The Derveni Papyrus: Cosmology, Theology and Interpretation

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Cambridge University Press, Nov 19, 2007 - History - 456 pages
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"This is the first comprehensive study of the Derveni Papyrus. The papyrus, found in 1962 near Thessalonica, is not only one of the oldest surviving Greek papyri but is also considered by scholars to be a document of primary importance for a better understanding of the religious and philosophical developments of the fifth and fourth centuries BC. Gabor Betegh aims to reconstruct and systematically to analyse the different strata of the text and their interrelation by exploring the archaeological context; the interpretation of rituals in the first columns of the text; the Orphic poem commented on by the author of the papyrus; and the cosmological and theological doctrines which emerge from the Derveni author's exegesis of the poem. Betegh discusses the place of the text in the context of late Presocratic philosophy and offers an important preliminary edition of the text of the papyrus with critical apparatus and English translation."--Jacket.
 

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his is a comprehensive study of the Derveni Papyrus. The papyrus, found in 1962 near Thessaloniki, is not only one of the oldest surviving Greek papyri but is also considered by scholars as a document of primary importance for a better understanding of the religious and philosophical developments in the fifth and fourth centuries BC. Gbor Betegh aims to reconstruct and systematically analyse the different strata of the text and their interrelation by exploring the archaeological context; the interpretation of rituals in the first columns of the text; the Orphic poem commented on by the author of the papyrus; and the cosmological and theological doctrines which emerge from the Derveni author's exegesis of the poem. Betegh discusses the place of the text in the context of late Presocratic philosophy and offers an important preliminary edition of the text of the papyrus with critical apparatus and English translation. 

Contents

Text and translation
1
1 The find
56
2 The first columns
74
3 The reconstruction of the poem
92
4 The interpretation of the poem
132
5 The cosmic god
182
6 Cosmology
224
7 Anaxagoras
278
Heraclitus and the gold plates
325
10 Understanding Orpheus understanding the world
349
Diagoras and the Derveni author
373
Bibliography
381
Index verborum
396
Index of passages
422
Index of modern names
432
Index of subjects
436

8 Diogenes of Apollonia and Archelaus of Athens
306

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About the author (2007)

G bor Betegh is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the Central European University, Budapest.

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