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Greek Papyrology: An Introduction (CLAM260)

15 credits

Greek papyri are a precious source for reconstructing ancient Greek literature and ancient Mediterranean history alike. Virtually anything one can picture being written down in daily life, including both books and documents, can be found among the fragments of Greek papyri unearthed from the remains of ancient towns and villages of Hellenistic, Imperial and Byzantine Egypt. In this course you will learn how to use papyri to gain a fuller understanding of Graeco-Roman culture and society, both in Egypt’s multicultural settlements and in the ancient Mediterranean at large. Working on a variety of materials such as literary pieces that never made it into the canon of Greek literature, or letters and petitions of private individuals whose voices cannot be heard through historiographical works, you will acquire skills for deciphering, reconstructing and interpreting Greek papyri, and you will learn what they contribute to our knowledge of the Greek and Roman world.