Current Epigraphy
ISSN: 1754-0909

12 September, 2012

XIV Congressus Internationalis Epigraphiae Graecae et Latinae

Filed under: CIEGL,events,news,report — PaolaTomasi @ 23:04

Denso di eventi concomitanti, il Congresso berlinese si è articolato ogni giorno in una sessione plenaria, cui sono seguite diverse sessioni tematiche pomeridiane. Punto di partenza è stata la storia dell’epigrafia come disciplina accademica intrecciata strettamente alla temperie politica e culturale di Berlino, le cui tappe ha ripercorso l’intervento iniziale del prof. Stefan Rebenich (University of Bern). Il congresso si è snodato attraverso le varie tematiche tradizionalmente oggetto di studio (http://www.congressus2012.de/kalender/programm.html), che spaziano dall’ambito privato a quello pubblico e riverberano le molteplici sfaccettature delle informazioni veicolate dalle iscrizioni: dalla edilizia pubblica, gli spettacoli, la gestione territoriale, l’esercito, si passa alle iscrizioni in ambito privato, di valenza funeraria, religiosa o anche sapidamente personale (A. Varone, http://www.congressus2012.de/images/kongress/abstracts/abstract_varone.pdf ).
Accanto alla storia dell’indagine epigrafica attraverso le fonti manoscritte, si sono affrontate anche questioni metodologiche e nuovi progetti, quali la riedizione di CIL, V, per non parlare delle iniziative in ambito digitale.
Per il 2012 è tutto: appuntamento a Vienna nel 2017!

11 September, 2012

14th International Congress of Greek and Latin Epigraphy, Berlin 27-31 August 2012

Filed under: AIEGL,CIEGL — Tom Elliott @ 18:59

From Stephen Mitchell:

The 14th International Epigraphy Congress (www.congressus2012.de) fittingly marked the continued importance of Berlin as a major center of epigraphic scholarship.  The introductory lecture, given by Professor Stefan Rebenich (University of Bern), traced the history of the two major long-term epigraphic projects, Inscriptiones Graecae and Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, from the first origins at the beginning of the nineteenth century through extraordinary political and economic changes until their present thriving state in the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences. This presentation underlined the combination of vision, professionalism and persistence required to sustain these huge projects at the highest quality through generations of scholarship. The final lecture of the Congress, given by Professor Jürgen Hammerstaedt (Universty of Köln), traced the discovery and publication of the longest of all known Greek epigraphic monuments, the philosophical inscriptions of Diogenes of Oinoanda, with special emphasis on the work which was initiated by Martin Smith in the 1980s, and has now been given a major new impetus by the German Archaeological Institute at Istanbul and Professor Hammerstaedt’s collaboration.  The lecture also offered a remarkable illustration of the Congress’s main theme, summed up in the words PUBLICUM – MONUMENTUM – TEXTUS (Display, Monument and Text).  Contributors to the plenary sessions in particular were asked to use these key concepts as a guide to the interpretation of inscriptions in different public contexts:  the transformation of civic cultures; the confrontation and combination of different languages within a shared epigraphic culture;  inscriptions in rural contexts; and the epigraphy of public entertainment.  The plenary lectures will form the main content of the published record of the Congress, which should appear within two years.  Many of the thematic panels were designed to emphasise the same ideas.  These will be published in summary form.

The Congress was organised on behalf of the Association Internationale d’Épigraphie Grecque et Latine (AIEGL), which held its general assembly during the week.  Unfortunately, as had also happened at the Oxford Congress in 2007, attendance at this meeting fell just below the high quorum that the AIEGL constitution requires to complete elections of officers and comité members for the next quinquennium, and so the vote will have to be completed, probably by a secure on-line process, in the next 4-6 weeks.  AIEGL membership itself had risen from 325 to 395 paying members since the last Congress. One important resolution was reached by consensus, that the 15th Congress in 2017 will be held in another major epigraphic centre, Vienna.

Stephen Mitchell
AIEGL President

28 August, 2012

CIEGL 2012 Begins

Filed under: AIEGL,CIEGL,events,report — Tom Elliott @ 04:54

The Fourteenth International Congress of Greek and Latin Epigraphy opened last night in the great “Auditorium Maximum” of the Humboldt University in Berlin. The well-attended opening plenary session began with a series of welcoming remarks by Werner Eck (Chairman of the Organizing Committee), Stephen Mitchell (president of AIEGL), Jan-Hendrick Olbertz (President of Humboldt Univerity), Gunter Stock (President of the Berlin-Brandenburgischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, and Ortwin Dally (General Secretary of the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut).

The highlight of the session was an extended, scholarly narrative of the history of Greek and Latin epigraphic study in Berlin, delivered by Stefan Rebenich (Bern University) under the rubric “Berlin und die antike Epigrafik.” I learned much about the history of the discipline, and the formation and challenges faced over time by the great corpora (the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum and Inscriptiones Graecae). A key theme throughout Rebenich’s lecture was the effects of epigraphic study and scholarly community — negative at some periods, and positive at others — of national and international politics (and of politics both personal and institutional within the humanities).

This audience member, whose German experience lies almost wholly in the realm of reading and whose practice in same is rather rusty, greatly appreciated the model demonstrated by Prof. Eck and followed by Prof. Rebenich, of displaying the text of their remarks on-screen during the presentation.

The opening plenary was followed by a reception hosted by the publisher De Gruyter, which lasted well into the evening.

22 August, 2012

Blogging CIEGL 2012: invitation

Filed under: CIEGL — Gabriel Bodard @ 15:58

As in previous years, Current Epigraphy will be posting reports on the papers delivered at the Berlin Epigraphic Congress next week. Watch this space, and the CIEGL category, for frequent updates.

If you are interested in contributing to this reportage, please get in touch in advance so we can sign you up with an account on the blog, and in Berlin look out for Tom Elliott or Paola Tomasi who can give you instructions and a sticker to attach to your name badge. Reports on papers should not be too long; a couple of paragraphs is fine, and you may report either a summary of the argument and/or your own response to it, as you prefer.

18 February, 2011

CIEGL 2012 Berlin, Newsletter & CFP

Filed under: CIEGL,events — Gabriel Bodard @ 11:07

The first newsletter for the 2012 Congressus Internationionalis Epigraphiae Graecae et Latinae to be held in Berlin (27-31 August, 2012) is being circulated, and includes the call for papers and posters, and a list of suggested panel topics, including:

  • Harbours: infrastructure and society
  • The world of the Military
  • Inscriptions in private space
  • Inscriptions and the digital world
  • History of epigraphic scholarship
  • The measurement of space
  • Sanctuaries and cults
  • Inscriptions and Christian cult places
  • The dialogue of the living and the dead: tombs and their inscriptions
  • Space, image and inscription

The deadline for submission of short papers under these topics is March 31, 2011. Full details in the newsletter (below).

Newsletter_01_110216.pdf

16 September, 2007

Epigraphy and the Information Technology Revolution

Filed under: CIEGL — ValentinaAsciutti @ 20:23

Prof. S. Panciera (Rome) in his introductory remarks expresses his willingness and enthusiasm in embracing the IT Revolution and applying it to the study of inscriptions. At the same time, however, he shows frustration and disappointment for the slowness with which the work proceeds and for the lack of agreement in aims and methods to follow. In fact, while it is appreciable that there are many individual projects, it is nonetheless essential to work in collaboration with each other. Standardisation is needed!

Elaine Matthews (Oxford) in her paper reproduces a general tracing of the development of IT in many of its applications and explains the introduction of it in epigraphy. The IT revolution is nothing new; it is at least sixty years old and classicists’ use of it has a history of some forty years. Individual projects are a reliable testimony of certain activity in the field. Some early projects are mentioned, such as the David W. Packard’s 1968 Concordance to Livy and the TLG online. More recent exploitations of technology applied for in the Classical world include EpiDoc and LGPN. At the end of her reconstruction of the history of the IT Revolution, E. Matthews stresses the importance of IT in the future of epigraphy. This, she explains, does not mean that every single epigrapher has to have technical knowledge, but it does mean that someone must engage with the technology!

John Bodel (Brown University) is the second and last speaker of this plenary session. In tune with Prof. Panciera and Elaine Matthews, he emphasises the importance of embracing the IT Revolution in the study of inscriptions. It is not a matter of it being necessary or worth it but inevitable! The IT Revolution has indeed already touched the world of epigraphy. A pioneer in digital epigraphy was D. Packard (Concordance to Livy, 1968). Packard’s mark-up system, known as Beta Code, was then adopted by the TLG in 1981 and quickly established itself as the standard means of encoding polytonic Greek. These early initiatives were important for raising general awareness of the potentials of computers. J. Bodel defines our days as “the age of digital epigraphy”. There have been many important advances in digital epigraphy during the last decade that can lead us towards a more optimistic vision of the future. Three broad areas have been particularly touched: 1) Databases. – EAGLE (Collaboration among three projects: Heidelberg, Rome, Bari). The federation is open and recently a fourth initiative has been welcomed into the community, namely HISPANIA EPIGRAPHICA ONLINE. 2) Images. The use of technology can provide high quality at relatively low cost images. – X ray fluorescence imaging. – Polynomial texture mapping. – GRAVA. 3) Editing. – EpiDoc. Two pilot projects are “The Vindolanda Tablets online” and “Inscriptions of Aphrodisias”. Recently the EpiDoc system has been adopted in papyrology and numismatics as well. We now have all the tools we need to perform efficiently and the potential benefits to epigraphers of the new information technology are widely recognised!

7 September, 2007

CIEGL XIII: Plenary Session 4, ‘Epigraphy and Government’

Filed under: CIEGL — Paschalis Paschidis @ 12:14

John Ma (Corpus Christi College, Oxford), “Greek Epigraphy and the Representation of Authority”, offered a refreshingly ‘outside the box’ lecture revolving around the intricate ways inscriptions represent authority. Authority in inscriptions may be specified (the demos, the body politic, the ruler, an hierarchical chain of command of officials [as in SEG 37.1010], divine power), implied, or even be internal, when the inscribed text poses as a self-fulfilling demonstration of power. The effect is amplified by the choice of an ἐπιφανέστατος τόπος where the inscribed monument is erected. The presence of the inscribed text in a place of preexisting high status and the preeminence and visibility thus achieved entrenches power in two ways: it confirms the power the text evokes and it confirms the power of the text itself. However, one must not forget that this is a power to which the reader may or may not yield. The inscribed text, therefore, is often best seen as a form of social magic, a contract with the eventual reader; in other words, a magic of consent. The inscribed text, naturally, attempts to hide its actual impotence by concentrating on its projected authority; this is another reminder for epigraphers that philological expertise is hardly enough to help us understand inscriptions without the use of our sense of historical realities and our sense of discourse.

6 September, 2007

CIEGL XIII: Thematic panel 2.3, ‘The Epigraphy of Macedonia’

Filed under: CIEGL — Paschalis Paschidis @ 20:54

M. B. Hatzopoulos (Research Centre for Greek and Roman Antiquity, Athens), “An Old and New Inscription from Mieza: the Constitution of Extensive Landed Properties in the Central Macedonian Plain and the Question of λαοί in Hellenistic Macedonia” dealt with the creation of large estates in Macedonia. It was already well-known that extensive estates were a common feature of the Central Macedonian Plain in Roman times. A new fragment of the already known list of deeds of sale from Mieza, allows us to see how such large estates were created. All ten deeds of sale (actually copies of the official deeds set up by the owner himself) concern acquisitions of land by a certain Zopyros over a period of three years; all parcels of land bought by him were apparently situated in the same area, the northern part of the territory of Mieza; Zopyros obviously attempted to form a continuous extended property, probably larger than the great royal donations in the New Lands. How was such an estate exploited? The general consensus has been that laoi, dependent farmers attached to the land were not and could not be attested in Antigonid Macedonia. However, the well-attested royal practice of transferring populations should have led to caution; now, a new unpublished decree of Kyrrhos explicitly mentions laoi in early-third-century Macedonia.

Cédric Brélaz (École Française d’Athènes), “La langue des indigènes sur le territoire de la colonie romaine de Philippes”, drew attention to the fact that in Philippi, in contrast with the majority of Roman colonies in Greece, where the prevailing language outside the small circle of colonists is Greek, there are several inscriptions of the incolae in Latin. Since practically all such Latin inscriptions belong to persons of Thracian origin, the speaker convincingly argued that the appeal of Latin to these populations was due to the lesser degree of hellenization in the territory of Philippi. This relative appeal of Latin is also attested in other insufficiently hellenized Roman colonies of the Greek East.

Slavica Babamova-Janik (Institute for National History, Skopje), “Personal names of the inhabitants of eastern Paeonia in the Roman period”, dealt with the onomastics of eastern Paeonia. A perusal of old and new inscriptions led her to the conclusion that many names of that area which have been characterized as Thracian should be considered epichoric, part of the local substratum of the Balkan peninsula.

Manuela Mari (Università degli Studi di Cassino), “Epigraphic evidence on the cults of Amphipolis”, provided a full overview of all sources on the cults of Amphipolis. Three main features emerged: a) remnants of the city’s Athenian past persisted into much later periods; b) the number of cults is surprisingly high, surely a testimony to the city’s cosmopolitan and religiously open-minded character; c) personality cult (primarily, but not exclusively, royal cult) was particularly popular.

5 September, 2007

CIEGL XIII, Plenary Session 5: ‘Display and Paedagogy’

Filed under: CIEGL — JMCarbon @ 22:09

Susan Walker (Ashmolean Museum, Oxford) introduced this session with some remarks about the difficulties involved in persuading administrators to take the display of inscriptions seriously, especially within a large museum environment such as the British Museum. Yet both papers sounded encouraging notes in this session.

Isabel Rodà de Llanza (Catalan Institute of Classical Archaeology, Barcelona) in a presentation entitled “Exposicíon de inscripciones” surveyed recent evolutions of the idea of the epigraphic museum, using the evidence of colloquia on the subject and newly conceived or renovated museums. She suggested that some of the best museums were those that presented an integrated view of a few monuments in context, as opposed to those that attempted to offer an integral display of an entire epigraphic collection. Praise was also extended to museums that now make use of multimedia displays, such as the Musée d’archéologie et d’histoire de Montréal.

Charalambos Kritzas (Epigraphical Museum, Athens), “Teaching with Inscriptions: Beyond the Alphabet”, took as a starting point his role as director of the best collection of inscriptions in Greece. He focused on the elaboration of teaching and interactive displays at the Epigraphical Museum and also singled out the local museums of Rhodes and Chios that have recently been made more accessible and attractive to visitors. Kritzas seemed on the whole to agree with Rodà de Llanza’s acclaim of the ‘integrated’ epigraphic collection, and he concluded with a description of possibly the best example of the genre: the Museum of Byzantine Culture in Thessaloniki.

CIEGL XIII, Thematic Panel 3.1: ‘Athenian Religion and Society’

Filed under: CIEGL,news — JMCarbon @ 22:04

Julia Shear (University of Glasgow), “Herakleitos of Athmonon, Antigonos Gonatas, and the Panathenaia”, discussed the Athenian decree honouring Herakleitos of Athmonon, IG II(2) 677 (early 250’s BC). She argued, not entirely convincingly, that while most Hellenistic kings were allowed to contribute gifts personally to the Panathenaia, Antigonos Gonatas was unable to do so at the time of this decree and thus had Herakleitos make a donation on his behalf. Since only citizens and allies of Athens were allowed to participate in the festival, it would seem that Antigonos did not have such a status until ca. 255 BC, at which time he was granted citizenship according to Shear (using the evidence of I. Rhamnous 7.2-10 and IG II(2) 793.8-11, both decrees honouring Antigonos).

Delphine Ackermann (Université de Neuchâtel) presented a paper entitled “Le règlement religieux d’Aixonè: quelques réflections sur l’organisation du culte et le panthéon d’un dème de l’Attique”, a preliminary version of a new edition that will be included as an appendix in her dissertation on the deme of Aixone. The fascinating sacred law from Aixone (mod. Glyphada) has most recently been edited, with new fragments, by G. Steinhauer “Hieros Nomos Aixoneon”, in A.P. Matthaiou and G.E. Malochou (eds.) Attikai Epigraphai: Praktika Symposiou eis mnemen Adolf Wilhelm (1864-1950), Athens 2004, 155-173. Ackermann offered a synopsis of the various offerings to numerous deities which are catalogued in this sacred law and convincingly argued that this variety demonstrates that the inscription is a deme document, almost certainly from Aixone itself, and not the product of a phratry or genos, groups which had narrower pantheons. She proposed a few new interpretations of the context of the inscription, most notably, that the 5 drachmai allotted to each priest and priestess cannot be considered a sacrificial tariff since the amount largely exceeds all other known tariffs, and that this amount must instead be thought of as a ‘base salary’ for the priests (similarly the sum of 3 drachmai, which is granted in some cases for the sacrifice of a heuston teleon, would have been a supplement to this base salary).

Marietta Horster (Humboldt University, Berlin) in a paper entitled “(Self-)Representation of Priests and Priestesses in Fourth-Century Athens” catalogued the public recognition of priests and priestesses: known decrees honour almost exclusively foreigners in the fourth century. She also surveyed the evidence for private representation: votive offerings and funerary momuments, which were set up by Athenian priests and priestesses, not foreigners, but very few of them issue from a known cultic family or gene. Further implications of these findings remained unclear for the time being.

Catherine Keesling (George Washington University) delivered a very interesting paper entitled “Syeris, Diakonos of the Priestess Lysimache on the Athenian Acropolis (IG II[2] 3464)”. Through detailed comparison with other examples, she clearly demonstrated that this inscription must be a pillar type A base for a statue (using Raubitschek’s classification), with the capital of the pillar base missing. This usefully accounts for the difference in letterforms found on the inscription which had confused some of the earlier editors: lines 1-4 could have been originally inscribed on the capital and then reinscribed in the 3rd century BC or later, after the loss of the capital. The remaining lines seem to date to the 4th century BC, as is also confirmed by comparing the sculptor of the statue, Nikomachos, with other signatures of the same name: IG II(2) 4274 (4th century) and IG II(2) 3038 (a choregic monument dated to 364/3). Keesling is thus able to convincingly conclude that the Syeris honoured in IG II(2) 3464 must have been the diakonos of the famous Lysimache, the long-serving priestess of Athena Polias (IG II2 3453), whom David Lewis identified as the inspiration for Lysistrata (Selected Papers in Greek and Near Eastern History, ed. P.J. Rhodes, Cambridge 1997, 187-202).

Giulia Baratta (Universita’ di Macerata, Italy) – “L’Epigrafia nei contesti archeologici”

Filed under: CIEGL — ValentinaAsciutti @ 20:20

Giulia Baratta focused her attention on the marginal role and inadequacy that affect inscriptions in museums and archaeological sites. An average tourist is resonably more attracted by a monument, in particular if iconographically rich, than an inscribed stone written in an almost incomprehensible language, it being Greek, Latin or any ancient language. In fact, a statue is more accessibly amusing than a few inscribed lines. A better attention on the epigraphic material is needed by the people in charge of the organisation of museums and archaeological sites in order to stimulate the interest of tourists and non-specialists. Some “shameful” examples of bad use and display of inscriptions are given (eg. Rome, Pompei, Lyon): inscriptions are abandoned in corners, put in a non accessible and legible area, without captions, comments and translations. Often inscriptions are a crucial part of monuments and their knowledge could offer a better understanding of the monuments themselves; however, all the interest of the tourist is focused on the monument since that is where the attention is driven.

Giulia Baratta’s paper is an observation on the unfair role given to inscriptions within archaeological areas. This point of view is shared by Antonio Santori (Universita’ di Milano, Italy) who gave a paper in the same session, “Museographia Epigraphica”, entitled “La comunicazione epigrafica e l’epigrafia comunicata”. His advice is to use a considerable number of inscriptions and create a separate area for them within a museum, a sort of “epigraphic gallery”. The inscriptions should be cleaned properly and lit with a good, possibly individual, light. In order to be more accessible to people, they should also have a quite detailed and clear caption with description and translation.

In general, both papers show big disappointment for the very limited role and scarce importance given to inscriptions in museums and archaeological sites.

CIEGL XIII: Plenary Session 3, ‘Epigraphy and the Ancient Population’

Filed under: CIEGL — Paschalis Paschidis @ 13:44

The two lectures of this session dealt with (mostly Roman) demography and identity (mostly of rural Asia Minor).

Walter Scheidel (Stanford), “Epigraphy and Demography: Birth, marriage, family and death”, presented an overview of the advances in demographic studies, mostly on the Roman empire. Although no useable information on fertility is provided by epigraphy, inscriptions allow us to affirm that there is a spike in the number of births in January, just as in the premodern Mediterranean. They also allow an analysis of the age of marriage. They confirm that the nuclear family is, by far, the key social bond in urban environments, although more extended families are attested in the countryside. The sex ratio of inscriptions (the attested number of men per 100 attested women) is often exceptionally high in the epigraphic data, due to epigraphic habits rather than demographic realities. Mortality rates, contrary to the older consensus, cannot be deduced by the dates recorded in epitaphs. There are, however, data on seasonal mortality: the late summer / early autumn was a dangerous period of the year in Rome, while comparison with some other major cities, where no observable pattern in seasonal mortality is observed, allows the assumption that they were healthier places to live in than the capital of the empire.

Scheidel’s working paper can be found here (pdf).

Christoph Schuler (Kommission für Alte Geschichte und Epigraphik, Munich), “Inscriptions and the identity of population groups: case studies from the countryside”, studied the connection between epigraphy and the identity of rural population in Roman Asia Minor. Taking the middle road between two opposite views (the countryside as a world apart – the countryside as an integral part of the city), the speaker used a variety of evidence ­–dedications to local manifestations of weather gods, archaeological evidence from rural sanctuaries, atonement inscriptions– in a convincing attempt to show how epigraphy and the rural sense of identity are interrelated; how pride in the local cult is portrayed through epigraphy, thus further reinforcing the sense of distinct identity.

4 September, 2007

CIEGL XIII: Thematic Panel 2.2, ‘The Epigraphy of Greek Cult’

Filed under: CIEGL,news — JMCarbon @ 22:24

Marijana Ricl (University of Belgrade), in “Neokoroi in the Greek World”, outlined the function of these cultic officials as temple wardens and sometimes as replacements for priests, drawing on a large number of inscriptions. She argued that in most contexts the terms zakoros and neokoros seem to refer to the same function. Yet it was apparent that a more detailed study of neokoroi would need to compare and contrast these officials with neopoiai and other groups of cultic officials.

Beate Dignas (Somerville College, University of Oxford) surveyed a few inscriptions recording foundations of new cults in “How to Found a Cult: Epigraphic Manifestations”, notably F. Sokolowski, Lois sacrées des cités grecques 129 (Anaphe) and 180 (Paros). Many interesting issues raised by this paper remain to be developed further, such as the distinction between individual and public motivations for a foundation as well as the involvement of foreigners in founding new cults and enhancing local forms of religious practice.

A paper by Eran Lupu (George Washington University), “Of Priests and Snouts: The Snout as a Priestly Prerogative in Greek Cult Regulations”, was read in absentia by the author’s wife, Catherine Keesling. Snouts were considered a refreshingly entertaining subject by the Oxford audience, yet they are only seldom attested in sacred laws: F. Sokolowski, Lois sacrées d’Asie mineure 21.5-6 (Erythrai) and 54.4 (Didyma), and possibly Lois sacrées des cités grecques 151.B.20 (Kos) where the restoration is not certain. Lupu suggested that the uncertain mention of an akrokolion, ‘extremity’, in a fragmentary sacred law, I. Ephesos 1263, may refer to a snout, but Lois sacrées d’Asie mineure 54 shows that this could not have always been the case, since it distinguishes between akrokolia and snouts. Various literary sources collected in Athenaeus 3.48 demonstrate that snouts were prized delicacies.

Maria Paz de Hoz (University of Salamanca), in “Confession Inscriptions and Other Testimonies of Aretalogy in the Greek World”, discussed several inscriptions from G. Petzl, Die Beichtinschriften Weskleinasiens, EA 22 (1994), and from P. Herrmann and H. Malay, New Documents from Lydia, TAM 24 Suppl. (Vienna 2007). Classifying confession inscriptions as aretalogical texts, she stressed that the main aim of these inscriptions was to publicize the power of gods to punish human transgressions (dunamis), over and beyond any notion of benevolent divine power. In the case of the texts from Maionia in Lydia, she argued that the “receding economical power of the sanctuaries as well as the loss of influence [of these sanctuaries] on the community”–factors perhaps tied to the rise of Christianity–led priestly officials to foster the practice of erecting these inscriptions.

CIEGL XIII: Thematic Panel 1.2, ‘Greek Inscriptions and Warfare’

Filed under: CIEGL,news — JMCarbon @ 22:09

After an introduction by Patrick Bakker (Université de Laval, Québec), which gave a brief overview of this “old yet always new” subject, there were four speakers in this very diverse panel:

Filippo Canali de Rossi (Liceo Scientifico Talete, Rome) gave a paper entitled “Achaean Military Support for Rome: A New Interpretation”, with the aim of clarifying the dating of Moretti, ISE 60. This inscription records the support lended by Achaean cities during a Roman campaign led by Gnaius Domitius (Ahenobarbus) against the Galatians. There are two possible identifications of the leader of this expedition, the consuls of 192 BC and 122 BC respectively. Adducing the evidence of SIG(3) 606, which records a dedication by Achaean mercenaries of a statue of Attalos II at Pergamon ca. 190 BC as a result of a campaign in Lydia, Canali de Rossi presented the hypothesis that the two military expeditions were linked and that the earlier date of ca. 192 BC for ISE 60 must be preferred.

Jean-Christophe Couvenhes (Université de Tours) presented a preliminary report on his work in preparing a corpus of Greek inscriptions which mention troops devoted to civic and territorial defense in Attica: “Péripoloi, kryptoi et hypaithroi dans la défense de l’Attique: permanence civique, influence royale”. He outlined in some detail the historical development of these various groups, which succeeded one another: peripoloi and peripolarchoi (generally from the end of the 5th century to ca. 332/280 BC), kryptoi (‘covert’ units, 287-229 BC), and hypaithroi (non-garrisoned troops, from 229 to probably the end of the 1st century BC). The question of the influence that Hellenistic kings may have had on these developments was briefly raised.

Henri-Louis Fernoux (Université de Bourgogne, Dijon), in “Représentations et faits de guerre dans cités grecques d’Asie mineure à l’époque impérial à travers le témoignage de l’épigraphie”, offered an account of the evolution of warfare in Asia Minor during the centuries of Roman imperial peace. Local conflicts between neighbouring cities such as Nikaia and Nikomedeia, illustrated by sometimes rich epigraphical dossiers (cf. L. Robert, “La titulature de Nicée et de Nicomédie: la gloire et la haine,” HSCP 81, 1977, 1-39 = OMS VI, Paris 1989, 211-249), show that warfare took place mostly on a psychological and covert level, and that effective ‘faits de guerre’ were few and far between.

Eduard Rung (University of Kazan), in “Diplomacy of Classical Greece and the Inscriptions”, presented a general overview of the large number of inscribed treaties of alliance (symmachia) between Greek cities which date from the 5th and 4th centuries BC. He is preparing a new study of these inscriptions.

3 September, 2007

CIEGL XIII: First Plenary Session, ‘Epigraphy and Religion’

Filed under: CIEGL,news — JMCarbon @ 20:54

The conference opened with a first plenary session which featured informative lectures by two prominent experts in the fields of Greek and Roman religion respectively.

Robert Parker (New College, University of Oxford) offered an overview of the value of inscriptions, especially sacred laws, for the study of Greek religion. He noted that these texts for the most part yield only chance fragments of useful ritual information, since they were often inscribed for other purposes (e.g. accounting, which appears to be the main purpose of cultic calendars like that of the Attic genos of the Salaminioi: F. Sokolowski, Lois sacrées des cités grecques, Supplément no.19). Assuming that most sacred laws were not written as blueprints for rituals, unlike the books used by marginal groups such as the Orphics, Parker offered two alternative reasons why sacred laws were inscribed: 1) to draw the attention of worshippers to details which were unexpected in normal ritual practice; and 2) to record innovations in ritual practice (traditional practices could thus remain unwritten). As a unique exception, he drew attention to the issue of pollution and purification, which appears to have required special exegesis. The salient examples are two famous cathartic laws: M. Jameson, D. Jordan and R. Kotansky, A Lex Sacra from Selinous (GRBM 11, 1993), and the sacred law from Cyrene, P. Rhodes and R. Osborne, Greek Historical Inscriptions no.97.

Parker’s presentation usefully presented a collection of interesting sacred laws to a wide audience yet it also raised at least a few concerns about this approach to the subject of epigraphy and Greek religion. First, detailed sacred laws like the cathartic laws of Selinous and Cyrene, not to mention other extensively detailed inscriptions like the regulation of the mysteries at Andania (F. Sokolowski, Lois sacrées des cités grecques no.65), seem to prove that epigraphic blueprints for rituals were not uncommon in the Greek world. Second, whether one can convincingly distinguish between innovations, exceptions, and traditional practice in Greek rituals is problematic and certainly warrants more caution in future research on the subject.

John Scheid (Collège de France, Paris) presented a discussion of Latin epigraphy and religion that neatly paralleled Robert Parker’s paper. He surveyed the genres of inscriptions that particularly illuminate the study of Roman religion: sacerdotal commentaries such as those of the Arval Brethren, regulations, fasti, defixiones, and votive inscriptions. This was followed by a brief history of the growing importance of epigraphy in scholarship from Mommsen and Wissowa to Degrassi and Panciera, culminating in an appraisal of Ittai Gradel’s, Emperor Worship and Roman Religion (Oxford 2002). Scheid further noted that the epigraphic sources for Roman religion are comparable with those for Greek religion, since the inscriptions are often ambiguous and laconic as far as details of rituals are concerned. He emphasised that religious texts were intended to be read by a limited audience, if not simply as dedicatory monuments addressed to a deity. In conclusion, Scheid praised the value of inscriptions for the study of graeco ritu festivals at Rome, notably the ludi saeculares (the relevant texts are collected in B. Schnegg-Koehler, Die Augusteischen Saekularspiele, Leipzig and Munich 2002).

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