Bookrolls and Scribes in Oxyrhynchus by William A. Johnson

By William A. Johnson

Mendacity now lower than the sand three hundred kilometres south of the coastal city of Alexandria, the city of Oxyrhynchus rose to prominence less than Egypt's Hellenistic and Roman rulers. The 1895 British-led excavation published little within the means of constructions and different cultural artefacts, yet as an alternative yielded an important random mass of daily papyri, piled thirty ft deep, together with deepest letters and buying lists, executive circulars, and copies of old literature.The surviving bookrolls - the papyrus rolls with literary texts - have supplied loads of details on old books, historical readers, and old studying. studying purely these texts that live on in complete shape in medieval manuscripts, William Johnson has analysed over four hundred bookrolls to appreciate the creation, use, and aesthetics of the traditional publication. His shut research of formal and traditional positive factors of the bookrolls not just presents distinct details at the bookroll - manufacture, layout, and layout - but in addition, in flip, indicates a few interesting questions and provisional solutions concerning the ways that the use and serve as of the bookroll between old readers may possibly range from sleek or medieval perform. Meticulously erudite, this paintings could be of serious significance to all papyrologists, classicists, and literary students.

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Yet both correctors go beyond simple collation against the antigraph. The corrector of 2404 adds six variant readings in two columns; the sole adjustment in 2373 (fr. 3) is a correction to proper Boeotian orthography (- (5+0 changed to - (#6+^). The unusual number of variant readings in 2404 and the eclectic nature of the Boeotian verse in 2373 and PSI IX 1090 (Erinna) all suggest intellectually refined readers. The two different correctors argue against facile assignment of these texts to a single scholarly owner; one wonders, but cannot prove, whether the papyri were commissioned for use in some sort of readers' group.

AD. The first three of these papyri are clearly by the same hand, and survive in sufficient extent to allow detailed comparison. In most respects, these papyri demonstrate a variety of striking agreements, despite the fact that the bookrolls comprised three different prose genres (history, romance, oratory). Agreement in format: 3882+PSI XI 1195 (Thucydides) and 2466 (Sesonchosis 9 Published in Hendricks 1969. 0 cm. PSI XVII Congr. 12 (Demosthenes), which I have examined only by photograph, measures (according to the editor, and confirmed by the photograph) c.

He may well have copied accents and elision marks, too, for a similar contrast is found there. In 231 the original scribe adds several accents in a few lines, yet initial 3 goes unmarked seven times; in the extensive remains of 1619, by contrast, there are only two rough breathings, but diaeresis is twice added to initial 3 (and goes unmarked only where initial 3 is also line initial). A similar contrast is discernible in the scribes use of elision marks, though here the number of examples is too few to be conclusive: elision is never marked over the extent of 231 and 1619, while the fragments of 2313 contain several elision signs.

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