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Sunday, April 23, 2023

A New Publication in Papyrology (P.Leid.Inst. II) with Minimal Details about Provenance!

Provenance Details of  P.Leid.Inst. II

[Retrieved from papylist on 23/04/2023]

This volume contains the first edition of 66 papyri and ostraca in the collection of the Leiden Papyrological Institute. The texts are dated between the third century BCE and the eighth century CE and originate from Egypt. They include two Demotic literary papyri (one of which is written in Hieratic script), 19 Demotic ostraca, 44 Greek documentary papyri and one Coptic ostracon.


Last week a new publication of Egyptian papyri has been announced in papylist (email list of papyrologists, see experts above) with minimal details about where these artefacts were acquired. 

The papyri are kept at the institute of the papyrology at Leiden University. The publication comes in a time where much of the debate, both publicly and academically, centres on the provenance issue i.e. where and when these materials left the original country. 

It strikes me that the formulations at the introduction are to vague to allow for any real assessment of the legality, if any, or illegality of the material acquired by the institutes in various periods. No references to the documentations provided and no export licences added, at least in the introduction where the matter of provenance is briefly presented. What add insult to injury is the fact that the full details remain behind a paid  wall  of Brill. It is not open-access and therefore I don't have any access to more details on this. It would be a good idea if the Leiden institute considered the idea of sending two or three copies Egypt. Further details on this publication can be found here P.Leid.Inst. II .

 Here is a screenshot of the paragraph I am refereeing to.       


Tuesday, March 1, 2022


[Retrieved from the website MedAfrica on 1/3/2022]

Archaeological deep history and dynamics of Mediterranean Africa
ca. 9600-700BC

License free image from

MedAfrica project sets out to produce the first up-to-date, comprehensive, problematised synthesis and interpretation for a generation of what can be established about long-term social and economic dynamics on the African flank of the Mediterranean between the end of the last glacial (ca. 9600BC) and the arrival of Phoenicians and Greeks (variably 800-600BC), and to identify major factors shaping the patterns detected.

The project is based at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge, and is funded by the Leverhulme Trust.

More is to be found here MedAfrica.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Greenhalgh, Plundered Empire : acquiring antiquities from Ottoman lands (Brill 2019)

Plundered Empire


"These describe the trophies from the greatest plunder of all, namely the bloody separation of Greece from Ottoman rule, sold in the West as the liberty gained by innocent Christian Greeks from the cruel and barbarian Muslim yoke. One decisive act was the destruction of Ottoman naval power in 1827 by the navies of Britain, France and Russia at the Battle of Navarino."

Eugène Delacroix - Le Massacre de Scio.jpg
                    The Massacre of Chios, Eugene Delacroix, 1824. From Wikimedia Commons

Monday, April 5, 2021

Byzantine Empire in Arabic - YouTube

Some facts about the Roman Army in Arabic- YouTube

History of the Roman Army (exercitus Romanus) in Arabic- YouTube

Roman Empire in Arabic - YouTube

Greek Civilization-Arabic video with English subtitles

History of Legal practices in Ptolemaic Egypt-Arabic Audio only

مصادر القانون في العصرين الفرعوني والبطالمي - YouTube

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

A Special Program in A Special City: Study in Alexandria

[From the Programm announcement in FB here]

For Arabic Scroll down
The Alexandria Center for Hellenistic Studies (ACHS) announces the beginning of registration for Diploma and Master’s degrees in Hellenistic Studies from 4 August–15 September 2020.
This Master’s Program is the fruit of a collaboration between ACHS, the Vardinoyannis Foundation, and Alexandria University, and is available in four modules: History; Literature; Art, Archaeology and Architecture; Philosophy and Science.
English is the teaching language.
The Alexandria Center for Hellenistic Studies, in cooperation with the Vardinoyannis Foundation, provides a grant of 75% of the tuition fees to applicants (Terms apply).
Admission requires a BA in Classics, Archaeology or equivalent degrees from an accredited university in Egypt with Good Grade minimum. Those with the aforementioned BAs may apply directly for a Master’s degree. Non-specialized graduates must enroll in a one-year qualifying diploma.
The Center interests itself in the era when Alexandria flourished; namely, from its construction until the end of the Ptolemaic period.
For more information, please contact the Alexandria Center for Hellenistic Studies:
Tel.: + (203) 4839999, Ext. 1920

Monday, July 13, 2020

Database Objects from Coptos

From Papylist messages [13/07/2020]

Dear colleagues,

During several years, Vanessa Desclaux has collected information about more than 1700 objects from the site of Coptos now preserved in various museums, together with their bibliography. We are pleased to announce the publication of this database in its first version:
We hope this tool will be useful for further research. 

With our best wishes,

Laure Pantalacci & Vanessa Desclaux

The Invention and Reinvention of the Egyptian Peasant

The Egyptian Peasant

I wonder if my father has ever read Richard Critchfield's Shahhat: An Egyptian 1978 (in a translated form maybe?), or the colonial eurocentric discourse was so overwhelming, so that he kept reminding me that our village, like any other Egyptian village, barley has a name?

I am more inclined to accept the second guess since he was a government official, first in the village administration council and eventually int he nearby town council,  and most probably had this idea from his predecessors and colleagues, before making it his own motto. Cf. Timothy Mitchell,The Invention and Reinvention of the Egyptian Peasant, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 22, No. 2 (May, 1990), p. 132-133, where he speaks of Critchfield's portrait of Shahhat, a village in Luxor near Kings' valley: 

Thursday, July 9, 2020

The Digital Photographic Archive of Professor Garth Fowden FBA

Fowden's Digital Photographic Archive  

[From the website (accessed 09/07/2020)]

The photographic archive he assembled during travels mainly in the Middle East and Greece has been digitized by Cambridge University Library and was published on-line in February 2018:

Garth Fowden is a historian of first millennium CE Eurasia, who in pursuit of his interests has travelled extensively in the Mediterranean, the Middle East and North Africa. For the greater part of his career he has lived and worked in Greece. This site presents a digitized version of the photographic archive he developed while conducting research on the landscapes and monuments of these regions.


From 1977 Fowden began to travel systematically in the Middle East including Turkey, but photography did not become a priority until 1986. The latest items in the archive date from 2007. The main regions covered are Greece, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Iran and Yemen, and less extensively Spain, Italy, Lebanon, Palestine and Egypt. The strengths of the collection, reflecting Fowden's research and teaching interests at different periods, are: 
- the relationship between settlement and landscape; 
- fortification, and the evolution of the urban tissue, especially in the late Roman period; 
- religious architecture, especially the conversion of holy places, monasticism, and the emergence of Islam; 
- art and epigraphy preserved in architectural or archaeological contexts;
- traditional  domestic architecture. 
Within each site, the photographs are arranged in a sequence designed to convey some sense of a physical visit, sometimes starting and/or ending with more general shots of the surrounding landscape and of the routes that traverse it. Photographs taken on site are occasionally supplemented by items from museums or print publications designed to make the collection more suitable for teaching purposes.
The documentation of Palmyra, Aleppo (where Fowden spent the first half of 1996 as the guest of the Syrian Orthodox Archbishop Mar Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim), and the Yemen, has particular value and poignancy in the light of recent events. Even more than war, though, it has been urbanization, the construction of dams, and the extensive irrigation of formerly arid areas, that has transformed the region in recent decades. Many of the places recorded will be inaccessible to foreign visitors for the foreseeable future, and are anyway changed beyond recognition.
For a brief introduction to the archive’s background and themes, and a sampling of its contents, click here

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Open Access to Classical Papers, the journal of Cairo University's Greek and Latin department

Classical Papers

Vol. I (1991)- XIX (2019)

Classical Papers (CP), the Journal of Cairo University's Department of Greek and Latin (founded by Taha Hussein) is now available online (open-Access: ). The volumes doesn't date back to Hussein's pioneering days, but builds upon his Legacy. It is therefore counted as one of the leading journals in Egypt's Classics.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Pronouns in Modern Greek and Arabic: A Comparative Linguistical Study, MA thesis, Beirut 2011

Οι αντωνυμίες ανάμεσα στα Ελληνικά και στα Αραβικά στην σγύχρονη εποχή Συγκριτική μελέτη 

الضمائر بين العربية واليونانية فى العصر الحديث: دراسة تقابلية

It is very interesting to see MA thesis for Beirut Arabic University (BAU). Prof. Ashraf Frag, of Alexandria University, was one of the supervisor. For the content see here.

Monday, August 19, 2019

"The heyday of the Prosopographia Imperii Romani is over"

The heyday of the  Prosopographia Imperii Romani  is over

[From Documentation:  Horster, Marietta, The Prosopographia Imperii Romani (PIR) and NewTrends and Projects in Roman Prosopography Prosopography Approaches and Applications in A Handbook (Prosopographia et Genealogica, Band 13), edited by K. Keats-Rohan, University of Oxford Linacre College Unit for Prosopographical Research, Oxford 2007]


The heyday of the Prosopographia Imperii Romani is over, not only due to the lack of money for a third edition, but also because of the necessity for a different organization and presentation of the information in the future – be it a book or be it in combination with a database on CD-ROM or on the internet and in any language whatsoever.We all hope that a time will come when someone will be able to finance a new way to present and update a prosopography of the Roman Empire.In the meantime many interesting projects of prosopographical studies of the Roman Empire will be published. Revised lists and prosopographies of offices and duties will emerge; the lower ranks of offices and of the army will be the subject of studies similar to the 800-page volume on the centurions of the legions of the Roman Rhine army,which was published by Olivier Richier in 2004.

In present-day Spain and Greece as well as in other countries, there are counter-movements to the domination of Classics by the former great powers Great Britain,France, Germany and Italy, and there is also a nationalist trend against the European Union. Furthermore, and connected with the just mentioned phenomena, there is a general movement towards smaller units and regionalism as subjects for studies in ancient history studies as a backlash against the dominating imperialism/Romanism debate of recent decades. This quest for strong regional and national identities in contemporary society will ensure that prosopographical studies with regional foci will continue to be pursued in the years to come.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Historicizing Algerian war of Independence: Jugurtha's Tragedy and Algerian Iliad

Jugurtha's Tragedy and Algerian Iliad

Coming to North Africa, the conlonizers', whether English, Italian or French, imaging themselves as Romans or Greek heroes/gods. It is interesting to see how Algerian play writer Abdelrahman Madwi has used Numidian King Jugurtha to historicize, on the stage, Algerian war of independence against the French occupation; a technique which not unparalleled in other North African and Arabic countries, let along postcolonial national theaters. It seems that the play was popular so that it was published until 1984 in three editions. See also Algerian Epic, called, Iliad by Cheikh Zakaria (1908-1977).

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Postcolonial history of Cyrene, Libya: Chamoux's Greek Cyrène of 1953 into Arabic in 1980

Chamoux's Greek Cyrène of 1953 into Arabic in 1980

François Chamoux's thesis  "Cyrène sous la monarchie des Battiades published in Paris, in 1953 is translated into Arabic in1980.

Postcolonial History of North Africa:Gsell's L'Histoire into Arabic in 2007

Gsell's L'Histoire into Arabic in 2007

It is very interesting to my study to see that the scholarly work of  Stéphane Gsell (7 February 1864 – 1 January 1932) about the history of North Africa L'Histoire ancienne de l'Afrique du Nord published between 1913 and 1929 is translated into Moroccan-Arabic in 8 volumes. The translation is published by the Collège Royal (Rabat) in 2007. I have been able to found only five volumes.

Arabic dictionary and Index of the Greek New Testament

Arabic dictionary and Index of the Greek New Testament

Arabic Students of the Greek New Testament are especially grateful to the late Ghassan Khalaf (1945-2018),  former ABTS President and Professor of Biblical Studies, for this magnificent contribution to Bible studies and Greek lexicography.

It is an Greek-Arabic and Arabic-Greek Fihrst (Index) and dictionary of the Ancient Greek New Testament in more than 1000 pages published in Beirut 1979. Below is an image of the cover and the content.

How to encode Arabic script in the Leiden+ Epidoc XML using the papyrological editor?

 For the First Time in the History of Papyrology Greek and Arabic United!

It has been argued extensively that Arabic script and texts (an RTL language i.e. running from right to left) can not be encoded in the heavily tagged and marked up Epidoc XML compatialble files, especially in the papyrological editor of 2015, I have been able to find an easy and simple way to solve this technical problem that, kept not only Arabic but most of the richt written culture heritage of Egypt, separated, in the print and digital culture, from the much more advanced and sophisticated Greek and Latin papyrology. For the first time in the history of papyrology the Greek and Arabic text of;6;9576 has been presented in a born-digital edition of the text. Here is a video, I recorded of how to encode this bilingual text bit by bit. Since this historical momentum in 2015, a lot of progress has been done in this regard not only in the text per se, but also in the epistemological level too. Stay tuned for even more progress and cooperation in the framework of my project DIGITAL CLASSICS IN ARABIC.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Egyptian-Arabic Scholarship in Classics and Papyrology: Invisible or Marginalized?

Egyptian-Arabic Scholarship in Classics and Papyrology: Invisible or Marginalized?

I am not trying to get into detail of this large topic. My aim is just to record what I have found and then I will go back to this.  I have once twitted about this. 

L'Année philologique contains only 100 record of Arabic scholarship in the field, while Bibligraphie Papyrologique have almost no record.

Her is what I have found from L'Année philologique.

There is only 100 records.

Making Arabic-Egyptian and Non-Egyptian scholarship in Classics Visible

In my blog here you could browse hundreds of records which I have unsystematically been posting since 2014. In the spreadsheet below I recorded up till now over than 300 records of Egyptian scholarship in Classics and papyrology. I will be adding more in the coming months.

Here is the spreadsheet. It is in Arabic, but I will transcribe the titles into English and provide every record with an English Abstract. For non-Egyptians scholarship, I will translate the title into Arabic and provide the record with an Arabic abstract. Feel free to add to this list or send me your work about Egypt to make it visible in Arabic too.

1- Arabic-Egyptian Scholarship Records

There are now more than 300 records.


2- Arabic Translations of Greek and Latin

There are now 130 records.

Seneca's Epistulae Morales ad Lucilium in Arabic

Seneca's Epistulae Morales ad Lucilium in Arabic

by Muḥammad Salīm Sālim  in Humanity's Heritage, Cairo 1968

I have found an interesting introduction, not only to Seneca's Epistulae Morales ad Lucilium but to Seneca's life and treaties in general by Muḥammad Salīm Sālim, the head of my department, which dates back to 1968. Enjoy! 

Badawi: The Spring and Fall of Greek Thought

Badawi: The Spring and Fall of Greek thought

[Retrieved from Wikipedia English on 09/08/2019]

Abdur Rahman Badawi (Arabic: عبد الرحمن بدوى) (February 17, 1917 – July 25, 2002) was an Egyptian existentialistprofessor of philosophy and poet. He has been called the "foremost master of Arab existentialism." He authored more than 150 works, amongst them 75 which were encyclopaedic. He wrote easily in his native Arabic, English, Spanish, French, German and Italian, and read Greek, Latin and Persian. 

Listen to him speaking about himself below. And a good Arabic review of his career is to be found here عبد الرحمن بدوي.. من غياهب المخطوطات إلى الفيلولوجيا.

The Spring of Greek Thought,  Cairo 1943.

The Fall of Greek Thought

[Read the 1979 edition from here:]

Greek Words in Arabic and their Etymology

Greek Words in Arabic and their Etymology

by Abdelmonem Abdel-Allah Khalaf Hamid Alsbbak ALDULAIMY
Amman 2018

                     Order from here:

A Bibliography of Arabic Scholarship in Manuscript Studies

A Bibliography of Arabic Scholarship in Manuscript Studies

By Mohamed Fathy ABDELHADY

Cairo 2009

Tuesday, August 6, 2019



Reading the Arabic translation of Life in Egypt Under Roman Rule of Naphtali Lewis (Oxford University Press (1983), I find this Arabic translation of P.Tebt. I 33: Preparations for a Roman Visitor very useful for Egyptian students of papyrology to learn translation. A translation from Greek into English, English into Arabic, or from Greek into Arabic is a non trivial task. I can not remmebr when I first wrote this post, but her what I have done. [Your can find the Arabic book in my blog. I don't know exactly where but I do have a digital copy of it, if you want]

The first lines of the Arabic translation of Naphtali's English translation run smoothly i.e. almost word for word. However towards the middle of the text the Arabic translation diverts from the English original, so that I can not align most of the words. The words that I can not align are red in this visualisation: 

The English translation of Lines 3-19 of the text runs, in Lewis, Life in Egypt (1983), S. 12 , as follow:

"Lucius Memmius, a Roman senator, who occupies a position of great dignity and honor, is making the voyage from Alexandria to the Arsinoite nome to see the sights. Let him be received with special magnificence, and take care that at the proper spots the chambers be prepared and the landing-places to them be got ready, and that the gifts of hospitality below written be presented to him at the landing-place, and that the furniture of the chamber, the customary tit-bits for Petesouchos and the crocodiles, the necessaries for the view of the Labyrinth, and the offerings and sacrifices be provided; in general take the greatest pains in everything that the visitor may be satisfied, and display the utmost zeal"

The Arabic translation in p. 15 of the translated book, runs as follow:

The Greek original runs as fellow: 

Λεύκιος Μέμμιος Ῥωμαῖος τῶν ἀπὸ
    συνκλήτου ἐν μίζονι (l. μείζονι) ἀξιώματι κα[ὶ] τιμῆι
5  κείμενος τὸν ἐκ τῆς π̣ό̣(λεως) ἀνάπλουν ἕως τοῦ Ἀρσι(νοίτου) νο(μοῦ)
    ἐπὶ θεωρίαν ποιούμενος μεγαλουπρεπέστερον(l. μεγαλοπρεπέστερον)
    ἐγδεχθήτωι(l. ἐγδεχθήτω), καὶ φρόντισον ὡς ἐπὶ τῶν
    καθηκόντων τόπων αἵ τε αὐλαὶ κατασκ̣ευα̣σ̣-
    [θ]ή̣σ̣[ο]ν̣ται καὶ αἱ ἀπ̣ὸ̣ τούτων ἐγβα(τηρίαι) ε̣[ ̣]ι̣ε̣[ ̣ ̣ ̣]
10 π̣ ̣ ̣ ̣ ̣ συντελεσθήσονται καὶ αὐτῶι προσ-
    ενεχ̣θ̣ήσε̣ται ἐπὶ τῆς ἐγβα(τηρίας) τὰ ὑπογεγρ(αμμένα) ξένια,
    καὶ τ[ὰ] εἰς τὸν τῆς αὐλῆς καταρτισμὸν
    καὶ τὸ γεινόμενον τῶι Πετεσούχωι καὶ τοῖς κροκο(δείλοις)
    ψω̣μ̣ί̣ον κ̣α̣ὶ̣ τὰ πρὸς τὴν τοῦ λαβυρίνθου θέαν
15 καὶ τ̣ὰ ̣[ ̣ ̣] ̣[ ̣ ̣ σ]ταθησόμενα θύματα καὶ τῆς
    θ̣υ̣σ̣ί̣[α]ς̣ ἡ̣ π̣α̣ρ̣ο̣χὴ̣ ο̣ἰ̣κ̣ο̣ν̣[όμη(?)]ται(?), τὸ δʼ ὅλον ἐ̣π̣ὶ̣ π̣ά̣ν̣[των]
    τὴν μεγίστην φροντίδα ποιουμενου (l. ποιούμενος) τοῦ εὐδοκοῦν̣[τ]α̣
    τὸν ἄ̣ν̣δ̣ρ̣α̣ κατασταθῆ[ναι] τὴν πᾶσαν προσενέγκαι



By Cormack, Raphael Christian (

[Retrieved from on 06/08/2010]

Between 1900 and 1970 seven different versions of Sophocles’ play Oedipus Tyrannos were performed or published in Arabic in Egypt. This thesis looks at the first 71 years’ history of this iconic Greek tragedy in Arabic and the ways it can be used to think through the cultural debates of the period. The long history of contact between Greece and Egypt and the 19th and 20th century interpretations of this history can be used to look at different models of colonial and post-colonial cultural interaction. Classicism offered Egyptian writers a constructive way of looking at their cultural identity and contemporary world – a way which takes in to account the legacies of colonialism but also engages Greek literature to create their own models of nationhood. Following the history of performance and adaptation of the play throughout the 20th century, this thesis offers close readings of the most prominent adaptations of Oedipus, particularly those of Farah Antun (whose text was used for Actor-Director George Abyad’s first version of the play in 1912), Tawfiq al-Hakim (1949), Ali Ahmed Bakathir (1949) and Ali Salem (1970). Using performance and translation theory, I show how performance of translated plays like Oedipus was a crucial but complex part of the formation of an Egyptian dramatic tradition through the dynamic interaction of diverse views of what the theatre should be, using, for instance, the role of singing in turn of the century drama. This thesis also revisits and revises misconceptions about the relationship between Islam and theatre. In addition to examining Egyptian Oedipus’ 19th and 20th century context, I also stress the contribution of performance and adaptation to readings of the original text. In particular, these versions of Oedipus ask questions about monarchical rule and democracy that form one link between this classical play and 20th century Egypt. Through its interdisciplinary approach as well as the close readings it offers, this thesis aims to make valuable contributions to the fields of Arabic Theatre Studies and Classical Reception in Colonial and Post-Colonial contexts as well as Performance and Translation Theory.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Ain Shams University (Cairo) inaugurate an Institute for the Egyptian Written Cultural Heritage viz. Papyrology


The English website of Ain Shams Institute of Papyri

About ASU institute OF PAPYRI

 [retrieved from the Arabic website on 05/08/2019 and translated by Google translator, and slightly edited for consistency and convenience by Usama Gad, for Arabic scroll down]


Over the past twenty three years, Ain Shams Center for the studies of papyrus and inscriptions carried out its scientific and specific tasks, which was the conduct of research based mainly on the documentary and literary papyri, whether published or not yet published. The Center has attracted the efforts of Egyptian and Arab scientists and researchers in the Arab world. It has also attracted many foreign scholars in this field . The most important fruits of these scientific efforts during these years were the publication of nineteen volumes of a scientific peer-reviewed journal that were exchanged with the corresponding specialised centres around the world. It is an internationally recognised journal by the AIP in Brussels. It published presentation, explanation or criticism of new studies in the field. The Nineteenth international Congress of papyrologists was held in 1989 at the Center for Papyri and Inscriptions at Ain Shams University. Its proceedings were published in two volumes of one thousands and five hundred pages. In 1998, the Center held a conference entitled "Palestine in light of papyri" The conference's papers were published in two large volumes. Each year, the Center had a rich cultural season; including scientific lectures, seminars and follow-up sessions attended by Egyptian and foreign scholars, who enriched the five department of the center through their inputs in Egyptian , Greek, Latin, Semitic, and Arabic papyrology, and in the department of conservation and cataloguing of papyri collections.

The Center has, therefore, carried out its tasks within the limits of its available physical and human resources. However, its scientific achievements and aspirations have seemed to those in charge of it to be below international standards, because research centres outside Egypt are supported by specialised institutes that provide these centres and nourish them always with sspecialist professionals who master the techniques of editing papyrus texts and fill the lacunae in the light of a comprehensive knowledge paleography, and of historical philology and linguistics of styles, idioms , expressions etc. Over more than two hundred years of active papyrological studies in Europe and America, these established standards have produced hundreds of edited volumes of papyrus texts with translations, short historical and morphological explanations, and line-by-line commentaries into English, German, Italian and French.

The reading and interpreting mission of Egypt's written heritage was entirely in the hand of foreign scholars who have excelled in dealing with its languages (Hieroglyphic, Hieratic, Demotic, Coptic, Greek and Arabic) supported by professional educational institutions in Europe and America. The history of some of these institutions are dating back to the nineteenth century. And out of a feeling of scientific jealousy on this important and rich written heritage of Egypt, the scientific committe of ASU center has, in 1992, submitted a memorandum to the deans' council of Ain Shams University regarding the establishment of a high institute for papyrus studies whose task is to prepare professionals capable of editing the unpublished papyri that still make up nearly seventy percent of papyrus texts deposited in museum libraries or private collections in Egypt and around the world, and capable of reading and interpreting what has been already published and correcting some of the mistakes of the editio princeps, if there are errors.

At the time, the intense and in-depth discussions in scientific committees in the Council of Graduate Studies and Research at Ain Shams University and in the Council of the Faculty of Arts were in favour of the idea of ​​adding only some papyrological courses related to the departments of Faculty of Arts where papyrology is studied like the Department of Ancient European Civilization, the department of Arabic language and literature and the department of Oriental languages. Implementing this idea was practically and pragmatically not possible simple because these departments were already burdened with core courses indispensable to be replaced by papyrology. This is of course in addition to the idea that papyrology per se has become a specialised field of study with many sub-specialities like Greek papyrology, Arabic papyrology, Egyptian papyrology, juristic papyrology, papyri paleography, digital papyrology, papyri conservation, papyri cataloguing etc.(all these discipline is reflected in the proposed study programme of the Institute, which is now i.e. in 2015 ratified [see the Arabic section for more information on this]). The establishment of the Institute in 1992 was accordingly postponed until further notice!

And now, after more than twenty years of discussion, we see the need to create this Egyptian Institute of papyrology with a specific educational objective, which is to prepare qualified cadres capable of documenting Egypt's history and its ancient civilisation through these uniquely Egyptian resources; and why not when papyri is associated immediately in the minds and hearts of the whole humanity with Egypt!

However, this is no longer just a jealousy over the Egyptian heritage or a desire to emulate those of the great foreigner scholars who had the virtue of leadership. Even though this is in itself a legitimate scientific ambition and jealousy. Yet this scientific desire goes beyond this in fulfilling a serious national need i.e. to confront the attempts by some to distort and/or desecrate Egyptian written cultural heritage based on the method of filling the gaps [lacunae] in some of the papyri or adding characters to its original wording. No one is able to address this issue to show its invalidity and revealed its [real] intentions but qualified experts refuting [ideologized] argument with compelling , rational, well-balanced and reasoned argument. In a global digital age, the need is more urgent to counterbalance distortion- and fake-news that go viral in seconds in the networked world of the social media and internet. This task is a scientific obligation [frida] to perform, in an era filled with - unfortunately - conflicts at all levels, in order to achieve political goals.

Institute's academic and scientific objectives

We can summarise the above in the following points:

1- The Institute is a specialised national Egyptian scientific body concerned with studying and documenting the history of Egypt and its cultural heritage in all its various branches, from its original sources; papyri and inscriptions that have been recovered and are still in the land of Egypt.

2 - The Institute aims to provide Egypt and other countries with professional specialists skilful in the techniques of editing papyri and inscriptions and fill in its gaps in the light of a comprehensive knowledge paleography and the development of Egyptian language(s) throughout ages. A task that is beyond the center's current potential and can only be achieved through the establishment of a specialised institute to achieve this goal achieved by many European and American professional educational academic institutions.

3. The Institute aims to prepare specialists capable of editing the unpublished papyri that still make up nearly seventy percent of papyri manuscripts deposited in museum libraries and/or private collections, of re-reading and re-interpreting the texts that have already been published and of correcting some of the mistakes that publishers have made.

4 - The Institute is the only higher educational institution in Egypt capable of preparing and creating scientific cadres specialised in this arcane field of study, simply because the [Ain Shams University's] departments at which there are professional papyrologists are not up to this meticulous task because these departments are already burdened with core teaching and research programmes that can not be dispensed with. The short-term tactic of these departments was to add papyrology and epigraphy to the core curricula. This tactic is obviously not enough to graduate professionals in this large field of study, which became a main field of study with sub-specialities depending on the language of the texts .

5 - The establishment of the Institute is not a cultural and/or academic appropriation or a desire to imitate the European nations that preceded us in the establishment of similar institutes, but it goes beyond this to what is really a serious academic and cultural need in response to the recent attempts by some to distort some of these texts. Only qualified professionals are able to render and decalre invalid such politicised  and ideologized statements. This is urgent since there is a special need to respond quickly to the distortions, many of which aim to achieve political objectives.

6- Based on all the above-mentioned reasons, the Board of Directors of the Center for papyrological studies and inscription and all the professors interested in this field of study consider the establishment of the Higher educational Institute of papyri and inscriptions a national goal, let alone the fact that it will become the only higher education institute of its kind in the Middle East (except of course Israel, which seeks to make itself a representative of this speciality in the region). All this and more leads us to consider the need to take quick steps into the establishment of the institute urgent and compelling.

May God support our intentions and good offices!


The Arabic originals [[retrieved from the Arabic website on 05/08/2019]

بذة عن المعهد
 - وعلى مدى ثلاثة وعشرين عاما اضطلع مركز الدراسات البردية  والنقوش  بمهامه العلمية المحددة والمعلنة وهى إجراء البحوث التى تعتمد أساساً على النصوص البردية الوثائقية والأدبية سواءً منها ما سبق تشره أم لم ينشر بعد وقد استقطب المركز فى ذلك جهود العلماء والباحثين المصريين والعرب فى داخل الوطن العربى ، كما اجتذب كثيرا من العلماء الأجانب فى
 هذا المجال . وكانت أهم ثمار هذه الجهود العلمية فى خلال تلك السنوات إصدار تسعة عشر مجلداً من مجلة دورية منتظمة يتم تبادلها تبادلا علميا منتظما مع المراكز المتخصصة المناظرة فى أنحاء العالم وهى مجلة معترف بها دولياً من الجمعية العالمية لعلماء البردى ببروكسيل كما أصبح لها وجود ملموس يتمثل فى التنويه بما تنشره الدوريات على سبيل العرض أو الشرح أو النقد . كذلك عقد المؤتمر العالمى التاسع عشر لعلماء البردى فى عام 1989 بمركز الدراسات البردية والنقوش بجامعة عين شمس (وقد نشرت أعماله كاملة فى مجلدين من ألف وخمسمائة صفحة)، هذا إلى جانب أن المركز قد قام فى عام 1998 بعقد مؤتمر تحت عنوان " فلسطين فى ضوء أوراق البردى والنقوش " وقد صدرت أعمال هذا المؤتمر فى مجلدين كبيرين كذلك كان للمركز فى كل عام موسمه الثقافى الذى يتضمن محاضرات وندوات ومتابعات شارك فيها أساتذة مصريون وأجانب من خلال شعب خمس هى البرديات المصرية القديمة ، والبرديات اليونانية واللاتينية والسامية والعربية والترميم والصيانة .
 - قام المركز إذن بمهامه المحددة فى حدود إمكاناته المادية والبشرية المتاحة غير أن طموحاته العلمية بدت فى نظر القائمين عليه دون المستويات التى تتم عليه الدراسات البردية فى العالم ، حيث تساند مراكز البحوث هناك معاهد متخصصة ترفد هذه المراكز وتغذوها على الدوام بالمتخصصين الذين يتقنون حرفية تحقيق النص البردى وسد فراغاته فى ضوء معرفة متكاملة لديهم بعلم الخطوط القديمة وتطور اللغة عبر العصور من حيث الأساليب والألفاظ ، وهو ما أدى إلى حركة نشطة فى نشر البرديات بشروح وتعليقات ضافية.وإزاء هذا الشعور بالغيرة العلمية على تراث مصرى بالغ الأهمية ، لكن أمره كله موكول إلى دارسين أجانب برعوا فى تناوله بل نبغوا فيه بفضل مراكز للبحوث يقدم إلى جانبها معاهد تعليمية حرفية يرجع بعضها إلى أخريات القرن التاسع عشر الميلادى ، ونجد منها بعض البلاد الأوربية وفى الولايات المتحدة اكثر من معهد واحد ، فقد بادر مركز الدراسات البردية فى عام 1992 برفع مذكرة إلى رئاسة جامعة عين شمس الموقرة بخصوص النظر فى إنشاء معهد عال للدراسات البردية تكون مهمته إعداد متخصصين قادرين على نشر البرديات غير المنشورة التى لا تزال تؤلف ما يقرب من سبعين فى المائة من البرديات المودعة فى مكتبات المتاحف أو المجموعات الخاصة ، بل إعادة قراءة ما تم نشره وتصويب بعض ما وقع فيه ناشروه من أخطاء ، إن كان ثمة أخطاء .
 - وقد جرت فى ذلك الحين مناقشات حول إنشاء المعهد فى لجان علمية فى مجلس الدراسات العليا والبحوث بجامعة عين شمس وفى مجلس كلية الآداب  لكن المناقشات كانت تميل إلى تزكية فكرة الاكتفاء بإضافة بعض المواد المتعلقة بعلم البردى فى أقسام هذه الكلية كقسم اللغة العربية وقسم اللغة العبرية وقسم التاريخ وقسم الحضارة الأوربية القديمة ، بالرغم من علم أصحاب هذا الرأى بأن هذه الأقسام مثقلة بمواد تخصصية أساسية لايمكن الاستغناء عنها لتحل محلها مادة خاصة بعلم البردى وكذلك بالرغم مما وضع تحت نظرهم من أن علم البردى اصبح علماً قائما بذاته بل علوماً تفرعت حسب اللغات المتعددة للبرديات ، وما تتطلبه من دراسات تاريخية أو قانونية فضل اعن الوقوف على تطور خطوط تدوين الوثائق عبر العصور المتتالية ( كما يتضح من المذكرة المرفقة بمواد الدراسة المقترحة  لشعب الدراسات العليا فى المعهد ) وكان أن تعثر مشروع إنشاء المعهد أن رأت الجامعة إرجاءه  إلى حين .
 - والآن ، وبعد مرور عشر سنوات كاملة من مناقشة الموضوع ، نرى أن الحاجة أصبحت أكثر إلحاحاً علينا لإنشاء هذا المعهد المصرى العالى للدراسات البردية بهدف تعليمى محدد، وهو إعداد كوادر مؤهلة قادرة على توثيق تاريخ مصر وحضارتها القديمة من خلال هذا القسم المصدرى الفريد فى طابعه . ولاغرو فإن البردى إذا ذكر فى أى مجال ذكرت مصر على الفور .
 - غير أن الأمر لم يعد مجرد غيرة على تراث مصرى أو رغبة فى محاكاة من سبق من أولئك العلماء الأجلاء الذين كان لهم فضل الريادة ( وإن كان هذا فى حد ذاته طموحاً علميا مشروعا ) بل إن الأمر يتعدى ذلك إلى ما هو أخطر ، وهو ما لاح مؤخرا من محاولات من البعض لتحريف بعض النصوص اعتماداً على منهج ملأ الفراغات فى بعض البرديات التى ضاعت أو طمست حروف من بعض كلماتها ، وهو أمر لا يقدر على التصدى له لبيان بطلاته وكشف مقاصده إلا خبير مؤهل يقرع الحجة بالحجة .
 - وفى عصرنا هذا – عصر ثورة الاتصالات – فإن الرد على التحريف الذى ينتشر بسرعة البرق عبر شبكات المعلومات ، يصبح الأمر فريضة علمية واجبة الأداء ، فى عصر امتلأ – للأسف – بالصراعات على الأصعدة كافة ، بغية تحقيق مآرب سياسية . 

  ويمكننا أن نوجز ما سبق فى النقاط التالية :
1 - يشكل المعهد جهة علمية مصرية وطنية متخصصة تعنى بدراسة وتوثيق تاريخ مصر وتراثها الحضارى بكافة فروعه المختلفة وذلك من مصادره الأصلية وهو أوراق البردى والنقوش التى تم الكشف عنها والتى لا تزال تجود بها أرض مصر .
2 - يهدف المعهد إلى إمداد مصر وغيرها من الدول بالمتخصصين الذين يتقنون حرفية تحقيق النصوص البردية والنقوش وسد فراغاتها وذلك فى ضوء معرفة متكاملة لديهم بعلم الخطوط القديمة وتطور اللغة عبر العصور وهى مهمة تفوق إمكانات المركز الحالية ولا يمكن تحقيقها إلا من خلال إنشاء معهد متخصص لتحقيق هذا الهدف وهو أمر أدركته معظم مراكز البردى الأوروبية والأمريكية فعنيت بإنشاء معاهد تعليمية حرفية يرجع بعضها إلى أخريات القرن التاسع عشر الميلادى .
3 - يهدف المعهد إلى إعداد متخصصين قادرين على نشر البرديات غير المنشورة التى لا تزال تؤلف ما يقرب من سبعين فى المائة من البرديات المودعة فى مكتبات المتاحف أو المجموعات الخاصة ، بل إعادة قراءة ما تم نشره وتصويب بعض ما وقع فيه ناشروه من أخطاء .
4 - المعهد هو الجهة الوحيدة القادرة على إعداد وخلق الكوادر العلمية المتخصصة فى هذا المجال خاصة أن أقسام فى بعض الكليات التى على صلة بهذه الدراسات غير منوطة بهذه المهمة وذلك لكون هذه الأقسام مثقلة بمواد تخصصية أساسية لا يمكن الاستغناء عنها وقد اكتفى البعض منها بإضافة مادة خاصة بعلم البردى والنقوش وهو ما لا يكفى لتخريج المتخصصين فى هذه العلوم التى أصبحت علوماً قائمه بذاتها بلً تفرعت حسب لغاتها المتعددة.
5 - إن إنشاء المعهد لا يشكل مجرد طرف أو رغبة فى محاكاة الدول الأوروبية التى سبقتنا فى إنشاء معاهد مماثلة بل الأمر يتعدى إلى ما هو أخطر من ذلك وهو ما لاح مؤخرا من محاولات من البعض لتحريف بعض النصوص ، وهو أمر لا يقدر على التصدى له لبيان بطلاته وكشف مقاصده إلا خبير مؤهل فى علوم البردى والنقوش المتشعبة خاصة أن الحاجة ملحة لسرعة الرد على التحريفات التى يهدف العديد منها إلى تحقيق مآرب سياسية.
6 - وبناء على كل ما سبق يرى مجلس إدارة مركز الدراسات البردية والنقوش وجميع الأساتذة المهتمين بهذه الدراسات والعلوم المتخصصة أن إنشاء المعهد العالى للدراسات البردية والنقوش يشكل هدفا قوميا ذلك فضلا عن أنه من شأنه أن يصبح المعهد الوحيد فى دول الشرق الأوسط كافة وذلك باستثناء إسرائيل التى تسعى إلى اعتبار نفسها ممثلا لهذا التخصص فى المنطقة مما يدفعنا إلى ضرورة سرعة اتخاذ الخطوات التنفيذية نحو إنشاء هذا المعهد .
والله من وراء القصد ..,,,