Saturday, March 26, 2016

Review of Leith, The Oxyrhynchus Papyri, Volume LXXX

M. Hirt, D. Leith, The Oxyrhynchus Papyri, Volume LXXX. Graeco-Roman memoirs, 101. London: Egypt Exploration Society, 2014. Pp. xiv, 176; 14 p. of plates. ISBN 9780856982224. $170.00.

Reviewed by W. Andrew Smith, Shepherds Theological Seminary (

The eightieth volume of the Oxyrhynchus Papyri, which introduces items 5219–5257 of the collection, was prepared by Marguerite Hirt (University of Cambridge), David Leith (University of Exeter), and W. Benjamin Henry (University College London). Additional contributions were made by Daniela Colomo (Research Associate and Curator of the Oxyrhynchus Papyri), Nick Gonis (University College London), and Livia Tagliapietra (PhD student in Classics, University of Cambridge). While most volumes in this series group texts in categories of theological, literary, and documentary papyri, this one presents a collection of medical texts (perhaps following the themed approach of volume 79's Games, Competitors, and Performers in Roman Egypt), making it the "largest single collection of medical papyri to be published" (vi).

Some of the material helps perfect our knowledge of the text of already-known ancient medical documents. Bit by bit, a letter at a time, whatever it takes. Until we're done.