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

Deed of surety: AD 610

This contract from the Apion family papers (cf. their huge accounts-roll) is exhibited to show the so-called protocollon on the left. This was a sheet attached to the beginning of a roll with its fibres at 90° to the rest of the roll, occupied with up to five or six lines of stylised script which functioned as a form of government stamp. An imperial decree had required contracts to be drawn up on rolls so prefaced, a requirement that was only sporadically observed. (Back also available.)

The Oxyrhynchus Papyri vol.XXIV no.2420