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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

The Oxyrhynchus Papyri, Volume LXXXIII
Parsons, Peter John and N. Gonis, editors

London: Egypt Exploration Society, 2018 pp. 230. $145.00

Series Information
Graeco-Roman Memoirs


Description: Volume LXXXIII continues our publication of biblical texts, including what is only the second Egyptian witness to the Epistle of Philemon as well as further early witnesses to the text of Mark and Luke (late second to early third century AD), and an amateur copy of excerpts from Ezekiel's Exagoge. Other sections offer new fragments from two popular genres: trials from the Acta Alexandrinorum, notably the trial of the former Prefect Titianus before Hadrian (an event sensational enough to reach the Historia Augusta); and adventures from the Greek Novel, including the Crimean narrative of Calligone and the Amazons. There is also a glimpse of the anonymous copyists to whom we owe our texts, practising various graphic styles. Other documents contribute a mass of detail to the social and economic history of Roman and Byzantine Egypt, such as an official letter about the tax-grain destined to supply Rome; a tax-receipt that attests a Jewish community at Oxyrhynchus in the late fourth century; and, quite an extraordinary object, part of a ceremonial shield painted with a laurel wreath and a Latin inscription that celebrates the twentieth anniversary of some fourth-century emperor. The final section of the volume contains art: a fine pen-and-ink drawing of a rampant goat, and seven sketches on a single sheet, including a cockerel and a peacock, a wild boar, and a unicorn. As the Artemidorus papyrus has renewed discussion of drawing as an art in the Greek world, with some finding its own spread of drawings so striking as to suggest forgery, the new examples from Oxyrhynchus now demonstrate comparable technique and similar subject-matter in papyri of undoubted authenticity.

Subjects: Greco-Roman Literature, Literature

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Review by Larry W. Hurtado
Published 11/8/2018
Citation: Larry W. Hurtado, review of Peter John Parsons and N. Gonis, eds., The Oxyrhynchus Papyri, Volume LXXXIII, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2018).


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