Oxyrhynchus is the name of the chief town of an ancient district in Middle Egypt, on the west bank of the Bahr Yusuf west of the , at modern Bahnasa. So called by the after a fish worshiped there, it became famous particularly through the excavations for papyri carried out by B. P. Grenfell and A. S. Hunt in the winter of 1896-1897 and in the years 1903-1907. The excavations were so productive that this site is first in Egypt for its yields of .

The papyri are chiefly Greek documents and literary texts from the time of Augustus down to the , which are currently being published in the series Oxyrhynchus Papyri. The literary finds are of particular importance. In addition to the Greek texts, there are texts in and , but only a few in Coptic have become known (, 1927; Kahle, 1898; Quecke, 1974).


  • Bell, H. I. Egypt from Alexander the Great to the . , 1948.
  • Crum, W. E. “Some Further Meletian Documents.” Journal of Egyptian 13 (1927):25f.
  • Fikhman, I. F. Oksirinkh. Moscow, 1976.
  • Kahle, P. E. Bala’izah I, p. 236, n. 2. London, 1954.
  • Oxyrhynchus Papyri. London, 1898-; 55 vols. to date.
  • Preisendanz, K. Papyrusfunde und Papyrusforschung, esp. pp. 137-41. Leipzig, 1933.
  • Quecke, H. In Papiri della Universita degli Studi di Milano, Vol. 5, 1974. 87ff. Milan, 1974.
  • Turner, E. G. “Roman Oxyrhynchus.” Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 38 (1952):78-93.


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