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

Hesiod, Catalogue of Women : Second century AD

“Sumptuously laid out papyrus roll” (E. G. Turner) written in a large rounded capital, with lavish use of blank papyrus. As usual in literary papyri, the scribe leaves no spaces between words; he also uses no punctuation. The text records the genealogy of the children of Althaea, including Deianeira who married Heracles, a section from Hesiod’s Catalogue of Women (Fragmenta Hesiodea fr. 25, ed. Merkelbach-West). Two additional papyrus copies overlap to fill in gaps and add text at top and bottom. An adjoining fragment of the fragmentary first column was recovered by Italian excavators and is now in Florence.

Lines 1-8 show obeloi — long hyphen-like strokes — in the margin before the line beginnings. Hellenistic scholars used such signs to indicate lines they thought displaced in the original poem. The lines so marked here turn up again in another papyrus from Oxyrhynchus (fr. 229 Merkelbach-West) on the children of Heracles — from a completely different part of the poem.

The Oxyrhynchus Papyri vol.XVII no. 2075