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Translations of Hellenistic Inscriptions: 161


PETITION FROM THE PRIESTS OF MANDULIS AT PHILAE


Greek text:   Philae_12bis
Date:   149/8 B.C.
Format:   see key to translations

The text of this inscription has been heavily restored, but it clearly shows that during the reign of Ptolemy VI, the Ptolemaic kingdom had reasserted its control over its southern border, and some Ethiopians were governed by an Egyptian strategos; see L.Török, "Between Two Worlds", pp.407-8 ( Google Books ).   The translation is taken from "Fontes historiae Nubiorum", vol. ii, no.140 ( PDF ).


[To king Ptolemaios . . . greetings . . . since . . . ] . . . and in the shortage which arose when our revenues [failed], the strategos [(?) summoned . . .] Phoi… [who was then] governing the Ethiopians, and arranged [to be given] to us a monthly subvention of thirty artabas of grain, . . . jars of wine, . . . two talents' weight of wool, . . . so that we should have it for the [sacrifices and libations in the temple] of Mondouleuos {Mandulis}, the greatest God, [and for the other customary rites in the] region of Philae on behalf of you and [the queen and] your [children and] ancestors.

Now that we are proposing [to] renew [the sacrifices and libations], we ask you, if you see fit, [to order . . . the kinsman] and secretary of correspondence {hypomnematographos} to [write to] . . . [so that he keeps up] the monthly subvention [to us] mentioned above without [failing either in attention or goodwill] and so that he abides by what [has] already [been undertaken by him] and what has now been decreed.

If [this happens, we and] the temple [will have] profited from your benevolence. Farewell. Year 33, in the month Mecheir.

inscription 162


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