258 The Greek Papyri with the added explanation that the play was a hit against Pericles; it was a parody of the Trojan War with Dionysus playing the part of Paris and included a Falstaffian scene in which Dionysus, hearing of the approach of the Greeks, hides Helen in a basket and metamorphoses himself into a ram. It is not that the drama has been particularly favoured; there is scarcely a branch of Greek literature that has not gained similar unexpected additions. At times, indeed, the scraps are so small that they merely tantalize; such for example are the few csilly- boi' or tags which were attached to the top of the roll as titles. One of these bears the complacent inscription 'The Complete Works of Pindar', another 'The Female Mimes of Sophron'. Yet even these are an assurance that the books from which they have strayed still circulated in Roman Egypt and therefore may still have left some disiecta membra in the sand. The art or science of textual criticism is another study that has benefited from the discoveries of papyri;1 not far short of half the literary texts from Egypt belong to works already extant. With very few exceptions these papyri are much older than the oldest of our medieval manuscripts (e.g. for the greater part of Xenophon's Cyropaedia we have no manuscript earlier than the twelfth century, while our earliest papyrus fragments are of the second), and as a rule were copied before the families into which our manuscripts divide were formed; in consequence their evidence, as it stands outside the common tradition of the manuscripts, is often of particular value. To generalize on the relation of the papyri to the medieval texts is only possible within wide limits, as the text of each author has its own history and its own problems, but with this qualification some comments are possible. On the whole the papyri support the general con- sensus codicum to a surprising extent; that our tradition is generally sound cannot be doubted unless far-reaching changes 1 The best discussion of this subject to which I am indebted here is still that by B. P. Grenfeli in The Journal of Hellenic Studies for 1919.