Reading the Text
The next several pages will give a close-up look at each line from
the text. As you go through the text, keep a piece of paper handy
to write down the letters you think you see. If you need help reading
the text, there are several tools available to assist you:
The Alphabet Pop-up Window
If you need to refer to the alphabet of the document, click on
the link to open a new window with the various letter forms. Don't
be surprised to see some minor variation between different instances
of the same letter. The shape of some letters, such as e, may vary
drastically depending on its position in the text. This text contains
some ligatures, strokes of ink connecting successive letters,
and this also helps to alter the appearance of some letters. Take
time to inspect the letters, use the tools available to identify
them, and recognize the fundamental shape that is persistent in
The Highlighted Text Option
If you are still having difficulty identifying a letter, click
the "Show Highlighted Text" button. This will illuminate
the ink in various colors; this helps distinguish one letter from
the next, which can be especially difficult when the letters are
ligatured. Once you've highlighted the text, read the line again
to see if any more letters become clear to you.
Once you've done your best to read the text yourself, you can check
the transliteration by clicking on the "Show Transliteration"
button. This transliteration is the version of the text that is
published by Bruckner and Marichal. It contains the letters and
punctuation of the original text as well as various symbols used
by papyrologists to explain various aspects of the text. Below is
a brief explanation of a few of these symbols:
resolution of a symbol or abbreviation.
a break in the text (lacuna); the text is supplied by
. . .
(underdot) indicates an uncertain reading
Each line is accompanied by notes which offer additional information
about any palaeographical or textual points of interest in that
particular line. The notes, like the other features, are originally
hidden from view in order to allow the reader first the opportunity
to read only the text of the papyrus. Try to read the line first,
then use whatever assistance is necessary to decipher the text before
viewing the notes.
Next: Line 1