What's New in Papyrology

Recent publications of papyri & ostraca 4th BC-8th AD; conferences, lectures etc. from Papy-L and other sources as noted. PLEASE SEND SUGGESTIONS

Saturday, May 31, 2014


The Vienna Epigrams Papyrus(G 40611) 
Ed. by Parsons, Peter John / Maehler, Herwig / Maltomini, Francesca 
Corpus Papyrorum Raineri XXXIII

The Hellenistic Far East Archaeology, Language, and Identity in Greek Central Asia
Rachel Mairs (Author)

Around the web

Alin Suciu on the the Catalogue of Coptic Mss. in the Staatsbibliotek zu Berlin

S. Emmel, The Nag Hammadi Codices Editing Project: A Final Report from 
 ARCE,  Newsletter 104 (1978) 10–32.

Dienst nach Vorschrift? Vergleichende Studien zum Gnomon des Idios Logos, 3. Wiener Kolloquium zur antiken Rechtsgeschichte, 19.-20.6.2014, Vienna, Austria

B. Nongbri "Some Observations on the Date and Provenance of P.Bodmer II (P66)" in MH 71.1 (2014), 1-3


Palaeographic estimates of the date of P.Bodmer II, the well-preserved Greek papyrus codex of the Gospel of John, have ranged from the early second century to the first half of the third century. There are, however, equally convincing palaeographic parallels among papyri securely dated to as late as the fourth century. This article surveys the palaeographic evidence and argues that the range of possible dates assigned to P.Bodmer II on the basis of paleography needs to be broadened to include the fourth century. Furthermore, a serious consideration of a date at the later end of that broadened spectrum of paleographic possibilities helps to explain both the place of P.Bodmer II in relation to other Bodmer papyri and several aspects of the codicology of P.Bodmer II.

By Brent Nongbri, Sydney

Friday, May 30, 2014

Jean Straus, Cours en ligne: Initiation à la papyrologie documentaire

Course notes

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Around the Web: youtube

Ludwig Koenen  interview

Papyrus Conservation Leyla Lau Lamb

more papyrus conservation

yet more papyrus conservation

Giambattista D'Alessio - La reconstrucción del papiro de Artemidoro 

Salvatore Settis - Uso y reutilización: el papiro de Artemidoro y sus aparatos gráficos

Silvia Ronchey parla del Papiro di Artemidoro

Exhibition "Verbum Domini II"

Verbum Domini Exhibit in the Vatican


New Papyrus exhibit gives access to large U-M collection

Imaging papyri (interview with Dirk Obbink)

Oxyrhynchus: the city and its texts

 RTI example: papyrus fragment

Out of the Ashes Recovering the Lost Library of Herculaneum

 Lighting the Windows of Antiquity

Papyrusmuseum - Geschichte entdecken

The Derveni Papyrus - A conversation with Richard Janko

 Ryan Baumann, Hugh Cayless, Joshua Sosin - After Integrating Digital Papyrology

 April 9, 2013, Early Christian Texts, by Dr. A. Verhoogt at St. Nicholas GOC, Ann Arbor, Michigan

 Chester Beatty Papyri and CSNTM

Museum of the Bible and the Green Scholars Initiative

Museum of the Bible 

Green Scholars Initiative

Green Scholars Initiative, Brill series

J. Gaudet, Papyrus The Plant that Changed the World: From Ancient Egypt to Today's Water Wars

PapyrusThe Plant that Changed the World: From Ancient Egypt to Today's Water Wars John Gaudet 
At the center of the most vital human-plant relationship in history, Papyrus evokes the mysteries of the ancient world while holding the key to the world’s wetlands and atmospheric stability. From ancient Pharos to 21st Century water wars, papyrus is a unique plant that is still one of the fastest growing plant species on earth. It produces its own “soil”—a peaty, matrix that floats on water—and its stems inspired the fluted columns of the ancient Greeks. In ancient Egypt, the papyrus bounty from the Nile delta provided not just paper for record keeping—instrumental to the development of civilization—but food, fuel and boats. Disastrous weather in the 6th Century caused famines and plagues that almost wiped out civilization in the west, but it was papyrus paper in scrolls and codices that kept the record of our early days and allowed the thread of history to remain unbroken. The sworn enemy of oblivion and the guardian of our immortality it came to our rescue then and will again.

Today, it is not just a curious relic of our ancient past, but a rescuing force for modern ecological and societal blight. In an ironic twist, Egypt is faced with enormous pollution loads that forces them to import food supplies, and yet papyrus is one of the most effective and efficient natural pollution filters known to man. Papyrus was the key in stemming the devastation to the Sea of Galilee and Jordan River from raging peat fires (that last for years), heavy metal pollution in the Zambezi River Copperbelt and the papyrus laden shores of Lake Victoria—which provides water to more than 30 million people—will be crucial as the global drying of the climate continues. 8 page insert, illustrations throughout. John Gaudet, a professional ecologist has worked with the U.S. government and carried out research under grants from the National Geographic Society. As an ecologist and primary environmental advisor he is now a writer and consultant. His work has appeared in the Washington Post and he remains active in African, agricultural, and conservation/environmental agencies. John lives in northern Virginia. Visit his website at http://www.fieldofreeds.com. Review

R. Pintaudi on illegal excavations and the kind of texts intercepted by

Naturalmente tutto dipende da come la collezione (green-collection) si è formata. Ho il forte sospetto che molti dei furti di materiale archeologico e papiri rubati, dal 2011 in poi, sia dai nostri scavi ad Antinoupolis, sia provenienti da scavi clandestini fatti dagli abitanti del villaggio di El Scheikh Abadah, sia dalla distruzione del museo di Mallawi, abbiano trovato una agevole stada per un tranquillo rifugio in collezioni di questo tipo, che stranamente proprio in questi anni sembra che si siano arricchite. Molti materiali siamo riusciti ad intercettare e recuperare, grazie alla collaborazione degli ispettori egiziani, prima che prendessero la strada del trasferimento illegale fuori d'Egitto : tessere di vetro-mosaico, iscrizioni in greco ed in copto, lamine di piombo e d'argento incise in copto ed in greco, papiri greci e copti, frammenti di un grande rotolo di pelle in ebraico con almeno 10 colonne. Invito i colleghi a fare attenzione e a sospettare delle neo-collezioni. Quanto alla pubblicazione su riviste scientifiche di testi di sospetta, o non troppo chiara provenienza, non vorrei spendere altre parole dopo quelle sentite nei nostri ultimi Congressi Internazionali. Caramente Rosario Pintaudi

Sunday, May 25, 2014

H. Maehler, Berlin Papyri in the 1960's

Herwig Maehler kindly responded to my questions about the Berlin papyrus collection post WWII until the end of the 1960's. One question turned out not be relevant to papyrology, so I omit it for the time being.  I will add more when I am home again in few days' time.  There is also information on the Trismegistos: Collections site.
(1)During WWII, the collection of papyri, a Department  of the Egyptian Museum,  was stored in boxes in various locations in Berlin and elsewhere in Germany to protect it from air raids.  After the war, those parts of the collection which were in what was to become East Germany (DDR),where taken to Moscow and returned to the Bode Museum in East Berlin in 1958. Only a small number of mummy cartonnages remained in Rolf Ibscher’s villa in Klein-Machnow (south of Berlin, near Potsdam) for conservation; these were handed over to the East Berlin Academy in 1950 and produced most of the texts in BGU X of 1970 (see Wolfgang Müller’s Preface). The boxes stored in West Germany and assembled, together with objects of many other museums, in Wiesbaden, were sent to West Berlin in the early 60s. It so happened that nearly all of that material was still in the old tin boxes in which it had been shipped from Egypt, so conservation and restoration was a top priority. This began in 1963, in a very provisional depository close to the railway station Berlin-Zoo. In 1964, the Egyptologist Helmut Satzinger and I were hired to work on Coptic and Greek texts respectively (he started few months before me, in July 1964; I started on 1st October).  When the new Egyptian Museum in Charlottenburg was opened in 1967, the first part of BGU XI was published; part 2 followed in 1968, together with Satzinger’s BKU  III.
(2)   I took my PhD at Hamburg in 1961, then went to Oxford on a British Council scholarship (1961-2). for training in Papyrology with Peter Parsons. In 1964, my supervisor, Bruno Snell, recommended me to Werner Kaiser, then director of the new Egyptian Museum in West Berlin. (It was Snell who got me interested in papyri).
(5)  Inventory numbers: In order to avoid double numbering and confusion, it was agreed between Wolfgang Müller (Director, Bode Muaeum), Günter Poethke and me that the West Berlin collection shpould start numbering at 21000, because at the time,  inventory numbers in East Berlin went up to just above 18000 and it was anticipated that they would not rise above 21000 in the foreseeable future (there was always hope, on both sides of the Wall, that one day the two halves of the collection would be reunited). The agreement was never made formally because the communist regime did not tolerate agreements with West Berlin institutions such as the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz (to which the public museums and the Staatsbibliothek belong).

Sunday, May 18, 2014

W. Habermann (ed.), Die Badischen Grabungen in Qarâra und El-Hibeh 1913 und 1914. (P.Heid. X)

Die Badischen Grabungen in Qarâra und El-Hibeh 1913 und 1914. Wissenschaftsgeschichtliche und papyrologische Beiträge (P.HEID. X) Wolfgang Haberland (Hg.)
Mitarbeit v. (als Hg.): Elke Fuchs
Contrib. by: James M.S. Cowey, Demokritos Kaltsas, Thomas Kruse, Clemens Kuhs, Fritz Mitthof, Fabian Reiter, Georg Schmelz, Renate Ziegler
1.Edition, 2014 (9 Tafeln, 54 Abbildungen)
449 Pages
ISBN: 978-3-8253-6288-1?
Winter Verlag
  Veröffentlichungen aus der Heidelberger Papyrus-Sammlung. Neue Folge, Volume No.: 14 Available: 02.04.2014

Der wissenschaftsgeschichtlich ausgerichtete Band beschäftigt sich mit den von der Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Freiburger Wissenschaftlichen Gesellschaft in den Jahren 1913 und 1914 im mittelägyptischen Qarâra und el-Hibeh organisierten und finanzierten ‚Badischen Grabungen‘. Grabungstagebücher, Fotos, Fund-journal sowie ausführlicher Schriftverkehr, Akten und Berichte erlauben einen seltenen und spannenden Einblick in Vorbereitung und Durchführung der Grabungen, beteiligte Institutionen und Personen sowie Verteilung und Verwahrung der Fundgegenstände.

Die wissenschaftliche Aufarbeitung des Fundguts ist durch ein umfangreiches Schrifttum in einer Auswahl-bibliographie dokumentiert. Insbesondere die in der Heidelberger Papyrussammlung aufbewahrten griechischen, demotischen und koptischen Papyri aus der Region, die vom 6.Jh. v.Chr. bis in das 7./8.Jh. n.Chr. reichen, haben besonderes Interesse hervorgerufen; ihre Bearbeitung wird in einem Editionsteil fortgesetzt.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

W. Clarysse, M Depauw, How Christian was Fourth Century Egypt? Onomastic Perspectives on Conversion

Vigiliae Christianae 67 (2013) 407-435
How Christian was Fourth Century Egypt? Onomastic Perspectives on Conversion

M. Depauw and W. Clarysse, KU Leuven

In 1982 Roger Bagnall published a ground-breaking article about conversion to Christianity in fourth century Egypt. Using onomastic data for individuals in seleced texts, he tried to demonstrate that the growth of the Christian element in the population was early and rapid, rising to 90% by the end of the century. A new date for one of the documents led to a revision of the pace of growth in 1987, but his method was never tested on other datasets. In this article we apply an adapted vesion of his method to a
large new dataset, containing all attestations of personal names in fourth century documentary papyri and ostraca. We also investigate the accuracy of Christian names as a binary test for Christianity, and estimate the mutiplication factor which can be applied to determine the number of Christians. Our results are similar to the curve which can be distilled from Bagnall’s adapted results in 1987, with 20-30% Christians around 313, a Christian majority around 350.

Around the Web

R Mazza, Mummy Cartonnage: An Introduction

B. Jones, P.Hibeh I 54: Flutes, Dancers, Food and a Slave in a Ptolemaic Greek Papyrus

L.Del Corso, Le Scriturre di Dioscoro (Academia.edu)

Stephen Emmel's papers on Academia.edu

J. Coogan, A Single Sheet Archive on Papyrus: The Case of a Sixth Century Amulet

Sunday, May 11, 2014

P.Buzi, ed., Coptic Manuscripts Part 7: The Manuscripts of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin Preussischer Kulturbesitz.

Alessandro Bausi (Hrsg.), Paola Buzi (Bearb.)
Coptic Manuscripts
Part 7: The Manuscripts of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin Preussischer Kulturbesitz. Part 4: Homilectic and Liturgical Manuscripts from the White Monastery. With two documents from Thebes and two Old-Nubian manuscripts
274 p.
7 Tafeln, cloth bound
Franz Steiner Verlag 
ISBN 978-3-515-10711-2

Table of Contents


This volume is the seventh catalogue of the Verzeichnis der Orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland series dedicated to the collection of Coptic manuscripts belonging to the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Preußischer Kulturbesitz – Orientabteilung.
The volume contains the analytical description of literary and liturgical manuscripts (Ms. or. fol. 1348–1350, 1605–1610; Ms. or. fol. 3065; Ms. or. oct. 409 and Ms. or. oct. 987) from the well known library of the White Monastery, in Sohag (Upper Egypt), two papyrus documents from Thebes (Ms. or. fol. 2097) and two Old Nubian manuscripts (Ms. or. quart. 1019 and Ms. or. quart. 1020), which are all dated between the fourth and the tenth-eleventh centuries CE.
Since a large part of these manuscripts consists of leaves of dismembered codices, great attention has been devoted to the description of each single codicological unit (that often correspond to one single leaf), and, wherever possible, to the virtual reconstruction of the original codices. Moreover, particular care has been dedicated to applying an extensive codicological description and to the possibly exhaustive listing of secundary literature.

Nocchi Macedo, Gabriel (ed., trans., comm.). L'Alceste de Barcelone (p.Monts. Roca inv. 158-161)

Nocchi Macedo, Gabriel (ed., trans., comm.). L'Alceste de Barcelone (p.Monts. Roca inv. 158-161). Édition, traduction et analyse contextuelle d'un poème latin conservé sur papyrus. Papyrologica Leodiensia, 3. Liège: Presses Universitaires de Liège, 2014. 214 p. € 30.00 (pb). ISBN 9782875620415.
Présentation du volume
D’Euripide à T.S. Eliot, en passant par Gluck et Rilke, la figure d’Alceste, épouse aimante qui accepte de mourir à la place de son mari, a inspiré maint artiste. À la fin de l’Antiquité, un poète latin, dont l’identité nous est inconnue, composa des vers sur le mythe de la reine de Thessalie. Son poème aurait été à jamais perdu, si les sables d’Égypte ne nous en avaient pas livré une copie sur un papyrus du IVe siècle. Connu comme l’« Alceste de Barcelone », il représente un des apports majeurs de la papyrologie à notre connaissance de la littérature latine et, depuis sa première édition, en 1982, il n’a cessé d’attirer l’attention des spécialistes et des amateurs de
culture classique.
Le présent ouvrage propose une nouvelle édition du poème latin, accompagnée d’une traduction française, ainsi que d’un commentaire critique et linguistique. Exceptionnel à plusieurs égards, le manuscrit qui le contient fait l’objet d’une analyse codicologique et paléographique détaillée. On examine également son contexte de production et d’utilisation et, par extension, celui dans lequel l’« Alceste de Barcelone » a pu, de par sa langue, son style et son sujet, susciter l’intérêt dans l’Antiquité tardive. En filigrane aux discussions autour du texte et de son manuscrit, on aborde les questions de la transmission et la réception de la culture classique à la fin de l’Antiquité, notamment en Égypte, terre de riches entrecroisements culturels.

Notice de l'auteur
Gabriel Nocchi Macedo est titulaire d’une Maîtrise en Langues et Littératures Classiques de l’Université de Liège et aspirant du Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique. Il prépare actuellement une thèse de doctorat sur les plus anciens livres latins de poésie. Poursuivant des recherches dans les domaines de la papyrologie, de la codicologie et de la paléographie, avec un intérêt particulier pour les papyrus et manuscrits latins, il est membre du Centre de Documentation de Papyrologie Littéraire (CEDOPAL) de l’Université de Liège, où il collabore à plusieurs projets.

Around the Web

Faces & Voices "Update on the new Sappho fragments and the Green Collection"

Alin Suciu "Guest Post: Joost L. Hagen – Possible further proof of forgery" (of ps.GJW)

Evangelical Textual Criticism: Peter Head "Pseudo-Gospel of Jesus Wife as Case Study"

Ségolène Tarte has a number of interesting papers available concerning advances being made on digital imaging, especially of waxed tablets, and the praxis of decipherment.

Willy Clarysse has made more of his papers available.
BMCR has reviewed
J. van der Vliet, J. L. Hagen (ed.), Qasr Ibrim, Between Egypt and Africa: Studies in Cultural Exchange (S. Burstein)

 P. Petra II  (Lajos Berkes)

A. Blanchard's Ménandre, tome II Paris:  Les Belles Lettres, 2013.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Previously forged papyri

Constantine Simonides forged a number of papyri in the 19th century (although P.Artemid. is certainly not among them), a fact that has been forgotten during the debate surrounding the authenticity of the ps.GJW copt. papyrus and its companion ps.GJohn Copt. Published in 1862 (Fac-Similes of Certain portions of The Gospel of St. Matthew and of the Epistles of Ss. James & Jude, written on papyrus and preserved in the Egyptian Museum of Jospeh Mayer Esq. Liverpool"), and refuted within a year (British Quarterly Review 38, 1863), these examples of simulated ancient writing should qualify as a "verifiable case of somebody producing a papyrus text that purports to be an ancient text that isn’t." NYT, May 4, 2014.
Below are screen shots of the plates in Simonides publication. The most immediate giveaway that the writing is simulated, not genuine, is the absence of nomina sacra. 

Wednesday, May 07, 2014


Authors: Fournet J.-L., Tihon A.
Year: 2014
ISBN: 978-90-429-
Pages: IV-190 p.

Price: 50 EURO

Le Papyrus Fouad inv. 267 A est un document d’une importance exceptionnelle
pour l’histoire de l’astronomie ancienne. Il s’agit d’un fragment de traité rédigé à Alexandrie
vers 130 après Jésus-Christ. La partie conservée, qui occupe le recto et le verso d’un seul
folio, concerne le Soleil dont la longitude est calculée en fonction de trois différentes
années: l’année sidérale, l’année «moyenne» de 365 jours 1/4 et l’année tropique. Le texte
donne un exemple pris le 9 novembre 130 p. C. à 3h depuis minuit. L’auteur se réfère aux
observations d’Hipparque dont il mentionne une observation faite au solstice d’été en 158
avant Jésus-Christ.
Le présent volume donne une description détaillée du papyrus, une édition
diplomatique et une édition normalisée par Jean-Luc Fournet, ainsi qu’une traduction suivie
de notes paléographiques et explicatives par Jean-Luc Fournet et Anne Tihon. Le
commentaire par Anne Tihon suit le texte pas à pas et est accompagné d’un glossaire et de
photos en couleur. Une annexe par Raymond Mercier donne une reconstruction des tables
et une brève analyse mathématique.
The Papyrus Fouad inv. 267 A is a document of exceptionnal importance for the
History of Ancient Astronomy. It consists of a fragment of a treatise written in Alexandria
around 130 AD. The preserved part, which occupies the recto and verso of a single folio,
deals with the Sun, the longitude of which being calculated according three diffferent years:
sidereal year, “mean year” of 365d 1/4 and tropical year. The text gives an example for
November 9th 130 AD at 3h from midnight. The author refers to Hipparchus’
observations, and quotes an observation made at the Summer solstice in 158 BC.
The present book gives a detailed description of the papyrus, a diplomatic and a
normalized edition by Jean-Luc Fournet, as well as a translation followed by paleographical
and explanatory notes by Jean-Luc Fournet and Anne Tihon. The commentary by Anne
Tihon follows the text step by step and is accompanied by a glossary and coloured photos.
An annexe by Raymond Mercier gives a reconstruction of the tables and a short
mathematical analysis.
Order must be sent to Peeters Publishers
Fax: +32-16-239354
Phone: +32-16-244000
e-mail: order@peeters-leuven.be
More information

Monday, May 05, 2014

Images of cartonnage from the Green Collection

Images here:

With discussions here and here.