PbOGHESS OF EGYPTOLOGY.
Graeco-Eoman Branch of the Fund will supply materials for this Report
for many years to come.
The past year has, however, also produced a literary find of greater
size than any of those from Oxyrhynchus, one which, in fact, may claim
to be the most important, from the purely literary point of view, that
the sands of Egypt have yet brought forth. In December last the
British Museum announced the acquisition of a papyrus containing the
lost poems of Bacchylides, a lyric poet of the great age of Greek literature,
the contemporary and rival of Pindar. The papyrus was unfortunately
terribly mutilated, and much of it has been wholly lost. It has been a
work of considerable trouble to place the multitudinous fragments in their
proper places, but it is work which amply repays the time spent upon it.
In the state to which it has now been restored the manuscript contains
some 1300 lines (besides some unplaced fragments, mostly very small,
and in no case containing a complete line),audof these nearly a thousand
are either complete or admit of fairly certain restoration. There is
thus ample material for forming a sound estimate of the poet's quality;
and though we do not find in him a new Pindar, we find a writer of
considerable grace and elegance, valuable and interesting on his own
account, and one by whose help we can appreciate Pindar's genius more
justly and accurately than before. It is, however, unnecessary to deal
with him here at length, since it may be hoped that the poems themselves
will see the light not much later than tin's Report.
Three literary texts are published in the new part of the Rainer
Mittheilunqen. One of these is the fragments of the Hecale of Calli-
machus,1 which were provisionally published by Professor Gomperz some
years ago, but now are definitely and officially re-issued, with a few
additional remarks. In this instance the text is not preserved on
papyrus, but on a board, something like a large school slate, and evidently
intended for school purposes. On one side were written extracts from
the Phoenissae of Euripides, on the other from CallimachusJ miniature
epic. They are written in four columns, and about one-third of the
height of the board has been preserved. The date appears to be of the
fourth century a.d.
The other literary texts in the Mittheilunqen are two papyri of
Xenophon, which are published by Wessely." One is from the Cyropaedia
(v. 2. 3—v. 3. 23, imperfect), of the second century, the other, which
is more extensive, from the Hellenica (i. 2. 2—5. 8), of the third
century, being written on the verso of a papyrus containing a tax-register
of the end of the second century. In neither case are the textual variants