Ancient writing systems in the Mediterranean

A critical guide to electronic resources


- (7th century BC – 5th century AD)

Online resources

Institutions, centers for study and research

  1. Dime On-line - Prosopografia di Soknopaiou Nesos

  2. The Demotic Dictionary Project
    The dictionary, edited by the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, is not yet complete; all the same, twenty-three letters have been published.
  3. The Demotic Palaeographical Database
    Site of the project on Demotic palaeography maintained by Heidelberg University. The site provides a corpus and a palaeographic section containing regional variations and maps.

Study and research centers

  1. Princeton University
    The site is part of the APIS Project (Advanced Papyrological Information System) at Princeton University and in collaboration with Columbia University, Duke University, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Michigan and Yale University.
  2. Università di Lecce, Centro di Studi Papirologici - Papiri Demotici
    The Center for Papyrology - Demotic Papyri at the University of Lecce was founded in 1992 by Prof. Mario Capasso. It has initiated a number of interesting projects in papyrology, including the Papyrus Collection of the University of Lecce, the journal Studi Papirologici Papyrologica Lupiensia, and a critical edition of the Corpus of Greek and Latin Historical Papyri. Since 1996 it is involved in the "Progetto PUL" (Papyrologica Universitatis Lupiensis), for the digital reproduction and electronic use of papyri and of the critical editions of the Center. Here photographs of ten Demotic papyri can be found.
  3. Leids Payrologisch Instituut
    Page of the Leiden Papyrological Institute on the institute's activities with a special section on the publications of its collections of Greek, Latin, Demotic and abnormal hieratic papyri as well as of other international collections.

Academic materials

  1. Demotische Wortliste Online
    Database in which it is possible to do online research of transcribed Demotic words, edited by the Demotist Friedhelm Hoffmann. Research can be done by whole or partial words, and by determinatives.
  2. Johnson J.H., Thus Wrote 'Onchsheshonqy - An Introductory Grammar of Demotic, SAOC 45, 2000

  3. Johnson J-H., The Demotic Verbal System, 2004

  4. M. Depaw, A Companion to Demotic Studies
    M. Depaw, A Companion to Demotic Studies, Brussels 1997, downloadable in PDF from the Ancient World Digital Library of the New York University


  1. The Digital Library of Inscriptions and Calligraphies - Bibliotheca Alexandrina


  1. VOLTEN A., Kopenhagener Texte zum Demotischen Weisheitsbuch (pap. Carlsberg II, III verso, IV verso und V), Analecta Aegyptiaca I, Einar Munksgaard, Kopenhagen 1940

  2. VOLTEN A., Das Demotische Weisheitsbuch. Studien und Bearbeitung, Analecta Aegyptiaca II, Einar Munksgaard, Kopenhagen 1941

  3. VOLTEN A., Demotische Traumdeutung (pap. Carlsberg XIII und XIV verso), Analecta Aegyptiaca III, Einar Munksgaard, Kopenhagen 1942

  4. MAIRS R., A Bilingual Account from the Aswan Quarries (O.Brookl.Dem. 180 / P.Brookl. 81), in Proceedings of the Twenty-Fifth International Congress of Papyrology, Ann Arbor 2007, American Studies in Papyrology, Ann Arbor 2010, pp. 463-470

  5. Trismegistos Online Publications (TOP)

  6. CRUZ-URIBE, E. Saite and Persian Demotic Cattle Documents
    E. Cruz-Uribe, Saite and Persian Demotic Cattle Documents, Chico 1985, downloadable in PDF from the Ancient World Digital Library of the New York University
  7. WORP K.A., Greek, Greek/Demotic and Demotic Mummy Labels
    K.A. Worp, Greek, Greek/Demotic and Demotic Mummy Labels, Madrid 2017, downloadable in .pdf format from the site of the project Death on the Nile


  1. The great range of signs and ligatures and the wide differences in hand writing have to date discouraged a standardisation of Demotic and a subsequent creation of Demotic fonts for printing texts: the ostrakon and papyri editions frequently still have a parallel facsimile near the photos. The Chicago Demotic Dictionary itself also adopted the use of digital scans of each writing system, taken from pictures and facsimiles. A recent attempt to standardise was made by the editor of the site Egyptology Lessons, for the uniliteral signs only, therefore of limited use. The link points to a Dropbox folder

Museums and collections

  1. Papyrus und Ostraka Projekt: Halle, Jena, Leipzig

  2. DVCTVS - [Spanish] National Papyrological Funds

  3. Papyrus de la Bibliothèque de Genève

  4. BerlPap - Berliner Papyrusdatenbank

  5. Duke Papyrus Archive
    Images and description of the papyri of the Duke Collection.
  6. Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek - Katalog der Papyrussammlung
    The Papyrological Collection of the Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek, with more than 180,000 items, is one of the largest in the world. This digital catalogue, available only in German, offers images (front and back, with scale) of the published part of the Collection - mainly of papyri. Searches can be made chronologically, by name, by material, by language and by type of document. Edited by Sophie Kovarik
  7. The Papyrus Carlsberg Collection - University of Copenhagen
    This collection was founded in the 1930s by Prof. H. O. Lange. In 2003 it absorbed the Papyrus Hauniense Collection as well, which contains a number of Greek and Latin papyri. It contains nearly all of the Temple Library of Tebtunis (Fayyum, Egypt) and papyri from Edfu, Gebelein, Hawara, Hermopolis, Mendes, Philadelphia and Thebes
  8. Papyrus Portal

  9. Turin Papyrus Online Platform
    Catalogue of the papyrological collection of the Museo Egizio in Turin, with comprehensive entries, high-resolution images and a user-friendly and effective search tool. Eleven Demotic papyri are currently included.

Collections of texts and digital libraries

  1. Digital Egypt for Universities
    Excellent site, published by the University College of London and the Petrie Museum, and edited by Stephen Quirke, director of this museum. Offers four Demotic texts.
  2. Trismegistos
    An interdisciplinary portal of papyrological and epigraphical resources dealing with Egypt and the Nile valley between roughly 800 BC and AD 800. There are very rich databases of metadata on papyrus and parchment.
  3. Trismegistos Magic
    TM-Magic is the first thematic database hosted by Trismegistos and tries to fill a gap between projects such as the LDAB, HGV and BCD by collecting metadata of somewhat "dubious" nature: all things "religion", "ritual", "magic" and "divination" / "mantike". Trismegistos is an interdisciplinary portal of papyrological and epigraphical resources dealing with Egypt and the Nile valley between roughly 800 BC and AD 800.
  4. Leuven Database of Ancient Books (LDAB)
    This database storing metadata contains at the moment 15,543 Greek, Latin, Coptic and Demotic literary texts. The project is part of the portal Trismegistos which deals with texts in different writing systems from Egypt between 800 BC and 800 AD.
  5. Demotic and Abnormal Hieratic Texts (DAHT)
    This database (13,628 entries), part of the Multilingualism and Multiculturalism in Graeco-Roman Egypt project, is coordinated by the well-known Demotist M. Depauw on the basis of the earlier database of H.J. Thissen and of the Prosopographia Ptolemaica della Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (
  6. Perseus Digital Library
    Edited by Gregory Crane, Professor of Classics at Tufts University, this digital library offers texts of many different Greek and Latin classics, the papyri of the Duke Collection and some English Renaissance texts.
  7. ARTStor: Dura-Europos Documents

  8. Oriental Institute Demotic Ostraca Online (O.I.D.O.O.)
    Ongoing digital publication of about 900 Demotic ostraka from the Oriental Institute in Chicago. Links to the printed volumes can be found on the page but the database, accessible through the portal OCHRE, does not seem to work.


  1. Checklist of Editions of greek, latin, demotic and coptic papyri, ostraca and tablets
    A bibliographic database for monographs only (journal articles are mostly not listed) of documentary texts on papyrus, ostracon, parchment and wooden tablets in Greek, Latin, Demotic and Coptic. The Demotic section, which is edited with the greatest attention, includes reprints and new editions and it is in part based on the work of S. P. Vleeming and A.A. den Brinker (Checklist of Demotic Text Editions and Re-editions, Leiden 1993).
  2. Demotistische Literaturübersicht - Enchoria
    The Demotistische Literaturübersicht, published in the journal Enchoria since 1971, is an essential instrument for bibliographic research on Demotic. The online version of the database is edited by the Demotists H. J. Thissen, H. Felber, M. Depauw and F. Hoffmann. Like the entry below, this site is part of the Multilingualism and Multiculturalism in Graeco-Roman Egypt project .