Oxyrhynchus Papyri 85

Column IV
Φλαουίω Εύσεβιω λογι-
στῆ [[τ’]]’Οξυρυγχείτου
παρὰ τοῦ καινοῦ τῶν
ζυθοπωλῶν τῆς α(υ-
τῆς πόλεως
. . .
Προσφωνοῦμ(εν ἰδί-
ω τιμ[ή]ματι τ[ὴν ἐξῆς
ἐγγεγραμμ[ένην τι-
μήν αν χιρίζομεν
ἀνίαν ἐιν[αι ἐπὶ τοῦ-
δε τοῦ μην[ός, και] ὀ-
μνῦομεν τόν [θ]εῖ-
ον άρκον μηδὲ[ν δι-
εψεσθαι. ἐστι δέ
κριθῆς (ἀρτάβαι) ἀταλ(   )  ιγ
(δηναρίων) Φ.

To Flavius Eusebius, logistes of the Oxyrhynchite nome,
From the guild of beer-sellers of this city
We proclaim that our own value of the goods, which
are in stock, are the values for this very month, and we swear
by an oath of the gods that it is correct.
For 13 artaba of barley . . . it is worth 500 denarii

Background
The Oxyrhynchus papyri comprise a number of manuscripts that were recovered from the Egyptian town of Oxyrhynchus. Such texts are quite rare finds, but the dry climate of Egypt helped to preserve the documents. In this papyrus, declarations for the value of goods by guildworkers are recorded.

Commentary
According to the LSJ, an artaba is a Persian measurement worth 1 medimnus and 3 choenices. This is equivalent to 40 liters/30 kg of Egyptian wheat for each artaba (von Reden 2010, 149). These Egyptian brewers were dealing with large quantities of grain – potentially 390 kg (858 lb) on hand. If we follow the amount of grain in this recipe for Egyptian beer, the amount of barley recorded in this account is enough to produce 18.5 barrels of beer (37 kegs)!

Author
Aurelius Thonis (ca.338 CE)
A literate man who lived in Egypt

Text Source: Greenfell, B.P. and A.S. Hunt, 1898. The Oxyrhynchus Papyri. Part I. London: Egypt Exploration Fund, pp. 147-148.

Other Sources: von Reden, S. 2010. Money in Classical Antiquity. Cambridge: Cambridge University press.

Advertisements

One Comment Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s