Naphtali Lewis

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Naphtali Lewis (14 December 1911 – 11 September 2005) was an American papyrologist who published extensively on subjects ranging from the ancient papyrus industry to government in Roman Egypt. He also wrote several social histories of Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt to make his research more accessible to non-specialists.


Lewis did his undergraduate work at City College of New York (AB, 1930) and earned an MA at Columbia (1932) before pursuing further postgraduate studies in Europe. He received a certificate at the University of Strasbourg (1933) and a doctorate in Paris (1934). From 1947 until 1976 Lewis taught at Brooklyn College (whence he retired as Distinguished Professor) and was also involved in the City University's Graduate School. He served as president of the American Society of Papyrologists (1965–1969) and as president of the Association Internationale de Papyrologues (1974–1983).

Selected works[edit]

  • Greeks in Ptolemaic Egypt : Case Studies in the Social History of the Hellenistic World, Oxford University Press (1986), ISBN 0-19-814867-4
  • The Interpretation of Dreams & Portents in Antiquity, Bolchazy-Carducci (c1996), ISBN 0-86516-256-5
  • Life in Egypt Under Roman Rule, Oxford University Press (1983), ISBN 0-19-814848-8
  • Papyrus in Classical Antiquity, Clarendon Press (1974), ISBN 0-19-814803-8
  • Roman Civilization: Selected Readings: The Republic and the Augustan Age (Volume 1), Columbia University Press (1955), ISBN 0-23-107131-0

Full Bibliography[edit]

  • Ralph Keen, "Naphtali Lewis: Bibliography," Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists, 15 (1978) 2–8.[1]

Further reading[edit]

  • Roger S. Bagnall, "Naphtali Lewis (1911–2005)," Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists, 43 (2006) 5–8.[2]