Photographic Archive of Papyri in the Cairo Museum

P.Cair.Zen. 1 59021

30.5 x 33

CG59021; JE48470; SR0343

Letter from Demetrios to Apollonios

(About 24th October, 258 B.C.)

Demetrios, who was probably head of the Alexandrian mint, informs Apollonios that following his instructions he has received a certain quantity of gold and converted it into new coin. The gold was brought to him from abroad in accordance with a decree. But owing to a certain obstacle the amount was not nearly so much as he might have obtained. When merchants and other people brought him foreign money and pentadrachms of the old issue, all in good condition, there was no difficulty. Such coins were accepted at their recognized value, were at once melted down and re-coined, and the owners received an equivalent amount in new money. But when they brought him gold plate, he could not accept it, as he had no assaying office to which to refer it. His business was to coin gold, not to appraise it. So the gold was lying idle and the merchants were dissatisfied. In the next place there was in Alexandria itself a good deal of worn gold money which tradesmen refused to accept, and there was no assaying office at which people could have their worn gold valued and receive its value in good gold or silver. Thus still more gold was being wasted which might have been used by the mint. Demetrios therefore asks Apollonios to write to the king in order that an assayer may be appointed for such cases.






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72 dpi image (b/w)
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