October 25, AD 287 )

( Johnson, Coleman-Norton & Bourne, Ancient Roman Statutes, Austin, 1961, p. 233, n. 293


      An Egyptian prefect orders the exegetes in his province to appoint guardians for orphans.
      In cases where guardians had not been named in a deceased father's will or where, if a father had died intestate, no legitimate guardians (agnates and clansmen) had survived, then guardians were selected by magistrates. In the provinces such appointments vested in the governors, who ordinarily delegated their authority to municipal magistrates.
      The papyrus containing this edict was reported in 1908.


      Flavius Valerius Pompeian, most eminent prefect of Egypt, proclaims :
      If guardians have not been appointed for orphans, the officials established for this selection in each district . . . shall appoint guardians in the prime of life. For in this way it will result that they shall receive proper care. As it is now, much of the business of orphans which requires the oversight of guardians is postponed, because neither tutors nor curators are at hand for orphans.
      Year 4 and Year 3 of our Lords Diocletian and Maximian, Augusti, Phaophi . . .
      Published in Oxyrhynchus on the same month Phaophi 27.