Writing Greek with an Egyptian brush: Ptolemaic Papyri and Ostraca


The webinar focuses on a peculiar phenomenon in writing practices in Ptolemaic Egypt that manifests itself in documents inscribed on papyri and ostraca in Greek language but by means of  Egyptian technique. While writers of Greek background, widely understood, tended to use a pen made out of reed (kalamos), those trained in Egyptian schools wrote with a brush made from a frayed rush until around the middle of the 1st century BCE. The latter could write Greek with this writing tool, which means that he was able to write also Egyptian Demotic. During the class we will concentrate on deciphering Greek documents (with sometimes a Demotic subscription) traced with an Egyptian brush and analyze their material, paleographical, and linguistic properties, while also considering their historical context. Most of the texts to be analyzed are dated to the 3rd and 2nd centuries BCE. We will also work on translation and explication of the texts, with an aim of possibly contributing new translations to papyri.info. The webinar is free of charge and will take place Wednesdays 16:15 - 17:45, Central European Time. The first meeting will be the 18th October and the last the 7th February. The primary language of instruction is English, and good knowledge of Greek is required; the ability to read Demotic is welcome but by no means necessary. Because this is an online class, participants will need a personal computer, headset with microphone, and stable internet connection. Certificates will be issued upon successful completion of the class. Those wishing to participate should send a statement of interest and CV to Pierre-Luc Angles, Angles@stud.uni-heidelberg.de, by September 30, 2017. Questions about the course can also be directed to him. The number of participants will be kept to a maximum of 10. The course is sponsored by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Science, Forschung, and Art (MWK) as part of the “Webinars in Specialized Disciplines” initiative.

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Latest Revision: 2017-12-02
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