Images of the 29 Oxyrhynchus Papyri held by the Ambrose Swasey Library of the Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School. These Greek papyrus fragments date from the 1st to the 5th centuries A.D. Included are scriptural texts, personal letters, and legal instruments such as leases, contracts, and tax receipts, as well as early Christian writings and documents relating to Egyptian pagan religions.
Oxyrhynchus, a Greek-speaking district capital of the Roman Empire, was located on the Nile near the modern-day village of Bahnasa, Egypt, 125 miles south of Cairo. The dry climate proved an ideal preservative for these papyri, which document the social, religious, and administrative life of a late imperial city. However these are but a fraction of the mass of manuscripts recovered from Oxyrhynchus.
Thousands of these papyri were unearthed by British papyrologists Bernard P. Grenfell and Arthur S. Hunt, between 1893 and 1908, on expeditions sponsored by the Egypt Exploration Fund. These papyri are commonly known by the numbers and titles assigned by their discoverers, and have been published in the catalog which, at volume 67, remains a work in progress of the Egypt Exploration Society. For transcriptions of the texts or additional information on these papyri the viewer is referred to that catalog: Bernard P. Grenfell, and Arthur S. Hunt, et al., eds., The Oxyrhynchus Papyri. (London: Egypt Exploration Fund, 1898- ). For additional information on the images, contact the Ambrose Swasey Library of the Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, Rochester, New York.