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Bookrolls and Scribes in Oxyrhynchus

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  • Wieland Willker
    New book: Bookrolls and Scribes in Oxyrhynchus William A. Johnson Studies in Book and Print Culture University of Toronto Press © 2003. 440 pp / 18
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 4, 2004
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      New book:
      Bookrolls and Scribes in Oxyrhynchus
      William A. Johnson
      Studies in Book and Print Culture
      University of Toronto Press © 2003.
      440 pp / 18 illustrations, 63 tables
      ISBN 0802037348 Cloth $85.00 £55.00

      Lying now under the sand 300 kilometers south of the coastal metropolis
      of Alexandria, the town of Oxyrhynchus rose to prominence under Egypt's
      Hellenistic and Roman rulers. The 1895 British-led excavation revealed
      little in the way of buildings and other cultural artifacts, but instead
      yielded a huge random mass of everyday papyri, piled thirty feet deep,
      including private letters and shopping lists, government circulars, and
      copies of ancient literature.
      The surviving bookrolls – the papyrus rolls with literary texts – have
      provided a great deal of information on ancient books, ancient readers,
      and ancient reading. Examining only those texts that survive in full
      form in medieval manuscripts, William Johnson has analyzed over 400
      bookrolls to understand the production, use, and aesthetics of the
      ancient book. His close analysis of formal and conventional features of
      the bookrolls not only provides detailed information on the bookroll
      industry – manufacture, design, and format – but also, in turn, suggests
      some intriguing questions and provisional answers about the ways in
      which the use and function of the bookroll among ancient readers may
      differ from modern or medieval practice. Meticulously erudite, this work
      will be of great importance to all papyrologists, classicists, and
      literary scholars.
      William A. Johnson is an assistant professor of Classics at the
      University of Cincinnati.


      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
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