Article

The Range of Documentary Texts: Types and Categories

Bernhard Palme

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/9780199843695.013.0016

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History

The Range of Documentary Texts: Types and Categories

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The diversity of texts and types of documents can easily create the impression that papyrological evidence offers a representative view on almost all aspects of life in antiquity. But even in Egypt the geographical and chronological distribution of preserved papyri is very uneven, concentrated on a few sites on the edges of ancient settlement. The present state of editions differs greatly among linguistic groups. Conventionally the documentary papyri and ostraca are divided into private and public. On the basis of historical and formal features, private documents can be classified into private communications, records of private legal transactions, accounts, and finances, and documents of piety and worship. The second group contains documents concerning the interaction between the state and individuals and pronouncements of the government and administration. Only the last group was meant for public dissemination.

Keywords: documentary papyri; legal documents; papyrological evidence; Egypt; private documents

Article.  17490 words. 

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

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