David Martinez

Biography and Interests: 

David G. Martinez

Title: Associate Professor, Department of Classics, the Divinity School, and the College
Education: Ph.D. University of Michigan
Office: Wieboldt 123
Areas of Specialization: Papyrology, koine Greek, ancient Greek magic and religion, New Testament and Early Christianity

David Martinez is a classicist and papyrologist whose research and teaching focus on Greek papyrology and paleography, Hellenistic authors, early Christian literature, and the Hellenistic background of the New Testament. He has written two books on magical and early Christian documents, as well as articles on documentary Greek papyri and ancient Greek religion and magic.

His current projects include the publication of the papyri collection from the University of Texas at Austin, which mainly date from the Ptolemaic period and include several documentary types including petitions, receipts, loans, contracts, and texts which document the activity and ethos of Hellenistic-era guilds. 

He is also at work on projects which concern the papyri as evidence for ancient Greek religion, cult, and ritual, as well as articles that relate papyrological research to the study of Hellenistic Judaism and early Christianity. He founded a seminar at the Society of Biblical Literature entitled "Papyrology and Early Christian Backgrounds,” which continues to be an active program unit within the SBL. Other areas of teaching and research interest include Greek prose, especially rhetoric and philosophy, the Corpus Hermeticum, patristics, especially the Apostolic Fathers and the early apologists, the interpretatio Graeca of Egyptian culture and religion in authors such as Herodotus and Plutarch, and the classical world and the Ancient Near East.


  • P.Michigan XIX:  Baptized for our Sakes; A Leather Trisagion from Egypt (Beiträge zur Altertumskunde 120), Teubner, Stuttgart-Leipzig 1999.
  • P.Michigan XVI:  A Greek Love Charm From Egypt (American Studies in Papyrology 30), Scholars Press, Atlanta 1991.

Recent Articles:

  • "Achilleus' Vow of Abstinence: Iliad 19.205-210," Métis N.S. 10 (2012) 39-51.
  • "Two Documentary Second-Century BC Papyri," Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 177 (2011) 207-216.
  • "P. Texas Inv. 2 Reconsidered," Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 177 (2011) 217-219.
  • "Epiphanal Themes in Christian Liturgies on Papyrus," in Light from the East: Symposium in Celebration of the Papyrologische Kommentare zum Neuen Testament, edd. Peter Arzt-Grabner and Christina Kreinecker (Philippika: Marburger altertumskundliche Abhandlungen 39. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag 2010) 187-217.
  • "The Papyri and Early Christianity," in The Oxford Handbook of Papyrology, ed. Roger S. Bagnall (Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 2009) pp. 590-622
  • “H. D. Betz’ Mithras Liturgy: Some Papyrological and Religious Historical Perspectives,” Biblical Research 49 (2004) 19-23.


  • Greek Thought and Literature
  • Ptolemaic Egypt
  • The Religions of Greco-Roman Egypt
  • Greek Prose Composition