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Last Updated on 03 Jan 2019

Author: Mario C.D. Paganini

CAPInv. 863: U-EGY-027


i. Geographical area Egypt
ii. Nome Arsinoites (00)
iii. Site Tebtynis


i. Association with unknown name U-EGY-027


i. Date(s) 114 (?) BC


iii. Descriptive terms κοινόν, koinon (?)
Note koinon (?): P.Tebt. III.2 894, Fr. 11 l. 14


i. Source(s) P.Tebt. III.2 894 (ca 114 BC)
Online Resources P.Tebt. III.2 894
TM 5444
i.a. Source type(s) Papyrological source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script Fragments of accounts of an association in Greek.
i.c. Physical format(s) Papyrus
ii. Source(s) provenance From crocodile mummies 2, 3, 50, and 55, from the necropolis in Tebtynis.


ii. References to buildings/objects ζύτος, zytos (Fr. 1. l. 26; Fr. 5 l. 13; Fr. 12 verso ll. 31, 32)
στέφανοι, stephanoi (Fr. 1 l. 30; Fr. 7 l. 3; Fr. 10 l. 7)
μύρος, myros (Fr. 1 l. 32; Fr. 2 l. 46; Fr. 7 l. 4; Fr. 10 l. 8)
οἴνος, oinos (Fr. 2 ll. 6, 44; Fr. 6 l. 1; Fr. 7 l. 2; Fr. 10 ll. 3, 5)
κράμβη, krambe (Fr. 2 l. 8)
λύχνοι, lychnoi (Fr. 2 l. 9; Fr. 10 l. 10)
ἐπελλύχνιον, epellychnion (Fr. 7 l. 5)
βωμοί, bomoi (Fr. 3 l. 2; Fr. 6 l. 7; Fr. 10 l. 2; Fr. 10 verso ll. 13, 15, 17, 20, 21; Fr. 11 verso ll. 1, 3, 4, 6, 9)
ἄρτοι, artoi (Fr. 4 l. 4)
ἅλς, hals (Fr. 4 l. 5)
κύαμος kyamos (Fr. 5 l. 14)
ὕδωρ, hydor (Fr. 6 l. 2)
ἀμάρακον, amarakon (Fr. 6 l. 5)
λώψ, lops (Fr. 6 l. 9)
θησαυρός (?), thesauros (Fr. 6 l. 10)
φλόα (?), phloa (Fr. 6 l. 11)
ναύλιον, naulion = νάβλα nabla (Fr. 8 l. 25)
λήκυθος, lekythos (Fr. 8 l. 28)
ἄμη, ame (Fr. 9 l. 3)
κιτὼν γυναικεῖος, kiton gynaikeios (Fr. 9 l. 3)
ἀλευρητικά, aleuretika (Fr. 10, l. 9)


iii. Members Next to regular members (who seem to be referred to as ἄνδρες, andres: Fr. 1 l. 63; Fr. 2 ll. 3, 43) there were ξένοι, xenoi (Fr. 2 ll. 5, 12, 37; Fr. 4 l. 8, Fr. 5 l. 16).
iv. Officials The governing body of the association seems to be called ἀρχαί, archai (Fr. 1 l. 54; Fr. 2 l. 14; Fr. 2 l. 29). We have six different officials (not better indicated) in charge at the time of the drawing of the accounts (Fr. 1 ll. 54-60; Fr. 2 l. 15-21, 30-35), whereas officials in charge in the previous year are mentioned in the number of five (Fr. 6 ll. 15-20). The names are different from one year to the other (with the exception of one) so it seems reasonable to conclude that the governing body of the association changed every year and that the association generally had about six officials to take care of their matters. It is also reasonable to suppose that there must have been a secretary or at any rate someone who was in charge of recording expenses and contributions.
v. Other staff The office of the ἱεροποιία, hieropoiia is also attested: in Pauni five members were in charge of it and paid each 200 copper drachmae for it (Fr. 2 l. 22-28); in Epeiph two members were in charge and paid each 500 copper drachmae (Fr. 7 l. 7-9). Given that they are recorded separately, their names are different from those belonging to the archai, and they changed from one month to the other, it seems that they did not form part of the regular governing body of the association but constituted an ad hoc committee of officials.
viii. Obligations It seems that regular members were expected to pay contributions, συμβολαί, symbolai (Fr. 3 ll. 4-18). The xenoi, guests of regular members, also paid a quota when attending the association's events: it is not always clear whether the xenoi paid themselves or their hosts did.
ix. Privileges Certain members were exempt from the payment of contributions in certain cases: in one passage of the accounts two of them are indicated as ἀσύμβολοι, asymboloi (Fr. 2 l. 4). We have no further information on their identity and role played within the association.


i. Treasury/Funds Given the fact that the association received contributions from its members, had income arising from interests, and disbursed money for various items and services (for instance, ἀναλώματα, analomata are mentioned in Fr. 4 l. 3, Fr. 5 l. 12, Fr. 10 l. 6), they had funds available to them and a treasury, no doubts with someone in charge of the accounts.
iii. Income The main source of income to the association was presumably constituted by the contributions (συμβολαί; symbolai: Fr. 3 ll. 4-18) from ordinary members: in one case the association received at least 3,330 copper drachmae (the papyrus is fragmentary) from the regular contributions of members (the majority of the members recorded paid 245 copper drachmae, two other paid 145 copper drachmae, and one member paid 345 copper drachmae: Fr. 3 ll. 4-18. We do not know the reason for the different quotas applied to the members). The governing body of the association was equally charged: both in the months of Pachon and Pauni the officials of the association paid a total of 815 copper drachmae (individual quotas varied in amount but each person paid the same fixed amount on both occasions: 500, 100, 65, 60, 50, 40 copper drachmae: Fr. 1 ll. 54-61, Fr. 2 ll. 14-21); other 11 members were charged 100 drachmae each for a total of 1,100 copper drachmae. Those five members in charge of the office of the ἱεροποιία, hieropoiia in Pauni were charged 200 copper drachmae each for it (Fr. 2 l. 22-28), the two in office in Epeiph paid each 500 copper drachmae (Fr. 7 l. 7-9). Those regular members who were exempt from contributions (ἀσύμβολοι, asymboloi: Fr. 2 l. 4) represented a tiny minority of the membership (only two people are defined as such in the accounts). It is not even certain whether their exemption was regular or simply a one-off occurrence. Guests also paid to take part in some meetings of the association: in one case we know that guests were charged at a rate of 40 copper drachmae every three guests (Fr. 4 ll. 8-9: ξένοι Ἡρακλείδ[ου] | θ γ ἀν(ὰ) μ̣, (γίνονται) ρκ, xenoi Herakleidou | 9, 3 ana 40 (dr.), (ginontai) 120 (dr.)). Funds were also collected ad hoc for particular specified occasions: in one case, members were paying 500 copper drachmae each for a specific occasion, expressed in the oscure term Ἰλιακοῖς, Iliakois (Fr. 4 ll. 11-26). Another source of income came from the levy of fines: a ζημία, zemia of 400 copper drachmae is recorded as being exacted in Fr. 3 l. 13, whereas 200 copper drachmae seem to have been paid by one member as a fine for quarrelling (Θέων διʼ Ἁρεώτου μάχης σ, Theon di'Hareotou maches 200 (dr.): Fr. 5 l. 10). The funds at the association's disposal were probably invested as mention of an ἐπίτοκον, epitokon of an unknown amount (Fr. 9 l. 24) is present in the account. Equally, savings on expenses could result in financial gains for the association: a διάπτωμα, diaptoma of ten copper drachmae on the purchase of beer is recorded in Fr. 5 l. 8 (the association had collected 5,655 copper drachmae from thirteen of its members - who presumably had taken part in festivities for which funds were being collected – but only spent 5,645 copper drachmae for the beer).


i. Number Given the fragmentary state of the text, it is difficult to reconstruct the exact total number of members. The list with the highest number of members records at least 25 people (Fr. 1).
ii. Gender Men
Note All the members recorded bear male names. The general term applied to define the members, ἄνδρες, andres (Fr. 1 l. 63; Fr. 2 ll. 3, 43) also indicates that the membership was made up of men. However, feminine items and women appear in the records of the association: in one case it seems that one of the members handed over a κιτὼν γυναικεῖος, kiton gynaikeios for the value of 350 copper drachmae instead of cash (Fr. 9 l. 3); in another instance, it seems that the wife of one of the members (at whose house the association was meeting?) received 1,290 copper drachmae for drinks (?) (κερ(άμιον) α Γ[ ̣ ̣ ̣] | ἐν Λυσανίου (ὧν) ἔχει γυνὴ̣ | Αψϙ, keramion 1 3,[xxx (dr.)] | en Lysaniou (hon) echei gyne | 1,290 (dr.): Fr. 9 ll. 14-16)
v. Relations Two members of the association were brothers: Saras and Ptollis (Fr. 3 l. 17-18). Two brothers are also mentioned in Fr. 12 l. 7, but it is uncertain whether both were members.


ii. Meetings and events The association held meeting and gatherings of various form which must have involved drinking and eating (the accounts record expenses for drinks such as beer, wine, and water; vegetables such as cabbages and beans; wheat products, such as loaves of bread and cakes; and spices, such as salt and marjoram), presumably with sacrificial ceremonies being performed (the mention of altars and hieropoiia points towards that). Receptions (δοχή, doche: Fr. 6 verso l. 29) and dinner parties (δεῖπνον, deipnon: Fr. 6 l. 8) are attested. During their festive ceremonies, crowns and wreaths were employed presumably for decoration of statues, altars, and the association's members, as well as unguents and perfumes: both items appear in the lists of expenses of the association. Musical entertainment was provided: an auletes was hired for the purpose (Fr. 2 l. 47) and a musical instrument called naulion/nabla (Fr. 8 l. 25) is recorded in our lists. The ceremonies could take place at altars (ἐν τῷ βομῷ (l. βωμῷ); en to bomo: Fr. 3 l. 2; Fr. 10 l. 2) or indoors, at somebody's house or shop: ἐν Μενοίτου, en Menoitou (Fr. 2 l. 7), ἐν τοῖς Ἅρπαλος (l. Ἁρπάλου), en tois Harpalou (Fr. 2 l. 45), ἐν Λυσανίου, en Lysaniou (Fr. 9 l. 15), if the interpretation of the passages is correct. Artificial illumination was provided by oil-lamps (λύχνοι, lychnoi: Fr. 2 l. 9; Fr. 10 l. 10). The oil for them was also itemised in the expenses (ἐπελλύχνιον, epellychnion: Fr. 7 l. 5; λήκυθος, lekythos: Fr. 8 l. 28). Lamps were also used for decoration of altars (Fr. 10 l. 10).
iii. Worship The frequent mention of βωμοί, bomoi (Fr. 3 l. 2; Fr. 6 l. 7; Fr. 10 l. 2; Fr. 10 verso ll. 13, 15, 17, 20, 21; Fr. 11 verso ll. 1, 3, 4, 6, 9) and the reference to ἱεροποιία, hieropoiia (Fr. 2 l. 22-28; Fr. 7 l. 7-9) suggest that the association performed acts of worship.
iv. Honours/Other activities The association seems to have hired armed guards (μάχιμοι, machimoi: Fr. 1 l. 27, Fr. 8 passim; φύλαξ, phylax Fr. 8 l. 8). The reason for doing so is unknown: was it to oversee the association's meetings, or somehow defend them, or to make sure that the premises belonging to the association, when stocked with all its supply of food, drink, and sundry items, were safe while the members were not there?


i. Private association Certain
Note It seems certain the we are dealing here with a private association: the presence of an organised structure, with officials, funds, regular members and guests, meetings and communal ceremonies, funds and expenses covered by contributions point in that direction. Furthermore, the possible reference to the term koinon (Fr. 11 l. 14) in the sense of 'association', strengthens this interpretation.