Introduction to Papyrology

Event Description

This course is a broad introduction to Papyrology. Ancient texts on papyrus have survived in astonishing quantities mostly from ancient Egypt. The study of papyri ranging in date from the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great (332 BC) to the Arab occupation (middle of the VII century AD) offers an extraordinary glimpse into many aspects of daily life, history and literary culture of Greco-Roman and Byzantine Egypt that are otherwise unknown. Papyrology is an essential discipline for students and scholars of the Ancient World – classicists, historians, specialists in ancient literature, linguistics, material culture etc. This course aims to introduce participants to the study of papyri written especially in Greek, documentary as well as literary. The students will acquire the main lines of the history of the discipline; they will learn how to read papyri, the methods and tools to understand their meaning, as well as the massive – but sometimes not recognized enough – contribution of papyrology to other disciplines. Through a selection of relevant exemplars, they will be provided with the skills to contextualize and analyze papyri as both texts and artefacts and will appreciate the role of papyri as privileged sources for the history of Egypt from the age of the Ptolemies to late antiquity.