The Center for the Tebtunis Papyri

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The Center for the Tebtunis Papyri

Berkeley and Regional Partners Database Help Screen

Searching the Database

To search the database, click in the appropriate index (box) of the Search Screen, and then type the name, word, topic, or number by which you wish to query the database. Next click on "Search". You may enter text in more than one index (box). For example, typing "Menches" in the Personal Name/Author box, and "Kerkeosiris" in the Geographical Name box, then clicking on "Search," will retrieve texts by the village scribe Menches in which Kerkeosiris is mentioned. Entering "94 A.D" in the Year/Earliest Year index and "Mecheir" in the Keyword index would retrieve a text from 94 A.D. written in the Egyptian month Mecheir. To clear the Search Screen, click on "Reset".

It is usually only necessary to enter a key word in any index, for example, "Pakebkis" not "Pakebkis, Son of Marsisouchos"; "Ptolemy VIII" not "Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II". Truncation also can be used. For example, entering "mam" in the Personal Name/Author index would retrieve "Mamertinos", "Mamerteinos," and "Mamertinos (Perfect)"; "Trajan" would retrieve both "Trajan" and "Trajanus", facilitating searching variant word forms. Asterisks should not be used.

The default arrangement (sort) of retrieved works is by author/title. By clicking on "Call Number" or "Year" in the SORT BY drop-down menu before clicking on "Search," retrieved texts will be arranged by Call Number (Inventory Number), or by Year.


In transliterating Greek personal and geographical names, the following rules have been applied:

  • Epsilon and eta -> e
  • Omicron and omega -> o
  • Upsilon -> y, except in au, eu, and ou, where it has been rendered as u
  • Zeta -> z
  • Theta -> th
  • Xi -> x
  • Phi -> ph
  • Chi -> ch
  • Psi -> ps

Roman personal names are given in their Latin transliteration: Flavius (not Phlaouios); Julius (not Ioulios).

Call Number

An index of the Call numbers (Inventory/Publication numbers) under which texts are shelved. It is necessary only to enter the number in the box, not necessarily the alphabetic designation, for example "0025" not "P.Tebt.0025". Entering "25" would retrieve not only 0025 but also 0125, 0225, etc.

Examples of complete Bancroft Library Papyri call numbers, with alphabetic designations:

  • O.Berk.01 -> ostrakon not from Tebtunis (always two digits)
  • P.Berk.02 -> papyrus not from Tebtunis (always two digits)
  • P.Hearst 01 -> The Hearst Medical Papyrus
  • O.Tebt.26 -> ostrakon from Tebtunis (always two digits)
  • P.Tebt.0591 -> papyrus from Tebtunis (always four digits)
  • P.Tebt.Frag.07,846 ->papyrus from Tebtunis (always five digits)
  • P.Tebt.UC 1604 -> papyrus from Tebtunis (always four digits)
  • P.Tebt.Tin 01 -> papyrus from Tebtunis (always two digits)
  • Pahlavi.001 -> Pahlavi texts (always three digits)
  • T.Tebt.01 -> tablet from Tebtunis (always two digits)

Personal Name/Author

An index of personal names such as Onnophris, Apollonios, or Sophocles; authors, and recipients of letters, receipts, accounts, and other documents. Where there are many names associated with a text, such as a land survey, not all have been indexed. Generally, where four or more names are given, only the first three or names judged prominent because identified by more than a name (officials, etc.) and persons that feature in several texts have been indexed. Names, functions and occupations have been transliterated according to the rules outlined above (e.g. basilikos grammateus, komarches, hiereus, etc.); however, well known literary or historical names are generally given in standard English form, such as Homer, Virgil, Cleopatra, or Augustus.

It is usually only necessary to enter a key word, for example "Pakebkis" not "Pakebkis, Son of Marsisouchos".

Personal names have the following patterns:

  • Aurelius Sarapion
  • Ptolemy IX Soter II, King of Egypt
  • Gordian III, Emperor of Rome
  • Dictys, Cretensis
  • Petesouchos alias Ammonios
  • Harmiysis (Komarches of Kerkeosiris)
  • Horion, Son of Apollonios
  • Thaubastis, Daughter of Maron

Roman personal names are given in their Latin transliteration: Flavius (not Phlaouios); Julius (not Ioulios).

NOTE: All personal names associated with a text do not appear in the brief view. Names other than the author, or first author, appear under "Persons" in the detailed view.

Geographical Name

An index of geographical names according to their occurrence in the text, using the rules of transliteration outlined above (with the exception of Tebtunis and Alexandria), as listed in the drop-down menu. The capital of the Arsinoite nome occurs as Ptolemais Euergetis, Krokodilon polis, Arsinoe, and Arsinoiton polis; similarly with other variant names for the same place. Where there are many place names associated with a text, such as a land survey, not all have been indexed. Generally, where four or more place names are given in the text, only the first three or places judged prominent because featured in several texts have been indexed. Occasionally, as in land surveys, the larger area has been given instead of many villages (e.g., Arsinoites nomos, rather than Kerkeosiris, etc.).


An index of forms of texts (such as Accounts, Private letters, Registers), types of legal documents (such as Contracts, Leases), literary forms (such as Epic poems, Plays), and physical characteristics (such as Figure drawings, Ostraka). See the drop-down menu of genre terms in use.


Most full records include one or more topical subject terms. See the drop-down menu of topical subject terms in use. One can also search on a subject or topic not in that list by entering it in the Keyword index. The search can be narrowed geographically by also entering a place name in the Geographical Name index, for instance entering "Crown land" in the Subject index, and "Kerkeosiris" in the Geographical Name index. Similarly, to search for multiple subjects, such as land surveys of both Temple land and Cleruchic land, enter one term in the Subject index from the pull-down menu, and the other term in the Keyword index.


The Tebtunis papyri contain several groups of papyri which can either be traced back to a single archive (collection of papers around an individual, family, or office assembled in antiquity) or can be collected to form a dossier (modern artificial assemblage of papers related to a person or group). This index allows searching on such groups as listed in the drop-down menu.


The Tebtunis Papyri, and other holdings, include papyri that are related by provenance, that is, place of discovery. For instance, many come from crocodile cartonnage, from houses in the town of Tebtunis, or from human mummies. This index allows searching on provenance by groups (such as mummy cartonnage) as listed in the drop-down menu, and also individual numbers within each group (last section of drop-down menu).

Year or Earliest/Latest Year

This index enables searching by the year or approximate years in which a papyrus was written. Years are entered according to the Gregorian calendar designation. For searching regnal periods or a specific month of the Egyptian calendar, use the Keyword index, and enter the name of the ruler (for example, Ptolemy VIII or Augustus) or the name of the month.

Year or Earliest Year: Here is entered the specific year or century period in which a text was written, or earliest possible year.

Examples of single years, or specific century periods.

  • 138 B.C.
  • 239 A.D.
  • ca. 56 B.C.
  • ca. 187 A.D.
  • 3rd century B.C.
  • Early 4th century B.C.
  • Mid 2nd century A.D.
  • Late 3rd century A.D.

Latest Year: A more advanced search, use of this index allows searching on varying ranges of years. For this search, the date is a range of years, the earliest possible year is entered in Year or Earliest Year index, the latest possible year in Latest Year index. This includes specific regnal years For this search do not use any alphabetic text, and designate B.C. years with a minus sign (for example, "-140", not "140 B.C.") in both search boxes.

Examples of ranges of years: the first going in "Earliest Year", the second in "Latest Year".

  • Between 204 and 181 B.C. -> -204 and -181
  • Between 126 and 138 A.D. -> 126 and 138
  • 140/139 B.C. -> -140 and -139
  • 189/190 A.D. -> 189 and 190
  • 19th year of King Ptolemy V Epiphanes (187/186 B.C.) -> -187 and -186
  • 3rd year of the Emperor Domitian (83/84 A.D.) -> 83 and 84


This index can be used for a more general search. It searches on various text fields in each record, as well as the translation of texts where provided. Here one can search for specific Egyptian months, the ruler designating a certain reign (for example, Ptolemy VIII, or Augustus), for broader or more specific words than those listed in the Subject pull-down list, for specific scripts used (such as regular cursive, small uncial, or unpracticed hand), for physical properties (such as protokollon or join), etc.


This index retrieves texts by language, as listed in the pull-down menu.

UC Inventory Number

This index retrieves texts by the University of California (UC) four digit inventory number. These were assigned to individual vinylite mounts (each containing one or more fragments) rather than texts in 1940 when part of the collection was mounted in vinylite, so that a given text may have several UC numbers (for example, two separate short texts mounted in one vinylite frame), or the same number may represent several texts (for example, those on recto and verso of one papyrus).

APIS ID Number

This index retrieves texts by the APIS ID number found in the APIS Union Database at Columbia University. Enter only the numeric designation; for example "25", not "berkeley.apis.25".

Holding Institution

Use to restrict search to texts held only by The Bancroft Library, or by one of its APIS partners, as listed in the drop-down menu.

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