Charioteer Papyrus

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The Charioteer Papyrus

The Charioteer Papyrus (London, Egypt Exploration Society, s.n.) is a 5th-century fragment of an illustration from an unknown work of literature. It is one of the finest surviving fragments of classical book illustration. Unlike other surviving illustrated fragments of papyrus, such as the Romance Papyrus and the Heracles Papyrus, which have illustrations that are little more than mere sketches, the Charioteer Papyrus is sensitively drawn and finely colored. It shows portions of six charioteers in red or green tunics. Although there is no text on the fragment, it undoubtedly served an illustration for a literary work, perhaps serving as an illustration for the chariot race at the games at the funeral of Patroclus in the Iliad.

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