Incipits and explicits in extant papyri?

How would I discover if, among our collections of ancient papyri, we have the beginning or ends of some rolls?  It’s an interesting question, but my knowledge of instrumenta is too limited for me
to find them.  Has anyone any ideas?

For instance, surely some of the charred Herculaneum rolls preserve their colophons?

3 Responses to “Incipits and explicits in extant papyri?”


  1. Pete Head
  2. Roger Pearse

    I.e.:

    “To Mega Biblion: Book-Ends, End-Titles, and Coronides in Papyri with Hexametric Poetry”

    by Francesca Schironi

    A systematic and chronological investigation into the nature and development of end-titles in papyrus rolls and codices of hexameter poetry from the 3rd century BC to the 6th century AD. The bulk of the evidence for presentation of hexametric verse derives from Homeric papyri (51 papyrus copies), although Hesiod’s Theogony, Works & Days, and Shield (two), and Oppian’s Halieutica likewise supply data (one). For comparative purposes the author also provides a sampling of end-titles in non-epic genres. The discussion of individual papyri and summation of the results are rich and informative. Includes bibliographical references, charts with comparative statistics, and pertinent indices.250p, 60 b/w illus (American Studies in Papyrology volume 48, American Society of Papyrologists 2010)

    ISBN-13: 978-0-9799758-0-6
    ISBN-10: 0-9799758-0-8 Hardback. Price GB £44.00

  3. Roger Pearse

    Thank you — I shall order a copy from the library. This should give something.