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Oxyrhynchus: A City and its Texts, Virtual Exhibition: Scribes and Scholars

Simonides, Elegies: second century AD

The first fragment of Simonides’ fifth century BC elegy on the Battle of Plataea, written on the occasion of the victory and in memory of those who fought and fell. The fragment contains parts of the proem, praising Achilles and the heroes who fought at Troy, then an invocation of the Muses and a transition to the historical part of the elegy narrating the battle. The fragment overlaps with Oxyrhynchus papyrus 2327 (image), first published as anonymous ‘early elegiacs’ by E. Lobel, who later recognised the identification with Simonides. Fr.27 of 2327 supplies the line-ends of the first column of this papyrus and remains of a second column, although the two papyrus manuscripts differed in their column layout:

The Oxyrhynchus Papyri vol. LIX no. 3965 fr. 1; vol. XXII no. 2327 fr. 27