Thursday, June 3, 2010

παρτὸ Ἕλληνά με εναι “PETITION ABOUT AN ASSAULT”: a document about an ethnic assault incident that happened in Memphis, in Hellenictic Egypt, in 163 BC.


Πτολεμαίος Γλαυκίου, Μακεδών / Ptolemaios son of Glaukias, Macedonian, has been assaulted for as he himself declared: παρὰ τὸ Ἕλληνά με εἶναι / because I am Greek!

I admire History: it has such strong and faithful allies in Archaeology, Epigraphology and Linguistics, among so many other scholarly disciplines, that somehow, it always finds a way to get its revenge and expose its falsifiers! Despite the rivers of Yugoslavian ink that have been wasted in the attempt to portray the Skopje Yugoslavs as true “Macedonians”, a Hellenistic legal document, a papyrus (UPZ18) written 2173 years ago, comes out to shine its light on the historical truth, flushing the outlandish pseudo-historical claims of Skopjean pseudo-scientists such as the sorry likes of Professors Tendov and Boshevski or Aleksandar Donski down the Nile and into the sewers of Alexandria.
Scripta Manent, the Latins said, “the written word remains”, and it speaks loud and clear about the Greek ethnicity of the Ancient Macedonians: τὸ Ἕλληνά με εἶναι / I am Greek, tells us Πτολεμαίος Γλαυκίου, Μακεδών / Ptolemaios son of Glaucias, the Macedonian, through the ages.

In the second century, with the increasing tide of Egyptian nationalism and resentment of the superior position of the Greeks, it was sometimes dangerous to be a Greek among Egyptians. An episode of Ptolemaios’ stay in the Serapaeum of Memphis illustrates this problem.

To Dionysios one of my friends and strategos, from Ptolemaios son of Glaukias, Macedonian (Πτολεμαίου τοῦ Γλαυκίου Μακεδόνος), one of those in katoche in the great Serapeum in Memphis in my 12th year. Being outrageously wronged and often put in danger of my life by the below-listed cleaners from the sanctuary, I am seeking refuge with you thinking that I shall thus particularly receive justice. For in the 21st year, on Phaophi 8, they came into the Astarteion in the sanctuary, in which I have been in katoche for the aforesaid years, some of them holding stones in theur hands, others sticks, and tried to force their way in, so that with this opportunity they might plunder the temple and kill me because I am Greek (παρὰ τὸ Ἕλληνά με εἶναι), attacking me in concerted fashion. And when I made it to the door of the temple before them and shut it with a great crash, and then ordered them to go away quietly, they did not depart; but they struck Diphilos, one of the servants compelled to remain by Sarapis, who showed his indignation at the way they were behaving in the sanctuary, robbing him outrageously and attacking him violently and beating him, so that their illegal violence was made obvious to everybody. When the same men did the same things to me in Phaophi of the 19th year, I petitioned you at that time, but because I had no one to wait on you it happened that when went went unwarned they conceived an even greater scorn for me. I ask you, therefore, if it seems good to you, to order them brought before you, so that they may get thei proper punishment for all these things. Farewell.
Mys the clothing seller, Psosnaus the yoke-bearer, Imouthes the baker, Harembasnis the grain-seller, Stoteotis the porter, Harchebis the doucher, Po…os the carpet weaver, and others with him, whose names I do not know.”

Greek Historical Documents: The Hellenistic Period, by Roger S. Bagnall and Peter Derow,Published in 1981 by SCHOLARS PRESS for The Society o Biblical Literature

The Original Greek Text:

Date: 163BC
Location: Memphis

Διονυσίωι τῶν φίλων καὶ
παρὰ Πτολεμαίου τοῦ Γλαυκίου
Μακεδόνος τῶν ὄντων ἐν κατοχῆι
5 ἐν τῶι μεγάλωι Σαραπιείωι ἔτος
ἤδη δέκατον. ἀδικοῦμαι
ὑπὸ τῶν ἐν τῶι αὐτῶι ἱερῶι
καλλυντῶν καὶ ἀρτοκόπων
τῶν νυνὶ ἐφημερευόντων,
10 καταβαινόντων δὲ καὶ εἰς τὸ
Ἀνουβιεῖον, Ἁρχήβιος ἰατροῦ
καὶ Μυὸς ἱματιοπώλου καὶ
τῶν ἄλλων, ὧν τὰ ὀνόματα
ἀγνοῶ. τοῦ γὰρ 19 (ἔτους_ρπαρ; Φαῶφι 11
15 παραγενόμενοι ἐπὶ τὸ
Ἀσταρτιεῖον1, ἐν ὧι κατέχομαι
ἱερῶι, εἰσεβιάζοντο βουλό-
μενοι ἐκσπάσαι2 με καὶ ἀλο-
γῆσαι, καθάπερ καὶ ἐν τοῖς πρό-
20 τερον χρόνοις ἐπεχείρησαν
οὔσης ἀποστάσεως,
παρὰ τὸ
Ἕλληνά με εἶναι. ἐπεὶ ο[ὖ]ν
ἐγὼ μὲν συνιδὼν αὐτοὺς
ἀπονενοημένους ἐμαυτὸν
25 συνέκλεισα, Ἁρμᾶιν δὲ
τὸν παρ᾽ ἐμοῦ εὑρόντες
ἐπὶ τοῦ δρόμου καταβαλόντες
ἔτυπτον τοῖς χαλκοῖς
ξυστῆρσιν. ἀξιῶ οὖν σε συν-
30 τάξαι γράψαι Μενεδήμωι
τῶι παρὰ σοῦ ἐν τῶι Ἀνουβιείωι
ἐπαναγκάσαι αὐτοὺς τὰ δίκαιά μοι
ποιῆσαι, ἐὰν δὲ μὴ ὑπομένωσιν,
ἐξαποστεῖλαι αὐτοὺς ἐπὶ σέ,
35 ὅπως διαλάβῃς3 περὶ αὐτῶν μισο-
Μενεδήμωι. προνοήθητι ὡς τεύξεται
τῶν δικαίων.
40 (ἔτους_ρπαρ; 19 Φαῶφι 19.

By: Miltiades Bolaris, assisted by Phoebos Apollon Bolari


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Nick Hodges says:

You are doing a fantastic job. Congratulations and keep up the excellent work you are doing. I am very proud of your work and I think all the rest of us would feel the same way. Nick Hodges. Cincinnati, Ohio.