The difficulty of unrolling the papyri was due to the fact that these were charred, so they were extremely fragile. This situation led to experiment different techniques, all with little results, by causing the destruction of several rolls.
Only after several attempts, thanks to the work of Father Antonio Piaggio, an opening system was set through the construction of a machine based on the movement of a screw to open the roll, that was gradually stretched on a strip of bladder of sheep or pig.
The work of virtual reconstruction allowed us to reproduce Father Piaggio’s operation, as we can see in the video.
The slow work of scientists allowed to identify Epicuro’s works and those one of other members of his school, even if the most represented author is certainly Filodemo of Gadara, a philosopher who lived between the end of the 2nd century and the second half of the 1st century B.C. under the protection of Julius Caesar’s father in-law. His stay in the villa is highly probable, as some papyri testify, where the various phases of composition of his works had been recorded.
In the papyri the name of Sirone also appears. He was an epicurean philosopher, Filodemo’s scholar and Virgilio’s teacher. Some scientists also suppose the presence of Virgilio in the villa of Papyri on the basis of his initials written in a papyrus.