A Fragment of Economic Letter on Lead from Panticapaeum

Saprykin Sergey Yu., Fedoseev Nikolay F.

A lead plaque with a fragment of a private economic letter, dated to the late 5th-early 4th century BC from Panticapaeum, found by chance and kept now in one of the private collections, is a very important source on economic and everyday life of the Bosporanians.The fragmentary text tells us that the author, presumably an agent or contractor of the person to whom the letter was adressed, promised to repair or erect something. He also took upon himself a task to organize the burial of a certain man’s son (the person to whom the letter was sent seems to be his farther). Further on he says that he came in touch and concluded an agreement with a group of persons, evidently tax-farmers, to get or to bring all necessary materials in talants – timber, ropes, straps, slaves – for a certain sum of money, given in talants as well. For some reason this matter was not over or even failed, so he informs the man that he himself would bring all necessary materials and slaves with the use of money which was still left by him. This document is a new letter from Bosporus, concerning private relations between the citizens of Panticapaeum.

Keywords: letters on lead, Bosporus, Panticapaeum, Greek epigraphy