Italian Renaissance
Artists: A - L
Italian Renaissance
Artists: M - Z
Italian Renaissance
Other News in Art Glossary of Terms
Abstract Art
Elegant Fireplace Screens Oil Painting
Sculpture Reproductions Fine Art Puzzles


Find out how and why you should buy your
oil painting reproductions from Fine Art Touch.

World's Oldest Western Text Published, Greek Derveni Text Papyrus Scroll

Derveni Papyrus Scroll

The Derveni Text papyrus scroll, touted as being the oldest European book in the Western tradition and "the most significant new evidence about ancient Greek philosophy and religion since the Renaissance" has finally been officially published after being found 44 years ago. The translation of the papyrus scroll appears to have been carried out under a veil of secrecy, causing some speculation that those who possessed the papyrus scroll may have been unwilling to share the credit for its translation. Charred by the funeral pyre of its deceased owner, a Greek nobleman, the remains of the papyrus scroll were originally found in 1962 in a grave in northern Greece or Thessaloniki in a necropolis at Derveni. Thessaloniki was formerly Macedonia, home of Alexander the Great.

The translators of the papyrus scroll were unwilling to publish it until their translation of the 26 scrolls was complete. Unauthorized publications of the papyrus scroll have been released over the years, but it was only in October, 2006 that the official translation of the papyrus scroll was finally presented to the public by the museum. The Derveni Papyrus Scroll has been in the possession of scholars from Thessaloniki University since its discovery. They eventually called in other scholars from Cambridge and Oxford universities to aid in the translation of the papyrus scroll with the help of state-of-the-art micro-phase photography.

The translation of the Derveni Text papyrus scroll reveals a commentary on an Orphic poem recounting the mythological story of creation in which Night gives birth to Uranus, the first king. Uranus is then defeated by Cronus (time), and Zeus succeeds Cronus as king of the Gods. The papyrus scroll dates to around 340 BC, but it was perhaps written a century earlier. The papyrus scroll is housed in the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki.

Brenda Harness, Art Historian

For more information on Italian Renaissance Art and book recommendations, click here.


Search Query We accept Paypal

Welcome !

 We respect your privacy and  will never sell your personal information.

Click here to sign up for our newsletter.

Buy great
art books
at Amazon!