Wednesday, October 12, 2011


S. Daris, Dizionario dei nomi geografici e topografici dell'Egitto greco-romano, supplemento 5 (2006-2009). Studi di Egittologia e di Papirologia 8. Pisa/Roma: Fabrizio Serra editore, 2010. Pp. 115. ISBN 9788862273633. €165.00 (pb).

Reviewed by Amin Benaissa, University of Oxford (

Version at BMCR home site

The Dizionario dei nomi geografici e topografici dell'Egitto greco-romano is a familiar reference work to all papyrologists and historians of Graeco-Roman Egypt. Launched in 1935 by Aristide Calderini, its goal has been to collect 1) all Egyptian toponyms attested in Greek and Latin texts, both literary and documentary (papyri, ostraca, inscriptions), and 2) toponyms from other parts of the ancient world mentioned in documents from Egypt. Its chronological framework spans roughly the period from the beginning of the Ptolemaic dynasty to the Islamic conquest of Egypt (c. 300 BCE-750 CE), but does not exclude some earlier or later Greek authors (e.g. Herodotus) and documents. The toponyms assembled range in scope from cities and villages to streets and canals. Calderini died in 1968, leaving only the two fascicules (1935, 1966) covering toponyms beginning with the letter alpha, but the project was taken over by Sergio Daris, who completed it in 1987, totaling five volumes in fifteen fascicules. Daris has since industriously produced four supplements at more or less regular intervals (1988, 1996, 2003, 2007), which incorporate newly published documents, more recent bibliography, and corrections. The present volume is the fifth supplement in the series and covers publications that appeared between 2006 and 2009, but also includes some works or corrections predating 2006 that were missed in earlier supplements.

The supplement follows the format of its predecessors. Toponyms are listed alphabetically. In its bare essence, each entry contains a chronologically ordered list of the literary text(s) and/or document(s) in which the toponym appears and a bibliography (including references to entries in the main Dizionario and past supplements where relevant). These are complemented when appropriate by sub-entries providing information on graphic variants, the designation of the toponym, location, topographical features, officials, religion, etc. In the case of well-documented cities like Arsinoitôn polis and Oxyrhynchôn polis, the entries can be quite substantial. The bibliographies of cities or villages that have been recently excavated (e.g. Antinoou polis, Bacchias, Soknopaiou Nêsos, Tebtynis) usefully integrate the archaeological literature.

Entries or sections thereof marked by an asterisk have been largely or completely rewritten: Athychis (citations); Alabastrôn polis (citations); Halmyras (no. 2); Antinoitês (citations); Dioskouriou; Elaiourgou topos (no. 1); Theodosioupolis (citations) and Theodosioupolitês; Kepro; Lênou; Xenônos klêros (no. 5); Pônis; Soulis; Tamauis; Terythis (nos. 1, 4); Têrbis; Phermouthis; Chômêniakê diôryx (citations). Entries marked by a crux indicate nomina delenda vel corrigenda: Ad….oui; Hadrianê ousia; Athêle; Ailêou; Aleê; Apatê (one citation); Apiônos; Bia; Bmeth; Bykis; Dermeithai; Ensen; Hermoêrakleous; Hermônos (no. 1); Euêmerou klêros; Eumyria; Eu.ta; Zagê; Zênônos (no. 3); Hêrakleous klêros (nos. 2-3); Thôlthis (no. 4a); Hiera Ochis; Ipenno( ); Isiastôn klêros; Ich..nos; Karab( ); Kelthô; Kelintaathe; Mysouleê[; Neukêseu[; Nêdymou; Nileus; Nombina; Patamousou; Paulou (no. 3); Plousiou; Potô( ); Pounis; Psarakôle; Psarakôte; Sinach; Taaphôrou; Tapame( ); Temtopô; Teoremmais; Tepachôs; Têrkeôs; Tiaôthis; Tynis; Hypanta; Phantô; Pheiô( ); Phylakê; Phylakitikou; Chro[; Psylis; Ôbthis.1 The great number of these is mostly the result of the useful list of topographical 'ghost names' drawn up recently by H. Verreth, A Survey of Toponyms in Egypt in the Graeco-Roman Period (Version 1.0; Köln/Leuven 2008) 641-59.

The following are some minor corrections and additions:

p. 14 s.v. Amyntou: add P.Oxy. VII 1053.29 as corrected in Rural Settlements of the Oxyrhynchite Nome (Version 1.0; Köln/Leuven 2009) s.v. Amyntou. The entry for Amêntos in Diz. vol. I should be accordingly deleted.

p. 17 s.vv. Apollinopolitês, Apollônos polis no. 3: for 'Kom Isfhat' read 'Kom Isfaht'.

p. 18 s.vv. Arkadia, Arkas: add to the bibliography Tyche 22 (2007) 216-17 (on the titulature of the province).

p. 29 s.v. Dioskouriou: for 'P.Oxy. XIX 2231' read 'P.Oxy. XIX 2241'.

p. 33 s.v. Hermou polis, under 'Pop(olazione)': the title of the work edited by W. Jongman and M. Kleijwegt (Leiden 2002) is not given: After the Past: Essays in Ancient History in Honour of H.W. Pleket. One can add to the bibliography of this section H. Harrauer, P.Worp 25 (on the family of Hyperechios).

p. 33 s.v. Hermônthis: the reference under 'Rel(igione)' to a 'lettore nella chiesa del sito' is puzzling, since only one Ptolemaic document appears under 'Cit(azioni)'. The relevant late antique document, the graffito SB IV 7490.3, is actually cited under the next entry of Hermônthitês (SB 7490 does not in fact seem to contain the name of the nome). The graffito was also published as SEG VIII 735.

p. 44 s.v. Thynis under 'Rel(igione)': correct the rough breathing over euktêrion to a smooth breathing.

p. 44 s.v. Tholthis no. 4a: it is unclear why the corrections 'Phthôchis' and 'Thelbô' are not given their own entries.

p. 47 s.v. Istrou: add to the bibliography the reference to the full edition of P.Oxy. III 630 descr. in ZPE 160 (2007) 193f.

p. 50 s.v. Kapistotelous klêros: see now ZPE 173 (2010) 190 (admittedly outside the time-frame of this supplement).

p. 52 s.v. Kerkeura: for 'P.Worp 22.6' read 'P.Worp 22.1'.

p. 62 s.v. Monimou: add to the bibliography the reference to the full edition of P.Oxy. III 628-9 descr. in ZPE 160 (2007) 191-3.

p. 81 s.v. Petachor: the new reading of BGU VIII 1808.33 (cf. p. 98 s.v. Tepachôs) should be listed under this entry.

p. 81 s.v. Petnê: add to the bibliography the reference to the full edition of P.Oxy. III 631 descr. in ZPE 160 (2007) 194f. 'Graf: Πεενούρεωϲ' belongs to the preceding entry of Petenouris rather than that of Petnê; moreover, I have indicated in ZPE 170 (2009) 190 that this supposed graphic variant is illusory and a simple typo in SB XXVI 16570.61.

p. 82 s.v. Plageriô: the first item cited in the bibliography (JJP 35 (2005) 93–7) does not belong here and is probably a doublet from the entry Plelô below.

p. 88 s.v. Senekeleu: the editor of P.Oxy. LXXII 4864 argued that the grammateus praktorôn mentioned in the text did not necessarily exercise his function in this village.

p. 89 s.v. Seryphis: add to the bibliography BL XII 126 (on P.Mich. XVIII 792.9).

p. 90 s.v. Skô: add to the bibliography BL XII 183 (on SB I 5806.14).

p. 100 s.v. Toou: delete first 'LXXII'.

p. 101 s.v. Tychinpsalbô: delete 'P.Oxy. LXXIV 5000.4, 9', a doublet from the preceding entry.

p. 107 s.v. Phobôou: add to the bibliography ZPE 170 (2009) 186-7 (on P.Iand. VI 95.13).

In today's digital age, it is inevitable that scholars can compile more up-to-date lists of attestations of toponyms with the help of online resources such as the database 'Places' of the Trismegistos project, the searchable Duke Database of Documentary Papyri (now more regularly updatable by users), the Heidelberger Gesamtverzeichnis der griechischen Papyrusurkunden Ägyptens, and the Heidelberg WörterListen. These tools already incorporate some recent publications and corrections that will take a few years to make it to the next supplement. Nevertheless, the supplements to the Dizionario remain indispensable reference works and useful complements to the above resources, especially for the rich bibliography they offer on the better attested cities and villages.


1.   In the case of nomina delenda, when a cross-reference is made to the entry in which the corrected form appears, it is unclear whether the relevant entry is to be found in the same volume, the main Dizionario, or previous supplements: thus, the reference to Lourianê ousia s.v. Hadrianê ousia should be to Suppl. 1; that to Peenpibykis s.v. Bykis should be to Diz. vol. IV; that to Thragê (SPP XX 121.23) s.v. Zagê should be to Suppl. 1; that to Ochis s.v. Hiera Ochis should be to Diz. vol. III; that to Psycheônos s.v. Ich..nos should be to Suppl. 3; that to Kollitaathyr (CPR I 156.3) s.v. Kelintaathe should be to Suppl. 3.

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