A gorgeous article at BAR on the Oxyrhynchus papyri

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The remarkable story of Grenfell and Hunt and the Oxyrhynchus Papyri is told by Peter Parsons in a delightful new book, The City of the Sharp-Nosed Fish.2 Parsons, employed since 1960 with cataloging, deciphering and publishing the Oxyrhynchus Papyri under the auspices of the British Academy and the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, is just the person to narrate this saga. His assembled chapters explore the workings of the city of Oxyrhynchus, the presence of the empire and the imperial cult, the Nile and its rhythmic effects, economic matters, personal life, the literary predilections of its citizenry, ancient bureaucracy, the use of medicine and magic to cope with accident, disease and distress, and the city’s late-antique Christian legacy. Parsons introduces us to all of it with great erudition and expert commentary and a welcome sense of humor.


6 thoughts on “A gorgeous article at BAR on the Oxyrhynchus papyri

  1. I what a lovely story of discovery and adventure. Thanks for the source, It’s remarkable, and so very interesting.
    (I shouldn’t be surprised ) there is so much to understand about how people interact, and it’s tempting to think that at this time in history, we’re in a special category, so independent and not reliant on others.
    However it’s amazing to find that all the way through history people interact in the same old ways.
    We are dependant and independent all at the same time.

  2. I wish we did too,
    it’s so evocative and crazy ( by crazy I mean beautiful, evocative and unreachable.)
    these people lived out dreams in such a unique way ,
    I don’t think these stories exists for us in the same way these days…… it goes into the too romantic department.
    We wish that we could recreate, or duplicate their experience but its’ all changed.
    Thankfully there is the legacy of their work.
    And we can be transported back…….to some degree.

  3. I think these things still happen. Have a look at this, for instance.

    Have you read H.V.Morton’s “Through lands of the bible”? If not, you might like it!

  4. Thanks for the link to Wendy Pradels, I did enjoy reading that piece.

    What a great experience, and she writes about it all

    so beautifully. There’s nothing like a bit of adventure.

    And no I haven’t read HV Morton, however I’ll look out for him.

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