The Qurra Papyrus - Oriental Institute No. 13758, 90 AH / 709 CE
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First Composed: 3rd December 2005
Last Modified: 9th December 2005
Assalamu ʿalaykum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:
Figure: (a) Picture of the papyrus and (b) the content of the papyrus.
 encloses letters supplied to fill a lacuna.
Dhūl-Qaʿdah / Dhūl-Hijjah, 90 AH / September - October, 709 CE. Although no date is given, this papyrus had been dated roughly by studying similar papyri by Nabia Abbott.
74.7 cm x 21.5 cm. Medium brown papyrus. The first part is lost; the rest is in very good condition. The writing throughout is clear and has suffered hardly any loss at all.
Oriental Institute No. 13758.
The translation of text is:
- ... and ...
- from your land, and I have found it.
- You still owe a large amount of revenue.
- You well know what time it has come to be;
- so appear
- before me now. By my life, if
- any finance officer delays
- beyond the term which I appointed,
- or appears before me having left
- behind him aught of the revenue,
- truly, he is but a self-deceiving fool who has light regard for
- his life. So when there has come to you
- this my letter, collect what is due from
- your land of gold tax and
- imposts and extraordinary taxes. Then come
- to me with the revenue of your land, together with those
- whom I had ordered you to bring with you
- of the people of your land. Now, by my life,
- I really used to think your administration
- more successful and better than what
- I have seen. For you have indeed done what not
- one of the finance officers has done
- in the delaying of what is due from you and in
- the incompetence of your administration. For indeed,
- by God, there is in my service not one
- who has delayed this revenue
- without being disgraced. Let there be no
- withholding of what is with you. And beware
- of excuses, for I am not
- of those who believe in excuses
- or accept them. Peace
- be with those who follow the guidance.
- Written by Khalīfah on Monday.
The reason in this document the day is only mentioned may be that they are urgent admonitions meant to be dispatched at once by a special messenger and delivered within a week so that results may be obtained with the latest possible delay.
Oriental Institute, Chicago.
 N. Abbott, The Kurrah Papyri From Aphrodito In The Oriental Institute, 1938, Studies In Ancient Oriental Civilization: No. 15, The University of Chicago Press: Chicago (IL), pp. 49-52, Plate IV.
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