|Length:||20 lines of writing|
|Genre:||Proclamation of Emperorship|
|Date:||November 17, 54 CE|
|Place of Discovery:||Oxyrhynchus|
(modern Behnesa, Egypt)
|Date of Discovery:||c. 1900|
|Current Location:||Cairo Museum?|
|Inventory Number:||P.Oxy. 1021|
(from Hunt & Edgar 1934:138)
(This is readable as Greek
if "Symbol" font is installed)
by K. C. Hanson
(Adapted from Hunt & Edgar)
O men ofeilomenoV toiV progonoiV kai
enfanhV qeoV Kaisar eiV autouV kecwrhke o de thV oikoumenhV kai
prosdokhqeiV kai elpisqeiV Autokratwr apodedeiktai agaqoV daimwn de thV
oukoumenhV [ar]ch wn [megis]te pantwn agaqwn Nerwn Kaisar apodedeiktai dio
panteV ofeilomen stefanhforountaV kai bouqutountaV qeoiV pasi eidenai
caristaV (etouV) a NerwnoV Klaudiou KaisaroV Sebastou Germanikou mh(noV)
Ne(ou) Seba(stou) ka
(Letters in square brackets are reconstructed; letters in parentheses fill out abbreviations in the text, or, in the case of "year," an implied word.)
The one who was owed to the ancestors, and god-made-manifest,
Caesar1, has gone to join them. And the
Emperor2 whom the world anticipated and hoped
for has been proclaimed; the good spirit 3 of
the inhabited world and source of all goodness, Nero Caesar, has been
proclaimed. Consequently, we should all wear garlands and with sacrifices
of oxen give thanks to all the gods. (Year) one of Nero Claudius Caesar
Augustus Germanicus, the twenty-first of the month Neus Sabastus4
1 Greek = Kaisar, referring to the Emperor Claudius (ruled 41-54 CE)
2 Greek = Autokrator
3 Greek = agathos daimôn
4 This is the name of the Latin month; the Egyptian month was Hathyr; in the modern calendar this was November 17 of 54 CE.
1. What does this document express about the relationship between the
emperor and the realm of spirits and the divine?|
2. What does this document express about the relationship of the emperor to the well-being of the empire? How does this compare with the ideologies of kingship elsewhere in the ancient world?
3. What significance would the coronation of a new Roman emperor have had to Egyptian elites? To Egyptian peasants?
4. What was the function of the "genius" of the pater familias (the "good spirit" here) in the Roman family? What would this mean for the Roman emperor, then, in relation to the empire?
5. Note the expression of the date at the end. To what was the calendar tied, and why was that significant?
|Grant, Michael. Nero. 2d ed. New York:
Charles Scribner's Sons, 1973.|
Grant, Michael. "Nero." In The Twelve Caesars, 149-73. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1973.
Griffin, Miriam T. "Nero." The Anchor Bible Dictionary 4:1076-81. Ed. D. N. Freedman. New York: Doubleday, 1992.
Hunt, A. S. and C. C. Edgar. Select Papyri. Vol. 2: Non-Literary Papyri; Public Documents. Loeb Classical Library, 282. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press, 1934.