[1]Paper delivered at the 20th International Congress of Papyrologists (Copenhagen, 23-29 August 1992).

[2]I have been unable to find the source in the Gesammelte Schriften of Th. Mommsen. Likewise, L. Wickert's four-volume biography of Mommsen (Theodor Mommsen: eine Biographie, Frankfurt am Main 1959-1980) was of no avail. The saying is reported by E.G. Turner, Greek Papyri: an Introduction (2nd ed.; Oxford 1980) 23, who must have picked it up from K. Preisendanz, 'Papyruskunde,' in: G. Leyh ed., Handbuch der Bibliothekswissenschaft 1 (2nd ed., Stuttgart 1950) 163: 'Wenn Theodor Mommsen einmal gesagt hat, das zwanzigste Jahrhundert werde das der Papyrologie sein, wie das vergangene das der Epigraphik war, so sah er - aus eigenster Erkenntnis vom hohen Wert der Papyrus-Überlieferung überzeugt - ihr unaufhaltsames Fortschreiten zu einer neuen, unentbehrlichen Disziplin der Altertumswissenschaft mit sicherem Blick voraus.' As far as I know, this is not reported in the first edition of the Handbuch der Bibliothekswissenschaft.

[3]I realize that the original series of MPER (Mittheilungen aus der Sammlung der Papyrus Erzherzog Rainer, Wien) was inaugurated in 1887, but that series was not devoted to the publication of papyrus texts only.

[4]Ägyptische Urkunden aus den königlichen Museen zu Berlin herausgegeben von der Generalverwaltung: Griechische Urkunden (Berlin).

[5]Unfortunately, the lack of editorial prefaces in the first four volumes of BGU makes it hard to estimate the extent of Mommsen's involvement behind the scenes. That there was such an involvement is clear from U. Wilcken, 'Zu Mommsens Gedächtnis,' Archiv für Papyrusforschung 3 (1906) 149-150, as well as K. Preisendanz, Papyrusfunde und Papyrusforschung (Leipzig 1933) 163. As always, Preisendanz' work remains a Fundgrube for all that relates to the early history of papyrology.

[6]See O. Montevecchi's contribution to the 20th International Congress of Papyrologists.

[7]This involvement also expressed itself in the study of individual papyri, which were of interest to Mommsen from a legal-historical point of view. For references to some of Mommsen's articles see Preisendanz, Papyrusfunde, 161-162.

[8]Not unimportantly, 1891 marks the inauguration of what is known as juristic papyrology. In that year L. Mitteis published his influential Reichsrecht und Volksrecht in den östlichen Provinzen des römischen Kaiserreichs (Leipzig 1891). On the subsequent reception of papyri among legal historians see J. Mélèze-Modrzejewski's promised contribution to the twentieth congress of papyrology.

[9]Only the most important names will be mentioned here. For details see Preisendanz, Papyrusfunde and introductory works to papyrology such as O. Montevecchi, La papirologia (2nd ed., Milano 1988). Contrary to what is stated in the appendix to the latter work (p. 407; the appendix is by S. Daris), there never was a papyrologist called Verte in Berlin.

[10]B.P. Grenfell (1869-1926) started publishing papyri in 1896. A.S. Hunt (1871-1934) joined him the next year.

[11]U. Wilcken (1862-1944) confesses the following about Mommsen in his vita printed in his dissertation (Observationes ad historiam Aegypti provinciae Romanae depromptae e papyris Graecis Berolinensibus ineditis, Berlin 1885, 31): after he went to Berlin, Wilcken says, 'hic praecipue Mommseni ingenio adductus historiae Romanae studium ceteris praetuli.' Needless to refer to his two irreplaceable masterpieces: Grundzüge und Chrestomathie der Papyruskunde 1 (Leipzig and Berlin 1912) and Urkunden der Ptolemäerzeit (Berlin und Leipzig 1927-1957), the latter demonstrably the finest product of German Altertumswissenschaft.

[12]J. Nicole, Les papyrus de Genève 1, fascicle 1 (Genève 1896) 3 of the preface, which is dated to March 1, 1896. The same preface refers to papyri as 'les textes papyrologiques.' In introductory works to papyrology no date is given for this particular terminology earlier than 1898; cf. e.g. I. Gallo, Greek and Latin Papyrology (London 1986) 1.

[13]For the definitive statement see Preisendanz, Papyrusfunde, 69-109.

[14]N. Schow, Charta papyracea Graece scripta Musei Borgiani Velitris (Roma 1788).

[15]Thus, only 150 copies of the Leiden papyri were printed: see the title pages of C. Leemans, Papyri Graeci Musei Antiquarii Publici Lugduni-Batavi 1-2 (Leiden 1843-1885). If I am not mistaken, a few years ago some copies remained at the publisher's, E.J. Brill, the oldest commercial publisher of papyrus editions in existence.

[16]Quoted from no. 28 of the Poems of Sentiment and Reflection. I have substituted 'Bacchylides' for 'Simonides' for a reason that will become apparent in a moment. In the first stanza quoted Wordsworth alludes to the papyri found at Herculaneum 'Some Theban fragment' refers to lost poems by Pindar.

[17]The most blatant expression of this bias is to be found in the words of C.G. Cobet quoted by D. Cohen, 'La papyrologie dans les Pays-Bas,' Chronique d'Égypte 6 (1931) 408: 'if I were to occupy myself with papyrus documents,' muses the professor of Greek at the University of Leiden in 1841, 'autika tethnaien.'

[18]See the sketch on the Hyperides papyri in Preisendanz, Papyrusfunde, 98-100.

[19]For details see again Preisendanz, Papyrusfunde, 152-154.

[20]Just consider the dryness of the overview of Hellenistic poetry given by F. Susemihl, Geschichte der griechischen Litteratur in der Alexandrinerzeit (Leipzig 1891-1892), compared with the approach of G.O. Hutchinson, Hellenistic Poetry (Oxford 1988). But even Hutchinson's book is not the replacement of Susemihl's work we so desperately need.

[21]A few years ago a separate introduction to documentary papyrology appeared: I.F. Fikhman, Vvedeniye v dokumentalnuyu papirologiyu (Moskva 1987). Montevecchi, La papirologia covers both literary and documentary papyri and is in this respect preferable to Fikhman's book as a first introduction to papyrology (quite apart from the languages in which these handbooks are written).

[22]An early example is provided by D.S. Margoliouth, 'The Elephantinê papyri,' The Expositor VIII 3 (1912) 73, commenting on papyri in general: 'Not one per cent of those which are deciphered and edited with so much care tell us anything worth knowing.' Note that D.S. Margoliouth himself returned to editing papyri in his old age; see his Catalogue of Arabic Papyri in the John Rylands Library (Manchester 1933), an edition that makes no concession to the reader at all. Presumably all these papyri could tell us something worth knowing, but in this case, as happens more often, the editor has done a good job in silencing them.

[23]As was already acutely observed by F. Bilabel, 'Neue Heidelberger Arbeiten zur Förderung der papyrologischen Studien,' Chronique d'Égypte 6 (1931) 421, referring to the then widely preached Dritter Humanismus.

[24]See D. Hobson, 'Towards a broader context for the study of Greco-Roman Egypt,' Échos du Monde Classique/Classical Views 32 (1988) 353-363; J.G. Keenan, 'The "new papyrology" and ancient social history,' Ancient History Bulletin 5 (1991) 159-169.

[25]Or at least by far the best insights. See E.A. Judge, Rank and Status in the World of the Caesars and St. Paul (Christchurch 1982) 10: 'papyri - - - are the ancient historian's best approximation to a South Seas island,' referring to the application of anthropological theory to ancient history.

[26]T. Harrison, The Trackers of Oxyrhynchus, 2nd ed. (London & Boston 1991) 79 has Grenfell say the following:

The past is rubbish till scholars take the pains
to sift and sort and interpret the remains.
This chaos is the past, mounds of heaped debris
just waiting to be organized into history
[27]This accords well with the definition of papyrology given by J. Bingen, 'La papyrologie grecque et latine: problèmes de fond et problèmes d'organisation,' in: J. Bingen and G. Cambier eds., Aspects des études classiques (Bruxelles 1977) 34: 'la papyrologie apparaît en fin de compte comme une sociologie, au sens le plus large, d'une population à notables grecs installée dans une cadre géographique et ethnique particulier.'

[28]Perhaps I have to modify this statement in light of the recent contribution of A.P. Burnett, The Art of Bacchylides (Cambridge, Mass. 1985).

[29](1848-1931). The remark can be found in Göttingische Gelehrte Anzeigen 160 (1898) 160.

[30]Berliner Klassikertexte herausgegeben von der Generalverwaltung der kgl. Museen zu Berlin (Berlin)

[31]W. Schubart and U. von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, Epische und elegische Fragmente (Berlin 1907) and Lyrische und dramatische Fragmente (Berlin 1907) constitute the two parts of volume 5. On von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff's interest in papyri see the short remarks in Preisendanz, Papyrusfunde, 173-174, as well as in W. Unte, 'Wilamowitz als wissenschaftlicher Organisator,' in: W.M. Calder, H. Flashar and Th. Lindken eds., Wilamowitz nach 50 Jahren (Darmstadt 1985) 762-764. See also, briefly, on Wilamowitz' help with some literary Oxyrhynchus papyri, G. Huxley, 'Wilamowitz: some connexions with Britain and Ireland,' in: Wilamowitz nach 50 Jahren, 543-544.

[32]B.P. Grenfell and A.S. Hunt, The Oxyrhynchus Papyri 1 (London 1898) in Göttingische Gelehrte Anzeigen 160 (1898) 673-704, 2 (London 1899) in 162 (1900) 29-58, and 4 (London 1904) in 166 (1904) 659-678.

[33]See U. Wilcken, 'Nachruf,' Archiv für Papyrusforschung 10 (1932) 314.

[34]An ancillary discipline or Hilfswissenschaft 'bratet das Beefsteak,' (see the negative comment of U. von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, Erinnerungen 1848-1914, Leipzig 1928, 101) for historians and scholars from other disciplines to eat. This is practically, if not theoretically, what most papyrologists are doing, and that is why the scholars from other disciplines get indigestion if they try to deal with papyri. But it certainly does not suffice to become better cooks.

[35]Or Grundwissenschaft. See H. Bengtson, Einführung in die alte Geschichte, 4th ed. (München 1962) 142: 'Die früher für diese Zweige der Altertumswissenschaft gebräuchliche Bezeichnung "Hilfswissenschaften" ist irreführend; sie sollte endgültig aus der wissenschaftlichen Terminologie verschwinden.'.

[36]B.P. Grenfell, A.S. Hunt and D.G. Hogarth, Fayum Towns and their Papyri (London 1900), reviewed in Göttingische Gelehrte Anzeigen 163 (1901) 30-45.

[37]Göttingische Gelehrte Anzeigen 163 (1901) 43.

[38]Every other decade or so the papyrological evidence for a limited number of traditional problems relating to chronology and administrative history is very carefully updated. This may be useful for internal consumption, but it gives a distorted idea of what papyri are all about. And the revision permanente, which according to J. Bingen (see Aspects des études classiques, p. 36) is characteristic of our discipline, should go far beyond these problems.

[39]The 1:500,000 inset map of the Fayum on the 1:2,000,000 map of Graeco-Roman Egypt produced by H. Heinen and W. Schlömer, Ägypten in hellenistisch-römischer Zeit (Wiesbaden 1989) is unsatisfactory. The papyri give us a close-up of ancient life, which calls for a much more detailed map. The 1:265,000 map of the Fayum at the back of PTebt. 2 (B.P. Grenfell, A.S. Hunt, The Tebtunis Papyri 2, London 1907) is still the most useful map in print.

[40]This seems to contrast oddly enough with the overdose of papyrological studies in chronology and dating. But the temporal dimension of ancient Egypt life is by no means exhausted by these studies.

[41]On these see W. Clarysse, 'Literary papyri in documentary "archives",' in E. Van 't Dack, P. Van Dessel and W. Van Gucht eds., Egypt and the Hellenistic World (Leuven 1983) 43-61.

[42]For an exception see E.M. Husselman, Papyri from Karanis (Cleveland 1971) 1-9.

[43]Only in this context the extensive tax rolls from Karanis can be put to proper use. They can serve as a directory for more detailed studies of individuals mentioned in the tax rolls for whom private papers are available as well. See H.C. Youtie, Tax Rolls from Karanis 1 (Ann Arbor 1936); H.C. Youtie and O.M. Pearl, Tax Rolls from Karanis 2 (Ann Arbor 1939); H. Riad and J.C. Shelton, A Tax List from Karanis 1 (Bonn 1975); J.C. Shelton, A Tax List from Karanis 2 (Bonn 1977).

[44]For an example see my forthcoming article 'A closer look at O.Mich. I 126,' to appear in Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists 29 (1992).

[45]From P.W. Pestman, Marriage and Matrimonial Property in Ancient Egypt (Leiden 1961) onwards.

[46]The Coptic evidence is inexplicably lacking in A. Jördens, Vertragliche Regelungen von Arbeiten im späten griechischsprachigen Ägypten (Heidelberg 1990). A. Biedenkopf-Ziehner, Untersuchungen zum koptischen Briefformular unter Berücksichtigung ägyptischer und griechischer Parallelen (Würzburg 1983) seems more promising, but does not go beyond its professed formalistic approach.

[47]Conveniently indexed in Index du Bulletin Épigraphique de J. et L. Robert, 1938-1965 3 (Paris 1975) 1-6, which should be used as a checklist for every edition of inscriptions and papyri.

[48]Notably in F.G. Kenyon and H.I. Bell, Greek Papyri in the British Museum 1-5 (London 1893-1917).

[49]Released by the Packard Humanities Institute, Los Altos, CA.

[50]R.A. Pack, The Greek and Latin Literary Texts from Greco-Roman Egypt (2nd ed., Ann Arbor 1965). A third edition is being prepared in Liège.

[51]Sammelbuch griechischer Urkunden aus Ägypten, appearing at regular intervals from 1913 onwards.

[52]Roughly corresponding to Abschnitt 1 and 3 of the current indices respectively.

[53]Wörterbuch der griechischen Papyrusurkunden mit Einschluss der griechischen Inschriften Aufschriften Ostraka Mumienschilder usw. aus Ägypten, launched as most other Hilfsmittel in our field of studies by the indefatigable F. Preisigke.

[54]F. Preisigke, Fachwörter des öffentlichen Verwaltungsdienstes Ägyptens in den griechischen Papyrusurkunden der ptolemäisch-römischen Zeit (Göttingen 1915).

[55]Berichtigungsliste der griechischen Papyrusurkunden aus Ägypten, appearing at regular intervals from 1913 onwards.

[56]Through Scholars Press, Atlanta, GA.

[57]Both are compiled by J. Mélèze-Modrzejewski.

[58]From his Bibelstudien (Marburg 1895) onwards.

[59]The earliest example I have found is F.W. Sturz, De dialecto Macedonica et Alexandrina liber (Leipzig 1808), who occasionally draws on the Charta Borgiana.

[60]Grammatik der griechischen Papyri aus der Ptolemäerzeit mit Einschluss der gleichzeitigen Ostraka und der in Ägypten verfassten Inschriften (Berlin and Leipzig 1906-1938). H. Schmoll revised part I 1 (Berlin 1970).

[61]G.H.R. Horsley, New Documents Illustrating Early Christianity 5 (Macquarie University 1989).

[62]See e.g. J.S. Petöfi ed., Texts and Discourse Constitution: Empirical Aspects, Theoretical Approaches (Berlin and New York 1988).

[63]'Catholic' in the sense that it does not take much to become a papyrologist by name. However, a fact not generally known among papyrologists is that one of 'us' actually made it to the papacy: Pio XI. See his publication of some papyri in A. Ratti, 'I papiri dell'antica basilica di S. Vincenzo di Galliano presso Cantù (Prov. di Como),' Rendiconti del R. Istituto Lombardo di Scienze e Lettere II 41 (1908) 1024-1031, as well as the appreciative remarks about Pio XI in Aegyptus 19 (1939) following p. 176.

[64]'The papyrologist: artificer of fact.' Greek, Roman and Byzantine Studies 4 (1963) 19-32, 'Text and context in transcribing papyri,' Greek, Roman and Byzantine Studies 7 (1966) 251-258, and The Textual Criticism of Documentary Papyri, 2nd ed. (London 1974).

[65]Göttingische Gelehrte Anzeigen 160 (1898) 125, commenting on the editorial work of F.G. Kenyon.

[66]Göttingische Gelehrte Anzeigen 160 (1898) 125.

[67]'Vorwort,' Archiv für Papyrusforschung 1 (1901) vi, written in 1899.

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