Object of the Month

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

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

Mummy Label of a Slave

SB I 1206 (ÄM 11826) From the 1st century AD at the latest, it was customary in Egypt to attach small wooden labels to mummies that were inscribed in Greek and/or Demotic. This custom continued to enjoy great popularity in… Read More

Private Letter

BGU II 385 (P. 6901) „I want you to know that I am alone.“ This sentence raises at least as many questions as the letter it came from. It was written by a certain Serenilla to her father Socrates. The… Read More

Christian Hymns

P. 16595 Music without notation? Hard to imagine. But even when notes were not yet developed, people wanted to be able to write down musical instructions. One example of this is the duplication of vowels that can be found in… Read More

Acts of the Apostles by Luke

P. 11765 Embezzlement, fraud, selfishness and divine punishment are the central themes of the displayed text fragment. Already over 2,000 years ago, people had to deal with these problems, which are still current today. Also, the here presented excerpt from… Read More