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Length of usage of papyri books

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  • Wieland Willker
    Do we know anything about the length of the normal period of usage of a papyri book? How long do they last? Is there any stratigraphy of the rubbish heaps in
    Message 1 of 6 , Dec 5, 2005
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      Do we know anything about the length of the normal period of usage of a papyri book? How long do they last? Is there any stratigraphy of the rubbish heaps in Oxyrhynchus? When are books normally thrown away or copied anew? Do we know anything about this?

      I ask while thinking about P4 (= Suppl. Gr. 1120, Paris, Gospel of Luke)
      P4 was used as stuffing for the binding of a codex of two treatises by Philo. The codex was found in a jar which had been walled up in a house at Coptos. According to C.H. Roberts, the MS was concealed "either when Coptos was besieged and sacked by Diocletian in AD 292 or later [303] in his reign during the last and severest of the persecutions."
      Some date P4 into the 2nd CE (e.g. Roberts and P. Comfort). This is quite probable considering the use as binding material for a 3rd CE codex.
      P4 has an exceptionally good text, btw. Comparable to P75 and B!

      Best wishes
      Wieland
      <><
      ------------------------------------------------
      Wieland Willker, Bremen, Germany
      mailto:willker@...-bremen.de
      http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie
      Textcritical commentary:
      http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie/TCG/index.html
    • Jim West
      Lrry Hurtado can answer your questions. He has recently finished a manuscript on manuscripts. Jim ... -- D. Jim West Biblical Studies Resources -
      Message 2 of 6 , Dec 5, 2005
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        Lrry Hurtado can answer your questions. He has recently finished a
        manuscript on manuscripts.

        Jim


        Wieland Willker wrote:
        > Do we know anything about the length of the normal period of usage of a papyri book? How long do they last? Is there any stratigraphy of the rubbish heaps in Oxyrhynchus? When are books normally thrown away or copied anew? Do we know anything about this?
        >
        > I ask while thinking about P4 (= Suppl. Gr. 1120, Paris, Gospel of Luke)
        > P4 was used as stuffing for the binding of a codex of two treatises by Philo. The codex was found in a jar which had been walled up in a house at Coptos. According to C.H. Roberts, the MS was concealed "either when Coptos was besieged and sacked by Diocletian in AD 292 or later [303] in his reign during the last and severest of the persecutions."
        > Some date P4 into the 2nd CE (e.g. Roberts and P. Comfort). This is quite probable considering the use as binding material for a 3rd CE codex.
        > P4 has an exceptionally good text, btw. Comparable to P75 and B!
        >
        > Best wishes
        --
        D. Jim West
        Biblical Studies Resources - http://web.infoave.net/~jwest
        Biblical Theology Weblog - http://biblical-studies.blogspot.com
      • Peter Head
        ... I think no is going to be the simplest answer. There is some info in E.G. Turner, Greek Papyri. I should think there is no real normal . How long do
        Message 3 of 6 , Dec 6, 2005
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          At 04:42 PM 12/5/05, you wrote:
          >Do we know anything about the length of the normal period of usage of a
          >papyri book? How long do they last? Is there any stratigraphy of the
          >rubbish heaps in Oxyrhynchus? When are books normally thrown away or
          >copied anew? Do we know anything about this?

          I think 'no' is going to be the simplest answer.

          There is some info in E.G. Turner, Greek Papyri.

          I should think there is no real "normal". How long do modern Bibles last?
          Well they last a long time if they are on a shelf not being used; but if
          they are read every day, shoved in the backpack, underlined
          enthusiastically, annotated from the Syriac, etc then maybe a couple of
          years. Depending on the quality of the paper, binding, covers etc. Too many
          variables for "normal" to be easily defined.

          Also we tend to notice abnormal examples of long-lasting papyrus books
          (e.g. P66 & P75 incorporated into a 6th cent collection). But it would be
          possible to collect a range of material on this subject I suppose.

          Is there any stratigraphy of the rubbish heaps in Oxyrhynchus?
          Yes and No. There was some (cf. Turner above, p 29; and a forthcoming
          discussion of archival material at Oxyrhynchus in the next Tyndale
          Bulletin); but unless it was specifically noted by Grenfell and Hunt it
          does not seem recoverable (although box numbers are noted for Oxy Pap).


          >I ask while thinking about P4 (= Suppl. Gr. 1120, Paris, Gospel of Luke)
          >P4 was used as stuffing for the binding of a codex of two treatises by
          >Philo. The codex was found in a jar which had been walled up in a house at
          >Coptos. According to C.H. Roberts, the MS was concealed "either when
          >Coptos was besieged and sacked by Diocletian in AD 292 or later [303] in
          >his reign during the last and severest of the persecutions."
          >Some date P4 into the 2nd CE (e.g. Roberts and P. Comfort). This is quite
          >probable considering the use as binding material for a 3rd CE codex.
          >P4 has an exceptionally good text, btw. Comparable to P75 and B!

          It is not too clear to me what 'stuffing' for the binding would be.

          Peter

          >

          Peter M. Head, PhD
          Sir Kirby Laing Senior Lecturer in New Testament
          Tyndale House
          36 Selwyn Gardens Phone: (UK) 01223
          566607
          Cambridge, CB3 9BA Fax: (UK) 01223 566608
          http://www.tyndale.cam.ac.uk/Tyndale/staff/Head/Staff.htm
        • Tommy Wasserman
          2005-12-06 kl. 12.28 Peter Head wrote: [...] ... Interestingly, these MSS stand out in the collection you refer to, in terms of preservation, i.e. they are in
          Message 4 of 6 , Dec 6, 2005
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            2005-12-06 kl. 12.28 Peter Head wrote:
            [...]

            > Also we tend to notice abnormal examples of long-lasting papyrus books
            > (e.g. P66 & P75 incorporated into a 6th cent collection). But it would
            > be
            > possible to collect a range of material on this subject I suppose.

            Interestingly, these MSS stand out in the collection you refer to, in
            terms of preservation, i.e. they are in relatively worse state than the
            other non-biblical material, or non-exclusively biblical... (e.g. the
            codex containing P72), which may not be a co-incidence.

            In any case these early MSS most probably entered that 6th cent
            collection from outside and we don't know if and for how long they were
            in actual use for reading in their new context (probably monastic). We
            only know the approximate time ranges of the collection - the Dishna
            papers - as a whole as found stuffed together in a jar.

            Tommy Wasserman
            Centre for Theology and Religious Studies
            Lund University
            Sweden
          • Wieland Willker
            ... binding ... Here s what Merell wrote regarding P4 (translated from French, given in Comfort): After the 44th sheet, in the form of a wad, I believe, and
            Message 5 of 6 , Dec 6, 2005
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              Peter asked:
              > It is not too clear to me what 'stuffing' for the
              binding
              > would be.


              Here's what Merell wrote regarding P4 (translated from
              French, given in Comfort):
              "After the 44th sheet, in the form of a wad, I
              believe, and in order to fill the space provided by
              the cover, there were several fragments of sheets
              stuck together, one of them containing the KATA
              MAQQAION* and the others having the fragments of Lk."
              ---
              * There was one other fragment attached which reads
              "EUAGGELION KATA MAQQAION" only. It's by a different
              hand, but equally early.


              [x] Please send me good photos of P4 at no charge!


              Best wishes
              Wieland
              <><
              ------------------------------------------------
              Wieland Willker, Bremen, Germany
              mailto:willker@...-bremen.de
              http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie
              Textcritical commentary:
              http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie/TCG/index.html
            • Peter Head
              Thanks Wieland, Sorry that I didn t explain more fully, but basically I still don t understand what Merrell means: After the 44th sheet, in the form of a wad,
              Message 6 of 6 , Dec 6, 2005
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                Thanks Wieland,

                Sorry that I didn't explain more fully, but basically I still don't
                understand what Merrell means:
                "After the 44th sheet, in the form of a wad, I
                believe, and in order to fill the space provided by
                the cover, there were several fragments of sheets
                stuck together, ..."

                I wish they had taken photos before, during and after extraction. What is
                the space provided by the cover? What kind of 'wad'? How were they stuck
                together?

                Was it simply to protect the Luke material? Did the Luke and Philo material
                share a point of origin (similar style/format etc.)? Or was it something to
                do with the binding? I don't see any evidence in the photos of P4 that I
                have seen of damage/cutting/holing etc. which might be evident if they were
                being reused to help the binding.

                Peter



                to

                At 02:06 PM 12/6/05, you wrote:
                >Peter asked:
                > > It is not too clear to me what 'stuffing' for the
                >binding
                > > would be.
                >
                >
                >Here's what Merell wrote regarding P4 (translated from
                >French, given in Comfort):
                >"After the 44th sheet, in the form of a wad, I
                >believe, and in order to fill the space provided by
                >the cover, there were several fragments of sheets
                >stuck together, one of them containing the KATA
                >MAQQAION* and the others having the fragments of Lk."
                >---
                >* There was one other fragment attached which reads
                >"EUAGGELION KATA MAQQAION" only. It's by a different
                >hand, but equally early.
                >
                >
                >[x] Please send me good photos of P4 at no charge!
                >
                >
                >Best wishes
                > Wieland
                > <><
                >------------------------------------------------
                >Wieland Willker, Bremen, Germany
                >mailto:willker@...-bremen.de
                >http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie
                >Textcritical commentary:
                >http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie/TCG/index.html
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >Yahoo! Groups Links
                >
                >
                >
                >

                Peter M. Head, PhD
                Sir Kirby Laing Senior Lecturer in New Testament
                Tyndale House
                36 Selwyn Gardens Phone: (UK) 01223
                566607
                Cambridge, CB3 9BA Fax: (UK) 01223 566608
                http://www.tyndale.cam.ac.uk/Tyndale/staff/Head/Staff.htm
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