Description of the Collection
The Giessen Papyrus Collections consist of three collections of papyri and one collection of ostraca, which have been united in the university library
over time. In substance they were established with the help of the Deutsches Papyruskartell
before Word War I.
The oldest collection was founded by the (then Giessen) ancient historian Ernst Kornemann (1868-1946) and the Giessen industrialist Wilhelm Gail
(1854-1925) in the Museum des Oberhessischen Geschichtsvereins
at Giessen between 1902 and 1913: the Papyri Gissenses (P. Giss.)
Its most famous piece is an early copy of the
which was issued by the emperor Caracalla in 212. Around the same time Kornemann and Gail acquired a collection of ostraca, the Ostraca Gissensia (O. Giss.)
Since the P. Giss. were not available for research and teaching at the university itself the classicists Otto Immisch (1862-1936) and Alfred Körte
(1866-1946) founded their own collection at the university library in 1908, the Papyri Bibliothecae Universitatis Gissensis (P.B.U.G.)
A third collection, established in 1905, was originally a private collection of the Giessen classicist Karl Kalbfleisch (1868-1946), who named it -
after his grandfather Karl Reinhold Janda - the Papyri Iandanae (P. Iand.)
. It was donated to the university library by will. Its most important
piece is a very early fragment of Cicero's
'Speeches against Verres'
The collections contains more than 2.800 pieces, which date from the 4th century BC to the 8th century AD. Among others they consist of administrative
correspondence, literary and religious texts, legal material, receipts, accounts and many letters. Most of them are written in ancient Greek, but
there are also writings in Hieroglyphic, Hieratic, Demotic, Latin, Coptic and Arabic. 3 wax-tablets are especially noteworthy.
Descriptions of the Giessen Papyrus Collections and most publications of their papyri and ostraca are available online and can be accessed
Schmitz, Philip: Die Giessener Zenonpapyri (P.Iand.Zen.). Paderborn 2007 (Abhandlungen der Nordrhein-Westfälischen Akademie der Wissenschaften:
Sonderreihe Papyrologica Coloniensia; 32).