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Scribal Repertoires in Egypt from the New Kingdom to the Early Islamic Period$
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Jennifer Cromwell and Eitan Grossman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198768104

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198768104.001.0001

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Words of Thieves

Words of Thieves

Chapter:
(p.127) 6 Words of Thieves
Source:
Scribal Repertoires in Egypt from the New Kingdom to the Early Islamic Period
Author(s):

Jean Winand

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198768104.003.0006

This chapter studies how scribes handled the testimonies given during the trials related to the Great Tomb Robbery case at the end of Egypt’s Twentietn Dynasty. Some stylistic uniformization took place, e.g. in narrative sections. This is illustrated by how scribes completed and modified the evidence given to match administrative format (e.g. function titles, the lists of the stolen items), and by how they rephrased words spoken by the accused/witnesses. Sometimes, verbatim quotations could be kept, as shown by occasional intrusions of slang. Variation occurred even in general formulae, the spelling of common words, and phraseology. Four case studies are directly relevant for the discussion of variation: 1) reported by two witnesses, same papyrus; 2) reported by one witness, two different papyri; 3) parallel wording in two unrelated cases reported by two witnesses, same papyrus; and 4) parallel wording in two unrelated cases reported by two witnesses, two different papyri.

Keywords:   idiolect, judicial report, phraseology, reported speech, slang

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