Private Letters from the Archive of Claudius Tiberianus

Private Letter
P. Mich. Inv. 5391
Karanis, 28-B167D2-C

This letter from Claudius Terentianus to his father acknowledges receipt of certain articles of clothing (apparently not the items he asked for) and requests military equipment and more clothing.

Claudius Terentianus to Claudius Tiberianus, his lord and dearest father, very many greetings.

Before all else, I pray that you be strong and cheerful and well, together with our entire family, and I am pleased whenever I have news from you.

Know, father, that I have received...a cloak, a tunic, and the girdled clothes, and from Nepotianus.... But you gave him rough ones. Do you come.... You know very well how much he has lied to his comrades. Know that I am being sent off to Syria and am about to leave with a detachment. [I asked him] to give [them] to me, but [he] denied that he had the rough ones. He said to me: “If you do not me, I shall tell your father.” If I did not need to..., I would have returned it to him gladly, so that you might recover from him our....

Both Kalabel and Deipistus have enlisted in the Augustan fleet [of Alexandria]... no one has reckoned up the chances of his life... nor do I hate Marcellus on this account. Since they were nothing to me—[I say this] in the presence of the gods—but words, I conceived a hatred of no one. I went... by boat, and with their help I enlisted in the fleet lest I seem to you to wander like a fugitive, lured on by a bitter hope.

I ask and beg you, father, for I have no one dear to me except you, after the gods, to send to me by Valerius a battle sword, a..., a pickaxe, a grappling iron, two of the best lances obtainable, a cloak of beaver skin, and a girdled tunic, together with my trousers, so that I may have them, since I wore out my tunic before I entered the service and my trousers were laid away new. And if you are going to send anything, put an address on everything and describe the distinguishing features to me by letter lest any exchange be made en route. And if you write me a letter, address it: on the liburnian of Neptune.

Know that everything is going well at home, through the beneficence of the gods. I sent you 2 jars of olives, one in brine and one black. These jars are the same as those...[that] I sent; from them you can identify these too. I ask and beg you, father, to go to the Delta on a trading boat, so that you may buy and send three breeders.... My mother, my father Ptolemaios, and all my brothers [salute] you. Salute Aphrodisia, Isityche, ... Serenus the clerk, your colleague Marcellus, your colleague Terentius, and all your comrades.

I pray that you enjoy good health for many years, together with your family. Farewell.

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