On the History of Russian Papyrology: Editing Private Papyrus Letters in the Correspondence of G.F. Zereteli and P.V. Jernstedt

Chepel Elena Yu.

We publish for the first time select letters of G.F. Zereteli and P.V. Jernstedt that are related to their work on editing the papyri for vol. III of Papyri russischer und georgischer Sammlungen (Tiflis, 1930). In total, fifteen letters and postcards, now held in the personal archives of the two scholars in the St Petersburg branch of the Archive of the Russian Academy of Sciences and in the Georgian National Centre of Manuscripts in Tbilisi, are being published. The correspondence took place in 1927–1930 and concerns 14 private letters on papyri that were published in P.Ross.Georg. III, dating from Roman and Byzantine periods (III–VII AD). The correspondence between the two scholars is an important source for the history of papyrology in Russia. Furthermore, the correspondence reveals various aspects of the work of a papyrologist and points to difficult places in the papyri suggesting additional readings that were not included in the final version of the volume. The papyrus letters discussed in the correspondence include private letters to family and friends, business letters, official and collective petitions.

Keywords: Greek papyrology, Russian papyrological collections, history of papyrology, G.F. Zereteli (Tsereteli), P.V. Jernstedt