Papyrus collection Bremen

Dr. Maria Hermes-Wladarsch

Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Bremen
28359 Bremen

+49 (0)421/21859418

Internet Presence
Digital collections Bremen
Papyrus database of Bremen
Digitized publications:
Wilcken 1936
Commentary to the papyri Melchers from Ulrich Wilcken

Description of the Collection
The papyrus collection of Bremen includes 87 papyri, of which 84 are located at the Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Bremen and three papyri at the Übersee-Museum It belongs thus to the minor papyrus collections in Germany.
Before the founding of the Deutsche Papyrus-Kartell the merchand Hermann Melchers (1842-1918) commissioned in 1902 the archaeologist Ludwig Borchard to purchase papyri. The papyri with the Apollonios archive were distributed after their acquisition between the various locations in Bremen.
Melchers let the papyri of Bremen be put under glass by the worldwide acknowledged expert for conservation of the Berlin State Museums Hugo Ibscher (1874-1943). He offered them in November 1903 to the director of the then municipal library of Bremen, Heinrich Bulthaupt (1849-1905) as a donation. As from 1905 the papyri were described by Ulrich Wilcken and edited with new numbering. Therefore, they have two signatures.

The papyri of Bremen originate mainly from the environment of the official Apollonios, who acted as nome strategos under the emperors Trajan (98-117) and Hadrian (117-138 AD) from ca. 113 to 120 AD. He was instructed with the administration of the nome Apollonopolites Heptakomias. The documents written in Greek (the only exception is P.Brem. 85 [= Nr. 86] = P.65 in copte) contain administrative records as well as private and business letters. The importance of this collection results primarily from the genesis of the documents mainly around the strategos Apollonios.

Important Publications

Ulrich Wilcken: Die Bremer Papyri, Berlin 1936. (P.Brem.)
Handwritten prelimanary works of Ulrich Wilcken concerning the papyri of Bremen are also digitally available here.

Maehler, Herwig: Zwei neue Bremer Papyri, in: Chronique dÉgypte – Bulletin périodique de la Fondation Égyptologique reine Élisabeth, publié avec le concours du ministère de l ́éducation nationale et de la culture et de la fondation universitaire de Belgique, vol. 41, no. 81, Brussels 1966, pp. 342-353.

Böhme, Moritz: Die Texte des Apollonius-Archivs, in: Schmitt, Tassilo / Moritz Böhme (Edd.): Welt aus Schnipseln. Papyrus-Texte aus dem Alten Ägypten, Bremen 2007, pp. 68 – 86.

Elsmann, Thomas: Die ‚Bremer Papyri’ – Zur Geschichte einer Sammlung, in: Schmitt, Tassilo / Moritz Böhme (Edd.): Welt aus Schnipseln. Papyrus-Texte aus dem Alten Ägypten, Bremen 2007, pp. 53 – 56.

Kruse, Thomas: „Es grüßt Dich die Kleine und sie lernt ausdauernd...“ Die Welt der Bremer Papyri. Vortrag beim Freundeskreis der Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Bremen am 6. Dezember 2007, Bremen 2007 ( hier )

Essler, Holger / Hermes-Wladarsch, Maira: Zur Erwerbung der Bremer Papyrussammlung und des Apollonios-Archives, in: Archiv für Papyrusforschung und verwandte Gebiete, issue 2, 2015, S. 431 - 481

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