Rediscovering the Forgotten


The drive to digitize ancient manuscripts is growing quickly, and in the process, scholars are discovering works they never realized they had. The current technology is good enough that scholars can make sense of scrolls too delicate to be unrolled, charred or blackened by fire, or painted over.

Among the discoveries are “never-before-seen versions of the Christian Gospels, fragments of Greek poetry and commentaries on Aristotle” as well as an “alternate version of the Greek play Medea…written by Greek playwright Neophron” wherein Medea doesn’t kill her children. And yet this only scratches the surface of what’s still out there to be preserved.

Brian Spears is Senior Poetry Editor of The Rumpus and the author of A Witness in Exile (Louisiana Literature Press, 2011). His poem “Upon Reading That Andromeda Will One Day Devour Triangulum and Come For Us Next” was featured in Season 9 of Motion Poems. More from this author →