A document addressed to the prefect of Egypt is preserved in this papyrus sheet. A certain woman called Aurelia Thaisous, also known as Lolliane, notifies him that she qualifies for the ius trium liberorum, the ‘right of the three children’. According to Roman law, this right granted freeborn women with at least three children to act independently in their legal transactions, without any guardian as intermediary.
As Thaiosus proudly states, not only has she been blessed with a good number of children, which guarantees her legal independence, but she is also able to write with a high degree of confidence.
The document dates to July 263 and is one of the findings of Bernard P. Grenfell (d. 1926) and Arthur S. Hunt (d. 1934) in the rubbish dumps of the ancient site of Oxyrhynchus during their excavations in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.
- Article by:
- Matthew Nicholls
- Papyri, Scholarship, The makers of Greek manuscripts
How were books stored and accessed in the ancient world? Matthew Nicholls explores what the surviving evidence of ancient books can tell us about libraries in antiquity.