Writing in Graeco-Roman Egypt

Lease of Land
26 AD
Tebtunis, Egypt

P.Mich.inv 631

The subscription reads: We, Paopis, son of Orseus, [and my son], Orseus, and Semenis, son of Haryotes, [Persians of the] epigone, have leased from Haryotes, [son of Haryotes], as aforesaid. [. . .], son of Lysimachos, wrote [for them] because Orseus writes [slowly] and the others are illiterate.
I, Orseus, son of Paopis, ordered him to write.

In this type of subscription, the slow writer, Orseus, has a friend write the bulk of the subscription, and then signs only his name. The signature of Orseus is the second line from the bottom in this image, written in the carefully formed block letters of a semi-literate person.

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