Brill’s New Pauly

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Pen
(298 words)

[German version]

(κάλαμος/kálamos, lat. calamus). Besides the stylus , the pen was the second indispensable writing implement in antiquity. It was used to write with red or black ink on papyrus and parchment, as well as on whitened or uncoated wooden tablets. Pens made from reed stalks (κάλαμος/kálamos, lat. calamus) were sharpened with a penknife (σμίλη, scalprum librarium) and given a slit in the middle, so that they resembled the modern steel pen in appearance and functioned correspondingly (Pers. 3,10-14). After longer use, kalamoi which had become blunt could be resharpen…

Cite this page
Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg), “Pen”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 29 February 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e410560>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510



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