Egypt Exploration Fund   [Hrsg.]
Archaeological report: comprising the work of the Egypt Exploration Fund and the progress of egyptology during the year ... — 1896-1897

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The papyrus containing the following fragment of the fourth book of
Thucydides (chs. 36-41) is one of those found at Oxyrhynchus last winter.
As it affords by far the oldest evidence for the text that we possess,
its value for critical purposes is obvious. It therefore seemed desirable
to produce it at the earliest opportunity, instead of including it, as
had been intended, in the first volume of the Oxyrhynchus Papyri,
which will be published next year. It will also thus become available
for the use of Dr. Karl Hude, whose edition of Thucydides, based on a
re-collation of the MSS., will shortly make its appearance.

The five chapters in question comprise the well-known passage de-
scribing the final scene on the island of Sphacteria, when a Spartan
garrison—to the amazement of the Greek world—surrendered to a
landing party of Athenians, under the command of Cleon the demagogue.

The fragment, which measures 10 x 7§ ins., contains the greater part
of three columns, consisting of from fifty to fifty-two lines each. The
hand is a small, rather irregular uncial, of a decidedly early type ; it may,
I think, be probably assigned to the first century a.d. Other marks of
age, apart from the formation of the hand-writing, are the decided slope
of the columns to the right, the regular use of the iota adscript, and the
absence of accents, breathings, and marks of elision. A character like
an angular bracket (>) is occasionally used as a supplement at the end
of a short line (e.g. I. 1, 26; II. 38); and the paragraphus is frequently
employed to mark off the sentences, which are also commonly divided
from each other by blank spaces left between them. Otherwise lection
signs are rare. An accent and a breathing occur once in conjunction
(I. 2); there is a single instance of the diaeresis over an initial v
(III. 20); and the high point has in two cases been used at the end of a
line to denote a pause. Very possibly these are all subsequent additions,
as may also be the marks, presumably possessing some critical significance,
which are of frequent occurrence in the margin.

The text is rendered peculiarly interesting by the presence of a con-
siderable number of double readings. Of these the majority are certainly
by the original scribe, and may be explained either as traditional variae
lectiones, or—though perhaps less probably—as the result of the use of
more than one manuscript by the copyist, who was careful in cases of
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