There is little in this department to report for the past year, 1898-9. No
great discoveries have heen made, and publications have been few.
Nothing has appeared from Vienna or Geneva, the cause in the latter
instance being the serious illness of M. Nicole, which all who know him or
his work will join in regretting; it may now be hoped, however, that he is
well advanced in the way of recovery, and with the restoration of his
health some interesting publications may be looked for. Of the Berlin
series of Greek papyri only three parts have been issued during the past
year; and the annual Oxyrhynchus volume is not likely to be ready till
late in the autumn, so that it cannot be noticed here. There is therefore
less than usual for me to commemorate in this Report.
So far as texts are concerned, the Berlin publication1 stands nearly
alone, and of this only three parts have appeared, one prepared by
Wilcken and two by Krebs, with a little help from other students.
Eighty-five texts are contained in them, bringing up the total to 813.
In general they are of the same character as in the previous issues,
and continue the useful work of accumulating material for reconstructing
the details of life and government in Roman (and to a less extent
Byzantine) Egypt. In some cases the texts now published are closely
related to others which have appeared elsewhere. Thus Berl. Pap. 729
contains an agreement for the deposit by a woman of property to a specified
value with a man who is evidently her future husband; while Brit. Mus.
Pap. 178 contain a record of the repayment of part of this dowry
a year later, evidently on the dissolution of the marriage. Again, Berl.
Pap. 762 (a return of camels owned inA.D. 162-3) mentions the requisition-
ing of a camel to assist in the transport of a porphyry pillar or obelisk, which
is also mentioned by another camel-owner in Brit. Mus. Pap. 328. Once
again, the publication of a number of customs-receipts in Messrs. Grenfell
and Hunt's volumes and the British Museum catalogue appears to have
emboldened the Berlin editors to publish a number of similar documents in
one of their last fasciculi (Berl. Papp. 763-768). Such inter-relation is, of
course, natural when different collections are drawn from the same source,
and only illustrates the necessity of the publication of texts (and the same
applies to inscriptions and ostraka) without waiting until every difficulty
has been elucidated, since the texts in different collections mutually
elucidate one another, and many tentative publications and explanations
must precede the attainment of ultimate certainty.