Paniscus . . ., strategus of the Oxyrhynchite nome, to Asclepiades, royal scribe of the same nome, greeting. When at the auction of taxes held by me and you in the presence of the customary officials, the farmers of the sales tax and the record-office tax refused to bid, on the ground that they were incurring serious losses, and seemed likely to abscond, I wrote as we decided to his excellency the praefect on the matter. Now he replied to the effect that I should examine the former leases and lighten the burden of the tax-farmers as much as possible in order to avoid a flight of persons engaged by force, and I have already sent you a copy of his letter for your information, adding that in your absence, as the contracts had not been taken up by the tax-farmers nor were any new bidders coming forward in spite of repeated proclamations, I had taken written oaths from the farmers of the sales tax and the record-office tax . . .
→ papyrus 421
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