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Book/Printed Material Orestes 338-44. Euripides, Orestes 338-44

About this Item


  • Orestes 338-44.

Other Title

  • Euripides, Orestes 338-44


  • This Greek text on papyrus, written around 200 BC in Hermopolis, Egypt, has seven lines of writing containing parts of verses 338--344 from the first chorus of Orestes. Composed in 408 BC by the Greek tragedian Euripides (circa 480 BC--406 BC), the play recounts the story of Orestes, who kills his mother Clytaemnestra to avenge the death of his father, Agamemnon, and is pursued by the Furies for this deed. In addition to a passage of a chorus song (stasimon), the fragment contains vocal and instrumental symbols written above the lines of the lyrics. It is one of a relatively small number of surviving Greek texts with musical notation. Although much remains unknown about the music of the ancient Greeks, scholars have tried to reconstruct from such notation how the chorus might have been sung and played. The papyrus, which was recovered from mummy cartonnage at the end of the 19th century, belongs to the Papyrus Collection of the Austrian National Library, which was assembled in the 19th century by Archduke Rainer. In 1899 he gave it to Emperor Franz Joseph I, who made the collection part of the Hofbibliothek (Imperial Library) in Vienna. One of the largest such collections in the world, the Papyrus Collection (Collection Erzherzog Rainier) was inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World register in 2001.


  • Euripides, circa 480-406 BC Author.

Created / Published

  • [place of publication not identified] : [publisher not identified], [200 B.C.]


  • -  Greece
  • -  408 B.C
  • -  Drama
  • -  Greek drama (Tragedy)
  • -  Instrumental music
  • -  Memory of the World
  • -  Music, Greek and Roman
  • -  Musical notation
  • -  Musical scores
  • -  Mythology, Greek
  • -  Orestes (Greek mythology)
  • -  Vocal music


  • -  Title devised, in English, by Library staff.
  • -  "P. Vindob. inventory number G 2315"--Note extracted from World Digital Library.
  • -  Original resource extent: Papyrus fragment : 9.2 x 8.5 centimeters.
  • -  Original resource at: Austrian National Library.
  • -  Content in Ancient Greek (to 1453).
  • -  Description based on data extracted from World Digital Library, which may be extracted from partner institutions.


  • 1 online resource.

Source Collection

  • Papyrus Collection (Collection Erzherzog Rainer)

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2021667676

Online Format

  • compressed data
  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

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Credit Line: [Original Source citation], World Digital Library

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Euripides, Circa 480-406 Bc Author. Orestes 338-44. [place of publication not identified: publisher not identified, 200 B.C] Image.

APA citation style:

Euripides, C. 4. B. A. Orestes 338-44. [place of publication not identified: publisher not identified, 200 B.C] [Image] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Euripides, Circa 480-406 Bc Author. Orestes 338-44. [place of publication not identified: publisher not identified, 200 B.C] Image. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.