necessities.”
P. Polit. Iud. 2 (TM 44618; hypomnema from prisoner to politarches and other politeuma officials from ca. 135 BC), l. 12.

οὐ γὰρ ἔχω τὰ ἀναγκαῖα, “I am short of necessities.”
PSI IV 416 (TM 2099; hypomnema from prisoner to estate manager Zenon from 263–229 BC), ll. 6–7.

ἐνδε|εῖς ὄντας τῶν ἀναγ|καίων, “being short of necessities.”
P. Tarich. 2 (TM 316242; hypomnema from prisoners to the πρὸς τῶι παρασφραγισµῶι from 189 BC), ll. 18–20.

ἐνδ\ε/ὴς οὖσα τῶν ἀναγ̣[καίων], “being short of necessities.”
P. Tebt. I 52 (TM 3688; hypomnema to village epistates from ca. 114 BC), l. 12.

ἐνδεοῦς τοῖς δέουσιν ὄντος, “being short of necessities.”
UPZ I 24 (TM 3415; hypomnema to hypodioiketes from 162 BC), l. 26.

21In some cases, the concept of ἀσθένεια is used to express the poor financial/material situation of the petitioners (as becomes clear from the context of these petitions):

τῶν ἀσθενῶς διακει|µένων γεωργῶν τῶν | τὰ τελέσµατα τῶν βασιλικῶν | τελουµένων, “farmers in a weak position, paying royal taxes.”
BGU VIII 1815 (TM 4894; hypomnema to strategos from 60 BC [?]), ll. 6–9.

ἀσθενέστεροι ὑπάρχοντες, “being in a rather weak position.”
BGU VIII 1843 (TM 4922; petition to strategos from 50–49 BC), l. 14.

καταφρο[νῶν διὰ] τῆς ἀσθενείας, “thinking low of me because of my weakness.”
P. Enteux. 48 (TM 3323; enteuxis to king/strategos from 218 BC), l. 7.

ἀπʼ ὀλίγων | [διαζῶντας κ]αὶ τοῖς ἰδίος ἐξησθενηκότας, “living from little and being in a very grave financial situation.”
P. Meyer 1 (TM 5901; enteuxis to king from 145–144 BC), ll. 15–16.

ἀσθενῶς διακειµένας, “being in a weak position.”
UPZ I 17 (TM 3408; hypomnema to hypodioiketes from 163 BC), ll. 23.

  • 31 See Chrest. Wilck. 325 (TM 11799; 140 AD); P. Leit. 5 (TM 11615; ca. 180 AD); P. Oxy. XVII 2131 (TM (...)
  • 32 See CPR XVII A 6 (TM 17700; 316 AD [?]); P. Cair. Isid. 68 (TM 10398; 309–310 AD [?]); P. Cair. Isi (...)
  • 33 See P. Lips. II 146; P. Oxy. XLVII 3364; P. Sakaon 41; SB XVI 12814; SB XXVI 16426.

22During the Roman period, the vocabulary changes. In the 2nd and early 3rd century AD, the term ἄπορος (“poor”, “needy”) is frequently used by petitioners who seek to stress their poverty.31 At the end of the 2nd century AD, the motif of the petitioner’s µετριότης starts to appear, becoming one of the most important rhetorical themes in petitions from the 3rd century AD onwards.32 This concept seems to reflect a more positive attitude towards poverty. A petitioner who is µέτριος is not only of modest financial means, but also leads a moderate lifestyle, in a very respectful way. It is unsurprising, in this context, that the petitioner’s µετριότης is regularly referred to in connection with his ἀπραγµοσύνη,33 another positive trait indicating one’s unobtrusiveness and love of a simple life.

23Interestingly, the motif of the petitioner’s µετριότης has also been attested in a 3rd century AD petition from Koile-Syria: SB XXII 15497 (TM 23922; petition to governor from 244–250 AD [?]). In this text, the theme is integrated in a καταφρόνησις formula (l. 11: καταφρονένας µου τῆς µετριότητος). Clearly, some of the rhetorical devices encountered in the Egyptian petition corpus may have been used in petitions from other parts of the Hellenistic and Roman world as well.

Ethnic and territorial outsiderness

  • 34 For the use of ξένος in this territorial sense, see Anne-Emmanuelle Veïsse, “L’expression de l’alté (...)

24P. Enteux. 79 (TM 3354; enteuxis to king/strategos from 222 BC), one of the most-cited petitions from the Ptolemaic era, records a complaint by a man named Herakleides about a fight he had in the village of Psya with a woman named Senobastis, after the latter had emptied a chamber pot over Herakleides’ head. The request of this petition starts as follows (ll. 9–10): δέοµαι οὖν σου, βασιλεῦ, εἴ σοι δοκεῖ, [µὴ περιιδεῖν µε οὕ]τως ἀλόγως ὑπὸ Αἰγυ[πτίας ὑβρισµέ]νον, Ἕλλην[α ὄν]|τα καὶ ξένον, “I beg you, king, if it seems good to you, not to overlook me, so unreasonably injured by an Egyptian, myself being a Greek and a stranger.” With this statement, Herakleides lays emphasis on his identity as both ethnic and territorial outsider. First Herakleides says – with some air of superiority – that he is a Greek, in contrast to Senobastis. Next he underlines the fact that he is also a ξένος, a stranger in the village of Psya, where he was passing by when Senobastis (one of the inhabitants of the village) harrassed him.34 For both the ethnic and territorial element, parallels can be found in other petitions.

25The κάτοχοι archive includes several petitions by Ptolemaios son of Glaukias about his disputes with certain Egyptian individuals. In three of these texts, Ptolemaios claims that these men are targeting him because he is Greek:

παρὰ τὸ | Ἕλληνα εἶναι, “because I am Greek.”
UPZ I 7 (TM 3398; hypomnema to strategos from 163 BC), ll. 21–22.

παρὰ τὸ Ἕλληνα εἶναι, “because I am Greek.”
UPZ I 8 (TM 3399; hypomnema to strategos from 161 BC), l. 14.

ἕνεκα | [τοῦ] Ἕλληνά µε [εἶν]αι, “because I am Greek.”
UPZ I 15 (TM 3406; enteuxis to king from 156–155 BC), ll. 16–17.

  • 35 For the theme of ethnicity in P. Yale I 46 col. I (TM 5538), see Veïsse, “L’usage des ethniques”, a (...)

26Interestingly, there is one example of the opposite phenomenon as well: an Egyptian complaining that he has been mistreated by a Greek because of his ethnicity. The petitioner of P. Yale I 46 col. I (TM 5538; enteuxis to king/strategos from 246–221 BC) states that the other party is thinking low of him because he is an Egyptian (l. 13: [καταφρον]ήσας µου ὅτι Αἰγύπτ̣ιος εἰµί).35

27Citizenship takes the place of ethnicity in a petition from the Roman period: SB XXIV 16252 (TM 41626; petition to epistrategos from 163 AD). With a similar air of superiority as Herakleides, the petitioner of this text complains that he is “a Roman man, having suffered such things at the hands of an Egyptian” (ll. 28–29: ἄνθρωπος |῾Ρωµαῖος, τ[οιαῦτ]α παθὼν ὑπ̣ὸ̣ Α̣ἰ̣γ̣υπτίου̣).

28The theme of territorial outsiderness appears fairly often in Ptolemaic petitions as well. Besides P. Enteux. 79, the following examples can be given:

καταφρονήσας µου ὅτι ξένος εἰµί, “thinking low of me because I am a stranger.”
P. Enteux. 29 (TM 3304; enteuxis to king/strategos from 218 BC), l. 11.

καταγνοῦσά µου ὅτι ξένη εἰµ[ί], “thinking low of me because I am a stranger.”
P. Enteux. 83 (TM 3358; enteuxis to king/strategos from 221 BC), l. 4.

ὢν ἐ̣π̣ὶ̣ ξ̣έν̣η̣ς, “being in strange territory.”
P. Polit. Iud. 2 (TM 44618; hypomnema to politarches and other politeuma officials from ca. 135 BC), ll. 10–11.

ξένοι ὄντες, “being strangers.”
PSI IV 419 (TM 2102; enteuxis to estate manager Zenon from 263–229 BC), ll. 2–3.

[διὸ ἀ]ξ̣ι[ῶ] | καταφ̣θ̣ειρόµενος ἐπὶ ξένης, “therefore I ask, being ruined in strange territory (to…).”
SB XXVIII 16855 (TM 5132; hypomnema to strategos from 167 BC), ll. 25–26.

  • 36 John Bauschatz, Law and Enforcement in Ptolemaic Egypt, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2013 (...)

29In P. Enteux. 29 and 83, the κατάγνωσις/καταφρόνησις motif pops up again: the accused are said to look down upon the petitioners, because the latter are strangers in the places where the events take place. The petitioners of P. Polit. Iud. 2, PSI IV 419 and SB XXVIII 16855 stress their difficult situation as strangers in a particular territory without referring to the other party. Interestingly, both P. Polit. Iud. 2 and PSI IV 419 are petitions from prisoners who seek their release. As prisoners in Ptolemaic Egypt were most probably responsible for their own provisions,36 it may have been challenging to keep oneself alive as prisoner in strange territory, where one could not rely on family or acquaintances for support.

30In the Roman period, the theme of territorial outsiderness seems to become much less important. Only one petition, from the 5th century AD already, contains a statement similar to the ones discussed above: in P. Oxy. L 3584 (TM 34776; petition to curialis), the petitioner says that he is being threatened with expulsion by the komarchai of Tampemu because he is a stranger and a foreign resident in the named village (ll. 5–6: ξ̣ένος καὶ πάροικος τυγχάνων ἐν τῇ προειρηµένῃ | [κώ]µῃ).

Conclusion

  • 37 Cf. similar observations in Di Bitonto, “Le petizioni ai funzionari”, art. cit., p. 99–100 at 104–1 (...)

31By stressing their identity and precarious situation as women, widows, orphans, elderly people, physically impaired, poor, Greeks, Egyptians and territorial outsiders, petitioners in Ptolemaic Egypt could add force to their pleas. In some cases, these identifications were vital for a good understanding of the events portrayed in a petition, but often these identities were mobilised for reasons of persuasion. The lion’s share of the discussed identifications appear in strategic places, mostly close to the request formula but also in the petition prescript. Several of them are integrated into a κατάγνωσις/καταφρόνησις formula. Moreover, the petitions make use of fixed stereotypes: the helpless woman, the weak-sighted old man, etc. All of this makes clear that these identifications were part of a rhetorical scheme. Interestingly, the examples discussed in this paper come for the very largest part from petitions submitted to high-standing officials (most importantly the strategos) and the king himself. In petitions to lower officials, rhetorical self-presentation strategies seem to have been adopted to a much lesser degree. A more elevated style and use of pathetic elements must have been considered more appropriate when addressing the highest echelons of society than when writing to a local functionary (who was also more likely to be acquainted in some way with the petitioner).37

  • 38 Hengstl, “Petita in Petitionen”, art. cit., p. 286–287; Kelly, Petitions, op. cit., p. 42–45; Masce (...)
  • 39 Petition-writing manuals from antiquity are not known, but there is plenty of evidence for letter-w (...)

32It should be kept in mind that most petitions in the Greco-Roman period were written by professional scribes.38 On the one hand, this can help to explain the remarkable standardisation of the expressions discussed in this paper: scribes were able to consult earlier petitions or corpora of model petitions in order to reuse certain ideas and phrases.39 On the other hand, this observation raises the difficult question to what extent the rhetorical devices employed in the petitions can be attributed to the petitioners themselves. Possibly, certain petitioners explained their situation to a scribe in fairly objective terms, after which their story was embellished by the scribe in question. In any case, however, they must have been well aware of the final arrangement of their petition.

33The preliminary survey of petitions from Roman Egypt conducted throughout this paper has shown that similar practices of persuasive self-identification existed at later times. Many themes and phrases seem to have had a remarkably stable existence over hundreds of years, but yet certain changes took place. The focus in women’s petitions shifted from the female ἀβοηθησία to the female ἀσθένεια, new motifs like the loss of one’s children came up, poverty (and in particular the related, albeit more positive concept of µετριότης) became an increasingly important theme, whereas the issues of ethnic and territorial outsiderness disappeared largely from the record, etc. In this way, the rhetorical trends encountered in petitions from different stages of Greco-Roman civilisation in Egypt reflect the historical evolution of attitudes and values within this society.

Notes

1 Anne-Emmanuelle Veïsse, “Les identités multiples de Ptolémaios, fils de Glaukias”, Ancient Society, 37, 2007, p. 69–87.

2 For Ptolemaic petitions, see in particular Gert Baetens, I Am Wronged: Petitions and Related Documents from Ptolemaic Egypt (332–30 BC), unpublished dissertation KU Leuven, 2017; Elias J. Bickermann, “Beiträge zur antiken Urkundengeschichte. III. ῎Εντευξις und ὑπόµνηµα”, Archiv für Papyrusforschung, 9, 1930, p. 155–182; Anna Di Bitonto, “Le petizioni al re”, Aegyptus, 47, 1967, p. 5–57; id., “Le petizioni ai funzionari nel periodo tolemaico”, Aegyptus, 48, 1968, p. 53–107; id., “Frammenti di petizioni del periodo tolemaico”, Aegyptus, 56, 1976, p. 109–143; Joachim Hengstl, “Petita in Petitionen gräko-ägyptischer Papyri”, in Gerhard Thür, Julie Vélissaropoulos-Karakostas (eds.), Symposion 1995: Vorträge zur griechischen und hellenistischen Rechtsgeschichte, Cologne, Böhlau, 1997, p. 265–289. For petitions from Roman Egypt, see in particular Benjamin Kelly, Petitions, Litigation, and Social Control in Roman Egypt, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2011; Roberto Mascellari, Le petizioni nell’Egitto Romano. Evoluzione di formulario, procedure e organizzazione della giustizia. Documentazione su papiro dal 30 a.C. al 300 d.C., unpublished dissertation Università degli Studi di Firenze, 2012.

3 In his study on the “captatio benevolentiae” of the petitions from the Roman period, Papathomas names several texts from this period (and a handful of texts from the Ptolemaic period) in which the petitioners stress their disadvantaged status as part of a rhetorical scheme: Amphilochios Papathomas, “Zur captatio benevolentiae in den griechischen Papyri als Zeugnis für die Mentalitätsgeschichte der Römerzeit. Die Verherrlichung des Adressaten und die Selbstherabsetzung des Ausstellers in den Petitionen an Herrscher und Behörden”, in Eleni Karamalengou, Eugenia Makrygianni (eds.), Ἀντιφίλησις. Studies on Classical, Byzantine and Modern Greek Literature and Culture in Honour of John-Theophanes A. Papademetriou, Stuttgart, Steiner, 2009, p. 486–496.

4 On the basis of a corpus of 356 Ptolemaic petitions, Veïsse has estimated that 15% of the known petitioners in this period are women: Anne-Emmanuelle Veïsse, “L’expression de l’identité dans les petitions d’époque ptolémaïque. Étude préliminaire”, in Silvia Bussi (ed.), Egitto dai Faraoni agli Arabi. Atti del Convegno “Egitto: amministrazione, economia, società, cultura dai Faraoni agli Arabi” (Milano, 7-9 gennaio 2013), Pisa, Serra, 2013, p. 84. For the period 30 BC–284 AD, Kelly has proposed a number of 14,2%: Kelly, Petitions, op. cit., p. 229. For the number of female petitioners in Late Antique Egypt (284–641 AD), which varies considerably depending on the timespan, see Roger S. Bagnall, “Women’s Petions in Late Antique Egypt”, in Denis Feissel, Jean Gascou (eds.), La pétition à Byzance, Paris, Association des amis du Centre d’histoire et civilisation de Byzance, 2004, p. 54.

5 The Ptolemaic petition P. Yale IV 146 forms another good example: see forthcoming publication by Ruth Duttenhöfer.

6 In P. Enteux. 22 (TM 3297) and SB VI 9065 (TM 5721), for example, the petitioners do mention the death of their husband, but in a very no-nonsense way; the fact is fully embedded in the petition’s narrative and necessary for a good understanding of the described events.

7 Several 3rd century BC enteuxis – petitions were nominally addressed to the Ptolemaic king, but in practice submitted to the strategos.

8 P. Coll. Youtie I 16 (TM 5041): see section about physical impairment below. Another formula referring to the ἀβοηθησία of petitioners has been read in P. Meyer 8 (TM 11962), a petition by two men from 151 AD. The editor’s supplement of the end of l. 10 (καταφρονῶν τῆς περὶ ἡµᾶ̣ς̣ ἀ̣β̣[οηθήτου ἀσθενείας (?)]) is very uncertain, however.

9 The editor of P. Oslo II 22 (TM 12552, petition to strategos from 127 AD) has read the expression on ll. 12–13 of this text as ἐπὶ σὲ κατ[αφεύγω ἀσθενὴς] | καὶ ἀβοήθητος ὑπάρχουσ[α], but his supplement [ἀσθενής] is most probably wrong, since the theme of the female ἀσθένεια only seems to appear in petitions from the 3rd century AD onwards: see below.

10 Cf. Chrysi Kotsifou, “Papyrological Perspectives on Orphans in the World of Late Ancient Christianity”, in Cornelia Horn, Robert R. Phenix (eds.), Children in Late Ancient Christianity, Tübingen, Mohr Siebeck, 2009, p. 361.

11 This starts to change from the time of the emperor Justinian: see Kotsifou, “Papyrological Perspectives on Orphans”, art. cit., p. 346. For the question of the age of majority in Greco-Roman Egypt, see Barbara Anagnostou-Canas, “Réponse à Sophie Adam-Magnissali”, in Edward Harris, Gerhard Thür (eds.), Symposion 2007: Vorträge zur griechischen und hellenistischen Rechtsgeschichte, Vienna, Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2008, p. 161–171.

12 The Ptolemaic petition P. Yale IV 147 offers another good example of this strategy: see forthcoming publication by Ruth Duttenhöfer. The petitioner of PSI Congr. XXI 6 (TM 8151; enteuxis to king from 116–107 BC) seems to refer to her orphan children as well (l. 11), but unfortunately the context of this reference is unclear due to the fragmentary state of the papyrus.

13 For a general commentary on the phenomenon, see Chrysi Kotsifou, “Emotions and Papyri: Insights into the Theatre of Human Experience in Antiquity”, in Angelos Chaniotis (ed.), Unveiling Emotions: Sources and Methods for the Study of Emotions in the Greek World, Stuttgart, Steiner, 2012, t. 1, p. 74–75; Kotsifou, “Papyrological Perspectives on Orphans”, art. cit., p. 352–353. For Roman petitions with this connection, see P. Mich. IX 525 (TM 12021) and P. Sakaon 36 (TM 13054). For a rhetorical analysis of the last petition, see Chrysi Kotsifou, “A Glimpse into the World of Petitions: The Case of Aurelia Artemis and her Orphaned Children”, Angelos Chaniotis (ed.), Unveiling Emotions, op. cit., p. 317–327.

14 BGU VIII 1813 (TM 4892); BGU XIV 2374 (TM 3994); P. Enteux. 32 (TM 3307); P. Gen. III 126, ll. 21–46 (TM 43084); P. Polit. Iud. 6 (TM 44622); SB XVI 12524 (TM 14608); SB XVIII 13092 (TM 2519); SB XVIII 13095 (TM 2522) = SB XVIII 13096 (TM 2523).

15 P. Dryton 33 (TM 253); P. Duke inv. 360 (TM 58466); P. Enteux. 9 (TM 3286); P. Enteux. 15 (TM 3292); P. Enteux. 68 (TM 3343); SB VIII 9790 (TM 5954).

16 UPZ I 17 (TM 3408); UPZ I 18 (TM 3409) = UPZ I 19 (TM 3410) = UPZ I 20 (TM 3411); UPZ I 39 (TM 3430) = UPZ I 40 (TM 3431); UPZ I 41 (TM 3432); UPZ I 42 (TM 3433); UPZ I 46 (TM 3437) = UPZ I 47 (TM 3438) = UPZ I 48 (TM 3439) = UPZ I 49 (TM 3440) = UPZ I 50 (TM 3441); UPZ I 58 Vo, ll. 1–4 (TM 3449).

17 UPZ I 24 (TM 3415); UPZ I 35 (TM 3426) = UPZ I 36 (TM 3427); UPZ I 52 (TM 3443) = UPZ I 53 (TM 3444).

18 UPZ I 22 (TM 3413); UPZ I 32 (TM 3423); UPZ I 33 (TM 3424) = UPZ I 34 (TM 3425); UPZ I 43 (TM 3434) = UPZ I 44 (TM 3435) = UPZ I 45 (TM 3436); UPZ I 51 (TM 3442).

19 One can think, for example, of the famous case of Demosthenes, who was bereft of most of his inheritance by his guardians: Demosthenes, Against Aphobos 1–3; Against Ontenor 1–2.

20 For P. Enteux. 68, see next footnote.

21 This text may have originally contained a καταφρόνησις formula linked to the petitioner’s orphanhood as well, but only the first word of this formula has been preserved (l. 11): καταφρονῶµ [ -ca.?- ].

22 P. Oxy. I 71 col. II (TM 12592) and P. Oxy. XXXIV 2713 (TM 16586), both discussed in the section about gender above, are other good examples of this evolution.

23 In P. Enteux. 22 (TM 3297), the petitioner also states that she is old and weak (l. 9: ἐ̣π̣ε̣ι̣δ̣ή̣ πρεσβυτέρα τε οὖσα καὶ ἀ\σ̣/θ̣εν[ὴς γενο]µένη), but this text has not been included in this list because it can hardly be considered as an example of persuasive self-identification. The petitioner of P. Enteux. 22 only seems to mention her old age and infirmity in order to explain why she is submitting her petition through an intermediary rather than coming to the office of the addressee in Krokodilopolis herself. Moreover, her request is of purely administrative nature: she asks for the assignment of a new κύριος.

24 As a rule, distinguishing physical features are not included in formal identifications in petitions, like in certain other official documents: cf. Mark Depauw, “Physical Descriptions, Registration and εἰκονίζειν: With New Interpretations for P. Par. 65 and P. Oxy. I 34”, Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik, 176, 2011, p. 189–199.

25 For the ἀβοηθησία of women, see section about gender above.

26 P. Mich. VI 422 (TM 12261), ll. 29–31 = SB XXII 15774 (TM 41698), ll. 15–16; P. Mich. VI 423 (TM 12262), ll. 4–5 = P. Mich. VI 424 (TM 48617), ll. 4–5; P. Mich. VI 425 (TM 12263), ll. 11–13.

27 P. Mich. VI 426 (TM 12264), l. 3; P. Sijp. 12 f (TM 110146), l. 3.

28 P. Hels. I 2 (TM 5139); P. Ryl. II 68 (TM 5286); P. Tebt. III 800 (TM 5383); P. Tebt. III 960 (TM 7988); SB XXII 15542 (TM 41498). Parallels from the Roman period: BGU I 45 (TM 9092); BGU II 515 (TM 9210); P. Fouad I 28 (TM 20980); P. Hamb. IV 240 (TM 78270); P. Louvre I 1 (TM 11824); P. Mich. V 228 (TM 12069); P. Mich. V 229 (TM 15168); P. Ryl. II 124 (TM 25465); SB X 10244 (TM 16683); SB XX 15077 (TM 14929).

29 P. Köln VI 272; P. Ryl. II 68; P. Tebt. I 44 (TM 3680); P. Tebt. II 283 (TM 42986); P. Tebt. III 793, col. XI l. 11–col. XII l. 4 (TM 5379); P. Tebt. III 798 (TM 7857); P. Tebt. III 960; SB XXII 15542. Parallels from the Roman period: P. Fouad I 28; P. Hamb. IV 240; P. Mich. V 228; P. Mich. V 229; P. Mich. V 230 (TM 15169); P. Oxy. L 3561 (TM 12594); P. Strasb. VI 521 (TM 25106); P. Tebt. II 304 (TM 13464); SB X 10244; SB XX 15077.

30 See UPZ I 122 (TM 3514); P. Ryl. II 68 (TM 5286) and P. Tebt. III 800, respectively.

31 See Chrest. Wilck. 325 (TM 11799; 140 AD); P. Leit. 5 (TM 11615; ca. 180 AD); P. Oxy. XVII 2131 (TM 17511; 207 AD); PSI X 1103 (TM 13828; 192–194 AD); PSI XII 1243 (TM 13867; 208 AD); SB XIV 11980 (TM 40816; 207 AD); SB XX 14335 (TM 32175; 200–225 AD); probably also SB XXII 15494 (TM 43200; 2nd or 3rd century AD), but lacunose.

32 See CPR XVII A 6 (TM 17700; 316 AD [?]); P. Cair. Isid. 68 (TM 10398; 309–310 AD [?]); P. Cair. Isid. 74 = P. Mert. II 91 (TM 51670 = 11939; 315 AD); P. Herm. 19 (TM 21128; 392 AD); P. Kell. I 20 (TM 20285; 300–320 AD); P. Kell. I 23 (TM 20288; 353 AD); P. Lips. II 146 (TM 44421; 189 AD); P. Oxy. I 71 col. I (TM 12591; 303 AD); P. Oxy. VIII 1117 (TM 21739; ca. 178 AD); P. Oxy. VIII 1121 (TM 21741; 295 AD); P. Oxy. XLIII 3113 (TM 15991; ca. 264–265 AD); P. Oxy. XLIII 3126 (TM 16005; 328 AD); P. Oxy. XLVII 3364 (TM 22475; 209 AD); P. Oxy. LXXIX 5210 (TM 381935; 298–299 AD); P. Panop. 27 (TM 16197; 323 AD); P. Sakaon 41 (TM 13060; 322–324 AD); P. Sakaon 44 = P. Turner 44 (TM 13063 = 13661; 331–332 AD); SB XVI 12814 (TM 16299; ca. 343 AD); SB XVI 12994 (TM 16338; 241 AD); SB XXVI 16426 (TM 97354; 291–292 AD). For this topos, see also Herbert C. Youtie, “Notes sur P. Cairo-Boak 57049”, Chronique d’Égypte, 28, 1953, p. 150, n. 1; Arkady B. Kovelman, “From Logos to Myth: Egyptian Petitions of the 5th–7th Centuries”, Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists, 28, 1991, p. 136; Papathomas, “Zur captatio benevolentiae”, art. cit., p. 494.

33 See P. Lips. II 146; P. Oxy. XLVII 3364; P. Sakaon 41; SB XVI 12814; SB XXVI 16426.

34 For the use of ξένος in this territorial sense, see Anne-Emmanuelle Veïsse, “L’expression de l’altérité dans l’Égypte des Ptolémées: allophulos, xénos et barbaros”, Revue des études grecques, 120, 2007, p. 50–63. For the theme of ethnicity in P. Enteux. 79, see Anne-Emmanuelle Veïsse, “L’usage des ethniques dans l’Égypte du iiie siècle”, in Laurent Capdetrey, Julien Zurbach (eds.), Mobilités grecques. Mouvements, réseaux,, contacts, en Méditerranée, de l’époque archaïque à l’époque hellénistique, Bordeaux, Ausonius (Scripta Antiqua, 46), 2012, p. 49–50.

35 For the theme of ethnicity in P. Yale I 46 col. I (TM 5538), see Veïsse, “L’usage des ethniques”, art. cit., p. 50.

36 John Bauschatz, Law and Enforcement in Ptolemaic Egypt, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2013, p. 253–254.

37 Cf. similar observations in Di Bitonto, “Le petizioni ai funzionari”, art. cit., p. 99–100 at 104–105.

38 Hengstl, “Petita in Petitionen”, art. cit., p. 286–287; Kelly, Petitions, op. cit., p. 42–45; Mascellari, Le petizioni nell’Egitto Romano, op. cit., p. 26. Cf. SB XVIII 13256 (TM 2541).

39 Petition-writing manuals from antiquity are not known, but there is plenty of evidence for letter-writing manuals and model letters in antiquity: see Carol Poster, “A Conversation Halved: Epistolary Theory in Greco-Roman Antiquity”, in Carol Poster, Linda C. Mitchell (eds.), Letter-Writing Manuals and Instruction from Antiquity to the Present, Columbia, University of South Carolina Press, 2007, p. 21–51.

Auteur

KU Leuven

© Éditions de la Sorbonne, 2019

Conditions d’utilisation : http://www.openedition.org/6540

Lire

Freemium

open access

Offert par L’éditeur de ce site