From papyrus to digital corpus: Research on documentary written culture in Late Antiquity

Fournet Jean-Luc




While recent work on documentary Greek and Coptic written culture in late Antiquity, and particularly in Byzantine Egypt, has increased in recent years, in parallel with the ever-increasing number of editions of papyrological texts, there has so far been no digital tool that lists the terminology relating to the forms and material conditions of writing. Similarly, the computerized catalogs list all the papyri known and/or edited at present, but generally contain little or no information on the formal, paleographic and textual aspects of the documents inventoried. This is the gap we intend to fill on the one hand by creating a database on the terminology of the objects and processes of documentary written culture and, on the other hand, by finalizing the electronic guide to the most important archive of the Late Antique Egypt. These two tools, which will be made available to the scientific community, thereby giving PSL international visibility, will not only improve our understanding of the perception of documentary practices through literary sources, but also allow us to observe their concrete expressions, in contemporary papyrological documents. Combining philological tradition and digital innovation, this project will allow collaboration between three PSL institutions through an interdisciplinary team.

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