Object of the Month

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

On the Didactics of Surgery

BKT III, S. 22–26 (P. 9764) How should a doctor and above all a surgeon be trained? This is the question which is being treated in this fragment of a papyrus scroll that contains an otherwise unknown treatise on the… Read More

Epigram about the Origin of Homer

O.Wilck. 1148 = BKT V.1, S. 78f. (P. 4757) Even in ancient times writing had to be learned. But then people did not use pen and paper, but e.g. a potsherd (now called ostracon) and a kalamos, as can be… Read More

Homer Iliad 21–23

P. 16985 Homer is one of the most famous Greek poets of all time. Everyone has heard of his two works, the Iliad and the Odyssey. On these fragments of papyrus, of which only some of the larger ones can… Read More

List of Veterans

BGU II 610 (P. 7428) Latin Texts are quite rare on papyri. This papyrus is a nice example of this. It is inscribed on only one side and contains a list of veterans of a legion with names and rank… Read More

Edict on the Supply of Alexandria

BGU VIII 1730 (P. 13802) This papyrus contains a royal decree which regulates Alexandria’s supply with wheat and legumes. It is especially striking to see the draconic penalties for those who disobey these regulations. The text on this papyrus contains… Read More

Tax issue

SB XIV 11876 (P. 7216) This papyrus contains a decision of the Roman Emperor Caracalla from the years shortly after 215 AD, which deals with a disputed tax issue that has been brought to him by his legal adviser Egnatius… Read More


BKT X 29 (P. 11831) This piece shows the earliest preserved Greek horoscope on papyrus. The text mostly consists of abbreviations and its five lines were written in dark ink on a small, rectangular sheet of papyrus. Based on the… Read More

Mummy label

T.Berl.Möller 134 = SB I 3440 (ÄM 13350) This wooden tablet, a so called mummy label, belonged to a women named Senorsenuphis, daughter of Psentatriphis. The name of the deceased is carved into the wood in four lines of Greek… Read More

Homer Iliad 8

BKT V.1, 3 (P. 6845) The Iliad is probably the best known of the epics of the Greek poet Homer and has been regarded as a masterpiece of literature from antiquity until today. The main subject of the work is… Read More


SB III 6216–6218 (P. 14000) „Only with writing and reading life really gets started“ – this is how a Greek writing exercise starts, written by the last owner of this schoolbook. It is probably a sentence his teacher dictated to… Read More