Papyrology: Events and Physical Exhibits

Physical Exhbits

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.

Translation: Paniskos to Ploutogenia, his wife, greeting. I enjoined you when I left that you should not go off to your home, and yet you went. If you wish anything, you do it without taking account on me. But I know that my mother does these things. See, I have sent you three letters and you have not written me even one. If you do not wish to come up to me, no one compels you. These letters I have written to you because your sister compels me here to write. But since you find it impossible to write about this, but write thus about yourself. But I have heard the things which do not concern you. Send me my helmet and my shield and five lances and my breastplate and my belt. I salute your mother Heliodora. The letter carrier said to me when he came to me: "When I was on the point of departing I said to your wife and her mother: 'Give me a letter to take to Paniskos,' and they did not give it." I have sent you one talent by Antoninus from Psinestes. I pray for your welfare.
P.Mich.inv. 1367
P.Mich. inv. 1367


P.Mich. inv. 1364
P.Mich. inv. 1364
Page maintained by Monica Tsuneishi
Last modified: 01/26/2015