Forging Antiquity

The website for the Australian Research Council Discovery Project: Forging Antiquity: Authenticity, forgery and fake papyri

Rachel Yuen-Collingridge

Rachel Yuen-Collingridge is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow on the ARC funded Discovery Project ‘Forging antiquity: Authenticity, Forgery and Fake Papyri’ (ARC DP 120103738, 2017–2019, under A/Prof. M. Choat and Dr. R. Ast) in the Department of Ancient History at Macquarie University. Her main research interests converge on questions about how knowledge is created, shared, and preserved by communities. Her doctoral work (Historical Lexicology and the Origins of Philosophy: Herodotus’ use of philosophein, sophistes and cognates) examined the way developments in word use reflect emerging communities.

As an ancient historian who works on papyrus manuscripts, she has pursued her interests by looking at scribal practice in a range of domains. She has worked on the mechanics of how scribes reproduced and edited texts, what manuscripts can tell us when we look beyond the level of content to their format, script, and layout about the communities that produced and used them, and how authenticity is cultivated and signalled by particular scribal choices. She has experience working on several papyrological projects focused on scribes, readers, the reception of manuscripts, and the creation of canons. She has worked on the ARC funded projects ‘Papyri from the Rise of Christianity in Egypt’ and ‘Knowledge Transfer and Administrative Professionalism in a Pre-Typographic Society’.

She has received funding for a number of projects on magical papyri including ‘Reading Content and Format in the Greek Magical Papyri from Roman Egypt’ (Australian Academy for the Humanities Travelling Fellowship, 2014) and ‘Authority and Artefact: Magic, scripture and administration in papyrus manuscripts from Graeco-Roman Egypt’ (Postdoctoral Fellowship in the History of Early Christianity, Macquarie University, 2016) and is currently working on a re-edition of PGM XIII in collaboration with Richard Gordon, under the direction of Sofía Torallas Tovar, Christopher Faraone, and Janet Johnson (

In addition to these interests, she is also pursuing cross disciplinary work on intersubjectivity and historical practice, memory and cognition, psychoanalysis, microhistory as well as cultural heritage and the history of ancient history itself. In these domains she has explored questions about the rights of the dead, what constitutes cultural continuity, how selfhood is constructed, why privacy matters and how it relates to intimacy: that is, how and why we connect or fail to connect with others. Her publications can be found at Contact her at rachel [at]