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.
Robert K. Englund
This article examines the accounting methods in proto-cuneiform during the archaic period. It discusses the importance of archaic numerical and metrological systems as elements of social control and explains the use of accounting method in writing by providing examples drawn from grain administration archives. The proto-cuneiform administrative documentation can be divided into the two major bookkeeping types known from later periods in Babylonia, namely into primary and secondary documents.
This article focuses on cuneiform and scribal education in Anatolia. It attempts to trace some of the developments in the corpus of knowledge and training when it let the confines of its initial area of relevance and was received in Anatolia by the Hittites and to draw inferences about the semiotic and sociological context of the wholesale import of a large-scale technocratic apparatus from one culture into another. It discusses the institutional and social context of scribal education in Old Babylonian Mesopotamia and suggests that class composition among the Anatolian elite was not necessarily the same as that in Mesopotamia.
This article presents a survey of research in farming and agriculture. It discusses the extent the economy was open that involved export and import. It then demonstrates how the local agriculture was adapted into the structure of the economy, and assesses the impact of the agrarian structure on agricultural variety. It also studies the influence Jewish religion might have had on agricultural practices in Roman Palestine. Finally, the article considers how different the agrarian economy of Roman Palestine was from the surrounding provinces.
This article examines the role of farmers and sages in the history of cuneiform writing in ancient Mesopotamia. It explains that when cuneiform writing was invented at the end of the fourth millennium
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
This article tries to illustrate an idea of the range of extant ancient textual sources for engineering and technology. It also presents a broad outline of how the production of texts dealing specifically with technical matters changed in the course of antiquity. In order to combine the two aims, it proceeds chronologically, focusing on two or three examples from each period, chosen to represent both different types of textual evidence and the technological practice of the period in question. The status of technology in classical Athens is first discussed. Additionally, the technical texts from Hellenistic kingdoms are described. It is stated that the technical texts from the Roman Empire have to be seen not only as providing information, but also as constructing a certain way of knowledge, and a certain identity for their authors. The technical texts from antiquity are then addressed.
Archaeozoological research provides impressive, long-neglected evidence for the technical sophistication and productivity of Greco-Roman animal husbandry. A case can be made that the classical and Hellenistic Greeks should be credited for many of the critical innovations in animal husbandry, game-farming, and both fishing and fish-farming. The Greeks and Romans also developed sophisticated new techniques to improve the capture, farming, or fattening of a large range of game, wild birds, and fish. The innovations in Greco-Roman animal husbandry can be broken down into four main areas: breeding, nutrition, housing, and health and veterinary care. Moreover, the economic function of ancient hunting as a source of meat and secondary products is covered. The Greeks and Romans put considerable effort into enhancing and even managing their fish stocks. It is noted that shellfish figured prominently in the Greco-Roman diet.
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.