A laurel wreath is a circular wreath made of interlocking branches and leaves of the bay laurel, an aromatic broadleaf evergreen, or from spineless butchers broom or cherry laurel. In Greek mythology, Apollo is represented wearing a wreath on his head. Whereas ancient laurel wreaths are most often depicted as a horseshoe shape, in common modern idiomatic usage it refers to a victory. In some countries the laurel wreath is used as a symbol of the masters degree, the wreath is given to young masters at the university graduation ceremony. The word laureate in poet laureate refers to the laurel wreath, the medieval Florentine poet and philosopher Dante Alighieri, a graduate of the Sicilian School, is often represented in paintings and sculpture wearing a laurel wreath. In Italy, the term laureato is used in to refer to any student who has graduated, right after the graduation ceremony, or laurea in Italian, the student receives a laurel wreath to wear for the rest of the day. This tradition originated at the University of Padua and has spread in the last two centuries to all Italian universities, at Connecticut College in the United States, members of the junior class carry a laurel chain, which the seniors pass through during commencement.
It represents nature and the continuation of life from year to year, at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, USA, laurel has been a fixture of commencement traditions since 1900, when graduating students carried or wore laurel wreaths. In 1902, the chain of laurel was introduced, since then, tradition has been for seniors to parade around the campus, carrying. The mountain laurel represents the bay used by the Romans in wreaths. At Reed College in Portland, United States, members of the senior class receive laurel wreaths upon submitting their senior thesis in May, the tradition stems from the use of laurel wreaths in athletic competitions, the seniors have crossed the finish line, so to speak. In Sweden, those receiving a doctorate or a doctorate at the Faculty of Philosophy. In Finland, in University of Helsinki a laurel wreath is given during the ceremony of conferral for masterss degree, doctors wear special kind of Doctoral hat. The laurel wreath is a motif in architecture, furniture.
The laurel wreath is seen carved in the stone and decorative works of Robert Adam, and in Federal, Directoire. In decorative arts, especially during the Empire period, the wreath is seen woven in textiles, inlaid in marquetry. Alfa Romeo added a wreath to their logo after they won the inaugural Automobile World Championship in 1925 with the P2 racing car. Laurel wreaths are used in heraldry
Fayum mummy portraits
Mummy portraits or Fayum mummy portraits is the modern term given to a type of naturalistic painted portrait on wooden boards attached to Egyptian mummies from the Coptic period. They belong to the tradition of painting, one of the most highly regarded forms of art in the Classical world. In fact, the Fayum portraits are the large body of art from that tradition to have survived. Mummy portraits have been found across Egypt, but are most common in the Faiyum Basin, particularly from Hawara in the Fayum Basin, Faiyum Portraits is generally thought of as a stylistic, rather than a geographic, description. While painted cartonnage mummy cases date back to times, the Faiyum mummy portraits were an innovation dating to the Coptic period at the time of the Roman occupation of Egypt. They date to the Roman period, from the late 1st century BC or the early 1st century AD onwards and it is not clear when their production ended, but recent research suggests the middle of the 3rd century. The portraits covered the faces of bodies that were mummified for burial, extant examples indicate that they were mounted into the bands of cloth that were used to wrap the bodies.
Almost all have now been detached from the mummies and they usually depict a single person, showing the head, or head and upper chest, viewed frontally. In terms of tradition, the images clearly derive more from Graeco-Roman traditions than Egyptian ones. Two groups of portraits can be distinguished by technique, one of encaustic paintings, the former are usually of higher quality. About 900 mummy portraits are known at present, the majority were found in the necropoleis of Faiyum. Due to the hot dry Egyptian climate, the paintings are very well preserved. The Italian explorer Pietro della Valle, on a visit to Saqqara-Memphis in 1615, was the first European to discover and he transported some mummies with portraits to Europe, which are now in the Albertinum. Although interest in Ancient Egypt steadily increased after that period, further finds of mummy portraits did not become known before the early 19th century, the provenance of these first new finds is unclear, they may come from Saqqara as well, or perhaps from Thebes.
In 1820, the Baron of Minotuli acquired several mummy portraits for a German collector, in 1827, Léon de Laborde brought two portraits, supposedly found in Memphis, to Europe, one of which can today be seen at the Louvre, the other in the British Museum. Ippolito Rosellini, a member of Jean-François Champollions 1828/29 expedition to Egypt and it is so similar to de Labordes specimens that it is thought to be from the same source. During the 1820s, the British Consul General to Egypt, Henry Salt, sent several further portraits to Paris and London. Some of them were long considered portraits of the family of the Theban Archon Pollios Soter, a character known from written sources
The toga, a distinctive garment of Ancient Rome, was a roughly semicircular cloth, between 12 and 20 feet in length, draped over the shoulders and around the body. It was usually woven from wool, and was worn over a tunic. In Roman historical tradition, it is said to have been the favoured dress of Romulus, Romes founder, as Roman women gradually adopted the stola, the toga was recognised as formal wear for Roman citizen men. Women engaged in prostitution might have provided the main exception to this rule, the type of toga worn reflected a citizens rank in the civil hierarchy. Various laws and customs restricted its use to citizens, who were required to wear it for public festivals, from its probable beginnings as a simple, practical work-garment, the toga became more voluminous and costly, increasingly unsuited to anything but formal and ceremonial use. When circumstances allowed, those otherwise entitled or obliged to wear it opted for more comfortable and it gradually fell out of use, firstly among citizens of the lower class, those of the middle class.
Eventually, it was only by the highest classes for ceremonial occasions. The toga was an approximately semi-circular woolen cloth, usually white, worn draped over the shoulders and around the body and it was considered formal wear, and was generally reserved for citizens. Toga virilis known as toga alba or toga pura, A plain white toga, worn on occasions by adult male commoners. It represented adult male citizenship and its attendant rights, toga praetexta, a white toga with a broad purple stripe on its border, worn over a tunic with two broad, vertical purple stripes. It was formal costume for, Curule magistrates in their functions, and traditionally. Freeborn boys, and some girls, before they came of age. It marked their protection by law from sexual predation and immoral or immodest influence, a praetexta was thought effective against malignant magic, as were a boys bulla, and a girls lunula. Some priesthoods, including the Pontifices, Tresviri Epulones, the augurs, toga candida, Bright toga, a toga rubbed with chalk to a dazzling white, worn by candidates for public office.
Thus Persius speaks of a cretata ambitio, chalked ambition, toga candida is the etymological source of the word candidate. It was worn mainly by mourners, but could be worn in times of danger or public anxiety. It was sometimes used as a protest of sorts—when Cicero was exiled, mourners with a toga praetexta could turn it inside out, to conceal the stripe, or wear a toga pura. Toga picta, Dyed solid purple, embroidered with gold, and worn over a similarly decorated tunica palmata, during the Empire, it was worn by consuls and emperors
Ancient Greek comedy
Ancient Greek comedy was one of the final three principal dramatic forms in the theatre of classical Greece. Athenian comedy is conventionally divided into three periods, Old Comedy, Middle Comedy, and New Comedy, New Comedy is known primarily from the substantial papyrus fragments of Menander. The philosopher Aristotle wrote in his Poetics that comedy is a representation of laughable people, C. A. Trypanis wrote that comedy is the last of the great species of poetry Greece gave to the world. These divisions appear to be arbitrary, and ancient comedy almost certainly developed constantly over the years. The most important Old Comic dramatist is Aristophanes, born in 446 B. C. his works, with their pungent political satire and abundance of sexual and scatological innuendo, effectively define the genre today. He was one of a number of comic poets working in Athens in the late 5th century, his most important contemporary rivals being Hermippus. The Old Comedy subsequently influenced European writers such as Rabelais, Swift, in particular, they copied the technique of disguising a political attack as buffoonery.
For ancient scholars, the term may have meant little more than than Aristophanes and his contemporaries, for at least a time, mythological burlesque was popular among the Middle Comic poets. Stock characters of all sorts emerge, parasites, philosophers, boastful soldiers, because no complete Middle Comic plays have been preserved, it is impossible to offer any real assessment of their literary value or genius. But many Middle Comic plays appear to have revived in Sicily and Magna Graecia in this period, suggesting that they had considerable widespread literary. New Comedy followed the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and lasted throughout the reign of the Macedonian rulers and it is comparable to situation comedy and comedy of manners. The three best-known playwrights belonging to this genre are Menander and Diphilus, Menander was the most successful of these three comedians. His comedies not only provided their audience with a respite from reality. This led an ancient critic to ask if life influenced Menander in the writing of his plays or if the case was vice versa and this seems to be what made him more successful than the other Greek comedians who wrote in the same genre.
These plays were much less satirical than preceding comedies, the other two comedians are Philemon and Diphilus. Philemon was a comedian whose comedies dwelt on philosophical issues and Diphilus was a comedian whose comedies were noted for their broad comedy, philemons comedies survive only in fragments, but Diphilus comedies were translated and adapted by Plautus. Examples of these comedies are Plautus Asinaria and Rudens, based on the translation and adaptation of Diphilus comedies by Plautus, one can conclude that he was skilled in the construction of his plots. Substantial fragments of New Comedy have survived, but no complete plays, the most substantially preserved text is the Dyskolos by Menander, discovered on a papyrus, and first published in 1958
Lucius Caecilius Iucundus
Lucius Caecilius Iucundus was a banker who lived in the Roman town of Pompeii around 20–62 AD. His house still stands and can be seen in the ruins of the city Pompeii and it was partially destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. This house is known for its beauty, along with material found about bank book-keeping and wax tablets. He is well known for being the character in the Cambridge Latin Course series. The Pompeian banker Iucundus was born around the end of Augustus’s reign to a freedman named Felix, in his mid-fifties he was probably well-established as a successful banker who dealt with a wide variety of Pompeians. Freedmen and slaves performed many small business tasks for Iucundus, such as signing receipts as witnesses, many names of elite Pompeian citizens occur frequently in his transaction records, suggesting that Iucundus had dealings with the upper class of his town. In fact, he traveled to nearby Nuceria to help the wealthy Praetorian Guard senior centurion Publius Alfenus Varus resell some slaves that he had purchased in an auction.
He had at least two sons, Sextus Caecilius Iucundus Metellus and Quintus Caecilius Iucundus, Iucundus departed from the traditional naming system, giving each of his sons a name that implied a relationship with the illustrious family of the Caecilii Metelli. The tablets that Caecilius left behind suggest that he died in the earthquake on 5 February 62, Iucundus was a type of banker called an argentarius, which meant that he acted as a middleman in auctions. The Pompeian argentarius would pay the vendor for the purchased item, according to the records of Iucundus, mostly dating from the 50s, the buyers had between a few months and a year to repay the loan to the argentarius. The argentarius would receive interest on the loan, as well as a known as a merces. It is uncertain whether Iucundus was a coactor argentarius or simply an argentarius, Iucundus kept many private records of his business transactions on wax tablets, many of which were found in his house in 1875. Of the 153 tablets discovered,16 document contracts between Iucundus and the city of Pompeii, the remaining 137 are receipts from auctions on behalf of third parties, seventeen of these tablets record loans that he advanced to buyers of auction items.
In addition to the information, Iucundus’s tablets record the names of vendors. The lists of witnesses give insight into the social structure of Pompeii. The tablets themselves are triptychs, which means that they have three wooden leaves tied together to make six pages, wax was put on the inner four pages, and the receipt was written on these surfaces. The tablet was closed and wrapped with a string, over which the witnesses placed their wax seals and this prevented the document itself from being altered, and there was a brief description of the receipt written on the outside for identification purposes. The following is the translation of a 56 AD receipt for the proceeds of an auction sale, in this inscription, Iucundus was very exact in the details
Glossary of ancient Roman religion
The vocabulary of ancient Roman religion was highly specialized. Its study affords important information about the religion and beliefs of the ancient Romans and this legacy is conspicuous in European cultural history in its influence on juridical and religious vocabulary in Europe, particularly of the Western Church. For theonyms, or the names and epithets of gods, see List of Roman deities, for public religious holidays, see Roman festivals. For temples see the List of Ancient Roman temples, individual landmarks of religious topography in ancient Rome are not included in this list, see Roman temple. The verb abominari was a term of augury for an action that rejects or averts an unfavourable omen indicated by a signum, the noun is abominatio, from which English abomination derives. At the taking of formally solicited auspices, the observer was required to acknowledge any potentially bad sign occurring within the templum he was observing, regardless of the interpretation. He might, take actions in order to ignore the signa, including avoiding the sight of them.
The latter tactic required promptness and skill based on discipline, thus the omen had no validity apart from the observation of it. The aedes was the place of a god. It was thus a structure that housed the image, distinguished from the templum or sacred district. Aedes is one of several Latin words that can be translated as shrine or temple, for instance, the Temple of Vesta, as it is called in English, was in Latin an aedes. See the diminutive aedicula, a small shrine, in his work On Architecture, Vitruvius always uses the word templum in the technical sense of a space defined through augury, with aedes the usual word for the building itself. The design of an aedes, he writes, should be appropriate to the characteristics of the deity. Thus in theory, though not always in practice, architectural aesthetics had a theological dimension, the word aedilis, a public official, is related by etymology, among the duties of the aediles was the overseeing of public works, including the building and maintenance of temples.
The temple of Flora, for instance, was built in 241 BC by two aediles acting on Sibylline oracles, the plebeian aediles had their headquarters at the aedes of Ceres. In religious usage, ager was terrestrial space defined for the purposes of augury in relation to auspicia, there were five kinds of ager, Gabinus, peregrinus and incertus. The ager Romanus originally included the space outside the pomerium. According to Varro, the ager Gabinus pertained to the circumstances of the oppidum of Gabii
The Capitoline Museums are a single museum containing a group of art and archeological museums in Piazza del Campidoglio, on top of the Capitoline Hill in Rome, Italy. The history of the museums can be traced to 1471, when Pope Sixtus IV donated a collection of important ancient bronzes to the people of Rome, the museums are owned and operated by the municipality of Rome. The statue of a rider in the centre of the piazza is of Emperor Marcus Aurelius. It is a copy, the original being housed on-site in the Capitoline museum. Open to the public in 1734 under Clement XII, the Capitoline Museums are considered the first museum in the world, understood as a place where art could be enjoyed by all and this section contains collections sorted by building, and brief information on the buildings themselves. For the history of their design and construction, see Capitoline Hill#Michelangelo, the Capitoline Museums are composed of three main buildings surrounding the Piazza del Campidoglio and interlinked by an underground gallery beneath the piazza.
In addition, the 16th century Palazzo Caffarelli-Clementino, located off the adjacent to the Palazzo dei Conservatori, was added to the museum complex in the early 20th century. The collections here are ancient sculpture, mostly Roman but Greek, the Conservators Apartment is distinguished by elaborate interior decorations, including frescoes, stuccos and carved ceilings and doors. The third floor of the Palazzo dei Conservatori houses the Capitoline Art Gallery, housing the museums painting, the Capitoline Coin Cabinet, containing collections of coins, medals and jewelry, is located in the attached Palazzo Caffarelli-Clementino. Statues, sarcophagi, busts and other ancient Roman artifacts occupy two floors of the Palazzo Nuovo, in the Hall of the Galatian can be appreciated the marble statue of the Dying Gaul called “Capitoline Gaul” and the statue of Cupid and Psyche. The gallery was constructed in the 1930s and it contains in situ 2nd century ruins of ancient Roman dwellings, and houses the Galleria Lapidaria, which displays the Museums collection of epigraphs.
The new great glass covered hall — the Sala Marco Aurelio — created by covering the Giardino Romano is similar to the one used for the Sala Ottagonale, the design is by the architect Carlo Aymonino. Its volume recalls that of the oval space designed by Michelangelo for the piazza and its centerpiece is the bronze equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius, which was once in the centre of Piazza del Campidoglio and has been kept indoors ever since its modern restoration. Moving these statues out of the palazzo allows those sculptures temporarily moved to the Centrale Montemartini to be brought back. The Centrale Montemartini is a power station of Acea in southern Rome. Its permanent collection comprises 400 ancient statues, moved here during the reorganisation of the Capitoline Museums in 1997, along with tombs, many of them were excavated in the ancient Roman horti between the 1890s and 1930s, a fruitful period for Roman archaeology. They are displayed there along the lines of Tate Modern, except that the machinery has not been moved out, Capitoline Brutus Capitoline Museums official website
Roman funerary art
Roman funerary art changed throughout the course of the Republic and the Empire and comprised many different forms. There were two main burial practices used by the Romans throughout history, one being cremation, another inhumation, the vessels that resulted from these practices include sarcophagi, ash chests and altars. In addition to these, buildings such as mausoleums, the method by which Romans were memorialized was determined by social class and other factors. While monuments to the dead were constructed within Roman cities, the remains themselves were interred outside the cities, after the end of Etruscan rule, Roman lawmakers became very strict regarding the ethics of laying the dead to rest. A prime issue was the legality and morality of interring the dead within the city limits, cicero reminds his readers of the Law of the Twelve Tables, A dead man shall not be buried or burned inside the city. Three centuries later, Paulus writes in his Sententiae, You are not allowed to bring a corpse into the city in case the sacred places in the city are polluted, whoever acts against these restrictions is punished with unusual severity.
You are not allowed to cremate a body within the walls of the city, many Roman towns and provinces had similar rules, often in their charters, such as the Lex Ursonensis. Particularly at the end of the Republic, exceptions to this principle became more frequent. The means used to commemorate the dead served to acknowledge the gods, the mausoleum is so named for Mausolus of Caria, a ruler in what is now Turkey. He was a patron of Hellenistic culture. Such had been a trend in Greece during the centuries before Mausolus, at the time, the ancient Mediterranean world was in the midst of a revival of Greek ideologies, present in politics, the arts, and social life. The Romans were no exception to this trend, mass burials were common, but only for the common folk. Royalty, politicians and the richest citizens originally shared a tomb with no more than their immediate family, changes were gradual largely because funerary practices tended to follow strict traditions, especially in the ancient world. It took centuries to conceive the Roman concept of the mausoleum, the idea of lavish decoration of burial sites remained present throughout the Republic and the Empire.
In context, above ground structures of the Empire and Late Republic contained art suitable to the lives of the occupants the same way their underground alternatives did, few mausolea inside the Pomerium predated the empire. Most mausolea existed on designated burial grounds in the country, though city exemptions to the prohibition of mortuary buildings only increased during the Empire and it was popular to build them along main roads so that they would be consistently visible to the public. A trend of the Middle and Late Empire was to build mausolea on family property, the Romans absorbed a great deal of Etruscan funerary art practices. Above ground mausolea were still rare, underground tombs and tumuli were far more common methods of burial, the early Romans buried those who could not afford such accommodations in mass graves or cremated them
National Archaeological Museum, Naples
The Naples National Archaeological Museum is a museum in Naples, southern Italy, at the northwest corner of the original Greek wall of the city of Neapolis. The museum contains a collection of Roman artifacts from Pompeii, Stabiae. The collection includes works of the highest quality produced in Greek, Roman and it is the most important Italian archaeological museum and is considered one of the most important in the world. Charles of Bourbon founded the museum in the 1750s, the building he used for it had been erected as a cavalry barracks and during its time as the seat of the University of Naples was extended, in the late 18th century. The museum hosts extensive collections of Greek and Roman antiquities and their core is from the Farnese Collection, which includes a collection of engraved gems and the Farnese Marbles. Among the notable works found in the museum are the Herculaneum papyri, carbonized by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, many of these works, especially the larger ones, have been moved to the Museo di Capodimonte for display in recent years.
The Farnese Hercules, which fixed the image of Hercules in the European imagination, a major collection of ancient Roman bronzes from the Villa of the Papyri is housed at the museum. These include the Seated Hermes, a sprawling Drunken Satyr, a bust of Thespis, another variously identified as Seneca or Hesiod, the museums Mosaic Collection includes a number of important mosaics recovered from the ruins of Pompeii and the other Vesuvian cities. This includes the Alexander Mosaic, dating from circa 100 BC and it depicts a battle between the armies of Alexander the Great and Darius III of Persia. Another mosaic found is that of the gladiatorial fighter depicted in a found from the Villa of the Figured Capitals in Pompeii. With 2,500 objects, the museum has one of the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts in Italy after the Turin and Bologna ones. It is made up primarily of works from two collections, assembled by Cardinal Stefano Borgia in the second half of the 18th century. In its new layout the collection provides both an important record of Egyptian civilization from the Old Kingdom up to the Ptolemaic-Roman era, access was limited to only persons of mature age and known morals.
The rooms were called Cabinets of matters reserved or obscene or pornographic, the highlight of the censorship occurred in 1851 when even nude Venus statues were locked up, and the entrance walled up in the hope that the collection would vanish from memory. In September 1860, when the forces of Garibaldi occupied Naples, since the Royal Butler was no longer available, they broke into the collection. Limiting viewership and censorship have always been part of the history of the collection, censorship was restored during the era of the Kingdom of Italy, and peaked during the Fascist period, when visitors to the rooms needed the permission of the Minister of National Education in Rome. Censorship persisted in the period up to 1967, abating only after 1971 when the Ministry was given the new rules to regulate requests for visits. Completely rebuilt a few years ago with all of the new criteria, visitors under the age of 14 can tour the exhibit only with an adult
The Flavian dynasty was a Roman imperial dynasty, which ruled the Roman Empire between 69 AD and 96 AD, encompassing the reigns of Vespasian, and his two sons Titus and Domitian. The Flavians rose to power during the war of 69. After Galba and Otho died in succession, Vitellius became emperor in mid 69. His claim to the throne was challenged by legions stationed in the Eastern provinces. The Second Battle of Bedriacum tilted the balance decisively in favour of the Flavian forces, the following day, the Roman Senate officially declared Vespasian emperor of the Roman Empire, thus commencing the Flavian dynasty. Although the dynasty proved to be short-lived, several significant historic, the reign of Titus was struck by multiple natural disasters, the most severe of which was the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79. The surrounding cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum were completely buried under ash, one year later, Rome was struck by fire and a plague. On the military front, the Flavian dynasty witnessed the siege and destruction of Jerusalem by Titus in 70, in addition, the Empire strengthened its border defenses by expanding the fortifications along the Limes Germanicus.
The Flavians initiated economic and cultural reforms, under Vespasian, new taxes were devised to restore the Empires finances, while Domitian revalued the Roman coinage by increasing its silver content. Flavian rule came to an end on September 18,96 and he was succeeded by the longtime Flavian supporter and advisor Marcus Cocceius Nerva, who founded the long-lived Nerva–Antonine dynasty. Vespasians grandfather, Titus Flavius Petro, had served as a centurion under Pompey during Caesars civil war and his military career ended in disgrace when he fled the battlefield at the Battle of Pharsalus in 48 BC. Nevertheless, Petro managed to improve his status by marrying the extremely wealthy Tertulla, Sabinus himself amassed further wealth and possible equestrian status through his services as tax collector in Asia and banker in Helvetia ). By marrying Vespasia Polla he allied himself to the prestigious patrician gens Vespasia, ensuring the elevation of his sons Titus Flavius Sabinus II. Around 38 AD, Vespasian married Domitilla the Elder, the daughter of an equestrian from Ferentium and they had two sons, Titus Flavius Vespasianus and Titus Flavius Domitianus, and a daughter, Domitilla.
Domitilla the Elder died before Vespasian became emperor, thereafter his mistress Caenis was his wife in all but name until she died in 74. The political career of Vespasian included the offices of quaestor and praetor, and culminated with a consulship in 51, as a military commander, he gained early renown by participating in the Roman invasion of Britain in 43. Nevertheless, ancient sources allege poverty for the Flavian family at the time of Domitians upbringing, even claiming Vespasian had fallen into disrepute under the emperors Caligula, by all appearances, imperial favour for the Flavians was high throughout the 40s and 60s. While Titus received an education in the company of Britannicus, Vespasian pursued a successful political
The word papyrus /pəˈpaɪrəs/ refers to a thick precursor to modern paper made from the pith of the papyrus plant, Cyperus papyrus. Papyrus can refer to a document written on sheets of papyrus joined together side by side and rolled up into a scroll, the plural for such documents is papyri. Papyrus is first known to have used in ancient Egypt. It was used throughout the Mediterranean region and in Kingdom of Kush, the Ancient Egyptians used papyrus as a writing material, as well as employing it commonly in the construction of other artifacts such as reed boats, rope and baskets. Papyrus was first manufactured in Egypt as far back as the fourth millennium BCE, the earliest archaeological evidence of papyrus was excavated in 2012 and 2013 at Wadi al-Jarf, an ancient Egyptian harbor located on the Red Sea coast. The papyrus rolls describe the last years of building the Great Pyramid of Giza, in the first centuries BCE and CE, papyrus scrolls gained a rival as a writing surface in the form of parchment, which was prepared from animal skins.
Sheets of parchment were folded to form quires from which book-form codices were fashioned, early Christian writers soon adopted the codex form, and in the Græco-Roman world, it became common to cut sheets from papyrus rolls to form codices. Codices were an improvement on the scroll, as the papyrus was not pliable enough to fold without cracking. Papyrus had the advantage of being cheap and easy to produce. Unless the papyrus was of quality, the writing surface was irregular. Its last appearance in the Merovingian chancery is with a document of 692, the latest certain dates for the use of papyrus are 1057 for a papal decree, under Pope Victor II, and 1087 for an Arabic document. Its use in Egypt continued until it was replaced by more inexpensive paper introduced by Arabs who originally learned of it from the Chinese, by the 12th century and paper were in use in the Byzantine Empire, but papyrus was still an option. Papyrus was made in several qualities and prices, pliny the Elder and Isidore of Seville described six variations of papyrus which were sold in the Roman market of the day.
These were graded by quality based on how fine, white, grades ranged from the superfine Augustan, which was produced in sheets of 13 digits wide, to the least expensive and most coarse, measuring six digits wide. Materials deemed unusable for writing or less than six digits were considered commercial quality and were pasted edge to edge to be used only for wrapping, until the middle of the 19th century, only some isolated documents written on papyrus were known. They did not contain literary works, the first modern discovery of papyri rolls was made at Herculaneum in 1752. Until then, the papyri known had been a few surviving from medieval times. The English word papyrus derives, via Latin, from Greek πάπυρος, Greek has a second word for it, βύβλος