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Epigraphy Optional Course MA/MPhil Ancient History Leiden University 2013-2014 2nd semester Instructor: Dr F.G. Naerebout

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Presentation on theme: "Epigraphy Optional Course MA/MPhil Ancient History Leiden University 2013-2014 2nd semester Instructor: Dr F.G. Naerebout"— Presentation transcript:

1 Epigraphy Optional Course MA/MPhil Ancient History Leiden University 2013-2014 2nd semester Instructor: Dr F.G. Naerebout

2 1 Schedule February 3 – May 12, Mondays 9:00-11:00, Room: Huizinga 007 please note: no classes on March 24, April 21 and May 5 2 Assessment by way of individual assignments – which include the writing of weekly reports (50%) and a short essay on some epigraphic issue (50%) 3 Website A dedicated web address: (or / and choose Syllabi from menu) 4 Literature Recommended: François Bérard et al., Guide de lépigraphiste. Bibliographie choisie des épigraphies antiques et médiévales, Paris 2010 Editions Rue dUlm [4th ed] ISBN 978-2-7288- 0443-6

3 Epigraphy = the study of intaglio texts in hard, non-organic material & more or less related stuff [for a full view of textual evidence from archaeological sources you have look beyond epigraphy] Epigraphy = any text that answers to the formalist criteria [the contents of inscriptions show a very wide range – with some focal points, such as epitaphs, but these points cannot double as criteria to decide which text is an inscription or not] Epigraphy = Greek & Latin epigraphy, inscribed alphabetic texts 8th c BC-7th c AD [there are many other epigraphies] Our purpose is to know and understand what epigraphers do in order to be able to critically use the published texts that epigraphers provide us with 1. Summary

4 Find inscriptions [hunting for inscriptions chance finds] Collect inscriptions [unpublished (to be established) or from whatever source] Document inscriptions [photographs, squeezes, rubbings, drawings, exact description of object and of (original) location, measurements, bibliography] Contextualize inscriptions [mettre en série] Read inscriptions [palaeography, language, expand abbreviations & symbols, make conjectures] Categorize inscriptions [conventional categorizations, e.g. dedications, epitaphs, building inscriptions, military diplomas, defixiones…] Date inscriptions [from exterior characteristics or from dating in the text] Edit and (re-)publish inscriptions Translate inscriptions (Re-)interpret inscriptions Write the history of inscribing texts Write history on the basis of inscribed texts 2. What epigraphers do

5 So if they write history, where do epigraphers stand vis-à-vis other students of the ancient world? Divergence Epigraphers are specialized in working with epigraphic sources, including unpublished ones. Convergence The nature of the epigraphers work ranges from the purely empirical (publishing texts), considered by ancient historians, classical philologists or classical archaeologists to be an auxiliary science (Hilfswissenschaft, hulpwetenschap, disciplina editoriale), to the interpretative, which can hardly be distinguished from the work of the ordinary ancient historian, etc.

6 3. Some issues for the epigraphist Paleography (letter shapes, direction, punctuation) Non-standard language (Dialektinschriften etc) Ancient abbreviations Damage to the carrier: incomplete texts Chronology (ancient dating systems: eponyms, eras etc) Find comparable texts Support: Specialist reference works Petrology Digital enhancement New technologies… Data mining

7 Paleography


9 Dating

10 Lacunae and conjectures





15 4. Issues for the user of epigraphic publications FIND, UNDERSTAND and USE the appropriate texts Bibliography NB: modern abbreviations ibid. and several other tools Geography / toponomy Barrington Atlas Typology Editorial sigla Translation Mettre en série, contextualize Guide de lépigraphiste

16 4.1 Bibliography: the (re-)publishing of inscriptions Individual or grouped in journals and in monographs As part of some corpus of inscriptions comprehensive florilegium regional thematic [Other: reference to or paraphrase of an inscription, possibly of interpretative importance]

17 4.2 Bibliography: how to find a published inscription –Texts quoted or referred to by others (I want to see for myself what X refers to) establish source and trace the text(s) find older/newer publications, commentaries, translations etc –Texts as yet unknown (to you) (is there any epigraphic evidence for…?) by provenance by date by material characteristics by subject

18 4.3 LCC Subclass CN CN1-1355 Inscriptions. Epigraphy CN120-740 Ancient inscriptions CN750-753 Early Christian inscriptions CN755 Medieval inscriptions (General) CN760 Modern inscriptions (General) CN805-865 By language CN870-1355 By region or country and scattered across the A-Z classes in the reading rooms…

19 4.4 Websites see portal at for latest developments, see:

20 5. Publishing conventions The ideal edition: components The editorial sigla

21 Example: C.M. Lehmann & K.G. Holum, The Greek and Latin inscriptions of Caesarea Maritima, Boston 2000 ASOR (The Joint Expedition to Caesarea Maritima Excavation Reports vol. 5)

22 Nr, title, image Date Measurements & description Provenance Bibliography Transcribed text with abbrevs expanded Translation Comments

23 Editorial conventions, editorial sigla adapted Krummrey & Panciera 1980/Panciera 1991 adopted by the lAnnée Épigraphique since 1991, and by the current editors of IG and CIL The 1931 Leiden System

24 Reading uncertain Letter damaged too badly for restoration Older editions have ? Letters that can be read, but do not make sense Letters that have been seen by a previous editor, but are no longer visible Ligatures Letters missing and supplied by the editor (conjecture) An expanded abbreviation ( ) abbreviation impossible to expand

25 Letters or symbols represented differently on the stone e.g. reversed letters symbols like 7 or > for centurio, centuria |_ for Greek etos, etous etc Correction by the editor Older editions may have [ ] Letters included by mistake and removed by the editor Older editions may have Letters ommitted by mistake and added by the editor Older editions may have ( ) Letters erased on purpose in Antiquity Letters inscribed in an erasure Letters added in Antiquity to correct or supplement a text Approximately 5 letters missing A space of approximately 5 letters purposively left blank in Antiquity

26 [------] Lacuna of unknown length ------] (also indicated with an unbroken line) [------ Indicates the direction of the original text | Indicates the division of lines in the | 5 | 10 original text; with a superscript line || number for every 5 th line (or a bold bar); a double bar for a major break in the original text

27 (ds = disegno etc)

28 Lacunae and conjectures






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