ï~~Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists 47 (2010) 369-374 Jean-Luc Fournet (ed.), Les archives de Dioscore dAphrodite cent ans apres leur dicouverte: histoire et culture dans l'Egypte byzantine. Paris: De Boccard, 2008. 384 pages including 32 plates. ISBN 978-2-7018 -0250-3. The site of Aphrodito (Kom Ishgaw) on the west bank of the Nile was already known to scholars - and to antiquities hunters - when Gustave Lefebvre arrived in Egypt in spring 1905 to work as Antiquities Service inspector for Assiut. Papyri dating from the eighth century, after the Islamic conquest of Egypt, had been found there in 1901. Now in 1905 clandestine diggers came upon papyri from the sixth century, Egypt's time of flowering under Justinian and Justin II, and it was fortunate that Jean Maspero was on hand to begin making them known in the pages of the BIFAO. It is not only to commemorate the centenary of this discovery that the editor organized a conference to sum up one hundred years of what has been called, after the name of the archive's protagonist, "dioscorologie"; it is also to encourage critical reflection on the texts themselves, in their historical setting and in both their languages. More texts have continued to come to light; published texts need re-editing; all require contextualization, commentary, and connection to wider worlds. Here, by scholars younger and older, are nineteen chapters that do just that. The introductory paper by Fournet, "Archive ou archives de Dioscore? Les dernidres annees des 'archives de Dioscore'" (pp. 17-30), shows that what is too easily termed the "Dioscorus archive" in fact comprises more strands and extends over a greater time span than has been previously thought. Using a new Greek text in Strasbourg datable to AD 587/8 plus a new Coptic letter found in Cairo and another Coptic letter once known to Crum, together with RCair.Masp. 3.67325 of 585, he argues that the widow Sophia, daughter of John, granddaughter of Cornelius (cf. G. Ruffini in BASP 45, 2008, 226-227), was Dioscorus' wife. He also suggests that she may have acted for her husband after he retired ca. 573 into the monastery his father Apollos had founded (a monastery discussed later in the volume by Boud'hors and Wipszycka). The next section, "Languages and Cultures," comprises seven papers. In "Il ruolo di Dioscoro nella storia della poesia tardoantica" (pp. 33-54), Gianfranco Agosti confronts the material most associated with Dioscorus' name, his Greek poems. He has once and for all banished tiresome old value judgments and instead placed these works in the socio-cultural fabric that produced them. Late Antiquity saw and heard poetry as a more elevated medium than prose. Dioscorus' creation of what we term "literature" was a social fact with a practical function, meant to assure a portion in the shared paideia of the Mediterranean world, and he deployed his "lingua galante" to show that
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