Text, Translation and Commentary of the
Giessen Papyrus Giessen Papyrus Reconstruction of P. Giss. 40, I Papyrus Gissensis
1) [Αὐτοκράτωρ Καῖσαρ Μά]ρκο[ς Α]ὐρή[λιος Σεουῆρος Ἀ]ντωνῖνο[ς] Ε[ὐσεβὴ]ς λέγει
[πάντως εἰς τὸ θεῖον χρὴ] µᾶλλον ἀν[αφέρειν καὶ τὰ]ς αἰτίας κ[α]ὶ [λογι]σµοὺς
[δικαίως δ’ἄν κἀγὼ τοῖς θ]εοῖς τ[οῖ]ς ἀθ[αν]άτοις εὐχαριστήσα[ι]µι ὅτι τὴς τοιαύτη[ς]
[ἐπιβουλῆς γενοµένης σῷο]ν ἐµὲ συν[ετ]ήρησαν τοιγαροῦν νοµίζω [ο]ὕτω µε –
5) [γαλοπρεπῶς καὶ εὐσεβ]ῶς δύ[να]σθαι τῇ µεγαλειότητι αὐτῶν το ἱκανὸν ποι –
[εῖν, εἰ τοὺς ἐν τῇ ἀρχῇ ὁσ]άκις ἐὰν ὑ[πε]ισέλθ[ωσ]ιν εἰς τοὺς ἐµοὺς ἀν[θρ]ώπους
[ὡς Ῥωµαίους εἰς τὰ ἱερὰ τῶν] θεῶν συνει[σ]ενέγ[κοιµ]ι Δίδω[µ]ι τοί[ν]υν ἅπα–
[σι τοῖς κατὰ τὴν Ῥωµαϊκ]ὴν οἰκουµένην π[ολειτ]είαν Ῥωµ[αί]ων [µ]ένοντος
[τοῦ δικαίου τῶν πολιτευµ]άτων χωρ[ὶς] τῶν [ἀδδ]ειτικίων Ὀ[φ]είλει [γ]ὰρ τὸ
10) [πλῆθος οὐ µόνον τἄλλα συνυποµέ]νειν πάντα ἀ[λλ]ὰ ἤδη κ[α]ὶ τῇ νίκῃ ἐνπεριει –
[λῆφθαι Τοῦτο δὲ τὸ διάτ]αγµα ἐ[ξαπ]λώσει [τὴν] µεγαλειότητα [το]ῦ Ῥωµα[ί]
[ων δήµου συµβαίνει γὰρ τὴν αὐτὴ]ν περὶ τοῦς [ἄλλο]υς γεγενῆσθα[ι] ᾗπερ δ[ι]α–
[πρέπουσιν ἀνέκαθεν Ῥωµαῖοι τιµῇ κα]ταλειφ[θέντων µηδέν]ων τῶ[ν] ἑκάστης
[χώρας ἐν οἰκουµένῃ ἀπολιτεύτων ἢ ἀτιµ]ήτω[ν Ἂπο δὲ τῶν] π[ρ]οσ[όδων τῶν νῦν]
15) [ὑπερχουσῶν συντελούντων, ἅπερ ἐκελεύσ]θη [παρὰ Ῥωµαίων ἀπὸ τοῦ κα ἔτους, ]1
[ὡς δίκαιον ἐκ τῶν διαταγµάτων καὶ ἐπιστολ]ῶ[ν, ἅ ἐξεδόθη ὑφ’ ἡµῶν τε]
[καὶ τῶν ἡµετέρων προγόνων Προετέθη ……………………..]
W3K: [Σεβαστὸς Ἀ]ντονῖνο[ς] O: Σ[εβαστὸ]ς λέγει MBSS2WHW2
WH: ἀν[αβαλόµενον τὰ]ς αἰτίας MS: ἀν[ τὰ]ς αἰτίας W3K: λ[ογι]σµοὺ[ς] S2WHW2 W3OK: λ[ιβ]έλλου[ς] MS
WHO: [ζητεῖν, ὅπως ἂν τοῖς θ]εοῖς MS: [τίνι ἄν τρόπῳ ἀξίως τοῖς θ]εοῖς S2W2
SWHW2: [συµφορᾶς γενοµένης] B: [ἐπιβουλῆς ἄφνω γενοµένης] W3O
W2: [γάλως καὶ φιλανθρώπ]ως S: [γαλοµερῶς καὶ θεοπρεπ]ῶς WH: [γαλοµερῶς ἄν καὶ εὐσεβ]ῶς W3O
S: [εἰ τοσάκις µυρίους ὁσ]άκις S2WHW2: [εἰ τοὺς ξένους ὁσ]άκις M: [εἰ τοὺς βαρβάρους ὁσ]άκις B: [εἰ νῦν ἅπαντας, καὶ ὁσ]άκις W3O
WH: [ἰσοτίµους εἰς τὰ ἱερὰ τῶ]ν θεῶν SW2: [καὶ ἄλλοι, εἰς τὰ ἱερὰ τῶ]ν θεῶν O: [εἰς τὰς θρησκείας τῶ]ν θεῶν M: [εἰς θρησκείας τῶν ἡµετέρω]ν θεῶν W3: τοί[ν]υν ἅπα- MBSS2WHW2: τοῖ[ς σ]υνάπα- W3OK
H: [σιν ὅσοι ἐὰν ὦσι κατὰ τὴ]ν οἰκουµένην S2W2: [σιν ξένοις τοῖς κατὰ τὴ]ν οἰκουµένην M: [σιν ἐπηλύταις τοῖς κατὰ τ]ὴν οἰκουµένην B: [σιν τοῖς οὖσι κατὰ τ]ὴν οἰκουµένην S: [σιν τοῖς κατοικοῦσιν τὴ]ν οἰκουµένην W: [σιν ἐν τῇ ἀρχῇ µου κατὰ τ]ὴν οἰκουµένην W3O: [σιν κατὰ τ]ὴν οἰκουµένην K: π[ολειτ]είαν HW3K: π[ολιτ]είαν MBSS2WW2
W3OK: [παντὸς γένους πολιτευµ]άτων M: [τῷ φίσκῳ τοῦ λόγου ἀπαραβ]άτως B: [πολιτικοῦ σφισιν ἀπαραβ]άτως S: [ξένου οὐδενὸς τῶν πολιτευµ]άτων S2: [οὐδενὸς ἐκτὸς τῶν πολιτευµ]άτων W: [δὲ ξενου οὐδενὸς τῶν ταγµ]άτων H: [οὐδενὸς τῶν πρὶν ἐλασσωµ]άτων W2: [ἀδδ]ειτικίων W3: [δε]δειτικίων MBSS2WH: [δη]δειτικίων W2: [ ]δειτικίων K
WH: [οὐ µόνον συµπο]νεῖν S: [οὐ µόνον συνκινδυνε]ύειν S2: deest O
MSS2: [τοῦτο δὲ τὸ ἐµὸν διάτ]αγµα W: [τοῦτο δὲ τὸ ἐµαυτοῦ διάτ]αγµα H: ἐ[ξαπ]λώσει WH: ἐ[κδ]ελώσει S: ἐ[ξο]λώσει S2: deest O
WH: [κελεύω δὲ τὴν αὐτὴν χάρι]ν B: [ων δήµου διὰ τὸ τὴν αὐτὴν τάξι]ν S: [ων δήµου µετὰ τὸ τὴν ἴσην τιµὴ]ν S2: deest O
WH: [τὴν εὐγένειαν Ῥωµαῖοι] S2: deest MBSW2W3OK
H: deest MBSS2WW2W3OK
H: deest MBSS2WW2W3OK
H: deest MBSS2WW2W3OK
H: deest MBSS2WW2W3OK
M Meyer, P. M. 1920: Juristische Papyri: Erklärung von Urkunden zur Einführung in die Juristische Papyruskunde, Berlin.
B Bickermann, E. 1926: Das Edikt des Kaisers
S Schönbauer, E. 1931: ‘Reichsrecht gegen Volksrecht? Studien über die Bedeutung der
S2 Stroux, J. 1933: ‘Die
W Wilhelm, A. 1934: ‘Die
H Heichelheim, F. M. 1941: The Text of the “
W2 Weissert, D. 1963: ‘Bemerkungen zum Wortlaut des P. Giss. 40 I (
W3 Wolff, H. 1976: Die
O Oliver, J. H. 1989: Greek
K Kuhlmann, P. A. 1994: Die Giessener Literarischen Papyri und die
The Emperor Caesar
General Observations and
Dating Antonine Constitution
Even a cursory glance at the document reveals that P. Giss. 40 has suffered extensive wear and damage, most notably on the left-hand side where the text of the constitutio is written. From comparison of the left and (largely complete) right sides of the papyrus, it can be estimated that around one third of the upper left side of the document is missing. The damage in this area is compounded by a large vertical tear in the middle of the surviving papyrus which has obliterated yet more script. The lower left-hand section of P. Giss. 40 is in an even more damaged state. The large tear that has destroyed some of the upper left side extends further into the papyrus and has left only around thirty characters of text remaining. Smaller localised tears and holes in areas suggest that the papyrus has suffered worm-damage, while areas where the top-layer of the document is damaged (more visible on the right side of the papyrus) are the result of damage sustained in the document’s afterlife when the museum attempted to glaze it.2
The other visible form of damage on P. Giss. 40 is in the form of dark patches spread over the surface of the papyrus, especially in the upper-right quadrant. This is indicative of water damage sustained in February 1945, when the papyrus was being held in the safe of the Dresdner Bank.3 This has caused the felt back-layer, added to the artefact by the museum, to become fused to the papyrus. Considering the severely damaged nature of the
Despite the severe damage to the artefact, however, the availability of high-resolution photographs of the papyrus from the Giessener Papyri- und Ostraka-Datenbank has facilitated a far more detailed analysis of the text than was ever possible in the past. The text of P. Giss. 40 is presented in a legible, cursive script of Koine Greek. Meyer claimed that the text was of a ‘careful, clerical’ nature, while Kuhlmann has concluded that the papyrus is business-like in appearance and that the script is ‘regular and aesthetic’.4 The characters are clear and of a regular size, 0.3–0.4cm wide in the majority of cases, often using capitalised versions of characters and lunate sigmas (c). In the course of the text, there are larger spaces between the different sections of the documents to allow ease of legibility.5 This feature permits a more confident estimate regarding the number of missing letters in the various lacunae. The script appears to be of a formal style found throughout the second and third centuries CE. It does not exhibit the elongated chancery stylisation of some official papyri of this period, particularly from the Alexandrian Chancery (P. Berol. inv. 11532, for example); the rather more rounded characters group this papyri with those of a bureaucratic context, the attractive calligraphic script reminiscent of literary papyri.6
In spite of its aesthetic quality, there are minor irregularities.7 There are numerous ligatures throughout the papyrus. The appearance of iota varies from a small compact line to a larger, sweeping version that impacts on the line of script below. Epsilons are written sometimes as tall, narrow characters with three short but equidistant bars, while in other places they are written with an extended central bar, joining to other letters. Omicron is presented in a very small form, often higher in the line than other letters, and the letter π is notable for being considerably wider than the majority of the other characters.8
Some of the oddities, in particular that of the omicron being reduced in size, exhibit certain traits of the more simplistic style that was to evolve throughout the later third century and from the time of Diocletian into the ‘upright ogival majuscule’ style of writing that was common throughout late antiquity and the Byzantine era.9 This apparent combination of stylistic features allows us to assign a time period for this artefact with more confidence. The style of writing, when combined with the subject matter of the text, means that a
Line 1: From the surviving script alone, it is relatively clear that this line is a formulaic list of imperial titles introducing the emperor making the decree. This edition has opted to restore the penultimate word in the line as Εὐσεβής rather than Σεβαστός. The damage to the papyrus around the initial letter of the word makes it difficult to decipher the character beyond all doubt. The shape does bear a close similarity to the larger scale lunate sigmas found throughout the text. Magnification of the high- resolution image of the papyrus, however, appears to reveal a trace of ink concurrent with the middle bar of a capitalised epsilon.10
Line 2: The beginning of this line has prompted a variety of different wordings, although the sentiment remains roughly the same. The attribution of certain events to divine powers by
Line 3: Similar to the second line, there is an underlying sentiment that is brought out in all of the
Line 4: Of all the editions cited above, Meyer is the only one not to stress the feeling of a struggle or misfortune that
Line 5: In his commentary, Oliver concluded that it was not possible to discern confidently the two adverbs employed on the papyrus to describe the emperor’s great act of gratitude to the gods for saving him.13 While this edition concurs with Weissert’s use of the adverb εὐσεβώς in the second position, I have opted to agree with Meyer and Stroux that the adverb µεγαλοπρεπῶς is more appropriate for the word at the beginning of the line. Both µεγαλοµερής and µεγαλοπρεπής have been used to mean ‘magnificence’ but the latter appears to carry an added sense of an act befitting a great man, an inference that may be attached to
Line 6: This edition has opted not to accept the version preferred by Stroux, Wilhelm, Heichelheim and Weissert, since their
Line 7: All of the
There is a minor disagreement regarding the nature of the final two words of the line, where
This edition has therefore opted for the more traditional restoration of τοίνυν. The appearance of an inferential particle is the better semantic choice since it refers back to the events that prompted
Line 8: It is in this line that the grant of
It should be noted that in maintaining the potential Romanitas of the edict through the wording τοῖς κατὰ τὴν Ῥωµαϊκὴν οἰκουµένην, this text echoes the Latin description of the decree outlined by
Line 9: The text of line nine outlines the nature and scale of
Despite the traditional academic support for a
The potential contradiction in the ancient evidence led some to question the nature of the exclusion inferred by the prepositional phrase χωρίς + genitive. One explanation offered in the past is that the text contained on P. Giss. 40 did not, in fact, make reference to the grant of civitas itself, but rather to some associated grant or supplement.26 The problem with this, however, is that, without any clear analogies that can be drawn from other texts, such a hypothesis relies upon imagination and speculation.27
The inescapably conjectural nature of these analyses has led others to doubt the very existence of any mention of
It is safer simply to observe that if, in the course of the Institutes, Gaius was correct that the
The publication of materials relating to the Antonine document known as the Tabula Banasitana has changed the nature of this debate and allows for an analysis of the
Of particular importance to any analysis of the
A similarity between the Latin of the Tabula Banasitana and the Greek of the
The existence of these Latin formulae tempering the grant of
An objection to this translation of χωρίς, in connection to the
If χωρίς is understood to mean ‘without’ rather than ‘except’, an attempt can to be made to assess whether the end of the ninth line of P. Giss. 40 is equivalent to the Latin sine diminutione tributorum et vectigalium populi et fisci found in the Tabula Banasitana.42 Instead of δηδειτικίων, it has been suggested that the lacuna might be better reconstructed as αδδειτικίων.43 Whilst admittedly a hapax legomenon in its own right, it is no more controversial than δηδειτικίων.
The adjectival noun, translating as ‘additional’, may be understood to make reference to the system of fiscal immunitas enjoyed historically by citizens under the earlier Principate. Kuhlmann disagrees that the χωρίς τῶν ἀδδειτικίων clause represents a direct transliteration of sine diminutione tributorum et vectigalium populi et fisci, however, doubting that it makes specific reference to fiscal immunity alone.44 He questions how far the sentiment from the Latin construction can be inferred from one word alone, arguing that if Oliver was correct in his assumption regarding the focus of additicia, then it must represent a hitherto unrecognised Greek terminus technicus.45
This conclusion would ultimately infer that the χωρίς clause found in the constitutio text was, in fact, a very general one designed to facilitate and overcome any short term problems that the
The revised wording obviously does not meld flawlessly with the Latin construction seen in the text of the Tabula Banasitana, but this is hardly surprising owing to the nature of the transliteration process from Latin into Greek.47 Until the
Line 10: Although far less controversial than the previous line, the appearance of νίκῃ in this line has prompted disagreement on what is being alluded to. Johnson disputed any notion that the ‘victory’ being referred to was in connection to the
Lines 11–13: These lines have prompted little variation between the various scholars who reconstructed the papyrus. The general idea of a spread in the greatness or magnificence of the
Lines 14–17: These lines are so damaged that only Heichelheim has attempted any significant
Kuhlmann (1994) 1.
Kuhlmann (1994) 2.
Meyer (1910) 25; Kuhlmann (1994) 8–9.
P. Giss. 40, I.7 for example. Also see Kuhlmann (1994) 216.
Cavallo and Maehler (2008) 123.
Kuhlmann (1994) 215.
Kuhlmann (1994) 215–16, draws attention to these irregularities in more detail.
Cavallo & Maehler (2008) 131–2.
A search of the PHI Greek Inscription Database reveals that Εὐσεβής (= Pius) was a title used in relation to
Schubart, (1940) 31–38.
Dio (77.3.1) employs the middle voice perfect participle of ἐπιβουλεύω: ὁ δ’ Ἀντωνῖνος καίπερ ἑσπέρας οὔσης τὰ στρατόπεδα κατέλαβε, διὰ πάσης τῆς ὁδοῦ κεκραγὼς ὡς ἐπιβεβουλευµένος καὶ κινδυνεύων (emphasis added).
Oliver (1989) 503.
For the adverbial use of µεγαλοπρεπής, see: Hdt. 6.128; Xen. Anab. 1.4.17.
It is true that one might expect the decree to avoid specifics, owing to the intended impression of grandeur that surrounded it, but this
Dio 78.9.5; Oliver (1989) 503.
Oliver (1989) 504. Wolff has read the first letter of this word as a mu, consequently producing a different restoration. This would fit with his general thesis that P. Giss. 40 does not contain the text of the
Honoré (2002) 24. Honoré claimed that
Dig. 1.5.17. Also see Ando (2016) 8.
Meyer (1910) 30–33.
Gaius, Inst. 1.14. This group is sometimes referred to as the peregrini
Weissert (1963) 239–50. This
Dig. 1.5.17, see above n.3. Similarly, there is no mention of any exceptions to
Unless, of course, the compilers of the
This hypothesis has been championed most famously by Sherwin-White (1973a) 380, but has also been taken up by Jones (1936) 223–235, and Préaux (1953) 218.
Lukaszewicz (1990) 97–99. Also see Kuhlmann (2012) 49.
Benario (1954) 188.
For more on Dio’s fierce hatred of
Lukaszewicz (1990) 96–98.
Lukaszewicz (1990) 95.
IAM 2.1, 94 = AE 1961, 142. For an annotated edition of the Tabula of Banasa, see: Oliver (1972) 336–40.
Oliver (1972) 338; Sherwin-White (1973b) 88.
IAM 2.1, 94. l.37.
Sherwin-White (1973b) 86–98.
Kuhlmann (2012) 47; see above for translation.
Sasse (1958) 48–58, has shown that the genitive participle µένοντος, found in the eighth line of P. Giss. 40, is relatively common in Greek legal texts, and that in at least forty-seven cases, the construction is identical to that of the
Lukaszewicz (1990) 98.
Lukaszewicz (1990) 98–99.
Böhm (1963) 278–355; Heichelheim (1941) 10–22; Laqueur (1927) 15–28.
For a detailed objection to some of the earlier attempts to remove the
Wolff (1977) 99–102.
Kuhlmann (2012) 48–50; Oliver (1989) 504.
Kuhlmann (1994) 237. For examples of the term in the Latin corpus which Kuhlmann identifies, see Dig. 220.127.116.11 and Tert. Resurr. 52.
Van Minnen (2016) 219; Kuhlmann (1994) 236–37.
This hypothesis is considered in greater detail in Chapter 2.
Oliver (1989) 500.
Lukaszewicz (1990) 98–101.
In addition to the contemporaneous legal evidence, the idea that the
Johnson (1961) 226, n.2. Also see Oliver (1989) 501. This hypothesis has been proven incorrect in recent years, see Van Minnen (2016).
Stroux follows a similar line, but employs notion of nobility (εὐγένεια) rather than honour.