Draft of proposed Wikipedia "Papyrology" article

'''Papyrology''' is the study of ancient papyri (from which we get the word "paper") and related materials on which was written literature, correspondence, legal archives, etc., from very ancient times through about the 9th century CE. [[Papyrus]] was the most common writing material in the [[

Egypt]]ian, [[Greece|Greek]] and [[Ancient Rome|Roman]] worlds, alongside leather (parchment). Papyrology involves the description, transcription, translation, contextualization, and interpretation of ancient written materials in a variety of languages, as well as the care and preservation of the papyrus originals. Papyrology has come to include the study of similar written materials (especially fragments) on other surfaces such as wood and wax, leather, cloth, and even ostraca. It does not include the closely related study of ancient inscriptions, also called epigraphy, engraved on stone, clay, metal, and also on some ostraca. Papyrology as a recognized discipline dates from the mid 18th century, with the discovery of the carbonized Herculaneum papyri (see further below), but became more systematic in the late 1800s when large caches of well-preserved papyri, as well as countless fragments, were purchased through dealers or were discovered by [[archaeologist]]s in several locations in [[Egypt]], such as [[Crocodilopolis]] (Arsinoe), Hibeh, (Fayyum), and [[Oxyrhynchus]]. (See [[Oxyrhynchus Gospels]].) Centers of papyrology were established in most major Universities with Egyptological interests, including [[Oxford]], London, Vienna, Berlin, [[Heidelberg]], Duke, [[Columbia]], [[Michigan]], and the [[University of California, Berkeley]]. Founders of papyrology include, among many others, the Viennese orientalist-Arabist [[Johann Karabacek]] and his later colleague [[Carl Wessely]], the Oxford archaeologists-classicists [[Bernard Grenfell]] and [[Arthur Hunt]], in Berlin, [[W. Schubart]] and Ulrich Wilcken, the Russian [[Grigol Tsereteli|G.F. Tsereteli]], Arabist [[Franz Taschner]] and other distinguished scientists.{{Fact|date=February 2007}} 

The Herculaneum Papyri comprise the only extensive library of texts to survive from the classical world. In 79 C.E., the eruption of Mount Vesuvius caused a pyroclastic flow (a mix of 400C [750F] gas, ash, and rock) which destroyed the lesser known town of Herculaneum. In 1752, workers discovered in the Villa of the Papyri (probably owned by Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus) a large number (~1500) of what seemed to be sticks or bundles of charcoal, which finally were identified as rolls of ancient papyri[1]. Due to the carbonized state of these papryri, initial attempts at opening them often resulted in the rolls dissolving or disintegrating. Advances in recovery techniques later allowed them to be partially cut apart and unrolled, and digitally enhanced photographs, as well as infra-red and multiple-imaging photography, now allow scholars to decipher some of these texts even while keeping them preserved in their natural state. The Philodemus Project, headed by directors David Blank (UCLA), Richard Janko (University College, London) and Dirk Obbink (Christ Church, Oxford), is one of the leading international efforts in papyrological studies within the Classical World. It aims not only to transcribe and translate these texts but to piece together an understanding of the movement of philosophy from Greece to Rome from the 4th Century B.C.E. to the 1st Century C.E.. The project is named after the Epicurean philosopher and poet, Philodemus (otherwise virtually unknown), whose Greek works on philosophy, rhetoric, and music comprise the majority of the texts found at this site. The first published translations include: On Poems I (edited and translated by Richard Janko), On Poems V (edited and translated by David Armstrong, James Porter, Jeffrey Fish, and Cecilia Mangoni), On Rhetoric I-II[2] (edited and translated by David Blank), and On Rhetoric III (edited and translated by Dirk Obbink and Juergen Hammerstaedt).

[from Sara's paragraph]
 

The collection of Egyptian (Hieroglyphic, Hieratic, Demotic, Coptic), Greek, Latin, and Arabic [[papyrus|papyri]] in Vienna called the '''Rainer papyri''' represents the first large purchase of manuscripts on papyrus, from the [[Fayum]] in [[Egypt]]. About 1880 [[Theodore Graf]], a well known antiquarian dealer in Cairo and Vienna, acquired over 10,000 papyri and some texts written on linen. Of those over 3000 are written in Arabic, to which Karabacek directed his attention. The papyri originated from Kôm Fâris (Krokodílon Pólis) and Ihnasiyyah al-Madinah ([[Herakleopolis Magna]]), the textile pages from Kôm al-Azâma. They were exported to Vienna in 1882, and presented in a public exhibition the following year that caused a sensation. The papyri were purchased by the Grand Duke Rainer and presented to the Kaiserliche Akademie der Wissenschaften in Vienna.{{Fact|date=February 2007}} 

Oxyrhynchos
 
Ancient documents are classified as either literary or documentary. Literary
documents are fragments of narratives, such as Homer, Aeschlepus, and Biblical
literature. A large number of literary papri were found at Herculaneum in the
early 19th century. (A list of published editions is available at
http://www.herculaneum.ox.ac.uk/editions.html.)Wills, correspondence, bills of
sale or rent, leases, or lists of products are examples of documentary works. 
Published collections of documentary papyrii include the Corpus papyrorum
Judaicarum edited by Victor A. Tcherikover, in collaboration with Alexander
Fuks. (Cambridge, Published for the Magnes Press, Hebrew University [by]
Harvard University Press, 1957-1964); and The Oxyrhynchus papyri, edited with
translations and notes by Bernard P. Grenfell and Arthur S. Hunt. (London,
Egypt Exploration Fund, 1898 and ongoing). Archives, such as the Xenon papyri,
are collections of documents related to a particular person or family and his or
her affairs.
 
[from Virginia's paragraph]

 

 

 

Additional resources on Graeco-Roman papyrus fragments found throughout the Classical World can also be viewed from the Duke Data Bank of Documentary Papyri and the Perseus Papyrological Resources.

 

Sources:

 

http://www.humnet.ucla.edu/humnet/classics/philodemus/philhome.htm

 

http://odyssey.lib.duke.edu/papyrus/texts/DDBDP.html

 

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/Texts/papyri.html