Parsons Papyrology Exhibit Case
The Parsons Papyrology Exhibit Case, located in the Audubon Room on the first floor of the Hatcher Graduate Library, guarantees that there will always be one piece of ancient papyrus on public display at the U-M Library. The case was made possible by a gift from Gardner and Ann Parsons.
Hours: Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Currently on Display
Private Letters sent by Paniskos to his wife Ploutogenia
These are two letters from the archive of Paniskos and Ploutogenia, found in Kom el-Kharba el-Kebir (the ancient Philadelphia) in the Fayyum. In the first letter, Paniskos asks his wife, Ploutogenia, to join him in Koptos. After two more letters and apparent silence from her, he writes again asking for her to at least send his armor and shield.
P. Mich.inv. 1367.
Koptos, Coptite nome, province of Egypt
ca. 296-297 C.E.
Translation: Paniskos, to my wife Ploutogenia, mother of my daughter, very many greetings. First of all, I pray daily for your good health in the presence of all the gods. I would have you know then, sister*, that we have been staying in Koptos near your sister and her children, so that you may not be grieved about coming to Koptos; for your kinsfolk are here. And just as you desire above all to greet her with many greetings, so she prays daily to the gods desiring to greet you along with your mother. So when you have received this letter of mine make your preparations in order that you may come at once if I send for you. And when you come, bring ten shearings of wool, six jars of olives, four jars of honeyed wine (stagma), and my shield, the new one only, and my helmet. Bring also my lances. Bring also the fittings of the tent. If you find an opportunity, come here with good men. Let Nonnos come with you. Bring all our clothes when you come. When you come, bring your gold ornaments, but
(continued in the left margin:) do not wear them on the boat.
*”brother” and “sister” were common terms of endearment in antiquity
P. Mich.inv. 1364.
Philadelphia, Herakleidou meris, Arsinote nome, province of Egypt
ca. 296-297 C.E.