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Apammon, Letter to Dorotheos, P.Oxy. LVI 3864


This Late Roman papyrus contains a letter written by one pious Apammon probably in Chaireou, the harbor at the junction of the canal from Alexandria with the Canopic branch of the Nile, to his “father” Dorotheus in Oxyrhynchus. N. Gonis (2000) has shown that a papyrus apparently also from Bahnasa now in Copenhagen (P.Haun. II.15) preserves another letter from this same sender (hence we can supply his name here) to the same recipient. The author of this letter was in the business of selling sacks with uncertain commodites; A. Papaconstantinou (1992) has suggested their connection to the commemorative feasts of the martyrs. The author had travelled to Alexandria, where business was so bad that others were sending their sacks instead to Caesarea. On his journey (back?) to Oxyrhynchus by river, he had sailed slowly down to Chaireou, and urged Dorotheos by letter not to accept any transactions on credit.


χμγτῷ δεσπότῃ μου ὡς ἀληθῶς κατὰ πάν̣ταμοι τιμιωτάτῳ πατρὶ Δωροθέῳ Ἀπά[μμω]ν{ι} ἐν κυρίῳ θεῷ χαίρειν.πρὸ μ[ὲν π]ά̣ντων εὔχομαι τῷ πανελεήμονι (5)θεῷ πε̣ρ̣ὶ τῆς ὁλοκλ⟨ηρ⟩ίας ὑμῶν ὅπ̣ως̣ ὑμᾶςὑγιαίνοντας καὶ εὐθυμοῦντας ἀπ̣όλ̣αβῃ τὰ παρʼ ἐ-μοῦ γράμματα. ἔπειτα γνῶθι ὅ̣τι διὰ τὴνχάριν τοῦ σωτῆρος καὶ τῶν εὐχῶν τῶν δικαίων ἀπήλθαμεν εἰς Χαιρέου διὰ δεκα- (10)επτὰ ἡμερῶν καὶ οὐδὲν κακὸν̣ ἐ̣πάθομεν οὐδὲ κομόδιoν ἐδώκαμεν κατὰ πο̣τ̣α̣μόν,ἂν μὴ̣ μόνας τριακοσίας μυριάδας̣ . πουμουειαμηρι καὶ εἰς τὸ σ̣τόμ̣α̣ τ̣ῆς δ̣ι̣ώρυγος ἐδώ-καμεν ἀλλα⟨ς⟩ μυριάδας χιλί̣α̣ς διακοσίας, γί(νονται) (δηναρίων) (μυριάδες) ασ, (15)γί(νονται) ὁμοῦ (δηναρίων) (μυριάδες) αφ. καὶ εἰσῆλθεν ὁ σ̣τ̣ρατηλάτηςπρὸ ἐμοῦ καὶ οὐδὲν κακὸν ἐποίησεν οὔτε στρατιώ-τα̣ς̣ ἔ̣χει ὅλως. ἐπειδὴ ἐχρόνισα καθʼ ὁδόν,διὰ τὸ τοῦτο οὐκ κατ̣έλα⟨βα⟩ Ἄλφιον οὐ-δὲ Μακάριον. τῇ χάριτι τοῦ θεοῦ ἐπλήρω- (20)σα τὴν ἀπόλυσιν τῶν σακκίων τῇ ἀ̣γά-πῃ τῶν μαρτύρων ἡμῶν. ἔτι μεγάληἀπραγία ἐστὶν ἐν Ἀλεξαν̣δρείᾳ. μὴ θελήσ̣ῃς̣οὖν λαβεῖν ἐπιθήκην παρά̣ τιν̣ο̣ς ἐπὶ ἐ̣κ̣λύ-ω ταῦτα καὶ ἀνέ⟨ρ⟩χομαι εἰς Ὀ̣ξ̣υ̣ρ̣ύ̣⟨γ⟩χ̣ω̣ν̣. (25)μὰ τὸν θεὸν ανου……σ…. Ἡ̣ρ̣α̣ε̣ί̣σ̣-κος ἔπε⟨μ⟩ψεν Θεόδω[ρον τ]ὸν β̣οη̣θ̣ὸν̣αὐ̣τοῦ εἰ̣ς Καισάρεια⟨ν⟩ μετ̣[ὰ τῶν] σ̣ακκί[ων]α̣ὐ̣τοῦ πάλιν καὶ Σερα̣[ ca. 12 letters ]Δ̣ωρόθε̣ος των ἀδελ̣[ ca. 12 letters ] (30)Downwards in left margin:εἰς Καισάρεια⟨ν⟩ μετὰ τῶν σακκίων αὐτοῦ. ἰδοὺ προέγραψά σοι. μὴ θελήσῃςBack, downwards along fibers:⟦. .⟧ οὖν λαβεῖν ⟦ν̣⟧ ἐπιθήκην καὶ ποιῇς με διατραπῆναι ἐν {ν} Ἀλεξανδρείᾳ.ἐὰν θεὸς ⟨θ⟩έλῃ καὶ γένηται πρᾶξις, οὐκ ἀμελῶ, πέ⟨μ⟩πω σοι χρύσινον. ἤδηγ̣ὰρ ενομ . . ε̣ Θεόφιλος πρὶν ἀπογομῶσαι καὶ προδωκ̣η̣ . . . . τὴν ἀποχ̣[ὴν] δ̣ι̣ὰ̣ τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ ἡμῶν Π̣ . . . . . ‧ πολλά σε προσαγορε⟨ύ⟩ω (35)ὑμᾶ[ς κατʼ ὄ]ν̣ομα ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ σου. (vac.) ἐρρῶσθαί σ̣ε εὔχομαιπολλοῖ⟨ς⟩ χρόνοις. Παῦνι κθ. vac.ἀπόδο̣ς̣1

Textual Note

Ed. Sirivianou 1989

Textual Note

Corr. common errors and phonetic variants from ap. crit.

Corrigenda Note

Ἀπά[μμω]ν{ι} (line 4) restored after Gonis 2000: 184


C(hrist) b(orn of) M(ary)To my master, to my truly in all things most honored father Dorotheus, Ap… , greetings in the Lord God. Before all I pray to the all-merciful God for your prosperity, that my letter may find you in good health and spirits. Next know that by the grace of the Savior and the prayers of the righteous we made our journey to Chaireu in 17 days and we suffered no harm, nor did we give any gratuity on the river, except only 300 myriads … and we gave another 1,200 myriads at the mouth of the canal: 1,200 myriads of denarii; total in all: 1,500 myriads of denarii. The stratelates arrived before me and has done no harm, and he has no soldiers. Because I was delayed on the journey, for this reason I did not catch Alphios nor Makarios. By the grace of God I completed the disposal of the sacks, by the love of our martyrs! There is still a great shortage of business in Alexandria. So do not be willing to accept a letter of credit from anybody, because I am settling this business(?) and I am coming up to Oxyrhynchus. By God … Heraiscus(?) sent Theodorus his assistant to Caesarea with his sacks once more and Sera … (?) … Dorotheus … brother … to Caesarea with his sacks. Look, I have written to you above. So do not accept a letter of credit and cause me to be thrown into confusion in Alexandria. If God wills(?) and some business is done, I shall not be negligent, I shall send you a gold coin. For already Theophilus … before unloading and gave … the receipt through our brother P … Many greetings to you, all of you in your house by name. I pray for your health for many years. Payni 29. Address: deliver to …

Translation Note

Rev. Sirivianou 1989

Works Cited

  • 1 M. G. Sirivianou and H. C. Gunther, eds., The Oxyrhynchus Papyri LVI: Papyri Nos. 3822-3875, Egypt Exploration Society, Graeco-Roman Memoirs 76 (London: British Academy by the Egypt Exploration Society, 1989), vol: LVI, entry: 3864.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record

Additional Bibliography

  • Arietta Papaconstantinou, L’agapè des martyrs: P.Oxy. LVI 3864, Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 92 (1992): 241–42Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • Nikolaos Gonis, Notes on Oxyrhynchus Papyri II, Zeitschrift Für Papyrologie Und Epigraphik 129 (2000): 183–84Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record


How to Cite This Entry

Joseph L. Rife, “Apammon, Letter to Dorotheos, P.Oxy. LVI 3864,” in Caesarea Maritima: A Collection of Testimonia, entry published October 19, 2022,


Joseph L. Rife, “Apammon, Letter to Dorotheos, P.Oxy. LVI 3864.” In Caesarea Maritima: A Collection of Testimonia, edited by Joseph L. Rife., edited by Joseph L. Rife. Caesarea City and Port Exploration Project, 2022. Entry published October 19, 2022.

About this Entry

Entry Title: Apammon, Letter to Dorotheos, P.Oxy. LVI 3864

Authorial and Editorial Responsibility:

  • Joseph L. Rife, general editor, Vanderbilt University
  • Joseph L. Rife, editor, Caesarea Maritima: A Collection of Testimonia
  • David A. Michelson, Daniel L. Schwartz, and William L. Potter, technical editor, “Apammon, Letter to Dorotheos, P.Oxy. LVI 3864
  • Joseph L. Rife, entry contributor, “Apammon, Letter to Dorotheos, P.Oxy. LVI 3864

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