Progress of Egyptology.
appears to fix its date between the years 693 and 733. This is a fact of
considerable palaeographical importance, since the document is written in
the hand known as " Coptic," which has usually in the absence of explicit
evidence been assigned to the sixth century. The other texts include
portions of Ignatius' Epistle to the Smyrnaeans (5th cent.); of Hermes'
Shepherd (3rd and 6th centt.); of selections from Basil (5th cent.) and
Gregory of Nyssa (5th cent.); of ten short liturgical fragments of small
importance (3rd-10th centt.); and two amulets. Some of these texts
have been published previously, but are here repeated for completeness'
sake, and with improvements due to the advance in papyrological
A small literary papyrus of some interest is the fragment of Mehander'a
Uept,Keipofj,ivT] at Heidelberg, published by Dr. G. A. Gerhard,5 containing,
the latter halves of 11. 42-59 of this play. A facsimile is given of the
fragment, which appears to be of the latter part of the second century.
The fact that three other papyri of portions of this comedy (including the
great Cairo MS.) have come to light is some proof of its popularity.
Among publications of non-literary papyri the first place is due to the
new volume of the British Museum Catalogue.0 Unlike its predecessors
this is not a miscellaneous collection of documents, but is confined to a.
homogeneous group from a single locality and relating to a single period,
namely the papyri from Aphrodito (Kom Ishgau) of the early part of the
eighth century. Nevertheless it is considerably larger than any of its
predecessors, consisting as it does of 648 pages, of which 93 contain an
appendix of Coptic documents belonging to the same group. The Greek
texts are edited by Mr. H. I. Bell, the Coptic by Mr. Crum. The former-
begin with a series of 74 letters written by Kurrah b. Sharik, the Arab
Governor of Egypt, to Basilius, the Greek governor of the pagarchy
of Aphrodito, relating to a great variety of administrative details. A
second section contains official orders to the inhabitants, which accom-
panied some of these letters. The third and largest section contains
accounts of immense length and minuteness, which set out the financial
administration of the province. The whole forms a mass of evidence-
relating to the early Mohammedan government of Egypt, which cannot
fail to be of great value for the history of Islam in general and of Egypt,
in particular. Mr. Bell has not only deciphered the documents with
great skill, but has also contributed elaborate introductions which greatly
lighten the labour of studying the originals, especially in the accounts.
His work deserves all the more recognition since it is in a wholly new
field, and one which will only command the interest of a few specialists...