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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Graeco-Roman Egypt.


important; and the general effect of their testimony is to confirm the
conclusion already derived from most of the literary papyri which have
hitherto come to light, in favour of the substantial soundness of our
existing classical texts.

The minor literary publications of the year include an interesting
fragment edited by Professor Mahaffy, which he regards as a portion of
a romance.3 It is written on the back of a papyrus, on the recto of
which are accounts of the first century, and appears itself to belong to
the beginning of the second century; and it gives, in a kind of poetical
prose, a vigorous description of a storm at sea and of the appearance, at
the height of the tempest, of the St. Elmo's fire, which settles upon the
yards of the ship. The narrative is in the first person, and certainly has
the air of a romance, though this has been disputed by Orusius 4 with
arguments which do not seem convincing.

The only literary text which remains to be mentioned (apart from those
in Messrs. Grenfell and Hunt's volume noticed below) is one published
by the present writer, a handsomely written fragment of a work dealing
with the customs of some people or tribe, apparently the Spartans.5 The
work to which it belongs may have been a treatise on the Lacedaemonian
constitution, though it is also possible that it was merely a general
ethical treatise. Together with this document is published a non-literary
text which throws light on the powers of Roman officials in Egypt
to requisition camels for the public service.6 Both texts are from papyri
in the British Museum.

A useful, but incomplete, catalogue of the literary texts which have
up to now been found upon papyrus has been published by M. P.

Mr. Grenfell has been active, as usual, both in the discovery and in
the publication of texts, and having associated with himself Mr. A. S.
Hunt, of Queen's College, Oxford (Senior Demy of Magdalen College
and Craven University Fellow), has produced a second volume of Greek
papyri.8 The majority of these are non-literary, and the literary
fragments are small; but some among them are of special interest. The
most important is a scrap of the very early Ionian writer. Pherecydes..
dealing with the marriage of Zeus and Hera. By extraordinary good
fortune this small fragment included one of the known quotations from
Pherecydes, which was recognized by Mr. Leaf, and the identity of the
author thus established. It adds something to our knowledge of early
Greek prose, and (as usual) subverts the theories which had been
based on the extant fragments. Messrs. Grenfell and Hunt also publish
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