ï~~Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists 46 (2009) 151-164
Papyrology on the Threshold
of a New Millennium
James G. Keenan Loyola University Chicago
Review article of Bernhard Palme (ed.), Akten des 23. Internationalen Papyrologenkongresses, Wien, 22.-28. Juli 2001. Papyrologica
Vindobonensia, Vol. 1. Wien: Osterreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2007. xxix + 747 pages. ISBN 978-3-7001-3478-7.
Papyrologists have met internationally as a group since 1930. Following
various complications, including a meeting planned for Vienna for 1939 but
never held' and, of course, the devastating intrusion of World War II,2 a custom of triennial meetings was established. Recent meetings have been larger
than the early ones, with more participants, more papers, and correspondingly
bigger proceedings (cf. BASP 39  213-227 on the 1998 congress in Florence). At Vienna in 2001 there were 281 registered participants. The program
featured nine specially invited keynote speeches, 126 standard-length papers,
and three workshops (with fourteen workshop presenters in all).
Under the sole editorship of Bernhard Palme, 99 of these oral presentations have found lasting memorial in the Akten (39 in English, 33 in Italian, 15
in German, and 12 in French). These are the first proceedings since the Copenhagen congress (meeting 1992, proceedings published 1994) to keep to a single
volume, but it is, as was to be expected, a monumental tome. Despite (in my
judgment) the uneven quality of the contributions and despite the longer than
usual delay in publication, these proceedings, like their predecessors, afford
readers a good sense of the current state of the field, in this case nicely complemented by Peter van Minnen's survey (pp. 701-714) on "The Millennium of
Papyrology (2001-)?" Inter alia, van Minnen's calculations establish the daunt1W. Habermann, "Die deutsche Delegation beim Internationalen Papyrologenkongress in Oxford im Jahre 1937 und der fir das Jahr 1939 geplante Papyrologenkongress
in Wien," APF 47 (2001) 102-171.
2 In brief, J.G. Keenan, "The History of the Discipline;" in R.S. Bagnall (ed.), The
Oxford Handbook of Papyrology (Oxford 2009) 59-78 at 68-70.