Article

Practical Help: Chronology, Geography, Measures, Currency, Names, Prosopography, and Technical Vocabulary

Roger S. Bagnall

in The Oxford Handbook of Papyrology

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199843695
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199843695.013.0008

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History

 Practical Help: Chronology, Geography, Measures, Currency, Names, Prosopography, and Technical Vocabulary

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  • Classical Studies
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  • Historical Archaeology

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Both editors and readers of papyri, even if they know well the language in which their texts are written, constantly encounter reminders that these artifacts come from another society. These come in the form of a host of technical details. To most readers who are not professional papyrologists, they are simply obstacles to understanding the transaction or some aspect of it that is of interest to them. This article explains the most common and most important of these matters and provides some guidance to works where more detail can be found. Preferring variation in diction, literary Greek was on the whole averse to the use of technical vocabulary. The Greek of the documents, however, has a rich repertory of words used with specialized meanings for particular institutions, offices, taxes, legal acts, and other administrative and legal purposes.

Keywords: Papyri readers; papyri editors; technical details; technical vocabulary; literary Greek; documentary Greek

Article.  7819 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Greek and Roman Papyrology ; Historical Archaeology

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