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Oxyrhynchus: A City and its Texts, Virtual Exhibition: A Millenium of Documents

Speech of Germanicus Caesar: Early first century AD

Papyri from Egyptian rubbish dumps do not often directly involve the great leaders of the Roman state. This one is an exception, although the semi-literary hand may indicate that it was a copy for propaganda purposes rather than a true document. It records a speech to the citizens of Alexandria by an imperial visitor who can be identified as Germanicus, nephew of Tiberius, probably in AD 18 or 19.

On the back (not visible in the Ashmolean exhibition, but seen here) and probably by the same scribe is a later copy of the minutes of an audience given by the emperor Augustus in Rome to ambassadors from Alexandria. The audience took place probably between January and August, AD 13.

The Oxyrhynchus Papyri vol.XXV no.2435