Object of the Month

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

Theophany Hymns

P. 11633 „Rejoice in the Lord all the earth.“ Many hymns have been handed down from the ancient Christian context. Sometimes they are even related to specific occasions. Certain festivals of the church year already had their liturgical hymn texts… Read More

Amulet against a disease

BKT X 27 (P. 17082) Especially in times of crisis, people need succour, whether it is of a spiritual nature or expressed concretely in the concern and compassion of their closest fellow human beings. The Berlin Papyrus Collection preserves countless… Read More

Note Accompanying a Mummy

SB I 2639 (ÄM 11851) Two women, a baker and a mummy? What was their relationship? Whose mummy is it? The text on this unusual wooden tablet raises many questions, only a few of which can be answered. But at… Read More

Decades of paying taxes

P.Sijp. 39 (P. 7981) Nobody likes it to pay taxes, but even in antiquity taxes were written down in detail. The document we talk about today is a receipt about garden taxes, which a man named Kastor, son of Dionysus… Read More

Remuneration of a troop

UPZ II 209 (P. 5849 + P. 5850) War costs money. So it is not surprising that among the many papyri in the Berlin Papyrus Collection there are also texts dealing with the payment of mercenaries. In addition, the text… Read More

Glossary on Homer’s Iliad

P. 5014 Faust, Romeo and Juliet or even the songs of today’s stars – lyrical texts can sometimes be very confusing when the respective poets give free rein to their creativity and work rare lyrical words into their works. A… Read More

Mummy label with instructions for transport

SB I 3447 (ÄM 13353) A gravestone with instructions for transporting the deceased? That is unthinkable today. In Roman Egypt, however, instead of gravestones, wooden mummy labels were often used, attached to the mummy before it was transported to the… Read More

Musical pieces with notation

P. 6870 V + P. 14097 V What did music sound like in ancient times? What melodies were sung? We know very little about this. Because even in antiquity, songs were mostly passed on orally or only the lyrics were… Read More

Excerpt from an Ancient Greek comedy

P.Schubart 22 II (P. 13932) Misoumenos – „The Man She Hated“ sounds almost like the title of a movie. However, it is the title of a work by the Greek poet Menander, a small excerpt of which has survived on… Read More

Mummy Label of a Christian

T.Berl.Möller 125 (ÄM 11843) It was an ancient Egyptian custom to provide mummies with a small tablet that gave information about the deceased. At first, one would not expect such a mummy label for a Christian. However, several examples have… Read More