Object of the Month

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

Easter Canon

BKT VI 6.3 (P. 9051) „Resurrection Day“ – these words begin the first verse of the song on this writing and stand as the heading for what follows: Christ’s resurrection, the Easter. Many hymns have been handed down from the… Read More

Toll Receipt

SB XII 10915 (P. 13311 Fr. a) Who was Satorneilos (Saturninus) for whom this customs receipt was issued? What cargo did he transport that was cleared through customs? What was it used for? The customs receipt does not answer any… Read More

Poll Tax Receipt

SB VI 9545 Nr. 14 (P. 12668) Even in ancient times, most citizens had to pay highly unpopular taxes. In Egypt, for example, there was the poll tax during the Roman period. Further evidence of this annual payment is provided… Read More

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