Learning outcomes of the course unit
Aim of the course is to provide basic notions about Papyrology with reference to bibliographical tools and to methods and perspectives of study of the papyri as original artefacts and as sources for historical and literary studies. The course leads the students to material and palaeographical analysis of the written product, and to the contextualization and critical fruition of the preserved text (either document or literary text), allowing for the acquisition of competences in the comprehension and use of the historical-documentary and philological-literary sources in context.
Course contents summary
Course title: Introduction to the study of the papyri between history and literature.
The course offers an introduction to writing materials in Antiquity (papyri, ostraka, tablets, parchments); to the history of findings and studies; to the historical and cultural context of Hellenistic and Roman Egypt; to the history of book products and typologies (roll and codex); to the languages and writings attested in the papyri; to the texts as historical, literary, cultural, and scientific sources; to the traditional and electronic resources for papyrological research. A selection of significant texts will be presented and commented in translation.
Introduction and overview: what is Papyrology; papyri as artefacts and writing supports; text and context; history of the studies. The most ancient papyri. History and culture of Ptolemaic Egypt. History and culture of Roman Egypt. Papyri outside Egypt and Latin papyri. Archives of papyri. Papyri as book products: roll and codex. Papyri as artistic-cultural products: illustrated and musicated papyri. Papyri as scientific products: the medical papyri. Papyri as literary products: papyri and ancient literature. Papyri and the multilingualism of Graeco-Roman Egypt. The papyrologist at work: the tools of the trade and the edition of texts. Digital Papyrology: methodologies, tools, and digital edition of texts.
Manual: E.G. Turner, Papiri greci, ed. by M. Manfredi, Roma: Carocci 2002.
M. Capasso, Che cos'è la papirologia?, Roma: Carocci 2009.
P. Parsons, La scoperta di Ossirinco. La vita quotidiana in Egitto al tempo dei Romani, Roma: Carocci 2014.
R.S. Bagnall, Papiri e storia antica, ed. by M. Capasso, Roma: Bardi 2007.
G. Cavallo, La scrittura greca e latina dei papiri. Una introduzione, Roma: Serra 2008.
H. Blanck, Il libro nel mondo antico, ed. by R. Otranto, Bari: Dedalo 2008.
Frontal classes with PowerPoint slides. Study materials provided in class.
Assessment methods and criteria
Oral examination. It will be verified the knowledge of the main features of the texts presented and commented in class (in Italian translation), of the historical-cultural contexts discussed during the course, and of the reference manual.
The examination will comprise one question about the manual (evaluated from 1 to 10 points), one about the topics presented in the classes (from 1 to 10 points), one about a topic to be selected by the student either from the manual or from the class topics. To be evaluated are: (a) the ability to understand ad re-elaborate critically the specific issues of the discipline; (b) the ability to orient among the topics and the central themes of the discipline; (c) the ability to present and contextualize efficaciously the notions learned.
Beside the regular classes, optional seminarial activities of trasncription and edition of unpublished Greek papyri from Tebtunis will be organized. The papyri belong to the collection of the Center for the Tebtunis Papyri, Bancroft Library, University of California at Berkeley.