An Orphaned Girl Writes to her Aunt

P. Bour. 25 4th Century CE (From LCL Select Papyri, Private Affairs, letters)

“To my mistress and much-loved aunt Tarê, the daughter of your Siter Allous sends you Greeting in God.

Before all else I pray to God that these words find you healthy and happy. This is my prayer.

Know, my lady, that my mother, your sister, died near Easter. When I had my mother at my side, she was my whole family. Since she died, I have remained alone with no one in a foreign land. Remember me, please, aunt, as if my mother still lived, and if you find anyone, send him to me.

Give my greetings to all of our relatives. May the Lord keep keep you safe and healthy for lengthy, peaceful years, my lady.”

Κυρίᾳ μου καὶ ἐπιποθήτῃ θείᾳ Τάρη θυγάτηρ ἀδελφῆς σου Ἀλλοῦτος ἐν θ(ε)ῷ χαίρειν. πρὸ παντὸς εὔχομε τῷ θ(ε)ῷ ὑγιένουσάν σε καὶ εὐθυμοῦσαν ἀπολαβῖν τὰ παρ᾿ ἐμοῦ γράμματα· αὕτη γάρ μού ἐστιν εὐχή. γείνωσκε δέ, κυρία μου, ὅτι ἀπὸ τῶν Πάσχων ἡ μήτηρ μου, ἡ ἀδελφή σου, ἐτελε[ύτη]σεν. ὅ[τ]ε δὲ τὴν μητέρα μου εἶχα μεθ᾿ [ἑ]αυτῆς, ὅλον τὸ γένος μου αὕτη ἦν, ἀφ᾿ οὗ δ[ὲ] ἐτελεύτησεν, ἔμινα ἔρημος μ[η]δένα ἔχουσα ἐπὶ ξένοις τόποις. μνημόνευε οὖν, θεία, ὡς ζώσης τῆς μητρός μου, εἵνα εἴ τινα εὑρίσκις πέμπε πρὸς ἐμέ. προσαγόρευε πᾶσαν τὴν συγγένιαν ἡμῶν. ἐρρωμένην σε ὁ κ(ύριο)ς διαφυλάττοι μακροῖς καὶ εἰρηνικοῖς χρόνοις, κυρία μου.


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A papyrus fragment at Duke

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