Sunday, December 4, 2016

Manchester's PhD Funding Opportunities in Classics & Ancient Historyمنحة دكتوراة فى علم البردي

منحة دكتوراة فى علم البردي من جامعة مانشستير.

ذكرت الزميلة العزيزة روبرتا ماتزا فى رسالة أن هناك منح للدكتوراة مقدمة من جامعة مانشستير لمن يرغب فى الدراسة هناك. التفاصيل فى رسالتها فى الأسفل.

Posted in papylist on December 2, 2016 by Roberta Mazza.

PhD opportunities at Manchester.

I would like to underline the possibility to apply for projects in Papyrology and Graeco-Roman Egypt, especially through the North West Consortium Doctoral Training (see details below), in view of the different experts and resources, including papyri and museum collections, available in Manchester and Liverpool.

With best wishes,

From: Classicists [] on behalf of Polly Low []
Sent: 02 December 2016 09:39
Subject: PhD Funding Opportunities in Classics & Ancient History, University of Manchester
PhD Funding Opportunities in Classics and Ancient History at Manchester 2017-18

PhD study in Classics & Ancient History at Manchester

A PhD in Classics and Ancient History at Manchester offers unrivalled opportunities to work with world class researchers in one of the UK’s most innovative graduate research environments. The research of our academic staff and PhD students covers a wide range across Greek and Roman history, Classical literature and its reception, ancient (especially Greek) philosophy, and Classical Philology and Linguistics.  We have particular strengths in a number of areas, including the core fields of Greek and Latin literature and Greek and Roman history and specialisms such as ancient epistolography (Greek and Latin), Greek epigraphy, Roman social history and ancient medicine and its reception. As a Manchester PhD student you will be a member of a vibrant research community, participating in the departmental research culture, seminars and workshop activities, and master classes with international scholars, and able to take advantage of our close contacts with other researchers in the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures and the John Rylands Research Institute.

Classics and Ancient History at Manchester is a member of the Graduate School, a school-wide space with dedicated research skills training, careers opportunities, graduate reading groups, conference and master classes for PhD students.

Funding for Classics & Ancient History PhD at Manchester

We invite applications from well-qualified students for the following PhD funding opportunities to start in September 2018.  Please note that applicants to any of these competitions must also have applied (separately) for a place on our PhD programme, by Friday 20 January 2017.  Further information on all of these awards, and details on how to apply for them, can be found on our Postgraduate Research Funding page.  The deadline for application for all awards is Friday 10 February 2017.

  • AHRC studentships through the North-West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership (NWC DTP; see the North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership). Please note that this scheme allows for joint supervision between institutions which are members of the relevant 'pathway' in the consortium: members of the Classics & Ancient History pathway are the University of Liverpool, Manchester Metropolitan University, and the University of Manchester. If you would like to explore this option, please contact, in the first instance, the institution at which you plan to base your PhD.
  • President’s Doctoral Scholarships: for Home/EU/International tuition fees, plus a maintenance stipend (equivalent to the RCUK stipend).
  • School awards: for Home/EU/International tuition fees, plus a maintenance stipend (equivalent to the RCUK stipend).
  • The Department of Classics & Ancient History is also pleased to invite applications for the Lees Scholarship, for PhD research in the field of Latin (including literary, historical, philosophical and linguistic topics); this award covers Home/EU tuition fees for up to three years.

Potential applicants to our PhD programme should consult their prospective supervisor as soon as possible, or contact our Postgraduate Research Officer (, who is always happy to discuss potential applications, to answer specific queries about the application process, and to arrange visits to the Department.

Further information on application to the PhD Programme can be found on our How to Apply Postgraduate Research page

For further information on funding, please see:

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Multilingualism in the Graeco-Roman Worlds, ed. by Alex Mullen and Patrick James, Cambridge University Press 2012

Through words and images employed both by individuals and by a range of communities across the Graeco-Roman worlds, this book explores the complexity of multilingual representations of identity. Starting with the advent of literacy in the Mediterranean, it encompasses not just the Greek and Roman empires but also the transformation of the Graeco-Roman world under Islam and within the medieval mind. By treating a range of materials, contexts, languages, and temporal and political boundaries, the contributors consider points of cross-cultural similarity and difference and the changing linguistic landscape of East and West from antiquity into the medieval period. Insights from contemporary multilingualism theory and interdisciplinary perspectives are employed throughout to exploit the material fully.

Greek Language and Education Under Early Islam, Maria Mavroudi 2014

A must read and online available thorough the website of the author herself on

1- Maria Mavroudi, “Greek Language and Education Under Early Islam,” in Islamic Cultures, Islamic Contexts: Essays in Honor of Professor Patricia Crone, eds. Behnam Sadeghi, Asad Q. Ahmed, Robert Hoyland, Adam Silverstein (Leiden: E. J. Brill 2014), 295-342.

Manuscript of Sughrat (Socrates) belongs to a 13th century Seljuk illustrator. It is currently kept at Topkapi Palace Library, Istanbul, Turkey

Friday, August 19, 2016

Kitto's the Greeks (1951) into Arabic

In 1962, Kitto's the Greeks was translated into Arabic by Mohamd S. Khafaga of Cairo University. 

The Greeks is a 1951 non-fiction book on classical Greece by University of Bristol professor and translator H. D. F. Kitto

Two New Editions of the Arabic Translation of Aristotle's Politics

The Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies has recently published a new edition of  Ahmed Lutfi el-Sayed 's(15 January 1872 – 5 March 1963) translation of Barthélemy-Saint-Hilaire's Politique d'Aristote (Paris, 1874). In addition to this, there is a direct translation from Greek into Arabic. This is the translation done by Augstin Baraba (1981-1917) and published in Beirut in 1957.  A new edition of this direct translation has been also recently in 2012 published by the Arabic Organization of Translation. See all book covers below.

Nicomachean Ethics from the French (of Barthélemy-Saint-Hilaire, Morale d'Aristote 1856) into Arabic

Digging in the Internet, I found the Arabic translation of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics available to Egyptian readership in 1914. The translation is done by the anti-colonial activist and the first director of Cairo University, Ahmed Lutfi el-Sayed (15 January 1872 – 5 March 1963). It is not a direct translation from Greek, but through an intermediate language, French. Ahmed Lutfi el-Sayed translated the French translation done by Jules Barthélemy-Saint-Hilaire (19 August 1805 – 24 November 1895) the French philosopher and statesman. The original French book, published in Paris in 1856, can be downloaded from It is to be noted that the same translator has translated  Aristotle's de Generatione et Corruptione into Arabic from the French of Jules Barthélemy-Saint-Hilaire. See my post about this translation here:

Βάτραχοι (The frogs) of Aristophanes into Arabic by Abdelmoety Sharawy (2011)

Abdel Moaty Sharawy of Cairo University has translated Βάτραχοι (The frogs) of Aristophanes into Arabic. The translation was published in March 2012 in the international theater's series of  the Kuwaiti National Council of Culture, Arts and Literature (KNCCAL).

The Frogs of Aristophanes is not translated into Arabic, but it is performed on the stage by famous Egyptian actors and recorder for the national Radio. See my post about this performance on July 31, 2014 in this blog (, where you can find also the link to the audio file, if you want to listen to it in Arabic.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

H. Idris Bell's Egypt, from Alexander the Great to the Arab conquest (1948, Oxford, at the Clarendon Press) into Arabic

Whenever I dig deeper in the Internet, I find lots of interesting translations of classical books of Greco-Roman Studies into Arabic. This time I have found the Arabic translation of H. Idris Bell's Egypt, from Alexander the Great to the Arab conquest:  a study in the diffusion and decay of Hellenism : being the Gregynog lectures for 1946 (1948, Oxford, at the Clarendon Press). Zaki Aly, the late Prof. of Ancient History in Cairo University, has done the translation for Dar Almaref publishing house. In which year this translation has appeared, I can not tell. Here is a link to the original English in . Below is the book cover of the translation and the content.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Alexander the great, a play by Mustafa Mahmoud

I have just finished reading a short play of four acts titled Alexander the great by the prominent Egyptian writer Mustafa Mahmoud (25 December 1921 – 31 October 2009). Every one in Egypt knows who is Mustafa Mahmoud. According to Wikipedia Mustafa Mahmoud "...wrote 89 books in science, philosophy, religion, politics, and society as well as plays, Tales, and travelogues. His writing style was notable for its simplicity and depth." But I think that few knows about this play. The play was published in 1963 by Dar Al Marefa publishing house. It is an interesting piece of work and worth reading. 

Ovid's Amores into Arabic

I am so happy to report that Ovid's Amores is finally translated into Arabic by the Egyptian latinist Dr. Alaa Saber of Cairo University. Dr. Alaa himself has posted this news to his Facebook account. The translation is published in 2016 by the National Center of Translation (NCT) and revised by Dr. Abdel Moaty Shaarawy. The Arabic translation of the three books' edition that has come down to us is proceeded by an extensive introduction, as one can see from the table of contents attached to this post.

He has also give us an image of the book cover and a beautiful excerpt of the translation; Ov. Am. 1.9-15

لقد كنت ذات مرة أخاف من الليل 
وأشباحه الفارغة. كنت أعجب كيف
يجرؤ شخص ما على المشى فى الظلام 
ضحك "كيوبيد" فى أذنى ، ومعه أمه 
الحانية ، وقال بلطف : "أنت أيضاً ستكون شجاعاً !"
وجاء الحب بدون تأخير ، بأشباح لا 
تهرب من الليل ، ولم تستخدم الأسلجة 
لتدفع عن قدرى ، مع ذلك لا أشعر بالخوف ،
إننى أخاف منك أنت فقط ...
At quondam noctem simulacraque vana timebam;

10 Mirabar, tenebris quisquis iturus erat.

     Risit, ut audirem, tenera cum matre Cupido

     Et leviter 'fies tu quoque fortis' ait.

     Nec mora, venit amor — non umbras nocte volantis,

     Non timeo strictas in mea fata manus.

15 Te nimium lentum timeo ...

The Classical legacy in Tawfiq al-Hakim's Drama

Tawfiq al-Hakim, the prominent Egyptian novelist and playwright, was not only aware of the Greek and Latin theater, but used it extensively in his plays.
This is very evident from the titles of three of his works; Praxa/The problem of ruling (1939), Pygmalion (1942) and Oedipus the King (1949). Yet Ahemd Etman, in his study about the classical sources of Tawfiq al-Hakim's Drama, reveals to us more about the interest of this novelist with the Greek and Roman Literature. The comparative study was published in 1993 in Cairo by The Egyptian International Publishing Co-Longman (ISBN 977-16-0106-7).  It consists of an introduction, five chapters and a conclusion in 345 pages. Here is the book cover. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Chevening Scholarships Programme for 2017/2018 is now open

Chevening Scholarships Programme for 2017/2018 is now open with two significant updates;

ü Firstly, Tuition is not capped
ü And secondly, scholarship covers all fields of study in any UK university.

Chevening Scholarships offer the opportunity to study for a one-year Master’s degree in any subject at any UK universities, and are awarded to outstanding established or emerging leaders across a wide range of fields.

Applications for a Chevening Scholarship must be submitted online at and the deadline for receipt of applications is 8 November at 23.59 GMT. Applicants should read the online guidance and demonstrate how they meet the Chevening selection criteria before submitting an application.

To be eligible for a Chevening Scholarship, the applicant must: ·

Be an Egyptian citizen, and intend to return to Egypt after completion of his/her studies ·
Hold a BA degree ·
Have completed at least two years’ work or equivalent experience before applying for a Chevening Scholarship ·
Be able to meet the Chevening minimum English language requirement ·
Be able to receive an unconditional offer from a UK university .

Please feel free to forward and pass the Chevening announcement to your contacts and networks who may be interested to apply to help find those talented young Egyptian professionals who can make use of these opportunities!

The announcement is now the Chevening facebook pages:

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Contesting Antiquity in Egypt, AUC press 2015 by Donald Malcolm Reid

[ from the publisher's website 13-08-2016]

The history of the struggles for control over Egypt's antiquities, and their repercussions during a period of intense national ferment 

The sensational discovery in 1922 of Tutankhamun’s tomb, close on the heels of Britain’s declaration of Egyptian independence, accelerated the growth in Egypt of both Egyptology as a formal discipline and of ‘pharaonism'—popular interest in ancient Egypt—as an inspiration in the struggle for full independence. Emphasizing the three decades from 1922 until Nasser’s revolution in 1952, this compelling follow-up to Whose Pharaohs? looks at the ways in which Egypt developed its own archaeologies—Islamic, Coptic, and Greco-Roman, as well as the more dominant ancient Egyptian. Each of these four archaeologies had given birth to, and grown up around, a major antiquities museum in Egypt. Later, Cairo, Alexandria, and Ain Shams universities joined in shaping these fields. Contesting Antiquity in Egypt brings all four disciplines, as well as the closely related history of tourism, together in a single engaging framework. Throughout this semi-colonial era, the British fought a prolonged rearguard action to retain control of the country while the French continued to dominate the Antiquities Service, as they had since 1858. Traditional accounts highlight the role of European and American archaeologists in discovering and interpreting Egypt’s long past. Donald Reid redresses the balance by also paying close attention to the lives and careers of often-neglected Egyptian specialists. He draws attention not only to the contests between westerners and Egyptians over the control of antiquities, but also to passionate debates among Egyptians themselves over pharaonism in relation to Islam and Arabism during a critical period of nascent nationalism. Drawing on rich archival and published sources, extensive interviews, and material objects ranging from statues and murals to photographs and postage stamps, this comprehensive study by one of the leading scholars in the field will make fascinating reading for scholars and students of Middle East history, archaeology, politics, and museum and heritage studies, as well as for the interested lay reader.

See more and order the book at :

Classical Reception Studies: Reconceptualizing the Study of the Classical Tradition by Maarten De Pourcq

Full papers in

Classical Reception Studies: Reconceptualizing the Study of the Classical Tradition
Maarten De Pourcq

Classics in Post-Colonial Worlds, by Lorna Hardwick and Carol Gillespie, 2007

ABSTRACT [ from Oxford Scholarship Online]

Classical material was traditionally used to express colonial authority, but it was also appropriated by imperial subjects to become first a means of challenging colonialism, and then a rich field for creating cultural identities which blend the old and the new. Nobel prize winners such as Derek Walcott and Seamus Heaney have rewritten classical material in their own cultural idioms, while public sculpture in southern Africa draws on Greek and Roman motifs in order to represent histories of African resistance and liberation. These developments are explored in this collection of essays by scholars who debate the relationship between the culture of Greece and Rome, and the changes that have followed the end of colonial empires.

Classics and colonialism by Barbara Goff (2005)

This collection of well-focussed essays is the first to examine explicitly the role played by the literature and culture of classical antiquity in the various discourses that established, maintained or undermined the British empire. Drawing on reception studies and postcolonial studies, the contributors investigate topics such as the intersections among nineteenth- and twentieth-century theories of the Greek, Roman and British empires, the place of neo-classical poetry and classical education in the Caribbean, and adaptations of Greek drama by postcolonial writers in Africa and elsewhere. There is a substantial introduction that discusses the role of classics within the British empire, why it should compel our attention and how it might provide fruitful ground for further enquiry. The emphasis throughout is on the diverse ways in which the classical tradition has been used both by those who identified themselves with imperialist goals and by those engaged in struggle against imperialism. - See more at:

Friday, August 12, 2016

CALCS Project: : including Arabic names in the Greco-Roman atlas

Gabriel BODARD, in Pelagios Commons on 

With thanks to the Pelagios Commons team and especially the expert and generous SIG chairs, we’re happy to announce the CALCS Project has been funded with a small development grant. The aim of this project—which serves as a pilot for a much larger investigation into the afterlives of sites we think of as classical—is to add information about mediaeval Arabic and Ottoman, and modern Arabic and Turkish, names to sites in Pleiades.

The Pleiades Gazetteer, probably the most useful authority of any kind of the Ancient and Late Antique Linked Web, as Pelagios collaborators do not need reminding, is based on the Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World, the most definitive print atlas of classical antiquity. Although constantly under improvement, Pleiades is already as close to a comprehensive list of known Greco-Roman places and names as we have ever had. The majority of names in the gazetteer are those in use in Anglo-Saxon classical scholarship: either the classical names that were in the atlas (Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium; αἱ Ἀθῆναι), or the English/Italian rendering of a modern or other variant place name (Naples, Cirene).

This misses a huge part of the picture, obviously. Shortly after the end of what we call the Classical Period, and before the Latin Middle Ages or Renaissance, the Islamic world took control of huge swathes of the former Empire, and held parts of it for many centuries; Iberia and Sicily were Arabic-speaking for hundred of years, and most of the Balkans were part of the Turkish-speaking Ottoman Empire for centuries after the fall of Byzantium. Today, almost half of the former Roman Empire is still made up of countries whose first language are a form of Arabic. Many sources, from mediaeval maps and manuscripts, through Renaissance scholarship, to modern references in academic and popular works in North Africa and the Near East, will be inaccessible to the sort of computational study that Pleiades and Pelagios enable if we do not take into account the Arabic and Ottoman names for sites such as Alicante (أليكانته), Messina (مسينة), Thessaloniki (سلانیك) and Leptis Magna (لَبْدَة‎‎). More importantly, this one-sided recording of historical names runs the risk of (inadvertently) perpetuating the myth of European monoculture, the idea that there is an uninterrupted and pure line—politically, geographically, linguistically, genetically—from the grandeur of antiquity to the enlightenment of modern Europe, to which no one but white, Christian, Indo-European speaking people contributed. The inclusion of data from Arabic documents (in Pleiades) and the maps themselves (in Recogito) also helps to highlight the contribution to modern cartography (including some startlingly topological maps) from the Arabic tradition.

for more, see the original post in Pelagios commons:

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Gregory Crane: Greek, Latin and Digital Philology in a Global Age

Greek, Latin and Digital Philology in a Global Age

Greek, Latin and Digital Philology in a Global Age
ST Lee Professorial Fellow Lectures
Spring 2016

Gregory Crane
Alexander von Humboldt Professor of Digital Humanities
University of Leipzig
Professor of Classics
Winnick Family Chair of Technology and Entrepreneurship
Tufts University
A programme of lectures and events around the UK sponsored by the School of Advanced Study, University of London.
Tuesday, May 17, 17:30-19:30, School of Advanced Study, University of London, Senate House 349: “Global Philology, Greco-Roman Studies, and Classics in the 21st Century,” round table with Imre Galambos, Eleanor Robson, Sarah Savant and Michael Willis.
Friday, May 20, 16:00-17:30, University of Glasgow: “Europe, Europeana and the Greco-Roman World.”
Monday, May 23, 13:00-14:00: Oxford University Faculty of Classics, first floor seminar room, Epigraphy Workshop: “What are the possibilities for epigraphic (and papyrological) sources in a digital age?”
Tuesday, May 24, 14:00-16:00, Oxford University: Seminar, Main lecture theatre, Faculty of Classics: “What would a smart edition look like and why should we care?”
Friday, May 27, 12:00-13:30, University of Manchester: Seminar, Samuel Alexander Building A104, “Greek into Arabic, Arabic into Latin, and reinterpretation of what constitutes Western Civilization.”
Tuesday, May 31, 5.30-6.30, Durham University,seminar room, Dept. of Classics and Ancient History “Digital Philology and Greco-Roman Culture as the grand challenge of Reception Studies.”
Friday, June 3, 16:30-18:00, School of Advanced Study, University of London, Senate House 234: “Philological Education and Citizenship in the 21st Century.”

Sunday, May 1, 2016

P. ÄkNo 1 and 2: purchased in 2011, extracted from mummy cartonnage and of unknown provenance

Just published:

Two Hellenistic Medical Papyri of the Ärztekammer Nordrhein (P. ÄkNo 1 and 2) edited by Isabella Andorlini and Robert Walter Daniel, x + 153 pp. + 4 plates, Abhandlungen der Nordrhein-Westfälischen Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Künste, Sonderreihe Papyrologica Coloniensia, Vol. XXXVIII, Schöningh Verlag, 2016.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Traianos Gagos Fund for Papyrology: 2016 Call

From a message sent to the papylist by Arthur Verhoogt <>: 
Mon, Apr 18, 2016 at 2:37 PM

Traianos Gagos Fund for Papyrology: 2016 Call

The Traianos Gagos Fund was established in 2010 by friends and colleagues to honor the late Traianos Gagos, Professor of Papyrology and Greek and Archivist of the Papyrus Collection at the University of Michigan. 

The Fund can be used to help students (graduate and undergraduate) as well as recent recipients of the PhD (within three years of the degree) to use the resources of the University of Michigan Papyrus Collection. Funds may be used to visit Michigan and work with the collection; travel to conferences to present work based on the collection; or travel to other collections relevant to Michigan papyri.

The Department of Classical Studies is inviting applications for use of this fund for 2016. Awards from this Fund will be no more than $2,000 total. The application should consist of:

1) A narrative description of the intended use of the grant

2) A detailed budget

3) Current curriculum vitae

4) One letter of recommendation

Applications must be submitted as email attachments to The subject line of the email should read as follows: “Application for 2016 Traianos Gagos Fund.” Applications are due at 5:00 pm Eastern Time on May 20, 2016.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Khaled El-Enany is Egypt's New Minsiter of Antiquities

Prof. Dr. Khaled El-Enany, Egypt's New Minister of Antiquities, speaks to Alahram news paper about his priorities in office. See the whole article here:

IFAO Active Archeological Missions

على موقع المعهد الفرنسى للأثار الشرقية بالمنيرة يوجد صفحة مخصصة لعرض عام حول المواقع الأثرية التي يتواجد فيها بعثات أثرية للمعهد الفرنسى. فى الخريطة التى تراها فى الأسفل يوجد شرح لكل موقع وإلى أى عصر ينتمى هذه الموقع أو تنتمى طبقاته حيث أن الموقع قد يعود إلى فترات تاريخية متعددة. فى الموقع نفسه يوجد أعلى هذه الخريطة سرد كامل بأسماء المواقع التى يتم الحفر فيها حاليا من قبل المعهد الفرنسي. بالضغظ على إسم أحد هذه الأسماء تذهب إلى الصفحة المخصصة لتفاصيل الموقع والتى تجد بها شرح مفصل عن الموقع ، بالفرنسية وبالإنجليزية، لكن ليس بالعربية.  الشئ الوحيد الذى سوف تراه بالعربية هو إسم الموقع. أمر طبيعي فالمعهد الفرنسي معهد تابع للدولة الفرنسية ويتعاون مع العديد من دول العالم . صحيح أنه يتعاون مع وزارة الآثار المصرية التى تعطيه التصاريح ، لكن يبدوا أن فكرة الإصرار على وضع شرح مبسط باللغة العربية ، عن هذه المواقع العديد التى يقوم المعهد بالحفر فيها ، وذلك على إعتبار أن على الأقل مجموعة من ال90مليون مصرى عندهم إهتمام بمثل هذه المواقع و على إعتبار أن اللغة العربية لغة رسمية للدولة التي تعمل بها هذا المعهد ، يبدو أنها فكرة غير واردة فى بال من يعطى هذه التصاريح أو من يطلبها.  

In the Website of the IFAO ( there is an interactive map showing the current active excavation sites, where the IFAO is collaborating with other international archaeological centers/institutions. It give one a very good overview of the current activities in this regard. If you are interested in knowing more about any site, just go to the above address and click in its name to see all the available information about it, both in french and English (but not in Arabic, only the name of the site is given in Arabic).

Monday, March 28, 2016

Cairo Papyri Checklist

Cairo Checklist is a short name of the “Checklist of the Egyptian Museum’s Unpublished Greek Papyri” published by Usama Gad on the occasion of the International Seminar on Unpublished Papyri of the Egyptian museum in Cairo, which was organized by the AIP in the years between 2010-2014.

In 2011 our colleague Alain Martin, has accepted kindly to publish the first version of the Checklist in the website of the International Society of Papyrologists, see here

In 2016 the author of the checklist uploaded to his blog Papyrology in Egypt a second version of this checklist, which has been kept unpublished in his Computer since February 2014, promising to update this second version as soon as possible.

From now on, there will be no pdf-release of this checklist. The checklist, after being updated, was turned into a blog in the hope that someday this will be  develop it into a website of the Cairo papyri, both published and unpublished.

To see the new blog go here

Eurocentrism again: The case of Sappho Papyrus

I am not providing here any new evidences about the Sappho’s papyrus, but my main concern is to give a short notice of an aspect, which I have talked about earlier i.e. Eurocentrism in Papyrology.

Here the time of discovery of Sappho’s Papyrus is a crucial point. I know that a lot have been said about the time of discovery of this piece ((to learn all the story read here:, especially with regard to the turmoil that the 25th of January’s revolution as well as the Arabic spring, brought to the region and the whole world. Nonetheless, I do think that all the expressed views, up till now, are very much concentrating on Europe and the reaction within this continent. I see it from another perspective again. It is important in this regard to refer to the very simple fact that the revolution/Arab spring has brought, not only “turmoil”, but also “the important question of modern Egyptians’/Arab’s identity” into the region, and consequently to this modern-day world, after this legitimate question has been buried for centuries by our dictators and the world order, to which they used to attach themselves very well.  If our dictators have benefited a lot from the eurocentric narrative of the supremacy of the European Civilization, and consequently the supremacy of its creators, i.e. the Europeans, over any other human in the planet, it is now unacceptable to the Egyptian/Arab mind, to sallow this narrative any more. We are now not only fighting dictators/ counter-revolutions/criminals, who are exploiting our history/religion/countries for their own benefits, but also the discourse/narratives they use/used to legitimize every crime they committed/commit to us. One of these main crimes is the crime of accepting the eurocentric/dictatoric/colonialistic view that “you do not understand”, or more precisely using it, not only in their speeches, but also as a main component of their governing policy.

We do(or among us there are now specialized people who) really understand now that a single artifact/papyrus is a piece of our identity, so that we expect from its editor(s), who ever she/he/they is/are, to respect us and provide us with clear-cut answers about every aspect of this piece, especially how it left our country and come to be in the possession of “the private owner” he refers to. We could respect your interest in the text, but you should also - in return - respect our ethical/legal/cultural and legitimate question “did this cultural artifact leave our country legally or illegally?”.

It is really a very hard and critical question in the same time, not only because these information is hard to get, but also because in this moment the editor/s is/are confronted with the question “should I publish this piece, whose provenance/provenience unknown/uncertain or simply to ignore it as well as the text/significance it bears?”. I know that this question, in case the artifact offered to you contains an unknown text or a new discovery, appears to be hard to be answered by some scholars, but for others, who knows how we suffer, not only economically but also culturally, from looting and illegal excavations, a simple “no, I will not be involved in such trade/uncertainties.” ends the dilemma.  The case of Sappho papyrus is still not closed and many questions about its  acquisition are still open. Yes we may be much clearer now about many details concerning its provenance, thanks off course to the editor who provided us with more details about is provenance, than what was provided in its first edition in the ZPE (to know what we have learned so far about the acquisition history of this particular piece see Roberta Mazza summary and comments here:,  but my main concern here, as stated above,  is the general question of the time of its discovery (2011) and its connection what is going now in Egypt and elsewhere in the Arab World and consequently in the whole world.  

Consequently,  in order to understand why a simple question like this causes - to some scholars - this perplexity, a decent reflection/discussion about prevailing traditions of publishing artifacts, as well as their cultural and historical origins in the field, is more than welcome. I think it is the duty of the people who are mostly affected by this kind of practises i.e. Egyptians/Arabs, to open up such a discussion and insist on their legal as well as cultural rights in this regard.

It is a well-known fact that every discipline has its own set of traditions/ethics in dealing with the main material that is the focus of its research. E.g. in the case of medicine, we do have the medical ethics and very strict regulations/laws in dealing with the human body. I wonder what, in the case of Archaeology in general and papyrology in particular, the ethics in dealing with artifacts/papyri/texts are. Important also to ask “what is the ethics/traditions that tie the editor/s and publisher/s with the people whose artifacts he/she/they are publishing?”.   As a papyrologist, I surely know about the resolutions/recommendations of the American Society of Papyrologists (ASP: and of the International Society of Papyrologists (AIP: As an Egyptian papyrologist, I take these resolutions/recommendations as a good step to address these questions and a start point that needs to be both re-visited and further developed, but I am however unsatisfied with their formulations, as well as, the results they have brought into the field since their ratification/adaptation by the respective societies. I have expressed myself earlier with regards the formulations of these resolutions, with a minimal representations of Egyptian specialists, and the insistence on them that the problem of papyrology in Egypt, is an Egyptian problem, that has to be dealt with in Egypt, because Egypt represents  “a special case” of the lack of national collection management policies. I will continue to investigate, research and to take about this, but for the moment, I will concentrate on the present notice about “how I see the case of Sappho Papyrus in this whole picture?”. The case of this piece is very important in this regard, simply because it was discovered, after the ratifications/adaptation of such resolutions/recommendations and most importantly in a crucial time in our modern history i.e. the 25th of January revolution in Egypt and the Arab spring in the Middle East.

It just shocks my mind when I just try to imagine that a scholar, after these incidents, would be interested in a text - whatever this text is - more than he would be interested in the human beings, who scarified themselves to protect these artifacts/pieces during the revolution. I have participated and I am still involved in both incidents; i.e. the revolution and the discussion going on about the discovery of this piece, its edition and publication. When not so many people are interested in Sappho, who in this planet did not see the Egyptian human chain, which surrounded the Egyptian Museum in Cairo? They did so because they know that these artifacts belongs culturally and legally to them. They did so because they know that these artifact are “part of their history”, which in its return “part of our human history”. The only explanation I could now provide to the question; how could a scholar do something like this?” is that this scholar “does not consider that this Sappho papyrus belongs to these people, neither he sees it as “part of their history”.  Most probably he sees it as “part of the European history”, as has been expressed by ancient scholars praising the contribution of papyrology to ancient history. By ancient history, they meant “ancient European history”, whither they were taking about documentary texts like tax receipts or literary pieces like Sappho or any other texts that are published with exclusively “modern European languages” .

This explanation is confirmed, at least of my own point of view, from most of the obsolete publications I have ever read in this field. This scholar who lives in the present time, still adopt the same old narrative/discourse of “the ignorant Egyptians”. When I read such words in the obsolete publication, I can hardly sallow it. Yes, I can understand what Ulrich Wilcken in his introduction of the monumental publication of the Ptolemaic texts „Urkunden der Ptolemäerzeit“ UPZ I, Papyri aus Unterägypten. Berlin—Leipzig 1927, about the ignorance of the natives and their unawareness of what these texts are (see this image below). What I cannot understand and/or accept, however, is the fact that this eurocentric/colonialistic narrative/discourse of “the modern Egyptians who are ignorant of what are these texts are” still prevails to the very date of writing this notice.

What adds more insult to injury is that when some of these Egyptians decided to devote their time, money and efforts for such a very specialized discipline like papyrology, they are fiercely and illegitimately, as I see it, attacked and all of their endeavors/achievements - collectively as well as individually - ruled out as unsuitable. I am sorry to say these bitter words, but I have not only heard it, read it, or just experienced it, from a few handful people in the field, so that I should be ignoring it, and continue in a fruitful work. No, this discourse prevails to the level that there will be no “fruitful work” between the Egyptians and any European partner, unless this discourse, as well as its historical/legal/cultural/moral basis deconstructed entirely from the world of scholarship. Such a wall existed between the European scholars, but it has been, to a large degree, deconstructed through the good offices of many sharp-minded scholars in the different fields, who wanted to separate politics from science. I remember in this regard “amicitia papyrolgogorum”. This expression, according to the website of the International Society of Payrologists (AIP), “… appears to derive from a lecture given by Leopold Wenger (1874-1953) at the closing session of the IIIrd International Congress of Papyrology in Munich on the evening of 7 September 1933”.  A time when Europe was recovering from the First World War, just to start the Second. I do not know how many Egyptians were part of this deal, but what I know for sure is that, with few exceptions in the field, I have been, and still to the moment of writing this notice, fiercely and illegitimately attacked, ruled out as “unsuitable” and thrown with the same cliché, which I read in the obsolete publication “you do not understand”.  

The very simple fact that whatever I will bring in this field will be ruled out, by some, as unsuitable or to be ignored, makes my efforts to bring/say anything as useless as nothing or at the best “ranting”, as long as, this “Pride and Prejudice” prevails. I know that I am not ranting; I know what I am saying; as an Egyptian, wherever you are, whoever you are and whenever you are, you will be confronted with the same cliché; “you do not understand”.

The Egyptians now are not the very same people, whom Wilcken described. They can read, write, and bring their voices to every corner of the universe, not only in Arabic, but also in English, German and with whatever language/tools they are master or capable of.  Yes, the main concern, of both the editor(s) and the publisher(s), was to publish the text(s) itself/themselves and let it/them appears to the world, who is interested in this kind of texts and who understand them. Neither modern Egypt nor modern Egyptians were, of course, included in this view of the world, otherwise they would have respected them and provided them with clear-cut answers about provenance, owner and the time of discovery of each and every single piece. The impression I got from my readings of obsolete publications, which in many cases are still valid in the field, is that; these papyri/texts were “saved from the hands of the ignorants, brought to the hands of the experts, and published to the mind of those who understand !”.  I am aware that most of the colleagues are not using the same discourse, and eventually also the same obsolete readings !, in their introductions and/or publication of the texts, but I am aware also that this view is to an overwhelming degree mainstream.

Finally, I simply say and see that the ethics/traditions of the past 100 years or more of papyrology provide explanations, about the provenance, provenience, and time of discovery, readings, and interest of the texts that belong to the past more than they belong to the present or the future. They also provide views about modern Egyptians, whither papyrologists or lay, that in the most cases to be considered, at least in their origins prejudiced, colonialistic and eurocentric discourse/narrative which need corrections/new reading in the manner we do with do with the texts themselves (cf. the BL, SB, and the new readings provided directly using the PE) . The persistence of such narratives/discourse will eventually drive the main source country i.e. Egypt, represented by its senior and junior papyrologists, away further and further from its European neighbors, bringing no advancement in the field, as long as these unsatisfactory explanations and bitter views are handed over from generations to the other, and we tolerate no critic/revision/corrections/discussion about their persistence in the field.

to be continued....

My personal prespective on the Eurocentricism in Papyrology

Prof. Paul Schubert of Universités de Genève has shared in Papylist an interesting article in support of papyrology written by Prof. Dr. Stefan Rebenich of the Universität Bern. The piece appeared in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Here is a link to read it: Below is my personal prespctive not to the article itself, but to the whole question of the Eurocentricity in Papyrology.

Thanks, Prof. Schubert, for sharing this interesting article with us. It is indeed a very focused overview of papyrology. It's last paragraph asks explicitly the community to grant more support for this discipline, which faces, as all the fields of Altertumswissenschaften, the danger of extension. I suppose we need more and more of such articles to appear in the public media, in order to gain much more support and appreciation to our work. But let me direct the attention to two remarks,from my own Egyptian-Arabic prespictives, on this kind of very welcomed contributions asking for the support and the appreciation of our field from the society in a digital age.

I, as well as many (I suppose) in the Non-European world, have read this piece. The first thing to notice is that it is very eurocentric. With all due respect to the writer, I think this piece belongs to the past more than to the present or the future of papyrology. It speaks about the European past, as if these papyri were found in Europe! Except for Herculaneum papyri, most of not all of the other pieces of papyri were found in Egypt, as we all know. Generally speaking, most if not all the artifacts attesting ancient Greek (language and culture) come from countries situated in the so called "east" and now either part of the Arabic or the islamic world. So why to speak exclusively of European past? Maybe because most of the discovered papyri are written in ancient Greek. Yes, modern Greek is a European langauage and Greece is a European country, but again this doesn't make ancient Greek a monopoly for the modern Greek state and/or other European states. I myself see it as a common past for both east and west ( if this dichotomy betwen us really correct or exists). Speaking about the other, it is not secret that modern Arabic speaking countries have also a history with this particular language, especially in philosophy and science. Avicenna and Avirroes are the most prominent examples in this regard. I agree that the Greek literature was not part of medieval Arabic, but now it is part of modern Arabic. Taha Hussein and Cairo university are the pioneers in this regard. My alam mater Ain-Shams university provides studies in (Greek) papyrolgy on the levels of MA and PhD since the year of my birth (1978).Homer's Iliad is available to the Arabic reader in Arabic verse (since 100 years) and in prose (since few years). So I don't think that keeping this eurocentric tone and identification of a field that goes beyond the geographical boundaries of its raw materials as well as its main knowledge-production centers would do good to its future survival.

The same also applies to the total ignorance of any mention of Arabic papyri. The piece speaks of papyrology as if it is exclusively Greek. It ignores the fact that the very collection that the colleague mentions is one of the largest in Arabic materials. Yes, the piece is written by an ancient historian not by a medievalist, but after all he is a historian who talks to the public audience in Europe. Edward Gibbon in his famous work about the Roman empire was speaking also to European audience ( even before the EU), but he didn't in any way neglect the other. On the contrary he devoted chapters to the emerging Arabic-islamic neighbors. It is another age now and these neighbors are now not only neighbors, but some of them became European citizens too. Every one lives in Europe knows that there are now about 20 millions European Muslim citizens who identify themselves with European identity, but at the same time would be very much interested to any thing related to Islam and/or Arabic. They would also be of course interested in Greek and Latin not as a wall that separate them from their follow European, but as a bridge that connect them with him as well as their (Arabic) ancestors and neighbors. Pragmatically speaking there is a chance that among these millions a person or an institution that is interested in supporting Arabic or/and Greek papyri and papyrology, from this regard, in European universities.

On antoher scale, every one on the planet can read this article including people like me whose mother langauage is Arabic, native country is Egypt, studied Greek language and literature in the university and lives in Europe. I have to tell you frankly that sometimes I found myself perplexed in such situation, where papyri in my home country are either destroyed by people who want to gain some money by selling them to Europe or the States, or controlled by security forces to protect them from these people and accordingly not easily accessible to researcher like me. The dilemma becomes even bigger when these papyri are identified online by the predominant knowledge producing center (in Europe and the Sates) as not part of my national history.To make the situation even worst, all the knowledge are presented online with languages that are not understood by most of the people who are supposed to protect the sites where these papyri (and other artefacts) were found or would be found in the future. Just ask yourself now one last question, what is the result of such tone (identification) and practice. Let me tell you from my personal experience and view, the message delivered to the people in the east through all this. These (papyri and/or) artefacts are not part of your history; it is European. It doesn't have to do with your past, but you could make profit from it and change your present by selling it to the people who care about it. If you were not able to sell it, then destroy it. If someone of your people stood on your way while you sell or destroy these artefacts then kill him. In this I don't (and I don't have the right to) blame any one or excuse any one of his direct responsibility of his own words or actions. I'm just trying to represent the view as I understand it.

I may have gone so far in all this, but I believe this article with its tone and assertions belong to the past of papyrology not to its present or its hoped future, where this field of study, as well as Altertumswissenschaften, gets rid of its eurocentric past and look forward to its real international future, where the one (western, eastern etc.) knows himself, but doesn't ignore the other !

The database of Dar al-Kutub's Numismatic collection

It is not strictly papyrology, but it is very relevant since it concerns a numismatic collection in Egypt. It is also relevant because it has both English and Arabic interfaces, which is a something one wants to see in papyrology. The records have 6,500 numismatic pieces. More about it in English is to be found here: If you would like to look at the Arabic see here:

Altertumswissenschaften in a Digital Age: Leipzig, 4.-6. November 2015

For the conference's program and abstracts see here: Below is the poster.

A new project to publish Karanis-Cairo papyri (Cairo-Michigan)

The Association of Egyptian Papyrologists (AEP) announces the inauguration of a project to publish the Karanis-Cairo (Cairo-Michigan) papyri housed in the Egyptian museum in Cairo. Some pictures on the website of the AEP represent the colleagues during their work on the envelopes. Another news announce the donation of restoration's materials to conserve the papyri. No further details is given. See the announcement on the website her:

Platinum: Papyri and LAtin Texts

Papyri and LAtin Texts: INsights and Updated Methodologies 

From the website of the project (accessed 22.3.2016):

The aim of PLATINUM is to scrutinize Latin texts on papyrus from several points of view in order to highlight their substantial contribution to our knowledge of innovations in ancient Roman literature, language, history, and society, especially in the multilingual and multicultural contexts of the Eastern part of the Empire between the 1st century B.C. and 8th century A.D. The first phase of the project will consist in assembling, updating and publishing critical editions, in order to present a new and more accurate corpus of Latin papyri on an easily accessible online platform. The second phase will be focused on providing the texts with a specific, pluridisciplinary commentary that gives new insights on Roman culture.

for more go to the project website here:

Updated Checklist of the Egyptian Museum's Unpublished Greek Papyri

In 2011 I published the first version of the Checklist of the Egyptian Museum's Unpublished Greek Papyri, for short "Cairo Checklist". My colleague Alain Martin, has accepted kindly to put this in the website of the International Society of Papyrologists,  see here

Since then I have been updating this checklist regularly, but when I became very busy with my PhD by 2014, I stopped working on it. I think it is worthwhile to publish it now in my bog, in order to make it available to all my colleagues who wants to keep track of the Egyptian Museum's unpublished as well as published pieces. This updated version is of 2014, see here

It is a work in progress, as stated in the checklist, so if any one has any additions, corrections, or comments, please send them to me in my email : 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

A Companion to Classical Receptions, Blackwell Publishing Ltd., 2008

A Companion to Classical Receptions, edited by Lorna Hardwick and Christopher Stray, Blackwell Publishing Ltd., 2008.

Examining the profusion of ways in which the arts, culture, and thought of Greece and Rome have been transmitted, interpreted, adapted and used, A Companion to Classical Receptions explores the impact of this phenomenon on both ancient and later societies.
  • Provides a comprehensive introduction and overview of classical reception - the interpretation of classical art, culture, and thought in later centuries, and the fastest growing area in classics
  • Brings together 34 essays by an international group of contributors focused on ancient and modern reception concepts and practices
  • Combines close readings of key receptions with wider contextualization and discussion
  • Explores the impact of Greek and Roman culture worldwide, including crucial new areas in Arabic literature, South African drama, the history of photography, and contemporary ethics
Chapter 11"Translation at the Intersection of Traditions: The Arab Reception of the Classics", pp. 141 ff. is written by the Late Ahmed Etman.

Friday, February 19, 2016

SNAP: Standards for Networking Ancient Prosopographies

From the website of the project:

SNAP:DRGN is building a virtual authority list for ancient people through Linked Data collection of common information from many collaborating projects. The graph will provide: 1. identifiers for all persons who appear in one or more corpora and catalogues; 2. gold standard normalization data for parsing and proofing tools; 3. visualization of ancient persons, names, titles and relationships; 4. research tools for historians; 5. standards and software contributing to the Linked Ancient World Data community.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Seshat: Global History Databank

Seshat: Global History Databank is a large, international, multidisciplinary team of evolutionary scientists, historians, anthropologists, archaeologists, economists, and other social scientists. Our team includes scholars from various backgrounds, policy makers, and enthusiastic volunteers. Seshat is governed by an editorial board, who oversee work done by postdoctoral researchers, collaborators and consultants, and research assistants all over the world.

For more, see here:

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Egypt ISCED Mapping 1997

A very interesting maping of the Egyptian Educaional System compared to the international Standard Classification of Education (ISCED).

What is the role of the UIS?

UNESCO developed the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) to facilitate comparisons of education statistics and indicators across countries on the basis of uniform and internationally agreed definitions. In 2011, a revision to ISCED was formally adopted by UNESCO Member States. The product of extensive international and regional consultations among education and statistical experts, ISCED 2011 takes into account significant changes in education systems worldwide since the last ISCED revision in 1997.- See more at: