An Egyptian Official in War and Peace

The first complete critical edition of the archive of the strategus Apollonios

(FWF – Austrian Science Fund – P 29164)

Project leader:  Thomas Kruse

Co-workers: K. Michner, M. C. D. Paganini, M. Resel

The project aims at the first complete critical edition of the archive of the strategus Apollonios which is the most important dossier of papyrus documents from Egypt for the first two centuries CE. It comprises some 230 Greek documents. The most prominent person appearing in it is a man named Apollonios. He originated from Hermopolis in Middle Egypt and functioned between ca. 113-120 CE as head of the civil administration (strategus) of the nome (district) Apollonopolites Heptakomias in Upper Egypt. Besides the official correspondence Apollonios is the addressee of most of the private letters in the archive, written by family members, friends, employees, and business partners. These documents are of paramount importance for the history of Roman Egypt. This is particularly the case for the administrative history of Upper Egypt, since the nome Apollonopolites Heptakomias is solely known from the archive. On the other hand the documents shed some light on the uprising of the Jewish diaspora in Egypt (116-117 CE) and the impact of this war on the local population of the country. Finally the texts provide illuminating information for the social, economic and cultural background of a family of the local hellenised municipal elite of Egypt and their level of education and literacy.

A complete edition of the archive is an urgent desideratum because its texts are scattered over sixteen different collections and are only available in editions of sometimes considerable age and different quality. Some texts are also still lacking a scholarly edition. These issues have until now significantly hampered a scholarly reception of the documents which would have been commensurate with their importance. All texts shall be re-edited with a critical apparatus, a commentary, a bibliography, an image and a translation. An elaborate introduction to the volume shall embrace the relevant historical and philological aspects of the dossier.

(Alle Bildrechte liegen bei der Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Bremen.)