Reading Papyri, Writing Ancient History
The ancient Mediterranean world brought to us by Herodotus, Thucydides and Tacitus is one of politics, war and the power elite of Greece and Rome. There was another ancient world, in which ordinary people made a living, sold land, ran their towns and sued one another. This is the world that the papyri bring to life; this book is about how they do so.
Reading Papyri, Writing Ancient History demonstrates how historians can put together information from scattered and often badly damaged documents to build up a picture of the society, economy and culture of the multicultural world of antiquity. Through discussion of contemporary historical work on the documents, Roger Bagnall scrutinises alternative ways of approaching these sources. He shows how the ancient historian can use the methodologies of anthropology, comparative history and statistics alongside more traditional tools to turn these texts into questions and answers.
Students and teachers of ancient history will find Reading Papyri, Writing Ancient History an indispensable guide to using these ancient texts in their own work.
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A.K.Bowman analysis ancient world Annales school anthropology approach archive argues argument argument from silence Arsinoite Arsinoite nome aspects B.W.Frier Bowman Braudel certainly chapter characteristic Christian circus cities Clarysse considerable context Coptic culture Demotic dioiketes discussion documentary documents dowry economic editor Egyptian Egyptian names evidence example excavations fact Fayum fourth century Gascou Gini index Greek Hellenistic Hermopolis Heroninos historian Hobson hypothesis imperial important indiction individual inﬂuence interest Karanis Katzoff land landholdings languages large number late antiquity letters literary mainly method metropoleis Michael Rostovtzeff models modern nome official ostraka Oxyrhynchos P.Burke P.van Minnen papyri papyrological particular pattern perhaps philological Phoibammon population possible problems Ptolemaic Egypt Ptolemaic period questions R.S.Bagnall Rathbone reﬂects registers result Roman Egypt Roman period scholars sense similar social society Soknopaiou Nesos sources surviving texts third century types village Vindolanda Wipszycka writing written Zenon