A team of scholars from Germany, Canada and France has unearthed the oldest surviving manuscript of Carolingians, a collection of poems and aphorisms from the Middle Bronze Age of Greece.
The discovery, published in the journal Papyri: A Journal of the Ancient Near East and the Near East, is the latest in a long line of finds that highlight the importance of ancient writings for the understanding of the ancient Near East.
Carolingians was first unearthed in the 1980s and is thought to date back to about 2500 BC, though researchers are still searching for other ancient works that were unearthed before the period covered by the manuscript.
It has been widely attributed to a group of Greek poets called the Carolingia, which meant “those who write.”
A collection of these writings was originally believed to be composed of a few dozen poems or aphoristic verses, but the researchers discovered thousands more.
This discovery could shed light on the origin of the collection and the life of the Carollinians.
The ancient Greeks and their descendants in the region had a complex relationship with one another.
The two cultures were often enemies.
This conflict has long been debated, but scholars have been unable to determine the exact nature of the feud.
“In the Carolean corpus, the conflict between the Carolinians and the Athenians was not simply a battle between two opposing civilizations,” study co-author Peter J. Muhlenberg, an archaeologist at the University of Göttingen, Germany, said in a statement.
“Instead, it was a conflict of two peoples who lived on opposite sides of the world.”
The researchers’ research focused on the Carolicans poem collection, which includes some of the earliest known fragments of poetry, as well as some of its most important texts.
“The Carolingic poems were written by the Carolinians and have survived in some form or another since the fourth century BC,” Muhlberg told ABC News.
“The earliest surviving fragments are the works of the poet Aristophanes and the famous story of the Trojan War.
But the oldest known fragment of a poem by the Athenian poet Philoxenus is an unpublished fragment from the fifth century BC.”
The Carolican poems are believed to have been written about 500 BC, about the time the first-century Athenian king, Aristophane, became king of Athens.
The Greek historian Pindar was a Carolinian who lived during the Peloponnesian War and died in 399 BC.
Aristophanius, the story of an ancient war between the Athenias and the Caroles, is thought by some to be the first poem written in the Greek language.
Philoxen, who lived between 300 BC and 250 BC, wrote two epic poems that were thought to be written in his native language, but which he never translated into Greek.
“His work was not known to have survived into the Middle Ages,” said Muhler.
“Philoxens poem was lost to antiquity until the 19th century when the Carolan manuscript was found in Germany.
The Carolan was an inscription on a fragment of wood that was found by the German archaeologist Peter Juhlenberger in 2000 in the city of Graz in northern Austria.”
While the Carolisn’s poems may not be the oldest extant Greek writings, they are among the most important and are known for their poetry and philosophy, the study said.
The researchers discovered the Carolians poem in the late 1980s, but discovered thousands of others in the years since.
The study was funded by the Royal Society of Antiquaries, which also funded the research.ABC News’ Ben Baskin contributed to this report.