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Michaelides Fragments : Letter giving instructions

Michaelides Fragments

<p style='text-align: justify;'>This letter, whose both parties are unknown to us, is structured in three paragraphs.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>In the first paragraph, the sender refers to a previous letter from the addressee in which the latter mentioned that he bought two hundred <i>irdabbs</i>, most probably of wheat or barley. The sender then asks the addressee in the same paragraph to keep this commodity in a certain house, to seal it and to bring out of it only two <i>irdabbs</i> by two <i>irdabbs</i>. In this manner, the owner of the barley shop and his journeymen cannot take it away, the sender says. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'>In the second paragraph, the sender asks the addressee to keep in mind the matter of a certain <i>Abū Muḥammad</i> and to inform one <i>Abū Ismāʿīl</i> about something that remains unknown to us. In the same paragraph, the sender refers to a third person, who should be put in confinement in his office and house. He also instructs the addressee to order a woman called <i>Umm Falīḥ</i> to order a certain <i>Umm al-Qāsim</i> to do something that remains unknown to us. The sender, then, asked the addressee to write to <i>Abū Ismāʿīl</i> and <i>Abū Zurāra</i> regarding the same issue.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The third paragraph is devoted to prayers and blessings for the addressee and the common closing formula.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Some afterthoughts were added after the letter has been completed, but they are for the most part illegible due to the fragmentarily state of the bottom of the papyrus. The letter is very well written and structured with several means to highlight the text. The voice of the letter indicates the superiority of the sender over the addressee and the contents show an extensive commercial network in which two women are involved, i.e. <i>Umm Falīḥ</i> and <i>Umm al-Qāsim</i>.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'> For more information see <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>full description in <i>Joy and sorrow in early Muslim Egypt, text 40</i></a>. </p>

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