The scroll - the ancient book
A text written on a scroll is a book for the ages. How durable papyrus (lat. cyperus papyrus) is can be seen from a story from the 2nd century A.D. The famous medical doctor and scholar, Galen, mentions that he had read a 300-year-old book scroll. Modern archaeological dating methods confirmed that Galen could have been correct and must not have exaggerated the age of the scroll.
Papyrus scroll - Ancient scrolls
A papyrus scroll is being created by gluing together individual papyrus sheets (sing. kollema; pl. kollemata). The fluid that is contained in the papyrus serves as its own "glue". On average a scroll was made out of about 20 sheets and reached a width of approximately 25 to 30 centimetres and a length of between six and ten meters. For the use today, we produce usually scrolls of one and two meters, but we can also provide longer ones – please ask for these specially long scrolls.
Papyrus – the ideal of writing material of antiquity
When gluing sheets of papyrus to a scroll, we need to see that the horizontal structure of the leaves is consistent throughout the scroll, in oder to allow the scroll to be used for writing on it. Therefore, we make sure that on the inside, the face of the role (or recto page), the fibres of the leaves run horizontally, as otherwise the calamus or feather would constantly hit a rough surface. On the outside, however, the verso page, the fibers run vertically, in order to give the sheet its strength, but this side inhibits a smooth run of the "pen". And yet, Papyrus scrolls, in their secondary use, were often used with writings on both sides. Such a papyrus with writings on both sides is called an Opistographon. Often the outsides were used for business or official records, we can often date an Opisthographon in contrast to literary texts which carry no date. Inks of different recipes were used to write on ancient scrolls of papyrus. There existed even a sponge to remove or a strone to erase in, either to correct a text or to reuse a papyrus. There are however hardly any surviving reused papyri as we regularly find them with parchment.
Write an antique book!
Why not try to write an ancient book, using ink and apply it to a papyrus scroll or to parchment.