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Introduction to Papyrology: A Journey through Papyri

Tuesday., 9am (U.S. Eastern Time)

Course DescriptionThis 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.


Level: This course is intended for students with intermediate to advanced knowledge of Ancient Greek, as well as for experts in Classics and related fields.

Textbook: E.G. Turner, Greek Papyri. An Introduction, Oxford at the Clarendon Press, 1968 (or more recent editions) and P. Parsons, The City of the Sharp-Nosed Fish. The Lives of the Greek in Roman Egypt, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2007. Instructur will also provide further materials.

Sections capped at: 5 students. If the course is sold-out, please fill out this waiting-list form.

Regular price $250.00

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Isabella Bonati is currently an Assistant Researcher at the Universidade de Lisboa, Centro de Estudos Clássicos da Faculdade de Letras. She is an External Researcher at the North-West University of Potchefstroom, South Africa, where she has previously worked as a Researcher and Temporary Lecturer. She has completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Papyrology at the Department of Letters, Arts, History and Society of the University of Parma, Italy, where she was involved in research activities within the ERC project DIGMEDTEXT (Online Humanities Scholarship: A Digital Medical Library based on Ancient Texts), funded by the EC. She holds a PhD in Papyrology from the University of Parma and she received an Yggdrasil grant 2012-2013 at the University of Oslo. Her main research interests are concerned with papyrology, especially lexical studies. Other research interests include classical philology, linguistics, archaeology, history of medicine. She published articles in various international journals such as Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik (ZPE), Marburger Beiträge zur Antiken Handels-, Wirtschafts- und Sozialgeschichte (MBAH), Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists (BASP), Early Science and Medicine (ESM). She also published a book entitled Glosse esotiche nei frammenti di Ipponatte. Gli esotismi nella lingua del giambografo di Efeso (Voces peregrinae in the Fragments of Hipponax. Foreign Loan-words in the language of the iambographer of Ephesus), EAI, Saarbrücken 2015, and the monograph Il lessico dei vasi e dei contenitori greci nei papiri. Specimina per un repertorio lessicale degli angionimi greci (The Vocabulary of Greek Vases and Containers in the Papyri. Specimens for a Dictionary of Ancient Greek Vase Names) APF-B 37, De Gruyter, Berlin-Boston 2016. See at the link