The Derveni Papyrus
A conversation with Richard Janko

In 1962, a half-burnt scroll was discovered in an excavated grave in Derveni, Greece. Richard is convinced that its contents shed valuable light on the often-overlooked culture wars of ancient Athens, demonstrating a clear presence of old-fashioned religious fundamentalism.

About Richard Janko:

Richard Janko is the Gerald F. Else Distinguished University Professor of Classical Studies at the University of Michigan. His work focuses primarily on Bronze Age Greece, ancient Greek epic, and ancient literary criticism.

Some Additional Resources:
Poetry as Initiation: The Center for Hellenic Studies Symposium on the Derveni Papyrus

By Ionna Papadopoulou (Editor) and Leonard Muellner (Editor)

The Derveni Papyrus: Cosmology, Theology and Interpretation

by Gabor Betegh

Studies on the Derveni Papyrus

by André Laks

Introducing the Ancient Greeks: From Bronze Age Seafarers to Navigators of the Western Mind

By Edith Hall

Reconstructing (again) the Opening of the Derveni Papyrus

Article by Richard Janko

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Video Chapters

Introduction (00:00)

Chapter 1: A Great Discovery Followed by Unparalleled Foot-Dragging

Chapter 2: Derveni Details (10:33)

Chapter 3: From Anaxagoras to Socrates (17:54)

Chapter 4: The Stirrings of Religious Fundamentalism (31:52)

Chapter 5: An Angry Poet’s Revenge? Diagoras as Derveni (39:04)

Chapter 6: Idealizing Democracy (53:32)

Chapter 7: Archaeological Speculations (59:59)

Credits (1:03:26)