The Derveni Papyrus: The oldest 'book' of Europe

Documentary heritage submitted by Greece and recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register in 2015.

© Photographic Archive of the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki
The Derveni papyrus.

The Derveni Papyrus is of immense importance not only for the study of Greek religion and philosophy, which is the basis for the western philosophical thought, but also because it serves as a proof of the early dating of the Orphic poems offering a distinctive version of Presocratic philosophers. The text of the Papyrus, which is the first book of western tradition, has a global significance, since it reflects universal human values: the need to explain the world, the desire to belong to a human society with known rules and the agony to confront the end of life. 

  • Year of submission: 2014
  • Year of inscription: 2015
  • Country: Greece
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