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Scribal Repertoires in Egypt from the New Kingdom to the Early Islamic Period$
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Jennifer Cromwell and Eitan Grossman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198768104

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198768104.001.0001

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Letters from High to Low in the Graeco-Roman Period

Letters from High to Low in the Graeco-Roman Period

Chapter:
(p.240) 11 Letters from High to Low in the Graeco-Roman Period
Source:
Scribal Repertoires in Egypt from the New Kingdom to the Early Islamic Period
Author(s):

Willy Clarysse

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198768104.003.0011

In this chapter, papyrus letters sent from superiors to their inferiors are studied on the basis of test cases ranging across the Graeco-Roman period in Egypt, from the third century BCE to the third century CE. This correspondence is drawn from four archival groups of texts: the archive of Zenon; the letters of L. Bellienus Gemellus and the letters of the sons of Patron; and the Heroninus archive. The letters are usually short, full of imperatives, and characterized by the absence of philophronetic formulae. Recurrent themes of the correspondence are urgency, rebukes, orders, and interdictions, and there is an almost total lack of polite phrases.

Keywords:   papyrology, correspondence, letters, papyrus archives, politeness, imperatives, philophronetic formulae

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