Additional Papyri of Unknown Origins

At the prompting of David Bradnick, I have added a few more items to the list of recently emerged papyri with dubious origins. I hesitated to add these pieces to the list because I have not seen images of them, but I can see the wisdom of putting them on the list in hopes that they surface at some point. If anyone has seen any images of these pieces elsewhere online or in print, I would be grateful to know where.

Aristotle, unknown work on reason? (unverified identification by Scott Carroll, Green Collection). First reference: 2011. This Green Collection papyrus was to be featured in the Brill series and was assigned to a date in the 3rd century BCE. [Update 3 January 2020: I believe a photograph of this papyrus was put online in 2014.] Like so many other Green Collection pieces, this one is sometimes said to have been extracted from a mummy mask. Here is Scott Carroll in an interview published back in May of 2011:

“Recently I would say the most surprising discoveries have come from working with mummy (mask) coverings…A professor from Oxford and I have extracted a lost work of Aristotle, other classical works, and very early unrepresented texts of Scripture.”

It is of course interesting to see once again the “professor from Oxford” invoked in relation to cartonnage dismantling, but it now appears that many, if not all, of Carroll’s claims about extracting Christian texts from mummy cartonnage were simply fabrications.

Whether he extracted any classical literature from masks remains unclear (the various videos in which Carroll dismantles masks seem to include only documentary texts rather than literary texts, which is what one would generally expect). Indeed, we should be doubly suspicious in this instance because the Aristotle papyrus was elsewhere said to have been discovered together with another literary papyrus dealing with mysteries [Update 12 November 2019: This “mysteries” papyrus seems to have already been published!], as detailed in the catalog entry accompanying the first “Verbum Domini” exhibit:

Homer, Iliad, fragment from Book 1 (GC.PAP.000451). First reference: 2017 (possibly 2012). This Green Collection papyrus is said to be under publication by Graeme Bird of Gordon College as of 2017. An image of Dr. Bird and a student with a papyrus can be seen in a 2014 article here with the following note: “In April 2012, Bird secured (through the Green Scholars Initiative) a loan of the rarest 1800-year-old papyrus of Homer’s Iliad in Greek for his students at Gordon.” But this may be one of several papyri of the Iliad from the Green Collection that were at one point at Gordon College.

Romans 1 (GC.PAP.000390). First reference: 2014. This manuscript was on display at Verbum Domini II (2014) and was dated to 2nd-3rd century:

It is interesting that this fragment has not (yet) been identified among those belonging to the Egypt Exploration Society, seeing that so many of the other New Testament fragments in the Green Collection have tuned out to be stolen from the EES.

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4 Responses to Additional Papyri of Unknown Origins

  1. Pingback: Recently Emerged Papyri of Dubious Origins: A Working List | Variant Readings

  2. D. Bradnick says:

    At this link there is a slightly better view of Bird with a Homeric text, presumably from the Green Collection.

    I’ve been told by an insider that MOTB has at least 20 Homeric papyri manuscripts, including at least two from Book 2.

  3. Pingback: A New(-ish) Published Papyrus from the Green Collection! | Variant Readings

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