How to Access Ancient Egyptian Papyri Records for Your Fiction

Source: www.kernred.com
What?  Historical fiction again?

Yep.  What appears here depends on who publishes what article when then issues a press release.  

Sometimes finding just the right source of information can make all the difference - especially if the source not only conveys accurate historical information, the information is translated in such a way as idiom and structure are included.  Such is the Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists.  The following is a sample of what you will find there.  A link to the ASP Bulletin follows at the end of this post.

Guarding grapes and other tales from papyri
A new article throws light on the perils of produce patrol and more stories from ancient times. The researcher details what he deciphered from a roughly 3-by-5 inch shred of dark brown papyrus dating back to the fourth century. In large, cursive script, the hired guard outlines his labor contract, as well as details from a vineyard guard who was beaten by "violent and rapacious" criminals while attempting to chase them from the vineyard

A University of Cincinnati graduate student writes about the contractual obligations of vineyard guards and researchers from around the world contribute more stories from ancient times in the most recent volumes of the Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists (BASP).
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The American Society of Papyrologists
The ASP was founded in 1961 to further the study of ancient Greek and Latin papyri and of the materials contained in them. The Society supports and encourages research in the field, the teaching of the discipline, and international cooperation by scholars.
 The ASP publishes The Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists (BASP), the only North American journal in the field of papyrology. It also publishes a monograph series, American Studies in Papyrology, and occasional supplements to BASP.
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Suggested reading
Click on image
UC's Peter van Minnen, associate professor of classics, has edited the international journal since 2006. BASP is an annual collection of articles and reviews pertaining to important discoveries from around the world in the field of papyrology -- the study of ancient texts on papyrus and other materials.


The latest volume of BASP is the 50th in the series and the eighth to have been edited at UC. The recently published journal features 35 contributions from 26 writers from 11 countries. The previous year's volume features 44 contributions from 41 writers from 14 countries. Each of the past two volumes includes content in three languages.

In "Guarding Grapes in Roman Egypt," UC graduate student Kyle Helms details what he deciphered from a roughly 3-by-5 inch shred of dark brown papyrus dating back to the fourth century.

In large, cursive script, the hired guard outlines his labor contract:
"I agree that I have made a contract with you on the condition that I guard your property, a vineyard near the village Panoouei, from the present day until vintage and transport, so that there be no negligence, and on the condition that I receive in return for pay for all of the aforementioned time" an unknown amount of money, as the papyrus is broken off at the bottom.
In his contribution, Helms references another papyrus record of a vineyard guard who was beaten by "violent and rapacious" criminals while attempting to chase them from the vineyard.

A link to the journal's table of contents is found at: 




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Story Source: Materials provided by University of Cincinnati, written by Tom Robinette. "Guarding grapes and other tales from papyri." ScienceDaily.

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