Colleagues will be deeply saddened to learn of the death of Peter Parsons in hospital early in the morning of Wednesday, November 16, 2022. He was 86. Although physically weak and more or less housebound for some years, he remained a model to many younger friends and colleagues for his dedication to scholarship.
Peter matriculated in 1953 as an undergraduate at Christ Church, Oxford. He studied Literae Humaniores and won many distinctions. Later he was appointed to a Research Studentship, a post combined with the University Lecturership in Papyrology. He made a huge contribution to many volumes of the Oxyrhynchus Papyri series, editing and commenting on hundreds of new texts, both literary and documentary. In 1989 he was appointed Regius Professor of Greek at Oxford in succession to Hugh Lloyd-Jones. He held the chair until retirement in 2003. Thereafter he continued to be an active scholar and maintained countless academic connections across the world. His superb book, City of the Sharp-Nosed Fish (2007), offers a wonderful introduction to the world revealed by the papyri from Roman Egypt. He was the recipient of several honorary doctorates and was elected a Fellow of the British Academy, whose Kenyon Medal he was awarded in 2019 in recognition of lifelong contributions to papyrology.
Peter was an outstanding classical scholar, and his death is a blow to research. But his many friends will miss still more his witty conversation, his keen sense of humour, and the essential modesty which made him such a loveable man.
Submitted by Professor Kathleen Coleman