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Palaeography of the Greek Papyri and Edition Technique of Papyrus Documents


Admission requirements

Knowledge of Greek documentary papyrology and basic experience in deciphering Greek papyri (possibly to be acquired by preliminary self-study); when in doubt consult the teacher


Students decipher, by themselves and in co-operation, the Greek text of unpublished papyrus fragments, sometimes from the collection of the Leiden Papyrological Institute and make a first edition of their fragment(s) according to the papyrological tradition. Intermediate and final results will be presented to the group.

Course objectives

The student:

  • is able to decipher Greek papyrus documents from different periods;

  • is able to date different stages of Greek handwriting;

  • is able to independently detect and solve problems of reading, wording and context;

  • is able to present his/her text including its problems;

  • is able to make a papyrus edition following the rules of the papyrological trade.


This course takes place on Thursdays from 13:00-15:00 in the Grotius room, University Library. The location of the course meetings in the University Library is not visible in the timetable.

The timetable is available on the Classics and Ancient Civilizations website.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Course Load

  • Hours spent on attending lectures and seminars: 2 hours per week x 14 weeks = 28 hours

  • Time for studying papyrus and literature for each class: 56 hours

  • Time to write assignments and the papyrus edtion(s) (including reading / research): 56 hours
    Total course load: 140 hours

Assessment method


  • active participation in every class (attendance obligatory) (40%)

  • presentation(s) (20%)

  • written assignments, including final edition(s) of own papyrus fragment(s) (40%)


The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average


Depending on circumstances, the ‘resit’ may consist in an extra chance to improve the existing written work, or in an entire new edition of another papyrus fragment.

Exam review

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.


Blackboard will be used for messages, assignments, images of papyrus fragments, handouts, references to literature etc.

Reading list

To be read in advance:

  • P. Schubert, 'Editing a Papyrus', in: R.S. Bagnall, The Oxford Handbook of Papyrology (Oxford 2009) 197-215 (in University Library; also online)

  • E.G. Turner, The Papyrologist at Work (Durham, NC 1973) (50p.) (University Library and online


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available on the website.

Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Study Abroad/Exchange website for information on how to apply and register for courses.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Contractonderwijs


Cisca Hoogendijk