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Select Papyri, 2.210A


ROYAL INDULGENCES

Greek text:  PKöln 7.313   ( COrdPtol 34 )
Date:   185/4 B.C.

This amnesty decree, which was not included in the original collection, has survived in several copies, but none of them is complete. The indulgences were granted by Ptolemy V after the final suppression of the revolt of native Egyptians. There are some similarities with the later amnesty decree of Ptolemy VIII ( SelPap_210 ), most obviously in the last two paragraphs of each decree.

The evidence for the decree has been collected and analysed by A.Nespoulous-Phalippou, "L'amnistie décrétée en l'an 21 de Ptolémée Épiphane" ( PDF ).   The middle section of Part A has been translated and discussed by G.B.Bazzana, "Basileia and Debt Relief: The Debts' Forgiveness of the Lord's Prayer in Light of Documentary Papyri", pp.516-7 ( academia.edu ).   See also G.Hölbl, "A History of the Ptolemaic Empire", page 157 ( Google Books ).



[A]   [The king releases] . . . [of the superintendants] of the police and the chief policemen and the others . . . because they are charged with brigandage or other accusations, to return to [their own] homes, freed from guilt, except those [who have committed] deliberate murders and those who have robbed [temples and] other [sanctuaries and] sacred treasuries . . .

He releases also those appointed . . . and those serving [as soldiers] and the [others] dwelling in Alexandria [and those] dwelling in the countryside from their [crimes] and oversights committed up until the month of Mesore [in year 19].

He has also [ordered] officials to remove from tax assessment and . . . those [dwelling in] Alexandria who are [not] registered and . . . to the person released from payment . . .

He releases among the others also the lessees . . . [and the] cultivators of the royal land from the debts they owe for the lease in kind and for the dyke [tax of the] same land up until the 16th year, apart from the lessees [who have hereditary] leases.

He releases also from what is due . . . for the money tax up until the same time, apart from . . .

He releases also the proprietors of . . . vineyards and orchards and . . . and baths from [all] the payments owed [up until] the 20th year.

He releases also those who are in debt to the . . . sold off until the 19th year, from which was bought . . .

He releases also those who owe fines on conviction [for failing to repay] the pledges . . .

He releases [also the superintendants] of the police [and the] chief policemen and the police officials from theft of royal property which happened up [until the 19th year].

He releases also from the . . . of allotments the infantrymen and the fighting men and the police officials and the . . .

[B]   . . .

He has also [ordered] the . . .

He has also ordered that no-one should [requisition boats] on any pretext [for] his personal journeys, and the . . . of the strategoi . . . [he must] pay the established fare for the voyage.

[No-one] of the strategoi [or the] overseers or the epimeletai [or the] debt collectors [or] the chrematistai or the oikonomoi or the . . . , or the others who are employed [in the service] of the affairs of the king and the cities and [the temples], shall arrest anyone for a private [debt or offence];   and they shall not [emprison] free men because of personal animosity, either in houses or in other places;   but they shall bring them . . .

papyrus 211


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