Editing A Papyrus

Paul Schubert

in The Oxford Handbook of Papyrology

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199843695
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History

 Editing A Papyrus

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  • Classical Studies
  • Greek and Roman Papyrology
  • Historical Archaeology


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The process of editing a papyrus is undeniably a central aspect in the field of papyrology. This article notes that the task of a scholar who undertakes the edition of a papyrus resembles that of a detective. Following some basic methodological principles, adding a certain amount of experience gained through contact with many texts, and using state-of-the-art tools to find their way around an increasingly vast corpus of primary sources, papyrologists must fit together various pieces of a puzzle. The advent of electronic tools has made possible the quick handling of a huge mass of data, thus changing substantially many aspects of the way in which papyrologists edit their texts. Electronic tools will eventually supersede the main papyrological reference books. Supplements to Friedrich Preisigke's Wórterbuch are becoming redundant now that scholars can search the same data on the Internet.

Keywords: papyrus editing; textual criticism; papyrology; text editing; electronic editing tools; Friedrich Preisigke; Wórterbuch

Article.  8351 words. 

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

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