Aphrodites Polis (meris of Polemon)
Aphrodites Polis is attested in some 23 documents (33 attestations) from the 3rd century BC till the 3th century AD, with a lacuna for the 1st century BC and AD. The last certain attestation is from AD 212 (P.IFAO I 34b). Another Aphrodites Polis, in the meris of Herakleides, has the full name Aphrodites Berenikes Polis. Sometimes there are also problems of identification with Atfih, the capital of the Aphroditopolite nome, e.g. O.Lund 11 (AD 266). Uncertain cases have not been included in the present discussion; they have been grouped separately in the database.
The village Aphrodites Polis (᾿Αφροδίτης Πόλις), 'City of Aphrodite', is named after the metropolis of the Aphroditopolite nome. Its Egyptian name was Pr-nb.t-tp-iH.w in the unpublished bilingual papyri P.Vindob.Barbara 38, P.Vindob.Barbara 39 and P.Vindob.Barbara 41), not Tp-t3.wy [against Yoyotte 1962b p.111-114, cf. Beinlich 1991 p.175 n.3].
» Show on map
Aphrodites Polis was situated in the meris of Polemon. Neighbouring villages were Mouchis and Eleusis. Mouchis probably lay near the modern town of Deir el-Azab [P.Mich. XVIII p.96-97] (see map). To the same region belong Dikaiou Nesos, Narmouthis and Oxyryncha.
P.Gurob 23 indirectly proves the cultivation of at least 1000 arouras of Crown land (βασιλικὴ γῆ) in the 3rd century BC.
As most Fayum villages Aphrodites Polis was dedicated to Sobek [cf. P.Vindob.Barbara 4 ined]. The link with the nome capital Aphrodites polis suggests the existence of a cult of Aphrodite-Hathor [cf. Rübsam 1974 p.53], but this remains unattested.
In the late 3rd and 2nd century BC Aphrodites Polis belonged to the toparchy of which the center was Mouchis (SB XXIV 16175; P.Tebt. III 1027, cf. P.Mich. XVIII 780a and p.92; for the position of Mouchis, see also SB XVIII 13231). The thesauros of Aphrodites Polis also fell under the ergasterion of Mouchis (P.Gurob 23, cf. P.Tebt. III 1027) [cf. Duttenhöfer 1993 p.25]. A branch of the demosia trapeza in the metropolis is perhaps attested in the village in AD 212 (P.IFAO I 34b) [cf. Bogaert 1995 p.146].
All known inhabitants of Aphrodites Polis have been entered in the database, mainly Ptolemaic brewers and two groups of donkey drivers in the Roman period.
H. Proost - W. Clarysse, 15 Jan 2003