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    One of our major sources of information about 6th century Egypt, the Dioscorus archive, has yet to be fully exploited. Some of the older editions, those dating from the beginning of the 20th century, need revision and about eighty descripta remain virtually unpublished. A thorough re-edition is often a prerequisite to any attempt at conducting an extensive study of the documentation.[1] For the last two years, I have been engaged in this double work, emendation and commentary, on the rent contracts and rent receipts for agricultural land in and around the antique village of Aphrodite, a corpus of one hundred texts of which the leases form the majority (sixty-nine papyri).[2] These are mainly designated as misthosis or misthotike homologia but the term antimisthosis also appears and, in the case of this particularly under-represented documentary type, corrections of existing texts and editions of descripta have yielded significant results, both on particular and general issues.

    I. An extended and revised corpus

    Very few documents have been identified as antimisthoseis, not only because the type is extremely rare but also because scholars so far only considered the papyri in which the word itself appears. In one of the latest studies to address the question – although as part of a larger reflection – J.G. Keenan devoted a few pages to the three then known representatives of the kind, P.Cair.Masp. I 67107, P.Michael. 43 and PSI IV 283.[3] In 1996, a fragmentary text was published by A. Syrcou[4] (= SB XXIV 15959). I shall first mention several corrections made in these papyri, before presenting the new evidence I have gathered.

    The date of P.Cair.Masp. I 67107 has long been the subject of a debate. The name of the consul is in a lacuna and two restorations are possible: ὑπατείας Φλαυί[ου Φιλοξένο]υ or ὑπατείας Φλαυί[ου Ἰουστίνο]υ.[5] As the end of the contract is missing, so are the subscriptions, and in particular that of the notary, but I have identified the hand of Ouiktôr 1, whose period of activity extends from 506 to 535.[6] A dating by the consulate of Justin (540) is therefore too late in the century; the text must be assigned to the year 525.

    P.Michael. 43 presents the peculiarity of featuring both a lease, in the form of an antimisthosis, and an acknowledgement of debt. The current location of the papyrus is unknown and the edition only provides a partial reproduction. However, all the information relevant to my demonstration – formula of the antimisthosis and identity of both landlord and tenant – is preserved or has been correctly restored by the editor.

    SB XXIV 15959 also combines an antimisthosis and an acknowledgement of debt but the papyrus is more fragmentary than P.Michael. 43. It only contains the last two lines of the lease, the acknowledgement of debt and the subscriptions; about one third of the breadth is missing on the left side. This lacuna has been underestimated by the editor and the miscalculation imposes corrections at the beginning of every line. I mention here the revisions in the kyria-clause and the subscription: ἡ ἀντιμίσθ(ωσις) κυρία καὶ βεβαία, | [καὶ ἐπερωτηθ(εὶς) ὡμ]ο̣λόγησα. ⳨⳨⳨ (m2) Αὐρ(ήλιος) Βόττος ὁ προκ(είμενος) ἐξε|[μίσ-θωσα κ]αὶ στο̣ιχῖ ὡς πρόκ(ειται) (ll. 10–12).[7] The landlord is to be identified with the protokometes Bottos son of Promaôs.[8]

    PSI IV 283 has been known specifically as an antimisthosis since J.G. Keenan's emendation of Ἀντιν[ to ἀντιμ[ίϲθωϲιϲ] (l. 24). The kyria-clause must be restored ἡ̣ ἀντιμ[ίσθωσις] | κ[υρία καὶ βεβαία, καὶ ἐπερ]ωτηθ(έντες) ὡμολογ[̣ήσαμεν (ll. 24–25). Another correction concerns the identity of the landlord, not a pagarch Alexandros for whom there is no other attestation in the Dioscorus Archive, but the well-known pagarch Ioulianos: Φλ̣(άυιος) Ἰο̣υλι̣ανὸς̣ ἐνδοξό̣τ̣[(ατος) ἰλλο]ύστρι̣[ο]ς̣ καὶ π[άγαρχος] | τ̣ῆ̣ς Ἀντ[αιοπολι]τ̣(ῶν) (ll. 5–6).[9] The restoration of the function led me in turn to the reading of l. 10, where the contract mentions the duration of the lease, "for as long as [we shall be in charge] of the pagarchy of the same city."[10]

    In addition to those four documents, I have identified another long-known contract as an antimisthosis, despite the absence of the word in what remains of the papyrus. P.Cair.Masp. I 67103 consists of two independent fragments which preserve, on the one hand, the beginning of the lease (date and address) and, on the other, the subscriptions. The kyria-clause is in a lacuna; therefore the exact terminology is lost, but the address and the subscription by the landlord, who signs using the verb ἐκμιϲθῶ, are typical of the antimisthosis (cf. infra).

    Two others leases, written for the most part in the usual form of the misthosis, present limited traits of the antimisthosis.[11] In P.Cair.Masp. I 67105 the subscription is written by the landlord: (m2) Ϯ̣̣ ὁ δημόσιος λόγος δ(ι᾿) ἡμῶν | Βίκτωρ καὶ Ἐνὼχ ἐξ(πελλευτῶν) δ(ι᾿) ἐμοῦ | Φοιβάμμων ἀπαι[τ(ητοῦ)] ἐξεμί⟨σθ⟩ω̣|σα{ς} ὡς πρόκ(ειται). χμ̣γ Ϯ (ll. 27–30).[12] In P.Lond. V 1690 the endorsement reads [ἀ]ντιμ(ίσθωσις) τοῦ ἁγίου μοναστηρίου Ζμ[ινος].[13]

    P.Lond. V 1841 descr., partially transcribed by H.I. Bell, was rightly described by J.G. Keenan as "a lease in the rarely surviving antimisthosis format."[14] Consultation of the original enabled me to make several corrections, in particular in the opening formula ἐ̣ξεμ̣[ίσ]θωσ̣ά̣ σ̣ο̣ι (l. 8), and to read the endorsement: ἀντιμ(ίσθωσις) Θε[ονό]η[ς] Π̣όννι̣[το]ς τ̣[ρί]του μέ̣ρους, followed by an illegible toponym.[15]

    Finally, the reedition of two papyri, only described by J. Maspero, further completes the corpus. The first consists of the join I have made of three pieces edited under different numbers with only the partial transcription of the notary's signature in the third fragment. P.Cair.Masp. II 67236 descr., in one piece, represents the top right half of the total fragment; P.Cair.Masp. II 67241 descr., a puzzle of five fragments several of which were not in their right position under the glass, represents the top left half; P.Cair. Masp. II 67262 descr. preserves the bottom right half. This last piece (frag. B) is not contiguous to the main part (frag. A).

    P.Cair.Masp. II 67236 descr. + 67241 descr. + 67262 descr. Plates I–II A) l. 12.7 × h. 12.8 cm B) l. 7.5 × h. 9.3 cm
    AD 514–527 Aphrodité
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    [         ± 13        ἐκκλησίας ἄπα]
    Παμινίο[υ σὺν λάκκῳ καὶ μονῇ καὶ]
    παντὶ δι[κ]αίῳ κατὰ τὰ ὅρια, ἐφ᾿ ᾧ σε
    4 τοῦ̣το γεωργῆσαι καὶ σπερμοβολῆσαι
    καὶ τοὺς φ[ό]ρους παρέξεις μο[ι]
    ἐπ᾿ ἀποτάκτ̣ῳ σίτου καθαροῦ ἀρτά[βας]
    ἑβ̣δομή̣κοντα ἓξ καὶ κριθῶν ἀρτ[άβας]
    8 δέκα ἐννέα τῷ σῷ μέτρῳ,
    πρὸς ἐμὲ τὰ δημοσία καὶ ἄλλ[α.]
    ἡ ἀντιμίσθωσ(ις) κυρία καὶ βεβαί[α,]
    καὶ ἐπερωτηθεὶς ὡ[μ]ολόγ[η]σα̣.⳨
    12 [(m. 2) Αὐρή]λ̣ιος Βίκτ̣[ωρ ὁ προκ(είμενος)]
    [ἐξεμίσθω]σα{ς} [ὡς πρό(κειται).]
    [(m. 3) Aὐρήλιος Κόλλου]θος Π[  ̣  ̣  ̣  ̣ μαρτυρῶ]
    [τῇ ἀντιμισθώσ]ε̣ι ἀκούσα̣[ς παρὰ τοῦ]
    16 [θεμένου.]
    (m. 1) [⳨ ἐγράφη δι᾿] ἐ̣[μοῦ Ἰ]σακίου νομικ(οῦ) Θ̣(εοῦ θέλοντος).
    (from top to bottom)
    vo  [(m. 1) ἀντιμίσθωσις Βίκ]τ̣ο̣ρος Μακαρίου Κωσ[τ]αντίου κλήρ(ου) Βε[ - - ]

    The second papyrus, P.Cair.Masp. II 67242 descr., is complete but in a very bad condition.[16] J. Maspero described it as "presque entièrement rongé par le sebakh," indicated the date and gave the transcription of a couple of lines only. These contracts being very formulaic, I have been able to restore most of the text, from which I quote the beginning of the address, τ̣ὸ δίκαι̣ον̣ τοῦ ἁγίου μονασ̣τ̣η̣ρίου ἄπα̣ [Σ]ενο̣[ύθου ἀρ]χ̣ιμανδ̣ρ̣ίτου δ̣ιὰ τοῦ θε̣ο̣φιλεσ̣τ̣[άτ]ο̣υ̣ | ἄ̣π̣[α] Ἰ̣ωάν[ν]ου ἀρχ̣ιμανδρί̣̣τ̣̣ου̣ (ll. 5–6); the opening formula μ̣εμ̣ίσθωκα ὑ̣[μ]ῖν (l. 7); the kyria-clause ἡ ἀν̣[τιμίσθωσ]ι̣ς̣ κ̣υ̣ρ̣ί[α] καὶ βεβαία (l. 22) and the endorsement ⳨ ἀντιμίσ̣θ̣(ωσις) τοῦ ἁγίου μον̣α̣[σ]τη̣ρ(ίου) ἄ̣π̣α̣ Σ̣ενο[ύ]θο[υ][17]

    II. Diplomatic features

    The term ἀντιμίσθωσις appears exclusively in papyri from the Dioscorus archive written at Aphrodite and, due to the scarcity of texts, this particular type of document has only been marginally studied by scholars. Nevertheless, a consensus has gradually emerged around a limited definition: i.e. a lease written, contrary to the usual Byzantine practice, from the standpoint of the lessor and which differs from the common misthosis in that respect only.[18] A parallel is often drawn with SB III 6612 (dated 365), a sale referred to as an ἀντίπρασις and emanating from the purchaser, at a time when drafting by the seller in praseis was as much de rigueur as drafting by the tenant in misthoseis.

    In keeping with this interpretation and in spite of J.G. Keenan's suggestion of a two-stage process to explain the existence of this special form of lease – first a regular misthosis was established, then a copy was made for the lessee and the text adapted so that it would appear to have been written by the lessor[19] – I consider that the antimisthosis was as genuine as the misthosis and the text directly written in its specific form. Documents show that there is an exact equivalence between the two words, and therefore between the two types of contract.[20] The antimisthosis stands on its own and to all intents and purposes is as legally valid and binding as the more common misthosis.

    By doubling the number of documents under consideration – eight papyri, to which I add the two marginal uses of elements typical of the antimisthosis in P.Cair.Masp. I 67105 and P.Lond. V 1690 – it becomes possible to detail the specificities of its diploma, already outlined in a general way by J.G. Keenan.[21] I establish three distinctive features.

    The first, of course, is the use of the word ἀντιμίσθωσις itself, in the kyria-clause, the signature of witnesses or the endorsement, with the further difference that it is the name of the lessor which is then recalled on the verso and not that of the lessee as is the rule in misthoseis.

    The second is the use of the verb ἐκμισθόω (in the active) by the landlord in the opening formula of the contract and in the subscription, instead of the simple μισθόω (in the middle) by the lessee in misthoseis.[22] Also, antimisthoseis seem to have been written exclusively as cheirographa, whereas in the Dioscorus archive homologiai are more common among misthoseis.[23]

    Finally, the point of view of the expression is reverted: the first person refers to the landlord, from whom the contract emanates, and the second person to the lessee. The presence of any of those three elements in a lease from Aphrodite indicates that we are dealing with an antimisthosis, or at least, that the passage has been worded according to the diplomatic rules of the antimisthosis.

    antimisthosis misthosis
    address ὁ δεῖνα (landowner) τῷ δεῖνι (tenant)
    τῷ δεῖνι (L) ὁ δεῖνα (T)
    τῷ δεῖνι (L) παρὰ τοῦ δεῖνος (T)
    opening formula ἐξεμίσθωσά ϲοι
    μεμίσθωμαι παρὰ σοῦ
    ὁμολογῶ μεμισθῶσθαι παρὰ σοῦ
    1st person = landowner
    2nd person = tenant
    1st person = tenant
    2nd person = landowner
    kyria-clause ἀντιμίσθωσις κυρία καὶ βεβαία ἡ μίσθωσις κυρία καὶ βεβαία
    subscription the landowner ἐξεμίσθωσα the tenant μεμίσθωμαι
    endorsement ἀντιμίσθωσις + name of the landowner μίσθωσις + name of the tenant

    III. Social considerations

    The following table records some elements of information provided by the ten documents discussed in this paper, in particular the identities of landlord and tenant, with the indication of their social status and origo.

    Date Notary Landowner Tenant
    P.Cair.Masp. II 67236 + 67241 + 67262 514–527 Isak[24] Aur. Biktôr,[25] s. Makarios gds. Kôstantios Aur. Bêsariôn, s. Dioskoros (Aphrodite)
    P.Cair.Masp. I 67107 29.5–30.11.525 Ouiktôr 1 Iôannês, s. Makarios, priest (Aphrodite) Aur. Bêsariôn, s. Dioskoros, s. Psimanôbet (Aphrodite)
    P.Michael. 43 8.6.526 Abraam The daughters of Fl. Samouêl, s. Kollouthos, soldier of the numerus of the Ptolemaïd nome (Tanyaithis, Apollonopolite Minor ) Aur. Phoibammôn, s. Triadelphos, misthotes (Aphrodite)
    P.Cair.Masp. I 67103 16.9.526 Enôch, singularis The demosios logos (through officials of Antaiopolis) Aur. Bêsariôn, s. Dioskoros (Aphrodite)
    P.Lond. V 1690 29.8.527 Abraam The koinon of the monks of the monastery of Zmin (Panopolite) Aur. Apollôs, s. Dioskoros, protokometes (Aphrodite)
    P.Cair.Masp. I 67105 28.9–27.10.532 The demosios logos (through officials of Antaiopolis) Aur. Paulos, s. Mousaios, joint-tax-payer (Aphrodite)
    P.Lond. V 1841 descr. 10.9.536 Abraam Aurelia Theonoê, d. Ponnis, s. Piriôn (Aphrodite) Aur. Phoibammôn, s. Triadelphos, (Aphrodite)
    SB XXIV 15959 520–545 Abraam[26] Aur. Bottos (Aphrodite)
    P.Cair.Masp. II 67242 descr. 5.9.547 Hermauôs The monastery of Apa Senouthes (Panopolite) N.N., s. Stephanos and another tenant (Thmonechthê)[27]
    PSI IV 283 22.12.550 Fl. Ioulianos, illustris and pagarch (Antaiopolis) Aur. Phoibammôn, s. Triadelphos, joint-tax-payer (Aphrodite)

    In the introduction to his study on absentee landlordism, J.G. Keenan indicates that "land tenure at Aphrodito (...) suggests a rich and varied tapestry (...). It is even possible to perceive a taxonomy of Aphroditan landholders, ranging from indigenous magnates, secular absentee landlords, monastic and ecclesiastical landlords (whether based in Aphrodito or elsewhere) to native small-holders."[28] Later on, he focuses on two categories of landowners, secular absentee and monasteries and churches, and considers only two kinds of documents, antimisthoseis and rent receipts. These restrictions might suggest a link between the landlord's status and the typology of the lease: misthosis for local individuals, antimisthosis for institutions and absentee landlords.

    Yet, in the newly extended corpus all the different kinds of lessors are attested: secular absentee landlords (P.Michael. 43 and PSI IV 283); public institution (P.Cair.Masp. I 67103 and 67105); monasteries (P.Cair.Masp. II 67142 descr. and P.Lond. V 1690); Aphroditan landholders (P.Cair.Masp. I 67107, II 67236 descr. + 67241 descr. + 67262 descr., P.Lond. V 1841 descr. and SB XXIV 15959).

    On the other hand, when one considers the category of tenants in antimisthoseis, the list appears to be limited to members of the village elite: Bêsariôn and Apollôs both made a public career as protokometes; Paulos son of Mousaios presents himself as a joint tax-payer (συντελεστής).[29] Phoibammôn son of Triadelphos is known as a protokometes (SB XX 15018, 2) and a joint-tax-payer (PSI IV 283, 7). In P.Cair. Masp. II 67242 descr., the two tenants from Thmonechthê pay one of the highest rent in the documentation (sixty-three artabas of wheat, three nomismata for the barley and the date-trees, eight carats for a pigeon house and other contributions in nature). They must be men of means, local residents who offered guaranties of payment.

    The distribution of leases between misthosis and antimisthosis may depend on the social status of the lessee. For the sake of comparison, I have first considered the category of tenant in the misthoseis addressed to a secular absentee landowner, a public institution, or a monastery, each of whom is rather underrepresented in this type of lease.[30] The following table shows a clear division between antimisthoseis, reserved for the local elite, and misthoseis, emanating from tenants belonging to a lower order of the village society.[31]

    Landowner antimisthosis misthosis Tenant in misthoseis
    secular absentee landlord P.Michael. 43 P.Cair.Masp. III 67113 shepherd
    PSI IV 283 P.Flor. III 281 shepherd
    P.Lond. V 1689 shepherd
    P.Cair.Masp. I 67104[32]
    δημόσιος λόγος P.Cair.Masp. I 67103 P.Cair.Masp. I 67106 shepherds
    P.Cair.Masp. I 67105
    churches or monasteries P.Cair.Masp. I 67242 descr. P.Cair.Masp. I 67101 shepherd
    P.Lond. V 1690 P.Köln. II 104 + P.Vat.Aphrod. 2 illiterate
    P.Hamb. I 68 illiterate
    P.Lond. V 1698 village elite

    In the rest of the documentation, which consists in forty-one misthoseis with an Aphroditan landowner, we find:

    • 14 leases emanating from shepherds, all of whom are illiterate,
    • 10 leases emanating from illiterate tenants whose occupation is unknown,
    • 14 leases emanating from georgoi or misthotai: 6 bradeôs graphontes, 6 illiterate and 2 whose level of literacy is unknown.
    • 3 leases emanating from members of the village elite.

    The social distinction should therefore be made between those who actually cultivate the land (tenants in misthoseis) and those who act as middlemen, renting land from absentee landowners and subletting it to local georgoi or shepherds (tenants in antimisthoseis).

    It remains to explain, or at least try to explain, the existence of the three rent contracts – to which one should add P.Lond. V 1698 – where the lessee is known as a leading member of the local community. If one may be assigned to the 530's (SB XXVI 16666), two date from the second half of the 6th century (P.Ross.Georg. III 44 – 553 and P.Lond. V 1698 – 563–572) and one from the beginning of the 7th (P.Mich. XIII 666).[33] This suggests that the antimisthosis may have disappeared after 550.[34]

    To conclude, antimisthoseis are not only limited in number, although I have added to it, they are also limited in space, being attested only in the Dioscorus archive. They are limited to a certain category of tenants, those belonging to the elite of Aphrodite, while common village folks seem to have been barred from it. They even appear to have been limited in time, later leases with the same kind of tenants reverting to the more common misthosis format.

    Plate I: P.Cair.Masp. II 67236 + 67241 + 67262 Recto
    Plate I
    P.Cair.Masp. II 67236 + 67241 + 67262 Recto
    Plate II: P.Cair.Masp. II 67236 + 67241 Verso (Detail)
    Plate II
    P.Cair.Masp. II 67236 + 67241 Verso (Detail)


    • *

      For financial support enabling me to attend the Ann Arbor Congress, acknowledgement is made to the Institut de papyrologie de la Sorbonne (EA 2558) and the Institut de recherche et d'histoire des textes (UPR 841). I would also like to record my gratitude to the various institutions and people who helped me in the course of my research: the CNRS unit "Étude des civilisations de l'Antiquité" (UMR 7044) and Prof. J.-L. Fournet for providing me with the digital images of the Dioscorus papyri; the Institut français d'archéologie orientale, for the grant of two bursaries in order to consult the original documents kept in the Cairo Museum, and Mr. S. Hassan, curator of the department of papyrology at the Cairo Museum, who gave me access to them; Prof. R. Pintaudi, curator of the papyri collection in the Biblioteca Laurenziana, who also provided an access to the papyri in this collection. I am very grateful to Prof. J.-L. Fournet for his comments both on style and substance and to Prof. A. Bülow-Jacobsen for correcting the English of these pages. Any defects that remain are naturally my responsibility.return to text

    1. Cf. on Dioscorus' poems, J.-L. Fournet, Hellénisme dans l'Égypte du vie siècle: la bibliothèque et l'œuvre de Dioscore d'Aphrodité (Cairo 1999); and more recently on the tax register of 525/526, C. Zuckerman, Du village à l'Empire. Autour du registre fiscal d'Aphroditô (525/526) (Paris 2004).return to text

    2. This paper focuses on ten documents from the corpus of my Ph.D., prepared at the École Pratique des Hautes Études and at the Université Paris Sorbonne-Paris IV. The subject, "Les baux ruraux à Aphrodité au VIe siècle de notre ère: les contrats de location et les reçus de loyer des archives de Dioscore," has been suggested by my supervisor, Prof. J.-L. Fournet.return to text

    3. J.G. Keenan, "Absentee Landlordism at Aphrodito," BASP 22 (1985) 137–169; on the antimisthosis, 143–147.return to text

    4. A. Syrcou, "Six Byzantine Documents," APF 42 (1996) 79–111, document n. 5 at 103–109.return to text

    5. The first solution, proposed by H.I. Bell (BL V, 21), is accepted by C. Zuckerman, op.cit. (above, n. 1) 29, n. 17; the second is favored by J. Maspero, R.S. Bagnall (BL IX, 43) and P. Sarris, Economy and Society in the Age of Justinian (Cambridge 2006) 101.return to text

    6. J. Diethart and K.A. Worp, Notarsunterschriften im byzantinischen Ägypten (Byz.Not.) (Vienna 1986) 29–30. A comparison of the handwritings in the documents attributed to Ouiktôr reveals that there are in fact two notaries bearing that name, Ouiktôr 1 for the vast majority of texts and Ouiktôr 2 who wrote P.Cair.Masp. III 67301.return to text

    7. A. Syrcou proposed the restorations βεβαία [καὶ] | [ἐπερ(ωτηθεὶς) ὡμ]ολόγησα (ll. 10–11) and ἐξε[μ(ίσθωσα)] | [ ± 5 κ]αὶ {στ} στοιχῖ (ll. 11–12).return to text

    8. The handwriting of the subscription in SB XXIV 15959 is similar to that of the subscriptions by the protokometes Bottos in P.Cair.Masp. I 67114, P.Flor. III 280, 288, 290 and P.Lond. V 1667, 1668, 1669.return to text

    9. The pagarch Ioulianos is attested with the predicate ἐνδοξότατος and the title illustris in SB XVI 12510.4–5, dated 551, a few months after PSI IV 283 (22 December 550).return to text

    10. [ἐ]φ̣᾿ ὅσον χρόνον  ̣  ̣ [ ± 7 ] | τ̣ὴ̣ν πα̣γαρ̣χ̣είαν τῆς α̣[ὐτῆ]ς̣ πόλεως (ll. 9–10).return to text

    11. In the Byzantine period, leases are written from the standpoint of the lessee, who acknowledges to have leased the land from the landlord (μεμίσθωμαι παρὰ σοῦ or ὁμολογῶ μεμισθῶσθαι παρὰ σοῦ) and signs the document (ὁ δεῖνα μεμίσθωμαι ὡς πρόκειται). Cf. S. Waszynski, Die Bodenpacht (Leipzig 1905) 36; J. Herrmann, Studien zur Bodenpacht im Recht des graeco-aegyptischen Papyri (Munich 1958) 43–54; H. Müller, Untersuchungen zur μίσθωσις von Gebäuden im Recht der gräko-ägyptischen Papyri (Cologne 1985) 32–39.return to text

    12. J. Maspero edited [Αυρ( )] Φοιβαμμων (l. 29) and εξεμισ̣[θ ( )]| [  ̣  ̣  ̣  ̣ ]σας (ll. 29–30).return to text

    13. H.I. Bell proposed ]τ̣ι̣κ̣η̣ at the beginning of the endorsement. return to text

    14. Keenan, op.cit. (above, n. 3) 143, n. 30.return to text

    15. H.I. Bell read με̣μ̣ί̣[σ]θωκά̣ σ̣ο̣ι̣ and mentioned the existence of an endorsement being "only partially legible" (P.Lond. V, p. 268).return to text

    16. I am particularly indebted to Mr. M. Mohammed from the Cairo Museum for assembling of P.Cair.Masp. II 67236 descr. + 67241 descr. and the important restoration work he realized on P.Cair.Masp. II 67242 descr. I would like to thank Mr. S. Hassan for giving me permission to take pictures of the newly assembled and restored papyri.return to text

    17. The address is corrected from [Tω] δι[καιω] του αγιου μονασ̣[τηρ]ι̣ο̣υ̣ α̣β̣[βα] Εν[ωχ του αρχ]ιμ̣ανδ̣ρ̣[ιτ]ου, δ̣ια του̣ θ̣[εο]φ̣[ιλεστατου] | [αββα I]ωαν[ν]ο̣υ α̣ρ̣[χ]ιμανδ̣ρ̣[ιτου].return to text

    18. This definition was elaborated as a reaction against all the hypotheses which tended to see in the antimisthosis something else than a simple lease in an adapted formula. Cf. H. Comfort, "Notes on requests and χειρόγραφα among late byzantine land leases," Aegyptus 14 (1934) 289–292 (on χειρόγραφα "emanating from the lessor," p. 290); R. Taubenschlag, The Law of Greco-Roman Egypt (Warsaw 19552) 387, n. 1 (antimisthoseis "are not sub-leases but leases"); D.S. Crawford, P.Michael, p. 93 (against the translation "sub-letting"); G. Malz, "The Papyri of Dioscorus: Publications and Emendations," in Studi in Onore di A. Calderini e R. Paribeni II (Milan 1957) 356; J. Herrmann, "Bemerkungen zur den μίσθωσις-Urkunden des Papyri Michaelidae," CdÉ 32 (1957) 125; eund., Studien zur Bodenpacht im Recht des graeco-aegyptischen Papyri (Munich 1958) 14 (against F. Preisigke, who suggested the translation "Ackerpachtung, Pachtvertrag, Afterpacht," in WB I, 137). A. Syrcou's interpretation of the antimisthosis as a "contract where the lease comes as a result of the loan to secure it" (op.cit. [above, n. 4] 104) is too limited and does not account for the six other documents which, unlike SB XXIV 15959 and P.Michael. 43, do not feature an acknowledgement of debt after the lease.return to text

    19. Keenan, op.cit. (above, n. 3) 143.return to text

    20. In P.Michael 43, two witnesses refer to the contract as an antimisthosis (ll. 23 and 24), but one as a simple misthosis (l. 22). P.Cair.Masp. I 67105 and P.Lond. V 1690 present a mixture of both types. In P.Ross.Georg. III 33, a contract of sub-lease for the same γεώργιον as in P.Cair.Masp. I 67107, the original lease between Bêsariôn and the priest Iôannês, son of Makarios, is simply refered to as a misthosis (ll. 20–22: [π]ρ̣ὸς τὴν δύναμιν | [τῆς μισθώσεω]ς̣ τοῦ αὐτοῦ εὐλαβεστάτου | [πρεσβ(υτέρου)]). Finally, we do find elsewhere in Egypt at the same period a few rent contracts emanating from the lessor and these are designated as misthoseis: BGU I 349 (313), SB XVI 13004 (314), P.Gen. I 10 (316), P.Rain.Cent. 101 (427), CPR X 119 (491), SB XXII 15729 (639).return to text

    21. Keenan, op.cit. (above, n. 3) 143: "They [antimisthoseis] were formulaically adapted. (...) The antimisthosis has the lessor in the first person and usually uses the verb form ἐξεμίσθωσα or some variation thereof."return to text

    22. The use of the compound verb is not systematic. Cf. P.Cair.Masp. II 67242.7: μ̣εμ̣ίσθωκα ὑ̣[μ]ῖν.return to text

    23. For the antimisthosis: five cheirographa, and three documents where the formula is lost; for the misthosis: forty-one homologiai (ὁμολογῶ - - - μεμισθῶσθαι παρὰ σοῦ), eight cheirographa (μεμίσθωμαι παρὰ σοῦ) and eleven documents with the beginning of the contract in the lacuna.return to text

    24. For a list of the documents drafted and signed by the notary Isak, and an estimation of his period of activity, cf. Diethart and Worp, op.cit. (above, n. 6) 27–28.return to text

    25. I adopted the Latin transliteration which is closest to the original Greek (Βίκτωρ Μακαρίου vs. Οὐίκτωρ).return to text

    26. J.-L. Fournet, in his introduction to P.Köln X 421 (pp. 186–187), has added to the list of documents attributed to Abraam and has limited his period of activity to the years 524–545. A few other contracts are to be attributed to this notary, among which are P.Lond. V 1699 (11 August 520), P.Lond. V 1693 (summer or autumn 523) and P.Lond. V 1688 (24 December 523).return to text

    27. The identity of the tenants, who originate from Thmonechthê, a neighbouring village of Aphrodite, is recorded in one of the most damaged sections of the papyrus. The patronym of one of them reappears later in the document. The plot of land (ktêma) used to be leased out to the father: δ̣ι̣α̣κε̣ί̣μενον ἐν πε̣διάδι κώμης Θ̣[μον]ε̣χ̣θη π̣ρ̣ότερον ὑπὸ Στε̣φ̣α̣ν̣ὸν [τ]ὸν̣ σ̣ὸν̣ πα̣τ̣έρα (l. 12).return to text

    28. Keenan, op.cit. (above, n. 3) 141. The classification here considers the entire documentation which provides information on land tenure at Aphrodite: rent receipts, leasing agreements with an absentee landlord as well as between Aphroditans, sales, etc.return to text

    29. When not in charge of the public affairs of the village, Apollôs also presents himself as a joint-tax-payer (P.Flor. III 283.4–5 and P.Ross.Georg. III 36.4–5). For a biography of Apollôs, cf. J.G. Keenan, "Aurelius Apollos and the Aphrodite Village Elite," in Atti del XVII Congresso internazionale di papirologia (Naples 1984) 957–963; for a summary of Bêsariôn's and Apollôs's careers as protokometai, cf. C. Zuckermann, Du village à l'Empire (Paris 2004) 47–48; on Phoibammôn, cf. J.G. Keenan, "Aurelius Phoibammon, son of Triadelphus: A Byzantine Egyptian Land Entrepreneur," BASP 17 (1980) 145–154.return to text

    30. I have left out of this discussion two leases described as homologiai and presenting some untypical formulas which set them apart from the common misthosis (P.Cair.Masp. I 67108 and P.Mich. XIII 667), as well as the seven fragmentary documents in which the identity of the lessor is not preserved (P.Cair.Masp. II 67239 descr.; P.Lond. V 1697; 1879 descr.; P.Michael. 60; P.Palau.Rib. 23; SB XXIV 15959; P.Vat.Aphrod. 3 A+C).return to text

    31. P.Cair.Masp. I 67105 and P.Lond. V 1690 are written for the most part in the misthosis format but feature traits of the antimisthosis. In both cases, the tenant belongs to the village elite: the social factor accounts for the diplomatic irregularities.return to text

    32. In P.Cair.Masp. I 67104, the notary did not mention the lessor's origo but there is a high degree of probability that we are dealing with yet another secular absentee landlord, the megaloprepestate daughther of the megaloprepestatos and endoxotatos Count Iôannês, represented by the peribleptos procurator and Count Mênas. return to text

    33. P.Ross.Georg. III 44.2 mentions a "coming third indiction." The tenant Mênas son of Phoibammôn is attested in October 552 (Phaôphi of a first indiction) in P.Flor. III 286.6. P.Lond. V 1698 has been drafted by the notary Kyros 3 attested from 563 to 572. On the dating of P.Mich. XIII 666, cf. R.S. Bagnall and K.A. Worp, "Dating the Coptic Legal Documents from Aphrodite," ZPE 148 (2004) 247–252, who propose the year 647/648, and L.S.B. MacCoull, CdÉ 82 (2007) 381–388, who prefers 632.return to text

    34. The chronological argument should be handled with caution: out of the sixty-eight leases discussed here, about two-third date back to the first half of the 6th Century, and only one-third to the second half. Leases may still have been drafted in the antimisthosis format after 550, and not been preserved in the Dioscorus Archive.return to text