You are on page 1of 16

The Guardianship of Jesus Son of Babatha: Roman and Local Law in the Province of Arabia

Author(s): Hannah Cotton


Source: The Journal of Roman Studies, Vol. 83 (1993), pp. 94-108
Published by: Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/300980
Accessed: 28-01-2016 10:39 UTC
REFERENCES
Linked references are available on JSTOR for this article:
http://www.jstor.org/stable/300980?seq=1&cid=pdf-reference#references_tab_contents
You may need to log in to JSTOR to access the linked references.

Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at http://www.jstor.org/page/
info/about/policies/terms.jsp
JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content
in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship.
For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.

Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies and Cambridge University Press are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize,
preserve and extend access to The Journal of Roman Studies.

http://www.jstor.org

This content downloaded from 212.189.136.198 on Thu, 28 Jan 2016 10:39:33 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

THE GUARDIANSHIP OF JESUS SON OF BABATHA:


ROMAN AND LOCAL LAW IN THE PROVINCE OF ARABIA*
By HANNAH COTTON

The Babatha archivecontainsdocumentsof a Jewishwoman who lived in the villageof


Maoza situatedon the southernshore of the Dead Sea, in what had been the kingdomof
Nabataea and became in io6 C.E. the Roman provinceofArabia. The firstdated documentin
thearchivedates to 22 Elul (August/September)94 and thelastto i 9 August I32; some ofthe
documentstherefore
precedetheannexationofArabia,but themajorityfollowit. This offersa
rareopportunityto examinethe consequences of Roman annexation:by examiningin detail
thechangeseffectedbytheRoman presencein thenewlyacquiredprovinceofArabia,we may
improveour pictureof Roman provincialgovernmentand the relationshipbetween Roman
law and native local law, as well as our understandingof the reaction of the provincial
populationto Roman rule.
AlthoughI have not attemptedto do so, I believe thatthe resultsof the investigation
could usefullybe comparedwithwhat is knownabout the annexationof Egypt in 30 B.C.E.,
since the answerbears directlyon the questionof the alleged special statusof Egypt: to what
extentwas Egyptdifferent
fromotherprovinces?'
The remarkablerateof Romanizationin the new provinceof Arabia struckscholarsfirst
introducedto the archive.2How werewe to accountforthe factthata youngprovincewhich
had previouslybeen ruledbyvassal kingswas so swiftto adopt Roman forms?The publication
of the Greek partof the archiveby Lewis onlystrengthened
the firstimpression.3'The most
prominentRoman elements' are now convenientlysummed up for us in the General
Introduction;special emphasisis rightlyput on the adoptionof the Roman patternof dating
by consuls.4
Romanization,however,is not the only issue at stake. The owner of the archivewas a
Jewishwoman. Although the term 'IoubaCo is mentionedonly in connectionwith her
orphanedson by herfirsthusband (P. Yadin I2, 1. 7), therecan be no doubt thatshe is Jewish.5
And so are her second husband and his wifeand children,as well as mostof her adversaries.
How is theirJewishnessexpressedin the archive?
I propose here to concentrateon a single issue, that of the guardianshipof Babatha's
orphanedson, Jesus(Joshua), herson by her firsthusband,6and to examineits implications
forthequestionsraisedabove, namelytheextentofRomanizationand itsnature,seen against
thebackgroundofthelocal Nabataean and Jewishmilieu.
* This articlewas given as a paper at the Annual
Meetingof the Society forthe Promotionof Classical
Studiesin Israel,heldinJerusalem
inMay I992, as wellas
in seminarsheldin University
CollegeLondon and in the
University
ofNewcastleupon Tyne (PhoenixSociety)in
OctoberI992. I am gratefulto the participants
fortheir
usefulcomments.I am greatlyindebtedto mycolleagues,
ProfessorsJ. C. Greenfield,J. Geiger, D. Wasserstein
and A. Wasserstein,and to Ari Paltiel.Dr Shlomo Naeh
gave me invaluablehelp withthe Jewishlegal sources.
Finally,theEditorialCommitteeoftheJournalmade my
biases clear to me. No one but I is responsibleforthe
imperfections
thatstillremain.
' N. Lewis, "'Greco-RomanEgypt":factor fiction?',
Proc. XIIth Int. Congr. Papyrology1968 (1970);
J.
Keenan, 'Papyrologyand Roman history:I956-I980',
The Classical World76 (I982-3), 30-I; N. Lewis, 'The
RomanityofRomanEgypt:a growingconsensus',Attidel
XVII Con. Int. di Papirologia (1 984). For the legal
situationin Egypt in the firsttwo centuriesafterthe
Romanconquest,see J. Modrzejewski,'La reglede droit
dans l'Egypteromaine',Proc.XIIth Int. Congr.Papyrology
1968 = Ameican StudiesinPapyrologY
7 ( 970),
3 I 7-77;
and see nowA. K. Bowmanand D. Rathbone,'Citiesand
administration
in RomanEgypt',JRS 82 (I992),
I07-27
and D. Rathbone,'Egypt,Augustusand Romantaxation',
Cahiersdu CentreG. Glotz4 (I 993),8 i-I I 2.
2 e.g. H. J. Wolff,'RomischesProvinzialrecht
in der
Provinz Arabia', ANRW II.I3 (I980), 763-806, most

poignantlyon p. 785: 'Wie konnte ein so spezifisch


romischesGebilde wie eine Prozessformel
uberhauptin
das peregrineRechtslebendieser entlegenenund erst
kurzlicheingerichteten
Provinzgelangen?'
3 N. Lewis, The Documentsfromthe Bar Kokhba
Period in the Cave of Letters.GreekPapyri (i989) =
P.Yadin; henceforth
'Lewis'. This volumecontainsalso
'Aramaic and Nabataean Subscriptions'to the Greek
documentsedited by Y. Yadin and J. C. Greenfield.
The Aramaicand Nabataean documentsthemselves
P.Yadin i-4; 6-io - havenotyetbeenpublished.
4 Lewis i6ff. and 27ff. It should be noted that the
unpublishedAramaicdocuments(P.Yadin 6-io), as I am
kindlyinformedby J. C. Greenfield,also carryconsular
dates,in additionto theeraoftheprovinceand theregnal
yearoftheemperor(the latterreplacestheregnalyearof
theNabataeankingsoftheNabataeandocumentsP.Yadin
see also Revue Biblique 6i (I954),
I 63, frag.a, 1.i
i-4;
withnote9 below). 5 Goodman'sarguments
forherpossiblenon-Jewishness
('Babatha'sStory',reviewofLewis inJRS 8i (I99I),
I 70
[hername]; I75) seemto me farless convincingthanthe
genealogicaltablein Lewis, 25.
6 It is interesting
to notethatthedeeds concerninghis
guardianshipswere tied togetherin the leatherpurse
wherethearchivewas found;see Y. Yadin, 'ExpeditionD
- The Cave of the Letters',IEJ I2 (i962),
235. One
would liketo knowifP.Yadin 28-30, thethreecopies of
theactiotutelae,weretiedtogether
withthem.

This content downloaded from 212.189.136.198 on Thu, 28 Jan 2016 10:39:33 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

JESUS

SON

OF BABATHA:

ROMAN

AND

LOCAL

LAW

IN PROVINCE

OF ARABIA

95

The guardianshipof Jesus is mentionedfor the firsttime in a document of I24 C.E.


(P.Yadin I2, 11.4-8):7 which is an extractfromthe minutesof the city council of Petra:
xEcaXca`ov
VOg <?t3TQO3t'g>
tyyEYyQacq4EVOVXaiL &VTLfE3,X?LEoV
lnoTETaxTav x.ai
I1ETQac`Ov TTJRRL1TQono`XEO ... Xa( EOTLV XaLOOWR

&Uo

a1XTWOV iovXfjs

'IwaGooiuo'Ioubmio
'IXXovOaxci 'IwovlR 'EyXa.8 The xaci 'copied
vio' 'Icwsotoir x6Fi5 Maw4a 'Abobas
fromtheminutesindicatesthatotheritemsprecededthisone' (Lewis ad loc.); theomissionof
the predicate afterthe genitive'Iaooo"ou 'Iov8a(ov viio' 'Iooaooi"o and the nominatives
'IXkovOa xaci 'IwavlR 'EyXa suggest very stronglythat the predicate was
'A6opac
commonto a list of items,and thus it must have read: 'have been appointedas guardians'.9
Hence itis quite likelythattheminutescontaineda listofsimilarappointments,and as a whole
could be describedas a 'registerofguardians'.10

of guardiansby the citycouncil,oE XaTacTaOEVTEg


The appointment

?tMTQO3toL

bnoi

of
recallsimmediately
the Roman institution
(P.Yadin I3, 11. 19-2I),
It fitswell withtheRoman characterof
datio (appointment
ofguardian)bya magistrate."1
tutoris
the entiredocument,which is in facta literaltranslationwhen it is not a transcriptioninto
oftheDigestdoes not
Greek(e.g. dnOaCXTOv) 2 ofa Latindocument.It is truethatthetestimony
speak of the appointmentofguardiansby the citycouncil,but ratherby the citymagistrates:
'lus dandi tutores[tutorem?]datumest omnibusmagistratibusmunicipalibus'(Ulpian, Dig.
XXVI.5.3).13 However, the Lex Municipii Salpensani,4 and now also the Lex Irnitana15
IIIC <29>: De tutorumdatione - demonstratethat the appointmentof guardians to
childrenunderage (impuberes)by citymagistrates,in theircase duoviri,is done - in certain
circumstances16- ex decretodecurionum.17 The same phrasingappears in a wax tabletfrom
Herculaneum (albeit in a case of a guardian for a woman) :18 'Cassius Cr[ispu]s Ilvir ex
decurionumdecre[to, quo ne ab] iusto tutore [tutela abeat, ex] lege lulia [et Titia dixit
POlUXqTg TV

JIETQa`OV

7 P.Yadin 7 assumesthatBabathawas stillmarriedto


husbandon 24 Tammuz I 20: itdeclaresthatifshe
herfirst
wereto becomea widowshecouldliveinoneofthehouses
on her father'sproperty.There is no mentionof a son.
Since she acknowledgesthe receipt of money from
guardianson I9 AprilI32, theboy musthavebeen quite
youngin I 24, whentheguardianswerefirstappointed.It
is less likelythatbythenshe had alreadybeen marriedto
hersecondhusband.
8 'Verifiedexact copy of one item of [guardianship]
fromtheminutesofthecouncilofPetrathemetropolis...
and it is as appendedbelow: "And ofJesus,a Jew,son of
JesusofthevillageMaoza, 'AbdobdassonofIllouthasand
Johnson ofEglas [areappointedguardians]"'.
9 cf. e.g. P.Yadin i3, 11. ig-2i (of xaTnafaOvT0eg
bulTQO3tOL

[Jtf]O P3OUXig T6[V]

HQT(a[L]wv 'AP6ooPa<g>

23-4;I5,11-4-5=i8-i9.
'EXuoOaxacdIoavr5g['EyX]a);I4,11.
The verb xaOL(otL is commonlyused in Egyptian
ofguardians:e.g. P.Ryl. I2I
papyrifortheappointment
(ii C.E.), 11. I I-I2: XaiL tJUlT(OJtg [atlTof) 016 XaTF,(Ja'0T;
P.Oxy. 898
11.I5-i6: [lu'TQT0oOV albT xCttXaTaoa[04]vaL;
(I23 C.E.), 11. 28-9: 9T6QOV FOU 3tLTQO3OV XalaTCO1)-

VaL.

10 So H. J. Polotsky,'The GreekpapyrifromtheCave
of Letters',IEJ 12 (i962), 260, but not forthe whole

province,as assumedbyWolff,op. cit. (n. 2), 789f.The


occurrenceof 'metropolis'in the titleof Petra does not
makeitintothecapitaloftheprovince,see G. Bowersock,
'The Babathapapyri,Masada and Rome',JRA4 (I 99I),
340, n. 7 summingup his previous references.On
divisionsand boundaries,see B. Isaac,
administrative
'The Babathaarchive',IEY 42 (1992), 63-4; 67-70.
11The needto appointa guardianbya magistrate
arose
onlywhenno guardianhad been nominatedin thewillof
the deceased (tutortestamentarius)and therewas no
see A. Watson,The
agnateavailableto be tutorlegitimus,
Law ofPersonsin theLaterRomanRepublic(i967), I I 430.
12 For Latinisms
in thearchive,see Lewis, Introduction
111.2, pp. i6ff.However,we do finddto aixTwv ,3osUXig

elsewhere,e.g. OGIS 595 (Tyre, I74 C.E.): for more


see
examplesfortheuse ofacta inconnectionwitha boukW
Institutions
H. J.Mason,GreekTermsforRoman
(i984),
20, s.v.; see now tn T'a a'xT[a] in Sh. Dar and N.
fromSenaimon Mount
Kokkinos,'The Greekinscription
Hermon',PEQ I24 (I992), p. I3: No. 2, line4 and p. I6.
13 cf. Dig. XXVI.5.24;
XXXVIII.I7.2.23:
'quoniam et
magistratibus
municipalibus
dandi[sc. tutores]necessitas
iniungitur',and the whole tenorof Dig. xxvii.8 (suits
againstmagistrates).Admittedlythereare textswhich
had but a limited
suggestthatthe municipalmagistrates
forappointing
authority
guardians:e.g. Dig. XXVI.7.46.6:
'praesidisprovinciaepraeceptoa magistratibus
aliustutor
datusest'; xxvii.8.I .5: 'si curatoresfueruntminusidonei
dati, dicendum est tenerimagistratusoportere,si ex
suggestueorum vel nominibusab eis acceptis praeses
dederit';XXVI.5.24 (when the city magistrateshave to
look elsewhereforsuitableguardians)'nominapraesidi
provinciae mittere,non ipsos arbitriumdandi sibi
XXVII. IO. 2; CYv.34.6.
vindicare';
14

FIR/A 12, no. 2315 JRS 76 (I986),


I57-

16
in theduovir'sappointThe citycouncilparticipates
mentofguardiansonlyin cases in whichhe was unableto
make the appointmentin consultationwith his fellowmagistrates,
ibid., 11.22ff. For the participationof the
decurions,see Dig. XXVI
.5. I 9 pr.; 6. 3; xxvii.8.I pr.
17 ibid., 11.25-9: 'Is a quo ... postulatumerit,causa
cognitain diebusX proxumis,ex decretodecurionum...
eum, qui nominatuserit ... ei [sc. pupillo pupillaeve]
tutoremdato'; 'the personfromwhom the requesthas
been made,once thecase has been examined,withinten
days, accordingto the decreeof the decunions... is to
grantas guardianto him(or her)thepersonwhohas been

nominated'.

18 M. della Corte, 'Tabelle cerateercolanesi',Parola


del Passato 6 (I 95 I), 228, no. I 3; forthe reconstructed
text, see V. Arangio-Ruiz,'Due nuove tavolettedi
Ercolanorelativealla nominadi tutorimuliebri',Studi P.
de FrancisciI ( I 954), 3-I 2.

This content downloaded from 212.189.136.198 on Thu, 28 Jan 2016 10:39:33 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

96

HANNAH

COTTON

Aresc]usae Q. Vibidius [A]mpliatus sit tuto[r]'. Thus the phrase o& XaTaOTaOEVTER
?3itLTQO3tOL fJtio POviXqg TOV IIfTQaiCOV is not incompatible with the interpretation
that
heretoo themagistratesacted 'accordingto a decreeofthecouncil'.'9
The applicationof Roman legal formsto Petra is surprising:translatedinto Latin, the
documentcould have been issued by a municipalitywithLatin rightsin the West. Since it is
impossibleto believethatPetrapossessed Latin status,thedocumentassumesa highdegreeof
Romanizationin a nativecitythathad just come withinthe Roman sphereofinfluence.20
If we comparethe situationwiththatin Egypt21we discoverthatit was the Strategos,22
or the Exegetes24who appointedguardiansforperegrineorphans.25This
the Grammateus23
could well reflecttheabsenceofcitycouncilsand magistratesthere.26It would be interesting
to
knowthepracticein othercitiesin theeasternpartofthe Empirewherethesedid exist.
In Egypt we findthe motherexercisingguardianshipalongside a male guardian and
sometimesalone - obviouslya remnantof peregrinelaw,27perhapsmodifiedunder Roman
influence.28
Roman law, as we shallsee below ingreaterdetail,barredwomenfromtheexercise
ofguardianshipin no uncertainterms.29
Nevertheless,we do have anotherwoman in the archivewho seems to sharethe dutiesof
a guardianwitha Jewcalled Besas. I referto the'mysterious'Iulia Crispina.30She appears for
the firsttimewithBesas in P.Yadin 20: 'Besas son of Jesus,En-gediandomiciledin Mazraa,
guardian
of the orphans of Jesus son of Khthousion, and lulia
<niL>TQOnOg Crispina,supervisorEtoxaonoo'(11.4-5; see 11.23-5). Togethertheyconcede rightsover
a courtyard:'We acknowledgethatwe have conceded to you, fromthe propertyof Eleazar
(also known as Khthousion) son of Judah, your grandfather,a courtyard... etc,';31 and
promiseto registerit with the authorities:'This courtyardI will registerforyou with the
public authoritieswhereveryou wish',32as well as defendit againstany counterclaim:'And if
anyoneentersa counterclaimforthe said courtyard,we will conducta firmlegal defenceand
will clear it foryou of any counterclaimantat our own expense'.33In P.Yadin 23-4 Besas acts
alone, disputing Babatha's rightto a date orchard that had belonged to her late second
husband. But in P.Yadin 25, because of her partner'sailment,lulia Crispina is on her own,
launchinga naQayycla.34
-

19
N. Lewis in 'Two Greek documents from the
ProvinciaArabia',IllinoisClassical Studies 3 (I 978), I IO
rightlycites Ulpian, Dig. xxvii.8.i: 'si a magistratibus
municipalibustutordatus sit, non videturper ordinem
electus', for 'possible involvement'of the entire city
council.
20 There is nothing
to suggestthtat
Petraeven had the
constitutionof a Greek polis before I I4, see G.
Bowersock,JRS 72 (i982),
i98. Note, however,thatit
became a colonia under Elagabalus, see S. Ben-Dor,
'PetraColonia',Berytus9 (i948-9), 4I-3; F. Millar,'The
Roman coloniae of the Near East: a studyof cultural
relations',in H. Solin and M. Kajava (eds), Roman
EasternPolicyandOther
Studies(I 990), 5I .
21 R. Taubenschlag,TheLaw ofGreco-Roman
Egyptin
theLightofthePapyri(332 B.C.-640 A.D.) (2ndedn, I955),
i6i; Mitteis,
Grundzuge
I, 254.
22 P.Brem.39 (II 3/I20 C.E.); P.Oxy. 898 (I23
C.E.)
23 POxy. 487 = M.Chr.322 (I56 C.E.), butsee Hunt's
inP.Ryl. I2I aboutthegrammateus'authority
reservation
to appointguardians.
= SB
24 P.Mich. 232 = YEA i8 0933), I39 (36 CE.)
7568;P.Ryl. I2I (ii c.E.);M.Chr. 323 (2I8C.E.).
25
cf. N. Lewis,BASP 7 (I 97o), I I 6-i 8.
26
But see nowBowmanand Rathbone,op. cit. (n. I).
27 M. Kaser,RP2
(i97i), ?85 and n. 5; Taubenschlag,
op. cit. (n. 2I), I53-5; I58f.; Mitteis,GrundzugeI, 253.
By virtueofprovisionslaid downin thefather'swillor in
the marriagecontract,the mothercould eithersharethe
guardianshipwith a male relative,or even exerciseit
alone: forappointment
bywill,see e.g. SB 9065 (i B.C.E.
= E. P. Wegener,'Petitionconcerningthe dowryof a
widow',MnemosyneI3 (I 947), 302-I6), 11.5-8; and for
marriagecontracts,see P.Oxy. 265 (8I-95 C.E.), 11.281. I2 and 497 (ii C.E.),
11. I2-I3.
In
30, 496 (I27 C.E.),

BGU18 I3 (62/I B.C.E.), P.Mich.232 (= SB 7568,36 C.E.)

and P.Oxy. 898 (I23 C.E.) the motheris designated


withnomention
ofa willora marriage
contract.
tnLUToQtog
2 See 0. Montevecchi,'Una donna "prostatis"del
figliominorenne
inun papirodel I Ia, Aegyptus
6i (i 98i),
I i4 and see belowat n. 36.
29 'There was no exception':see W. W. Bucklandand
P. Stein,A Text-BookofRoman Law fromAugustusto
Justinian(3rdedn, I 966), I 50.
Y. Yadin, Bar Kokhba (i97i), 247; and see the
3
ingenious reconstructionby T. Ilan, 'Julia Crispina
daughterof Berenecianus,a Herodian princessin the
Babathaarchive- a case studyin historical
identification',

JQR 82 (I992),
36i-8431 6[toXoyoi3[ev OUVExX(J)xeVaL
OOL tt 6aQXOVVT(JV
'EXEt16a'QOU To xac XOouoGowOg ToO 'Ioi56oU na'Cou
oou acn-Xv
(11.6-8, see 11.27-9).
vXiv
3232Ta,UTV
v
te ITV a
6V rooU av 3oUXiOfigTUoX
(JOLIbLa 61bftOcL(O)V (11. I 2-I

eav

33

TaUOO'VItg
tLavtog

E TLg

3, see 11.34-6).
Tf

&VtMltOl)CTl

tYcbLX1POo4wV
&VtLjtOLOUVOU

XaL

JtQoyya[

rg

<Xa>OaQOJtOL1(OOV
TctLTa;
aLb(Mg

acibXg
dto

6VaXO4LcLaLV

see 11.36-9). The switchfrompluralto singular


(i.e. from'we' to 'I') maybe nothingmorethaninadvertence; itis quitecommoninEgyptianpapyri(as pointedout
to me by N. Lewis); thustheTEXiL'O(Omaynotprovethat,
unlikeBesas, JuliaCrispinacouldnotregister
landwiththe
authorities.
(11.I3-i6,

[b'L

t6V

El]rPEOX?WV0V

XaiL

3aLoqJCaLYLoaRv'()V

[RaQ]TU'Q[(OV J]aQ[ VYLX[CV 'lou[XLia K[Q[L(YJtV]a


BEQVLXLaVO1D
TdV
O[u]yaQ
[WrCoXo]nog
RV]] 6QqcaV6V

'h1ooiov XMovoiwvogBaf40[ag 1']tXovog JtLi'N 6


'T&Qo3TogBRo&s 'Ihooi0ov tdV WbtOV [6Q]4PaV6V
dOvwTeQo5

taTLVxcta oi-x fv6v.ta

3]vb[v]
t[,uo]L
(11.I4).

This content downloaded from 212.189.136.198 on Thu, 28 Jan 2016 10:39:33 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

JtXQ[avy]

&ft

JESUS

SON

OF

BABATHA:

ROMAN

AND

LOCAL

LAW

IN

PROVINCE

OF ARABIA

97

It is true that she is called tnicxonog ratherthan tnLitQo0o. 'En3t'xonoq is used in a


technicallegalsense onlyonce - so faras I know- in pre-ChristianEgyptianpapyri:35thisis
too earlyto have anyrelevanceto our case. Perhapsitis because thetermlacksa technicallegal
sense, thatit could be applied to lulia Crispinain orderto describeher positionvis-a-vis the
orphans:36she is theircaretaker,she looks afterthem and theirinterests.37
John Rea has
recentlypointedout thesimilarity
betweenlulia Crispinaand the Egyptian tcaxokov'TOQLa,38
who also appearsaccompaniedbya maleguardian,butwho is attested
or naxQxxokovuOTtQLa,39
If indeed,as seems quite
in Egyptianpapyrionlyfromthesecond halfofthesecond century.40
likely,the laterinstitutionwas createdto satisfythe stricturesimposed by Roman law on the
exerciseofguardianshipbywomen,4"thenwe mayhave in Arabiathefirstexampleforsuch an
adaptation of local custom, and another expression of Romanization. Admittedly,this
contrastssharply with Babatha's total exclusion from the guardianship. There may be
circumstancesunknownto us whichmayexplainthespecial statusenjoyedby lulia Crispina.
One noticesimmediatelythatshe is notrepresentedbya male guardian42
liketheotherwomen
in thearchive.43
II

If Babatha's legal positionvis-a-vis her orphanedson is not easily explained by the socalled 'law ofthepapyri',thisis hardlya cause forsurprise,sincethelatterwas to a largeextent
" In P.Petr.iii 36 (a) (= M.Chr. 11.i6-I7:
nt TlOV
S),
tnLax67rwv.
It is used 'to describethe
&nro8yjLyivwv
judges specially qualified to judge complaintsmade
againstofficials'(so Turnerin P.Hib. 2, p. IO9), but this
belongstotheiiiB.C.E., as doesP.Hib. 2.I98,1. 242, where

ForexampleinP.Mich.Inv.2922 (JEA i8 (1932), 70


= SB 7558 = FIIM 1112, no. 30) a
grandmotheris appointed in the father'swill joint
guardian with two other men; they are designated
?tnTQ0oto (1. 6) whereasshe is called ttaxokouOvHTQLa

trative enquiry' (p. 109). Cf. also ?tLaXO3TECt[w 6


olxov6jtog in P.Rev. (259 B.C.E.), col. 33, 1. 2 (re-edited
in
by J. Bingenin SB BeiheftI (I952)) and XnLaxo7rav
11.47; I83 (late iii B.C.E.) instructions
of
P.Tebt. 3.I.703,
thedioiketesto theoikonomos
'to look intocontroversies
between the farmersand the village scribes or the

(3.37).P.Oxy. 392I,11.6; 49 (2I9 C.E.) and see J. Rea ad loc.


I findithardto believe,though,thatshe is themotherof
theorphansand thewidowofJesus,sonofEleazar. In the
Egyptianpapyritherelationship
of the ctxoXoHU0TQMLa/
tctQctxo0ol0lTQLato theward(s) is alwayspointedout. I
agree,though,thatshe maynotbe a Romancitizen.Had
she beenone, itwouldhavemade itlessratherthanmore
likely that she would be exercisingthe duties of a
guardian.For herRomanname,see Rea.
40 See Montevecchi,
op. cit. (n. 28), I09 and nn. there
fora fulllist.
41 So Montevecchi,
op. cit. (n. 28), I I Iff.She points
out thatall the occurrencesof a female?t&TQo3to come
fromperegrinecontexts,and thatthe terms 3tJLTQo7tO
and #taxokoUvHTQLa
do not overlap: thereis no female
buTQo3togafterI 23 C. E.
42 Note that in the archive the word tn(TQo3tois
used both for the guardianof minorsand for that of
women;in Greek-speaking
landsthetraditional
termfor
the latter was xVQLog. See H. J. Wolff ('Le droit
provincialdans la provinceromained'Arabie',RDIA 23
(i 967), 279-83) forthesignificance
oftheconfusionhere.
Note, however,thatin the Aramaicthe guardianof a
womanis called1
Adon- xQpLog:e.g. P.Yadin
172 i-l;l''Yehudah son of
I WlrhD
IS, 1. 37: in:
Khthousion"lord"ofBabatha'.
43 Babatha is representedby her second husband,
JudahsonofKhthousion
(P.Yadin I4,11. 22-3; I5,11. 3I-2I 6,11. 35-6), byJacobsonofJoseph(P. Yadin I 7,11.4-5 =
11. 22-3), byJohnsonofMakhouthas
(P.Yadin22,11. 28-9)
and byBabelisSon ofMenahem(P.Yadin 27,11. 4-5; i8).
Salome (alias Komais) is representedby X son of
Menahem(P.Yadin 37,1. IS). Could themerefactofher
literacy- she signs her name in Greek (P.Yadin 20,
11. 43-4) have made the differencebetween lulia
Crispinaand theotherwomenin thearchive?There is no
simpleanswerto thisquestion,see R. Taubenschlag,'La
competencedu X1QLOg dans le droit greco-egyptien',
OperaMinoraII (I9S9), 353-77; H. C. Youtie,'ArPAMMATOX: An aspectofGreeksocietyin Egypt',HSCP 75
ii (1973), 6i6.
(1971), i66 = Scniptiunculae

XnLGxo7tELv ...

is said to 'evoke the idea of an adminis-

comarch' Finally 3TQL T'6V TOLOi6T(OVMV3X[OaOtoiL] [or]


8LXatcTaC in P.Oxy. 46, 3285, 1. 34 appears in a second-

ofa demoticlegal
centuryC.E. COpyofa Greektranslation
code whichitselfgoesbackto thePharaonicperiod;see J.
Rea's introduction
inP.Oxy. vol. 46, pp. 30-I .
We findMUyxo3toL
as municipalor villagemagistrates
in the inscriptions
(e.g. M. Sartre,Bostra, Bibliotheque
Archeologiqueet Historiquecxvii (1 985), 81-2 and H. I.
MacAdam,Studiesin theHistoryoftheRomanProvince

ofArabia, BAR 295 (I986),

i69f., iii C.E., Trachonitis).

See also Dig. L.4.I8.7


(Arcadius Charisius'list of civil
liturgies):'item episcopi, qui praesuntpani et ceteris
venalibusrebus,quae civitatium
populis<ad> cotidianum
victumus<ui> sunt,personalibusmuneribusfunguntur'
('The episcopi,in chargeofthedailysupplyofbreadand
othervictualsto thepopulationofthecities,also perform
personalliturgies').But I do notthinkthatlulia Crispina
was a magistrate.
36 As suggested
by 0. Montevecchito explaintheterm
acquired by the motherof an orphanby the
nQoOT6TLg
terms of her marriage contract: [3TQooTdTL;]

T;o5 O&5M
a16TO10 (SC. 6Q4xaVO10) dn6 GU'YQac4vn GUVOLXLG(OU,Trf5
11. 4-6):
I (42
acbTOi5 jifTQO5
(P.Med.Bar.
B.C.E.),

'Prostatis e usato qui ad indicare una funzione di

responsibilita
delladonnaneiriguardidel figlio,un potere
su di lui, che si avvicinaalla tutelapur senza averneil
carattere
giuridico',op. cit. (n. 28), 107.
3 Like the faithful
shepherd,btUixonog,of the New
Testament, on which see G. Kittel, Theologisches
Worterbuch
zumneuenTestament(I935), 2, p. 6i iff.For
the associationof tnt(xonog and Hebrew 'Mebaqqer'
(l7D e.g. Damascus Covenant I4:12-I6),
see now
J. C. Greenfieldand M. Stone, 'Two noteson Aramaic
Levi', in H. W. Attridgeet al. (eds), Of Scribes and
Scrolls,Studies in the Hebrew Bible, Intertestamental
3udaism and Chn'stianOriginspresentedto]. Strugnell
(I990),

38

[172/3 C.E.]

153-6 I, esp. iS8-6i.

This content downloaded from 212.189.136.198 on Thu, 28 Jan 2016 10:39:33 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

98

HANNAH

COTTON

shaped by a mixtureof Egyptian and Greek legal practices and customs.44Whetherher


situationas wellas hercourseofactioncould be accountedforby Nabataean legalpractices,we
have no meansofknowing.Whateverthereis to knowabout Nabataean law is enshrinedin the
unpublishedpart of the archive. But in view of Babatha's Jewishness,it is legitimateto ask
what rightsshe would have had underJewishlaw and practices.In otherwords,what do we
knowabout therulesgoverningtheappointmentofa guardianas wellas about thestatusofthe
containedin the
motherofan orphanin Jewishlaw ofthetime?I shallthenuse theinformation
archiveitself,namelyBabatha's own awarenessand behaviour,in orderto address the more
fundamentalquestion of whethertherewas any operativeJewishlegal systemin the period
theJewishlegal textsfromthisperiod(see below) give
concerned.45
Traditionallyinterpreted,
us thebiased viewthatRabbinicor HalakhicJudaismas we knowit has alwaysbeen thereand
ofJudaism.46
thatRabbinicJudaismwas theonlymanifestation
NaturallyI shallbase mystudyoftheprinciplesgoverningtheJewishlaw on guardianship
in this period only on Tannaitic sources,47thatis sources thatroughlybelong to the period
the
the destructionof the Temple - and the end of the second centuryC.E.70 C.E.redactionoftheMishnahbyJudahthePatriarch(R. Yehudah ha-Nasi ) .4 The Mishnah is the
authoritativecollectionof religiouslaw which had been formulatedin the rabbinicschools
duringthatperiod. There is, however,Tannaitic materialoutsideit.Barayta49'designatesall
Tannaitic teachingsand sayingsoutside the Mishnah',50and thus is assumed to be roughly
withit.51A special collectionofbaraytotis theTosefta('addition,supplement'),
contemporary
whichis much moreextensivethantheMishnah;52 therelationshipbetweenthetwo is stillfar
fromclear.53Greaterprecisionforindividualpassages can sometimesbe achievedon thebasis
ofrabbinicnamescitedin them.54
Jewishlaw does not have its own termforthe institutionof guardianship,but borrowed
the Greek term ?tnt'o3To; to describe a guardian.55Gulak assumed that the institution
developed under the influenceof Hellenistic and Roman law.56 On the other hand the
conceptual differencesbetween the Roman and the Jewishformsof guardianshipput this

44 J. Modrzejewski,'La regle de droitdans l'Egypte


ptolemaique',Essays in Honor of C. BradfordWelles

(I966), 125-73.

4S See above all M. Goodman, State and Societyin


Roman Galilee,A.D. 132-212 (i983), passim,butesp. 3who thinks that the
178-8I,
I55-71;
24; 93-1I8;
ofthe Rabbiswas slowin evolvingand became
authority
dominantonlyfrommid-third
centuryonwards.See also
E. Goodenough,JewishSymbolsin the Greco-Roman
vol. 12, I84-98; contraM. Smith,
Period (1953-I968),
3BL 86
'Goodenough's3ewish Symbolsin retrospect',
(I967), 53-68; E. E. Urbach,'The rulesof'AbodahZara
realityin Eretz
(idolatry)andthearchaeological-historical
Israel in the second and thirdcenturies',Eretz Israel 5
= The Worldof the Sages: Collected
(I958),
I89-205
Studies (I988), 125-78 (Hebrew); L. Levine, The
Rabbinic Class of Roman Palestine in Late Antiquity
(I989), ch. 3.
tothe
Introduction
46 H. L. Strackand G. Stemberger,
Talmudand Midrash(I 99 I), 54-5.
47 'Aramaictanna, fromHebrew shanah "to repeat,
by
learn"',tannaim:'themastersofteachingtransmitted
op. cit.
continualoral repetition',Strack-Stemberger,
(n. 46), 7. The Tannaimwereactivein thefirsttwoand
half centuriesof our era and were followed'by the
of
Amoraim(amar, "tosay",comment:thecommentators
up toc. 500' (Strack-Stemberger).
theTannaiticteachings)
op. cit. (n. 46), I23; iS-6.
4 Strack-Stemberger,
teaching
(shortforAramaicmatnita
4 'Lit. the"outside"
op. cit. (n. 46), i9S.
baraita)', Strack-Stemberger,
`0 ibid. The termusuallyrefersto Tannaiticteachings
on in thePalestinianand
quotedverbatimandcommented
BabylonianTalmuds.
51 This assumptionsometimesproves to be wrong:
orfalselyascribedto
somebaraytotwereeithermistakenly

the Tannaim, see Strack-Stemberger,


op. cit. (n. 46),
2 I 6-I 7, see also 54.
52 Strack-Stemberger,
op. cit. (n. 46), i68-9.
S Strack-Stemberger,
op. cit. (n. 46), i68-77. Both
theMishnahand theToseftaas we nowhavethemconsist
of six maindivisionsor orders(sedainm),each of which
consists of tractates,subdivided into chapters and
sentences.The methodof citationis by work(m or t)
tractate,chapterand sentence,but the'order'is omitted.
The two Talmuds are also cited by work (y for
Yerushalmi,i.e. the PalestinianTalmud and b forthe
BabylonianTalmud), and respectiveMishnaictractate.
In the BabylonianTalmud tractateis followedby page
number,withthefrontand backofeach leafcountedas a
and b; in thePalestinianTalmud (theVeniceedition)the
tractateis followedby page number;each page has four
columns(a-d). The Talmuds, beinglatercommentaries
on TannaiticmaterialbytheAmoraim(see above, n. 46),
but
arecitedhereonlytocorroborate
Tannaitictraditions,
neveras evidenceforthestatusofJewishlaw intheearlier
period.
S Thereareno absolute
dates;chronology
is determined
ofone rabbito anotheras histeacher:
bytherelationship
'in this way generationsof rabbis can be co-ordinated'
Strack-Stemberger,
op. cit. (n. 46), 63; howeverattributionsarenotalwaysreliableorcertain,ibid., 63ff.
ss Renderingit O1DItl'KD - epitropos; -1DllMlDN
apotropos; Dt'UDM- epitropa,etc. see D. Sperber,A
Dictionaryof Greekand Latin Legal Tenns in Rabbinic
Literature(1984), s6ff.This is thetermused to thisvery
dayin modernHebrew.
A. Gulak,Principles(Institutions)
ofjewishLaw III:
FamilyLaw (I922), ch. 7, p. I46 (Hebrew); Z. W. Falk,
'Zum fremdenEinflussaufdas jiudischeRecht',RIDA i8
( 97 1), I I-23, is muchmoreaffirmative.

This content downloaded from 212.189.136.198 on Thu, 28 Jan 2016 10:39:33 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

JESUS

SON

OF

BABATHA:

ROMAN

AND

LOCAL

LAW

IN PROVINCE

OF

ARABIA

99

assumptionin question.57At all events,by thesecond halfofthesecond centuryC.E. themain


linesoftheinstitutionhad alreadybeen drawn.58
There is no doubt thata womancould serveas a guardian,ifappointedby herhusbandin
or ofthatofhis orphans.60The Toseftaadds
his lifetime,whetheras guardianofhis property59
therestriction
thatthecourtswould notappointa womanas a guardian,unlessshe had already
served in this capacityin her husband's lifetime:'the courts should not take the initiative
lekhathilah)and appointwomen and slaves as guardians,but ifthe fatherhad
appointed any of them in that capacity duringhis lifetime,the courts should confirmthe
appointment'(tTerumoth6'I . II ).62 Neitherin theMishnah nor in the Toseftais it suggested
thata man could appointhis wifea guardianoftheircommonchildrenin his will. However,a
on the courtsto appointa
barayta in the BabylonianTalmud, while repeatingthe restriction
womanas guardian,can be interpreted
in such a wayas to meanthata man could makehiswife
a guardianof theircommonchildrenin his will: 'Women, slaves and minors63
should not be
madeguardians:if,however,thefatheroftheorphanschoosestoappointone, he is atliberty
to do
rn' niuvin 7'Ynn' ,nx 7r' oxi' (lit. 'it is in his hand', bGittin 52a).64 It seems to have
so remainedtherulethatthecourtswereprohibitedfrominitiating
theappointment
ofa woman.65
It is likely that the orphan Jesus was living with Babatha, his mother,at the time
documentedin thearchive,fortheguardianshand herthe moneyforhis upkeep.66We do not
know whetheror not she insistedon having him with her. A Jewishmothercould indeed
demand that the orphan be leftwith her. For many reasons she may have appeared more
than those entitledto be the orphan's heirs.67And in fact such a claim was
trustworthy
accepted by the Jewishcourts: 'If a man dies leavinga son, and the mothersays: "let him be
broughtup by me" and the heirssay: "let himbe broughtup by us", thenthe son maynotbe
broughtup by thosewho are entitledto be his heirs'(tKet. I I.4).
It seems thatboardingwith his motherdid not have the legal consequence of turning
Babathaintotheguardianofherorphanedson, Jesus.This needs to be said sincein Jewishlaw
notonlydid thereexisttwolegalwaysofcreatinga guardianship(appointmentbythefatherin
his lifetimeor in his will, and appointmentby the court); therealso existeda defacto sortof
-

57 See Y. K. Reinitz,'The Guardian of Orphans in


JewishLaw: His Responsibility,
MethodsofSupervision',
(unpub. Ph.D. dissertation,the Hebrew Universityof
JerusalemI984), introduction,
pp. ivf.and bibliography
cited in the notes; M. Block,Die Vormundschaft
nach
Mosaisch-Talmudischem
Rechte(I 904) .
58 Reinitz,op. cit. (n. 57), ix putsitearlier:'bythefirst
half'. In evidencehe mentionsthe controversy
between
Abba Saul and R. Eliezerb. Jacobaboutthetakingofthe
oathby theguardianoforphansat theend ofhis termof
office(bGittin('divorcecertificates')
52b); however,R.
Eliezerb. Jacob(theYounger)andAbba Saul belongedto
the thirdgenerationof Tannaites,c. I3o-i6o C.E., see
Strack-Stemberger,
op. cit. (n. 46), 83-6; see also A. M.
Heiman,IIistoryoftheTannaimand Amoraim( I964), 1,
s.vv. (Hebrew).
59 cf. mKetubboth
(= Ket. 'marriagecontracts')9.4: 'If
a mansetup hiswifeas a shopkeeperorappointedheras a
guardian (epitropa) he may exact of her an oath
whensoeverhe will'. The presenceof Rabbi Eliezerben
Hyrcanusin thisMishnahdatesit to theearlyii century
(see Strack-Stemberger,
op. cit. (n. 46), 77); cf. tKet.
9.6; bKet. 86b; yKet. 54a; cf.bBaba Bathra (= BB 'last
gate' i.e. the last tractateof Seder Nezikqn 'Damages')
I3ib: 'If a [dying]mangaveall hisproperty
to hiswifein
writing,he [thereby] only appointed her guardian
apotropa)';cf. bBB i44a; bGittinI4a.
( DI'lulD.See alsoyShevu'ot('oaths') 93a, whereboththeguardian
and thewomanwho managesherhusband'sproperty
are
requiredto takean oath: 'And these[must]takean oath
[even] when there is no claim [laid against them]:
(I) partners(2) tenants(3) guardians(4) a womanwho
managesherhouseholdand (5) son ofthehousehold'.
60 cf.mKet.9.6: 'If shewas madeaguardian[i.e. in her
husband'slifetime],
theheirsmayexactan oathfromher
concerning
[hertrustduring]thetimeafter[herhusband's
death], but not the time before'.Afterthe husband's
death, the widow is entitledto continueholdingthe

overhisproperty
guardianship
whichhas nowbecomethe
orphans';cf.bKet.86b-88b; yKet.55a.
61 Ter. 'levies' or 'heave offerings'
(e.g. priestlyheave
offering).
62 I have adopted B. Cohen's translation,
Yewishand
RomanLaw i (i966), 243; see S. Lieberman,ToseftaKifeshutahPart I: Order Zera'im ('Seeds') (i955), 304
(Hebrew,themostimportant
moderncommentary
on the
'rosefta)cf.tBB 8. I 7.
63 'Minors'mustbe a mistake,see Lieberman,op. cit.
(n. 62), 303.
64 The Rashba (R. Shlomo b. Aderet, I235-13Io)
in his Commentaryon the Babvlonian Talmud
on the SIAS)
ny
( -"U
01 i',n - hiddushim
on bGittin52a suggestsreading'theyareat libertytodo so
(lit. 'in their hands' 7'11)' )', i.e. the courts, thus
thebaravta intolinewithtTer.I. I I. His reading
bringing
of theBarayta leavesus withno Tannaiticauthority
for
theappointment
ofa womanas a guardianin thefather's
will. His proposedcorrectionof the textof bGittins2a
fromv*rn
('in his hand',i.e. thefather's)to flln ('in their
hands', i.e. the courts') is minuscule: the mere
ofthewaw (1) to producea finalnun (X).
lengthening
6S See S. Assaf, 'The appointmentof women as
guardians',Ha-MishpatIIa-'Ivn (I 927), 75-8I (Hebrew);
Y. K. Reinitz,'The appointment
ofwomenas guardians',
Bar-Ilan Law Studies4 (i986), I67-203 (Hebrew).
6
P.Yadin I3-I5 (I24-5 C.E.); 27 (32 C.E.).
67 Note thata similar
provisionforthechildrento stay
with their mothertill they come of age is found in
Egyptianmarriagecontracts:e.g. PROxv.497 (early ii
century), 1. 13:
[,InTTQi

RUE(QL

T6V

TOV

[TEXVMvI 6LQLTOUEVWV
Et5 1kLXCCV
tkOEv;

rnCQ6

see

Tnj

also

P.Oxy. 496 (127 C.E.), 1. I2; Romanorphansalso tended


to be broughtup by theirmothers,see J. F. Gardner,
Womenin RomanLaw and Societv(i 986), I 47.
6' In thebaravta itsaysexplicitly:
'theyleavehimwith
his mother', bKet. I02b.

This content downloaded from 212.189.136.198 on Thu, 28 Jan 2016 10:39:33 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

I00

HANNAH

COTTON

guardianship:guardianshipacquired by virtueof 'orphans boardingwith the householder'


( -mr'nosemikhah).69 This formmaywell have been theoriginaland authenticJewishformof
This couldoffera wayforwomentobecomedefactoguardiansoftheirchildren.7"
guardianship.70
We maymentionin passingthatone ofJesus'guardianswas nota Jew.72It is hardto know
whytheboule ofPetraappointeda non-Jewas one oftheguardiansoftheJewishorphanJesus.
to the principleof personalitycould have been a local custom,73as has been
The indifference
suggestedforthenamingoftwoguardiansinsteadofone.74
None oftheJewishpracticesand rulesdelineatedabove regardingtheorphan'smotheris
presentin thisarchive.Indeed thereis nothingto showthatBabathawas awareofanyofthem.
The exampleoftheJewsofEgyptspringsto mind. The editorsoftheCorpusPapyrorum
Iudaicarum expressedtheirsurpriseat the absence of any documentsreflecting
the existence
of Jewishcourtsin Egyptand of the exerciseof Jewishlaw there;75 not even forAlexandria,
wherewe know thata Jewishtribunalexisted,do we possess any evidence.76'On the other
hand, the papyricontainrich evidence of Jewsusing freelythe common Hellenisticlaw.77
They conclude, therefore,that 'the laws and regulationsformingthe legal basis for the
business lifeof the Jewsare the common laws of the Greeks in Egypt .. . the familylifeof
Alexandrian Jews, their marriagesand divorces, were regulated by Greek contracts in
accordancewiththe principlesof Hellenisticlaw'.78
Thus noteven in Egyptwheredocumentsdo exist,do we possess anyproofthatJewsdid
use their own courts and laws. What is, therefore,the precise meaning of the privilege
successfullysoughtand grantedto Jewsby the Roman government,namelyto live according
to theirancestrallaws or customs(vo[totor eOr)? Surelythe papyrifromEgyptand Arabia
rendertheevidenceforlegal autonomyelsewhereverydifficult
to interpret.80
69
mGittin5.4: 'If orphans were supported (1=zO
samkhu)by a householder,or iftheirfatherappointeda
guardianforthem,he mustgive tithefromthe produce
thatbelongsto them.If a guardianwas appointedby the
orphans'fatherhe musttakean oath; ifhe was appointed
by the courthe need not takean oath. Abba Saul says:
'The ruleis to thecontrary
etc.'; cf.tTer. I. I2; tBB 8.I3.
70 See Falk, op. cit. (n. 56): 'Das ersteVerhaltnis,
das
manvielleicht
nennenkann. . .', p. I4 and
proto-epitrope
passim; cf. Y. K. Reinitz,'Guardianshipby virtueof
"orphansboardingwiththehouseholder"',Bar-Ilan Law
StudiesI (1980),2I9-50. Gradually
thisdefactosortof
guardianshipwas assimilatedintothelegal institution
of
guardianshipand made equal withthe othertwo forms:
'The householderwithwhomtheorphansboardedhas all
the legal rightspossessedby guardiansappointedby the
court or by the orphans' father',R. Asher b. Yehiel
(I250-I327),
Responsa,87a; cf. Reinitz,op. cit. (n. 57),
93ff71 As someinterpret
thefamousstoryoftheold woman
Xlmn
(xn
), bGittin52a: 'Certainorphanswhoboarded
withan old womanhad a cow whichshe tookand sold.
Their relativesappealedto R. Nahman(thirdgeneration
ofAmoraimin Babylonia)saying:whatrighthad she to
sellit?He saidtothem:we learn"iforphansboardedwith
the househQldgr"'.Set the Rashba's (see above, n. 64)
Responsa (nlniiLn n*xWL),II, no. 49: 'And evenifthey
boardedwitha womanwhomthecourtdoesnotappointas
guardian... she is like a guardianto them,as we learn
fromthe storyof the old woman [bGittin52a], and it
seemsto be thesamein thecase ofa mother. . .'; see also
ResponsaII, no. 285; cf.Reinitz,'Guardianshipbyvirtue
of "orphansboardingwiththe householder"',Bar-Ilan
Law Studies I (I980), 223-4, and esp. 243-7: 'The
Guardianshipof the widow by virtueof the orphans
boardingwithher'.
72 'Apbopbcag'IkkouOa of P.Yadin I2 is clearly a
Nabataean:see P.Yadin IS, 1. 38; p. I39 (Yadinand
Greenfield,
op. cit. (n. 3), no. IS), and pl. I2.
73 It thus contrasts
with Roman law whichdemands
thattheguardianshouldcome fromthesame nationality
as his ward, see Taubenschlag, op. cit. (n. 2I), I58;
Mitteis,GrundzugeI, 252-3, on Egypt. J. Juster(Les
Juifsdans l'empireromainii (19I4), 24, n. i) takesDig.

XXVII
. I.IS5.6: 'H8,
'IoUbda(Ov

8be

xa'L of 'Iou8aiom T'WV

3t7LTQO3[1JGOUOLV,(OOnUQ

XaL

tLa

koLatc

XLTO1UQ(Y0ou0 V, to referto Jewswho possessedRoman


citizenship,
andthusnottoconstitute
an infringement
ofthe
principleof personality;
see Juster,62-4; A. Linder,The
(I987), no.4.
YewsinRomanImperialLegislation
7 See Lewisp. 48 onP.Yadin I2. See belowAppendixI.
7 The one clear exceptionis CPY II no. I43 which
mentionsthedepositingofa will(8LaO1nx1v)
in theTo Tidv
'IoubcdaLvd&xFZov11.7-8; forJewisharchivesin Asia
Minor, see CIY 74I (burial inscriptionfromSmyrna):
IJo6XFLTaLEl To
TLYQ(W4 To &vu(yQaov"
&QXtLOV; 775 (Hierapolis) mentions T14) &QXp TiV
'Ioubtavow;seealso776; 778; 779. See alsoJos.,BJVI.354.
76 Strabo apud Jos.,AJ XIV.II7 (= M. Stern,Greek

TaWMtT;is

and LatinAuthors
onjews andYudaismI (I974), no. IOS;
tKethubboth
3.I = tPeah ('corner')4.6; CPJII, PP. 4-5;
Bowmanand Rathbone,op. cit. (n. I), I I7.
7 CP I (Prolegomena),33; see also II, 4-5.
78ibid.,33-4; cf.V. Tcherikover,
inEgyptin
TheyJews
the Hellenistic-Roman
Age in the Light of the Papyri
(I963), I03-I5 (Hebrew).
9 See T. Rajak, 'Was therea Roman charterforthe
Jews?', JRS 74 (i 984), I 07-23 .
8 I referofcourseto thefamouschartersmentionedin
Josephus,Ay XIV.I85-267. Admittedly
an explicitgrant
ofjudicialautonomyis attestedonlyforSardis,wherethe
JewsclaimedbeforeL. Antoniusthattheyused to adjudicate cases betweenthemselvesin a courtof theirown:
(oi6vobov eXFLV tlbcav xaTa Tois 3taTc(oSU
v61oUg dat'
tXN5 xact T6tov lbLOV, V q) T'a TF,QatylTaTa XatTLa JQOg
"iAXougduvLXoy'Lac XQLVOuLV,Jos., Ay XV.235); as

a resultofthisappeal thecitycouncilissueda rulingthat


the Jewswereto: xaTa T'a VOI4tUo'LVa N11 [o1ivayeOaL]
xac

[sokXLTeU5FGOaL]xac

[bLabLx4aL5Ei]

tQog awftou'

(ibid. 260). I findit hardto believewithRajak, op. cit.


(n. 79), iI6 and n. 35 there,thatthiswas uniqueto Sardis.
See L. Roth-Gerson,'The Civil and ReligiousStatusof
the Jews in Asia Minor fromAlexanderthe Great to
Constantine336 B.C.-A.D. 337' (unpub. Ph.D. dissertation, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem,

I972), 65-)2

(Hebrew); T. Rajak, 'Jewishrightsin the Greek cities


under Roman rule: a new approach', in W. S. Green
(ed.), ApproachestoAncientyJudaism
(I985), I9-36.

This content downloaded from 212.189.136.198 on Thu, 28 Jan 2016 10:39:33 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

JESUS

SON

OF

BABATHA:

ROMAN

AND

LOCAL

LAW

IN

PROVINCE

OF ARABIA

101

Finallybut mostimportantly:
whatconclusionsshouldbe drawnabout theauthorityand
influenceof the Rabbis and of Halakhic Judaismat the time fromthe factthatJewsin this
cornerofArabia, close to theborderwithJudaea,81althoughnot Hellenized Jews- formost
of them sign in Aramaic - did not resortto Jewishlaws and practices in mattersthat
concernedpersonallaw82and property?How shall we accountforthe totalabsence of Jewish
law and Jewishlaw courtsin the Greek partofthe archive?83
The answermustbe thattheexistenceofa coherentand operativeJewishsystemoflaw at
the time is therebycalled into question. Such a system,if alreadybeing formulatedin the
schools of the Rabbis, has yetto become normative.It has certainlyleftno tracehere. 'It was
only throughcenturiesof developmentthat [Rabbinic Judaism] became the 'normative'
Judaismwhichit has oftenbeen assumedto have been fortheentireperiod'.84
This conclusion,althoughbased solelyon theGreekpartofthearchive- whichis all we
haveso far- seemsto me hardlylikelyto changewiththepublicationoftherestofthearchive.
It is trueofcoursethatBabatha's own marriagecontractis writtenin Aramaic,85and is said to
be in harmonywiththe rulesformulatedin MishnahKethubboth.86 It seems thoughthatthe
Greeklanguagetakesoverwithtime:typesofcontractthatwerewrittenbeforein Aramaicand
Nabataean87are now writtenin Greek.88The marriagecontractof Shelamzion, Babatha's
second husband's daughterfromhis otherwife(P.Yadini8, 5 April iz8), is writtenin Greek
and so is thatof Salome-Komais ofP.Yadin 37 (7 August i3i).89 And when the documentis
writtenin Greek, the rules formulatedin the Rabbinic schools seem no longerto apply. It
reads thenlikea Greeklegal instrument.90
Once we accept,however,thattheJewsoftenused foreignlaws and practices- alongside
theirown- theabsence of documentswitha distinctly
Jewishflavourfromthe Greekpartof
the archiveis not as strikingas it seemed at first.The Jewsused the Greek languageforthe
same reason thattheyused Greek diplomatics,Greek practicesand Greek laws: theyhad to
makesurethattheirdocumentswerevalid and acceptablein non-Jewish
courtsoflaw, and that
theycould be deposited'withthe public authorities',91
which mustreferto the cityarchives
81'En-gedi-the patria ofBabatha'ssecondhusband,
Judahson ofEleazar,wherehe ownedproperty
(P.Yadin
i I; i 9-20)
andwhere
hisfirst
wifewasliving
(P.Yadinz6)
-is alreadyin theprovinceofJudaea:x6tqs AlvyabUov
nF,Qi
IseFto!vTa-r5 Iovuia5La(P.Yaldin
I6,1. I6).
82 The two marriage
contractsin the archive(P.Yadin
i8 and 37) havenothingdistinctly
Jewishaboutthem;see
A. Wasserstein,
'A marriagecontractfromtheprovinceof
Arabia Nova: Notes on Papyrus Yadin I8', Jewish
QuarterlyReview 8o (I989), I05-30 and J. Geiger,'A
note on P.Yadin i8', ZPE 93 (i99z),
67-8; contraR.
Katzoffin N. Lewis, R. Katzoffand J. Greenfield,
'Papyrus Yadin i8', IJ3J 37 (I987), 236-47; N. Lewis
ralliesto Katzoff'sdefencein 'The world of P.Yadin',
BASP 28 (I99I),
see also Katzoff,'PapyrusYadin
35-4I;
i8 again: A rejoinder',YQR 82 (I99I),
I7I-6 (wherethe
is modified);idem,'P. Yadin i9: A
interpretatioHebraica
giftafterdeathfromthe Judaeandesert',Proceedingsof
the TenthWorldCongressofJewishStudies,Jerusalem
I989 Div. C, vol. I (I990), i-8 (Hebrew); 'An interpretation of P. Yadin i9 ... etc.', Proc. XXth Int. Congr.
Papyrology
I992
(forthcoming).
83See also the Greek remarriagecontractfromWadi
Murabba'at(DJD ii, no. II5 of I24 C.E.): althoughit
comes fromJudaea itself,it has nothingto markit as
Jewishapart fromthe names; the same is true of an
unpublishedmarriagecontractin Greek (said to come
from Wadi Seiyal, but in all likelihood also from
Nahal Hever), now in the RockefellerMuseum in
Jerusalem.DJD ii, no. ii6 is too fragmentary,
but I
suspectthatthesameappliesto it (see below,n. 89).
Strack-Stemberger,
op. cit. (n. 46), 5f. Furthermore,we stillfindunresolveddisputesintheMishnah,see
S. Cohen,'The significance
ofYavneh: Pharisees,Rabbis
and the end of sectarianism',HUCA 56 (1984), 27-53
passim.
"IP.Yadin I0 (unpub.). This contractis ofhersecond
marriage,to Judahson of Eleazar Khthousion,between
I22 and 125.
8 See Yadin, op. cit. (n. 6), 244-5. See L. J. Archer,

Her Price is Beyond Rubies: The Jewish Woman in

Graeco-Roman
Palestine
(I990),

I7I-88,

onthedevelop-

mentoftheJewishKettubahin Tannaitictimes.I do not


accept, however,her interpretation
of DJD II5 as a
Jewishinstrument.
"' The Nabataeancontractpublishedsometimeago by
J. Starcky('Un contratNabateen sur papyrus',Revue
Biblique 6i (954),
i6i-8i), maywell have been partof
thearchive;
seeYadin,op. cit.(n. 6), 228-9; 242, n. 2I,
andBowersock,
op. cit.(n. IO), 340, sinceit mentions
property(mrni- ganatha -'orchard') whichbelonged
to Babatha'ssecondhusband'sfamilyand whichlateron
passedintoherhands; see P.Yadin 2 I, 1. I o and 22, 1. I I:
yavvaONLxaQxog.This documentwillbe republishedas
P.Yadin 36.
88WiththeexceptionoftheunpublishedP.Yadin 0-io,
butthesebelongto theearlyI 20S.
89 cf. also the marriagecontractsin DJD II:
two
marriagecontractsin Aramaic:no. 20 is fromII6/7 C.E.
('theeleventhyearoftheProvince',i.e. Arabia); no. 2I iS
probablyfromI 26/7 (assumingthat'twenty-one'
refersto
theprovince);and two marriagecontractsin Greek: nos
I I5 (I24 C.E.) and I I6 (first
halfofii C.E. accordingto the
editors); the unpublished marriage contract in the
RockefellerMuseum in Jerusalemdates fromI30 (see
above, n. 83). On Jewishmarriagecontracts,see M. A.
Friedman,Jrewish
Mariage in Palestine:A Cairo Geniza
Study: I: The KetubbaTraditionsofEretzIsrael; II: The
Ketubba: Texts(I980).
90 I use 'Greek'herein thesenseused by Wasserstein,
op. cit. (n. 82), to explainthe use of XT)VLXv;g vo'og in
P.Yadin i8 and 37, namelyas thatamalgamof laws of
variousoriginswhichseems to be called Hellenic in the
RomanEast. I supposeGoodman,op. cit. (n. 45), means
somethingsimilar by 'simple Semitic common law'
(p. I6o) 'intowhichsomeGreekideashad crept'(p. I6I).
91 See the TFvXLtEL &La b?tooCv of P.Yadin I9, 11.
26-7 and the TEUXUoRsOL bLa b6%oLvov of P.Yadin 20,
1. 13 = 11.35-6.

This content downloaded from 212.189.136.198 on Thu, 28 Jan 2016 10:39:33 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

I02

HANNAH

COTTON

used byJewswe learnforexamplefrommGittini.5:


(&@XiLa). That thesewerefrequently
'Anywritis valid thatis drawnup in the registriesof thegentilesexcepta writof divorceor a
writof emancipation.R. Simeon92says: "These, too, are valid; theywere not mentioned[as
invalid]unless theywere preparedby such as werenot [authorized]judges".'93
I have been able to findonly two Tannaitic passages which explicitlydiscourageJews
fromusinggentilecourts.Rabbi Tarfon,who livedbeforetheBar Kokhba revolt,94
is citedin a
barayta in bGittin88b: 'In any place whereyou findgentilelaw courts,95even thoughtheir
judgements[ 0'b' ] are the same as thoseof Israel, you mustnot resortto themsince it says,
"These are thejudgementswhichthoushaltsetbeforethem"[Ex. 21 :I], thatis to say,"before
them"and not beforegentiles.'This followsa discussionof whetheror not a deed of divorce
givenundercompulsionby a gentilecourtis valid. The second passage is again a commentary
on Ex. 2 I:I, by Rabbi Eleazar ben Azariah,96cited in the Mekhilta d'R. Ishmael:9 'If the
gentilespronouncejudgementsin accordance with Jewishlaw [+KXi1Uv'
"Yll:) III], are their
judgementsvalid? No, forit is written:"These are thejudgements":you judge thembut they
do not judge you.'98The harshlanguageemployedby the Rabbis in the prohibitionon using
gentilecourtsmaywell indicatethattheJewsdid use them.We mayassumethatin theabsence
of a Jewishcourtin Maoza or its vicinity,the partieshad to attendnon-Jewishcourtswhere
local customswere followed.Alternatively,
perhapstheseJewspreferrednon-Jewishcourts.
However thatmay be, theselocal customsseem at timesextremelyRoman in character,and
the courtspreferredby the partiesturnout to be Roman. The restof the discussionwill be
devotedto theformand shape of Romanizationin Arabia soon afteritsannexationas revealed
in thisarchive.
III

We have discovered (above, Sections I and II) that neitherthe 'law of the papyri' nor
Jewishlaw explainsBabatha's situation.We maylook therefore
morecloselyat Roman law.99
Women were excluded by Roman law fromthe exercise of guardianship: 'Feminae
tutoresdari non possunt' (Dig. XXVI. I. I8); the fathercannotmake the mothera guardianof
theircommonchildrenin his will: 'lure nostrotutelacommuniumliberorummatritestamento
The factthatBabathaseemsto be excludedfromthe
patrisfrustramandatur'(Dig. XXVI.2.26).
guardianshipof her son also fitsthe Roman legal practice- thistimesubstantivelaw rather
thanprocedure.'0?
Althoughexcludedfromtheguardianshipofherchildren,themotheris expectedto take
an interestin theirwelfare,and the guardianswould do well to heed the mother'sadvice, if
to do so by thetestator- withno diminutionoftheircompetenceand responsibility
instructed
(Dig. XXVI.7.5.8).'0' The Senatus ConsultumTertullianumof Hadrianic date, whichgave a
mother(withius triumliberorum)the rightto inheritfromher childrenin case of intestacy,
made it her dutyunder sanctionto ensurethatguardianswere legallyappointed; should she
9 R. Simeonwithout
meansR. Simeonben
patronym
Yohai (= Yohanan),thirdgeneration
ofTannaim,c. I 30i6o, see Strack-Stemberger,
op. cit. (n. 46), 83-4, buthe
is clearlyreferring
to an earlierrule(ItinT
&'they were
notmentioned').
93 cf.tGittin
I.4; bGittiniia; See G. Alon,TheYewsin
their
Land in theTalmudic
Age(70-640C.E.) II (i984),
553-7; A. Gulak, Towards a Study of the Historyof
Jewish Law in the Talmudic Period I(1929),
s4ff.
(Hebrew).
94 See Strack-Stemberger,
op. cit. (n. 46), 8o; Heiman,
op. cit. (n. 58), II, 524-9.
9 The HebrewhasAgorai'oth
( n xvi X ) fromdyoea.
9 He belongedto the second generationof Tannaim
(90-I30);

of RabbanGamalielII, the
contemporary

leaderofrabbinicJudaismbetween80/90-I I0, whomhe


replacedtemporarily,
Strack-Stemberger,
op. cit.(n. 46),
76; 78.
9 Mekhilta 'is the Aramaic equivalent of Hebrew

midda or kelal, "rule, norm" ... the derivationof


halakhah ['law'] from Scriptureaccording to certain
rules', Strack-Stemberger,
op. cit. (n. 46), 275. The
Mekhiltad'R. Ishmaelis a commentary
on somechapters
of Exodus 'witha core going back to the school of R.
Ishmael'[middleofthesecondcentury],althoughitsfinal
redactiontook place 'in the second half of the third
century',Strack-Stemberger,
(above, n. 46) 278-9.
98 H. S. Horovitzand I. A. Rabin (eds), Mekhiltad'R.
Ishmael (2nd edn, I960), 246. The two passages,
however,are notunrelated:bothrefertomGittin9.8 and
toEx. 2I: I ; see Juster,op. cit. (n. 73), II, 95f.
9 The followingdiscussionbenefited
a greatdeal from
thepertinent
criticism
ofJ. F. Gardner.
10I referto the mannerof appointingguardians,the
tutoris
datio describedabove.
101 'Viris bonis convenietsalubre consilium matris
admittere. . .' etc.

This content downloaded from 212.189.136.198 on Thu, 28 Jan 2016 10:39:33 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

JESUS

SON

OF

BABATHA:

ROMAN

AND

LOCAL

LAW

IN PROVINCE

OF ARABIA

I03

102 However,thelaw stoppedshortof saying


failto do so, she lost herclaim to theinheritance.
that it was the duty of a motherto prosecute a guardian who failed in his duty (Dig.
xxvI.6.4.4).103Finallyand mostcruciallyforthe discussionhere: 'even womenare admitted
but onlythosewho takethisstep as a familyduty,
[to bringa chargeof untrustworthiness],10

(Dig. XXVI. I 0. I .7).105


as forexamplea mother'

We may examine Babatha's behaviourin the lightof thesestatements.Shortlyafterthe


appointmentof theguardiansby the citycouncil of Petra,Babatha tookthecase againstthem
to the governor,and
to the governorof the province.106P.Yadin I3 is a petition(dcta)
P.Yadin I4 is theactualsummonsofone ofthemto his court.'07It is onlyinP.Yadin I5 thatwe
getthefullgroundsforhercomplaintagainstherson's guardians:(i) thattheydid notgiveher
son 'the maintenancemoneycommensuratewiththe incomefromthe intereston his money
but only halfa per cent (1. 7 = 11.22-3), which as we learn
and the restof his property',108
to maintain
(2) thatthe amountwas insufficient
elsewherecame to two denariiper month;109
thestyleoflifetheboy was accustomedto (or his social standing?);110(3) thatiftheygave her
the moneyon security,she could investit in such a way as to get 'a denariusand a half [per
month]per hundreddenarii'(11.9-i = 1. 26).
We do notknowat whatratetheguardianshad investedthemoney;theymayhaveinvested
it at the usual rateof I2 per cent per annum and added to the capitalwhateverwas leftover
aftertheygave the boy his allowance,unless we take the words et be , Eiat TOlTO [To
[La(TvO]3tOi11Wa E1; &xaCw[ta

XE,ot,; yE(uQOl

TOv 6QPx1avovet Lo6vMEE. . . (11. 29-30)

to

mean that theyappropriatedthe profits."' At any event her last offerseems to implythat
theyhad made a poor investmentwiththe money; she could get i8 per cent per annum.112

nonpetierit
D0Tig.XXXVIII. 17.2.23 (Ulpian):'Si mater
tutoresidoneosfiliissuis vel prioribusexcusatisreiectisve
non confestimaliorumnominaediderit,ius non habet
sibi bonorumintestatorum
vindicandorum
filiorum';cf.
Dig. xxvi.6.2.2 (Modestinus);xxvI.6.4.2 (Tryphoninus);
interpretation
Gardner,op. cit.(n. 67), I4q, hasa different
forthe purposeof the injunction;cf. CJ V.31.6: 'Matris
pietas instruerete potest,quos tutoresfiliotuo petere
debes,sed et observare,ne quid secusquam oportetin re
filiipupilli agatur'(224 C.E., 'Your maternalpietycan
youwhichguardiansto requestforyourson,but
instruct
also to see to it thathis propertyis being looked after
mothers).
properly';ibid., 8; 9; i i (evenunmarried
10i 'Quae autem suspectumtutoremnon fecit, nec
incidit,quod eiusmodi
verbisnec sententiaconstitutionis
facta diiudicareet aestimarevirilisanimi est et potest
etiamdelictaignoraremater. . .', see belowon thecrimen
suspectitutoris.
0' The crimensuspectitutoris,see Dig. xxvi.I O; Inst.
I.26. Kaser (RP2 (I97I), ? 88, p. 364) cautionsthatthe
accusatio suspectimayhave applied in classicaltimesto
testamentary
guardiansonlyandnottothoseappointedby
themagistrates.
105 'Quin immo et mulieresadmittuntur
[suspectos
postulare],sed hae solae, quae pietate necessitudinis
ductaead hoc procedunt,ut putamater',butalso a nurse,
a sisteras well as othersmotivatedby
a grandmother,
cf.Inst. I.26.3.
pietasnecessitudinis;
10
Aboutfourmonthslater:see P. Yadin 13, 11.19-21.
07 P.Yadin 14, 11.28-9 seemto suggestthat'Abdobdas
son of Ellouthaswas not guiltyof the same offencein
Babatha's eyes; and althoughP.Yadin iS is directed
RaaQTVQOV
against both (irL T6)V ?7tntEXTfiEV)V
XaTCL
tLuaQTVQonoLTO(LToBac4aOaVUOwvogTOO Mavay,tuou
'Ioxivov'Iwo0[tov tolO 'Eyka [x]ai Apboopba 'EXkovOx
'Iooi'
LTCTQO6Jo)v

'IhooiTos

vtoif

clftfg

6Q(Pavo-3

('before the attendingwitnessesBabatha daughterof


Simon son of Menahem deposed againstJohn son of
JosephEglas and 'Abdoobdasson ofEllouthas,guardians
ofherson Jesusson ofJesus,appointedguardiansforthe
said orphan'),11.3-4 = 11. 17-19; cf. 11.32-3), theactual
summonsis given only againstJohnson of Eglas: bri
doMo6aocw
Fl?Qi Tfj dnELOapC(Xag
ovo(the governor)
TG)V TQO4OLWV EaQTVy?LXa Eyd BaciaOa 'I1dvn T) JrQOy?-

NVEi TWV tnlTQOtO)V TOO 6Q40avoO ('before


whomI, Babatha,summonedtheaforesaidJohn,one of
theguardiansoftheorphanforhisrefusalofdisbursement
of the [appropriate]maintenancemoney') 11. II-I2 =
11. 28-9. Perhapsat this pointshe has to serveseparate
summonsto eachofthem.
yQaREvQ),

108al 1tT5,u&g L bE&Ox&vaMT( 10P t,O[V6Q(pav6)]


V lb[]V%Uv V T[6x]'oV &Qy[o]Q(oo
;tQtog
11. 5-7
aftou,
alft0o xai TlOV XOLJtov ntaQX6VTWv

TQO(la

11. 20-I.

09FromP.Yadin i3, 11. 19-24: xai

of ;tQo W6vdv

7TXELW XaTaOTaOVTE;
3tnLTQO7TOL
[i5;t]O 001XiOV TO[vJ nETQa[C]Jv
Apboopba<g>
EXXooOa xai'LIwavq ['EyAJa ofjb[f a[i6TOL TQ]OqpLa

TEOO[&QjOV

x[alt

TO[V 6QjqavoO E6&xa[v] Et ti1 t,[ovjovbrjvEQLabi1W


[xaTaa,ijiva, itfollowsthattheyhad400 denariito invest;

see also a receiptforsix denariiforthreemonths,P.Yadin


27.

110P.Yadin I5,

7to;
11. 6-7 = 1. 22: xac IaLXO
xo[oa] ... ac]bTC (for the reading see
Lewis ad loc., pp. 62-3). The recentpublicationof
'Annual Accountof a Guardian'from219 C.E. (P.Oxy.
3921-2 see above, n. 39), allows us to compareJesus'
one: thetwoboys'
allowancewithan earlythird-century
maintenancecame to 99 dr. per month = roughly8
denarii,i.e. 4 denariiper child; twice as much as that
providedfor Babatha's son. Babatha mighthave had
groundsforcomplaint.
Lewis translates:'Otherwisethis depositionwill
from
evidenceof[your]profiteering
serveas documentary
the moneyof the orphanby giving...', p. 6I; see also
Lewis, op. cit. (n. I9), iii: '[shel is hereaccusingthe
fromtheirtrustby pocketingthe
guardiansof profiting
restoftheinterest
themselves'.
112 The usual rateseemsto be 12 per centper annum,
see P.Yadin II, 11.6-7 = 11. 20-2. Lewis suspectsthat'a
usurioussqueeze' is concealedin theerasureoffortyand
insertion
ofsixtyin 1.3 oftheinnertext:'he
theinterlinear
was compelled to sign the note for sixtydenarii but
actuallyreceivedonlyfortydenariiin hand' (p. 41). This
would yield an interestof more than 6o per cent per
annum, see M. Broshi, 'Agricultureand economyin
Roman Palestine:seven notes on the Babatha archive',
6[LELkCiavV

11742

(1992),

239-40.

This content downloaded from 212.189.136.198 on Thu, 28 Jan 2016 10:39:33 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

HANNAH COTTON

I04

Withsuch an incomeshe could ensurethather 'son ... be raised in splendid stylerendering


thanksto the[se]mostblessed timesofthegovernorshipofJuliusJulianus'."13
It is somewhatsurprisingto findherean echo of the imperialadvertisementof the good
timesusheredin by Nerva and Trajan. When Plinythe Younger asked Trajan to bestowthe
praetorshipon AttiusSura, he assured the emperorthathis friend'is encouragedto hope for
such an honour by his distinguishedantecedents,his exceptionalintegrityin the midst of
poverty,and, above all, by thehappinessofyourtimeswhichencouragesyourbest citizensto
make use of your paternal indulgence' (Pliny, Ep. X. I2).114 This is not the only Roman
styleoflifetheboy
sentimentin thisdocument.Babatha's demandforan incomebefitting'the
is accustomed to"'" is familiarfromthe Roman juristicsources dealing with guardianship:
'Since a guardianis put in chargenot onlyof his ward's property,but also of his conductand
character,he should not assign the lowestpossible wages to the teachers,but [pay them] in
accordance withtheresourcesof theinheritanceand therank of thefamily; he will provide
maintenanceforthe slaves and freedmen,sometimeseven forthose outside the household if
thiswillbe advantageousto thewardetc.' (Dig. XXVI 7 2.3) ;116 'a guardianhas to considerthe
rank and the resources of his ward in estimatingthe number of slaves who are to be in

attendance'
(Dig.XXVI.7.

I3.pr.).

17

It looksas ifwhoever
familiar
composedthedocumentwas

withRoman turnsof thoughtand sentiment,and perhapswithRoman legal argumentation;


he was certainlyacquaintedwiththeimperialpropagandaof'thesemostblessed times'.
We maywell inquireintoherreasonsfornotapproachingthecitycouncilofPetra:118 was
it her fear that they mightnot prove impartial,since it was they who had appointed the
guardians, or was there some other, technicalor legal, obstruction?Were charges against
guardianswithintheexclusivecompetenceofthegovernorofthe province?
The legal sourcesoffersome help here. As pointedout above, a mothercould laycharges
againstan untrustworthy
guardianand askforhis removalunderthecrimensuspectitutoris.119
'There was no definitelistofgroundsofremoval;itwas at thediscretionoftheCourt'.'20'The
rightof removinguntrustworthy
(suspectos)tutors'was granted'at Rome to the praetorsand
in theprovincesto theirgovernors'(Dig. XXVI. 10.
.3)I121
I
Furtheron in thesame sourcewe are
told that'a guardianwho does not use his resourcesto provideforhis ward is untrustworthy
The instructionin CJ V.50.I fitsour case
and can be removed' (Dig. XXVI.I1.3.14).122
admirably:'If a guardiandoes not providemaintenanceto his ward, the lattermay approach
theprovincialgovernor'.123Althoughtherulepostdatesour textby almosta hundredyears(it
dates from2I5 C.E.), it may well have been in forceearlier. Whetheraware of these legal
niceties or not (or alerted to them by her lawyers), Babatha confidentlyapproaches the
governoroftheprovince,and no one else, withhercomplaintagainsttheguardians.
113 O'Ov XatmQdo&aaowf Ftov6 uto; vbXaQLOt6Cv
(11. io-ii:
bXaQLoToivTa)
xaLeo
rO!; paxaeQtwriroLt
=
(11. IO-II
hyF,uOv,ag'IovXtov'IovXiavoi,hFrttdOvog
11.26-7). Fergus Millar remindsme of Acts 24:2 (the
rhetorTertullusto Felix): noXXs dQnVn TUXCVOV W

&ac GOv, xciL o(OQOOWtc,TO)V


xOvF1
yLVOIWV T(O

T UTOi 6Ia

Tii uij uQovo'ag('Seeing thatby thee we enjoy great


quietnessand thatveryworthydeeds are done untothis
nationbythyprovidence').
14 'Ad quam spem [sc. praeturae] ... hortaturet
nataliumsplendoret summa integritasin paupertateet
anteomniafelicitastemporum,
quae bonamconscientiam
civium tuorumad usum indulgentiaetuae provocatet
attollit';cf. Pliny, Ep. x.58.7: 'Quaedam sine dubio,
Quirites,ipsafelicitastemporum
edicit';Tacitus,Agr.3.1:
NervaTralanus';
'augeatquecotidiefelicitatem
temporum
Hist. I. I : 'raratemporum
felicitateubi sentirequae veliset
quae sentiasdicerelicet'.
115 Above,n. iio.
116
'Cum tutornonrebusdumtaxat,sed etiammoribus
pupillipraeponatur,imprimismercedespraeceptoribus,
non quas minimaspoterit,sed profacultatepatrimonii,
prodignitatenataliumconstituet,
alimentaservislibertisque, nonnumquametiamexteris,si hoc pupilloexpediet,
praestabit... etc.'; cf. (C v.so.2: 'ut arbitriopraetoris
alimentapro modo facultatum pupillis vel iuvenibus
andDig. XXVII.2. I: 'si veropraetornonest
constituantur';
aditus,pro modofacultatum
pupillidebetarbitrioiudicis

117 'Tutor secundumdignitatem


facultatesquepupilli
modum servorumaestimare debet'. Lewis, op. cit.
(n. i9), iio, citesCGL III, 36, 5-14: 'Adrianusdixit
curatori: "propterhoc ergo datus es, ut fame neces
pupillum?pro modo ergofacultatisalimentaei praesta"'
('Hadriansaid to a guardian:"Was itforthispurposethat
we appointedyou,so thatyouwouldstarveyourwardto
death?Give himprovisionsin accordancewithhis (your)
means!"').
118 Assumingthat nominationimpliesjurisdiction
in
mattersarisingfromit,see Isaac, op. cit. (n. io), 63-4.

119 Atnn.99-Ioo.

See Bucklandand Stein,op. cit. (n. 29), I6o.


'Damus autem ius removendisuspectos tutores
Romae praetoribus,in provinciispraesidibus earum'
(Ulpian,AdEdictum35); cf.Inst. I.26.I.
12
'Tutor, qui ad alimentapupillopraestandacopiam
sui nonfaciat,suspectusestpoteritqueremoveri',
Ulpian,
Ad Edictum35.
123 'Pupillus,si ei alimenta
a tutoresuo nonpraestantur,
praesidemprovinciaeadeat',see M. Lemosse,'Le proces
de Babatha',TheIrishJurist3 (i968), 372ff.,whofindsin
this claim the explanationfor her approachingthe
governor rather than the boule who appointed the
guardians.Lewis, op. cit. (n. III), maintainsthatshe is
chargingtheguardianswithfraud.
120

121

aestimari'.

This content downloaded from 212.189.136.198 on Thu, 28 Jan 2016 10:39:33 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

JESUS

SON

OF BABATHA:

ROMAN

AND

LOCAL

LAW

IN PROVINCE

OF ARABIA

I05

It has to be emphasized thatat no stage does she contestthe guardianshipor ask to be


made guardianherself.Z. W. Falk'24and B. Klein'25arewrongto maintainthatBabatha's first
offer(whichtheguardiansmusthave rejected)to lend hertheorphan'smoneyon security126is
tantamountto a requestto have theguardiansremovedso as to be made guardianherself.On
the contrarythis proposal demonstratesthat she recognizedtheirultimateauthority.'27If
anythingshe was seekingcompensation,as thepresenceoftheactio tutelae inP.Yadin 28-30
Admittedlythe presenceof these documentshere is disconcerting;the
seems to suggest.128
legal proceedingsand remediesenvisionedin themare quite distinctfromthoseofthecrimen
suspectitutoris,so fardiscussed.
- and to make
The use oftheformulary
system,in a provincialsetting,betweenperegrini
province- has naturallyinvitedmuchspeculamattersmorecomplicated,in a newly-created
tion.12 In addition,the language of the textbooksleaves no room fordoubt thatactions on
tutelagebecame availableonlywhenthetutelagehas ended: itcould be ended eitherwhen the
wardcame ofage or by thedeathofeithertheguardianor theward (Dig. xxviI. 3 .4pr) .130 This
certainlyis notthecase here.We knowthatJesuswas a minoras lateas I9 August I 32, thedate
ofP.Yadin 27, the latestdated documentin the archive.There his motheracknowledgesthe
receiptof maintenancemoneyfromhis guardian,Simon 'the hunchback'.The latteris, as we
learn,theson ofJohnson ofEglas, one ofJesus'twoguardians;he had been appointedby the
council of Petra to replace his father.'13Thus neitherthe death of one of the guardiansnor
Jesus'comingof age can account forthe presenceof threecopies of the actio tutelae in our
archive.Variousexplanationshave been offered.132It has been claimedthatwe have evidence
fromEgyptthat'theactio tutelaemayalso be entereddurantetutela'.133 This is tantamountto
sayingthattherewereno fixedrulesand thatthesystemaccommodatedmorethanthelegalists
would assume. At the veryleast the presenceof the threecopies of theactio tutelae suggests
thatwhoeversupplied Babatha withthemacted in thebeliefthattheycould be put to use.131
Since theyare Roman legal instruments,
theywereintendedfora Roman courtoflaw, thatis
forthegovernor'scourt.135
Babatha may well have been misinformedabout the applicabilityof the actio tutelae in
hercase; was she also wrongabout theaccessibilityoftheRomangovernor?In thenextsection
will be examined.
theroleof Roman authorityas arbitrator

124

toJewishLaw oftheSecond CommonIntroduction

wealthII

(1978), 330-

125 'Die Stellungder Frau in Judentum:Rabbinische


Initiativeoder Legitimation?Demonstriertam Beispiel
(unpub. Magisterdes judischenVormundschaftsrechts'
arbeit, Hochschule fur JudischeStudien, Heidelberg,
I9 ?26
1), 44-5P.Yadin I5, 11. 23-6 = 11. 7-IO:
([xouv]a

130 'Nisi finitatutelasit tutelaeagi non potest:finitur


autemnon solum pubertate,sed etiammortetutorisvel

pu1pilli';
cf.XXVII.3.9.4.
31 BafiaOa; XCtuiv]og
...

O
6QYUQLoV] ob
[Tof)
lTQaxo[VTa]
d6[(OxpEaJ toTi[tJov
tOl 6QWavov, &O 71QOELaQTUQo7UoLTha LVC et
QlOV
Ol'
ofV
.L
t^lXv
'!VaX
O0XEZ
t0]
0tov
dmpaxdag ... 3tEQ'L 1bnrOi'X% TiV 1JntaQXo6vTOV

X(ttuoViXUQT 'IOxivov
'EyXa [T1]gXaOit[j] Ma(Otag xa69Q[v] (oov 6ut&Q ov ztR6Tov xaXaTaraOoS
[c. i6 lettersmissing]
6p vov
lab[o03ovsxiHIExQQ]atv'Imo[i5JovbIooovo
o9c
Ftou('Babathas (sic) daughterof Simon ... to
v(-oi3J]
SimonthehunchbacksonofJohnsonofEglas, ofthesaid
Maoza, greetings.You having been appointedby the
councilof Petrato be the secondguardianof myorphan
son Jesusson of Jesus'). Lewis rightlyholds that 'the

of the orphan'sthat you have, thereforeI previously


deposed in orderthatyou mightdecide to give me the
money on security... involvinga hypothecof my
etc.).
property',
N Wolff,op. cit. (n. 2), 8oi; Wolff,op. cit. (n. 42),

Even withoutthatexplicitstatement,
thenamesaloneare
sufficient
torevealthatthesonhad succeededthefatheras
thesecondguardianofBabatha'sson' (p. I1 7) .
132 Lemosse, op. cit. (n. 59), 375-6; E. Seidl, 'Ein
StudiG.
Papyrusfund
zumklassischen
Zivilprozessrecht',

EXETE

equivalentin valuetothismoney
xTX.('as I haveproperty

287.

topaytheamountof
A similarcase oftutorsrefusing
maintenancemoneystipulatedin the will to the person
withwhomthe orphansare livingis mentionedin Dig.
xxxIII.I.7pr., discussed by Watson, op. cit. (n. ii),
i43f.; but the implicationof the ruling there, if I
is thatsuchconductdoes notgive
understanditcorrectly,
rise to actio tutelae; in fact, the tutorsrun the risk
(periculum)of beingsued by meansof the actio if they
spendtoo muchon livingexpenses.
129 For the norm, see Kaser, Das romischeZivilprozessrecht(I966), ii9f.; forspeculationson P.Yadin
28-30, see Wolff,op. cit. (n. 2), 784-8 withthe older
citedin thenotes.
literature
128

lacunais likelyto have been &VTL

WtO naTQw06 Jou.

Grosso iI (I968), 345-61-

133 Taubenschlag, op. cit. (n. 21), i68 and n. 6o.


However,onlyone of the examplescited thereis of an
actio tutelae,and even thisone (BGU 136 (I3S C.E.) =
M.Cr. 86) takesplace afterthewardcame of age, see 0.
Gradenwitz,'Protocolvon Memphisaus Hadrianischer
Zeit', Hermes 28 (i893), 321-34; A. Biscardi,'Nuove
testimonianze
di un papiroarabo-giudaico
perla storiadel
processoprovincialeromano',Studi in Onoredi Gaetano
Scherilloi (I972), I i6-17 has no otherevidence.
134

See Biscardi, op. cit. (n. 133), i4o-5 ifor

on theoriginofsuchcopies.
135 See below,Appendixii.

This content downloaded from 212.189.136.198 on Thu, 28 Jan 2016 10:39:33 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

conjectures

io6

HANNAH

COTTON
IV

Babatha first(P. Yadin

second half of I24)

approaches the governor(nr9Eof3Evtfi


the exact contentof which is now lost.
Nevertheless,the sequel demonstratesthat her petitionwas answered and that she was
instructedto proceed. In P.Yadin I4 Babatha uses theparangelia procedure,knownto us
fromEgyptianpapyri: a summons to appear beforethe governor'scourt; in the Egyptian
papyri, however, the petitionis addressed to the strategoswho serves it on the plaintiff
through his subordinate (the bn1Q7rTn) 36 Here these links in the chain are missing;
Babatha herselfserves the summons on the defendants:137 'beforethe attendingwitnesses
Babatha daughterof Simon, son of Menahem ... summoned (naQ vyLXEv) John son of
I summon
Joseph Eglas ... saying: on account of your not having given ... etc....
(naQavy_XXw)you to attend at the court of the governor Lulius lulianus in Petra [the
metropolisof] Arabia [untilwe are heard] at thetribunalin Petra.'138
It seemsthatas a rulea petitionto thegovernorprecededa summons.This we learnfrom
a latersuitin whichBabathawas involved.In P. Yadin 25 (9 JulyI 3I) lulia Crispinasummons
Babatha to appear beforethegovernorin Petra: 'I now summon(naQavyFXXCo)
you pursuant
to thesubscription(i[zoy9aJ>) ofhis Excellencythegovernorto accompanyme to Petra.'139
Clearlythe governor'ssubscriptionwas affixedto a petitionsubmittedto him previouslyby
lulia Crispina. Babatha repliesthatseeingthatshe has been summonedto the governor,she
too has given (I6coxa) a petition(nwtaxtv) to the governorand he has writtenunder it a
in Petra.140
subscription(Q6nFy"Qa]V4v
[ot) to performthe legal formalities
Thus the sequence 'petition- subscription- summons' should be assumed to have
existed also in Babatha's suit against the guardians, even though the middle stage is not
explicitlypresent.Furthermore,everywherein the archiveit is assumed by the litigantsthat
theycan presentthemselvesor call on othersto attend,whenevertheywish and in whichever
assize centrethegovernormightbe.'14Thus Besas son ofJesussummonsBabatha 'to meethim
beforeHateriusNepos legateand propraetorin Petraor elsewherein his province. . .';142and
Babatha forestallslulia Crispina'ssummonsto appear beforethegovernorin Petralaterin the
herto appearbeforehim
year(P.Yadin25, 9 JulyI3I, 11.7-20 = 11.37-54),bysummoning
now in Rabbath-Moab.143
FinallyBabatha summonsMiriam,her late husband's firstwife,to
appear with her beforethe governorHaterius Nepos 'whereverhe happens to be exercising
justicein theprovince... and to attendbeforethesaid Nepos untiljudgement'.144
P.Yadin 27, fromI9 August I32, the latestdated documentfromthearchiveand the last
one to deal with the guardianshipof Jesus, shows Babatha acknowledgingthe receipt of
maintenancemoneyin theamountofsix denariiofsilverfora periodofthreemonths:thesum
.f3aUtov UvtLVtQcLtayTp)

I3,

with a petition (iowx),

136 On the parangelia in Egypt, see Kaser, op. cit.


(n. I29), 374; Taubenschlag,op. cit. (n. 21), 5ooff.; G.
Foti Talamanca,Ricerchesul processonell' EgittoGrecoRomanoIL.i: Introduzionedelgiudizio(I979), 65ff.and
81-2,

n. 72 fora list.

A muchlaterexampleofthisisP.Colt 29 (590 C.E.),


wheretheeditorobservesthat'The documentis unique,
137

since taQaQyyFkLaL havehitherto


been knownonlyby

reference,principallyin petitionscontaininga request


that a summonsto appear in court be served to the
accused'.
138 P.Yadin I4 (II
or 12 October 125): ?tn TudV

Bac4aOa XEovog
nLPF34X1j&flLVoV
ilfQUAQWV 3a QJvyL[kev
OOL taQEFbQEFVaL
T0o1 Mavai]Thov ... bLO tapavyFokkW

[tnd |3tiajto;

[I&rxQq

'Iov ov

[RioT6XQOnOL -ijJ

X0vO6U40FV

'IoLkLavov hyptdwvog?v

f]V T(O ?V [I4'[T,a

'AQapc4ag

oiD

[ttXQL

TQLPOVVaLq

(11.

bLa-

20-32).

A reference
to thesummonsinP.Yadin 14 canbe foundin
P.Yadin I5 (of the same date): ?ni o0 [sc. 'Iovk(ov
'IovXLavov
1FyEIi6vo;] ntEQL tf5
&ntELOaQXELca;
?yw
-QOq6@wv naQ1vyELka
&nob60oEWg TV
BaP3aOa
MIDWv -TQO4
&v,
?VEL TCOV 3tLTQO3T(OVTOV)
tQyEyaFI
=
28
(11.
I
see
n.
I-I2,
above, 107).
6QPaVOf)
139 [JT]aQavy?XXw OOL xaTa' T'iv
toyQawp]Tv Tov
oavvFeskXsv
abn<v>
?-5
xQaTioTou hyp,Iovog
[H14pTQav](11.6-8).
140 ?Jtl

tQo

TOii<TOoV>

taQyLQVyLX;

ttiE

[ AbQLCaVTV

...
xai
[]y[E]ova
[L&rQaV nQt6 TrOv] xQapTL]o[T0]ov
b6wxa xaO' Ibt]6v tLTTaTXLVT13 xp[a&TO]GTQ i-yE6OvL
v IOL [?tg L]&rQp[av oiV IAt]Z[vT]a
xai [tiypQa]c4

XQ6ak]aL (11. 15-21).


lv6IALJlAa

141 Thus I cannotagreewithIsaac, op. cit.(n. io), 64-5


that 'this demonstratesthe hardshipscaused by the
Romanjudicialsystem,whichforced
provincialsto travel
to assize cities'(italicsmine); theredoes not seem to be
anyquestionofcoercion.
42 P.Yadin23 (I7 November
130), 11.I-5 = 11.io-i6:
'Besas son of Jesus ... ?5 [I`Qav ' akkov ?v Tfi

a'Tov bcaQX'Lq'.

143 See Lewis on 11.2I and 55 (p. 112).


144 P.Yadin 26, 11. 2-i i: 'Babatha...

summoned

Miriam... to accompanyher in personbeforeHaterius


Nepos ... 'onou av p' i5t' aiov
ntaqX[O]a... xaL
taQb6QEV[Lv ?i
T'OV afTov N?rwTa ?WXQL 6Layv?Ox
g'.
I translate o5nov av i i5t' aixoTI btaQX[]a by
'whereverhe happens to be exercisingjustice in the
province'in agreement
withwhatLewis sayson p. 115: it
doesnotmeanherea subdivisionoftheprovince,andpace
Isaac it can hardlybe used as evidencethat'Arabiawas
dividedintodistricts
calledhyparcheia',cf. Isaac, op. cit.
(n. io), 69. One would have expected somethinglike
here,
as
in P.Yadin 14, 1. 14: iq ?; -1 V
naQovoya
aiErovieyLota naQ[lovcTav (cf. 11.32-3 and Lewis, p. 57
on naQovoLa),buttheu beforenaQ [ is veryclear.

This content downloaded from 212.189.136.198 on Thu, 28 Jan 2016 10:39:33 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

JESUS

SON

OF BABATHA:

AND

ROMAN

LOCAL

LAW

IN PROVINCE

OF ARABIA

I07

Eithershe dropped herchargesagainsttheguardiansor


of moneyhad not been increased.145
the governorruled againsther. Whicheverexplanationwe choose to accept, thereseems no
good reasonto assumethatBabatha'sconfidencein thegovernor'saccessibilitywas unfounded
146
ormisguided.

Was therecourseto Roman law and Roman courtsrequiredby the Roman authorities?147
This would be out ofcharacterwiththerestofthearchive- as well as withmuchevidenceto
thecontraryfromotherpartsofthe Roman world- wheretheinitiativeis seen to be takenby
thesubjects.There is nothingin thedocumentswe havereviewedhereto suggestthatrecourse
to Roman law and Roman courtswas anythingbut voluntarilyadopted. Withoutcoercionor
the verypresenceof the Romans as the supremeauthorityin
attemptsto impose uniformity,
the provinceinvitedappeals to theirauthority,to theircourts as well as to theirlaws. The
provincialsseem morethanwillingto let the centralgovernmenthandle theirdisputes; they
take the troubleof preparingblank formsof the actio tutelae, of searchingforRoman legal
argumentsand of introducinginto theirpersonalclaims Roman propaganda slogans of 'the
most blessed times'. They are active and enterprisingin invitingintervention.Having
previouslyused Aramaicand Nabataean, theynow resortto Greek in theirlegal documents,
forno otherreason,itseems,thanto makethemvalid in a Romancourtoflaw. No othercourts
occur in thisarchive,and thereis no good reason forassumingthatNabataean and Aramaic
could notbe used in a local court.
Most of the people involvedin thisarchiveare Jews; but, as thereis nothingspecifically
justifiedin regardingtheJewsas
Jewishabout the Greek partof thearchive,we are perfectly
representativeof the provincials in general. Moreover, they representthat part of the
provincialpopulationwhichwas less taintedby the 'epigraphichabit' of the Graeco-Roman
world,i.e. theycome fromtheless Hellenized sectionoftheprovincialpopulation,thosewho
would have leftus no inscriptions- in thiscase thegreatmajorityofthepopulation.Precisely
because of this we can be sure that theirdealings with the Roman authoritiesconstitutea
faithfulpictureofthe realitiesof lifein the province.
APPENDIX I

Havingexploredthe Romanlegalsystemto explainBabatha'sappeal to the governorof the


different
namelythat
hypothesis,
province,I wouldliketo raise,withall due caution,an altogether
therefore,
replacedinthis
underNabataeanlawsuchcasescamebeforetheKing;theRomangovernor,
We knowverylittleabout Nabataeanlegalpractices- and mostof our
instanceroyalauthority.
derivesfromthisarchive,to whichas we haveseen(above,n. 87) theNabataeancontract
knowledge
wasinvolvedinprivate
belongs;butitseemsthatroyalauthority
agobyJ.Starcky
publishedsometime
ofthefinetobe
endwith'a specification
as witnessed
byP. Yadin1-3 whereallthreecontracts
contracts,
of thecontract,
bothto thevendorand to the
non-observance
paid, in theeventofthepurchaser's
and to our lordRabel thekinglikewise")',Y. Yadin,
X
Nabataeanking:("nivD
inP.YadinS (2 June
isrendered
intoGreekandappliedtotheEmperor
op. cit.(n. 6), 24I. Thisformula
] JtQOyyQTQanTaL
x[
] xai KaiWaQL6oaiVO
IIO), frg.a, col. ii, 11.q-II:
8[L]JtXO4[V] TOV[
op. cit. (above,n. IO), 340). One neednotgo hereintoanyextended
... (pointedoutbyBowersock,
when
localpractices,
especially
acceptedandcontinued
to provethattheRomansfrequently
argument
ofthe
clausesforthebenefit
theirown(forprivatecontracts
containing
contradict
theydidnotdirectly
JRS 53 (I963), 37-8). Likewise,royal
fiscus,see F. Millar,'The fiscusin the firsttwocenturies',
P.Yadin 2 (from
oftheunpublished
as witnessed
bya comparison
becameimperialproperty
property
99 C. E.): 1tn

15'

5X:1

'
mwim nn xrwl-'to

the Nabataeans'(Yadin, ibid.,

240-I)

thesouththegroveofour lord Rabel theking,kingof

and P. Yadin i 6, 11. 23-4:

KaivaQog. On themeaningof,uooXavTLx1,see Bowersock,ibid., 341.


145

Seeabove,atn. IO9.

Goodman,op. cit. (n. 5), 172, quite rightlydraws


attentionto theabsencefromthedocumentsofevidence
'for an effectivelocal rulingclass interposedbetween
ordinaryprovincialsand the machineryof the Roman
shouldmakeiteasierto acceptthe
state';thisobservation
inthe
and involvement
viewofthegovernor's
accessibility
legalaffairsoftheperegrini in theprovincesput forward
146

ylTOVEg

tOOXaVTLX1

XVQOV

some timeago by G. Burtonin 'Proconsuls,assizes and


of justiceunderthe empire',JRS 63
the administration
(I973),

esp.101-2.

no
isconcerned,
Asfaras jurisdiction

distinctionshould be made between proconsulsand


legati.
147 cf. Wolff,op. cit. (n. 2),
788ff.; Isaac, op. cit.
(n. io), 64-5 and see n. 14I above.

This content downloaded from 212.189.136.198 on Thu, 28 Jan 2016 10:39:33 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

io8

HANNAH

COTTON

APPENDIX

II

There is some evidenceforlimitationson the competenceof local courtsin cases involvingtutela.


The Lex IrnitanaIXA <84>, 11.io-ii (JRS 76 (i986), I75) makesit quite clear thatthe local duovir
who is in chargeoftheadministration
ofjustice('qui ibi iuredicundopraeerit')does nothave jurisdiction
in cases involvingtutela. (See A. Rodger,'The jurisdictionoflocal magistrates:Chapters84 ofthe Lex
Irnitana',ZPE 84 (I990), I47-5I.) Furtheron, though,thereis a mitigatingcircumstancein whichthe
duovir can exercisejurisdiction(11.I7-i8): 'and even about these mattersif each of the two partiesis
willing' ('de is rebus etiam, si uterque interquos ambig{er}etur volet'). One could mentionalso the
provisionin the municipalcharterknownas the FragmentumAtestinumto the -effect
that municipal
magistratesmightappointa judge in cases involvingtutela onlywhen the sum of moneyinvolveddoes
notexceed io,ooo sesterces,or 2,500 denarii(FIRA I2, no. 20, 11.I-7). This sum ofmoneyhappensto be
mentionedtwice as -theupper limitin the actio tutelae containedin P.Yadin 28-30: judges are to be
appointedonly ifthe matterinvolvesup to 2,500 denarii; and again: theirjudgementcannot involvea
sum ofmoneywhichwill exceed 2,500 denarii.But see theEdictumAugustideAquaeductu Venafrano,
FIRA I2, no. 67,11. 6sff.whichmentionsthe same sum of money; perhapsthe sum of io,ooo sesterces
was used arbitrarily
forconvenience,and no special significanceshould be attachedto it (I owe boththe
observationand the referenceto ProfessorM. Crawford).Moreover,assumingthatit is the governor
ratherthanlocal magistrateswho would issue theactio tutelae,itis hardto see whya limitwas setat all in
the presentcase.
The Hebrew University ofyerusalem

This content downloaded from 212.189.136.198 on Thu, 28 Jan 2016 10:39:33 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions