The first part of this article deals with abbreviations found in Greek documentary papyri and ostraca. The documents in which abbreviation is rife are predominantly those produced on a massive scale and bound to repeat the same words, such as tax accounts and receipts. The most common method of abbreviation is by suspension. to omit one or more of the final letters of a word. Most symbols stem from abbreviations by suspension; these may become reduced to monograms whose original constituents are sometimes no longer discernible. This is the case with most symbols that represent weights and measures, as well as, in the later period, money, which naturally occurred very frequently. In the early days of papyrology, Verschleifungen were given the status of a particular subgroup of abbreviations. This practice is predominantly found with the names and titles of emperors and the names of months in date clauses.
William A. Johnson
From the beginnings of Greek written literature until deep into the Roman era, a “book” was fashioned by taking a premanufactured papyrus roll, writing out the text, attaching additional fresh rolls as the length of text required, and, when finished, cutting off the blank remainder. This article notes that literary texts were produced, in general, with strict attention. It describes what constituted the ancient book. Books on papyrus in the form of rolls (bookrolls) were the norm from the beginnings through the early Roman era. Over the course of the second to the fourth centuries
Petra M. Sijpesteijn
The Arabs enjoyed a long-standing acquaintance with papyrus and its benefits. Papyrus and other traditional media, such as ostraca, leather, parchment, textiles, stone, and bone, were already fully in use on the Arabian Peninsula in pre-Islamic times. After providing a brief history of Arabic papyrology, this article discusses the reading and publishing Arabic texts; Arabic literary and subliterary papyri; the Islamic narrative tradition; and Arabic documentary papyri.
Documentary papyri describe ancient people. Where unrelated texts are like instant snapshots, archives present a coherent film of a person, a family, or a community and may span several months, years, or decades. Bilingual archives show how some Egyptians tried to become Hellenized, but their private accounts betray their native language. An archive is bound to be of greater interest than isolated texts, and the possibilities of archival research for any aspect of life in Graeco-Roman Egypt are practically unlimited. This article offers a systematic approach to archival documents and explains what constitutes an archive, how archives come to light, how we can reconstruct them, the type of archives that may be discerned, and the types of documents in them. Such an approach to archival documentation of the ancient world has in general been attracting increasing interest and brings together scholars who are studying different regions.
This article takes a look at the wide range of daily written correspondence that survived from Roman antiquity. Tablets, letters, and papyri serve as excellent source materials from the period, and a physical description of these items is provided. This article determines that these kinds of text are of unparalleled value as information sources for the social history of Graeco-Roman antiquity. It is even possible that these documents are important for revealing the areas that lie beyond the world of family and daily life.
Papyrus conservation has had a long history since the first attempts to open the carbonized Herculaneum rolls found in 1752 and to unroll the Charta Borgiana, acquired in 1778. New techniques have always been invented and tested, and old treatments have been revised. This article records the methods used on papyrus materials. These methods include physical control; cellulose treatment; ink fixing; and conserving papyrus, mummy cartonnages, and carbonized papyri.
The process of editing a papyrus is undeniably a central aspect in the field of papyrology. This article notes that the task of a scholar who undertakes the edition of a papyrus resembles that of a detective. Following some basic methodological principles, adding a certain amount of experience gained through contact with many texts, and using state-of-the-art tools to find their way around an increasingly vast corpus of primary sources, papyrologists must fit together various pieces of a puzzle. The advent of electronic tools has made possible the quick handling of a huge mass of data, thus changing substantially many aspects of the way in which papyrologists edit their texts. Electronic tools will eventually supersede the main papyrological reference books. Supplements to Friedrich Preisigke's Wórterbuch are becoming redundant now that scholars can search the same data on the Internet.
This article focuses on Greek education during the roughly ten centuries between the conquest of Egypt by Alexander of Macedon and the Arab conquest. Egypt has offered a large quantity of educational material that permits us to glimpse the everyday, unexceptional practices of schooling and to observe certain details. This educational material is extant on papyrus, ostraca, wooden and waxed tablets, and, more rarely, parchment. The recent discovery in Alexandria of eighteen or more classrooms (auditoria) used in late antiquity for higher education is tantalizing. In this case, the literary tradition converges with the archaeological findings to spotlight a formal school setting used by grammarians, sophists, and teachers of philosophy. There are three divisions of levels of schooling: basic reading, writing, and numeracy; grammatical and orthographical knowledge of the language; and perfecting oral and written expression.
The first section of this article discusses traditional religion, looking at the Ancient Egyptian worldview, mummification and afterlife, and the role of the temples in economy and administration. The second section considers new developments in Egyptian religion such as listening gods, animal cults, Egyptian “saints”, oracles, dreams, and katochê. The third section describes the growing state intervention, examining the administration of temples, priestly privileges, temple asylum, and dynastic and imperial cults. The fourth section looks at the impact of the Greek, describing interpreatio graeca, the Hellenization of the gods, and astrology. The last section describes the end of Egyptian religion, looking at polytheism, religion without temples, and Egyptian religion within Christianity.
From the first Fayyum find until the First World War, the period of miraculous discoveries lasted barely forty years. In the present era of slavery to the mass media, A. S. Hunt was right in noting that the benefactors and institutions that provide financial support do not have an understanding of archaeology much different from that of the nineteenth century. Treasure hunting and necrophilia are still the order of the day. It is better to find a royal mummy than a papyrus and better to find a papyrus than domestic garbage, however great its informational value. Except for the special case of the Eastern Desert, it is no longer possible to be sure where to look in order to find texts, but it is still quite possible that extended excavation of what is left of urban conglomerates will produce impressive finds.