The British Epigraphy Society:
Old Events - Reports
SPRING COLLOQUIUM, MANCHESTER, 8TH MAY 2004
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.
CAMBRIDGE EPIGRAPHIC SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 2004
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 http://www.nb.no/baser/schoyen/5/5.4/index.htm#2070.
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.
AUTUMN COLLOQUIUM, LONDON, NOVEMBER 2003
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 http://www.kcl.ac.uk/humanities/cch/epapp/)
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: http://www.sas.ac.uk/icls/imaginesit/
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).
CAMBRIDGE EPIGRAPHIC SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 2003
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 , 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.
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.
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:
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 http://www.swan.ac.uk/classics/staff/dg/nike/
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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