Award for the Teaching of Classics at the College Level (Society for Classical Studies)
Jenifer Sheridan Moss
Recent publications of papyri & ostraca 4th BC-8th AD; conferences, lectures etc. from Papy-L and other sources as noted. gregg.schwendner AT wichita.edu
Among those texts which vied for a position as authoritative Scripture, but were eventually rejected by ecclesiastical authorities, was the so-called Diatessaron of Tatian. Having been compiled from the four canonical gospels, Tatian’s work occupies a liminal position between the categories of “canonical” and “apocryphal,” since the majority of its content was common to users of the fourfold gospel, though this content existed in a radically altered form and was tainted by association with a known heretic. In this paper I intend to give a close reading of the only surviving Greek witness to this work, a fragment of parchment found in excavations at Dura-Europos. Dura’s very location as a borderland between Rome and Persia corresponds with the fact that in this outpost garrison city Christians were using a gospel text that would have appeared markedly strange to those in the mainstream of the Christian tradition. Here I want to highlight how the text that can be recovered from the Dura fragment shows Tatian creatively and intelligently combining the text of the four gospels to produce a new narrative of the life of Jesus, choosing to leave out certain elements and to highlight others. Moreover, comparison with the early medieval Arabic gospel harmony and with the Latin Codex Fuldensis illustrates well how later users of Tatian’s work engaged in their own editing of this text in varied attempts to improve it and to bring it into line with the authoritative gospel versions with which they were most familiar. The Dura fragment, therefore, as our oldest extant witness to Tatian’s work, provides a window into the rewriting of canonical Scripture in the second century, and how this attempt was further received by later generations of Christians.Caroline Schroeder, University of the Pacific
The study of Coptic literature faces a number of challenges, even in the digital age. Pressing concerns even in 2014 include the fragmentation of manuscripts in libraries across the globe, the need for editions and translations of even classic texts, and our continued need for more knowledge about the language itself (its grammar and syntax but also its usage on a popular level), to name just three. Using a developing Coptic digital library known as Coptic SCRIPTORIUM, this presentation will discuss best practices for annotating (often called “tagging”) a Coptic digital library for research into these issues and will present sample research questions that will be studied using the corpus. By Fall of 2015, the Coptic SCRIPTORIUM digital library will have published select texts of Shenoute, Besa, the Sayings of the Desert Fathers, and the New Testament; it will be working on integrating Coptic papyri from the open-source papyrology digital collection at papyri.info, as well. The presentation will address part-of-speech, named entity, language of origin, and biblical citation tagging as well as metadata (including the challenges in using standards for repositories and Coptic manuscripts).
After the Roman colonization and resettlement of Corinth (44 B.C.E.), cultic activity was slow to return to the Sanctuary of Demeter on the north slope of Acrocorinth. In the mid-first century C.E., the earliest activities were ritual practices involving terracotta lamps and inscribed lead tablets in a small room on the lower terrace. The tablets, recently published by Ronald Stroud in Corinth 18.6 (2013), record petitions of women and men to various gods (Demeter, Hermes, Ananke), target opponents or unrequited loves for “binding” or “destruction,” and request justice from the gods. The tablets include linguistic and graphic strategies that were common in magical tablets and papyri and thought to address the gods in their languages—voces magicae, invocative formulae, jumbled letters or obscure ways of writing, and rhythmic and supplicatory language. About a quarter of a century after this ritual activity began, new building occurred in the sanctuary precinct. The Roman inhabitants of Corinth built three small temples on the upper terrace and a staircase and entrance to the terrace. One of the temples had a mosaic floor dedication that named a temple-warden and a “priestess of Neotera.” In this paper, I analyze these two activities, temple building and curse tablets, as distinct methods of inscribing power—religious, social, and/or political—in the Sanctuary on the slope of Acrocorinth. In this sanctuary, disempowered individuals used obscure ways of speaking and writing to demonstrate their power to communicate with gods and acquire divine action. At the same time, prominent individuals with political power shaped the spatial orientation and architecture of the Sanctuary. I investigate the potential tension between the two activities and the resulting views of Demeter cult and communication with human beings and gods.
This paper examines the three Hebrews papyri found at Oxyrhynchus text critically and in their socio-cultural context.
One way to begin exploring interaction among the variety of Christian authors and texts in late antique Egypt is by looking at Christian libraries. The so-called Bodmer papyri are a group of classical and Christian texts on papyrus and parchment that appeared on the Egyptian antiquities market in the 1950s. According to one theory, these manuscripts are the remains of a Christian monastic library. Another theory prefers to interpret these texts as coming from non-monastic educational setting in which both Christian and classical texts were studied. This paper reviews arguments about the scope and provenance of Bodmer papyri and attempts to contextualize the find among other late antique caches of manuscripts.Trevor Evans, Macquarie University
The documentary papyri preserve a mass of evidence of the greatest importance for Greek lexicography in general and for biblical lexicography in particular, as scholars such as Deissmann and Moulton long ago recognised. These fragile textual artefacts, recovered mostly from the rubbish tips and mummy-wrappings of ancient Egypt, offer us a vast and growing hoard of new Greek words and new senses of previously known words. No reliable lexical analysis of any of this material is currently available. Earlier treatments are now seriously dated, and many inaccuracies lurk in the standard works on which contemporary scholars are forced to rely. To address the urgent desideratum of replacing these works and filling the increasingly yawning gap in our knowledge-base is a daunting challenge. This paper introduces the aims, methods, and significance of a project seeking to address the problem by providing a lexicon for a key subset of the corpus. The project is based at Macquarie University in Sydney and is producing a Greek-English lexicon of the Zenon Archive. The Zenon Archive includes roughly 40 per cent of all third-century BCE documentary papyri. Its vocabulary amounts to some 4,558 words, excluding proper names. This may be compared with the vocabulary of the Greek Pentateuch, approximately 3,453 items, and that of the New Testament, approximately 4,861 items. The vocabulary of the Archive thus represents a very large body of material in its own right and the lexicon will provide a model for the lexicography of the Greek papyri as a whole.
This paper investigates crasis of kai with the first person singular pronoun (ego, etc.). The investigation finds that the presence or absence of crasis is not haphazard but exhibits a pattern determined by the semantic value of the combination. The study starts from the LXX Pentateuch and other LXX books, then is widened to texts of the Zenon Archive and other papyri, where the pattern is found to be confirmed. It appears that a ‘rule’ was in operation in Greek of the Ptolemaic period. Further investigation needs to be done to establish whether the ‘rule’ operated earlier and later in ancient Greek or changed between eras.Roger T. Macfarlane, Brigham Young University
P.BYU-Didymos is an essentially unknown portion of the Tourah Codex Didymos, discovered in 1941 and now disseminated into several collections worldwide. Because it has not been published beyond a record on Trismegistos, few scholars know anything at all of this important holding in the University Library at Brigham Young University. The Library acquired one signature of the Tourah Codex V in the 1980s. A single leaf from the same codex was acquired soon afterwards. The Librarian purchased the text knowing it contained part of Didymos the Blind’s Commentary on the Psalms. The Tourah Horde was discovered in 1941. Like much of the rest of the discovery, Codex V was immediately dismantled and scattered. This Turah Codex is comprised of 22 signatures. The publication of P.BYU-Didymos will revise substantially what is known about the structure the Codex V. For instance, where all scholars since Groenewald have assumed that signature ? (eta) was a quaternion, it turns out to be a quinion. And because nearly five decades have passed since it has been raised in print, the question about the internal leaves of ?? (iota stigma) must be clarified and restated. One signature is still at large, its location unknown to the general scholarly community (I believe). Reckoning these numbers, Groenewald and the scholars at Cologne, whence the primary of impulse for editing the text of Codex V emanated in the 1960s and beyond, calculated the total pages of text at 353. As it turns out, the publication of P.BYU-Didymos will push that number upward by 16 pages, as Groenewald’s numbers are one signature short. Reviewing the holdings of Codex V in signatures scatteed between Geneva, Cairo, Cologne, London, and Provo, I hope to make new sense of the work’s codicological structure.
The scribe of PsT wrote in a cursive script. As a consequence of this and of the excellent state of this 6th century papyrus’ preservation, the scribal process can be observed in PsT in finer detail than is usually possible, especially pertaining to the ductus litterarum. Among his habits are: 1. the use of different letter shapes (especially final-nu) to mark a pause, grammatical or rhetorical; 2. the use of enlarged letters for new sections of text, but also sometimes to mark the end of a pause; 3. spaces between words in pausa are also observable; 4. the columns of PsT are very wide, so the scribe freqeuntly, measurably re-aligns his baseline to keep it from skewing too far upwards or down; 5. where the scribe re-inks his pen can be followed with unusual clarity. Heretofore, current theories of how working memory (also called short-term memory) function have played almost no role in the various accounts scholars give for scribal process in Antiquity. This lack has fueled a pointless debate about dictation theory, and occasionally a distorted emphasis on the purely visual component of this process. Taking advantage of the unusual amount of data available from the PsT, I will demonstrate how what is called the “phonological loop” in working memory plays an important role, viz., how its relatively small buffer of between one and ten words restricted the copying process. A prior consideration, however, has to do with the oral nature of the PsT. It is uncontroversial that the text was dictated by Didymus to a stenographer and then converted to scriptio plena. It was not edited for publication, but used “as is,” perhaps in Nitrian monastic community. I assume, therefore, that the text is made up of the “intonational units”, sometimes called “idea units”, unrevised, as Didymus spoke them. An average obtained by Chafe for lectures is 7.3 words per intonational unit, only slightly more than the 6.3 words average for conversation (Chafe-Danielewicz, 1987). “The length or duration of the units fits the acoustic short term memory of the performer, or in other words, the ability to process linguistic expressions as wholes, which is determined by an “auditory buffer” of two to three seconds (Bakker, 1997, citing Chafe, 1994, p. 58). Finally, a correspondence can be demonstrated between the prosody of Didymus’ lecturing style and the way our scribe has chunked the text into his working memory in order to transcribe it. The results of this research will offer something new in the study of orality in Greek and to the role working memory plays in scribal practice.
As part of a current project at Brigham Young University to publish twenty-two signatures of Didymus the Blind’s commentary on the Psalms, this paper seeks to elucidate the content of this material. Specifically, this paper will seek to describe, analyze, and provide explanation of Didymus the Blind’s Commentary of Psalms 26:10–29:1. As this material has been in possession of Brigham Young University for almost 30 years and has remained unpublished the content of this material is surely welcome and will shed additional light on Didymus’ biblical exegesis.
In 1941 a large cache of papyri preserving the writings of Origen and Didymus the Blind were discovered in Turah, Egypt. 43 years later 22 signatures from the Turah papryi containing Ps. 26:10–29:1 from Didymus the Blinds’ commentary on Psalms were acquired by Brigham Young University. These signatures remain unpublished at present. In an effort to assist in the publication of these papyri this paper seeks to examine Didymus’ use of the New Testament quotations found in this hitherto unpublished section and to build upon the foundation of the New Testament exegesis of Didymus established by Dr. Bart Ehrman and others. In addition to providing an inventory of all New Testament quotations and significant textual variants used by Didymus in this section of his commentary, I will also analyze how Didymus used the New Testament to support his interpretation of the Psalms. The New Testament quotations brought forward in this paper will shed greater light on the Alexandrian New Testament text that Didymus utilized as well as give us a clearer picture of Didymus as a New Testament exegete.
A collaborative project of the Brooklyn Museum and a number of allied institutions, including Princeton Theological Seminary and West Semitic Research, the Digital Brooklyn Museum Aramaic Papyri (DBMAP) is to be both an image-based electronic facsimile edition of the important collection of Aramaic papyri from Elephantine housed at the Brooklyn Museum and an archival resource to support ongoing research on these papyri and the public dissemination of knowledge about them. In the process of building out a (partial) prototype of the edition, to serve as a proof of concept, we have discovered little field-specific discussion that might guide our markup decisions. Consequently, here our chief ambition is to initiate such a conversation. After a brief overview of DBMAP and a demo of our prototype edition, we offer some initial reflection and assessment of XML markup schemes specifically for Semitic texts from the ancient Near East that comply with TEI, CSE, and MEP guidelines. We take as our example BMAP 3 (=TAD B3.4) and we focus on markup as pertains to the editorial transcription of this documentary text and to the linguistic analysis of the text’s language.
Papyri allow us to retrieve not only lost literary works and heretical gospels but the everyday writings of Greco-Roman Egypt: letters, contracts, homilies, census returns, petitions, school exercises. There are hundreds of thousands of such fragments in the Oxyrhynchus collection alone, and publishing them is a painfully slow process. Building on our experience crowd-sourcing transcriptions of the Oxyrhynchus material in Greek on the Ancient Lives website, our team is examining a range of documents offering evidence about the rise of Christianity. Based on the transcription pipeline we built for the Greek crowd-sourced fragments, we are developing a transcription tool for Coptic, used alongside Greek in the early Christian period. This new pipeline will allow us to crowd-source unpublished texts from Oxyrhynchus and other large collections in Coptic as well as Greek. We will also complete a web-based curation interface allowing scholars to edit the results of the crowd-sourced transcriptions. This corpus of digital information, linked to each fragment, will significantly increase the rate at which fragments are published and will expedite meaningful searches across all fragments. We will then combine the crowd-sourced data in Greek and Coptic with data from customized searches across already extant databases of papyrus texts in Greek and Coptic. These new tools will allow our team to look in more detail than ever before at the complex networks of Christian identity and authority in the early church, and to examine how early Christians saw their new religion as part of their other identities (e.g., Greek culture, Egyptian ethnicity, Roman citizen, freedman, merchant, monk). Our transcription pipeline, curation interface, and search tools will be transferable to many other humanities projects. Both our tools and our results, enabled by well-tested large-scale crowd-sourced transcriptions, will be made available to other developers and scholars.
It has been very common in research on the Greco-Roman world to assert that very few people existed in between the elite based in the cities on the one hand, and a homogenous mass of self-sufficient “peasants,” living just at or slightly above subsistence-level after taxes were paid, on the other. Market exchange was peripheral and, indeed, inimical to the “peasant” mode of existence, which was largely self-provisioning with barter having been the preferred means of exchange when any trade did take place. Two scholarly constructs in particular have given rise to this conventional view—(1) the (Karl) Polanyi–(Moses) Finley paradigm; and (2) the essentialist social-scientific concept of the “peasant” as a distinct socioeconomic and cultural human type. In this paper I survey scholarly critiques of both these constructs and show that anthropological field work has in fact revealed the following to be the two fundamental characteristics of agrarian societies actually studied on the ground: (1) marked socioeconomic inequalities within village communities, which are key to understanding their internal dynamics; and (2) a multiplicity of economic strategies employed by rural people in order to procure their livelihood, which include combining the cultivation of holdings with tenancy and wage labor, and/or with small-scale commerce and commodity production, as well as working in the transportation of goods, all of which involve market participation and not just production for self-use. I then survey data from Greco-Roman and Early Byzantine Palestine and Egypt— archaeological, documentary, and literary—which strongly suggest that the same two fundamental characteristics of agrarian societies were predominant in the villages of the ancient world as well. Some of the data from Palestine that I present will soon appear in “Inner Village Life: A Diverse and Complex Phenomenon,” in Galilee in the Late Second Temple and Mishnaic Periods: Volume 1: Life, Culture, and Society (ed. David A. Fiensy and James Riley Strange; Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, invited essay, forthcoming). To provide one example from the Egyptian data, whose analysis is part of a larger comparative ongoing project that I am undertaking, a private-land register of 216/17 CE from the village of Philadelphia shows that, while absentee urbanite landowners from both Alexandria and the metropolis of Arsinoe did own significant quantities of land near the village, it was the villagers themselves who owned the majority of it. The land in the hands of the villagers was furthermore very unequally distributed among them. One can estimate the net product of each holding in grain equivalent after subtracting taxes and seed grain, and then incorporate a conservative estimate for the basic subsistence requirements for a family of four in grain equivalent. The result is that the villagers’ holdings varied from one tenth that required for subsistence to almost 35 times subsistence-level (a factor of 350!), with a graduated range of sizes in between these.s part of the first project of this program unit, the current paper investigates the daily life of ancient farm workers in the Greco-Roman world. The purpose is to plot the position of these farm workers on the socio-economic hierarchy of the ancient world. In the process, farm workers are distinguished from peasants, on the one hand, and slaves, on the other. Attention is specifically paid to aspects that influence socio-economic status, such as job security, typical duties, duration of "employment", forms of sustenance, patron-client relations, and methods of "remuneration". Care is taken to distinguish within the class of farm workers between day-labourers and more permanent workers.
Today, when we read a fishing story in ancient texts such as the gospels, we may tend to imagine an industry with the characteristics of the modern free-market. But in antiquity the right to fish on a given bank, marsh, or river was strictly controlled. The state, a temple, or a private owner leased fishing rights through contracts, and the lessees’ activities were supervised to ensure that the lessor received his or her due. Fishing supervisors (epiteretes) could form partnerships and sign a tax-farming contract with the holder of the rights, offering guarantees and securities. They kept records of the revenues and sent periodical reports to the authorities. The fishing industry in the Roman Empire was a highly complex activity that created significant social tensions, and considerable profits for both tax farmers, and fishermen. Through an analysis of documentary papyri and ostraca, this paper will expose some aspects of the organization of the fishing industry in Egypt, will shed some light on the ways in which the state and the elites exercised their control over this activity, and will conclude by reflecting on some of the implications studying ancient fishing has for the study of the Jesus movement.
Theodore De Bruyn and Thomas Kraus have recently suggested that P.Berol. 11710 is an amulet that contains an excerpt from an apocryphal gospel. This paper will present a new transcription and interpretation of the text, including a discussion of: the occurrence of the name ‘Jesus’; meaning of the name ‘Nathanael’ in amulets; the use of Greek and Coptic, nomina sacra, a staurogram, isopsephy, and ‘magical symbols’; and the influence of John 1:29, 1:49, and liturgical interpretations. It will be argued, with reference to other ‘magical’ papyri, that a ritual specialist has elaborated on biblical texts to create an apotropaic amulet, rather than preserved passages from a gospel that became apocryphal.
James R. Royse has built upon previous scholarship by Ernest Colwell and F. J. A. Hort by examining singular readings in the papyri in order to determine scribal habits. With respect to six early New Testament papyri (P45, P46, P47, P66, P72, and P75), Royse has shown that these early New Testament scribes tended to omit more than they added. His findings have disproven, at least with respect to these six early papyri, the long held text critical maxim lectio brevior potior. Royse has replaced this maxim with lectio longior potior while emphasizing the ceteris paribus clause. He calls upon New Testament papyrologists and text critics to continue to analyze papyri using this method saying, “Ideally, of course, all the major witnesses to the text of the New Testament…would be studied in detail in order to provide this same kind of information concerning scribal habits…. One’s assertions could then be based on empirical evidence about the witness” (Royse, Scribal Habits in Early Greek New Testament Papyri, 13). In response to Royse’s entreaty to study New Testament witnesses I have begun to analyze P127: a fifth century papyrus containing portions of Acts 10–12, 15–17. My analysis confirms Royse’s findings that the scribe of P127 does indeed omit more than s/he adds. However, although the scribe omits more than s/he adds, the scribe’s habits are strikingly different than Royse’s scribes. Royse also wonders if scribal conventions may have changed, becoming more constant in post-Constantine Christianity. Such a question would require an investigation of many later (fourth century and later) manuscripts. However, P127 does not represent a fixed, more stable text. Rather, the opposite is true—P127 displays a high degree of textual variance. More studies of this type are needed to determine if P127 is indicative of the fifth century or if other fifth century witnesses do exhibit textual fixity. This current study will only analyze P127 and will leave broader issues of general chronological trends unanswered.
Any reader of the Septuagint will, at some point or another, come across the collocation of the particles alla and e (commonly written as all' e). Out of about 550 occurrences of alla in the Septuagint, almost 140 of them co-occur with the particle e. Despite representing twenty-five percent of the uses of alla in the Septuagint, all' e has received very little treatment in lexicons, grammars, and scholarship on Septuagintal translation technique. At worst, the collocation is ignored altogether; at best, it is assumed to be functionally equivalent to alla. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the use of all' e in the Septuagint and what a translator may be communicating about his understanding of his source text by choosing this collocation, rather than alla alone or ean me, to render various Hebrew particles. Instead of ignoring all' e or simply equating it with alla, a functional description will be offered that takes into account the discourse context and the relevance constraints of the collocation. In addition, evidence from contemporary papyri will aid the discussion, helping to delimit the function of all' e and clarify its use in comparison with alla. As will be seen, all' e serves a slightly different function than alla. While the two are related, all' e is frequently used as a limiting construction, both actual and metaphorical. The use of this collocation by the Septuagint translators is significant, especially in the many instances in which it is not lexically motivated by the underlying Hebrew. Understanding its function and paying attention to its use may provide further insight into the translators and how they read their Vorlagen.
Colophons in the Syro-Hexapla and the Early History of the Hexapla
This paper follows up on a presentation made in Munnich, August 2013 and seeks to analyse afresh the contribution made by the colophons in the Syro-Hexapla to the early history of Origen's Hexapla. This is an area of the evidence largely unexplored.
The interpretation of the first sign in the Fourth Gospel is dependent on the perception of the amount of water changed into wine which is mentioned there. The paper will start with the vessels in John 2:6 and discuss their capacity. The analysis will use the metric numbers to be deduced from the text to compare the amount mentioned in the Fourth Gospel to papyrological evidence. The possible lack of metric definition for some of the containers for wine mentioned in Greek papyri will also be taken into consideration. To this comparison also literary and archaeological evidence will be added. This comparison of the text from the Fourth Gospel with Greek papyri will then raise the question as to how the amount has to be perceived. The paper will conclude with a discussion of the consequences of this analysis for the interpretation of this passage which marks the beginning of the signs in the Fourth Gospel.Annelies Moeser, Brite Divinity School (TCU)
Scholars traditionally have approached Jesus’ teaching on divorce in Mark 10:1-12 by seeking to understand it within the cultural context of the historical Jesus, the author of Mark, or the original audience. While numerous proposals for Mark’s provenance exist, discussion generally has been limited to Rome, Syria, and Palestine, most often within the framework of Palestinian Judaism and recently, compared to Roman law. However, in pursuit of establishing provenance, scholars have paid much less attention to the reception of Mark’s gospel in Egypt. This paper does not argue Mark’s gospel was produced in Alexandria. Rather, this paper explores the possibilities for reception of the gospel in the unique cultural context of first and second century Egypt by putting papyrological evidence concerning marriage and divorce into conversation with the Markan material. The approach is similar to Sjef van Tilborg’s Reading John in Ephesus in which he asked whether cultural symbols in the gospel would have seemed similar to (“resonated”) or different from Ephesian culture as seen in inscriptions. I consider some aspects of the diversity and complexity of the Egyptian context concerning marriage and divorce. This includes discussion of women’s ability to initiate divorce and their rights to remarriage (e.g., CPJ, vol. 2, no. 144/ BGU 1102; or BGU iv 11103) in contrast with the gospel’s assumption that men initiate divorce and Jesus’ prohibition on remarriage. Jesus’ citation of Gen 1:27; 5:2 is contrasted with the phenomenon of brother-sister marriage. The inability of Roman soldiers in Egypt to contract legal marriages also forms part of the cultural context in which Mark is heard. I argue that there are significant differences between the assumed context of the gospel and that of Egypt, positing that these differences may have posed a challenge to some readers and have influenced the reception of Mark’s gospel.
Early documentary papyrological texts are rarely cited in modern scholarship and when cited, are used primarily for biblical textual criticism. Early Christian schooltext papyri, in particular, are overlooked. Yet, these texts offer an exceptional glimpse of the Pauline epistles in an educational setting and of the intersection between biblical texts and everyday life. Of the small number of extant early Christian school exercises (before the fourth century), as many as one-third include extracts from the Pauline epistles. Of these few surviving texts, the majority are excerpts from Romans 1. This paper proposes to examine the use of Pauline texts in ancient school exercises, investigating what these school exercises might disclose about the connection between the Pauline letters and early Christian pedagogy and formation. Utilizing a methodology employed by ancient historians who study literate education and best attested in the works of Teresa Morgan and Raffaella Cribiore, this paper explores the role of material evidence in reconstructing ancient education. In the process, the question will be addressed about whether the presence of Paul’s letters within this documentary material might confirm the presence, as suggested by some scholars, of a School of Paul or simply offer a clearer picture of the early ordering of the Pauline epistles and the place of the Roman letter.
One of the earliest witnesses to the text of Philo of Alexandria is the remains of a papyrus codex from Oxyrhynchus, dated to the third century. These remains are divided among Oxford, Copenhagen, and Florence, and have been published as P.Oxy. 9.1173, 11.1356, 18.2158; P.Haun. 8; and PSI 11.1207. Despite the damaged condition of the folios, sufficient text survives to allow identification of (at least some of) the original contents. Fragments of six of Philo’s extant works are found, and provide important textual evidence. Of particular interest is the fact that some fragments of an otherwise completely unknown work are preserved. (Indeed, there is some evidence that more than one such work is involved.) These fragments have been almost entirely neglected in Philonic studies. The folios containing this unknown work (or works) are found in Oxford and Copenhagen. This paper will report on what can be read of these fragments, based on a fresh examination of the material. Despite the limited amount of text that remains, these fragments still preserve very interesting material, including some quotations from classical writers. And there is the striking coincidence, discovered many years ago by Ludwig Früchtel, that a citation from Philo as found in a manuscript of the Sacra parallela overlaps a text now preserved in one of the folios in Oxford.
The Kellis Coptic Papyri and Christianity in Fourth Century Egypt
This year 2014 see the publication of Coptic Documentary Texts from Kellis 2 (= P. Kellis VII, ed. I. Gardner, A. Alcock, W.-P. Funk, Oxbow Press 2014), a volume that completes the editing of the major archive of Coptic papyri found at Ismant el-Kharab by archaeological excavations in the Dakhleh Oasis during the early 1990s. It also marks the 20-year anniversary of the first paper to the SBL (Chicago 1994) where this discovery was announced to a North American audience. The occasion is suitable for an evaluation of the entire archive, now finally edited in full and available to scholars. In this paper I will outline the principal themes and discoveries as regards the changing nature and varieties of Christian belief and practice in a fourth-century Egyptian village. Although it should not be suggested that the world revealed by the Coptic texts from ancient Kellis stands as a paradigm for all of Egypt or indeed Christianity during the fourth-century, this material has cast light on a number of vital and remarkable features such as literacy and bilingualism, the role of women, travel and trade, and of course alternative churches such as Manichaeism in the fabric of domestic life during this transformative period.
W. Johnson in his investigation of literary book roll production in Oxyrhynchus devised three categories of quality in order to distinguish grades of book production quality. His three categories are: (1) formal, semi formal, or pretentious, (2) informal and unexceptional (for the most part probably professional), (3) substandard or cursive. In using these categories Johnson is more concerned with the type of book that the scribe thinks he is writing and so does not, for example, use the term ‘formal’ in the strict palaeographical sense as used by Turner (1987) 20-22. Something like Johnson’s categories is necessary to be able to distinguish the quality of book production of early Christian literature. For the purposes of the inquiry his categories are too broad and vague and a different system of categorization is needed. This paper will outline that system of categorization and give an explanation of how each category is determined. The concern is with the quality of the manuscript that the copyist has produced for his/her client and the ability of the scribe. Having categorized the manuscripts a tentative proposal will be made as what conclusions we can draw from them as to their use and the socio-ecomonic standing of the early Christians.
Early Christian manuscripts of the Gospels show an evolution in the ways in which scribes divided the text, no doubt reflecting and in turn influencing exegesis. The practice of introducing textual division to mark chapter, paragraph, or “verse,” though perhaps surprisingly common in Gospel manuscripts, is irregular and inconsistent. There is diversity both in the principles behind the divisions and in the scribal procedures for marking them (namely: spacing, punctuation, ekthesis, paragraphos, letter-enlargement, marginal chapter numberings, the Eusebian canons). Besides having a system for marking paragraphs, Codex Vaticanus uses a system for numbering chapters that is unique up to that time and has only been observed elsewhere in Codex Zacynthius Rescriptus (6th century), and minuscule 579 (13th c), and Zacynthius contains only Luke 1-11. This paper will demonstrate an unexplored correspondence between the chapter numbering system in B and the textual divisions in P75, from about 150 years earlier, in the Gospel of John. The correspondence has been obscured by the fact that the scribes used different procedures for signifying textual division. While it is well known that the texts of P75 and B are extremely close, we can now observe a system of textual division that connects the two as well, at least for a major portion of John (though not Luke). This paper will lay out the details of this correspondence and make comparisons with other manuscripts. Finally, it will explore possible implications suggested by this correspondence for the proposed common ancestor of P75-B, and for the origins of visual sectioning techniques in Christian manuscripts.
P.Oxy. 10.1228 (Gregory-Aland P22; van Haelst 459) is a papyrus fragment, apparently a portion of a roll, a lines of the Gospel of John written on the vertical-fibre side, the horizontal-fibre side blank, the manuscript dated palaeographically 3rd century CE. It is one of only a few instances of a NT text written on a portion of a roll. Skeat (Birth of the Codex, 39-40) described it as "an eccentric production," and Kurt Aland (Studien zur Ueberlieferung des NT) proposed that the copyist re-used a roll, attaching extra sheets at the end, thus explaining the blank "recto". Based on my own autopsy inspection of the item (to my knowledge the first in many decades), I will make a fresh attempt to answer questions about the nature and likely original use of this noteworthy copy of GJohn.
The papyrus fragments of Luke and Matthew designated as P4, P64, and P67 have been subject to intense study by both biblical scholars and papyrologists since the 1990s. Discussion has centered on two issues: 1) What is the date of the fragments—are they a product of the first century, as a few fringe voices have argued, or are they more likely of the late second century, as a consensus holds, or should we entertain the possibility of a fourth century date, as one palaeograpaher has recently argued? 2) Did the fragments come from a single codex, and if so, what sort of codex was it? This paper attempts to shed light on these questions by scrutinizing the history of the publication and interpretation of these fragments, highlighting especially some neglected palaeographical assessments and raising questions about the alleged provenance of the Philo codex in which the fragments of Luke (P4) were found.
In this talk I would like to discuss P.Grenf. 1.5, a fragment from a papyrus codex containing Ezekiel 5.12-6.3, and put it into its historical and cultural contexts. This papyrus from the latter half of the third century CE has been neglected by scholars (both papyrologists and scholars of Greek Bible); however, because it shows significant textual differences from the Septuagint and because it carries the critical signs used by Origen, this fragment is very important for the reconstruction of Origen’s work on the Bible. In my talk, I will first briefly compare the data offered by P.Grenf. 1.5 with two important witnesses of Origen’s Hexapla – the Cairo-Genizah Palimpsest (7th century) and the Mercati Palimpsest (9th-10th century) ¬– to address the debated question of where Origen used his critical signs: whether in the fifth column of the Hexapla, or in a separate edition containing the Greek text only. In the second part of my talk, through a synoptic analysis of P.Grenf. 1.5 and the Codex Marchalianus (Vat. Gr. 2125), a 6th century CE codex of the Septuagint preserving Origen’s critical signs, I will show that P.Grenf. 1.5 better preserves the original system invented by Origen for his edition of the Septuagint; and, consequently, that it has a unique value for the study of Origen and his work on the Septuagint. Finally, I will put P.Grenf. 1.5 in its historical and cultural context, studying it against the testimony of Jerome and of what we know of the editorial work by Pamphilus and Eusebius at Caesarea.
"Full information on the acquisition history of the new Sappho fragments will be given by Dirk Obbink in a forthcoming article in ZPE. An entire session at the American Philological Association/Archaeological Institute of America annual meeting in New Orleans (Session 5, 9th January 2015) will be devoted to the new Sappho poems: the first paper by Obbink will address, among others, issues of provenance, as you can read from the program. The fragments do not come from mummy cartonnage, as previously written by Obbink in his TLS article, but from book binding cartonnage; their provenance is documented, and proofs that they were out of Egypt before 1972. The book binding was dismounted before the papyri were studied and then published respectively by Dirk Obbink (P.Sapph. Obbink) and by S. Burris, D. Obbink, and J. Fish (P.GC. 105)"