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Oxyrhynchus: A City and its Texts, Virtual Exhibition: Excavations and Finds

Items from Part I

‘The hundred and fifty-eight texts included in this first volume of the Oxyrhynchus Papyri are selected from the twelve or thirteen hundred documents at Oxford in good or fair preservation which up to the present time we have been able to examine, and from the hundred and fifty rolls at the Gizeh Museum.

The bulk of the collection, amounting to about four-fifths of the whole, has not yet been unpacked ...’

Grenfell and Hunt jointly published Part I in 1898, including both literary and non-literary papyri to represent both sides of ‘a collection of papyri ... abounding in novelties of all kinds’. Prize literary items included the Logia papyrus — ‘Sayings of Jesus’, from the second or third century AD — and a poem of Sappho, P.Oxy. I 7.

‘It is not very likely that we shall find another poem of Sappho ...’ Their pessimism was misplaced.

A few choice items:

VII: Sappho / XLI: public meeting / LI: doctor’s report / LXIX: a robbery / CXXIX: repudiation of engagement