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Reconstructions of the Artemidorus Papyrus

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)292-309
Number of pages17
JournalHistoria-Zeitschrift Fur Alte Geschichte
Issue number3

King's Authors


The Artemidorus papyrus was reconstructed by the first editors as a roll, that opened with a short unwritten portion followed by three columns of text dealing with geography in general (Jr. a). This would have been followed by a map (Jr. b and c) and by two further columns of text with a description of the Iberian peninsula (in Jr. c). D'Alessio (2009) argued that the physical evidence provided by the papyrus implies that the sequence of the fragments was b-c-a, and that these surviving sections were preceded by a substantial portion of the roll now entirely lost. In this paper I examine recent reactions to these findings, confuting Canfora's latest hypothesis that the three fragments did not originally belong to a single roll, arguing against Gallazzi's and Kramer's conjectural reshuffling of the preserved fragments, and against Porciani 's interpretation of the b-c-a sequence as a fragment from an internal section of Book 2 of Artemidorus' Geography. On the basis of the new reconstruction and of parallels provided by other papyri, I suggest that the Artemidorus papyrus was, from the start, a roll containing miscellaneous selections of texts (at least in one case, an excerpt) and images (including a map).

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