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Ancient Egyptian soldier's letter home deciphered

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posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 06:00 AM
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'While away in Pannonia I sent (letters) to you,
but you treat me so as a stranger.'


Ancient Egyptian soldier's letter home deciphered

Dating back about 1,800 years, this letter was written, mainly in Greek, by Aurelius Polion, an Egyptian man who served with the legio II Adiutrix legion around modern-day Hungary. In the letter, discovered more than a century ago in the Egyptian town of Tebunis and only recently translated, Polion pleads with his family to respond. (BANCROFT LIBRARY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA BERKELEY)

A newly deciphered letter home dating back around 1,800 years reveals the pleas of a young Egyptian soldier named Aurelius Polion who was serving, probably as a volunteer, in a Roman legion in Europe.

In the letter, written mainly in Greek, Polion tells his family that he is desperate to hear from them and that he is going to request leave to make the long journey home to see them.

Addressed to his mother (a bread seller), sister and brother, part of it reads: "I pray that you are in good health night and day, and I always make obeisance before all the gods on your behalf. I do not cease writing to you, but you do not have me in mind," it reads...


I found this earlier today and thought it was an interesting read.

I also found it a bit sad, funny that no matter how far back in time one goes when a soldier writes letters to a loved one the similarities are pretty striking. All too often we see ancient reliefs of battles and conquests illustrated with nameless soldiers all honor goes to Pharaoh/King/General or this or that leader etc.

Here we have a letter putting a personality and name to one of those unknown soldiers represented and it's a very human picture.
edit on 8-3-2014 by SLAYER69 because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 06:08 AM
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reply to post by SLAYER69
 


Yeah. I've written a couple letters like that. Regretted it every time.



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 06:15 AM
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You're right...interesting read. And the similarities you speak of are so true. How thousands of years can go by and the human condition remains the same and history really does repeat itself and souls retain the same essence within those bounds. Wonder if his family did write back and he just never got the letters. Wonder if he made it home....



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 06:33 AM
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reply to post by 35Foxtrot
 


Dear Polion:

I am writing this so that you will understand what has happened. Please understand it's not you - it's me.

While you were gone these two years, I was so lonely. One of the Roman soldiers from your unit that remained behind in garrison was so helpful - he moved heavy things for me, brought home lamb when we were short of meat and played with little Panux. It's like he's our son's father.

I fell in love with Brilonius, and now I'm expecting his child. So I've asked the priests for a divorce. Please don't be angry with me, Polion. I will love you always, as a sister.

Love,
Pheobus
edit on 8-3-2014 by Bedlam because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 06:35 AM
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reply to post by SLAYER69
 


People are people the world over and share the same concerns and interests.
And so it would seem through time as well.

We would all do well to remember and consider that at times.



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 06:37 AM
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Bedlam
reply to post by 35Foxtrot
 


Dear Polion:

I am writing this so that you will understand what has happened. Please understand it's not you - it's me.

While you were gone these two years, I was so lonely. One of the Roman soldiers from your unit that remained behind in garrison was so helpful - he moved heavy things for me, brought home lamb when we were short of meat and played with little Panux. It's like he's our son's father.

I fell in love with Brilonius, and now I'm expecting his child. So I've asked the priests for a divorce. Please don't be angry with me, Polion. I will love you always, as a sister.

Love,
Pheobus
edit on 8-3-2014 by Bedlam because: (no reason given)


Brah, do you know me or what?!



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 06:40 AM
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35Foxtrot

Brah, do you know me or what?!


It's one of those eternal realities. Or as my first sgt put it, "A quarter in the phone has saved many a military relationship - always call before you show up at the door" (pre cell phone!)

When the combat soldiers are away, the REMFs will play. It's always been that way, and likely always will be.

O'course, in this case, the guy's family not answering could mean they're all dead, or if they're not of the appropriate political/religious caste, relocated. And I'm not sure how well the mail was delivered back then, although it's probably not a lot worse than the mail delivery when I was in.
edit on 8-3-2014 by Bedlam because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 07:11 AM
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Geez, guys. Talk about projection....

I don't imagine that the mail system in those days was very efficient or that news traveled very fast. Did this letter even make it? Did any of them going in either direction? And if not, well, who can blame anyone for that?



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 08:28 AM
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Moral: (still applicable about 1800 years later)

1. Dont become a soldier, you gonna be dead fast.
2. Dont leave her too long, she will think you already dead.
3. Dont go to Hungary, Ukraine people might crossover, you might have to make somebody dead.
4. Dont use Roman post office to send letters to Egypt, they already dead.
etc with "dead" at the end.

and most importantly, dont read other people personal letter, you will be sorry or you might be dead.

Oh my, am I'm obsessed with death ? I think not



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 09:01 AM
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A 1800 year old letter that tells a story that's the same today. Lonliness, being homesick and the feeling of being abandoned by a loved one/s while serving the military in a foreign country.

Maybe his mother was pissed because he joined the army knowing he'd be sent to a corner of the empire, maybe never to return..

The times change. Not the people.
edit on AM6Sat20141972 by andy1972 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 01:04 PM
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I thought some would find this interesting for varying reasons. Thanks for the replies.



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 05:25 PM
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Yep the more I read aeons old other peoples mail.....the more I find theyre just like me.....
A hominids a hominid for all of that hey..............



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 05:30 PM
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SLAYER69

'While away in Pannonia I sent (letters) to you,
but you treat me so as a stranger.'


Ancient Egyptian soldier's letter home deciphered

Dating back about 1,800 years, this letter was written, mainly in Greek, by Aurelius Polion, an Egyptian man who served with the legio II Adiutrix legion around modern-day Hungary. In the letter, discovered more than a century ago in the Egyptian town of Tebunis and only recently translated, Polion pleads with his family to respond. (BANCROFT LIBRARY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA BERKELEY)

A newly deciphered letter home dating back around 1,800 years reveals the pleas of a young Egyptian soldier named Aurelius Polion who was serving, probably as a volunteer, in a Roman legion in Europe.

In the letter, written mainly in Greek, Polion tells his family that he is desperate to hear from them and that he is going to request leave to make the long journey home to see them.

Addressed to his mother (a bread seller), sister and brother, part of it reads: "I pray that you are in good health night and day, and I always make obeisance before all the gods on your behalf. I do not cease writing to you, but you do not have me in mind," it reads...


I found this earlier today and thought it was an interesting read.

I also found it a bit sad, funny that no matter how far back in time one goes when a soldier writes letters to a loved one the similarities are pretty striking. All too often we see ancient reliefs of battles and conquests illustrated with nameless soldiers all honor goes to Pharaoh/King/General or this or that leader etc.

Here we have a letter putting a personality and name to one of those unknown soldiers represented and it's a very human picture.
edit on 8-3-2014 by SLAYER69 because: (no reason given)


Haven't read the article yet, i would like to know if that pic is the content of the letter? Reason i ask is, as far as i know ancient egyptians used hieroglyph. Yet the characters in that letter is nothing like hieroglyph. Also what is up with the number 583 on top left corner. Quite intriguing and puzzling at the same time.
edit on 8-3-2014 by f0xbat because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 05:32 PM
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35Foxtrot

Bedlam
reply to post by 35Foxtrot
 


Dear Polion:

I am writing this so that you will understand what has happened. Please understand it's not you - it's me.

While you were gone these two years, I was so lonely. One of the Roman soldiers from your unit that remained behind in garrison was so helpful - he moved heavy things for me, brought home lamb when we were short of meat and played with little Panux. It's like he's our son's father.

I fell in love with Brilonius, and now I'm expecting his child. So I've asked the priests for a divorce. Please don't be angry with me, Polion. I will love you always, as a sister.

Love,
Pheobus
edit on 8-3-2014 by Bedlam because: (no reason given)


Brah, do you know me or what?!


LOL! That was brilliant! Thanks for the hardy chuckle.



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 05:39 PM
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reply to post by SLAYER69
 


He was probably expected to send some of his earnings back home, and it was never received. So they disowned him. Hopefully it turned ok in the end. In those days, every member of the household was valuable. People had to work a lot harder to bring food to the table.



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 06:01 PM
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You can change the uniform, the era and even the soldier, but a soldier will always have the common things on their mind: homesickness, food, pay, crap assignments and family.



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 06:06 PM
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Love you.
Miss you.
Write me, dammit !




posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 06:47 PM
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reply to post by f0xbat
 


It says in the article that it's in Greek. By 1800 years ago when the letter was written, few Egyptians would have understood hieroglyphics, and would have written in Greek. The commoners would have used Demotic anyway, instead of hieroglyphs, although Demotic was well on the way out by the time the letter was written.

Greek was a sort of official written language of Egypt for hundreds of years before and after the letter.
edit on 8-3-2014 by Bedlam because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 10 2014 @ 12:25 PM
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reply to post by SLAYER69
 


I think your title misleads, Slayer. Loosely used, 'Ancient Egyptian' tends to refer to the pyramid-building Nile Valley civilisation that antedated Greece and Roman. This letter is from a Roman soldier who was nearer in time to us than he was to King Cheops.



posted on Mar, 10 2014 @ 12:53 PM
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Bedlam

35Foxtrot

Brah, do you know me or what?!


It's one of those eternal realities. Or as my first sgt put it, "A quarter in the phone has saved many a military relationship - always call before you show up at the door" (pre cell phone!)

When the combat soldiers are away, the REMFs will play. It's always been that way, and likely always will be.

O'course, in this case, the guy's family not answering could mean they're all dead, or if they're not of the appropriate political/religious caste, relocated. And I'm not sure how well the mail was delivered back then, although it's probably not a lot worse than the mail delivery when I was in.
edit on 8-3-2014 by Bedlam because: (no reason given)


Ahhh the more things change, the more they stay the same...

My unit had it's fair share of problems back home when I was deployed as well. I was sitting on staff duty shortly after our unit came home (I came home early due to an injury), it was about 11 pm at night and all of a sudden some soldiers drag a ssg into the office and have us put him on watch since he had been involved in a domestic assault. I'm sure you can guess the circumstances...
edit on 10-3-2014 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



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