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A GREEK PAPYRUS MANUSCRIPT FRAGMENT
EGYPT, ROMAN PERIOD, CIRCA 1ST CENTURY A.D.

HOMER -- Glossary to Book IX of the Iliad, verses 454-468

written on both sides, verso: Homeric glossary, 14 lines (12 words and 2 numbers), incipit: \Kekekleto\k, second line: the number \Ksn\k (250), followed by 12 lines, the last word being \Khjaistoio\k and the number \Ksx\k (260). Greek uncials. Recto: legal document, addressed to Sarapion, governor of the southern nome of Sebennytos, filing a citizen's grievance, 13 lines. Cursive script. (Holes affecting text.)
c. 110 x 75 mm.
Provenance
with Erik von Scherling, manuscript dealer in Leyden, circa 1933.
with William H. Schab, New York, 1956.
Literature
B.A. van Groningen, "Un fragment de glossaire Homérique" in: Mnemosynes Bibliothecae Classicae Batavae (ser. 3 vol. 5, pp. 62-68), 1937.

Lot Essay

Sarapion was the governor of Upper Sebennytos, against whom the legal complaint was brought. This manuscript was probably written in Alexandria in the first century B.C., and presumably was found among the numerous papyri excavated circa 1900 at Oxyrhynchos, of which Sarapion was a citizen. Another letter written in Sebennytos addressed to him is P.Oxy. 931.

Prof. van Groningen remarked (op. cit.) on the present manuscript's faulty orthography and concluded from the mysterious verse numbers that the word list either related to scrolls which did not correspond to the Books of the Iliad or, more likely, that it was compiled to explicate a school abridgement of the epic that is now lost.

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