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An Amazing Find, Seneca's Histories

An Amazing Find, Seneca's Histories

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Wed May 23, 2018 10:57 pm

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Re: An Amazing Find, Seneca's Histories

Postby daivid » Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:18 am

Here is a more complete report https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2018/05/a-precious-papyrus-of-seneca-elder-found.html#VGLYpRmYSoh4Pr7h.97

That report gives me the impression that it is simply a known papyrus has not been attributed to the correct author rather than a completely new find. Maybe the researcher has recovered more of the text in doing this, however.
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Re: An Amazing Find, Seneca's Histories

Postby mwh » Mon Jul 02, 2018 6:58 pm

Technological advances have made the Herculaneum papyri much more possible to read. The new attribution of these pieces to Seneca the Elder’s Histories seems plausible enough on its face, but I don’t know anything more about it than the published reports. If it’s right, the fragments will of course be only a very small bit of the whole work.

The article daivid links to has some big errors, such as its concluding statement that the fragments “eliminat(e) the long held view that nothing was written by the father of the famous Latin philosopher”(?!). It may be a garbled version of this Italian piece: http://www.rainews.it/dl/rainews/artico ... refresh_ce

Edit. Oh, the papyrus is very well known (P.Herc.1067) as one of the few Latin papyri found at Herculaneum, and it has a subscription, which perhaps is now more legible than it was before. It really doesn't change much.
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Re: An Amazing Find, Seneca's Histories

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:52 am

I would like to see a more detailed and accurate report on this, to say the least. Why is this sort of thing so often accompanied by drama (in the popular sense) and exaggerated claims?
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
The Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.
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Re: An Amazing Find, Seneca's Histories

Postby mwh » Wed Jul 04, 2018 3:46 am

I assume your question is rhetorical, Barry, but it is the case that a new director of the National Library of Naples was appointed last year. He knows nothing about papyri, but his avowed aim is to shake down more funding from the local authorities, and perhaps this bit of publicity is a way of upping the Library’s profile.

But the papyrus is important, and even more so if the attribution to Seneca père is correct. It's actually not new, but I'm guessing it’s now been bolstered by an improved reading of the subscription. That's only a guess, however. As for his Histories, we already knew that they existed and were in circulation (Suetonius cites them, for one), but of course it would be good to have a certified specimen of Seneca’s historical writing.

Valeria Piano has an article on the papyrus in Cronache Ercolanesi 47, 2017, 163-250, which I'm guessing (again) will satisfy you Barry. Non vidi. (There are images of the papyrus on line too. Good luck reading it!) You'll report back to us?
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Re: An Amazing Find, Seneca's Histories

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:31 pm

mwh wrote:Valeria Piano has an article on the papyrus in Cronache Ercolanesi 47, 2017, 163-250, which I'm guessing (again) will satisfy you Barry. Non vidi. (There are images of the papyrus on line too. Good luck reading it!) You'll report back to us?


Thanks for the response, and yes, more venting than asking seriously. Is there a link for this article?
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
The Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.
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Re: An Amazing Find, Seneca's Histories

Postby mwh » Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:45 pm

Google P.Herc.1067 and you’ll find http://www.fedoa.unina.it/11211/, among other refs. You’ll need to log in, if you’re permitted to. Or you could go to a library or have it ILL’ed. I see from that site that the same woman also published “Sull’autore del P.Herc. 1067: una nuova lettura della subscriptio” in late 2016, so evidently it was indeed an improved reading of the subscription (as L. Annaeus …?, I don't know) that confirmed attestation of Senecan authorship. Over to you.
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