A gift of one eunuch and four slave boys : P.Cair.Zen. I 59076 and historical construction

Journal article


Krautbauer, Anna, Llewelyn, Stephen R. and Wassell, Blake. (2014). A gift of one eunuch and four slave boys : P.Cair.Zen. I 59076 and historical construction. Journal for the Study of Judaism. 45(3), pp. 305-325. https://doi.org/10.1163/15700631-12340058
AuthorsKrautbauer, Anna, Llewelyn, Stephen R. and Wassell, Blake
Abstract

P.Cair.Zen. I 59076 is a letter sent by Toubias, the head of an influential Jewish family in the Transjordan, to Apollonios, an important official of the Ptolemaic king. It concerns the dispatch of a eunuch and four boys to him. The article focuses on the role of the eunuch. It critiques the accepted view that he was the boys’ tutor arguing instead that he was of value in his own right as a personal attendant in an elite household. The role of eunuchs more generally is discussed to bolster the argument. If correct, there must have been a perceived demand for such persons in royal and elite households. This in turn has implications for the possible fate of the four boys, who are all prepubescent. Though the papyrus illustrates the means by which the Tobiad family was able to maintain its powerful position in the Ptolemaic territory of Coele-Syria, the article highlights two responsibilities of modern historiography, both to appreciate the great worth of the Zenon archive and to carefully remember the marginalized of antiquity.

Keywordseunuch; slavery; papyrology; Zenon; Tobiad family
Year2014
JournalJournal for the Study of Judaism
Journal citation45 (3), pp. 305-325
PublisherBrill Academic Publishers
ISSN0047-2212
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1163/15700631-12340058
Scopus EID2-s2.0-84907714276
Page range305-325
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online24 Jul 2014
Publication process dates
Deposited19 Jul 2023
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