Francesca Corazza, M.A.

Francesca Corazza started a PhD Fellowship in Papyrology and Ancient Medicine at Topoi in November 2012. As Master’s degree she passed her thesis defense entitled “Euripide fr. 953c Kannicht e le seconde versioni euripidee”, concerning with the text transmitted to us by P. Hibeh II 179, which has been suggested as an alternative version of the Euripides’ Herakles. A direct inspection of the original papyrus housed in the British Library and an examination of high-resolution digital images have resulted in a number of improvements in the papyrus transcription. She got also experience in deciphering and editing papyri and to provide digital papyrological editions. She is involved as a PhD student within the Programme “History of Ancient Science” (HistAS) of the Berlin Graduate School of Ancient Studies (BerGSAS) under the supervision of Philip van der Eijk, and started a cooperation with the Papyrussammlung of Berlin Neues Museum. Her research project is entitled “The missing link: Medicine in Late Antiquity according to the evidence of Greek Papyri”, and involves a philological and cultural analysis of the whole corpus of late-antique medical papyri, dated between the 4th and the 7th century, with a particular attention to the unpublished material. Evidence from Roman Egypt can be useful in to attempt to obtain a better view of writers and readers for ancient medical texts, because medicine in late antiquity must assume a firm historical and social context. Thus, it seems to be fair to employ a carefully balanced approach, which will necessarily include medicine and allied areas, philology and history. Considering the function of such texts, starting from the language they employ and their material conditions would be also a way to understand the methods and theories of practicing and teaching medicine in late antiquity. The value of papyrus evidence is to preserve the formal adherence of writing and content to its destination, whatever the dignity of the genre to which it belonged — literary works as well as texts related to current communication — and the attested range of known words, the appearance of new ones, or their scholarly understanding, can change radically with the publication of new texts. Indeed, the intersection of these different lines of enquiry in medical papyri of late antiquity appears of particular interest in a number of respects, and tie with debates in various other areas of the ancient science.

Activities