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Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum: 29.1613


LETTERS OF ANTIOCHOS III, INSCRIBED AT SKYTHOPOLIS


Greek text:   SEG_29.1613
Date:   202-195 B.C.
Tags:     royal_letters
Format:   see key to translations

This important dossier of letters was discovered at Skythopolis, west of the river Jordan. The letters were written at the time when the Syrian king Antiochos III was seizing complete control of Palestine; Ptolemaios son of Thraseas, the governor of the region, was co-operating with him. Another letter from Antiochos to Ptolemaios, preserved by the historian Josephus, granted privileges to the Jews ( Joseph:AJ_12'138-144 ).

The translation is adapted from S.Sherwin-White & A.Kuhrt, "From Samarkhand to Sardis", pp. 49-50 ( Google Books ).   For a full commentary on the inscription, see F.Piejko, "Antiochus III and Ptolemy son of Thraseas : the Inscription of Hefzibah reconsidered" ( Persée ).



[A]   King Antiochos to Ptolemaios, greetings . . . Have the letters inscribed on stone steles and set up in the [villages] belonging to you. [We have written] about this to [Kleon and] Heliodoros, the dioiketai, that [they may obey it].   . . . day of the month Hyperberetaios, in year (?) 112 {? September 200 B.C.}.

[B]   King [Antiochos to Kleon], greetings. The written documents . . . for the strategos . . . the same letter has been sent [to Heliodoros].

[C]   King Antiochos to Kleon, greetings. A copy of the memorandum, [which] Ptolemaios, the strategos [and high priest, has submitted] to us, is attached. It shall be done as he requests.   . . . in year (?) 111 {202/1 B.C.}.

[D]   To king Antiochos, memorandum of Ptolemaios, strategos and high priest, [concerning] disputes that may arise: I request [that] instructions be given so that those [problems] that may arise [between] the peasants of [my] villages shall be settled by my agents, while those problems that may arise with peasants from other villages shall be examined by the oikonomos and the headsman [of the place], and that if it is a case of murder or appears [to be] of some importance the matter shall be referred to the strategos of Syria and Phoenicia; and that the garrison-commanders [and those] in charge of the administration of the district should not ignore in any way those who request their intervention. The same letter has been sent to Heliodoros.

[E]   King Antiochos to Kleon, greetings. The other memorandum which Ptolemaios, the strategos and high priest, has submitted [to us] is attached. It shall be done as he requests.   4th day of the month Audnaios, in year (?) 112 {? December 201 B.C.}.

[F]   To the great king Antiochos, memorandum of Ptolemaios, strategos and high priest. I request, if it please you, O king, [to write] to Kleon and Heliodoros, the dioiketai, that no-one has the right, either in the villages that belong to my domain, or in the royal property or in those villages that you have ordered to be registered, to billet himself for any reason or bring others there or requisition any property or take peasants away. The same letter has been sent to Heliodoros.

[G]   King Antiochos to Marsyas, greetings. Ptolemaios, the strategos and high priest, has informed us that several of the troops en route are billeting themselves in his villages [and] committing a number of other ills, thus ignoring our orders in this respect. So be sure not only to prevent them, but also to have them punished tenfold for what they have done . . . The same letter has been sent to Lysanias, Leon and Dionikos.

[H]   King Antiochos to Heliodoros, greetings. A copy of the letter, [which] we have written to Marsyas, is attached. [So] obey it . . . day of the month day of the month Xandikos in year 117 {? March 195 B.C.}.

[I]   Attached [is] a copy of the letter to Marsyas; to Theodotos a copy of the letter to Lysanias; to Apollophanes a copy of the letter to [Leon]; to Ploutogenes a copy of the letter to Dionikos


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