BGU 1326 (BL I 435, II.2 IS, III II, VIII 23-4)
Karanis, AD 189-94



Translation of a will. Gaius Longinus Kastor, honourably discharged veteran of the praetorian fleet of Misenum, has made a will. I order that Marcella my slave woman, over thirty years of age, and Kleopatra my slave woman, over thirty years of age, become free . . . Let them in equal shares be my heirs. Let all others be disinherited. Let them enter upon the inheritance, each for her own share, whenever it seems proper to each to bear witness
that she is my heir; it shall not be possible to sell or mortgage it. But if the above-written Marcella suffers the lot of human kind, then I wish her share of the inheritance to devolve upon Sarapion and Sokrates and Longus. Likewise for Kleopatra, I wish her share to devolve upon Neilos. Let whoever becomes my heir be liable to give, to do, to provide all these things that have been written in this my will, and I commit them to her trust. Let my slave woman Sarapias, daughter of Kleopatra my freedwoman, be free, to whom I also give and bequeath: five arouras of grainland which I hold in the vicinity of the village of Karanis in the place called 'Ostrich'; likewise, one and a quarter arouras of wadi-land; likewise, a third share of my house and a third share of the same house which I earlier bought from Prapetheus son of Thaseus;l likewise, a third share of a palm-grove which I hold very close to the canal called 'Old Canal'. I wish my body to be carried out and wrapped by the care and piety of my heirs.


If I leave behind anything in writing after this, written in my own hand, in any way whatsoever, I wish this to be valid. Let evil malice be absent from this will. The household and property of the will just made were bought by Julius Petronianus for one sestertius coin, the scale holder being Gaius Lucretius Saturnilus. (He acknowledged.) He (the testator) has called as witness Marcus Sempronius Heraklianus. (He acknowledged.) The will was made in the village of Karanis in the Arsinoite nome on the 15th day before the Kalends of November4 in the consulship of the two Silani, in the 30th year of Emperor Caesar Marcus Aurelius Commodus Antoninus Pius Felix Augustus Armeniacus Medicus Parthicus Sarmaticus Germanicus, Hathyr
21 (17 Nov. 189). If any further writings I leave behind written in my own
hand, I wish these to be valid.
Opened and read in the Arsinoite metropolis in the Augustan Forum in the office of the five percent tax on inheritances and manumissions on the 9th day before the Kalends of March in the consulship of the present consuls, in the 2nd year of Emperor Caesar Lucius Septimius Severus Pertinax Augustus, Mecheir 27 (21 Feb. 194). The remaining sealers: Gaius Longinus
Akylas (he acknowledged); Julius Volusius, Marcus Antistius Petronianus, Julius Gemellus, veteran.

Questions:
1. How common was it for slaves to be freed upon a master's death?
2. What did the disinherited do to lose Gaius' good will?
3. Were slaves often made the heirs of their master's estate?
4. How did society look upon someone who would will away their estate to a slave?
5. Did Gaius have a family which he disinherited?
6. Was his will substantial?
Trans:
RoRowlandson, Jane, ed. 1998. Women and Society in Greek and Roman Egypt. Cambridge.
Kronion's Will (Mark Wieland)

AKS: Good questions - though it may be difficult to answer #2 and #5 - look up Bagnall for lots of good relevant texts about Roman Egypt, and Wiedemann for general discussions of Roman slavery.
Hi Luis, Good questions and references, but there could be many more. Also, I can't seem to find your analysis of the document or your lingering questions.