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Claytor 2011_Ptolemaic Petition to Archidikastes_ZPE 176

Claytor 2011_Ptolemaic Petition to Archidikastes_ZPE 176

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Published by Graham Claytor
W. Graham Claytor, "P.Fordham inv. 5: a Ptolemaic Petition to the Archidikastes", Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 176 (2011), 213-220.

P.Fordham inv. 5 is a second century BCE petition to the archidikastes, the top judicial official in the Ptolemaic empire. An Egyptian woman, Senyris of Oxyrhynchos, petitions the archidikastes Demophon about her mistreatment at the hands of NN son of Pankrates, the father of her two children, who is not providing her with food or clothing (as per a contract of maintenance). She charges him with throwing her out of the house, having relations with another woman and, before the papyrus breaks off, refers to a complaint in connection with the laokritai.

We have very few references to Ptolemaic archidikastai: two others are known by name among only a handful of references to the office. The present document preserves the earliest known attestation of the archidikastes' full title and comparison with earlier 2nd-century papyri suggest that the office merged with that of the πρὸς τῆι ἐμιμελείαι τῶν χρηματιστῶν sometime in the middle of the 2nd century - in any case, before the present document. The current communis opinio that the archidikastes was in charge of the entire Ptolemaic judicial system receives support from this text, but the fullest expression of the office's powers might date only from this posited bureaucratic merger.

This text will help us better understand both this important office and legal relations between the chora and Alexandria during this dynamic period of Ptolemaic history.
W. Graham Claytor, "P.Fordham inv. 5: a Ptolemaic Petition to the Archidikastes", Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 176 (2011), 213-220.

P.Fordham inv. 5 is a second century BCE petition to the archidikastes, the top judicial official in the Ptolemaic empire. An Egyptian woman, Senyris of Oxyrhynchos, petitions the archidikastes Demophon about her mistreatment at the hands of NN son of Pankrates, the father of her two children, who is not providing her with food or clothing (as per a contract of maintenance). She charges him with throwing her out of the house, having relations with another woman and, before the papyrus breaks off, refers to a complaint in connection with the laokritai.

We have very few references to Ptolemaic archidikastai: two others are known by name among only a handful of references to the office. The present document preserves the earliest known attestation of the archidikastes' full title and comparison with earlier 2nd-century papyri suggest that the office merged with that of the πρὸς τῆι ἐμιμελείαι τῶν χρηματιστῶν sometime in the middle of the 2nd century - in any case, before the present document. The current communis opinio that the archidikastes was in charge of the entire Ptolemaic judicial system receives support from this text, but the fullest expression of the office's powers might date only from this posited bureaucratic merger.

This text will help us better understand both this important office and legal relations between the chora and Alexandria during this dynamic period of Ptolemaic history.

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Published by: Graham Claytor on Mar 28, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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03/18/2014

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