Shoring Up Sappho. P.Oxy. 2288 and ancient reinforcements of bookrolls
Number of pages
SourceMnemosyne : a Journal of Classical Studies, 73, 6, (2020), pp. 915-948
Article / Letter to editor
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Griekse Taal- en Letterkunde
Mnemosyne : a Journal of Classical Studies
SubjectEurope in a Changing World; The Ancient World
P.Oxy. 2288, a 2nd-century fragment containing Sappho’s Ode to Aphrodite, has an un- derlying layer of papyrus that has intrigued scholars for decades. X-ray tomography of the papyrus and a study of the ink under the scanning electron microscope allow us to establish that the underlying layer most likely does not contain more of Sappho’s po- etry. Rather, it appears that P.Oxy. 2288 is what remains of a much-used roll of Sappho book 1, reinforced at its beginning. In order to put this case in its historical context, the second part of the article contains a new examination of the literary, documentary, and papyrological evidence for ancient repairs and reinforcements of bookrolls.
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