Egypt Exploration Fund [Hrsg.]
Archaeological report: comprising the work of the Egypt Exploration Fund and the progress of egyptology during the year ... — 1895-1896

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Progress or Egyptology.

MSS. hitherto known ; (4) sixty-two non-literary documents, two being
on vellum and the rest on papyrus, containing loans, sales, accounts,
letters, and the like. Most of these belong to the Ptolemaic period, and
since there are nearly thirty dated documents ranging between 174 and
88 b.c. with two from the very beginning of the Roman period, dated
19 and 18 b.c., it will be seen that their palaeographical value is con-
siderable. Unfortunately Mr. Grenfell's volume is unaccompanied by
facsimiles, except one of the erotic fragment, so that the palaeo-
graphical publication of these papyri still remains to be done. Mr.
Grenfell supplies short descriptions and notes to all the texts, and is
much to be congratulated on the industry and energy with which he has
produced two such volumes as this and the Revenue Papyrus within a
single year. Most of the papyri published in his second volume are
now in the British Museum ; some, together with the Revenue Papyrus,
are in the Bodleian Library at Oxford.

The first volume of the Greek texts from the Rainer collection of
papyri,3 edited by Dr. Wessely, is devoted to documents which are
mainly of legal interest. It contains contracts of sale, loans, legal pro-
cesses (one of which involves an interesting point of marriage law),
marriage contracts, and leases. The manner of publication resembles
that of the British Museum rather than of Berlin, the texts being
printed without punctuation, accents, or breathings, and being accom-
panied by a commentary. The total number of texts given is 247, but
a large proportion of these consists of mere fragments, only intelligible
in the light of more perfect documents, and adding nothing to the
knowledge already obtained from these. With regard to the accuracy
of the transcripts, it is impossible to speak with certainty, in the
absence of facsimiles : but we may be content to rely on the long
experience of Dr. Wessely, who, now almost for the first time, is pub-
lishing texts of which the originals are continuously at his disposal for
comparison during the progress of his work, instead of documents in
foreign libraries, copied once and not seen again. Some long dis-
cussions of legal points are contributed by Dr. L. Mitteis. The dates of
the documents published range from a.d. 5 to 346, with one of the
sixth century. The majority of them belong to the first Faiyum find,
originating from Arsinoe and Heracleopolis; but about a score belong
to the later find from Socnopaei Nesus, and nine are from Hermopolis.
The contents of this first part cannot be said to be very interesting, and
they throw little light on the administration of Roman Egypt; but
scholars have reason to be thankful that the systematic publication of
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