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ï~~Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists 46 (2009) 139-143 The Embolator in Sixth/ Seventh-Century Papyri Philip Mayerson New York University Abstract The embolator in sixth/seventh-century papyri has nothing to do with the embole per se. He was involved in depositing money payments in the state bank. E.R. Hardy (The Large Estates of Byzantine Egypt) introduced me to the term e IoX&d wp. In a discussion of the privileges granted to the village of Aphrodito and to the estate of the Apiones at Oxyrhynchus regarding the embole, Hardy says that there is no direct evidence as to what the estate boatmen did with the grain they collected for the embole. He then makes this further statement (p. 57): The (Apiones) estate was in touch with embolators, presumably officials charged with collecting the embole, but it is by no means certain that they had to do with the estate in their official capacity. The embolators figure most prominently in the accounts as purchasers of surplus grain. We hear of their receiving fees. But this payment was on the way to become a separate tax (Footnote includes: Presumably the embolator was authorized to purchase grain for the embole with money paid for that tax by adaeratio), and it therefore does not prove other official contact with the embolators. A.C. Johnson and L.C. West (Byantine Egypt: Economic Studies) viewed the embolator in a somewhat different light, saying (p. 327): "The grain from private estates of Oxyrhynchus was delivered to an official called the embolator. His place was taken by the osprigites in the later period."
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