Luigi Prada


British Academy Research Fellow; Supernumerary Fellow in Egyptology

Faculty / College Address:

Oriental Institute / University College


Research Interests:

  • Schooling and education in Ancient Egypt
  • Ancient Egyptian divination
  • Demotic language and literature
  • Late and Graeco-Roman hieratic
  • Early Coptic
  • Graeco-Egyptian bilingualism and ancient translation

My research focuses on ancient Egyptian divination and, more specifically, dream interpretation. I am preparing a general study on the topic, accompanied by the edition of a corpus of unpublished dream books and other textual material, for the most part in demotic, and in smaller part in hieratic (Middle/Late Egyptian) and Coptic.

Other areas of interest of mine are the study of demotic narrative and wisdom literature––in this respect, I am part of a team working on newly unearthed papyri containing literary texts from Tebtunis, in the Fayum.

I also work on Graeco-Egyptian bilingualism and language interaction in Late, Ptolemaic, and Roman Egypt, with specific focus on ancient translations of literary/semi-literary texts and on Graeco-Egyptian literature. In connection with this interest, I research literacy and scribal habits in Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt, focusing on the shift in use from the Egyptian indigenous scripts (hieroglyphic, hieratic, demotic) to the Greek alphabet and hence Coptic.

Current Projects:

  • Ancient Egyptian dream interpretation and edition of a corpus of unpublished demotic dream books
  • Synoptic (re-)edition of all known manuscripts of the Myth of the Sun’s Eye (with F. Feder, S. Lippert, J. Osing, J.F. Quack, K. Ryholt, M. Smith, Gh. Widmer)
  • Publication of the demotic papyri from Tebtunis (IFAO/Milan excavation), with responsibility for the literary and semi-literary texts (with K. Ryholt)
  • Publication of select Coptic papyri from the collection of Genoa University (with J. Cromwell)

Courses Taught:

  • History and culture of Late, Ptolemaic, and Roman Egypt
  • Egyptian language and texts
  • Demotic, Coptic, Graeco-Roman Hieroglyphic Texts

Recent Publications:

Articles and Chapters:

  • Forthcoming. Oneirology versus Oneiromancy in Early Christian Egypt: Contextualising P. Duke inv. 244 (= Duke Coptic MS. 25). In: P. Buzi / A. Camplani / T. Orlandi (eds.), Proceedings of the Tenth International Congress of Coptic Studies, Rome, September 17–22, 2012(Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta), Leuven / Paris / Walpole MA: Peeters.
  • 2014 (in press). Visions of Gods: P. Vienna D 6633–6636, a Fragmentary Pantheon in a Demotic Dream Book. In: A. Dodson / J.J. Johnston / W. Monkhouse (eds.), A Good Scribe and an Exceedingly Wise Man: Studies in Honour of W.J. Tait (Golden House Publications Egyptology), London: Golden House Publications: 251–270.
  • 2014 (in press). Texte 22. Contrat de prêt – Texte 33. Reçu de taxe – Texte 53. Reçu de taxe – Texte 61. Reçu de taxe – Texte 65. Reçu de taxe. In: A. Boud’hors / A. Delattre / C. Louis / T.S. Richter (eds.),Coptica Argentoratensia: Textes et documents de la troisième université d’été de papyrologie copte (Strasbourg, 18-25 juillet 2010)(Cahiers de la Bibliothèque Copte), Paris: De Boccard.
  • 2014 (in press). Translating Monkeys between Demotic and Greek, or Why a Lynx Is Not Always a Wildcat: (λυκό)λυγξ = (wnš-)kwf.Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 188.
  • 2013. On a Ghost Hieratic Narrative from the Late Period and Re-invent(ori)ed Papyrus Fragments: pBerlin P. 23058 + 23212a–b.Göttinger Miszellen: Beiträge zur ägyptologischen Diskussion 238: 85–89.
  • 2013. Orthographic Differentiations in Verbal Forms and Converters: An Early Demotic Case Study (P. Ryl. 5). In: S.P. Vleeming (ed.),Aspects of Demotic Orthography: Acts of an International Colloquium Held in Trier, 8 November 2010 (Studia Demotica 11), Leuven / Paris / Walpole MA: Peeters: 69–97.
  • 2013. Dreams, Bilingualism, and Oneiromancy in Ptolemaic Egypt: Remarks on a Recent Study. Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik184: 85–101.
  • 2012. Papyrus Berlin P. 8769: A New Look at the Text and the Reconstruction of a Lost Demotic Dream Book. In: V.M. Lepper (ed.),Forschung in der Papyrussammlung: Eine Festgabe für das Neue Museum (Ägyptische und Orientalische Papyri und Handschriften des Ägyptischen Museums und Papyrussammlung Berlin 1), Berlin: Akademie Verlag: 309–328.
  • 2012. For a New Edition of P.Lond.Lit. 192: Current Research on the Greek Version of the Myth of the Sun’s Eye. In: P. Schubert (ed.),Actes du 26e Congrès international de papyrologie (Genève, 16–21 août 2010) (Recherches et Rencontres 30), Genève: Librairie Droz: 627–634.
  • 2012 (with J. Malek). Hector Horeau: An Extraordinary Architect and Traveller. Ancient Egypt: The History, People and Culture of the Nile Valley 73 (vol. 13/1): 33–43.
  • 2012. Classifying Dreams, Classifying the World: Ancient Egyptian Oneiromancy and Demotic Dream Books. In: H. Abd El Gawad / N. Andrews / M. Correas-Amador / V. Tamorri / J. Taylor (eds.), Current Research in Egyptology 2011: Proceedings of the Twelfth Annual Symposium Which Took Place at Durham University, United Kingdom March 2011, Oxford / Oakville: Oxbow Books: 167–177.
  • 2007. Indagini sul teatro nell’Egitto antico. Stratagemmi: Prospettive teatrali 1 (2007): 7–47.
  • 2006. Chapter III (Epistolario) – Chapter IV (Note filologiche e bibliografiche; with L. Narucchi) – Chapter VII (Varia; with L. Narucchi). In: Gli archivi egittologici dell’Università degli Studi di Milano: vol. I: Il fondo Elmar Edel (Il Filarete 230), Milano: LED: 117–215, 217–298, 369–407.
  • 2004. Lavori in corso: Gli archivi fotografici di Alexandre Varille.Bollettino Associazione Per-Megiat Onlus 3: 25-28.

Online Publications:

Further Info:

Academic profile on University College website:

Personal page on

Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung, Members’ Directory:

Photograph of Luigi Prada