Ancient Egyptian Texts:  7.26


Text:   P. Dem. Berl. Spieg. 3113
Provenance:   Djeme/Memnoneia
Date:   May 141 B.C.
Script:   Demotic
Translated by:   W. Erichsen
Format:   see key to translations

In Egyptian law, disputes about property were taken to a panel of judges, which was usually composed of priests. If the panel decided against one of the parties, that party had to publish a document formally ceding their rights. See J.G. Manning, "Demotic Egyptian Instruments of Transfer as Evidence for Private Ownership of Real Property", p. 266 ( PDF ).

The translation is adapted from the German translation by W. Erichsen, "Ein demotischer Prozessvertrag" (ZS, 1942).

Regnal year 29, month Pharmuthi, day 14 of king Ptolemy the Beneficent, son of Ptolemy, and queen Cleopatra, and Cleopatra the Benevolent wife, with the priest of Alexander, and the Saviour gods, the Brother gods, the Benevolent gods, the Father-loving gods, the Manifest gods, the Mother-loving god, the god whose father is exalted {Eupator} and the Benevolent god, and with the athlophoros of Berenike the Benevolent, and the kanephoros before Arsinoe the Brother-loving, and the priestess of Arsinoe the Father-loving, being in accordance with those who are installed in Rakote, and whoever the king will appoint as priest of Ptolemy the Saviour in the district of Thebes and as priest of King Ptolemy the Benevolent God, and priest of Ptolemy the Brother-loving, and priest of Ptolemy the Benevolent, and priest of Ptolemy the Father-loving, and the priest of Ptolemy the Manifest god who does good {Eucharistos}, and the priestess of Queen Cleopatra, and the priestess of Cleopatra the king's wife, and the priestess of Cleopatra the mother, the Manifest goddess, and the kanephoros before Arsinoē the Brother-loving.

Said the pastophoros of Amenopi in the west of Thebes, Pecht son of Harsiese, his mother being Teianti, and also Nekhutef son of Haso, his mother being Taiau, and also Djehophib son of Amenhotep, his mother being Tehḏa, making altogether 3 persons, with one accord, to the pastophoros of Amenopi in the west of Thebes, Hor son of Hor, his mother being Tschenpuer.

We brought a complaint against you before the judges of the (?) priests who judge in Thebes concerning the seventh part of the building site, which is in the southern quarter of Thebes, on the western side (?) of the processional way of the temple of Khons-in-Thebes, Neferhotep, in view of the Nile. The building site is 14⅓ arouras in extent, makes 1433⅓ square cubits, makes 14⅓ arouras again. Its neighbours are:

South: the house of Petechon the singer, and the house of Chesthoth son of Pamont, and the house of Kolanthes, and the house of Pschenmin son of Herieu.   North: the house of Peihor, son of Panofre, owned by Tachela, his daughter, and the house of Pschenkhons, the craftsman {carpenter?}. The feeding place of the temple lies between them.   East: the King's Road.   West: the channel of the island of Amun, called Teame.

These are the neighbours of the whole building area, of which Amenhotep son of Amenhotep and Montemhe son of Herieu and Amenhotep son of Djehophib, making together 3 persons, own the ⅓ 1/15 1/35 part of the mentioned building area, in the form of a seventh part each per person, while we own the other ⅓ 1/15 1/35 in the form of a seventh part each per person to complete the part that makes 1 aroura, makes 100 square cubits, makes 1 aroura again, concerning which seventh part a money-payment document was made out in the name of Amenhotep, son of Djehophib.

The judges have decided that you are right in relation to us as to the seventh part of the building site, and what pertains to it, which is mentioned above.

We have nothing in the world to claim from you in its name from today onwards. Anyone who comes to you concerning it in our name, we will remove him from you, of necessity, without delay, without any protest.

Written by Hor son of Pabj, who writes in the name of the priests of Amonrasonther and the Brother gods, the Beneficent gods, the Father-loving gods, the Manifest gods, the Mother-loving god, the God whose Father is exalted {Eupator}, the Beneficent God, of the five phyles.

{ 16 witness signatures on the reverse. }

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