Reading the Liver: Papyrological Texts on Ancient Greek Extispicy

Studien und Texte zu Antike und Christentum No. 94

Parables and Rhetoric in the Sermon on the Mount

By: William Furley & Victor Gysembergh
October 2015
Mohr Siebeck
Distributed by Coronet Books
ISBN: 9783161538902
129 Pages, Illustrated
$62.50 Paper original


William Furley and Victor Gysembergh have compiled an edition with introduction and commentary of all known papyrus fragments relating to the ancient Greek entrails. There are fragments of ancient treatises on the subject, although they originate from the Egypt of the first centuries AD, but reflect the state of knowledge of earlier times in total Greek space. Of particular interest is the mysterious language of the priests in this area, which represents the sheep liver as a microcosm of man and his environment. The authors in particular the question of whether and to what extent the ancient Greek entrails back directly to Mesopotamian models, as is often claimed in the research.The results throw an interesting light on ancient reception processes between Greece and its eastern neighbors.