Maybe This Is the Oldest Book

Over a year ago, we debated on this blog and on Twitter what was the oldest bound book in the work. See the first post: Is this the world's oldest bound book? and the second post: Older than the Oldest.

Some authoritative experts said the crown should not go to the Codex Vaticanus, a parchment bible which is still bound, but to the 102 battered and now separated pages of Pap.Hanna (the sole Hanna Papyrus), also known as P75, which is a little 3rd-century booklet containing most of the Gospels of Luke and John.

On July 18, all the extant pages of this booklet were placed online by the digitization program at the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana in Rome.

It's a battered little papyrus book from Egypt, originally sewn together in a codex and now kept between sheets of glass. This is among the most famous of the so-called Bodmer Papyri discovered in Egypt in 1952 and is an important source of the gospels within 200 years of their composition. It also contains an early Christian "brand logo", the Tau-Rho symbol or staurogram.

In all, 50 new items were placed online in this summer batch. Here is my full unofficial list:
  1. Cappon.229
  2. Cappon.297 
  3. Pap.Hanna (the bibliography page for this item still uses the former shelfmark, Pap.Bodmer.XIV-XV).
  4. Vat.ebr.25
  5. Vat.ebr.26
  6. Vat.ebr.27
  7. Vat.ebr.28
  8. Vat.ebr.30
  9. Vat.ebr.31
  10. Vat.ebr.214
  11. Vat.ebr.215
  12. Vat.ebr.220
  13. Vat.ebr.221
  14. Vat.ebr.222
  15. Vat.ebr.223
  16. Vat.ebr.225
  17. Vat.ebr.229
  18. Vat.ebr.232
  19. Vat.ebr.234
  20. Vat.ebr.235
  21. Vat.ebr.236
  22. Vat.ebr.239
  23. Vat.ebr.241
  24. Vat.ebr.242
  25. Vat.ebr.244
  26. Vat.ebr.247
  27. Vat.ebr.249
  28. Vat.ebr.252
  29. Vat.ebr.257
  30. Vat.ebr.260
  31. Vat.ebr.261
  32. Vat.ebr.262
  33. Vat.ebr.265
  34. Vat.ebr.266
  35. Vat.ebr.267
  36. Vat.ebr.268
  37. Vat.ebr.273
  38. Vat.ebr.275
  39. Vat.ebr.277
  40. Vat.ebr.279
  41. Vat.ebr.284
  42. Vat.ebr.285
  43. Vat.ebr.290
  44. Vat.ebr.292
  45. Vat.ebr.293
  46. Vat.ebr.295
  47. Vat.ebr.298
  48. Vat.ebr.299
  49. Vat.ebr.303
  50. Vat.lat.9973

This is Piggin's Unofficial List (PUL) number 60. If you have corrections or additions, please use the comments box below. Follow me on Twitter (@JBPiggin) for news of more additions to Digita Vaticana.

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