Papyrus Erzherzog Rainer

Documentary heritage submitted by Austria and recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register in 2001.

The 180.000 papyri in the collection at the Austrian National Library probably classify this treasure as the greatest of its kind in the world. The wide variety of writing materials and languages used in Egypt between 1500 B.C. (Egyptian book of the dead) and 1500 A.D. (printed haggadah in Hebrew) are one of the unique items in this collection. Many of the most important languages in the Old World exist in original writing in the collection: Examples include the Egyptian languages in their different forms: Hieroglyphics, Hieratic, Demotic and Coptic as well as Greek, Latin, Hebrew and Aramaic, Syriac, Pehlewi and Arabic. The contents of the papyri cover every aspect of life: literature, school texts, magic, religion, belief in an after life, legal matters, financial matters, military matters, medicine, books and writing. A separate papyrus museum, which opened in 1999 (53 show-cases, some 400 items) is an inviting occasion for the public to view exemplary treasures available.

  • Year of submission: 2001
  • Year of inscription: 2001
  • Country: Austria
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