ï~~Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists 47 (2010) 275-277
Csaba A. La'da, Greek Documentary Papyri from Ptolemaic Egypt.
Corpus Papyrorum Raineri 28. Berlin and New York: Walter de
Gruyter, 2008. xxii + 229 pages + 19 plates in back pocket. ISBN
This volume publishes fourteen texts from the Vienna papyrus collection. All texts derive from different pieces of mummy cartonnage that were
purchased by the Vienna collection at various points in the not too distant
past (1981, 1984, 1991, 1992, 1996). The texts are presented in papyrological
fashion, with physical description of the papyrus, Greek text, translation, introduction detailing the most salient information to be gleaned from the text,
extensive notes, and a B/W illustration. The usual indices conclude the volume.
The edition is lavishly produced. There is much detailed information
about every aspect of each text. Every introduction mentions several parallels
for the handwriting and summarizes every novel (or even not-so-novel) detail
the text is presenting or illustrating. Individual line notes provide minute observations about readings, a full listing of other texts where the same word or
expression occurs, onomastic and prosopographical information, and tidbits
of historical interest. The result is, more frequently than I would like, an overwhelming amount of information, leaving the reader wondering to what end
all this information is given. Although, as with all papyrological text editions,
this amount of detailed attention will be the last given to these texts for a long
time, and it is good to be able to reconstruct the editor's thinking in choosing
for specific readings, I am wondering whether much of this information would
not be more at home in a papyrus catalog description (preferably in an online
database), so that the information presented in the edition could have been restricted to what is really worthwhile and interesting for the intended audiences.
Text 1 is the beginning of a receipt for the payment of "renewal tax,"
trXoc avavcbocwc (Krokodilopolis; 237 BCE). It is the remaining part of a
double document, the upper part (scriptura interior) having been lost. The
text was probably drawn up by the same scribe who wrote the similar receipt
Text 2 (mid to late third century BCE) is a small fragment of a letter, apparently written with an Egyptian rush pen. The main interest of the text lies
in the fact that ten people (and, mentioned on the verso, a chiton) have to be
sent to the author(s?) of the letter during the night, although it is unclear for
Texts 3-6 are various accounts, all from the mid to late third century BCE,
written on two papyrus fragments that possibly formed part of the same papyrus roll as shown specifically by the two related texts on the back (p. 12). Text 3,