Vol. I: A Selection

Sappho: third century

Translated by G & H into four ‘rather literal’ verse stanzas, of which this is the first:

‘Sweet Nereids, grant to me | That home unscathed my brother may return, | And every end, for which his soul shall yearn, | Accomplished see!’

Report of a Public Meeting: late third / early fourth century

Excerpted here is ‘an account of a popular demonstration made in honour of the prytanis at Oxyrhynchus on the occasion of a visit from the praefect’:

‘...when the assembly had met, (the people cried) . . . “the Roman power forever! lords Augusti! prosperous praefect, prosperity to our ruler! Hail, . . . president, glory of the city, ... Dioscorus, chief of the citizens! under you our blessings increase evermore, source of our blessings, . . . Prosperity to the patriot, prosperity to the lover of right! Source of our blessings, founder of the city! ...”...’

LI: Report of a Public Physician: AD 173

‘To Claudianus, strategus [chief magistrate], from Dionysus, son of Apollodorus, son of Dionysius, of Oxyrhynchus, public physician. I was to-day instructed by you, through Heraclides your assistant, to inspect the body of a man who had been found hanged, named Hierax, and to report to you my opinion upon it. I therefore inspected the body in the presence of the aforesaid Heraclides at the house of Epagathus, son of . . . merus, son of Sarapion, in the Broad Street quarter, and found it hanged by a noose, which fact I accordingly report.’

“Not fit to be put into writing”: More texts / Excavations and Finds