Brill’s New Pauly

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(2,017 words)

I. Material

[German version]

A. Term and manufacture

The term papyrus was adopted into the European languages via the Greek πάπυρος/pápyros, lat. papyrus, and ultimately is the source of the modern terms for paper, Papier, papier, etc.  Papyrus is hypothetically derived from an (unattested) Egyptian *pa-prro ('that of the king'). Papyrus, an aquatic plant with a long stem and a triangular cross-section (Cyperus papyrus L.), was in its processed form a widespread writing material ('paper') in the ancient cultures of the Medi…

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Dorandi, Tiziano (Paris), Quack, Joachim (Berlin), Renger, Johannes (Berlin) and Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg), “Papyrus”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 26 March 2023 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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