Description of the Collection
The papyrus collection of the University of Würzburg consists now of 216 items. It thus belongs to the smaller collections in
Germany. The collection originates from a donation by the mathematician Geheimrat Friedrich Prym. This money enabled Ulrich
Wilcken to become member of the Deutsches Papyruskartell (1902-1914) and to acquire the papyri. All papyri were restored and
glazed by Hugo Ibscher in Berlin. They were subsequently sent to Würzburg in several instalments, the last arriving in 1988.
The continuous numeration of inventory numbers reaches 247, with a gap from 128-158. By far the largest part of the collection
(204 papyri) are Greek documents. There are also 5 Greek literary texts, 3 Coptic and 4 Arabic texts. The Greek documents span
from the 3rd century BC to the Arabic period; some Ptolemaic fragments also bear demotic writing.
The Würzburg collection holds parts of the Sarapion Archive and of the Archive of Soldiers of the numeri of Arsinoe. The most
prominent text in the collection is a fragment from
Sosylos' work Deeds of Hannibal
(P.Würzb.Inv. 1). It is important for its content, paleography and aspects of ancient book production. Thus this fragment has
been published separately shortly after its discovery. The only volume with editions both of the literary fragments and selected
documents from the Würzburg collection is by Wilcken (P.Wuerzb., 1935). A new volume with editions of further documents is
currently under preparation.
Wilcken, U., Ein Sosylos-Fragment in der Würzburger Papyrussammlung, Hermes 41, 1906, pp. 103-141.
Wilcken, U., Mitteilungen aus der Würzburger Papyrussammlung. Mit drei Tafeln (Berlin 1934. APAW 1933, 6).
Essler, H., Über die Würzburger Papyrussammlung, in: Proceedings of the 24th International Congress of Papyrology
Helsinki 1.-7.8.2004, Commentationes Humanarum Litterarum Volume 122 (2007), pp. 291-298.