Object of the Month

Here, another special text from the collection will be introduced every month.

Deed of Surety

BGU I 255 (P. 7027) „I vouch for him!“ – is a statement that is linked not only today, but also in ancient times, with a complex legal procedure. This is a contractually secured interaction of debtor, creditor and guarantor… Read More

Lease Agreement for Farm Land

P.Berl.Frisk 5 = SB V 7519 (P. 13921) Business was also done in antiquity. On papyri, parchments and ostraca countless texts survived that show the business acumen of the people of that time and provide insights into these aspects of… Read More

Cicero: In Defence of Plancius

P. 13229 A+B Cicero’s speeches are well-known across the world but only very few people are familiar with original copies – and nearly nobody knows that Egyptian transcripts of his works exist which have been written in late Antiquity. The… Read More

Trade Licence

SB VI 9545 Nr. 33 (P. 12065) Everything is controlled! For almost every job you need a permit or have to pay a tax. This is also the case in the trade license presented here, which was written on a… Read More

Business Letter

BGU X 1994 = P.Zen.Pestm. 30 (P. 17487) Who likes to drink wine which has gone bad? Nobody. And so it is not particularly surprising when a replacement for such wine is demanded, as in this business letter from a… Read More

Oracular Question

SB XVIII 14043 (P. 21712) Help in the marriage crisis? In ancient Egypt this could be sought in ancient Egypt from the gods who were asked for help with oracular questions. A beautiful and almost complete example of such a… Read More

Heroes turned human – the Ninus-Novel

P. 6926 R Acts of a love story – these two papyrus fragments allow us to gain an insight into two different scenes of an ancient Greek novel, the oldest survivor of its genre. It is not possible anymore to… Read More

Administrative Book of the Temple of Soknopaios

BGU I 1 + 337 = Chrest.Wilck. 92 = P.Louvre I 4 Kol. I-II (P. 6826 + 7412) Anyone annoyed today about the troubles of accounting can be reassured, because in antiquity, it was also necessary to keep a detailed… Read More

Marriage Contract

BGU III 717 (P. 7976) “Money or Love?” – Even in ancient times, the act of marriage was one of the most important events in human life. Sometimes the conditions of a marriage were regulated by a marriage contract. A… Read More

Release of a Convict

P. 11532 (SB I 4639) In some ways it may be surprising that this document of the Greco-Roman period is one of the most discussed papyri in Berlin. The content of this piece, bought by Friedrich Zucker in Giza 1909,… Read More