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HOW TO DO GREEK AND LATIN EPIGRAPHY

1) How to find as yet unknown epigraphical source


material
1.1) by geographical provenance
Look for the city or region in the corpora, or find other publication dedicated to the
inscriptions found in a particular location for initial guidance: Franois Brard et al.,
Guide de lpigraphiste. Bibliographie choisie des pigraphies antiques et mdivales, Paris
2010 ditions Rue dUlm (4th ed)
About the Guide and for the supplements:
http://www.antiquite.ens.fr/ressources/publications-aux-p-e-n-s/guide-de-lepigraphiste/article/presentation (supplements 2011-2014)
The Guide is reviewed in BMCR: http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/bmcr/2001/2001-0308.html (John Ma asks of the Guide things that I have tried to do here)
NB: As to geographical provenance: as so much of the field of epigraphy uses some
topographical classification, it is most useful to have a (mental) map, esp. of Asia
Minor and of the Roman provinces
NB: note the following category of publications: Inscriptions in the British Museum,
Inscriptions in Warsaw, Inscriptions at the RMO Leiden: these have of course nothing
to do with geographical provenance. But museums in regions that once were part of
the Greek or Roman sphere of influence may, obviously, hold collections of
inscriptions that are of local provenance.
Examples:

CIG, IG, CIL

W.Dittenberger&K.Purgold,DieInschriftenvonOlympia,Berlin1896

R.G.Collingwood&R.P.Wright,TheRomaninscriptionsofBritain,Oxford1965(reprinted
withcorrigenda/addendaStroud1995)

1.2) by date
Find individual publications where inscriptions are arranged by date (florilegia) or where
inscriptions from a certain period have been collected for initial guidance: Guide
Examples:

W.Dittenberger,Syllogeinscriptionumgraecarum,Leipzig191519243(SIG,orSyll.;vols1
and2arearrangedchronologically)

M.Tod,AselectionofGreekhistoricalinscriptions.VolII:from403to328BC,Oxford1949

L.H.Jeffery,ThelocalscriptsofarchaicGreece,Oxford1990

1.3) by material/textual characteristics


Typical examples of this potentially very broad category are inscriptions on a particular kind
of carrier, such as inscriptions on vases, or inscriptions with a particular format, such as verse
inscriptions. These are collected in individual publications see the Guide
Examples:

R. Wachter, Non-Attic Greek vase inscriptions, Oxford 2001

W. Peek, Griechische Vers-Inschriften, vol 1: Grab-Epigramme, Berlin 1955

1.4) by subject
This IS definitely a very broad category inscriptions can deal with about everything, and
there have been put together collections of inscriptions about art and artists, games, medicine,
religion, governance, economy and what not. Obviously, such collections can be restricted as
to place and time.
1.4.1) by way of thematically arranged collections see Guide (note that general
collections/florilegia may have an arrangement by subject; even topographical collections,
e.g. the inscriptions found in the Athenian Agora, may be arranged in that way)
Examples:

W. Dittenberger, Sylloge inscriptionum graecarum, Leipzig 1915-19243 (vol. 3 is arranged


thematically)

M. Guarducci, Epigrafia greca, Roma 1967-1978 (4 vols, vol.4 on religion)

B.D. Meritt & J.S. Trail, The Athenian Agora 15: the Athenian Councillors, Princeton 1974

M. Girone, Iamata. Guarigioni miracolose di Asclepio in testi epigrafici, Bari 1998

L. Bricault, Recueil des inscriptions concernant les cultes isiaques, Paris 2005

J.H.M. Strubbe, Arai epitumbioi. Imprecations against desecrators of the grave in the Greek
epitaphs of Asia Minor. A catalogue, Bonn 1997 (IGSK 52)

1.4.2) by way of whatever publication on a particular subject that makes serious use of
epigraphic material
Example:

R. Parker, Polytheism and society at Athens, Oxford 2005 (has 5 pages of references to
inscriptional evidence in his index locorum)

1.4.3) by way of Greek or Latin vocabulary (if at a loss what the specific vocabulary might
be, use dictionaries (English etc. Greek/Latin) or even better: do full text searches through
digitized dictionaries (as can be done on the Perseus site). With the vocabulary, go through
indices of any epigraphic publication (see also 1.4.4), or use a database: not TLG, but
http://epigraphy.packhum.org/inscriptions/

Example:

Output of a dictionary search with oracle(s): this produces 86 words whose definitions
contain oracle and that could be used in a search for relevant epigraphic texts:

Puthios , oracle2350.59140.04
Puthazoracle0000
Puthokrantos , oracles10.0010.00
Puthochrstos , oracle110.03110.03
Puthochrsts , oracle0000
achrstos , oracle1320.331320.33
amanteutos oracles0000
amphiloxos oracles0000
anaire , , , oracle14943.7512163.05
anumne , oracle10.0010.00
apophasis , oracle0000
apothespisis oracle0000
apothespiz oracle0000
apochra , oracle0000
aud , , oracle870.22590.15
diamanteuomai , oracle20.0120.01
diachraomai , oracle180.05180.05
epos , , , oracle11922.9911282.83
ekchra , oracle0000
ekchrsmide oracle0000
epithespismos oracle0000
phatis , , , oracle1070.27640.16
philomantis , oracles0000
philochrsmos oracles0000
phoiblalos oracles0000
hierophnos oracles0000
histore , oracle2040.512040.51
logion , oracle, oracles700.1800.00
logos , , , oracle930323.35930323.35
loxochrsmn oracles0000
manteuma , , oracle850.21850.21
manteia , oracle1310.3340.01
manteionoracle1950.49330.08
manteuomai , , , oracle, oracles1350.341350.34
manteutos , oracle30.0120.01
nekuomanteionoracle30.0130.01
omph , , oracle170.04170.04
parachrotriaz oracle0000
poluphthoos oracle0000
polumanteutos oracles0000
polupeuths oracle0000
prophantos , , oracle, oracles60.0260.02
prophts , oracle3130.793130.79
promantaoracle0000
themis , , , oracles1440.361430.36
thesphatos , , , oracles600.15600.15
thespisma , oracles110.03110.03
themisteia oracles0000

themisteu , , oracle, oracles110.03110.03


theophradia oracle0000
theopropos , , oracle280.07280.07
theopropia , oracle70.0270.02
thesmide oracles0000
thespiide , oracles80.0260.02
there , oracle4701.184141.04
theros , oracle960.24430.11
sunchrstriazomai oracle0000
hupophts , , oracle40.0140.01
chra , , , oracle0000
chre , , oracle710.18270.07
chrsts , oracles310.08270.07
chriz , , oracle2070.522070.52
chrmaoracle31517.9131287.85
chrmatistrion , oracle20.0120.01
chrsmagors , oracles0000
chrsmgoros oracles0000
chrsmgore , oracles0000
chrsmologos oracle-monger, oracles70.0200.00
chrsmos , , oracle2890.732890.73
chrsmodots oracles0000
chrsmodosia oracles0000
chrsmodote oracles0000
chrsmophoros oracles10.0010.00
chrsmophulax , oracles0000
chrsmographion oracles0000
chrsmologe , oracles40.0140.01
chrsmologia oracles20.0120.01
chrsmoluts oracles0000
chrsmopeuste oracle0000
chrsmopoios , oracles0000
chrsmide , oracles180.05160.04
chrsmidia , oracle20.0120.01
chrsmidos , oracle-monger, oracles70.0250.01
chrstrion , , oracle1530.3800.00
chrstrios , oracles1570.3940.01
chrstriaz , oracle, oracles250.06250.06

1.4.4) by way of a subject index in any epigraphic publication. Many have no (adequate)
subject indexing; there is, however, in the overarching publications: BE, SEG, EBGR,
AnnEpigr
Bulletin pigraphique (BE) is contained in Revue des tudes Grecques (REG): 18881890 B. Hausollier; 1891-1906 Th. Reinach; 1907-1912 A.-J. Reinach; 1913-1936 P.
Roussel et al.; 1938-1984 (except for 1957/1975) J. & L. Robert; 1987-2005 Ph.
Gauthier et al. The Robert years, 1938-1984, have been published separately in in 10
vols. (1987-2001 will be published separately). For the years 1888-1936 there is no
index, for 1938-1965 an index in 3 vols., for 1966-1973 an index in 1 vol., for 19741977 an index in 1 vol., for 1978-1984 an index is being prepared, for 1987-2001 an
index in 3 vols has been published. For 2002- there is no index.
REG is available online.

Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum (SEG) 1-11 (Hondius), 12-25 (Woodhead et


al.) = 1923-1971; SEG 26-53 (Pleket et al) = 1976-2003. Vols. 1-10 have indices in
every issue, most of names only. For vols 11-20 (1950-1964) consolidated indices
were produced by G. Pfohl, 1970, again names only; for vols 26-35 (1976-1985) and
vols 36-45 (1986-1995) consolidated indices by Roozenbeek, Strubbe et al. 1990 &
1999, provide full indexing. So there are no proper indices for vols 1-25, and for vols
46-53 one has to rely on the indices in the individual volumes.
SEG is available online by way of UBL
Epigraphic Bulletin for Greek Religion (EBGR) is contained in the journal Kernos (A.
Chaniotis c.s.). With a subject index in every issue.
Issues 1-25 of Kernos are now available online: http://kernos.revues.org/
LAnne pigraphique (AE, AnnEpigr) is the complement of BE and SEG in the field
of Latin epigraphy. A history of LAnne pigraphique is available on:
http://www.anneeepigraphique.msh-paris.fr/spip.php?rubrique34. The publication
itself is not digitally available.

2) How to trace a known inscription


Please note: if an inscription is of importance for ones argument, one has to look for the most
recent publication [which need not be the one which one agrees with but one should have
seen it to decide on that] and recent comments. But there is, to my mind, no necessity to give
a full list of all previous publications, if this is already done in the edition one refers to.
2.1) first trace the inscription to the publication referred to (usually this involves
resolving some abbreviation)
2.2) from this publication, trace previous publications this might involve use of a
concordance, if no proper retrospective bibliography is provided by the edition in hand
2.3) and departing from the same or any other publication, trace more recent
publications. This can be done by way of BE, SEG, AnnEpigr use the concordances
2.4) as a shortcut, or to check up on your work, use a general concordance: Concordancia
de Inscripciones Griegas (DGE): http://www.dge.filol.csic.es/claros/claros.htm