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Oxyrhynchus Papyrus (MS P.Oxy.III.466)

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Oxyrhynchus Papyrus 466
MS P.Oxy.Ⅲ.466, Columbia University Library
New York City, New York
P.Oxy. III 466 (front).png
Type Wrestling manual
Date 2nd Century
Language(s) Ancient Greek
Author(s) Unknown
Material Papyrus roll
Size 1 sheet
Format One side, three columns
Script Ionic
Identified Bernard P. Grenfell and
Arthur S. Hunt
External data Library catalog entry
Treatise scans Digital scans (2500x1700)

The Oxyrhynchus Papyrus n.466 (MS P.Oxy.Ⅲ.466) is a fragmentary 2nd century Greek wrestling manual[1] and the oldest extant Western martial arts treatise. The original currently rests in the Rare Book & Manuscript Library of Columbia University in New York City, NY (USA). It is part of the Oxyrhynchus Papyri series, a group of manuscripts discovered by archaeologists including Bernard P. Grenfell and Arthur S. Hunt at an ancient rubbish dump near Oxyrhynchus in Egypt. The text is in three columns with 13, 15, and 10 lines (from left to right). Each technique is concluded with the instruction πλέξον ("tangle"), translated as "fight it out" or "mix it up".


The known provenance of the Oxyrhynchus Papyrus n.466 is:

  • Created in the 2nd century.
  • Discovered by Bernard P. Grenfell and Arthur S. Hunt near Oxyrhynchus, Egypt and published in 1903.
  • Until 1907 - Owned by the Egypt Exploration Society.
  • 1907-present - Held by Columbia University.




Images hosted by Columbia University.

P.Oxy. III 466 (front).png
P.Oxy. III 466 (back).png

Additional Resources


  1. "APIS record: columbia.apis.p356". Advanced Papyrological Information System. Retrieved 26 May 2012.

Copyright and License Summary

For further information, including transcription and translation notes, see the discussion page.

Work Author(s) Source License
Images Columbia University Library APIS Advanced Papyrological Information System
Public Domain.png
Translation Michael B. Poliakoff Combat Sports in the Ancient World: Competition, Violence, and Culture
Fair Use.png
Transcription Bernard P. Grenfell and Arthur S. Hunt Index:Oxyrhynchus Papyrus (MS P.Oxy.III.466)
Public Domain.png