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Ancient Egyptian Texts:  6.3


MARRIAGE CONTRACTS FROM PATHYRIS


Language:   Demotic
Translated by:   F. Ll. Griffith
Format:   see key to translations

These marriage contracts from Pathyris all follow a standard pattern, but with many minor variations. C and D are contracts for the same bride with different men, two years apart; because there are no names of any witnesses on the earlier contract, it is assumed that this marriage was never formalised.

The translations are taken from F. Ll. Griffith, "Catalogue of the demotic papyri in the John Rylands Library" ( PDF ).


[A]   P.Ryl.Dem. 16   ( April, 152 B.C. ) 

Year 29, Pamenhotp 7 (?), of the kings Ptolemy and Cleopatra his sister, the children of Ptolemy and Cleopatra the Manifest gods, and king Ptolemy their eldest son, the god Eupator; and the priest of Alexander and the Saviour gods, the Brother-and-sister  gods, the Beneficent gods, the Father-loving gods, the Manifest gods, the Mother-loving gods, and the god Eupator; and the bearer of the trophy of power {athlophoros} of Berenice the beneficent, and the bearer of the golden basket {kanephoros} before Arsinoē the brother-loving, and the priestess of Arsinoē the father-loving, according to them that are established in Rakoti [ and Psoi ] which is in the province of Ne; Hermias son of Kriton being priest of Ptolemy Soter, Ptolemaios son of Ptolemaios being priest of Ptolemy the mother-loving, Lysanias son of Hieronomos being priest of king Ptolemy, their eldest son, the god Eupator, Sokrates son of Nikandros being priest of Ptolemy the sister-loving, Hermas (?) son of Demetrios being priest of Ptolemy the beneficent, 'Snws (?) son of Lykophron being priest of Ptolemy the father-loving, Didymos son of Apollonios being priest of king {sic} Ptolemy the god manifest, who has done good things, Kleio daughter of Ktesion being priestess of the queen Cleopatra, Demetria daughter of Lysimachus being priestess of Cleopatra the mother, the goddess manifest, Trophinias {sic?} daughter of Nikanor son of (?) Tryphon bearing the golden basket before Arsinoē the brother-loving.

The Belhme { Blemmyan } born in Egypt, Khensthoüt, son of Harpaesi and his mother Tshenpuêr, has declared to the woman Shebtit, daughter of Harsiesi and her mother Taesi: I have made you wife.   The 'bridal gift' is 400 pieces of silver, which is 2,000 staters, and 10 measures of wheat (?). If I divorce you and (?) marry another I will give an additional 30 pieces of silver, which is  150 staters, and a third of all my property that I have or shall gain. Your eldest son is my eldest son amongst the children whom you have borne unto me, he together with the children that you shall bear to me are the owners of all of everything that belongs unto me and that I shall acquire.   Here is the list of the property which you brought to my house:
a wig (?)   value: 200 pieces of silver 
  another wig (?) 100 pieces of silver
a dress 120 (?) pieces of silver
an armlet 90 pieces of silver
an angle (?) 50 pieces of silver
a . . . 30 pieces of silver
a large sistrum  100 pieces of silver
another sistrum , small 60 pieces of silver
a mortar (?) 45 pieces of silver
a pot (?) 5 (?) pieces of silver
a jug (?) weighing 1 deben of fine (?) silver
a wish-case of gold value 1⅓ small (?) pieces of gold
20 artabas of wheat (?)
making 810 pieces of silver, which is 4,100 {sic} staters, in copper at 24 pieces to 2 kiti . . . and with the bridal gift 1,210 pieces of silver, which is 6,050 staters-in copper at 24 pieces to 2 kiti, 1⅓ small (?) pieces of gold, 1 deben of fine (?) silver and 30 measures of wheat (?).

I have received them at your hand, in full without any remainder. My heart is in agreement unto them. When you are within you are within with them : when thou are abroad you are abroad with them. You are their user (?), I am their trustee (?). At any time that I shall abandon you as wife, or that you shall (?) desire to depart yourself, so that you be not mine as wife, I will give to you the copy of your bridal possessions which are above, or their price in silver according to that which is written above. I shall not be able to require an oath from you in the house of judgement on account of the penalty (?) of your bridal property which is above, saying, 'you did not bring them to my house in your hand.' It is you who have the right of execution against me in them; without any patent or any word on earth being adduced against you.

Written by Thetertais son of Nekhtamun (?), who writes in the name of the priests of Hathor lady of Gebelên, the Brother-and-sister gods, the Beneficent gods, the Father-loving gods, the Manifest gods, the Mother-loving gods, the god Eupator, of the 5 orders.

{ On the back are the signatures of sixteen witnesses. }


[B]   P.Ryl.Dem. 20   ( October, 116 B.C. ) 

Year 2, Paopi 9 (?), of the queen Cleopatra and the queen Cleopatra and the king Ptolemy their son, the Mother-loving Saviour: and the priest of Alexander, the Saviour gods, the Brother-and-sister gods, the Beneficent gods, the Father-loving gods, the Manifest gods, the Mother-loving gods, the god whose father was noble { Eupator }, the Beneficent gods, the Mother-loving Saviour: with the bearer of the trophy of power {athlophoros} of Berenice the beneficent, and the bearer of the golden basket {kanephoros} before Arsinoē the brother-loving.

The man who receives rations amongst the men of Lokhos (?), who is written to Amûr, Eunous son of Patseous, has declared unto the woman Tapremhit daughter of Patê and her mother Nahmesesi :   I have made you wife: I have given unto you 100 pieces of silver, which is 500 staters, which is 100 pieces of silver again, 10 artabas of wheat (?), their half 5 measures of wheat (?), which is 10 measures of wheat (?) again, as your woman's gift.   The children that thou shalt bear unto me are the co-dividers with my children, of all that belongs unto me, together with those things that I shall gain.   Here is the list of your [woman's] property that you have brought to my house with you:
a wig (?) value    600 pieces of silver
another wig (?)  150 pieces of silver
a . . .             300 pieces of silver
an angle (?)   150 pieces of silver
a sistrum       300 pieces of silver
another sistrum , small   200 pieces of silver
a mortar (?)   200 pieces of silver
a mirror 60 pieces of silver
an armlet 60 pieces of silver
a collar (?)   [1] deben fine silver
a ring   2 kiti fine silver
a finger-ring   ??
a seeking-case for gold   1 kiti fine silver
??    1⅓  small gold
a pot 50 pieces of silver
which is the value of your woman's property which you have brought to my house with you 2,070 pieces of silver, which is 10,350 staters, which is 2,070 pieces of silver again, and 1 deben and 3 kiti of pure (?) silver; gold 1⅓ small pieces: your woman's gift which is written above, 100 pieces of silver, 10 measures of wheat: in all 2,170 pieces of silver, comprising 7 talents and 70 pieces of silver: 1 deben and 3 kiti of pure (?) silver: 1⅓ small pieces of gold, 10 measures of wheat. 

I have received . . .   { The remainder of the contract follows the standard formula; see A. }

  Written by Espnûti son of Zeho, who writes in the name of the priests of Sobk lord of Amur of the 5 orders.

{ On the back are the signatures of 16 witnesses. }


[C]   P.Ryl.Dem. 28   ( January, 91 B.C. ) 

Year 23, Kiyahk 29, of king Ptolemy who is called Alexander and the queen Berenice, his sister, his wife, and the Mother-loving Saviour gods; and the bearer of the trophy of power {athlophoros}of Berenice the beneficent, and the bearer of the golden basket {kanephoros} before Arsinoē the brother-loving, and they who are established in Rakoti and Psoi, which is in the province of Ne.

The herdsman (?) and slave of the god Harsemteu,  Pleehe, son of Eunomos and his mother Tapremhit, unto the woman Takeb, daughter of Petearhesenûfi and her mother Ta...., I have made you wife. I have given unto you 100 pieces of silver, which is 500 staters, which is 100 pieces of silver again, 5 measures of wheat (?) their half  2½ measures of wheat (?), which is 5 measures of wheat (?) again, as your bridal gift. your eldest son is (?) my eldest son amongst the children that thou shalt bear to me, and (?) the owner of all of everything  that belongs unto me, and that I shall acquire.   Here is the list of your woman's property that you have brought to my house with you:
a wig   value: 900 pieces of silver 
a . . . 200 pieces of silver
  a bracelet 40 pieces of silver
an angle (?) 60 pieces of silver
[. . .  100 pieces of silver
10 artabas of corn]
  making 1,200 pieces of silver = 6,400 {sic} staters.

{ The remainder of the contract follows the standard formula; see A. }

Written by Peteharsemteu son of Pakeb, writing in the name of the priests of Hathor lady of Ant (?) of the 5 orders.

  { There are no signatures of witnesses; the back is blank. }


[D]   P.Ryl.Dem. 30   ( June, 89 B.C. ) 

Year 25, Paôni . . . 3 (?), of king Ptolemy who is called Alexander and the queen Kephalon (?) his sister, his wife, with the Mother-loving Saviour gods: and the bearer of the trophy of power {athlophoros} of Berenice the beneficent, and the bearer of the golden basket {kanephoros} before Arsinoē the brother-loving, and them who are established in Rakoti and Psoi, which is in the province of Ne.

  The herdsman [and slave] of Harsemteu Peteharsemteu, son of Petesobk and his mother Tshensobk, has said to the woman Takeb, daughter of Petearhesenûfi and her mother Ta....: I have made you wife. I have given to you 100 pieces of silver, which is 200 staters, which is 100 pieces of silver again, 5 artabas of wheat (?) their half 2½  artabas of wheat (?), which is 5 artabas of wheat (?) again, as your bridal gift. Your eldest son is (?) my eldest son amongst the children that thou shalt bear to me, and (?) the owner of all of everything that belongs unto me, and that I shall acquire.   Here is the list of your bridal possessions that you have brought with you to my house :
a wig   value: 500 pieces of silver
a linen garment 100 pieces of silver
  a ball 60 pieces of silver
a bes 25 pieces of silver
  an armlet 60 pieces of silver
a pot (?) [40] pieces of silver
making the value of your bridal possessions which you have brought to my house in your hand 785 pieces of silver, which is 1,570 staters, which is 785 pieces of silver again, in copper at 24 pieces to 2 kiti.

I have received . . .   { The remainder of the contract follows the standard formula; see A. }

The scribe Peteharsemteu son of Pakeb, writing in the name of the priests of Hathor lady of Ant (?) of the 5 orders.

{ On the back are the signatures of sixteen witnesses. }


[E]   P.Ryl.Dem. 37   ( late 2nd century B.C. ) 

{ The beginning of the document, including the date and the names, is lost. }

. . .  besides these 25 pieces of silver, which is [125 staters, which is] 25 pieces of silver again, above-named which I have given you as your woman's [gift] in all 50 pieces of silver, which is 250 staters, which is 50 pieces of silver again. And I will give you the ⅓ of all of everything that belongs to me and of those things which I shall gain. [If I abandon you as wife, and hate you, and approach (?) another woman than you, I will give to you 25 pieces of silver, making 125 staters, which is 25 pieces of silver again] besides these 25 pieces of silver, which is [125 staters, which is] 25 pieces of silver again which are above, that I gave to you as your bridal [gift]: completing 50 pieces of silver, which is 250 staters, which is 50 pieces of silver again: and I will give you the third part of all of everything that belongs to me and that I shall acquire. [Here is the list of your woman's property which you have brought to my] house with you:
an angle (?)    50 pieces of silver
a seeking-case for gold   2 small pieces of gold which is 40 pieces of silver
a she-ass   300 pieces of silver
another, filly   150 pieces of silver
a pot    5 pieces of silver
making the value of your bridal possessions that you have brought to my house with you 600 pieces of silver, which is 3,000 staters, which is 600 pieces of silver again, in copper at 24 pieces to 2 kiti.

I have received . . .   { The remainder of the contract follows the standard formula; see A. }

Written by Thetertais (?) son of Nekhtmin, who writes in the name of the priests of Hathor of the 5 orders.

{ There are remains of 14 out of originally 16 witnesses' signatures on the back. }


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