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Contracts and people in early Roman Tebtunis: a complex affair

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Micaela Langellotti



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


Contracts in Roman Egypt were not straightforward agreements. They were often associated with other transactions so as to form a specific economic arrangement.Some links are patent and well-attested, such as loans of security, where a sale was associated to a loan in order to form a mortgage, and antichretic leases, while some others are not so easy to spot.In this paper I present and discuss some evidence from the mid-first century grapheion archive of Kronion from Tebtunis, where three registers attest over 1,100transactions drafted in AD 42 and 45/6. My focus is three contracts drawn up on separate days in July and not registered as a group - a deposit, a receipt of salary and an agreement (P.Mich. II 121 verso VI 16, 20; VII 2) - all involve the same parties and clearly formed one more complex economic arrangement. Based on a detailed study of the entries, I will show that contracts are very often connected with other transactions, and some contracting parties are involved in several contract types within a short period of time. I argue that all links between contracts need to be re-examined to reconstruct the actual financial dealings, and to appreciate their real economic significance.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Langellotti M

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 27th International Congress of Papyrology

Year of Conference: 2016

Pages: 1725-1736

Print publication date: 28/07/2016

Acceptance date: 01/07/2014

Date deposited: 06/11/2017

ISSN: 0075-4277

Publisher: The Taubenschlag Foundation


Notes: Proceedings of the 27th Congress of Papyrology to be published by the The Taubenschlag Foundation in 2016. [acceptance date 01/07/2014]

Series Title: Journal of Juristic Papyrology