Lecture 'People of Aphrodite. Life and culture in a late antique Egyptian village'

For whom
Alumni , Employees , Private individuals , Students
22-02-2023 from 19:30 to 21:00
Leslokaal 0.4, Blandijnberg 2, 9000 Gent
Griekenlandcentrum, Afdeling Grieks, Faculteit Letteren en Wijsbegeerte

Lecture by Yasmine Amory on the private archive of Dioscorus of Aphrodite and what it reveals about life and culture in this Egyptian village.

In 1905, during some restoration works in a private house in the Egyptian village of Kom Ishgaw, a crevice in a wall disclosed a large number of papyrus scrolls. The archaeological excavations that followed this fortuitous discovery brought to light a jar full of papyri. On top of the jar, as to secure its contents, there was a codex made of four lost comedies by Menander. The whole documentation belonged to a single family: the private archive of Dioscorus of Aphrodite was then discovered. The approximately 650 documents that compose the archive make it the largest one from Late Antiquity. Written in Greek and Coptic, they range from private letters to petitions, imperial rescripts, rent contracts, and tax receipts. But they also include literary pieces – some of them, from the pen of Dioscorus himself! Through a close examination of the archive, we will retrace the lives and sorrows of the inhabitants of the village of Aphrodite, as well as of its headman Dioscorus.

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