Letter from a schoolboy to his father


This reused papyrus sheet was cut out from a larger piece preserving some official document. The blank back of the papyrus was reused by a boy called Thonis to write a rather reproachful letter to his father Arion about 1800 years ago.

After the usual greetings and good wishes, the boy complains that this is his fifth unanswered letter to his father whom he has often asked to visit him whilst studying away from home but has never received a response. He mentions that his teacher would also like to see his father, perhaps to pay the fees so that he can teach the boy properly. He asks his father again to come as quickly as possible and after saying goodbye, includes a postscript saying: ‘Remember our pigeons’.

The papyrus was found at an archaeological site in Egypt by the locals in the early 20th century. The Reverend Chauncey Murch (d. c. 1910) subsequently sold it to the British Museum in 1906.

Full title:
Letter from a schoolboy to his father
3rd century, Egypt
Ancient Greek
Usage terms

Public Domain in most countries other than the UK.

Held by
British Library
Papyrus 1575

Full catalogue details

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