Oxyrhynchus


Oxyrhynchus
Archaeological site, Egypt, on the western bank of the Nile River.

Many ancient papyri dating from 250 BC to AD 700 were discovered there in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The papyri, written mainly in Greek and Latin, contain both religious texts and masterpieces of Greek classical literature. Some of these texts, once considered lost, were by Pindar and Callimachus. The modern village of Al-Bahnasā is located on the site.

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▪ ancient city, Egypt
also spelled  Oxyrynkhos 

      ancient capital of the 19th Upper Egyptian nome (province), on the western edge of the Nile Valley, in al-Minyā muḥāfaẓah (governorate). It is best known for the numerous papyri uncovered there, first by B.P. Grenfell and A.S. Hunt (1897–1907), and later by Italian scholars early in the 20th century. The papyri—dating from about 250 BC to AD 700 and written primarily in Greek and Latin but also in demotic Egyptian, Coptic, Hebrew, Syriac, and Arabic—include religious texts (e.g., miracles of Serapis, early copies of the New Testament, and such apocryphal books as the Gospel of Thomas) and also masterpieces of Greek classical literature. Among the papyri were texts once considered lost, including selections of early Greek lyric poetry, Pindar, dramatists such as Menander and Callimachus, and innumerable prose works of oratory or history, such as those of the Oxyrhynchus historian. The modern village of al-Bahnasā is located on the site.

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Universalium. 2010.

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