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Demotic papyrus Hamburg 39 (inv. no. 35.2806): A new religious text from Roman Egypt

La'da, Csaba A. (2023) Demotic papyrus Hamburg 39 (inv. no. 35.2806): A new religious text from Roman Egypt. Zeitschrift für Ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde, 150 (2). pp. 231-239. ISSN 0044-216X. (doi:10.1515/zaes-2021-0028) (KAR id:103978)


This article offers the first edition of a Demotic papyrus fragment of early Roman date and of uncertain, probably Fayumic, provenance in the collection of the Hamburg State and University Library Carl von Ossietzky. The fragment preserves parts of two columns of a hitherto unattested enigmatic religious work, for which mostly only distant and short parallels can be found in the evidence currently available to us in any of the Egyptian languages and scripts used in the Late and Graeco-Roman Periods. The only relatively close parallel that we are aware of is a slightly modified form of a sentence that occurs in the composition known as ‘The Great Decree Issued to the Nome of the Silent Land’. The vocabulary and the meagre parallels suggest that we may be catching a glimpse of a previously unknown work of Osirian religious literature. This article provides a general introduction, a transcription and translation of the text, as well as a commentary.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1515/zaes-2021-0028
Projects: Demotic Papyrus Hamburg 39: A New Funerary Text from Roman Egypt (2nd-3rd c. AD)
Uncontrolled keywords: Demotic papyrus; Osirian religion; Roman period
Subjects: D History General and Old World
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > Department of Classical and Archaeological Studies
Funders: Fritz Bender Stiftung (
Depositing User: Csaba La'da
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2023 10:03 UTC
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2024 16:16 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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