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Monday, April 20, 2015

G. Ruffini, The Bishop, The Eparch, and The King: Old Nubian texts from Qasr Ibrim (P. QI4)

The Bishop, The Eparch, and The King: Old Nubian texts from Qasr Ibrim (P. QI4)
(The Journal of Juristic Papyrology Supplements) by Giovanni Ruffini

Series: The Journal of Juristic Papyrology Supplements
Hardcover: 350 pages
Publisher: Journal of Juristic Papyrology (November 1, 2014)
ISBN-10: 8393842514
ISBN-13: 978-8393842513
Review in BMCR
Giovanni R. Ruffini, The Bishop, the Eparch, and the King: Old Nubian Texts from Qasr Ibrim (P. QI 4). Journal of Juristic Papyrology supplements, 22.   Warsaw:  Journal of Juristic Papyrology, 2014.  Pp. xiv, 367.  ISBN 9788393842513.  $70.00.

Reviewed by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei, Centre for Modern Thought, University of Aberdeen (vincent@vangervenoei.com)
Giovanni Ruffini here brings us the fourth volume of Old Nubian material from the excavations at Qasr Ibrim, more than twenty years after the first three publications by Plumley and Browne.1 This large volume of previously unpublished material, which also forms the documentary backbone to Ruffini's study Medieval Nubia: A Social and Economic History,2 gathers in it a wide selection of documentary materials including land-sales, letters, a royal decree, and accounts, dating mainly from the twelfth century and providing many new insights into the historical, social, and economical context of the multilingual community of Qasr Ibrim, one of the important centers of medieval Nubian culture.
In his introduction, Ruffini first offers a short background of the Old Nubian Qasr Ibrim material and its publication history. The section “Historical Commentary” builds on the preliminary analyses of the material in Medieval Nubia, pointing out several interesting new insights into the political structure of medieval Nubia and details about its economical and fiscal system such as the first attestation of the gold dinar in Old Nubian (108.113). The organization of the documentary material is made according to genre and origin: texts from Qasr Ibrim Archive 1, mainly containing land-sales written on scrolls found in a jar; texts from Archive 4, which are all letters; and finally—save for a royal decree by King Siti, a bilingual Greek-Old Nubian literary document, presumably by a certain bishop Iōannēs, and two miscellaneous texts—a large remainder of letters and accounts.

etc. at BMCR