In order to allow us to examine the conventions governing the formatting of documentary entries in ancient books, a sufficient number of surviving specimens that constitute a large enough sample is necessary. Such evidence becomes available mainly in the course of the second and third centuries when the practice of systematically editing and furnishing orations with documents was well established. It is of course true that in the absence of more extensive evidence concerning the documentary entries, any definitive assessment of how documentary titles and passages are formatted in Demosthenes' speeches, and of what type they are, and most importantly why they are formatted in particular ways, would be more conjectural than otherwise. But in examining all preserved instances with documentary entries from Demosthenes, which amount to no less than thirty-one, I find that examples are numerous and multifarious enough to present a sound set of suggestions for further analysis.

    Examples show the presence and position of the title and passage in the documents in Demosthenes. These are collected in tables 1 and 2 at the end of this survey. Table 1 contains examples of On the Crown, representing more than a third of all surviving specimens of those titles and passages in the speeches of Demosthenes. Table 2 contains examples from all other Demosthenic speeches.

    In more than half of the surviving cases, documentary titles can be seen to be placed on a separate line where they are centered to draw attention to the change from the main text to that of a document, whether the documentary passage be included or not. In three instances, the documentary passages themselves also follow (P.Oxy. I 232; IV 701; P.Heid. inv. G 239a); in the remaining thirteen the documentary title alone is transmitted and the text is omitted (P.Oxy. IV 702; VIII 1093; LVI 3843; 3849; LXVII 4577; P.Oxy. ined. 101/210 (b); P.Ryl. I 57; 58; P.Berol. inv. 5879; P.Haun. I 5 ii 9–10). P.Ant. I 27 is an example of a presumably unusual form with the documentary unit (title/passage) directly following the text of Demosthenes and the title falling (almost accidentally) in the center of the line. The beginning of the subheading is marked by an enlarged initial gamma and the shortest of gaps, that of the width of one letter, with respect to the preceding text of the oration while it is followed straight on by the text it belongs to without any space left between the title and the page document. That the centering of the title was a standard and fixed form throughout the ancient world is shown by numerous subheadings in literary papyri, all of which follow more or less the same pattern. When forming part of books of mixed contents, such as an oration furnished with documents or a commentary on more than one oration, the subheading also included brief statements of contents, or lectional marks to highlight the documentary entries and facilitate comprehension of such texts (as in P.Oxy. III 459 and VIII 1093 col. xii 17).

    Yet there are examples of documentary titles that present an alternative format to the centering of the documentary title on a separate line: in three specimens, subheadings are inset from the last preceding word of the text of the oration flush with the right-hand side of the column. A new start for the text of the law is then made by the scribe at the beginning of the following line to make it clear to the reader that a different kind of text from the speech and the subheading is introduced from that point (P.Oxy. ined. 34 4B.77/D(2–3)a, 34 4B.77/D(4–6)c; MPER I 10; BKT IX 96). There remain three cases where subheadings all appear on a separate line, off center to right with no documentary passage following: P.Oxy. III 459; VIII 1093 P.Lit.Lond. 127.

    P.Oxy. VIII 1093, interestingly, adds to the evidence for the use of both formats represented by Demosthenes papyri: the notation μάρτυρες in column XII is set off to the right of a new line and is also generously spaced above. Two columns further down (col. xiv 12), in Dem. xxxix 20, the same heading, possibly μαρτυρ(ία), is positioned in the center in relation to the preceding and the following lines, inset from the beginning by two letters and shortened at its inflectional ending by another two. This results in an abbreviated form that creates ambiguity about the expansion of the word: μαρτυρ (with a slightly raised horizontal mark replacing the last two letters over rho) could stand not only for μαρτυρία, which is unanimously supported by the medieval manuscripts, but also for μάρτυρες as it has been resolved by McNamee and placed as one of the type-examples in the Index of Abbreviations.[1] Rather than signalling the omission of the content of the testimonies, the symbol resembling the letter s above both documentary entries probably heralds the beginning of new sections within the main text, by further directing attention to their subheadings. Our problem then is to determine whether titles of a very similar or identical type that are presented in different formats are to be regarded as a scribal whim, to which no date could be assigned, or as representative of two different formatting styles that were more or less normal in the typology of the Greek books, and can thus be situated within more or less precise chronological limits.

    There are some indications of a variant procedure in which titles were written at the beginning of a line and the rest was left blank to set the text of the speech off to a new line (P.Oxy. LVI 3846 νόμος, on a separate scrap, which in view of λέγε τὸν νόμον must belong either in §8 or in §10 from the speech In Meidiam). The law subheading, marked by a short, ornamental horizontal stroke below sigma, is aligned with the left edge of the column, with a blank line-end following and another one possibly left in the preceding line to distinguish between the speech and the law passage that may have followed This is all part of a professionally edited book containing a controlled and stabilized text of a known author in an overall format of production that would hardly suggest a private copy.

    P.Mich. III 142 (νόμος, l. 1, Dem. xxiii 51–4) may offer a second example of a documentary title written at the beginning of a line. But there is hardly anything in the production to suggest a professionally produced book-roll of a known author. Exceptional copying circumstances may account for that uniquely formatted title instead. Inconsistent control of ink that manifests itself in the blacker ink and heavyish lettering exhibited in the first three lines, a pronounced cursive hand applied to the text that results in irregular letter formation, and many uncorrected spelling mistakes – some of them quite serious, if not inexcusable – encountered throughout, all tend to present the appearance of a school exercise by a student, or, less probably, of a personal copy by a scholar, albeit an inept scholar, for private use.

    Moreover, the frequency and type of these errors (including the most common itacisms) point towards the direction of copying to dictation, in the process of which the student was not fully successful in representing phonetically equivalent sounds by the correct letters, and indeed all errors could be explained on this ground. On the other hand, the possibility of a slow-witted and painstaking student reading aloud to himself for the exercise, in an assignment involving copying from the teacher's written model, remote though it may seem, cannot be discounted.

    Cribiore is critical of the nonchalance with which some editors infer dictation from phonetic errors, offering self-dictation on the part of the student as an explanation for their occurrence.[2] But the deviations in spelling, as Cribiore points out, in what to all other appearances looks like an exercise, are sometimes so numerous and of such a type as not to exclude probably their being accounted for in this way. On the other hand, lectional marks, often associated with school work, are totally lacking in P.Mich. III 142 (Demosthenes, Contra Aristocratem), and, apart from two punctuation signs (a high point and a dicolon) marking the documentary titles, which occur in the surviving text (νομος· and νομος:), so is general punctuation lacking in the Demosthenic text.

    Either context for the fragment of the Contra Aristocratem of Demosthenes, a classroom or a study-room, would allow its "scribe" to start out by copying the law at the top left-hand corner of the column as a kind of a subject-heading to the documentary text and the part of the speech which follow. It is unlikely to be purely coincidental that the column would have started off right at that point in the text where the law begins, had it been part of an original bookroll that contained the speech Contra Aristocratem.

    The examples of documentary titles and passages that have been hitherto recovered are both numerous and diverse, and seem to point to the following observations. First, indentation is employed at varying levels with various degrees of frequency. Most of the titles of all types of documents in the Demosthenes papyri represent the centered formatting that is also unanimously attested in the medieval manuscripts and in other oratorical papyri. Yet a good many of these titles bear formats deviating from what is most commonly regarded by modern editors, for various reasons, as the most acceptable formatting. The content of the documents seems to dictate their inclusion or omission in Demosthenes's speeches. Numerous examples are found in Demosthenes's papyri, in which the passages of the testimonies are omitted (with only the title being attested), and a few extant specimens show that the law passages and titles were invariably included in them. Third, many of these format styles appear to have served practical purposes: they could help a scribe to separate a different text which appeared on the same writing surface as that of the main speech and might have otherwise caused confusion to the prospective reader, or they could make some vital information included in the document more easily intelligible. Some of the non-standard formats evidenced in the papyri are also typical of other kinds of texts such as teachers' prepared models or students' exercises, in which clarity of presentation was extremely important (P.Mich. III 142). In addition, the non-standard but well attended practice of writing oratory and sub-titled documents in one continuous block points towards the production of an economical copy with professional pretensions that was intended for one's own private use (P.Ant. I 27). Mere aesthetic purposes, on the other hand also come into play: at high educational levels prospective owners cared about the aesthetic quality of a well-read oratorical piece copied with the documents, and scribes strived to produce a highly aesthetic effect for this same purpose. Fourth, documentary titles were (maybe) specimens of the "running title," which does not entirely concern us here except as a possible reference to commentaries or repositories of documents for scribes employed in seasoning Demosthenes's speeches according to the orders of the prospective owners. They would then serve a practical purpose, for the scribe or scholar who wished to turn to a particular book for a word or phrase would guide himself by a new and far more convenient device, the internal title, which was written distinctly, as in so many of the later manuscripts.

    Table 1: Papyri of Demosthenes XVIII preserving titles and passages with documents in medieval MSS.
    Dem. XVIII Title Document Neither
    P.Oxy. XI 1377 § 167 ἀπόκρισις Θηβαίοις (late 1st BCE) ? x
    P.Haun. I 5 §§217, 221, 222 ψηφίσματα τῶν θυσιῶν, ἐπιστολαὶ Φιλίππου, ψηφίσματα (1st/2nd CE) x (all centered) x
    P.Oxy. XLII 3009 Epistula Philippi (Demosthenes XVIII 221) ἐπιστολαί (2nd CE) ? x
    P.Ryl. I 57 §§164–167 ψήφισμα, ἕτερον ψήφισμα, ἀποκρίσεις Ἀθηναίοις καὶ Θηβαίοις (2nd/3rd CE) x (all centered)
    P.Köln. VIII 334 §29 ψήφισμα Δημοσθένους (2nd/3rd CE) ? x
    P.Ant. I 27 §54 Γραφή (3rd CE) x (centered) x
    PSI 1395 §§27–28, 37–40 ψήφισμα Δημοσθένους, ψήφισμα, ἐπιστολή (Φιλίππου) (3rd CE) x
    P.Oxy. ined. 49 5B.99/D (13–14) G §29, 37, 39 ψήφισμα, ψήφισμα, ἐπιστολή (3rd CE) x (right)
    P.Oxy. ined. 34 4B.77/D(2–3)a, 34 4B.77/D(4–6)c, d §110–114, 120 νόμος, 151, 157 ἐπιστολή, 168, 192–194 (late 2nd/early 3rd CE)
    x (flush right)
    P.Oxy. ined. C 229 22–27 §157 ἐπιστολή (3rd CE) x (off center to right) x
    P.Paramone (P. Heid. inv. G 239a) §§166–167 ἀπόκρισις Ἀθηναίοις, ἀπόκρισις Θηβαίοις (4th/5th CE)
    x (centered)
    P.Ryl. I 58 § 267 μαρτυρίαι (5th or 6th CE) x (centered)
    x =documentary title(s) and/or text(s), or nothing inserted in the papyri,
    – =documentary title(s) and/or text(s) omitted in the papyri,
    ? = impossible to tell whether documentary title(s) and/or text(s) were inserted or omitted in the papyri
    Table 2: Papyri of all other Demosthenic speeches preserving titles and passages with documents in medieval MSS.
    Demosthenic Corpus Title Document Neither
    P.Berol. inv. 5879 xx §86 ψήφισμα Χαβρίου τιμῶν (1st/2nd CE) x
    MPER I 10 xlvi §26 νόμος (early 2nd CE) x (flush right) x
    P.Oxy. IV 702 xl §52 μαρτυρίαι ([perhaps early] 2nd CE) x (centered)
    P.Oxy. VIII 1093 xxxix §19 μάρτυρες, xxxix §20 μαρτυρία (mid 2nd CE)
    μάρτυρες x (right)
    μαρτυρία x (center)
    P.Mich. III 142 xxiii §51–54 νόμος (2nd CE)
    x (flush left)
    x (off center to left)
    P.Lond.Lit. 127 xix §32 μαρτυρία προβούλευμα (2nd CE) x (off center to right)
    P.Oxy. LVI 3843 xx §35 ψηφίσματα (2nd CE?) x (possibly present and to the center)
    P.Yale I 22 xix §58–59, 60–62 συμμαχία Φωκέων καὶ Ἀθηναίων, ὁμολογία Φιλίππου καὶ Φωκέων (late 2nd CE) x
    P.Oxy. IV 701 xxiv §64 νόμος (late 2nd/early 3rd CE) x (centered) x
    P.Oxy. ined. 26 3B.50/E(1) part §33 νόμος (late 2nd/early 3rd CE) x
    P.Oxy. ined. 101/210 (b) xxvii §39, (and possibly) 41 μαρτυρίαι (late 2nd/early 3rd CE)
    x (centered)
    BKT IX 96 xliii §46 ἄλλη (μαρτυρία) (2nd/3rd CE) x (flush right) x
    P.Oxy. LVI 3849 xxi §52 μαντεῖαι ἐκ Δωδώνης μαντεῖαι (2nd/3rd CE)
    x (possibly present and to the center)
    P.Oxy. II 232 xxiv §53 νόμος [late 2nd/(more prob.) early 3rd CE] x (centered) x
    MPER I 9 xxiii §82 νόμος (3rd CE) ? x
    P.Oxy. II 233 xxiv §150 ὅρκος Ἡλιαστῶν (3rd CE) ? x
    P.Oxy. III 459 xxiii §115 ἐπιστολαί (3rd CE) x (off center to right)
    P.Oxy. LVI 3846 xxi §8 (or 10) νόμος (3rd CE) x (flush left) ?
    P.Oxy. LXVII 4577 xix §154 ψήφισμα (later 3rd CE) x (possibly present and to the center)
    P.Oxy. LXVII 4569 xix §214 μαρτυρία (3rd CE/4th CE) x (possibly present and to the right)


      1. K. McNamee, "Abbreviations in Greek Literary Papyri and Ostraca" BASP 3 (1981) 57.return to text

      2. R. Cribiore, Writing, Teachers and Students in Graeco-Roman Egypt (Atlanta 1996) 92–93.return to text