Aspects of the socio-cultural, legal and religious life of Egypt


This line of research focuses on the analysis of religious-magical texts, on the one hand, and legal-administrative texts, on the other. These lines of analysis respond to the quantity, quality and importance of this type of documents in the collections where we work.

Our research on papyri of magical and religious content focuses on the edition of the texts and the study of their scope and contexts of production and use. These documents provide very interesting information on the spirituality and beliefs of the Egyptians from the Ptolemaic to the Byzantine period. The papyri studied are very diverse in their typology and languages. Given this particularity, for the study of the magical texts we have the collaboration of several national and international researchers: Miriam Blanco Cesteros, along with other members of DVCTVS, collaborates in the study of magical documents in Greek, Korshi Dosoo focuses on the edition and study of Coptic magical material and Marina Escolano-Poveda of the material in Demotic.

On the other hand, the analysis of the legal-administrative papyri is based on the study of legal papyri in order to understand their content and motivation and to identify the applicable law in each specific case. The variety of documents is also immense in this case: from loan receipts and private contracts of all kinds, to petitions to the authorities or procedural protocols. The study of this very rich documentation allows us to achieve a detailed knowledge of the complex bureaucratic and legal machinery of the Egyptians in Ptolemaic, Roman and Byzantine times, both in the private sphere and in their dealings with the administration. For this type of analysis we have the cooperation of international specialists in the different perspectives offered by the papyri, such as the interaction between different legal traditions in Antiquity (José Luis Alonso, Zurich University) or the study of the family in Greco-Roman Egypt (Jakub Urbanik, Warsaw University).