ï~~Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists 47 (2010) 75-85
A Delayed Money Transfer'
Cavan Concannon Macquarie University
Edition of a fragmentary Greek letter from the first or second century
CE in which a priest of Thoeris instructs the addressee to go after a
money order (Tr[01Kflrl).
P.Vindob. G 31907 is a fragmentary letter. The writing is evenly spaced,
and letters are generally written separately, though occasional ligatures affect
the shape of some of them. For example, a cursive kappa written in two movements of the hand occurs side-by-side with one written in three movements
(compare Kcat in lines 3 and 10). The letter forms date the letter to the first or
second century CE.2 Of particular note is the strangely formed nu.3 It is shaped
like a pi with a serif on the final foot and can only be distinguished from a pi
by the slight downward slope of the second movement of the hand; the second
movement of pi slopes slightly upward.
The verso contains part of the address, mentioning the author of the letter.
The verso also contains a mark in the form of an X, which lacks its center after
the removal of the string that closed the original document, which was rolled
up horizontally from the right. This is usually found in the middle, which suggests that line 2 here was the middle of the text on the recto. Since greetings
start in line 9, we can further assume that the letter would have drawn to a
close shortly after where the text breaks off. The margins on the left and right
are preserved. A blank space may have followed the end of the text, but if we
discount this, the complete document will have measured roughly 20 x 11 cm.
I want to thank Peter van Minnen for his help and support. Without him, this paper
would not have been possible. Any remaining errors are mine.
2 W. Schubart, Griechische Paliographie (Mfinchen 1925) 47ff.
3 The best parallel to this form of the nu is in Schubart's Abb. 34, P.Berol. inv. 6854,
written during the reign of Trajan (Schubart [n. 2] 59-60).