Researchers funded by the European Union have deciphered an ancient Latin text written on papyrus.This work reveals much about Roman society and education, and how Latin influence spread. There is likely to be.
The number of Latin texts found on papyri from the 1st century BC to the 8th century AD has increased as a result of new archaeological discoveries, but these texts often have not been given the attention they need. I have. They therefore represent a vast untapped source of information and insights into the literary, linguistic, historical, and social development of ancient Rome.
Latin texts, particularly on papyri, may provide information about the literary and linguistic immigration of the period. This may also reveal more about the educational environment and paint a clearer picture of Rome’s economy and society.
A New Approach to Latin Texts
To achieve just this, the EU-funded PLATINUM project funded by the European Research Council was launched. It began with a preliminary survey of existing Latin texts on papyri to assemble and update the collection.
Maria Chiara Scappaticcio, PLATINUM project coordinator, University of Naples Federico II, Italy, explains:
This work was put together to produce a corpus of Latin texts on papyrus. His six volumes will soon be published by Cambridge University Press. “This is a major achievement of the project,” he adds Scappaticcio.
“This work collects all the texts of interest and provides a reference and tool for scholars. It is clear by comparing what is known by
groundbreaking linguistic discovery
During the course of the project, we made some interesting discoveries. These include amazing discoveries in the history of Seneca the Elder. “No one could have imagined that such an important work would be found in one of his burnt papyri of Herculaneum,” says Scapatisio. “Thanks to PLATINUM, a new chapter in Latin literature has been rewritten.”
Furthermore, as a result of the project, many previously unknown documents are now circulating among scholars. The team has helped build new partnerships and exchanges between academic and cultural institutions.
“We also found the only known Latin-Arabic papyrus,” says Scappaticcio. “In this text the Arabic is transliterated into the Latin script. The text is unique and provides evidence of the interaction between Latin and culture in the early Middle Ages Mediterranean and between Arabic and culture.” We are offering.”
Cultural exchanges revealed
The PLATINUM project helped shed new light on the spread of Latin, especially in the provinces of the late Roman Empire.
A careful examination of the actual books, tools and materials circulating at the time provided insight into, for example, how Latin was taught as a foreign language.
“We now know that Latin literature circulated in the Byzantine Empire and how this literature shaped knowledge,” says Scapatisio. “For example, one of the main reasons he learned Latin was because he needed to familiarize himself with Roman law.”
Scappaticcio believes the research will be useful not only to ancient historians, classical philologists, literary scholars and linguists, but also to cultural historians. “This study has opened the door to a better understanding of the cultural interactions of the time,” she says.
“PLATINUM’s work touches on Roman Orientalism as an aspect of multiculturalism in antiquity and late antiquity.”
Cover photo: Carbonized paper found with other images in a book published by Giacomo Castrucci in 1858.