Greek Geometry on Papyrus

Little attention is paid by many scholars of classical and hellenistic Greek culture, language and literature to the technical and scientific genres, beyond perhaps the obvious authors like Euclid. The fascination of the amateur in antiquity with what now seems to be very elementary material is often overlooked, despite the fact that much of this kind of work was at the cutting edge in the period. Most important in our understanding of this is the selection of surviving non-literary written evidence including everyday calculations, school texts and the like. These have received far less consideration than they deserve and while I make no claim to be exhaustive, the study presented is one which attempts to address some of the key aspects of one part of the evidence, namely mathematical and specifically geometric texts surviving on papyrus.

Written as an undergraduate thesis, the aim is to provide a survey of the relevant evidence together with a catalogue of that evidence. A portion of the thesis relating to an as yet unpublished text cannot yet be made available online, but scholars interested in the area are invited to contact the author who may be able to supply a copy of the newly edited texts. They will, however, appear in a subsequent volume of the Oxyrhynchus Papyri. In consequence, the page numbering reflects the omissions.

 

Greek Geometry on Papyrus

A catalogue of texts and select bibliography

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Please note that all material is copyright RIchard Ashdowne 2000

No part is to be quoted, reproduced or published without permission.