CLA260H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Papyrology, Epigraphy, Ahold

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Published on 11 Sep 2012
Epigraphy II/Papyrology
July 25/12
Foundation of Cyrene - 7th Century BC
Inscription dates to the 4th century, but claims to be of the 7th century (or at least to paraphrase
an inscription from that time)
Cyrene was a Theran colony
According to Herodotus the Cyreneans and Thorns give conflicting stories of foundation
Inscription is non-stoichedon
Lays claim to tehran citizenship rights
Conscription of Libyan colony
Death penalty for those fleeing conscription, or those harboring conscripts
Herodotus tells where stories differ
Gives theraean account which is pretty similar to the inscription
Cyreneans tell totally different story that focuses more on Battus and glorifies him
Theran version
Government initiation
Members conscripted randomly by lot
More institutional
Cyrenean account more personal, less institutional
In the 4th century Cyrene was doing well
Probably has to do with why Therans are trying to get part of Cyrene
Therans trying to get ahold of Cyrenean land and bring this ‘original decree that validates theran
The cyrenaeans have no use for Thera after founding their colony
How are these documents manipulated?
Have to read with grain of slate
What is the motivation behind it?
We are dealing with local traditions, not history
Stories (oral tradition) ave propagandist uses
Modified to emphasize how they want to be seen
Inscription is probably a fake (not really 7th century but 4th century)
The assembly mentioned, and they don’t exist in the 7th century
Gives name of colony - suspect that they would name colony before sending people
Everything seems to fit perfectly
We can use sources to check up on each other
Have to be critical of any ancient source
A relatively new discipline
First papyri to be discovered were from herculaneam and were carbonized by volcanic eruption
In 1860s papyrology really took off as a source for literary and documentary information
Usually from Egypt
Earliest major publication in 1890s
After WII Egypt began to monitor excavations much more carefully
After 1973 Egypt refused exportations
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Document Summary

Inscription dates to the 4th century, but claims to be of the 7th century (or at least to paraphrase. Stories (oral tradition) ave propagandist uses: we are dealing with local traditions, not history, modified to emphasize how they want to be seen. First papyri to be discovered were from herculaneam and were carbonized by volcanic eruption. Papyrologists study a lot of other documents too - like wooden tablets, ostracons, wax tablets, Funerary workers would buy scrap papyri in bulk: was there a waste paper trade, most scraps would probably be governmental - probably why the majority are. Survives depending on climate, depositional context and material. 1st-2nd century ad: mostly military but also personal letters, texts from outside of egypt give insight into areas normally left out of historical record. Editing texts: have to be able to decipher handwriting, have to restore what is missing.

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