Herculaneum Papyri

Most interesting news to me was the existance of research on papyri from Herculaneum (Pompeii) by Richard Janko of the University College London. It appears that thanks to new digital scanning technics (archeological MSI) it is possible to read texts that survived the eruption of the Vesuvius. See the Philodemus Project. The Inaugural Lecture of Janko (October 1996) emphasizes the importance of knowledge of the Ancients, especially the Greeks:

The classical Greeks had no sacred text, no Bible or Koran, whose meaning had to be fought over in struggles for ideological or religious dominance. This is the most important fact about them; together with their political fragmentation into independent city-states, separated from each other by inlets, seas and mountains, this lack created that atmosphere of open debate about ideas – political, religious and philosophical – which led after long delays and detours to the rise of modern civilization.

Somehow this reminds me of the Internet, with its fragmentation and debates.

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