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Legal Status in the Roman World


154. A woman's petition to act without a kyrios. Oxyrhynchus, Egypt, A.D. 263 (Oxyrhynchus papyrus 1467. G)

Legislation (cf. 148, section 28) enabled women with three or more children (the ius trium liberorum) to serve as their own kyrios. [45]

Petition addressed to the most eminent prefect from Aurelia Thaisus also called Lolliane. [Laws exist] that grant authority to women who are honoured with the right of three children and that enable them to transact business without a kyrios in all household business they transact, and in particular women who are literate. Therefore, since I have been blessed with the honour of children, being literate and able to write with proficiency, in full confidence I petition your eminence with this application for the right to transact business without hindrance in all household affairs. [46] I beg you to retain this application, without prejudice to my rights, in your eminence's office, and offer my eternal gratitude to you for your assistance. Farewell. Aurelia Thaisus also known as Lolliane have sent this petition for presentation. In the year 10 [emperor's name omitted], Epeiph 21. (added) Your application shall be kept in the office.


Notes

45. Cf. also Worp 1980, dated A.D. 348.

46. Such literacy appears to have been relatively rare; also despite its practical value, it had no legal significance. Cf. Cole 1981, 236.