Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
THURSDAY, 24 APR 2014
11:45 AM Beirut time
Weather    
Beirut
22 °C
Blom Index
BLOM
1,214.01down
Art
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
Researchers find rare exchange of letters from 5th century Gaza Strip
A+ A-

GENEVA: Swiss researchers have uncovered a rare exchange of letters written in ancient Greek during the fifth century in what is now the Gaza Strip, the University of Fribourg said on Monday.

The discovery offers proof of a rich intellectual society in a region that is better known today for a bitter and bloody standoff between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, said one of the researchers, Professor Jacques Schamp.

Located amid mounds of manuscripts stored at the Marciana National Library in Venice and the French National Library in Paris, the unpublished texts from an ancient school of philosophy in Gaza were identified after a one-year search, he told AFP.

"They have helped us to learn about people that we knew nothing about until now," said Schamp, who conducted the work with his assistant doctor Eugenio Amato.

The oldest discovery is an exchange of letters between a philosopher called Procopius of Gaza who lived around the years 465 to 529 and a young, and until now unknown, lawyer called Megethios.

"The discovery is important because it is practically impossible today to get your hands on material dated from the fifth century," Fribourg University, which helped to fund the research, said in a statement.

Such correspondence was unprecedented, said Schamp, explaining that researchers sometimes found letters from a Mr. X addressed to a Mr. Y but never the response.

"Here, we really have an exchange with a letter from Mr X and a response from Mr Y. It is extremely rare. For me, it is the only case that I know of," he said.

The documents also offer fresh information on life in ancient Gaza.

"We see that there was an extremely rich intellectual life and that people knew Greek literature to an admirable level," said Schamp.

Researchers spend years hunting for unknown texts hidden among thousands of ancient manuscripts stored, sometimes without any records being made, at national libraries in major cities across Europe.

 
Home Art
 
     
 
Advertisement
Comments  

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement


Baabda 2014
Advertisement
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Multimedia
Images  
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Wednesday, April 23, 2014
View all view all
Advertisement
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Israel shows Zionism’s true colors
Michael Young
Michael Young
For Christians, blessed are the dividers
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
An Iran deal is close, but we’re not there yet
View all view all
Advertisement
cartoon
 
Click to View Articles
 
 
News
Business
Opinion
Sports
Culture
Technology
Entertainment
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS