The Ancient Historian

Ancient history, mountaineering, cycling and other outside adventures

A demotic marriage contract, 97 BC, (Gebelein) Upper Egypt

The following is a legal document written at the beginning of the first century BC, from a military community established in the southern Egyptian Nile valley in the Ptolemaic period. It is the kind of primary documentary material that I am looking at with some of my students this term. We are examining such material from several Mediterranean cultures formthe point of view of how such texts functioned within society as well as some of the technical points of ancient legal documents.   Notice the upper and lower margins here, to protect the preservation of the writing, the scribe would leave wide margins on all four sides typically, so when the text was rolled up and sealed, wear and tear would not effect the contents. Can you spot the beginning of the text? The text is now part of the Schoyen collection (the Adler papyri).ms161


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