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Literal and Extended use of Kinship Terms in Documentary Papyri

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image of Mnemosyne

Kinship terms in papyrus letters do not always refer to actual relatives and so pose many problems for modern readers. But by examining all the kinship terms in six centuries of letters it is possible to discover some rules governing the use of kinship terms: in some situations they appear to be always literal, and in others they appear to be almost always extended, though a third group of contexts remains ambiguous. The rules are complex and depend on the particular kinship term involved, the date of writing, the use of names, the position of the kinship term in the letter, and the person to whom it connects the referent.

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/content/journals/10.1163/156852504773399169
2004-03-01
2016-12-07

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