A)CONFERENCE: Observing the Scribe at Work: Knowledge Transfer and Scribal Professionalism in Pre-Typographic Societies
Observing the Scribe at Work: Knowledge Transfer and Scribal
Professionalism in Pre-Typographic Societies
Macquarie University, Sydney
27-28 September 2013
Prior to the typographic revolution of the 15th century, the figure of the scribe was one of the keys by which civilisations were able to disseminate their power, culture and beliefs beyond their geographic, temporal, and even linguistic limits. Our access to the pre-modern world is mediated by the material and technological remains of scribal activity, the manuscript as an artefact of culture and administration. Every text preserved prior to the advent of printing bears witness to the activities of scribes. Yet as a social and professional group they are frequently elusive, obscured by other professional titles, reduced to mention in a colophon, or existing within a private sphere into which our sources do not reach. While much attention has been given to the scribe as a literary figure, the manuscripts offer a unique point of access to this group without the distortions of the literary tradition. This perspective, however, has frequently been restricted to a catalogue of errors, reducing the scribe to the transmission of an acceptable text, without recourse to the physical characteristics of the manuscript itself.
This workshop is built around the Australian Research Council funded project ‘Knowledge Transfer and Administrative Professionalism in a Pre-Typographic Society: Observing the Scribe at work in Roman and Early Islamic Egypt’. The project sets aside the often futile search for the historical figures of the scribe in favour of a focus on observable phenomena: the evidence of their activity in the texts themselves. Recognizing that the act of writing can be a quotidian and vernacular practice, it explicitly includes the documents of everyday life as well as the realms of the copying of literature, seeking paths back to an improved understanding of the role and place of scribes in pre-modern societies.
‘Observing the Scribe at Work’ will bring together specialists in pre-modern societies of the Mediterranean world and adjoining cultures, from the ancient Near East, through the Egyptian and Classical worlds to Byzantium and Renaissance Europe. The papers will contribute to a deeper understanding of the processes that drive the operation of pre-printing cultures, and transmit knowledge and traditions forward in human societies.
The workshop will be held at Macquarie University on 27-28 September 2013. Macquarie University cannot offer full funding for all participants traveling to Australia from overseas, but partial financial assistance will be awarded to select abstracts which closely address the themes of the workshop. Decisions to this
effect will be made by the end of April.
We call for abstracts of up to 300 words that address the objectives of this workshop. These should be sent to email@example.com by 31 March 2013.
Inquiries: Malcolm Choat (firstname.lastname@example.org); Jennifer Cromwell (email@example.com)
Malcolm Choat, Jennifer Cromwell, Korshi Dosoo, Rachel Yuen-Collingridge
Australian Research Council
Faculty of Arts, Macquarie University
Macquarie University Ancient Cultures Research Centre
B)Multispectral documentation and image processing analysis of the papyrus of tomb II at Daphne, Greece”
Multispectral documentation and image processing analysis of the papyrus of tomb II at Daphne, Greece
Journal of Archaeological Science (February 2013), 40 (2), pg. 1242-1249
Athina A. Alexopoulou; Agathi-Anthoula Kaminari; Athanasios Panagopoulos; Egert Pöhlmann
This paper refers to the study of an ancient papyrus, dated ca. 420/430 BC, found in 1981 during an excavation at Daphne, Athens, Greece, using multispectral imaging combined with image processing analysis. It was assumed that the papyrus contained ancient Greek musical notation but the condition of the object hindered the drawing of any conclusion based only on visual examination. This fact, combined with the significance of the object itself, as it is the oldest papyrus which carries Greek text, pointed to the application of non-invasive techniques to enhance its readability. The multispectral imaging carried out in the range of 420–1000 nm enabled the detection of more letters on surface layers, at various places and orientations. False colour imaging proved to yield better results in distinguishing the letters compared to single wavelength recording. In some cases, letters from several layers underneath are revealed in the infrared. The letters present different greylevels according to the layer they belong. An interesting result coming from a simple subtraction of the infrared image at 1000 nm from the visible one at 660 nm is that different layers of the papyrus can be distinguished. The Application of Principal Component Analysis (PCA) showed that the best results, as far as the extraction of the letters from the background is concerned, are obtained when the second and the third images are merged. The automatic extraction of the letters is feasible to some extent but there is a certain amount of noise with similar characteristics that cannot be removed.
► Deteriorated papyrus from ancient Greek tomb was studied using non-invasive methods. ► Visible–infrared multispectral- and infrared false colour imaging were applied. ► Text from underlayers was detected and legibility was overall improved. ► Image processing helped in distinguishing letters and differentiate script layers.
Musical finds from the Tomb of the Poet, and their interpretation
A significant archaeological find came to light some thirty years ago in Daphne, Attica. The so-called Tomb of the Poet dates back to the classical era (around 430 BC) and the excellent condition of the grave goods yielded valuable information to archaeologists – especially concerning music and musical instruments in ancient times.
Eftichia Lygouri-Tolia, Archaeologist, former Director of the XXVI Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities
Egert Pöhlmann, Professor Emeritus of Classical Philology, University of Erlangen – Corresponding Member of the Academy of Athens
Martin West, Emeritus Research Fellow in Classics, All Souls College, Oxford – Foreign Member of the Academy of Athens
Stelios Psaroudakis, Assistant Professor of Ancient Greek Music, School of Musical Studies, Department of Historical and Systematic Musicology, University of Athens
Christos Terzis, PhD in Ancient Greek Music from the School of Musical Studies, University of Athens
(In English and in Greek with simultaneous translation)
Free admission with admission ticket (Distribution of admission tickets begins at 17:30)
C)EpiDoc Workshop, London, April 22-25, 2013
EpiDoc Workshop, London, April 22-25, 2013
We invite applications for a 4-day training workshop on digital text-markup for epigraphic and papyrological editing, to be held in the Institute for Classical Studies, London. The workshop will be taught by Gabriel Bodard (KCL), James Cowey (Heidelberg) and Charlotte Tupman (KCL). There will be no charge for the teaching, but participants will have to arrange their own travel and accommodation.
EpiDoc (epidoc.sf.net) is a set of guidelines for using TEI XML (tei-c.org) for the encoding of inscriptions, papyri and other ancient documentary texts. It has been used to publish digital projects including the Inscriptions of Aphrodisias and Tripolitania, the US Epigraphy Project, Vindolanda Tablets Online and Curse Tablets from Roman Britain, Pandektis (inscriptions of Macedonia and Thrace), and the Duke Databank of Documentary Papyri. The workshop will introduce participants to the basics of XML and markup and give hands-on experience of tagging textual features and object description in EpiDoc as well as use of the tags-free Papyrological Editor (papyri.info/editor).
No technical skills are required to apply, but a working knowledge of Greek or Latin, epigraphy or papyrology and the Leiden Conventions will be assumed. The workshop is open to participants of all levels, from graduate students to professors or professionals.
To apply for a place on this workshop please email firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief description of your reason for interest and summarising your relevant skills and background, by Friday March 1st, 2013.
D)GAINST THE HISTORICAL VALIDITY OF THE SO-CALLED LIST OF ALEXANDRIAN LIBRARIANS IN P.OXY. X 1241
This paper challenges the historical value of P.Oxy.X.1241, part of which is the list of Alexandrian Librarians. It questions the basic assumption that the list at col. i.5 – ii.30 is in fact a list of the heads of the Alexandrian library. It calls attention to the fact that every single chronological statement needed to be emended and shows the fallacious reasoning behind the editors’ influential conclusion that the papyrus is the most trustworthy of all sources pertaining to the history of the library.
In 1914, B.P. Grenfell and A.S. Hunt published an anonymous 2nd cent. CE papyrus containing lists of famous artists, grammarians and historical/mythological inventors of weapons of practices of warfare. They observed its similarity to Hellenistic and Imperial mythographical catalogues and concluded: “Though the name of the compiler is unknown, the class to which this treatise is to be referred is thus clear; it is a characteristic product of Alexandrian erudition.” They, therefore, assessed the papyrus to be the most historically accurate source about the Alexandrian library. Their view has been accepted almost universally.
The papyrus is 6 columns with the list in question occupying col.i.17-ii.30. After a break of about 8 lines, the text picks up in the midst of a catalogue of grammarians, γραμματικοί, with a reference to “Philadelphus.” It is unclear who the grammarians in the first column were, but at the beginning of col.ii the text resumes with Apollonius of Rhodes, Eratosthenes, Aristophanes of Byzantium, Aristarchus, Apollonius the Eidographer, Aristarchus of Samothrace, Cydas the Spear-bearer, Ammonius, Zenodotus, Diocles and Apollodorus.
The first observation is that the library or of the position of librarian is not mentioned. The position that is explicit in the papyrus, however, is royal tutor (διδάσκαλος to royal children), and only two grammarians in the list are singled out as having held it: Apollonius of Rhodes and Aristarchus of Samothrace. Thus, it is only an inference of the editors that the list refers to “head librarians,” an inference that is apparently based on a supposition that royal tutor = head Librarian. Yet, the link between these positions is merely one of correlation, and the main basis for this correlation is P.Oxy.X.1241 itself. Rather than following this circular logic with the editors who assert that the list is “an account of the Alexandrian librarians,” it is submitted here that the list is as it appears, a catalogue of grammarians connected to the Ptolemies, some of whom were known to be heads of the library.
Additionally, the unemended list is full of chronological errors. Indeed, the editors found it necessary to emend every single chronological reference in the papyrus in order to make it consistent with other sources. Particularly egregious is the case of Apollonius Rhodius. The unemended text says that Apollonius was the teacher of the first king, διδάσκαλος τοῦ πρ[ώ]του βασιλέως, Ptolemy I Soter (304 — 283 BCE). This is prima facie false. The editors, prompted by this error, emended the text to say τρίτου βασιλέως, “the third king,” which reflects the chronology of Suda and MS H of the Vita A of Apollonius. Hence, Suda and Vita A are the basis of the papyrus’ corrected chronology. Nevertheless, the papyrus’ singular report that Eratosthenes succeeded Apollonius is preferred to the Suda’s report that he was Apollonius’ predecessor. Apart from the fact that the papyrus is most likely only referring to the position of royal tutor, it is fallacious reasoning for the editors to base their emendations on one source, then to conclude that the emended text is more reliable than that source. Accordingly, left unemended the papyrus is useless because it is full of errors; whereas emended it must be regarded as the least reliable of our sources concerning the history of the Alexandrian library.
E)PAPYRI VERGILIANAE: CONTRIBUTIONS OF PAPYROLOGY AND THE READING OF VERGIL IN THE EAST (1-VI CENTURIES)
MARIA CHIARA SCAPPATICCIO
Moving from Vindolanda to Nessana, from Oxhyrhynchus to Narmouthis, from Masada to the Mons Claudianus, a spread knowledge and reception of Virgil’s works in the Roman Empire (and in its provinces, in particular) is documented through papyrus and parchment scraps, wooden tablets and ostraka, all containing verses from the Aeneid, Bucolics and Georgics.
Virgil has, actually, the leading role in Latin calligraphic exercises by Oriental scribes (PHaw. 24; POxy. 3554; PMasada 721), but – as we know reading about the Arusianus Messius’ quadriga, too – he is also the main ‘instrument’ to teach and learn Latin language both in grammatical treatises (PLaur. III / 504; PMich. 459) and though Latin-Greek glossaries (PNess. 1; PRyl. 478+PCairo 85.644+PMil. 1; PBerol. 21138; PVind. 62; PSI 756); he was stored in libraries and sometimes object of annotations (PAnt. 29) or simply copied in manuscripts in his original hexametric sequences, just to be read and studied (PNess. 2; PBerol. 21.299; PSI 21: maybe it is not something accidental that all these papyri have signs of lectio, made by ‘second’ hands, different from the scribe himself) and his verses were also the object of rhetorical exercises and rewritings (PSI 142, a real Vergilian progumnasma). Nowadays, we have more than thirty fragments with Virgil’s verses, more than the ones of any other author of Latin literature; and it is not something secondary, especially if compared to what we know through the modern editions of Virgil’s works.
The acquisition of papyrological data in the Vergilian recensio is something recent: Roger Mynors (P. Vergili Maronis Opera, Oxonii 1969) collated only the parchment fragments from the Ambrosiana in Milan, the Palin. Ambr. L 120 sup., while, before him, in a partial edition of the Aeneid, Arthur Stanley Pease (Publi Vergili Maronis Aeneidos Liber Quartus, Cambridge 1935) used in his apparatus only the PSI 21 and the bilingual POxy. 1099. It was in 1973 that Mario Geymonat mentioned eighteen Virgil’s papyri and these will become twentynine in his new edition in 2008 (Vergili Maronis opera, Roma 20082): the role of papyri has been vitalized and ‘pondered’ at the same time. It has been vitalized as it was the first time that all the know Virgil’s papyri were presented as witnesses of Virgil text (together with manuscripts) and all mentioned in the critical apparatus; it has been ‘pondered’ as papyri go into Textkritik as witnesses of Textgeshichte without giving particular attention to their ecdotical relevance (Geymonat writes: haec fragmenta nos perraro ad textum Vergilianum emendandum adiuvant (…), maximi autem momenti sunt ad haec studia apud antiquos illustranda et ad formulas rationesque scribendi vel Graecas locutiones explorandas, p. XIII n. 34). What has to be emphasised is that Virgil’s editors – including the Spanish équipe (L. Rivero García – J.A. Estévez Sola – M. Librán Moreno – A. Ramírez de Verger (edd.), Publio Virgilio Marón. Eneida. Volumen I (Libros I-III), Madrid 2009) and Gian Biagio Conte (P. Vergilius Maro. Aeneis, Berolini – Novi Eboraci 2009) – followed the papyri’s (sometimes really old) editions, sometimes in a not critical way.
The paper will present the results both in a palaeographical and papyrological and in a philological and linguistic dimension and will give a balance concerning all the Virgil’s papyri, once having made an autoptical examination of most of them: papyri give significant contributions to our knowledge of how Virgil was read and learnt – and so, spread, acknowledged and understood – in the pars Orientis of the Empire, from the I a.D. till Late Antiquity.
CT)American Society of Papyrologists (ASP) Panel at the APA, Seattle, 2013
Ancient Lives: Greek Texts, Papyrology and Artificial Intelligence
The “Ancient Lives” project is an international collaboration between multiple departments and institutions: The Adler Planetarium in Chicago, Illinois, the Departments of Classics and Astrophysics at the University of Oxford, and the Departments of Classical and Near Eastern Studies, Minnesota Supercomputing Institute, and Physics and Astronomy at the University of Minnesota. Through the Ancient Lives website, the project continues to amass an immense database of crowd-sourced transcribed texts in order to assist in the classification, cataloguing, and identification of the tens of thousands of papyrus fragments housed in the Sackler Library of the Ashmolean Museum. Consequently, a digital database of both previously edited and unedited Greek papyri texts exists for the first time. In addition to the computerized assistance in cataloguing and identifying documents and known literary texts, the aim of this project is to build a computational interface to assist in the critical editing of Greek texts.
Two of the principal goals are: (1) to refine and implement a consensus algorithm, adapted from those used in the study of DNA sequencing, that collates multiple transcriptions, producing a variety of meaningful statistical data and digitally searchable transcriptions that will be accessible to scholars through a unique graphical user interface (GUI);
(2) based on the extant strings of Greek characters, to implement algorithmic meaning extraction to assist in the contextualization and identification of unknown literary works through an automated projection of possible linguistic/word scenarios. We are also aiming at computationally repairing gaps/holes in papyri through an automated projection of characters that are not only dimensionally suitable but also contextually sound through linguistic parallels elicited from the searchable online databases of Greek texts. The purpose of this paper is to report initial project results and to outline in greater detail our methodology for building this computational interface. In sum, we are merging human and machine intelligence – automated algorithmic methods – to increase the accuracy with which Greek texts are edited. We are transforming image data from Oxyrhynchus papyri into meaningful information that scholars can use – information that once took generations to produce.
Z)Women’s Petitions in Later Roman Egypt: Survey and Case Studies
Over 150 petitions from women survive from Roman and Byzantine Egypt. Along with reports of proceedings on papyrus and imperial rescripts from outside Egypt, these constitute the best evidence we have for provincial women’s engagement with the law and help shape our view of the social position of women in the Roman Empire. Taking the terminus of B. Kelly’s recent study as a starting point, I first discuss petitions from women in the “long” fourth century (284- 400 CE) as a whole, and then examine the cases in which we can learn a little more about the women involved in litigation, in the context of archives. I close by touching on the larger issues raised by Kelly and others, such as the agency of female petitioners and whether the legal system tended to undermine or reinforce traditional gender roles.
I focus on the “long” fourth century for three reasons. First, Kelly’s study on petitioning and social control ends in 284 CE, the traditional papyrological divide between “Roman” and “Byzantine” Egypt. R.S. Bagnall, however, has shown that the real break was from the late fourth century on, when evidence for female petitioners is much scarcer and largely restricted to wealthy, educated widows (Bagnall, “Women’s Petitions in Late Antique Egypt,” in Denis Feissel and Jean Gascou (eds.), La pétition à Byzance [Paris, 2004], 53-60). The fourth century evidence continues to be marked by Kelly’s two “ideal types” of female petitioners: one, the woman isolated from male support through death, divorce, or other circumstances; the other, the woman of relatively high standing whose economic engagements brought her into legal conflict (Kelly, Petitions, Litigation, and Social Control in Roman Egypt [Oxford, 2011], 235ff.). Thus, we can study these petitions in close comparison with the earlier period and in contrast to the later period. A second reason is the prominence of female petitioners in the period 284-400. From about 15% of total petitioners in the period 30 BCE – 284 CE, the percentage of female petitioners rises to over a quarter in the ‘long’ fourth century, then falls to about 10% after 400. This paper explores the reasons behind this apparent surge, which is paralleled also in imperial rescripts, and argues that it represents a real rise in women’s participation in the legal sphere and independence, at least during the Tetrarchic period. Third, the archives of this period offer the opportunity to learn more about the family situation and economic engagements of certain female petitioners. I focus on the archives of Isidoros, Sakaon, Aurelia Demetria, and the descendants of Alopex in Panopolis. The first archive presents a pair of sisters, Taesis and Kyrillous, whose engagement with litigation came early in life due to the deaths of both parents: their coming of age is marked by a struggle against their uncle for the control of their inheritance. In the archive of Sakaon from Theadelphia, Artemis the daughter of Paesios and Heros uses the legal system to protect her children’s property after the death of her husband. Finally, the archives of Aurelia Demetria and the descendants of Alopex give us valuable details from urban settings. In Hermopolis, Demetria petitions about a disputed sale of land, and in Panopolis, we meet the oil-seller and landlady Theodora, whose business interests lead her to petition the prefect about a defaulting debtor.
This period offers us unparalleled evidence for women’s engagement in legal processes. Through both a broad survey and a microhistorical approach, I argue that women in the ‘long’ fourth century actively engaged in legal processes to achieve their own goals and that this period of transition witnessed a slight relaxing of traditional gender roles. Both trends were halted by the end of the century and reversed in the centuries to follow.
H)Outsourcing Army Duties: Foederati in Late Roman Egypt
This paper seeks to examine the status of foederati in Late Roman Egypt. One hundred years ago Jean Maspero wrote an essay on 6th century CE foederati and soldiers (“Φοιδερᾶτοι et Στρατιῶται dans l’armée byzantin au VIe siècle,” BZ 21  97-109). Since then many more papyri have been edited that allow a better view of the Roman military organisation of Egypt in general and the question of foederati in particular. The main focus of this paper is the status of foederati and their duties in Egypt, one of the more peaceful parts of the Late Roman Empire. Included among these duties might well have been the screening of the road system in the Eastern Desert, formerly a well-known duty of Roman soldiers. The Principate saw Egypt’s Eastern Desert dotted with small Roman outposts guarding the road system and important quarries. By the 3rd century CE there is almost no evidence for them anymore. This may give the impression that the roads through the Eastern Desert were unprotected, although they were seriously threatened by the Blemmyes, Egypt’s neighbours in the desert. The continuing trade with Berenike and Myos Hormos should have mattered enough to maintain the military road screening system (cf. O.Claud. I-IV; O.Krok; O.MyosHormos; S. Sidebotham, Berenike and the Ancient Maritime Spice Route, Berkeley 2011). Papyrological and literary evidence together seem to suggest that those patrol duties formerly carried out by Roman soldiers were outsourced – to people and tribes living near the Roman borders. These tribes may have even included the Blemmyes, a group that engendered a great deal of fear in the Egyptian inhabitants during the 5th and 6th centuries CE. But both Eusebius and Abinnaeus, the praefectus alae of the ala V Praelectorum in 4th century Egypt, mention Blemmyan envoys in Constantinople, and Procopius refers to the retraction of the Roman frontier in 298 CE and gold delivered to the Blemmyes. Some tribes of the Blemmyes therefore seem to have been Roman foederati (Eusebius, Vita Constantini 4, 7; P.Abinn. 1; Procopius, De bellis I 19, 27-37.) Another tribe appears to have formed the 6th century CE numerus of Pharanitae, which was stationed at Bau, a famous monastery, in the Thebaid. The soldiers of this unit were first recruited in the Sinai peninsula, from a tribe living near the city of Pharan, not far from the famous Monastery of St. Catherine (Ph. Mayerson, “Pharanitai in Sinai and in Egypt,” BASP 47  225-29). The Latin word numerus, or its Greek equivalent ἀριθμός, was used for any kind of troop in Late Roman Egypt; the term does not distinguish between Roman soldiers or federates. The Pharanitae may therefore provide another example of foederati in Late Antique Egypt – an example worth examining in more detail.
Θ)Conference: Textile trade and distribution in antiquity
Textile trade and distribution in antiquity –
9th & 10th April 2013 Philipps-Universität Marburg (Germany)
Organizer: Dr. Kerstin Droß-Krüpe
Textile trade and distribution in antiquity – International conference – 9th & 10th April 2013 Philipps-Universität Marburg (Germany) Organizer: Dr. Kerstin Droß-Krüpe The interdisciplinary conference “Textile trade and distribution in antiquity” aims at providing new insights about the dynamics and extent of the distribution of textiles in antiquity. The main objective is to re-evaluate the ancient economy – using textiles as the key element. Other declared targets of this conference are making textile knowledge an integrated part of research in the Humanities, broadening scientific perspectives and joining methodological forces. Humanities and Textile Research alike can clearly benefit from the integration of Economic and Life Sciences – so fibres, dyes, textiles, written sources and economic theories can be interlinked to form new parameters for the explanation of the economics of ancient environments.
Though ancient textile production has received more and more attention during the last decades, trading and distribution textiles is still largely unresearched. This is even more astonishing as the qualitative and quantitative evaluation concerning the distribution levels and patterns of goods in ancient times has been heavily debated for more than a century within Classics. The distribution of textiles provides a highly promising field of the research of the underlying economic principles because textiles are a basic human need, but additionally can convey and symbolize the gender-related, social, occupational or political status of a person. Apart from that textiles are well suited for trading over long distances as the ratio between transporting costs and profit is particularly low. Besides the finished gown, almost all other intermediate steps of production can be easily traded and merchandised. Using data about the textile trade from different parts of the Mediterranean will make it become possible to gain new insights and thus provide a new interpretation of the complex nature of the ancient exchange of goods and open up new interdisciplinary research avenues. So this conference will bring together different disciplines and methodological approaches to analyse textile material traded, textile traders and the forming and operating of institutions to ensure a smooth running of all textile exchange processes alike. Moreover, the conference will also include examining the cultural and technological transfer in so-called “contact zones” and ancient trading routes. There will be five non-parallel sections: The economics of textiles Textiles in the Greek and Roman world Textiles between East and West More than texts – (New) Analytical methods Make it seen – Visualisation of professions and fashion in textile contexts Conference languages will be English and German. Internationally renowned scholars from seven European countries declared their willingness to attend and contribute to this conference – covering a wide range of disciplines. Their papers will focus on ancient written sources, archaeological remains or Natural Sciences to shed light on the functionality of ancient textile trade from Bronze Age to Late Antiquity from very different angles.