ï~~Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists 45 (2008) 241-246
Much Ado about the Grape Harvest
A Letter from Apollonios to his Father
Jennifer Sheridan Moss Wayne State University
In this third-fourth century CE letter, which mentions the Hermopolite village of Monoi, a certain Apollonios asks his father for assistance
as he prepares for the harvest of grapes. Because the letter contains
some unusual vocabulary, it is not clear if all of Apollonios' requests
are related to the harvest.
P.Mich. inv. 414 belongs to a lot that was purchased by Grenfell and Kelsey
in Egypt in March and April of 1920 (Michigan inventory numbers 1-534). It
is catalogued in an inventory that Hunt wrote in Oxford the same year. There
is a hand-written notation in the inventory that indicates that this papyrus was
published in volume eleven of the Michigan Papyri, but this is not the case, nor
is it mentioned in the commentary or notes of P.Mich. 11. In fact, this error
is the result of a transposition of digits (inv. 441 for 414): P.Mich. 11 includes
P.Mich. inv. 441 (= P.Mich. 11.611), a fact that was not noted in the inventory.
This mistake probably explains why such a well-preserved and interesting text
has remained unpublished until now.
This nearly complete 17-line text is written with the fibers of a light-colored papyrus sheet. The top, right, and bottom margins are intact. There is a
kollesis 5.7 cm from the left edge. The papyrus sheet has sustained only a small
amount of damage; a narrow strip that contained 2-4 letters is missing from the
left side of 11. 1-8. Much of the text on the missing strip is easily reconstructed.
A small tear in the center of 11. 9-11 has been repaired by a modern conserva1I dedicate this article to Jim Keenan, my dear friend and colleague in the amicitia
papyrologorum, on the occasion of his sixty-fifth birthday. My edition of this papyrus
was aided by Traianos Gagos, Ken Walters, Katy McNamee, and the anonymous referees; my thanks to them all. The image of the papyrus is reproduced with the kind
permission of Traianos Gagos of the University of Michigan.