Decipher of Herculaneum papyri locates Plato's burial site

Herculaneum papyri reveal Plato’s burial place

Culture News

The Herculaneum papyri have revealed the location of Plato’s burial place in the Platonic Academy in Athens, an Italian researcher said on Tuesday.

The Herculaneum papyri consist of over 1,800 papyrus scrolls unearthed in the 18th century at the Villa of the Papyri in Herculaneum. These scrolls were charred during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, which also devastated Pompeii.

Deciphering the contents of these scrolls poses significant challenges and risks of damage.

According to Graziano Ranocchia, an expert from the University of Pisa, new insights into the location of Plato’s burial site were gleaned from thousands of newly discovered words and variants found in papyri. These papyri document the history of the Academy by Philodemus of Gadara, an Epicurean philosopher and poet residing in Herculaneum.

Ranocchia unveiled these findings at the Naples Biblioteca Nazionale (National Library). He was presenting the interim results of the ‘Greek Schools’ research project, conducted in collaboration with the National Research Council.

The series of lectures which talk about new findings of the herculaneum papyri

The texts suggest Plato’s burial site was within a garden reserved for him at the Academy in Athens. The site is close to the sacred shrine dedicated to the Muses.

The Platonic Academy met its demise in 86 BC at the hands of the Roman dictator Sulla.

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