Friday, April 30, 2010

Traianos Gagos (1960-2010)

A few days ago, Arthur Verhoogt announced on the PAPY-List the tragic news that on 24 April Traianos Gagos, Professor of Papyrology at the University of Michigan had died unexpectedly:

Dear Colleagues:

It is my sad duty to inform you that Traianos Gagos died very unexpectedly on April 24, 49 years old. We have lost a very dear friend, colleague, and one of the best documentary papyrologists of his generation. We are also losing a human being who had the capacity to make everybody feel at ease and respected in his presence. His service to the field of papyrology as a whole and especially to papyrology here in Michigan is well known to all. He was a great mentor to students and younger colleagues. We miss him.

Traianos will be buried in his beloved Greece.

Arthur Verhoogt

Department of Classical Studies

University of Michigan

A while ago I was working on the Papyrus 53 (Ann Arbor, Univ. Libr., Inv. Nr. 6652), which contains portions from Matthew and Acts. In the Kurzgefasste Liste the reconstructed format is 20-21 x 12 cm, whereas Scott Charlesworth in a more recent publication had indicated 16.5-18 x 10.8 cm. I consulted APIS and contacted Charlesworth because of the discrepancy. Eventually, Traianos Gagos, whom Charlesworth knew well, was kind enough to measure the fragments for us. As a result, Charlesworth recalculated the format to ca. 20 x 12.5 cm. This is just one small example of Gagos' kindness and generosity witnessed by many.

Gagos' colleague Arthur Verhoogt has announced on the PAPY-List that for those in the neighbourhood that can come, the University of Michigan is holding a Memorial gathering for Traianos Gagos on Monday, May 3, beginning at 4:00 PM in the Rogel Ballroom, Michigan Union, 530 South State Street. It is an open event for everyone wishing to share their memories.


  1. Gagos only two weeks ago helped me get new images of the Middle Egyptian Fayumic manuscript of John for the IGNTP John project. He went far beyond the call of duty, adding Infra-Red images to the already available standard images on APIS -- quickly and free of charge. Clearly, the progressive attitude of the Ann Arbor conservators was partly due to Taianos Gagos' own commitment. Few other collections are as aggressive about making their manuscript freely available in digital format. Sad news.

  2. Hi I am George Gagos.I am Traianos nephew. I heard the news from my grandfather and I am really sad,mostly because I never meet him from close.I only knew him from the stories,that dad dold me.I had plan to visit him,near the future,to know him better,to talk as uncle to nephew,but now I can't.I am really sorry for that happened to my uncle and deep inside me very sad.Good bye dear Uncle I wish you have a peaceful trip.Good bye,from your nephew and my sisters and hole of your family.We always LOVE YOU!!your nephews:George Gagos\Alexandra Gagou\Rafaela-Athina Gagou.

  3. We are deeply saddened to hear this news.
    Here is a short video we produced about the U of M Papyrus Collection featuring Traianos. He could not have been more helpful - a wonderful spirit!

    Our sincere condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. Many generations of scholars and papyrologists worldwide will benefit from his progressive work through the internet.

    Link to the Video Clip: