History of Papyrology - beta

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My dear Smyly,
Many thanks for your
letter. I agree with a great deal of
what you say . χα 𐅂 β no doubt means
the equivalent of 2 silver dr. paid in
copper, though I think this implies
a more or less definite ratio between
silver and copper, like the ratio of 5 : 3
in πυρός & κριθή The obol need not
been a coin, but I think it must
have connoted at any one moment a certain

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definite amount of copper (fixed
perphas in each year [I](by the government)
and not merely a 1/6 of a silver dr,
for otherwise I dont see how any
sense is to be got out of saying that
e.g. 26 1/4 obols would be ac required
for a stater
As to the demotic 24 = 2/10 I have
had considereable correspondence with
Griffith & Spiegelberg & they quite
agree that it is a more translation of
the Greek and hasnt anything to do with
a ratio. According to Griffith it
should be translated 'copper 24 =2/10

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(of a silver deben) i.e. a stater, of
which there were 5 to a deben.
Provisionally it is perhaps best, as
you suggest, to simply substitute
2 chalci for an obol in ^ Rev Laws App. iii &
keep the classification of Poole. But
the numismatists now say that his
weights arent to be trusted any more
than Revillouts . So that as far as
the 3rd cent B.C. goes, there isnt
really any direct evidence bearing on
the ratio at all , and we are still
quite in the air. And then what becomes
I do not quite understand of the 480:1
ratio ? The Tebt. papyri give you

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every sort of ratio between 400 and 500
(vide especially the appendi Descriptions)
I do not quite understand what you say
about the dr. of 7 obols being 'due to
the depreciation of silver'. Do you mean
there were 2 kinds of silver tetradrachms
one worth 24 obols, the other 28? I have
never met the dr. of 7 obols before
the Roman period. Have you?
As for the ἐπαλλαγή I cant help thinking
that it must have something to do with
the relative value of the metals ,because
the charges for transport, baskets etc
are in P.Par 62. , all reckoned
separately from the ἀλλαγή . But it is
curious that it is always about 10%.
I am at present wrestling with App. i.

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Can you find any difference between our
the κάτοικοι and the κληροῦχοι of
P.P. except (1) the name (2)
the fact that the κάτοικοι were largely
recruited from the ἔφοδοι etc and therefore
might be originally Egyptians, though as
32 shows they became Greeks on becoming
ca κάτοικοι, and that there is no
evidence yet that the 3rd cent B.C.
κληροῦχοι were recruited in this sort
of way ?
Shall you be coming here this
summer ? Mahaffy talks of doing
so, though I have warned him there
will be no 3rd cent B.C. papyri on
view till next year.

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It would be nice if you could come
in July, for we shall be putting the
finishing touches then. Can you
send back the aAccounts by June 10th?
Hunt is going away on the 13th
for 10 days , and with the
exhibition etc coming on things will
be rather disturbed until July 4th.

Yours ever
B.P. Grenfell

P.S. I hope by the way you wont mind my
having written the preface, and that you will
find the references to yourself satisfactory.

1. June 1, 1902

7. On P.Tebt. I.

8. See P.Tebt. I 112-123.

9. Cf. Catalogue of Egyptian antiquities, found by Prof. Flinders Petrie at Abydos and Drs. Grenfell and Hunt in the Fayum (Egypt Exploration Fund) and drawings from the temple of the kings (Sety I), (Egyptian Research Account) 1902: exhibited at University College, Gower Street, London . . . July 1st to 26th, by W. M. Petrie and Egypt Exploration Fund (London: Egypt Exploration Fund, 1902).

10. See P.Tebt. I, pp. ix-x.

Cite this page: Center for the Tebtunis Papyri. Document 77. History of Papyrology. https://histpap.info/letters/77/.