What is it about?

This paper analyses the verb ὀδοντίζω (odontizō, stemmed from the noun ὀδούς, "tooth"), which appears in a number of ink recipes of the Leiden and Stockholm papyri with a very technical meaning. The comparison to some passages of Latin authors in which similar expressions appear will help us to better understand its meaning, which is not "to teethe" [medicine], but "to polish with a tooth." In addition, its analysis allows me to explore the technical field from whence the recipes in which this verb appears came: ancient book production.

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Why is it important?

This study about the background of the vocabulary and processes transmitted in alchemical papyri of Leiden and Stockholm help us both to better define the kind of artisanal fields that ancient alchemists knew, and to better reconstruct the craftworks context where some of the recipes of the Greco-Egyptian alchemical treatises originated.


I hope this article helps to better understand the heterogeneous artisanal backgorund of Greco Egyptian alchemy as well as to improve our knowledge of ancient artisanal fields such as book production and the manufacture of papyrus.

Miriam Blanco Cesteros
University Complutense of Madrid

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This page is a summary of: Ὀδοντίζω, Nuncius, April 2020, Brill, DOI: 10.1163/18253911-03501011.
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