Documentary papyri and inscriptions online

Did you know that images of the papyrus of the Gospel of Peter are online?  Well, they are, here.  Monochrome, of course (O ye uncircumcised!), but far better than nothing.  A photographic archive of other documentary papyri in the Cairo museum are here (courtesy of the Andrew Mellon foundation which is funding all sorts of wonderful things).

All this is at the Oxford Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents.  The links section, under “Online Corpora of Papyri and Inscriptions” has a  bunch of links to online access to things.  The list alone is worth looking at, if, like me, you had no idea these existed.

Somewhere there is a link to a database of Latin inscriptions called Clauss Slaby. It is just a fantastic resource and includes most of the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum [CIL] and many  others.  Try entering ‘Mithra’ or ‘Mithrae’ in “Search text 1” and get a mass of dedicatory material. 

I also tried “Attin”, for Attis, and got more material still, at more length.  It’s not just inscriptions, but documentary material as well – letters, for instance.

The inscriptions are expanded, which makes it more useful yet.  Of course you do need to know a bit of Latin to get the most out of this!

Carefully hidden in a mass of irrelevant and annoying pages in German is a site which has a search tool for the big list of people from the Roman empire — the prosopography of the Roman empire — here.   Follow the Stichwortliste: Eingangsseite link.

Of course a lot of the links are to people who haven’t realised that websites are for putting stuff online; pompous institutes that just list their Dead-Tree Press publications, as if in some kind of dull brochure.  But a very encouraging number of the sites have content!

The CSAD site is for more than just inscription-sniffers.  It is of wide use to those of us wandering around trying to find out about Attis, or Mithras, or whoever.  These people are doing some really valuable work.  Recommended.


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