Monday, April 18, 2005


If this story is true, we could be seeing a revolution in our knowledge of classical literature and civilization within a couple of years.
Now, in a breakthrough described as the classical equivalent of finding the holy grail, Oxford University scientists have employed infra-red technology to open up the hoard, known as the Oxyrhynchus Papyri, and with it the prospect that hundreds of lost Greek comedies, tragedies and epic poems will soon be revealed.

In the past four days alone, Oxford's classicists have used it to make a series of astonishing discoveries, including writing by Sophocles, Euripides, Hesiod and other literary giants of the ancient world, lost for millennia. They even believe they are likely to find lost Christian gospels, the originals of which were written around the time of the earliest books of the New Testament.

The original papyrus documents, discovered in an ancient rubbish dump in central Egypt, are often meaningless to the naked eye - decayed, worm-eaten and blackened by the passage of time. But scientists using the new photographic technique, developed from satellite imaging, are bringing the original writing back into view. Academics have hailed it as a development which could lead to a 20 per cent increase in the number of great Greek and Roman works in existence. Some are even predicting a "second Renaissance".
The new histories of the Trojan war sound especially fascinating. As a label, "second Renaissance" may be a bit overblown, although this does seem pretty analagous to the Renaissance Italians rediscovering Greek literature in abandoned Sicilian Arab libraries. The fact that it's being said at all testifies to the magnitude of this find, however.


At 1:32 PM, Blogger Chris said...


At 4:40 PM, Anonymous Armin said...

Does this mean there'll be a second Renaissance Men?

At 12:18 AM, Anonymous Brian Wolly said...

Where the hell is Kyle Sinick? Why is he such a slacker when it comes to posting on this blog?

I think that all of his friends at home should know what his nickname is here at Tufts.

Do I give you the dirty one, or the clean one?

Ill opt for the latter.

Butters, where are you, and you better start pulling your weight


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