The British Epigraphy Society:

Old Events - Reports


A small but select group of epigraphers assembled on an uncharacteristically damp Mancunian May morning for the Spring Meeting of the British Epigraphy Society. The theme of the meeting was 'Language, power and politics', and speakers addressed that theme with reference to a wide range of material (from classical Athens to late antique Rome, and from literary texts to document reliefs), and with an equally broad set of methodological approaches.

The morning's papers concentrated on the Roman world. In a paper with important implications for our understanding of the late-Roman 'epigraphical habit', Simon Corcoran (UCL) discussed the epigraphic jigsaw puzzle that is the Caesariani dossier, suggesting that the fragments of the dossier should be seen as part of a single, but multiply published, text, and that this method of publication is a much more restricted phenomenon than is often thought. The second paper moved from 'public' to 'private' writing: Lucy Grig (Reading) explored the use of inscribed writing by the élite families of late-antique Rome, and showed how these families used inscribed monuments (and some poetically-questionable imitations of Virgil) to enhance their power and status.

In the afternoon, the focus of attention switched to the Greek world. Claire Taylor (Cambridge) demonstrated the value of a very different approach to inscribed texts, using the data preserved in the documents of the Athenian democracy as the basis for a statistical analysis of the (geographical and social) origins of those who participated in Athenian political life. This analysis produced many interesting results, of which perhaps the most striking was demonstration of a clear gulf between the origins of those holding elected office and those holding offices appointed by lot. Peter Liddel (TCD) offered a valuable new perspective on the venerable problem of the Athenian epigraphic habit by exploring the uses to which inscriptions are put by the Attic Orators. It emerged that, for the orators at least, inscriptions represented much more than a symbol of democratic accountability, or a repository of useful information: inscriptions are used to incite civic obligation or patriotic emotion, to demonstrate the status, prestige, or knowledge of an individual, and even, on one memorable occasion, to symbolise the importance of restricting access to privileged information.

The day was brought to a stimulating conclusion by Alastair Blanshard (Reading), who discussed the sculptural relief panels that adorned a number of fourth-century Athenian inscriptions. After outlining workshop arrangements (especially the relationship between sculptor and epigraphic mason), he explained the way in which such images functioned as ethnic and political markers, in Athens and elsewhere in the Greek world.


Benet Salway reports:

On a snowy Saturday in February, the Classics Faculty in Sidgwick Avenue, Cambridge, was once again host to a day devoted to recent work in Greek and Roman epigraphy organised by Joyce Reynolds.

Charlotte Roueché (King’s College, London) opened proceedings with an examination of the use of verse in inscriptions, focusing on the re-emergence of the phenomenon of the honorific Greek epigram for the living in the late Roman period. Considering primarily examples from Asia Minor, she analysed the use of epigrams alongside the contemporaneously emerging phenomenon of inscribing honorific acclamations, and raised questions about the relationship between the oral and written.  An interesting example of this phenomenon is SEG XLVII 1788, an epigram commemorating honours awarded the city of Perge under the emperor Tacitus (AD 275-6), inscribed on a pilaster beside a similar pilaster inscribed with acclamations celebrating the same event.  The ‘purity’ of the language of the epigram contrasts with the Latinisms contained in the text of the acclamations, emphasising the contrasting ‘registers’ used simultaneously in the different genres.  Mrs Roueché observed that, while the Greek epigram was deemed an appropriate form of honour for Roman officials already in the third century, it was not used of reigning emperors until the late fifth century, which may be a measure of the progress of the Hellenisation of Constantinopolitan court culture.  The proliferation of interest in such verses in this period is, of course, what led to their circulation and collection in manuscript versions.  An instructive example is that of the two-stanza epigram in honour of a certain Asclepiodotus at Aphrodisias (Roueché, Aphrodisias in Late Antiquity No 53), the second stanza of which is also known, with one slight variant, from the Anthologia Palatina (IX 704).  The example is instructive because the nature of the variant suggests not that some Byzantine copyist ignored the first verse or that he or a successor blundered in the second, but that the manuscript version derives from a second inscription (of the second verse alone) located elsewhere. In relation to this example, a plea was made to literary scholars for the treatment of epigrams that survive solely on stone as of equal merit as those that were fortunate enough to be copied into the collections that eventually coalesced into the Greek Anthology.

Leonardo de Arrizabalaga y Prado then made an announcement of his multifaceted project Studia Variana devoted to the history and both ancient and modern reception of the reign of [Sex.?]Varius Avitus Bassianus (PIR1 V 184), better known under his imperial title M. Aurellius (sic) Antoninus sacerdos amplissimus dei invicti Solis Elagabali, commonly known as Elagabalus.  One of the strands of Studia Variana involves the study of the epigraphic evidence for his reign and Sñr de Arrizabalaga is very keen to be put in touch with anyone working on this material or who would like to contribute to his project.  He may be contacted at: Moralzarzal 14, 28034 Madrid, Spain; e-mail

Henrik Mouritsen (King’s College, London), presented some results of his re-analysis of Italian epitaphs and the epigraphic habit.  It has long been controversial that 50-75% of epitaphs in Roman Italy relate to liberti (freedmen) rather than ingenui (freeborn individuals). Lily Ross Taylor had emphasised in 1961 that this should not be taken not to reflect the composition of the population but rather the differential reasons for epigraphic commemoration.  Freedman might be expected to be proud of establishing a legitimate family, so that it is unsurprising that most libertine epitaphs are by parents commemorating children (compensating for this early loss) and that the striking Augustan period monuments bearing family portrait groups tend to be of freedmen.  Looking at the tomb monuments of Ostia and Pompeii, Dr Mouritsen noted how the families of the native freeborn élite, whose members dominate in the centrally located public epigraphy of the municipal life of the town, generally indulge in what might be termed ‘funerary restraint’ in comparison to immigrant ingenui and parvenus liberti, who took full advantage of the opportunity for commemoration and display afforded them in this topographically marginal and diffuse location.

Thomas Corsten (Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum, Heidelberg), presented the texts of some as yet unpublished inscriptions from the region of Lycia-Pamphylia, mostly from around of Cibyra.  Though most were unexceptional in form, they did offer a number of interesting additions to the Onomasticon, such as Albasis (gen. –ios), grandfather and grandson, in a slab now in the floor of the church of St. Nicholas at Myra, and Panagoas and his father Osagetas, in an honorific inscription from the countryside north of Cibyra, to be published by Greg Horsley.  This latter text also adds a considerable number of items to the known toponyms of the area, while the former attests to the existence of a priesthood pro polews of the enigmatic Prwimoi Theoi.  Also from Kibyra is another text of interest to students of Anatolian religion.  This is a dedication to Herakles, the son of Herakles ‘hosios kai dikaios’, and the ‘Golden Virgin’ by three priests, one of whom describes himself as ‘mammothreptos’ (‘reared by his mother’, i.e. son of a single mother?), a term that apparently has the derogatory meaning of ‘mother’s boy’ in modern Greek.

Stephen Mitchell (Exeter) gave a taste of his forthcoming publication of the text of a treaty between the Romans and the Lycian league.   The treaty is dated to 24 July 46 BC, i.e. in the period of Caesar’s dictatorship.  Although preserved on bronze the full text and commentary is to appear in a volume entitled Papyri Graecae Schøyen, edited by Jens Braarvig  A photograph and synopsis of the text can be consulted at

The text (in Greek) is intact, save for a small portion of the top lefthand corner, from which the opening protocol has suffered worst. The rather odd style of the language betrays its origin as a translation of a Latin original and its contents conform to the standard pattern known from other surviving treaties.  After a declaration of friendship, alliance and peace both by land and sea in perpetuity, the Lycians are enjoined to observe the power and pre-eminence of the Romans, as is proper in all circumstances.  There are then declarations of mutual agreement not to give aid or succour to the enemies of the other party financially or with ships or weapons and both parties agree to help the other by all possible means if the other is attacked.  Amongst other matters covered are the prevention of smuggling (i.e. the protection of import/export due revenues), and the rules for determining the application of which legal system in various circumstances, but, perhaps most interestingly from the historical perspective a detailed definition of the geographical limits of Lycian authority at this moment in time.


(Photograph: Schøyen Collection MS 2070)


To round off the day, David French, offered a fresh analysis and some new or revised readings of the milestones from the Roman road from Caesarea (Kayseri) to Melitene (Eski Malatya) in Cappadocia.  His findings demonstrated that the first activity attested by the milestones was as early as the reign of Titus, which fits perfectly with the contemporary establishment north-south frontier in Anatolia between Melitene and the Black Sea coast and that the milestones indicate measurements from either end of the road; that is not that each milestone shows two distances but that those from Melitene are measured in a westerly sequence as far as Osmanpinar (1 mille passuum north of Comana), where they meet those measured in an easterly direction (most peculiarly) from point 5 m.p. to the east of Caesarea, rather than from the gates of the  colonia itself – an oddity that remains to be properly explained.



Benet Salway and Polly Low report:

There was lots of pioneering spirit in evidence at this year’s Autumn Colloquium, held in London on November 15th 2003.  The meeting headed for new territory in the most literal sense – abandoning its traditional home in the familiar surroundings of the Institute of Classical Studies and assembling, instead, in the welcoming (if labyrinthine) home of UCL’s history dept.  Any participants who felt that safe arrival in the right room constituted enough exploration for one morning were soon proved wrong: the trailblazing theme was continued in the series of reports on recent epigraphic projects which made up the morning session; reports which showed (as if it needed showing) that epigraphy is never far from the cutting edge in research, and in the dissemination of the results of research.

Gabriel Bodard made his third appearance at the BES colloquium, presenting his final report on the progress of the “Aphrodisas in Late Antiquity” (EPAPP) project.  The project is now nearing conclusion and the website is due for release in the next few months.  The many benefits of web-publication (and of the xml database on which the publication is based), which had been discussed in theory in earlier presentations, were now visible in practice: a text (presented in reassuringly familiar Leiden form), brief commentary, multiple images; and, through the miracle of hypertext, easy access to much more detailed historical discussion, a whole range of indices, cross references, parallels, and so on ...  The pilot project has revealed various difficulties: xml tags require the epigrapher to give a particularly explicit label to and rationale for their decisions – in itself no bad thing perhaps, but a feature which does bring with it the risk of ‘spurious accuracy’ (to use Joyce Reynold’s label).  But it has also solved many problems, led to many refinements of the EpiDoc proposals for electronic publication of epigraphic texts, and, it is hoped, smoothed the path for future projects in electronic epigraphy.  (The EPAPP website is at

The second report introduced a project which is still in its early stages: “Developmental Literacy in Ancient Italy” (or the “Ancient Literacy Project” for short).  Kathryn Lomas, the project’s director, provided a brief introduction to its scope and aims: the project will study the diffusion of writing and literacy; it will investigate the relationship between text and artefact; it will study the archaeological contexts of writing; and it will explore the impact of literacy on the societies of ancient Italy.  The aim, in other words, is to move away from the primarily philological approach which has dominated this field in the past, and to set writing back into its societal and cultural context.  There are three regional case studies (based on NE, SE and NW Italy), and Dr Lomas gave a short survey of the results which have emerged from the first study (NE Italy).  Writing appears in this region from the end of the seventh century; it is mostly of the Venetic and Raetic groups (although there is some use of Greek and Latin); and it appears almost exclusively in funerary or votive contexts (although inscribed gravestones become increasingly rare in later periods).  Most writing is associated with sanctuaries – but not all sanctuaries produce evidence of writing, and inscribed votives form only a tiny proportion of the total corpus of dedicated objects.  Intriguingly, the tools of writing themselves become votive objects: the sanctuary at Baratella has produced dedications in the form of writing tablets and a number of styluses, almost all of which were dedicated by women.

The third paper took us further south down the Italian peninsula.  Will Broadhead reported on the progress of the Imagines Italicae project.  This too is a project which aims to bring an archaeological and historical perspective to a body of material (the non-Latin inscriptions of Italy) which has usually been tackled in purely philological terms: the project has been attempting not only to establish the texts of inscriptions but also to locate, describe and record the objects on which those texts are inscribed.  As Dr Broadhead eloquently explained, such a task is not always easy: the intrepid epigraphist might uncover hidden treasures in the basement of the CIL headquarters in Berlin (Mommsen’s drawings of inscriptions of Pompeii, for example), but they might also find themselves marooned in time-warp Italian towns or shrouded in dust in museum store-rooms.  But the rewards seem eminently worthwhile: the database of inscriptions now contains over 1,300 entries (containing text, translation, discussion and photographs), and the project website includes masses of other helpful data: a cross-referenced checklist of communi and municipia; bibliographic information and guidance; a discussion group; and even a set of epigraphic puzzles.  Rush to:

Technology was also the focus of the final paper of the session – not, though, the electronic tools used to present the results of epigraphic research, but the more fundamental (though no less complex) set of techniques which underlie the creation of the raw materials of all that research: the inscribed stones themselves.  Richard Grasby presented the results of his investigations of the science of Roman scriptura monumentalis – a style of lettering which is so uniform, and so widespread (geographically and chronologically), that it is hard to believe that it is not regulated by some fixed set of principles.  The paper demonstrated the precise set of geometric calculations which determine the shapes of these impressive letters, as well as their position on the stone, and provided an important reminder that epigraphers should not forget the basic processes by which the texts they study come into existence.

After the AGM, at which the Society’s officer’s presented the accounts and draft of the annual report for the Charity Commission and at which three new members were elected to the committee: David French, Peter Haarer (Secretary), and Peter Liddel, the colloquium resumed with two papers of the day’s theme of the Non-Latin Epigraphy of Italy.

Margaret Watmough (Imagines Italicae Project, Institute of Classical Studies) spoke on the ‘Evidence of Names on the Cortona Tablet.’  Dr Watmough began by describing in detail the physical appearance of a bronze tablet from Cortona that bears on its two faces an inscription in Etruscan. It is one of only ten known objects of this kind. The tablet, which was originally rectangular and headed by a small riveted handle, was deliberately broken into eight pieces at some point in antiquity, seven of which pieces are preserved at the Soprintendenza di Archeologia della Toscana.  Nevertheless the text itself is more or less intact and the decipherment of the script presents few problems.  The tablet was engraved after casting with 32 lines filling side A and continuing with 7 lines on side B.  The alphabet is north Etruscan of c. 250-125 BC and includes the retrograde ‘E’ characteristic of texts from Cortona.  However, the relatively high proportion of hapax legomena, which is testament to the imperfect state of our understanding of the Etruscan language, means that determining the sense of the text is far from problematic.

The consensus is that it is a legal text but the precise details are controversial. The medium of bronze and the careful breaking into pieces as a sign of cancellation are certainly consistent with such and interpretation.  All scholars agree that the central figures are the brothers Cusu, named several times on the document.  However, interpretations of the content range from a land purchase (Agostiniani), a contract for the treatment of tenant farmers on a recently sold piece of land (Rix), a long-term lease of farm land (Foccetti), to a parentatio, i.e. rules for the establishment of a family funeral cult (de Simone).

Dr Watmough took her audience through a careful analysis of the structure of the document, paying attention to the punctuation (two end of line vacats and four zig-zag clause dividers are observable), which appears to divide the text into seven clauses, and also the four separate lists of names, relating both to the various interpretations of the document.  While it is possible to advance a fairly firm interpretation of part of one clause (‘Thus were acquired the vineyard and other piece of land by the oil-merchant Petru Sceva’), the precise meaning of the rest appears to remain enigmatic.

Michael Crawford (History Dept, UCL) speaking on the theme of ‘Language Change and the Italic Epigraphy of Pompeii’, also presented the fruits of work done for the Imagines Italicae project.  Professor Crawford explained that, while the progressive linguistic domination of Italy by the Latin language in the late republican period had obviously presented no problems for its native speakers, we should bear in mind the problems this posed for non-native speakers.  He argued that it is dangerous to use mediaeval or modern parallels for this process, because republican Italy lacked powerful machinery such as that of the Catholic Church or the Nation State by which a standard norm might be imposed.  Thus, by imposing the standard of the modern classroom, there is the danger that what was intended as Latin by its authors may be falsely interpreted as a genuine attempt to write one of its Italic relations.  This needs to be considered when examining the supposed epigraphic evidence for Latin and Oscan side by side at Pompeii; where it is claimed, for instance, that a solitary graffito (markas) from the brothel attests the survival of Oscan as a written language alongside Latin as late as AD 72/79.  This series of graffiti includes much Latin material transliterated into Greek letters, so that it is equally possible that this supposed late Oscan survival is rather an inferior bit of ‘Gratin’.  With the existence of this famous piece of Oscan thus now in doubt, Professor Crawford suggested that it would be worth reconsidering the evidence for the dating of the certainly Oscan alphabetaria known from Pompeii (mostly from the outside of the House of the Faun and not seen since the nineteenth century).


Benet Salway reports:

Michael Crawford (UCL, London) began with an exposition of the work he has done with Christina Kuhn (Heidelberg) on a small number of ivory or bone tesserae that have generally been categorised with the so-called tesserae lusoriae (gaming counters) that have numbers on one side and letters on the other.  However, what distinguishes this sub-category of tessera is that, while indeed inscribed with a number on one side, the other bears the name, in abbreviated form, of one of the thirty-five tribes into which the Roman citizen body was divided by the period of the late Republic (e.g. ROM | V and OVF | XVI).  In all, seven such tesserae are known to survive – though there may well be more lurking out there unidentified in museum collections – each representing a different tribe and number and all with a demonstrable or probable provenance from the city of Rome.  The numbers on the reverses appear to correspond to the official order of the tribes as it existed in the late Republic.  Relating this evidence with the scattered and incomplete literary evidence for the order of the tribes, including a previously unexploited guide to tironian notes in a manuscript from the Bodleian Library in Oxford, it has been possible to draw up a revised listing of the tribes that largely confirms that produced by Lily Ross Taylor in her Voting Districts of the Roman Republic (Rome 1960).  It is clear that the order is neither straightforwardly chronological nor geographical.  Rather, after the four urban tribes, the rural tribes form groups lying along the main roads radiating out of Rome, running anticlockwise from the via Ostiensis to the via Clodia-Cassia.  While the tesserae themselves may have been tags attached to the pots into which votes were cast (cf. the depiction on a late Republican sestertius [Crawford, Roman Republican Coinage No 473]), the order may reflect an originally military purpose, following the order in which requests for the levying of troops according to tribal groupings were despatched from the centre.

Ginette di Vita Evrard (ENS, Paris) guided the audience through the complexities of onomastics in the mixed Latin and Punic context of ancient Lepcis in Tripolitania (Libya), where she is attached to the excavations by the Università di Roma III.  The number of named individuals known from Lepcis has been recently expanded by the discovery of three funerary hypogea during the excavation of a suburban villa along the coast.  Added to this, Professor Evrard has been able to get access to the chance finds brought in to the museum depot from building activity resulting from the expansion of the modern village.  Together this new corpus comprises more than a hundred funerary urns, inscribed either in Neo-punic script (that of North Africa of the period after the fall of Carthage) or in the Latin alphabet.  However, there is not a simple correlation between language (or name etymology) and script.  There are many Latin or Greek names in Neo-punic script and many Libyo-Punic names in Latin letters.   This reflects the complex linguistic mix of Roman Lepcis.  Originally founded as a colony of Carthage, the majority of the population was nevertheless Libyan, though there was also some Greek influence from Cyrenaica to the east.  Punic was the written language of the city and continued to be so under the Numidian hegemony following the fall of Carthage and on into the early Roman period, during which Lepcis was a free city (ciuitas libera).  In this latter period there was an epigraphic explosion in both Punic and Latin.  On public monuments there are many bilingual inscriptions (for which see J.M. Reynolds & J.B. Ward-Perkins, Inscriptions of Roman Tripolitania [Rome 1952]), though even before the city became a Roman colonia Latin is already being used as the language of the primary text (the Punic often merely summarises the most important information for the benefit of the local population).  However, even in the Latin inscriptions, the Punic naming-system has to be understood to decode the information provided.  One needs to know that, as was usual in the Mediterranean world, the Libyans and Carthaginians had a system of single personal names and significantly also that in Punic these had a single, indeclinable, form.  When greater definition was required it was usual in Punic to qualify the name by appending the name of the father (sometimes with the conjunction byn/ben) and/or the title of a function (usually preceded by the definite article h ).  Ancestry beyond the first generation back was indicated by appending the name of the grandfather, etc.; so, for instance, Mago ben Aris ben Anno is Mago, son of Aris, grandson of Anno.  All this is straightforward enough until one runs into the mixed onomastics of the more Romanised locals, who regularly adopted a Graeco-Latin name alongside their Libyo-Punic single name and then listed their filiation.  Thus the magistrate Annobal Rufus Himilchonis Tapapi f(ilius) of IRT 321 (cf. IRT 322: Annobal Himilchonis Tapapi f(ilius) Rufus) should be decoded as Annobal siue Rufus Himilchonis filius Tapapi nepos in full Latin style, equivalent to Punic Annobal ben Himilcho ben Tapapi.  On occasion the grammar of the underlying Punic exerts sufficient influence that the patronyms appear in Latin in indeclinable, but Latinised, nominative forms.  So the same man is described in IRT 319c as Annobal Himilcho f(ilius) Tapapius Rufus.  Conversely amongst the funerary epitaphs one finds grammatically and phonetically pure Punic texts in Latin letters, even when the name elements are Graeco-Roman: e.g. Getulith (= Lat. Gaetula), Pudens byn Tyrane (= Lat. Pudens Tyranni f.), and Micho asth Marce Bibie (= Lat. Micho Marci Vibii uxor), as well as more complex mixed forms, such as Iulia Folliu (= Lat. Iulia Polla).  The two languages and systems can be found side by side in reference to the same individual on the same monument.  Thus, on the outside of a tomb (of probably first-century AD date) one local with Roman citizenship is called in the dedication by his son ‘Q. Licinius Piso’ but inside, on the urn, he is called ‘Licini Piso’ (= Pun. Licine Piso ), demonstrating the redundancy of the praenomen to provincials of peregrine origin already at this early period.

After lunch Riet van Bremen (UCL, London) offered new insights into two epigraphic dossiers of imperial letters relating to the ordinances of the Epicurean School at Athens.  The first dossier, of AD 121, inscribed on a broken marble block and comprising at least four texts, is relatively well known and understood (J.H. Oliver, Greek Constitutions of the Roman Emperors [Philadelphia 1989], No 73).  It carries the tail of a Greek text, the Latin text of a letter of Plotina Augusta to her step-son Hadrian, his response (again in Latin) addressed to one Popillius Theotimus, diadochos of the Epicureans, and an accompanying letter from Plotina in Greek addressed to ‘all her friends’.  The second dossier is less well known.  What survives are the incomplete texts of two documents on two (now quite different-looking) fragments of a block that, although originally similarly proportioned to that of the first dossier, suffered cutting down to make capitals for a Byzantine building.  As a result what survives are two slices of the inscribed surface bearing a portion of c. 15 letters in length from near the beginning of each line and one of c. 20 letters from the end, with a substantial lacuna in between.  Both texts are in Greek and the first is certainly a letter of the emperor Hadrian, dated clearly to February/March AD 124, perhaps reconfirming the privilege granted in 121.  The second is more problematic.  It appears to be a letter in which the recipient’s name survives as Heliodorus but the sender's is lost in a lacuna of uncertain length at the beginning of the line.  James Oliver, who in 1938 was the first to recognise that the two blocks belonged together, thought that it might be the actual Greek testament of the diadochos of the school.  The first complete reconstruction of the dossier was attempted some years ago by Simone Follet (Revue des Etudes Grecques 107 [1999], 158-171).  Follet had identified the second document as a further letter of Hadrian.  However, Dr van Bremen, offering a new reconstruction of the text, pointed to the large number of 'Epicureanisms' in its language; for the Epicureans were very fond of coining new abstract nouns.  Accordingly she proposes that it is another letter of Plotina, since, as demonstrated in the first dossier, the special affection for, and connection with, the sect seems to be hers rather than Hadrian's.  It seems, then, that to some extent the content of this second dossier mirrors the combination of correspondence found in the first: a letter of advice or encouragement from Plotina with a letter of Hadrian granting (or confirming) privileges accorded out of his filial piety (this time probably posthumous).

Nicholas Milner (ICS, London) elucidated the text of a recently noted stele, currently in a private collection at Fethiye (ancient Telmessos in Lycia).  It is a limestone slab bearing twenty-three lines of text in a single column and in a Greek script of early imperial date.  This text is incomplete, beginning and ending in mid sentence, and it is clear from marks on the stone that it was originally flanked to left and right by similar slabs, so that the original monument comprised at least three slabs.  The contents would appear to be the proceedings of a legal case involving the covert sale of lands to foreigners, even though, in some cases, dues are still being paid on them.  The foreigners are at one point specifically referred to as Lycians, which seems odd given the current location of the stone.  It is probable that the defendants were accused of selling as their own public lands that they possessed on the basis of inherited perpetual tenancies, perhaps even continuing to pay the rents in order to mask the fraud.  Amongst the defendants is one Claudius Mnasagoras son of Antipater.  As Dr Milner demonstrated with reference to the Lexicon of Greek Personal Names , the name Mnasagoras has a strongly Rhodian flavour, added to which a certain Tib. Cl. Antipater son of Mnasagoras is recorded as a priest of the imperial cult at Lindos on Rhodes in AD 97/98; he might plausibly be identified as the father of the defendant.  This suggests that the legal case relates to Rhodes and, while the stele might be a pierre errante from across the water, it is most likely to have come from one of Rhodes’ onshore possessions (the peraia) and, most specifically, from one of those territories it retained after being stripped of the greater peraia by Rome.  The remaining territories, known as the ‘incorporated peraia’ included the Loryma peninsula and Physcos (Marmaris), the island of Megiste (Kastellorizon)  near   Antiphellos on the Lycian mainland, and Daedala (Belenplnar) in the Gulf of Makre (Fethiye Körfezi). This last, lying below Mount Daedalus (Kizilda), given its proximity to Fethiye and the fact that it had once been a border town between Lycia and Caria but was, by the imperial period, surrounded by a Lycia whose border had moved westward to Calynda, appears the most plausible context for the stele.  It would seem, then, most likely that the stele was erected at the site of the disputed lands to record the verdict as a warning to future Rhodian vendors and prospective Lycian buyers. 


Jonathan Prag reports:

The inspiration for this day was the existence at the Centre of a set of papers belonging to the late David Lewis. These provide a certain amount of extra information on the unusual recent history of these fascinating bronze tablets from western Sicily. More importantly, they were also the source of a crucial set of photographs made prior to cleaning of several of the still-missing tablets. The Centre made this material available to Prof. Carmine Ampolo (Scuola Normale, Pisa), who has taken on the mantle of the late Prof. G. Nenci as co-ordinator of work on the tablets and the site of Entella. The workshop was organised by Dr. Charles Crowther with a view to integrating this new material and bringing both the tablets and Prof. Ampolo’s work to a wider audience.

The day itself was preceded by a well-attended lecture at the Centre, on Friday 24 January 2003, by Prof. Ampolo, in which he outlined some of the material that he would cover in more detail the following day, and re-stated in very convincing terms the case for the  Tiberius Claudius C.f. Antiatas of tablet IV (=Ampolo B1) to be a client and/or relative of P. Claudius Pulcher, cos. 249 (the man who threw the sacred chickens into the sea prior to the disastrous battle of Drepanon). Additionally, Prof. Ampolo considered the helmet depicted upon tablet IV (a proxeny decree), which has all too often been ignored in past discussions. In line with the majority of such decrees, the helmet should be understood to relate to the honorand rather than the Entellans. It would seem to be an Italic type typical of the earlier C3 BC and, as Prof. Ampolo observed, this has certain implications: firstly that Roman soldiers were not only utilising an Italic type in this period, but were potentially identified with it; and secondly, given that this helmet appears to match exactly the type described in Polybius VI.23, that elements of the account in Polybius VI, as has been suggested in the past, date firmly back to the C3 BC. In questions afterwards, the unusual colour of tablet VIII (Ampolo A2), mimicked by the fake tablet VII*, was attributed to a particularly harsh act of cleaning by the original recoverer(s) of the tablet.

The workshop began with a presentation on ‘the Oxford story’ by Jonathan Prag (UCL/Leicester), in which he outlined briefly the story of the tablets’ peregrinations after their departure from Sicily in the mid-1970s, and David Lewis’ involvement with tablets I-V, in the light of information from the papers of David Lewis. This material does not significantly alter the story as it is already known, but does fill in some interesting gaps. As most had already guessed, David Lewis was the ‘anglicus interpres’ in published accounts of the tablets.

After coffee, Dottoressa M.C. Parra (Pisa) provided a lucid summary of the archaeological information so far obtained from the site of Rocca d’Entella, ancient Entella. The site occupies a large and naturally very strong hill-top site. Evidence of human presence goes back to pre-historic times, with clear occupation from the early C6 BC. In the main area of excavation (in the eastern valley of the hill-top), a complex of apparently public buildings has been uncovered, which show two phases, C6/5 and C4/3 BC. The former has the character of an oikos, the latter of a food storage building. Both this part of the site and two other locations show evidence of a destruction layer with burning to be dated around the middle of the C3 BC. The site also has three necropoleis at different locations around the foot of the hill.

This was followed by a detailed exposition of the coin finds from the Rocca d’Entella excavations by Dr. Susanne Frey-Kupper (Geneva). This included a complex analysis of the patterns of coin finds by type on the site in comparison with other sites in the region. The key element to emerge was the total absence of coin types belonging to the period between the last quarter of the C4 BC and the mid-/later-C3 BC. At first sight, this sat uneasily with the dating of the destruction layer in the archaeological record, and also the generally accepted context for the tablets (viz. second half of the first Punic war, after upheavals in the first half of the same war). However, as Prof. Michael Crawford (UCL) pointed out (after Richard Reece) in an impromptu exposition later in the day, the temporal pattern of numismatic site-finds (i.e. so-called ‘casual’ loss), somewhat counterintuitively, is unlikely to reflect actual habitation, but rather the impact of particular events. Hence a gap in the coinage between say 310 and 250 BC need not reflect anything other than peaceful existence. The interpretation of the gap is a matter for debate; but Dr. Frey-Kupper’s analysis placed it in sharp relief, and raised further questions regarding the tablets’ historical context.

In the final presentation before lunch, Professor Ampolo deployed the photographs from the David Lewis papers and a certain amount of technology, to demonstrate quite categorically that the tablets constitute a dossier in the full sense of the word. What the pre-cleaning photographs reveal is that, as in the case of the Locri tablets, wherever one tablet rested upon another, it left a ‘shadow’ in the patterns of corrosion. It is thus quite clear that the tablets were in fact found in a single deposit by whoever ‘excavated’ them in the mid-1970s. Most significantly, Prof. Ampolo was able to demonstrate that tablet III (Ampolo Nakone A), the tablet recording the Nakone adelphothetia, was deposited together with the tablets explicitly relating to Entella. Additionally, the dimensions of the still-missing tablet IV (Ampolo B1) can be deduced from the marks in the corrosion on another tablet: the tablet is revealed to be the smallest of all eight, no more than 10 x 15 cm. Of course, the fact that all eight tablets were discovered together does not resolve the thorny questions of how, why, when, or by whom, they were collected together and ‘deposited’.

After lunch, Dr. Alan Johnston succinctly discussed the numerals which appear in tablet V (Ampolo A1). The small number of both published and unpublished comparanda which can be brought to bear demonstrate that the numerals are not in themselves unusual for the historical and geographical context. Allowing for the occasional vagaries of the cutter, 3 symbols, for 10, 50 and 100 are deployed in what Nenci called the pseudo-ascending system, i.e. smallest numbers first, left to right – so-called, because the influence of Phoenician (in which numerals would be read from right to left, and so actually still largest first) has been adduced. Such a system is relatively common in Sicily in this period. Dr. Johnston also cast a brief eye over the letter forms, which are largely what one would expect for this period. As yet, no-one has made a study of the various hands responsible for the tablets.

Numbers were followed by letters, and detailed exposition and discussion of the texts of all eight tablets: first by Jonathan Prag, who had provided participants with a set of texts based upon the photographs, and who highlighted a range of points of interest (cutters’ errors; aspects of layout; varieties of form) and offered the various loci incerti for discussion. Professor Ampolo followed this up with the convincing resolution of several of the thornier black spots on the tablets – the fruits of a forthcoming Italian edition of the texts (first in ASNP and subsequently in monograph form), which, in the light of all the new material which he presented on the day, should be eagerly awaited by all.

Discussion of the texts was concluded by discussion of the ever-problematic Nakone text (Entella III = Ampolo Nakone A). This was kick-started by Charles Crowther (Oxford), who neatly took participants through the text, asking all the difficult questions as he went. The procedures in the text are largely unparalleled and in turn raise possibly unanswerable questions regarding the relationship of the Nakone text to the other seven. Did, as Prof. Ampolo suggested, the Nakone diaphora resolution, proposed by the Segestans, serve subsequently as a model for the resolution at Entella of stasis accompanying the synoikismos? Did the community of Nakone subsequently join the synoikismos described in the Entella tablets, bringing the decree with them? Or was the tablet merely gathered together with the others from separate locations at some later date, for whatever reason?

The presence of 20+ participants from as far afield as Belfast and Liverpool (besides the involvement of Ampolo, Frey-Kupper, and Parra), ensured that the day was highly productive and clearly enjoyed by all. The hospitality and organisation of the Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents (together with a subsidy from the Oxford University Classics Faculty) contributed to this in no small part. It is to be hoped that the workshop marks merely the beginning of a wider knowledge and appreciation of a quite remarkable set of documents from Hellenistic Sicily.


Polly Low reports:

Modern values in a traditional setting was the theme of this year’s autumn colloquium, held on Saturday 9 November in London.  As is now customary, the meeting was held in the congenial surroundings of the Institute of Classical Studies, and consisted of the usual blend of short reports and longer papers, sandwiched around the smoke-filled room (or epigraphic equivalent ...) which is the society’s AGM, and liberally supplied, as usual, with refreshments of every sort.

But while this much was reassuringly familiar, much else was new.  Gaby Bodard (KCL) started the morning session with a report on Progress on the EPAPP Project, demonstrating both the general advantages of web publication of inscribed material (accessibility; ease of cross-reference, within and beyond the work; more space for extra illustrations, and so on: examples can be found on the project's website .), and the specific virtues of using the xml-based markup system to encode epigraphic texts.  The great virtue of this approach is its stability, its flexibility, and its absolute platform and system independence.  A suitably marked-up epigraphic text may look entirely unreadable to the un-computerised eye, but the data can then be presented in any number of ways: using the traditional Leiden system, or different font styles, or colours; as a webpage, a printed document, or even an audio file.  The material can also be searched in new ways: for example, it would be a simple matter to locate all the instances of a certain type of abbreviation, or even of the erasure of particular words or images.

Benet Salway (UCL) offered something even more modern: two new epigraphic texts.  The first was A ?3rd-century AD Latin Ostracon from North Africa.  This ostracon, now in the Carthage museum, seems to be a letter, probably from a woman (the name ends with the letters --RONIA ), asking her ‘brother’ Valerius for help in some sort of crisis, involving money, wine, a girl, and possibly (though probably not ...) a chicken.  The Latin shows various ‘late’ features (frequent omission of final ‘m’, and loss of interconsonantal ‘d’), and is, at times, far from comprehensible.  The dating of the text is also somewhat problematic.  Although the ostracon has no precise provenance, analysis of the clay suggests that it originated in the Carthage area; and the pottery is of a sort which is usually dated to the mid fourth century and later.  But the writing on the sherd is rather earlier: although there are some New Roman Cursive forms, the overall style is Old Roman Cursive – which would suggest a date towards the end of the third century.  Either the ostracon is a fake; or the woman had particularly archaic handwriting; or the datings of this style of pottery need some revision.

Benet Salway’s second new text was less exotic, but no less problematic: Moritix Londiniensium: the recent find from Southwark had already received a preliminary airing in the latest BES News (that report is also now available on this site ).  Further points raised here included the prominent position of this inscription (it was probably located by the side of Watling St, just before the important river crossing point at Southwark: a major route into the city from the south), and the excellent quality of the inscription (not just the letter-cutting, but also the ‘banana-skin’ style interpuncts).  Discussion centred on the problem of interpreting the last four lines of the document: should moritix be taken with londiniensium?  Or is there a break between the two words?  What should be done with [pr]imus ?  As always, the iron law of epigraphy dictates that the text breaks up at precisely the point when it becomes most interesting (or vice versa ...).

The afternoon session was kicked off by John Davies (Liverpool), who offered, he said ‘not a paper, but a discussion about the problems of writing a paper’: a meta-paper.  More specifically, his Revisiting Gortyn: Laws, Documents, and Debates explored the problems involved in presenting – for a non-specialist audience – a coherent account of the Gortyn law code.  These problems are many and various.  What is to be done with the huge and involved body of specialised scholarship on this subject?  How are the laws themselves to be explained?  Their content requires discussion, but so too does their telegraphic, hyper-‘laconic’ style, and the way in which the discrete laws combine (or fail to combine) to form a coherent ‘code’.  And, perhaps hardest of all, what sort of social, or intellectual, context can be supplied for these laws?  Roman law – a traditional favourite – is clearly not appropriate, and Athenian law may be no better; the ideal context would be the Gortynian one – but that is the one thing we don’t have.  The laws prompt many questions: how do laws get made in Gortyn?  why are they then inscribed (and why are they set up in particular places)?  what is to be made of the various gaps in this code (nothing on homicide, for example)?  But firm answers are hard to come by.

Finally, Riet van Bremen (London) presented Two(?) Letters of the Empress Plotina to the Epicureans of Athens, or rather, two dossiers of letters, from the 120s AD, both apparently concerned with the regulations for the running of the Epicurean school.  The first, relatively uncontroversial dossier, shows Plotina petitioning Hadrian on behalf of the Epicureans, Hadrian’s favourable reply, and Plotina’s letter to the Epicureans, passing on the good news.  The second dossier is less well-preserved (it consists of two non-joining fragments), and its text is, not surprisingly, more problematic.  Traditionally, this dossier has been thought to contain two letters from Hadrian, one to the Epicureans, the second to a certain Heliodorus.  It was suggested that this reconstruction should be rejected: the two fragments of which the inscription is made up should be recombined, in such a way as to allow for a bigger stone, and a longer line-length.  This would, in turn, allow a very different text to be reconstructed: the most important difference would be that the second letter might be, not from Hadrian, but from Plotina.  In favour of this reconstruction is the strikingly ‘Epicurean’ language of this second letter – a feature which is also prominent in Plotina’s letter in the first dossier, and which would seem much more appropriate for this philosophy-loving empress than for the emperor.


Benet Salway reports:

In a break from our usual practice, this year’s Spring Colloquium took place over two days (a Friday and a Saturday) and in London. This was because of the special character of the event: a conference in honour of Margaret Roxan, famous for her work on the diplomas (certificates) issued to military veterans by the Roman authorities. Organised by John Wilkes, of the Institute of Archaeology, London, the conference was a very inernational affair and was supported by a number of august bodies: The British Academy, the London Institute of Classical Studies, the Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies, and the Administrators of the Haverfield Bequest of Oxford University. The impressive list of speakers attracted a large audience, easily the largest for any BES Colloquium so far.

After an opening address from Prof. Geoffrey Waywell, the Director of the Institute of Classical Studies, the host institution, it had been planned that the colloquium proper would be begun by a paper from Werner Eck (Köln). However, trapped on the wrong side of the English Channel by transport problems, it was to another eminent historian of the Roman army, Anthony Birley (Düsseldorf), that the honour in fact fell. Under the title ‘Commissioning equestrian officers’, he examined the possible relationships between the governors of Britain and their subordinate officers, as attested in diplomas, and was able to demonstrate the importance of extended family networks in a couple of cases. Lawrence Keppie (Glasgow), speaking on the topic of ‘Commemoration of military service on funerary monuments of the early empire’, concentrated on the epigraphy of the period between the battle of Actium and the year of the four emperors, examining the epitaphs in their communal and family context. Jean-Michel Carrié (Paris), surveyed the broad subject of ‘The soldier in the society of the later Roman empire’, highlighting the developments in interpretation in recent decades that has moved away from viewing the later Roman empire as a more militarised (and simultaneously barbarised) society than its early imperial counterpart. Promoted forward from the Saturday session, Dennis Saddington (Witwatersrand), speaking on ‘The military in Velleius Paterculus and some inscriptions’, explored the patterns of cumulation of military posts by equestrians in the early Julio-Claudian period. John Casey (London), presented a newly emerged auxiliary veteran’s diploma of vii id. Febr. AD 160 originating from Philippopolis (Plovdiv) in Thrace, incidentally advocating the use of chemically-inert Johnson’s Baby Powder to help read the text. He explained that it bears the same board of witnesses and the same (incompetent) scribe as a known diploma from Paestum. The day’s session was rounded off by a reception in the common room.

The Saturday morning session was opened by Michael A. Speidel (Bern), who, in slight change from the advertised programme, gave a paper on the praemia militiae (discharge bonuses), posing the question: were auxiliaries were entitled to receive them? Despite no explicit evidence, he concluded that it was not plausible that there was not equal treatment for men serving together, suggesting that legions, citizen cohorts, and peregrine cohorts all received praemia. Paul Holder (Manchester), examined ‘Auxiliary deployment in the reign of Hadrian’, incorporating the evidence gleaned from diplomas published since 1982, observing that, if a unit survived the reign of Trajan, then it was very likely to be still in existence in the reign of Antoninius Pius and that cohorts were less liely to move station than alae. David Breeze (Edinburgh), speaking on the ‘Auxilia on Hadrian’s Wall’, explained that they were stationed in the milecastles rather than in the forts and that four different auxiliary units were divided up to man these posts. Having demonstrated great determination in getting to London, Professor Eck was finally able to deliver his lecture on ‘Diplomata and the imperial government’, stressing the nature of diplomas as a mass phenomenon, and the importance of the emperor in the process of their issue.

After lunch, Roger Tomlin (Oxford), offered a beautifully illustrated tour of the variety of media ‘Documenting the Roman army in Carlisle’. Then Valerie Maxfield (Exeter), concentrating on a specific category of evidence, examined ‘Ostraca and the Roman army in Egypt’, noting particularly that the units attested in the desert between the Nile and the Red Sea all had hiberna (winter quarters on the river, from which they were outposted to small installations in the desert called praesidia or hydreumata (watering places). Their co-ordination was demonstrated by one ostracon bearing a report on a raid on one installation that was circulated to all the military and and non-military personnel (both male and female) in these praesidia. Ian Haynes (London), speaking on the epigraphic evidence ‘Documenting religion in the Roman army’, explored different categories that might be termed ‘official’ and ‘approved’ cults and the phenomenon of transfer of cults though army units, concentrating on Britian and the Rhine provinces. In the following paper Alan Bowman (Oxford) looked at ‘Soldiers’ correspondence from Vindolanda’, revealing that amongst the letters now recovered from these tablets is the contemporary Latin name for these artifacts – tilia (limewood). There is also now known a letter from c. AD 170/180, unusual in both its paleography and its tripartite folding format. The entire conference was wrapped up by Peter Wiess (Kiel), who addressed us on ‘The future of Roman military diplomata’, emphasising the problems and tensions caused by the fact that so many new diplomas come to light through the antiquities trade rather than archaeology. His outlook was not pessimistic, however, since he stressed the fact that dealers need to call on the expertise of scholars to confirm the historical value of the objects they hold, so that this factor can be used to the benefit of scholarship.

CAMBRIDGE EPIGRAPHY DAY, Saturday 12 January 2002

Robin Osborne reports:

Mustered once more by Joyce Reynolds, with her incomparable lightness of touch, some 35 epigraphic enthusiasts from far and wide gathered in Cambridge on January 12th 2002 for a wide range of presentations on Greek and Roman epigraphy. The temperatures in the Faculty of Classics seemed designed to make those who had just left snowy Athens feel already acclimatised, but there was plenty that was new for everyone.

New texts for instance. Angelos Chaniotis (Heidelberg) presented two extensive new texts, one from (probably) first century B.C. Aphrodisias and one from Crete dated more or less precisely to 221 B.C.
The first text, a very well preserved honorary decree probably of Plarasa and Aphrodisias, gave postumous honours to one Hermogenes Theodotos, son of Hephaistion, praising him abundantly in terms both familiar (e.g. kalos, agathos, philos, philopatris, ktistes, euergetes, soter) and less familiar, for behaving 'purely' as well as 'justly' when a magistrate (in contrast to others, it was suggested) and for the 'gnosis' and 'sustasis' which he displayed towards 'the powers and leaders' (including Rome?). Abstract language of praise at its most fulsome and extensive, but referring, Ch. suggested, to very specific behaviour. A postumous crown seemed a surprisingly modest reward.

The second text, less well preserved, must originally have belonged to the longest known Cretan treaty. In it Knossos, Gortyn and their allies agree and take oaths to action against deserters. This from the war with Lyttos. Particularly notable here is the agreement that, if those charged with doing so do not do their job against the deserters, then the kosmoi of the city are to pay a fine from the public purse, regardless of local law (or else be personally liable). This text, discovered at Hersonisos in 1955, is due for publication in a Greek monograph with extensive English summary, within the next year.

Thomas Corsten (LGPN, Oxford) also presented a new text, from Kibyra, honouring one 'Keleas the bandit-slayer'. C. put this in the context of the Isaurian revolt and of the activities of the two Marciani, Terentius and Aurelius, and of Aurelius Ursio. All three are known from honours at Termessos, Terentius Marcianus appears also at Cremna, Sagalassos and Trebenna, Aurelius Ursio at Arykanda, Aurelius Marcianus at Rhodes, and a Marcianus at Kibyra and Philippopolis. Discussion amended the text of TAM III 88 line 2 from <greek>dou=k[1a]1 *L. *Au)r. *Markiano/n </greek> to <greek>dou=ka? *Au)r. *Markiano/n </greek>.

New technology was on display from Charlotte Roueché, who described the way in which Aphrodisias in Late Antiquity is being put on line, in a way that enables the reader to not only to juxtapose text and photographic image of the stone, but also to see the notebooks of Boulanger and Gandy-Deering, where relevant. Questions of publication and whether or not access will be free have not yet been settled: watch this slot!

New contextualisations were offered by John Ma and Simon Corcoran and Benet Salway. John Ma provoked fresh consideration of issues of text and image, in particular looking at the placing of statues and the relationship of their texts to the images that surmount them. The sanctuary of Apollo at Klaros provided the focus for the discussion, and in particular the bases for the columns on which stood images of Polemaios and Menippos (SEG 39.1243 and 1244). The shadowy politics which let Menippos to succeed in persuading the tamias to allow him to put his image right next to the temple of Apollo, and then to put that image on top of a column, were strongly highlighted by the reinsertion of the texts into their topographical context.
Simon Corcoran introduced a series of documents relating to the relationship between tetrarchs and cities, in particular the Tymandus letter (MAMA 4.236), Orcistus Dossier (MAMA 7.235) and Hispellum rescript (ILS 705), and Benet Salway then explored the structure of the Orcistus dossier and the editing process which led the second document in the dossier, the letter of Constantine to Ablabius, to have the curious grammatical structure which it exhibits. The conference ended with discussion of the gap between Orcistus' boast to display 'quattuor viarum transitus' and the absence of any archaeological trace for roads leading to it...


Classics Department, University of Durham

Benet Salway reports:

The theme of this year's Spring Colloquium, organised by Professor Peter Rhodes , was Greek Epigraphy of the Fourth Century BC. It was attended by nearly thirty persons -- the vast majority of them already members of the society (who received a preferential rate) -- comprising a healthy number of graduate students alongside those more well established scholars. The meeting, held in the congenial surroundings of the Classics Department at 38 North Bailey, began with coffee from 11 a.m.; the morning's session, with Professor Rhodes in the chair, began at 11.30.

Francis Cairns (Classics, Leeds), 'IG XII.ix.11: an inscription from Carystus?': argued on the basis of both the type of magistracy named and a re-evaluation of the reliability of the testimony for its supposed provenance that this honorific inscription in the epigraphical museum in Athens relates not to Carystus in Euboea but rather somewhere in southern Asia Minor.

Andrew Meadows (Coins & Medals, British Museum), 'A fourth-century decree? IG XI.4.1036 and the foundation of the Nesiotic League': argued that this decree of the Nesiotic League, establishing a Demetrieia festival in addition to an Antigoneia, reckoned since M. Holleaux to be late fourth-century BC, actually belongs to the joint reign of Antigonus Gonatas and Demetrius II (c. 258/7) and explored the consequences of this re-dating for our understanding of the circumstances of the foundation of the League and its functioning. There followed an excellent buffet lunch from 1 p.m. accompanied by wine and mineral water, which those who did not have to attend the steering committee's business meeting were able to enjoy at leisure. The afternoon's proceedings began at 2 p.m. with a session chaired by Stephen Mitchell (Swansea).

Anne Wright (Corpus, Oxford), 'The Cost of Honours in Classical Athens': produced estimates, on the basis of Athenian honorific decrees, for the changing annual monetary cost to Athens of honours made to individuals (crowns, statues, grants of ateleia, as well as the expense of commemorative texts themselves) between the fifth and third centuries BC and argued that the trend away from physical symbols of honour to tax concessions represented an increase in real costs to the Athenian state.

Charles Crowther (CSAD, Oxford), 'Inscriptions of the Second Athenian League': demonstrated the utility of re-examining with modern techniques (i) old squeezes of one inscription whose text has since suffered not only from repeated squeezing but also gunfire (IG II2 43) to confirm mention of the King's peace in its erased purpose clause and (ii) the broken (but now cleaner) surface of a second (SEG XXXI 67) so restoring its purpose clause and revealing it to be of quite a different nature than had been supposed. After a break for tea at 3.30 p.m. the programme resumed with the third session chaired by Dr David Whitehead (Belfast).

Katelijn Vandorpe (Klassieke Studies, Leuven), 'Trouble in Sagalassos. An Early Hellenistic Inscription from Pisidia': presented the text of a recently discovered Greek inscription which on the basis of palaeography and onomastics ought to belong to the late fourth or third century BC, thus representing the earliest epigraphic evidence for Hellenisation at this site, and whose content appears to represent a law code incorporating the settlement of a dispute between the citizens and a group in the city's fortress.

Christopher Joyce (Classics, Durham), 'Demotionidae': suggested, à propos of the decrees of the Demotionidae (IG II.5.841b) and a fragment of the Atthidographer Philocorus (FGrH 328, fr. 35a) a new possible interpretation of the relationship between the groupings of the Demotionidae and the Deceleians and their respective identification as genos and phratry (or vice versa) that offers a third way between the opposing theories of Wilamowitz and Wade-Gery.

Cambridge Epigraphy Day - Saturday 5th February 2000

Organised by Joyce Reynolds to look at and discuss some (mainly new) Roman official (mostly imperial) letters inscribed on stone. Benet Salway has sent the following report.

Prof. Georgios Souris (Thessaloniki) presented the results of recent work he has been doing on one proconsular and eight imperial letters from the Greek East:

On the basis of a photograph, Prof. Souris presented the text of what may be an imperial letter of commendation in Greek (of uncertain date) from Myra in Lycia. Addressed to 'most honourable' Hermogenes, it praises his disposition and goodwill 'towards us', which 'we have already experienced from many things'. Slightly curious is the description of his actions as having been performed not only with all zeal but also as (?) 'most discriminating/discerning towards our house'. In support of the case for the identification of this letter as imperial, Prof. Souris had utilised an Index Verborum to the constitutions collected by Oliver plus subsequent finds that he has been compiling.

Joyce Reynolds (Newnham, Cambridge) presented the text of a marble slab found in Aphrodisias in 1994 in the ancient roadway near the Portico of Tiberius. This slab attests no less than four separate letters of the emperor Hadrian to the magistrates and boule of Aphrodisias, two complete, one substantially complete and one not much more than a fragment:

Spring Colloquium, 1999 - 'Inscriptions and Buildings'

Sat. 24th April 1999, University of Wales Cardiff

Report by Stephen Mitchell

The spring colloquium of the society, organised by Prof. S. Mitchell, was held at the University of Cardiff on Saturday 24 April, 1999. Thanks are due to the Cardiff hosts, Dr Kate Gilliver, Dr Nick Fisher and Dr Guy Bradley for providing the facilities and laying the ground work for an extremely enjoyable day. The topic of the colloquium was 'Inscriptions and Buildings', and fell naturally into three sessions.

The first heard papers from Dr David Gill (Swansea) and Prof. Harold Mattingly (Cambridge) concerned with the building inscriptions relating to the Athena Nike temple . Gill proposed that the inscription IG 1 (3) 35 should be dated not to the early 440s, but to the mid 420s, probably to the year before its apparent rider IG 1 (3) 36. The argument could be reconciled with the archaeological evidence for the developments of phases 3 and 4 of the Athena Nike sanctuary, although it involves some modifications of the interpretation of the architectural remains recently put forward by Ira Marks. Harold Mattingly supplemented this paper with epigraphic observations on the text and a reconsideration of the detailed chronology of Athenian prytany business in 425/4.

An online version of David Gill's lecture (shortly to appear in Historia) can be found at

Members of the BES committee held a business meeting of the society over lunch time, before the colloquium reconvened to hear two papers concerned with building of the imperial period inscriptions in the Latin West.

Benet Salway (University College, London), filling a last minute gap in the programme, presented an account of the history of the discovery of Velleia since the 18th century, when the forum and basilica with an extremely interesting group of associated inscriptions were discovered. In particular he proposed a new reading and restoration of the fragmentary building inscription of the basilica itself, suggesting the dedicator was an otherwise unknown Cn. . . . Sabinus, who had held magistracies both in Placentia and at Velleia, and conceivably served in Germany as praefectus castrorum of Germanicus.

Bertrand Goffaux (Louvain la Neuve, Research Associate of the Belgian FNRS), who is completing a doctorate on municipal building in Roman Spain, presented a paper which correlated paragraphs from the Spanish municipal charters concerning responsibilities for local construction works, especially fortifications, roads, drains and aqueducts, with extant building inscriptions documenting municipal responsibility for precisely these categories of buildings. The thrust of the paper was to indicate the types of construction which were not normally dependent on the generosity of individual benefactors.

Two papers on the eastern Roman Empire were scheduled for the final session. The first speaker, Dr Maurice Byrne telephoned an urgent message to say that his wife had gone into labour that day, and the Society may like to join me in congratulating him and Mora on the successful birth of a daughter, Lucy. We shall have to wait for another occasion, therefore, to hear about the dedicatory inscription on the city gate of Pisidian Antioch. It was left to Angela Kalinowski (Mount Allison University, Canada), to conclude proceedings with a discussion of the formulae of building inscriptions in Roman Imperial Ephesos , with their symbolic articulation of a hierarchy of prestige and authority which links but subordinates the individual donor to the city, to the emperors, and to the gods.

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