Union Académique Internationale

Corpus of Greek and Latin philosophical papyri

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Project nº42, adopted in 1987

The project «Corpus of Greek and Latin philosophical Papyri: Texts and Lexicon» (CPF) has been running since 1983: it aims to collect the papyri discovered in Egypt from Greco-Roman times preserving Greek and Latin texts concerning philosophy. Promoted by the Accademia Toscana di Scienze e Lettere «La Colombaria» (Florence), by the UAN and by the UAI, it has received financial support over the years from the National Center for Research (CNR) and from the Ministero per l’Istruzione e la Ricerca Universitaria, according to which the CPF was a «research project of national importance». About the founding criteria of the work see the Preface of the first volume (CPF I.1) by Francesco Adorno on the web site, where you can also find the detailed plan of the work, and the content of the individual volumes, together with the list of all CPF and STCPF collaborators. The model for publications in the series is one entry for each papyrus. The text is analyzed, starting from a paleographical and bibliological description of the papyrus, then the Greek text is presented with apparatuses, translation (in case of authors lacking a medieval mss. tradition), and commentary. The entries are prepared by individual scholars with combined skills in papyrology and in the history of philosophy or philology, or else scholars team up to produce a high level edition. Collaborators include both the best-qualified Italian scholars and many foreign scholars from various overseas universities. The final appraisal of contributions is done by the editorial board (for the scientific commitee, see the web site). Starting from the Hellenistic age and continuing to the end of the Roman age, the CPF collects in Part I the philosophical texts on papyrus of known authors (most of them covered by medieval transmission), provided with biographical and doxographical references. Alongside these are also included fragments of authors not strictly considered as ‘philosophers’ in the modern history of philosophy but deemed in antiquity to have had an influence on the field of philosophy, such as Isocrates and Galen (see vol. I.2) and Xenophon or Plutarch (I.2, forthcoming). A specific volume was dedicated to Commentaries, an important genre in philosophy. The two last volumes to have appeared collect papyrus fragments of the so-called ‘gnomic’ literature, a field of moral precepts, which is on the borderline between philosophy and teaching tools. This was of great importance for high school education and for the spiritual training of individuals. Part II.1: Unattributed Fragments is currently being prepared; it deals with philosophical fragments classified in the repertoires as ‘philosophical subject’ but not immediately assignable to an author. The most important schools of antiquity are involved. It will be the most interesting volume of the series, in so far as it represents a collection never before undertaken, even in part, in the field of papyrology or of ancient philosophy, and which therefore represents a vital tool for attaining an overview of the philosophical material preserved on papyrus. Twelve volumes have appeared so far (to date - 2018 - including indexes and tables). In addition, a series of separate studies has been created for the investigation in depth of individual topics and the publication of commented editions of individual fragments, stemming from the analysis of papyri published in the CPF with a brief commentary. In this series, entitled «Studi e Testi per il Corpus dei Papiri Filosofici» (STCPF), eighteen volumes have been published so far. Many of the preliminary studies or editions prepared for the CPF have brought notable progress to the study of authors like Isocrates or the so-called Anonymus Londiniensis, P.Lond. inv. 137 (edited by D. Manetti, in the Teubner series), Menandri Sententiae (the text based on a new collation of all the codices with new editions of unpublished recensions, edited by C. Pernigotti, STCPF, vol. 15) or the first edition of the Derveni Papyrus (T. Kouremenos, G. Parássoglou, K. Tsantsanoglou, STCPF, vol. 13) and the new edition and commentary of the first columns of the Papyrus with the unique reconstruction of the roll by V. Piano (STCPF, voll. 17 and 18); in the CPF volumes, new editions of authors known only from the papyrus tradition, like Antiphon, the Stoic Hierocles, or the famous Commentary on the Theaetetus, have made enormous contributions, both from a papyrological and from a philosophical point of view.