Apias (meris of Themistos)
The evidence for Apias consists of 95 papyri (126 references) ranging from 246 BC (P.Petrie III 43) to AD 386 (P.Gen. I 69). The second century AD provides about half of the texts; for the first century BC no texts are extant (see chart below). The village was probably deserted in the late fourth or early fifth century AD.
Apias occurs in the Cautionnements (8 texts) archive and the L.Bellienus Gemellus (2 texts). The vast majority of texts, however, was found in Soknopaiou Nesos [Hobson 1982, p. 88], showing the village through the perspective of this important neighbour. Most texts deal with land owned by inhabitants of Soknopaiou Nesos. Commercial activities, local administration or religion, which are more likely to be found in texts kept in the grapheion of Apias itself, are rarely touched upon.
The name Apias (᾿Απιάς) is probably derived from the Alexandrian demotic Apieus (᾿Απιεύς) [see Clarysse-Swinnen 1983, p.15]. Its Demotic counterpart was PA-a-n-Pa-Hp "the village of the one of Apis"; the demotic rendering clearly distinguishes between the mythological king and the sacred bull. <᾿Αμιάς> in P.Bouriant 33 (AD II) is a mere scribal error and not a reference to an unknown village Amias.
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Apias certainly belonged to the meris of Themistos. A more precise location within the meris can only be approximative. In 246 BC some kind of outlet was constructed connecting Autodike with Apias (P.Petrie III 43 (2)). According to P.Lond. III 842 (AD 140) the land of Apias was south of Herakleia and close to the pedion of Psarbatalis and Pyrros, which belonged to the territory of Philopator Apiados, a neighbouring village of Apias. Stud.Pal. XX 50 (AD 204) suggests that Herakleia and Apias were also next to each other. The village is linked to Senthis once in P.Lond. III 851 (AD 216).
The map in Rathbone 1991a, p.xix places Apias at the very edge of the Fayum, north-west of Dionysias. This is unlikely, as the village is hardly mentioned in the archives of Heroninus (Theadelpheia) and Abinnaeus (Dionysias). Hobson 1984, p.109 puts it very much to the south, almost at the border with the Polemon meris. In our opinion Apias was close to the lake and not too far from Euhemeria.
Three topoi are mentioned in texts from the third and fourth century: the topos Artophylos and the topos Moio[ ] (both (PSI X 1126) and the "topos of 15-arouras" (SB XVI 12563).
Apias had some catoecic settlers in the third and second century BC. The hekatontarouros Iollas made a complaint somewhere between 244 and 222 BC (P.Enteuxeis 106). Two Jews of the epigone, Apollonios and Sostratos were living in Apias in the late second century AD (P.Tebt. III 817). The cavalry officer Tryphon occurs in SB XIV 11273, dated around 120 BC.
P.Meyer 13 (AD 141) mentions a Roman veteran, Marcus Iulius Apollinarius.
The presence of catoecic land is confirmed by P.Alex. 409 (231 BC), a complaint about uninundated and unsown land (klhroucikh; gh').
P.Fay. 112 and P.Fay. 120, both from around AD 100, are letters from Lucius Bellenus Gemellus, an estate holder from Aphrodites Polis, to Epagathus, his phrontistes in Apias. Gemellus' land included an olive yard in the village. Apias also appears in a fragmentary kollema holding the diastroma of Soknopaiou Nesos with a three-arouras kleros (BGU III 959, AD 148). A sunoikiva oujsiakhv is mentioned in P.Berl.Leihg. I 16b (AD 161).
In AD 194/195, Theadelpheia pays up to 2500 drachmas for lentils grown in Apias (SB XX 14283). A certain Orsenouphis was phrontistes in both Apias and Senthis.
A lot of catoecic land was owned by inhabitants of Soknopaiou Nesos, where also most of the papyri were found [Hobson 1982, pp.88-89]. The reference to 'granaries of Penesis and Livia' P.Dub. 4 (AD 44) perhaps points to an imperial estate.
A lot of the early texts on Apias inform us about the economy of the village. In P.Enteuxeis 106 (244-222 BC) Nikodemos is a cattle-owner, while P.Lille dem. II 54 refers to Marres and Somenouphis, washermen Apias (226 BC). Several texts deal with beer production and selling: Pathres (P.Petrie III 87, 227/226 BC), Heregebthis (several texts from P.Lille dem.) and Heroides (P.Petrie III 32e, 221 BC) are all brewers of Apias around 230-220 BC. In 184 BC Petesouchos was brewer in the village (SB XX 14955). Pasion in P.Bouriant 27 (AD 187/188) may also have been a brewer.
In AD 151 Hermas, inhabitant of the amphodon Chenoboskion Heteron (Arsinoe) offers 30 silver drachmas for the lease of the tarichopolike, the pickled-fish commerce, of Apias during a period of seven months (P.Graux II 21). Akoueis, finally, is listed as a shepherd in P.Lond. III 855a (AD 216).
Apias occurs in the list of villages paying for limen Mempheos, epistateia and pempte taxes (P.Lond. III 1107, AD III).
It is remarkable that in the cautionnements texts Apias is nowhere called a Souchos village, but this may be due to an idiosyncracy of the scribe. P.Petrie III 58e (230-220 BC) mentions an ἰβιοβοσκός Thenes; SB I 4439, a libellus of the Decian persecution (AD 250) found at Theadelpheia, was written for Aurelius Horion Kiale, from Apias.
In 187 BC P.Tebt. III 774 Ammonios and Theon are heading an ergasterion near Apias and Pelousion. Both men are from Krokodilon Polis, and have been active as sitologoi since 209 BC (Philoteris, Herakleides, Pelousion and Apias, Kaminoi, Memphis, Arsinoe and Boubastos). Antigrapheus of this ergasterion was Harkathytis (P.Heid. VI 370, 179 BC). In the Roman period sitologoi show up in P.Lond. II 290 (AD 85, Kastor), BGU III 988 (AD 100, Didymos), BGU IX 1895 (AD 157, unnamed), BGU IX 1898 (AD 172, Heron), Stud.Pal. XXII 127 (AD 181 or 187, Neilos) and BGU III 792 (AD 196/197, Lungeus).
A grapheion in Apias appears only once, in P.Mert. III 120 (AD 75-124).
Praktores (sitikon and argyrikon) are known from AD 124 up to AD 204; click here for a detailed list. Several komogrammateis are attested; Neilos in AD 132/133 (P.Giss.Bibl. I 14, Dionysios in AD 155 (BGU XIII 2241) and Papontos in AD 204 (SB 16 12563). Two other texts, P.Ryl.Gr. II 81 (AD 107) and Stud.Pal. XXII 34 (AD II-AD III), refer to unnamed komogrammateis. In AD 164, the office of epiteretes is held by Eirenaios (SB XIV 11712) and in AD 194/195 by Isidoros (SB XX 14283). Presbyteroi of the village occur in P.Baden II 32 (AD II) and P.Bouriant 27 (AD 187/188). Furthermore, we know of an epimeletes Hermesios in AD II (P.Bouriant 33). Theon was aigialophylax in P.Ryl.Gr. II 81 (AD 107), Souchatpnous and Triadelphos served as laographoi in AD 132/133 (P.Giss.Bibl. I 14). In the mid second century, a certain Deios from the nome capital was assigned an unknown liturgy in Apias. In AD 166, Ision was grammateus of the farmers (BGU IX 1896 and 1897).
B. Van Beek, Feb 14 2003