The wills of the Hellenistic years are worked out writtenly and constituted by two parts. In the first part the allocator uses formal expressions that the document was drawn up in front of a notary. The second part begins with the phrase “having my mind healthy” and it includes provisions of last will that concern either the total of property or part of this, the establishment of a heir or a legatee, the imposition of obligations to the legal heirs, the definition of the executant of the will, delegate of the children or of the wife, the constitution of dowry etc. Often the will includes clause in order to not be offended. The ability of a will’s execution is recognized for the male adults. With regard to the women the execution of a will is something extraordinary. In some cases however the spouses draw up joint will. The provisions of last will have reversionary character. The possibility of the retraction is forecasted through a special clause of the will. In order the retraction to be valid it should be reported to the new will or a special document of retraction must be drawn up or the allocator must withdraw the document of the will from the notary’s archive where it is looked after.
Example Wills (diakethai) Clarysse, W. ‘Ptolemaic wills’ in Legal Documents of the Hellenistic World Geller and Maehler (eds.): 88-105 P Moscow 123 (69BC) Said the cavalryman and cleruch among the cleruchs among the katoikoi, eldest son. There then follows, in three sections, and inventory of the testator’s lands, which are divided between his sons. They belong to you, namely, the possessions which are inventoried above, to each of you respectively, after the end of my life. No one at all will be able to exercise control over them apart from you after the end of my life. When I die, you are to take my long list of property of man and every household object which I will acquire (and divide them) between yourselves and the lady.. my wife, your mother. One of the sons who had not received land above, but rather some form of payment instead is given 100 talents in the form of artabas of wheat from the harvest. When I die,