Current Epigraphy
ISSN: 1754-0909

14 May, 2012

Help with reading Greek inscription

Filed under: e-seminar,query — Gabriel Bodard @ 22:14

David Meadows posted the following call for help reading the scratched inscription on an ossuary in Jerusalem. Can any epigraphically trained readers help decipher the Greek letters? (We’ve help crowdsourced readings and e-seminars before, so I’m hopeful our readers have the expertise to help with this.)

To begin: the inscription is found one of a number of ossuaries still  in situ in a tomb in Jerusalem, so we’re dealing with a funerary context. The inscription is only seen in photos (of varying quality) because the tomb was explored via a robotic camera. When the tomb was originally excavated back in 1980 or thereabouts,  the inscription itself does not seem to have been recorded (or if it was, it has not been published). Further complicating things is the fact that the ossuaries were moved around and there are plenty of scratches thereon, which may or may not be affecting the reading of this inscription. Amongst the artifacts found in association with the ossuary inscription was this pot:

Figure 1 (more…)

3 September, 2008

Virtual Seminar on Some Unpublished Inscriptions from Corinth IX

Filed under: e-seminar,EpiDoc — PaulIversen @ 16:29

This will be the ninth and final installment of our summer-long “Virtual Seminar on Some Unpublished Inscriptions from Corinth.” The other eight posts may be found by following the links backwards from here. I want to thank all of you who have participated in this seminar and who made it a most fruitful experience. I also want to wish my friend, colleague, and fellow epigrapher Don Laing all the best as he continues to struggle with the effects of his chemotherapy.

This final post features a fragment of white, micaceous marble preserving the upper right corner of an inscription of at least eight lines with red paint preserved in many letters. It is broken to the left, below, and on the back. It was found 12 August, 1977 in Quarry Trench XVI. A pair of parallel register lines has been lightly incised 0.009 and 0.010 m. respectively from the top edge of the stone establishing an upper margin. Intermittent faint traces of register lines appear above lines two to eight at intervals of 0.010 m. Photo, squeeze, and autopsy of stone.

Height, 0.088 m. ; width, 0.090 m. ; thickness, 0.038 m.
Height of letters, 0.004 to 0.008 m. ; interspace, 0.002 to 0. 003 m.
Corinth inventory I-77-10 ; NB 652, p. 61 ; NB(FI) 687, pp. 36-37, Object 829


fin. IV – med. II a. NON-STOIX

          [θεό]ς̣· vac. 0.084 m.                 1
[— — — — — ]ρίτου vac. 0.038 m.
[— — — — — —] τετάρται
[— — — — — —]ύ̣δωρον v
[— — — — — —]σσαν v                  5
[— — — — — —]πολιτεί-
[α— — — — — —]το vac. 0.030 m.
[— — — — — — —]υ̣ς v
[— — — — — — — —]

Line 1: The final letter trace can be a gamma, sigma or tau. Given that it appears we have the upper right corner of a decree, [θεό]ς̣ seems likely. If [θεό]ς̣ was written without spaces between each letter and centered, the maximum number of letters per line was circa 25. That some care was taken to align this inscription is evident from the use of register lines.

Line 2: These letters probably belong to the end of a name rather than to the number [τ]ρίτου. If the numeral, we find μηνὸς τρίτου on some cities’ inscriptions, but the numeral in the dative in line 4 seems to preclude this. If a numeral it probably applies to some office, official body, or year ([ἔτους τ]ρίτου).

Line 3: We apparently have only the second instance of the day of a month on which a decree was passed attested at Corinth. The second alpha at the end signals that we do not have the koine.

Line 4: Only the upper right tip of a diagonal is visible, and upsilon seems most likely.

Line 5: The inscribing of the preserved portion of this line was difficult because of micaceous flaws in the surface. The letters ΣΣΑΝ belong either to the proper name [Κα]σσαν|[δρ-], or the ethnic [Κα]σσαν|[δρε-]; less likely is the word [θάλα]σσαν. The ethnic [Με]σσαν|[ιο-] seems to be excluded, for the inscriber observes syllabification (cf. line 6) so the iota should have appeared at the end of the line where there is plenty of space. It is not clear whether a patronymic was found in the lacuna, or perhaps the name of a second honorandus.

Line 6: The inscriber was so determined to observe word-end/syllabification that he risked chipping the stone by inscribing the final iota only 0.002 m. from the edge. The resulting chip has left only half of the iota’s hasta. The appearance of the word πολιτεί|[α—] (or [ἰσο]πολιτεί|[α—]) is the strongest indication that we have a proxeny decree (καὶ εἶμεν αὐτῶι καὶ ἐκγόνοις πολιτείαν…), for which we have only one other sure instance at Korinth (ICor 8,1 3).

Line 7: A piece of the tau’s vertical hasta is just visible. It is not clear why the inscriber left so much space to the right. If we compare this inscription with ICor 8,1 3, possibly we have some sort of preamble in lines 1-5 that ends with the phrase [πᾶσαν ἐπιμέλειαν ἐποιήσα]το, and then on the next line we have ἔδοξε τᾶι ἐκκλησίαι… or the verb [ἐψηφίσα]το. On the other hand, given that the name [—]ύ̣δωρον is in the accusative, we expect the clause ἔδοξε τᾶι ἐκκλησίαι to appear just before it, as it does on ICor 8,1 3.

Line 8: The initial traces preserve the tips of two diagonals that favor upsilon over chi. The next letter has only the upper horizontal with its left corner of what must have been a sigma.


We have a decree, probably a proxeny decree, but it is difficult to find a typical reconstruction that fits all the extant lines. Complicating matters of restoration is that on the only other extant proxeny decree from Korinth, there is what appears to be a random vacat of 3 letter spaces in the middle of one of the clauses. An admittedly very laconic reconstruction (and unparalleled from line 6 onwards) of a proxeny decree could be:

               [θεό]ς̣· vac. 0.084 m.               1
[ἐπὶ γραμματέος . .6-7.. ]ρίτου vac. 0.038 m.
[μηνὸς . . . . c. 11 . . .] τετάρται
[ἔδοξε τᾶι ἐκκλησίαι· Ε]ὔ̣δωρον v
[— — patronymic — Κα]σσαν-             5
[δρέα πρόξενον εἶμεν·] πολιτεί-
[αν δὲ αὐτῶι εἶμεν· — —]το vac. 0.030 m.
[— — — — — — — — —]υ̣ς v
[— — — — — — — — — —]

If wider, then we might have:

                                [θ          ε          ό          ]ς̣· vac. 0.084 m.                  1
[ἐπὶ γραμματ— — — — — — — — — — — —]ρίτου vac. 0.038 m.
[— — — — — — — — — — — μηνὸς — — — —] τετάρται
[— — — — — — — — — — ἔδοξε τᾶι ἐκκλησίαι· Ε]ὔ̣δωρον v
[— patronymic — καὶ — nomenpatronymic — Κα]σσαν-                5
[δρεῖς προξένους εἶμεν καὶ εὐεργέτας καὶ εἶμεν αὐτοῖς] πολιτεί-
[αν — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —]το vac. 0.030 m.
[— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —]υ̣ς v
[— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —]

4 August, 2008

Virtual Seminar on Some Unpublished Inscriptions from Corinth VIII

Filed under: e-seminar,EpiDoc — PaulIversen @ 14:13

This is post VIII on our “Virtual Seminar on Some Unpublished Inscriptions from Corinth.” The seven previous posts may be found by following the links from here. This installment features three joining fragments of a finely prepared revetment of white marble with slightly tan accretions on the face. Fragments A (top left) and B (bottom) were found 13 April, 1935 in Area 1 of the Agora Southeast in a wall. They were later rediscovered on 7 April, 1938 in Agora South Central. Fragment C (top right) was found 9 July, 1976 in West Road Trench IV of Temple Hill. Photo, squeeze, and autopsy of joined stones.

Fragments A & B:
Published: Kent, ICor VIII,3, 115.
Corinth Inventory I 1583 ; NB 147 p. 104 ; NB 176, p. 89 ; CECI III 1583.

Fragment C:
Corinth Inventory I-76-17; NB 654, p. 10 ; NB(FI) 655, p. 65, Object 664.

Measurements of the joined fragments:
Height, 0.150 m. ; width 0.220 m. ; thickness, 0.023 m.
Height of letters, 0.165 m. ; interspace, 0.020 m.

238-244 p.                NON-STOIX

[— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —]
[— — — — — — — — — — — — — — Ἀντ]ώ̣νι̣ον [•] Οὐ̣α̣[λέριον? • officium?]     1
[τοῦ • Αὐτοκράτορος • Καίσαρος • Μάρκου • Ἀντω]νίου • Γορδιάν[ου • — — — —]
[— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —].Ο̣Ρ̣Ι̣Ν̣Ο̣Υ̣Α̣Ν̣[— — — —]
[— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —]


Line 1: At the beginning, only the bottom of a round letter with the rising of a round stroke on the right is visible followed by a nu, then the bottom quarter of a hasta followed by an omicron, followed by another nu. Then there is an empty space below a broken field that is suitable for an interpunct. After the putative interpunct there is an omicron, then the foot of a slightly bowed hasta that is compatible with the upsilon or rho in the line below, which we take to be an upsilon. At the beginning of the line before the new fragment was found, Kent read [—]ο̣ν̣τ̣ο̣λ̣[—], but with the new fragment we can see that the last letter before the supplied interpunct is a nu, not a lamba. The last name could also be restored Οὐ̣α̣[λερίανον] or Οὐ̣ᾶ̣[ρον].

Line 3: The reading is very difficult and not at all secure. At the beginning of the line only the broadening of the tip of a stroke, perhaps diagonal, is visible at the top of the inscribed line. It is followed by the tops of several letters, the space between which does not seem wide enough to accommodate an interpunct. We believe the traces favor the letters given above, which are the same that Kent read. Possibly Κ̣ο̣ρ̣ί̣ν̣⟨θ⟩ο̣υ̣?


The traces in the line above and below Gordian’s name do not appear to be consistent with any of the formulae that usually accompany inscriptions in his honor. The stone possibly honors an Antonius Valerius or an Antonius Valerianus, who may have been an official of Gordian III. For a portrait head of Gordian III found at Corinth, see BCH 99 (1975) 603-4, fig. 39.

31 July, 2008

Virtual Seminar on Some Unpublished Inscriptions from Corinth VII

Filed under: e-seminar,EpiDoc — PaulIversen @ 11:52

This is posting VII of our “Virtual Seminar on Some Unpublished Inscriptions from Corinth.” The previous six may be found by following the links from here. This post features three fragments of grayish marble all broken on the backside, two of which have not been published. Fragment A was found in September, 1937 in Shop XXVII of the South Stoa and preserves the left edge of the inscription (margin of 0.027 m.) but is broken elsewhere. Fragment B was found 8 July, 1976 in Quarry Trench 9 of the Temple Hill and preserves the right edge (margin of 0.025 m.) but is broken on the other sides. Fragment C was found 12 August, 1974 in Quarry Trench 4 of the Temple Hill and while broken on all sides preserves an un-inscribed surface of 0.013 to 0.016 m. below and thus appears to be the last line, or at least near the very end. The planes of fracture produce thinner fragments to the right and below. The inscribed surface of all three fragments has been dressed with a multi-toothed chisel of at least three or four teeth. The pattern of chisel marks is regularly vertical on Fragment A, but becomes increasingly disorganized to the right. Fragments B and C show this greater irregularity. The letter forms and spacing are very similar, and the stone itself seems to be of identical quality leaving little doubt that these pieces belong together. Photos, squeezes, and autopsy of stones.

Fragment A:

Published: Kent, ICor VIII,3,40 ; cf. Bousquet, REG 80 (1967) 300, adn. 1 (= SEG 25.327); cf. Stroud, Hesperia 41 (1972) p. 203 ; cf. Gebhard and Dickie, Corinth XX.261-78 (= SEG 51.339).
Height, 0.145 m. ; width, 0.15 m. ; thickness, 0.035 m.
Height of letters, 0.006 to 0.010 m. ; interspace, 0.006 to 0.008 m.
Corinth inventory I 1885 ; NB 170, p. 82.

Fragment B:

Height, 0.080 m. ; width, 0.073 m. ; thickness, 0.017 m.
Height of letters, 0.007 to 0.010 m. ; interspace, 0.006 to 0.009 m.
Corinth inventory I-76-12 ; NB 632, p. 76 ; NB 655, p. 7, Object 607.

Fragment C:

Height, 0.112 m. ; width, 0.094 m. ; thickness, 0.023 m.
Corinth inventory I-74-12 ; NB 610, p. 111 ; NB 611, p. 58, Object 465.


128 a.?                  NON-STOIX

Fragment A:

[— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —]
τ̣εχνί̣τ̣ω̣[ν] ἀσφα[λεία— — — — — — ἀγαθῆι τύχηι δεδόχ]-      1
θα̣ι̣ τοῖς τεχνίτα̣[ις· ἐπαινέσαι μὲν — — — — — — — —]-
ν Ῥωμαίων καὶ ΑΠ[ — — — — — — — — — — φιλαγα]-
θίαν εἰς τὴν σύν[οδον — — — — — — — — — — — —]-
ων τοὺς μετέχ̣[οντας τῆς συνόδου — — —· εἶναι δὲ — —]-        5
οις τὰ τίμια ἂ κ̣[αὶ τοῖς — — — — — — — — — — — —]
. αυτων τ[— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —]
[.2-3.]τεχει̣[— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —]
[— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —]

Fragment B:

[— — — — — — — — — — — —]
[— — — — — — — — —].[—]                     1
[— — — — — — — — —]ΑΜΕΝ
[— — — — — — — — —]Α̣ΙΣΤΑΚ  vac.
[— — — — — — — — —]ΠΑΡΑΤ   vac.
[— — — — — — — — ἀργ]ύριον     vac.      5
[— — — — — — — — —]ΦΟΙ
[— — — — — — — — — — —]

Fragment C

[— — — — — — — — — — — — —]
[— — — — — —]ΝΚΟ[— — — — —]       1
[— — — — —]ΩΙΤΟΥΛ̣[— — — — —]
[— — — — ἐπίσ]τανται̣ [— — — — —]
[— — — — κ]αὶ τῶν λοιπ[ῶν — — —]
[— — — ἀ]πολογισάσθω[σαν — — —]        5


Fragment A:

Line 1: The careful drawing in NoteBook 170, p. 82 reveals that damage occurred to the upper left-hand corner of the stone shortly after discovery, for it displays the two letters preceding the chi that are clearly the remains of the foot of the tau and the bottom half of the epsilon. NB 170 also records the full iota after the nu, but only the upper tip of the iota’s hasta is visible today. The next letter space after the iota preserves the foot of a hasta the spacing of which is consistent with a tau. Kent (link above) read the seventh letter trace as an alpha and supplied [τε]χνί̣τ̣[ας], failing to see the trace of another letter. The alpha is regularly one of the larger letters and never far from the foot of the line and this trace is 0.002 m. higher than the previous letter trace. We believe it is more consistent with the left corner of an omega, thus requiring τ̣εχνί̣τ̣ω̣[ν].

Line 2: At the beginning of the line Kent read ω̣ν̣ τ̣οῖς etc. Our doubts about this reading were dramatically resolved by the drawing in NB 170. On the stone and a squeeze we had read the two lower tips of a splayed lambda-shaped letter followed by the foot of an adjacent hasta that does not join the previous diagonal stroke. There is space for one letter in front of the lamda-shaped traces. In addition, an omega is never that low in this inscription. The drawing in the NB, which is very reliable, leaves no doubt that at the beginning of the line we have ΘΑΙ. The restoration [δεδόχ]|θαι is virtually assured and means that this was a decree passed by the τεχνῖται. In the gap that follows we should have either [δεδόχ]|θα̣ι̣ τοῖς τεχνίτα̣[ις· ἐπαινέσαι μὲν…or [δεδόχ]|θα̣ι̣ τοῖς τεχνίτα̣[ις τοῖς ἐξ Ἰσθμοῦ καὶ Νεμέας· ἐπαινέσαι μὲν…].

Line 3: At the end of line 2 and the beginning of line 3 Kent proferred […τῶν κοινῶν εὐεργετῶ]|ν Ῥωμαίων. It could also be [τὸν δῆμον τὸ]|ν Ῥωμαίων] or [στρατηγὸν ὕπατο]ν Ῥωμαίων, or [στρατηγὸν ἀνθύπατο]ν Ῥωμαίων or other choices mainly involving a genitive absolute. At the end of the preserved portion of line 3 he read ἀγ̣[—]. Since the horizontal stroke extends to the left of a hasta, as is the case in the pi at the end of line 4 of Fragment C, and it does not in the gamma in line 5 of the same fragment, a pi is assured. The word beginning with ΑΠ may be the beginning of another infinitive such as ἀπ[οδοῦναι] or the beginning of a person’s name. I also wonder whether it may be a participle such as ἀπ[οσταλέντα], which here may indicate a praetor (Polybius refers to a Roman praetor as a στρατηγὸς ἐξαπέλεκυς).

Line 4: At the end of line 3 and beginning of 4 we could also have [καλοκαγα]|θίαν.

Line 5: Only a diagonal stroke is preserved at the end of the line, but there is little doubt that it is anything other than a chi.

Line 6: At then end of the preserved portion is there is the top tip of a hasta visible. At the end of line 5 and beginning of line 6 we probably have [εἶναι δὲ αὐτῶι καὶ ἐγγόν]|oις or [εἶναι δὲ αὐτ]|οῖς. Kent suggested that τὰ τίμια could possibly refer to the fine of ten talants imposed by C. Cornelius Sisenna (see Commentary below), but the position and context suggest they refer to honors.

Line 7: The tip of what is probably one broad letter is visible in front of the alpha.

Line 8: Kent read [με]τεχο̣ν̣[τ—], Bousquet read [με]τέχε̣ι̣, and Stroud read [. .]τεχε̣ι̣[—]. We believe the epsilon is assured. The space in front could accommodate two wide or three narrow letters.

Fragment B:

Line 1: The lower tip of a stroke is just visible on the stone.

Line 3: The dotted letter is either a lambda or alpha, probably alpha.

Line 5: At the end of the line after the final nu on the squeeze there is a mark that might look like a stroke above a scar, but on the stone it is clearly just a part of the scar and out of the margin anyway. [κ]ύριον is also possible.

Line 6: It is tempting to restore [Δελ]φοι|, which suggests this decree might have something to do with the dispute between the Isthmian/Nemeian τεχνῖται and their counterparts in Athens that was waged between 134 and 112 BC and involved the Pythian games at Delphi. See more in the Commentary.

Fragment C:

Line 1: [τῶ]ν κο[ινῶν] is the most probable restoration.

Line 2: At the end of the line in the photo I believe I may see the lower left foot of a splayed letter that both Don and I failed to see on the stone and squeeze (I will double check a squeeze in a couple of weeks). It looks like it may be the left foot of a lambda or alpha.

Line 3: The final letter is a full hasta broken only at the top and could only have been the part of a gamma, iota, mu, or nu. The context favors iota. We have some formula like [εἰδότες ὅτι ἐπίσ]τανται̣ [χάριτας ἀποδιδόναι οἱ τεχνῖται] or [ὅπως πάντες εἰδῶσιν ὅτι οἱ τεχνῖται ἐπίσ]τανται̣ [τὰς χάριτας ἀποδιδόναι τοῖς εὐεργέταις εἰς αὐτούς…].

Line 4. This line may refer to some left over money, or is a catch-all phrase to cover any of the remaining items that need doing, or it may have something to do with the remaining τεχνῖται, or it may have something to do with those who live in the future.

Line 5: It could also be [ἀ]πολογισάσθω [— —]. The subject or subjects of this verb will be officials of the Association, probably ὁ ταμίας, and/or ὁ γραμματεύς, and/or οἱ ἄρχοντες. The two most likely restorations are [καὶ τὸ γενόμενον ἀνάλωμα ἀ]πολογισάσθω[σαν·] or [καὶ ἀ]πολογισάσθω[σαν τὸ ἀνάλωμα πρὸς τοὺς κατόπτας]. The vacat below means we have reached the end of the decree. There may have been the names of various officials written below.


In the Hellenistic period, actors, musicians and others associated with the dramatic arts of Dionysos (οἱ περὶ τὸν Διόνυσον τεχνῖται) banded together to form powerful associations (κοινά / σύνοδοι) that were involved in a wide range of activities, including decrees that honored individuals or cities who had furthered their interests. One of the largest and most important was τὸ κοινὸν τῶν περὶ τὸν Διόνυσον τεχνιτῶν τῶν ἐξ Ἰσθμοῦ καὶ Νεμέας or The Association of the Artists of Dionysos from the Isthmos and Nemea. Fragment A has long been known to involve this group, but with the aid of the new readings, it can now be said with virtual certainty that this text is a decree of theirs in honor of Rome or some Roman official. One appropriate context for such a decree has long been known; a dispute between the Isthmian-Nemean Technitai and the Athenian Technitai that was waged between 134 and 112 BC and involved the Pythian games at Delphi. The details of this rivalry are known mainly from a fragmentary senatus consultum found at Delphi (FD III,2 70) that dates to 112 BC. The inscription informs us that during the praetorship (128 BC) of Publius Cornelius Lentulus there was a ruling favorable to the interests of the Isthmian-Nemean Technitai, possibly requiring the Athenians to join with them under one association. It was undoubtedly in return for this favorable ruling that the Isthmian-Nemean Technitai set up a statue for Lentulus at Delphi, the base of which still survives (Syll. (3) 704B). The Athenians were dissatisfied with the ruling, so in 118 BC they sent a delegation to Caius Cornelius Sisenna, who was proconsul of Makedonia, asking for reddress. Sisenna convened a meeting of the rival parties at Pella and imposed a new agreement on them that apparently recognized the Athenians and required the Isthmian-Nemean Artists to pay back the Athenians 10 talants. The Isthmian-Nemean Artists refused to endorse the ruling with their delegates’ signatures, they refused to return the money, and a schism followed. The Artists belonging to the Isthmian-Nemean faction held an assembly of its members at Sikyon while those who belonged to the Athenians met at Thebes. The Athenians then appealed to the Roman Senate accusing the Isthmian-Nemean Technitai of ignoring Sisenna’s ruling and misappropriating some of the funds that in part belonged to them. The senatus consultum of 112 reaffirmed Sisenna’s finding, referred the matter of the funds to an arbitrator, and thus generally pleased the Athenians.

Kent did not believe that Fragment A of our text referred to this dispute, because he felt it unlikely that it would have been set up in Korinth between the destruction of Korinth in 146 BC and its restoration in 44, nor did he think it plausible that the inscription would have ever been moved to Korinth. He thus posited a similar incident before 146 B.C. It seems entirely possible to me that, in whatever way this text made its way to Korinth, it refers to the dispute of 134-112 BC. Below I offer a possible restoration, interpreting it as a decree in honor of Lentulus that includes an image of him to be set up in Delphi. For this provisional interpretation I would welcome any suggestions, comments, or criticisms.

Fragment A:

[— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —]
τ̣εχνί̣τ̣ω̣[ν] ἀσφα[λεία— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — ἀγαθῆι τύχηι δεδόχ]-                1
θα̣ι̣ τοῖς τεχνίτα̣[ις· ἐπαινέσαι μὲν Πόπλιον Κορνήλιον Ποπλίου Λέντολον στρατηγὸν ἀνθύπατο]-
ν Ῥωμαίων καὶ ΑΠ[ — — — — — — — — διά τε τὴν εἰς τὸν θεὸν εὐσέβειαν καὶ τὴν φιλαγα]-
θίαν εἰς τὴν σύν[οδον· — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —]-
ων, τοὺς μετέχ̣[οντας τῆς συνόδου τῶν ἐξ Ἰσθμοῦ καὶ Νεμέας τεχνιτῶν· εἶναι δὲ αὐτῶι καὶ ἐγγόν]-      5
οις τὰ τίμια ἂ κ̣[αὶ τοῖς ἄλλοις εὐεργέταις τῶν ἐξ Ἰσθμοῦ καὶ Νεμέας τεχνιτῶν — — — — — —]
. αυτων τ[— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —]
[.2-3.]τεχει̣[— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —]

Unknown number of lines lost, part of which may have said something like:

[στῆσαι δὲ αὐτοῦ καὶ εἰκόνα χαλκῆν ἔχουσαν τήνδε τὴν ἐπιγραφὴν· "τὸ κοινὸν τῶν περὶ τὸν Διό]-
[νυσον τεχνιτῶν τῶν ἐξ Ἰσθμοῦ καὶ Νεμέας Πόπλιον Κορνήλιον Ποπλίου Λέντολον τὸν ἑαυτοῦ]
[εὐεργέτην Ἀπόλλωνι Πυθίωι"· — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —]

Fragments B and C:

[— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —]
[— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —].[—]          1
[— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —]ΑΜΕΝ
[— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —]Α̣ΙΣΤΑΚ vac.
[— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —]ΠΑΡΑΤ vac.
[— — — — — — — — — ἐπιμεληθῆναι δὲ τῆς ποήσεως τῆς εἰκόνος παραλαβόντας τὸ ἀργ]ύριον  vac.   5
[ἅπαν ἀπὸ τῶ]ν κο[ινῶν χρημάτων τοῖς τεχνίταις, στῆσαι δὲ αὐτοῦ καὶ εἰκόνα χαλκῆν ἐν Δελ]φοῖ-
[ς ἐν τῶι ἱερ]ῶι τοῦ Ἀ̣[πόλλωνος ἐν τῶι ἐπιφανεστάτωι τόπωι, ὅπως πάντες εἰδῶσιν ὅτι οἱ τεχνῖ]-
[ται ἐπίσ]τανται̣ [χάριτας ἀποδιδόναι τοῖς εὐεργέταις εἰς αὐτούς. — — — — — — — — — — —]
[— — κ]αὶ τῶν λοιπ[ῶν χρημάτων — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —]
[— καὶ ἀ]πολογισάσθω[σαν τὸ ἀνάλωμα πρὸς τοὺς κατόπτας.]                                                                    10

If the general sense is correct, it would mean that the Isthmian-Nemean Technitai had used the common funds to pay for the inscription and for Lentulus’ statue. Undoubtedly this would have irritated the Athenians, and the funds expended on this may have been part of those 10 talants that the Isthmian-Nemean Technitai were asked to pay back.

25 July, 2008

Virtual Seminar on Some Unpublished Inscriptions from Corinth VI

Filed under: e-seminar,EpiDoc — PaulIversen @ 15:36

This is installment VI of our “Virtual Seminar on Some Unpublished Inscriptions from Corinth.” For the previous five postings, follow the links from here. In this post we have two joining fragments of bluish-gray marble (photos are here and here) that record another foreign decree honoring Korinthian dikasts. Fragment A was found 9 July 1929 on the North Slope of the Temple between the “parãrthma” and the old road bridge ca. 2.60 m. below the bridge’s parapet. Fragment B was found 16 August, 1977 in Quary Trench XV of Temple Hill and joins to Fragment A to form the bottom left corner of the inscription with part of a tenon. Both fragments have been worked with a tooth chisel on their faces, both have preserved left edges, and both have a slight taper toward the back. Each of the preserved lines observes syllabic/word division. The left side of the tenon has a rough-picked surface and is preserved to a length of 0.032 m. and a width of 0.075 m. The distance from the left edge of the stone to the left edge of the tenon is about 0.11 m. Photos, squeezes, and autopsy of stones.

Fragment A:
Published: Kent, ICor 8,3 46 fragment b (who associated it with ICor VIII,1 6 = I-764, but see N. Robertson, Hesp. 45 (1976) 257, n. 5 — JSTOR link here — and my commentary below) ; L. Robert, REG 79 (1966) p. 738.
Corinth inventory, I-943 ; drawing in CECI II 943.

Fragment B:
Unpublished, joining with Fragment B. Cf. H.S. Robinson, AD 32B (1977) 57; Touchais, BCH 102 (1978) 660.
Corinth inventory I-77-13 ; NB 652, p. 64 ; NB 687, p. 55, Object 846.

Measurements of Fragments A & B together:
Height, 0.228 m. ; width, 0.184 m. ; thickness, 0.10 m.
Height of letters, 0.005 to 0.011 m. ; interspace, 0.011 to 0.016 m.


fin. III – med. II a.       NON-STOIX

Fragments A & B:
[— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —]
μετὰ τὰ ἱε[ρ]ὰ̣ [— — — — — — — — — — — — —]        1
καὶ αἱ δεδομέναι̣ [— — — — — — — — — τοῖς δικασ]-
ταῖς καὶ γραμματε̣[ῖ — — — — — — — — — — — ἀ]-
ναγραφῆι εἶναι τό̣[δ]ε τὸ̣ [ψήφισμα· — — — — — — —]-
[.2.]ν ἀναθεῖναι ἐν τῶι ἐπ[ιφανεστάτωι τόπωι τῆς πόλεως·]      5
[.2-3.] ἐπιμεληθῆναι ΕΜΜΕ[— — — — — — — — —]
τοὺς προβούλους· καλέσαι δὲ α[ὐτοὺς καὶ ἐπὶ ξένια ἐπὶ τὴν]
κοινὴν ἑστίαν.      vacat


Line 1: The lower tip of the alpha’s right diagonal is just visible.

Line 2: The inscriber has left out the crossbar of the second epsilon, as he does in the last epsilon of line five, but no other letter besides epsilon is possible. Only the lower half of the final iota’s hasta is visible.

Line 3: Under the right tip of the final tau’s horizontal there is an imperfection in the stone masquerading as an iota followed by the upper left corner of a triangular trace consistent with the upper left-hand corner of other epsilons.

Line 4: At the end of the line the upper part of a round letter follows the tau, then in the break between the fragments there is space for one letter followed by a lower horizontal on the new fragment, followed by a tau, and then the left edge of a round letter, thus necessitating τό̣[δ]ε τὸ̣ [ψήφισμα]. L. Robert called Kent’s restoration of lines 3 and 4 ([τὴν ἐπιμέλειαν ἐπὶ τῆι ἀ]/ναγραφῆι εἶναι·) a “un grand mystère” and, noting parallels at IG VII 271 line 20 and IG VII 272 line 105, suggested the restoration [ἐν ἀ]|ναγραφῆι εἶναι (we can add a third example at IG VII 273, line 56). It is usually a very bad idea to disagree with L. Robert, but it may be worth noting that all these examples are from Akraiphia and occur during the first century AD. In addition, the placement of the infinitive so far from the presumed conjunction in the previous line is rather odd. Now that we have the new fragment, one wonders whether the EINAI in line 4 may have been a dittography arising from the EINAI of ἀναθεῖναι below in line 5 so that one should read [ἀ]|ναγραφῆι {εἶναι}, where ἀναγραφῆι is the more usual aorist passive subjunctive. Alternatively, it could be the aorist passive infinitive and we should read [ἀ]|ναγραφῆ{ιει}ναι.

Line 5: At the beginning of the line there is space for two letters. Undoubtedly we have either [εἰς στή]|[λη]ν ἀναθεῖναι or [εἰς στήλην λιθί]|[νη]ν ἀναθεῖναι. The final epsilon once again lacks a medial crossbar, but no other letter is possible. This inscription was to be set up in front of a wall or some other structure in the most visible place of the city, which was probably Temple Hill where both fragments were found. As far as we know, there is no known location on Temple Hill where the tenon of this inscription would have fit. The Elean decree honoring Korinthian judges that was published by N. Robertson (Hesperia 45 (1976) 253-6, JSTOR link here) has a similar taper, and may have also employed a tenon.

Line 6: At the beginning of the line [συν]επιμεληθῆναι is also possible. It is highly unlikely that the ΜΕ[—] following the ΕΜ is the beginning of a city’s name (e.g., ἐμ Με[γάροις or ἐμ Με[γάληι πόλει]…). We could have the infinitive ἔμμεναι, or ἐμ μὲ[ν ludi, ἐν ludi δὲ…], or ἐμ μέ[σωι…], or possibly something like ἐμ με[γάλοις τραγωιδοῖς τῶν Διονυσίων], although admittedly this last suggestion would not be the usual formula and in any case would require more space than it appears this stone had. At Stroud, Hesperia 1972, no. 3, line 14 (JSTOR link here) we find a similarly enigmatic phrase [—]ως ἐν δὲ vv / [— —] occurring in roughly the same position of a very similar inscription.

Line 7: We have the first mention of Korinthian πρόβουλοι on an inscription found at Korinth or elsewhere as far as I know. See Commentary below.

Line 8: It appears that the inscriber began inscribing the epsilon in ἑστίαν as a sigma and then turned it into an epsilon. The eta in the phrase κοινὴν ἑστίαν is indicative of the koine and it completes a common formula found in a few different forms that helps us guess at the length. In addition, while the tenon is not fully preserved so that it is not known precisely how wide the inscription originally was, certainly at least half of it seems present. The epsilon in δὲ seems to be at about the half-way point of the presumed full tenon, which suggests an inscription circa 46 letters wide at the bottom. In my text above, the formula supplied is one of the most common, and it just so happens to fill the likely space perfectly and so seems secure. Given that the inscription tapers, that the letters vary considerably in size, and that the inscriber observes syllabification, the figure of 46 provides only a rough, yet important, estimate for the lines above.

Below is a possible restoration of 44-46 letters, exempli gratia:

[— — πρόσοδον πρὸς τὴν βουλὴν καὶ τὸν δῆμον πρώτοις]
μετὰ τὰ ἱε[ρ]ὰ̣ [καὶ προεδρίαν ἐν πᾶσιν τοῖς ἀγῶσιν· ὅπως δὲ]     1
καὶ αἱ δεδομέναι̣ [τιμαὶ τῶι τε δήμωι αὐτῶν καὶ τοῖς δικασ]-
ταῖς καὶ γραμματε̣[ῖ φανεραὶ καὶ Κορινθίοις ὦσιν, καὶ ἐν ἀ]-
ναγραφῆι εἶναι τό̣[δ]ε τὸ̣ [ψήφισμα· ἀναγράψαντας δὲ εἰς στή]-
[λη]ν, ἀναθεῖναι ἐν τῶι ἐπ[ιφανεστάτωι τόπωι τῆς πόλεως·]           5
[καὶ] ἐπιμεληθῆναι ΕΜΜΕ[— — — — — — — — — —]
τοὺς προβούλους· καλέσαι δὲ α[ὐτοὺς καὶ ἐπὶ ξένια ἐπὶ τὴν]
κοινὴν ἑστίαν.     vacat


This inscription will be of great interest to historians of Korinth because for the first time Korinthian πρόβουλοι are attested on stone. It appears that part of their job involved making sure Korinthian honorandi received proper recognition. For πρόβουλοι in the Greek world and a summary of the views concerning their function at Korinth, see J. Tréheux, BCH 113 (1989) 241-247 (for Korinth see esp. pp. 245-7).

Note on dissassociating I-764 (photo here).

Here are my reasons for disassociating I-764 (Kent’s “fragment a” of ICor 8,3 46) from this text. First, as Roberston points out, the interlinear spacing of I-764 is different; it runs from 0.009 to 0.012 m, while on the other two joining fragments it varies from 0.011 to 0.016 m. (the variations are not progressively different on either inscription, rather on both there is variation in each line depending on the shape and size of the letters above and below). Second, while the letters are very similar and may be from the same workshop, the letters on I-764 are fairly consistent in height, measuring from 0.004 to 0.006 m., while those on I-943 (our Fragment A) and I-77-13 (our Fragment B) vary from 0.005 to 0.011 m. Third, the letters on I-764 are also more crowded, they are cut more deeply, their strokes are less precise in joining at the tips, and they do not follow an imagined register line as regularly as do our Fragments A and B. Fourth, the surface of I-764 is a darker blue. Fifth and last, the expected formulae suggest that I-764, even if it had smaller letters, belonged to a wider inscription than does our Fragments A and B.

21 July, 2008

Virtual Seminar on Some Unpublished Inscriptions from Corinth V

Filed under: e-seminar,EpiDoc — PaulIversen @ 20:10

This is the fifth installment of our “Virtual Seminar on Some Unpublished Inscriptions from Corinth.” Links to the first four posts may be found here. This post features a fragment of nicely finished white-veined, bluish-grey marble preserving the right side where the stone was cut (although this is not at the surface); one or two letter spaces are lost at the ends of some lines. It is broken elsewhere. A photo is here. It was found 8 July, 1976 in Quary Trench 9. H.S. Robinson apparently thought that this new fragment belonged to the same stele as that on which is inscribed ICor 8,3 46 fragments a and b, only it was a different text. It is clear, however, that this new text was not inscribed on the same stele as fragments a or b of ICor 8,3 46. Photo, squeeze, and autopsy of stone.

Unpublished. Cf. H.S. Robinson, AD 32B (1977) 57.
Height, 0.147 m. (preserved surface 0.065 m.) ; width, 0.022 m. (preserved surface 0.191 m.) ; thickness, 0.102 m.
Height of letters, 0.005 to 0.009 m. ; interspace, 0.007 to 0.010 m.
Corinth inventory I-76-15 ; NB 632, p. 76 ; NB(FI) 655, p. 22, Object 621.


fin. III – med. II a.         NON-STOIX

[— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —]
[— — — — — — δὲ διέκριναν ἀκο]λούθως τῶι τε ὅρκωι κα[ὶ]           1
[— — — — — —, τήν τε ἐπιδημί]αν ἐποιήσαντο καλῶς καὶ ἐνδό-
[ξως — — — — — — — — —] τ[ῶ]ν Κοριν⟨θ⟩ίων καὶ τῆς πόλε- v
[ως — — — — — — — — — — —]Σ̣ΙΕΤ̣[. 2-3 . φ]α̣νεροὶ ὦσιν
[— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —κ]ατατιθ̣ε[.1-2.]         5
[— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —]

Apparatus: The size of the letters of this text vary greatly and the interlinear spacing, though fairly regular, is not strictly followed. The inscriber probably observed syllabification, which would explain why he left a vacat after the epsilon in line three, but included an omicron in line two and a nu in line four (which would have originally allowed a right margin of 0.010 m.).

Line 1: No trace of the final iota is visible, but the surface here, while smooth, shows signs of wear. The formula [δὲ διέκριναν ἀκο]λούθως is paralleled on ICor 8,3 46 frg. a, l.2 (for more on this fragment see below). The oath may be significant; possibly it indicates that this arbitration was between members of the Akhaian league. Compare lines 14-15 of IvO 47, which dates to 164 BC.

Line 2: It looks as if the pi in line two was initially inscribed as a tau, but then turned into a pi. Part of the final omicron has been rubbed away. At the beginning we probably have [τοῖς νόμοις…] or [τοῖς ψηφίμασι…]. After that we could also have [παρεπιδημί]αν or [τήν τε ἀναστροφὴν καὶ ἐπιδημί]αν… The plural form ἐποιήσαντο means we have more than one honorandus.

Line 3: The inscriber left out the cross bar of the theta. After ἐνδό|[ξως] we could have numerous flowery phrases, at the end of which we find a form of ἀξίως followed by the extent genitives. In addition to the use of the koine, the order of the two cities strongly suggests that the decree was passed and inscribed by a foreign government and that the arbitrators came from Korinth.

Line 4: The break and then a scar of 0.050 m. obscure or obliterate parts of this line, which at the beginning contained a phrase such as τῆς πόλε|[ως ἡμῶν …] or τῆς πόλε|[ως τῶν ethnicum …]. When the text resumes, the first letter trace preserves only the tip of an upper horizontal of a gamma, epsilon, xi, sigma, or tau followed by the upper half of a hasta that must have been an iota. The following espilon is clear, followed by half of a hasta, the spacing of which strongly favors a tau. The traces do not allow the restoration of any obvious offices such as δικασταὶ, nor do they suggest the proper name of a city or of individuals. An ending in –σι (πᾶσι?) followed by ἔτ̣[ι τε] is possible (Cf. IG IV 853, l.14, which was found at Methana and grants proxeny status to a Korinthian man), although if we have a dative plural we would expect the nu-moveable before the initial vowel of the following word. The line resumes beyond the scar with the apex of a triangular letter, which from the context must be an alpha. The adjective φ]α̣νεροὶ probably is modifying an ethnicum in the nominative plural, or it modifies the two branches of that city’s government such as ἡ βουλὴ καὶ ὁ δῆμος.

Line 5: Only the top of the theta is visible. At the beginning of the line we have something such as [χάριτας ἀξίας ἀποδιδόντες τοῖς φιλοτιμουμένοις…] or [τιμῶντες τοὺς ἀγαθοὺς ἄνδρας…]. At the end of the line, whatever form of the verb or participle we have, it is likely that it should be divided across syllables, e.g., [—κ]ατατιθ̣έ|[ναι…] or [—κ]ατατίθ̣ε[σ]|[θαι…].

While the formulae of this species of text show considerable variation, the overall sense is clear: Korinthian men went to a foreign city, performed a service for them, probably adjudicating some dispute, for which that city now sends back an inscription to honor them and to record its gratitude. Below I give a restoration of 56-59 letters, exempli gratia:

[— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — τάς τε δίκας τὰς — —]
[— — — τὰς μὲν διέλυσαν, τὰς δὲ διέκριναν ἀκο]λούθως τῶι τε ὅρκωι κα[ὶ]        1
[τοῖς νόμοις τοῖς τῶν Ἀχαίων, τήν τε ἐπιδημί]αν ἐποιήσαντο καλῶς καὶ ἐνδό-
[ξως καὶ καταξίως ἑαυτῶν τε καὶ τῆς πόλεως] τ[ῶ]ν Κοριν⟨θ⟩ίων καὶ τῆς πόλε- v
[ως ἡμῶν· ὅπως ἂν οὖν καὶ οἱ ethnicum — — —]Σ̣ΙΕΤ̣[. 2-3 . φ]α̣νεροὶ ὦσιν
[τιμῶντες τοὺς ἀγαθοὺς ἄνδρας — — — — — — — — — —κ]ατατιθ̣ε[.1-2.]      5
[— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —]


Naturally, we would like to know the identity of the foreign government and the names of the Korinthians whom they honored, but alas the epigraphical gods of Korinth have once again fated those details to remain a mystery.

Several similar dikastic decrees have already been published at Korinth, one of which is ICor 8,1 4. While obviously not the same text, many of the characteristics of the letters and subject matter are similar to Stroud 1972, 201, no. 3 (I-70-40 – JSTOR link here). There is also another example of a decree honoring Korinthian dikasts that was inscribed by the Eleans and erected at Korinth; see N. Robertson, Hesperia 45 (1976) 253-6 (JSTOR link here). In addition, there is the famous example of the territorial dispute between Korinth and Epidauros that was adjudicated by the Megarians at the request of the Akhaian League, a copy of which has been found at Epidauros (IG IV(2),2 71). Whether our new fragment involved a similar dispute between members of the Akhaian League that was adjudicated by the Korinthians is not clear, but it remains a distinct possibility.

Finally, there are the examples of ICor 8,3 46 fragments a and b. In my next post we will add a new fragment that joins below ICor 8,3 46 fragment b. This new fragment naturally prompted us to take a look at Kent’s fragments a and b, and after examining them, I (P. Iversen) am of the same opinion as N. Robertson (1976, p. 257, n. 5; link given above) that fragment a of ICor 8,3 46 belongs to a separate inscription. After posting the new fragment, I will also go back and offer some new readings of ICor 8,3 46 fragment a.

7 July, 2008

Virtual Seminar on Some Unpublished Inscriptions from Corinth IV

Filed under: e-seminar,EpiDoc — PaulIversen @ 18:40

This is the fourth installment of our “Virtual Seminar on Some Unpublished Inscriptions from Corinth” (for the previous three posts, see: Seminar I; Seminar II; and Seminar III).

This post features a grayish fragment of marble with the left edge preserved from lines 3-6 but broken elsewhere (photo here). It was found 11 August, 1972 in Trench III of the Quarry Area. There is a regular margin of 0.025 m. to the left and the mason habitually punched puncta with his inscribing tool at the tips of the letter strokes. The regular thickness of the stone and the shallow depth of the letters seem to indicate that this is a revetment. Photo, squeeze, and autopsy of stone.

Height, 0.105 m. ; width, 0.094 m. ; thickness, 0.020 m.
Height of letters, 0.007 to 0.010 m. ; interspace, 0.009 m.
Corinth inventory I-72-8 ; NB 570, p. 7 ; NB(FI) 566, p. 69, Object 288


fin. IV- med. II a. NON-STOIX

vac.             [θεός·]?
ἐπὶ γρ[αμματ— — — — — — Νι]-      1
κάρχο[υ — — — mensis, numerus]
ἐπὶ δέκ[α — — — — — — — —]
ἔδοξε τ̣[ᾶι ἐκκλησίαι?· — — — —]-
ανδρο[— — — — — — — — —]-      5
ρου Κυ[— — — — — — — — —]
[— — — — — — — — — — —]


Line 0: Above the pi in the first preserved line there is an uninscribed letter space-and-a-half that extends to a maximum height of 0.014 m above line one, while in the other lines there is only an interlinear space of 0.009 m. This indicates that we have the upper left-hand corner of a decree. As such, it is the only decree of pre-Roman Korinth known to me with a preserved upper-left corner. If there was text on this line, it must have been an indented heading, the most probable of which are θεός οr the ubiquitous ἀγαθᾶι τύχαι. The inscriber may have also observed syllabic breaks between lines, but given the paucity of decrees at Korinth it is impossible to ascertain the length of any line.

Line 1: On other inscriptions from Korinth we find a form of γραμματεύς restored at ICor 8,1 4, l.9, ICor 8,1 7, l.1, and ICor 8,1 8, l.1 (for this last example, however, see Dow HSCPh 53 (1943) 111, no.8 — those who have access to JSTOR may find a stable link here). There is also another example published by Stroud (Hesperia 41 (1972), 198,1 — JSTOR article here). It has the koine spelling γραμματέως, which we may have here. For the evidence of the koine on pre-Roman decrees at Korinth as perhaps signifying foreign engraving, see Stroud’s comments. Stroud (p. 199, footnote 4) also mentions an example of a ὑπογραμματεύς in the first line of on an unpublished inscription from Korinth (I 2649).

N.F. Jones (TAPA 110 (1980) 165 ff. – JSTOR article here) argues that a proxeny decree honoring two Athenians that was found on Delos actually comes from Korinth (= SEG 30.990). If Jones is correct, and our inscription is similarly narrow, then we may have ἐπὶ γρ[αμματιστᾶ Νι]|κάρχο[υ]…

Another possibility is that we have a decree of the Akhaian League that began with the formula ἐπὶ γρ[αμματέος τοῖς Ἀχαιοῖς nomen, στραταγοῦ δὲ Νι]|κάρχο[υ, μηνὶ nomen, numerus] vel sim. (cf. IG IV(2),1 60, l.1).

Lines 1-2: The restoration [Νι]|κάρχο[υ] seems highly probable. Far less likely are [Νει]|κάρχο[υ] or [Λευ]|κάρχο[υ]. The [Δι]|κάρχου restored at IG X,2 2 196, ll.7-8 is undoubtedly a ghost and instead should be restored as [Νι]|κάρχου.

Line 3: The final kappa is assured, so this appears to be part of the day of the month. As incredible as it may seem, there is no other published decree found at Korinth that preserves the day of the month on which a decree was passed, and only one other decree is extant that records the name of a month (ICor 8,1 2, l.1).

Line 4: Only the upper left tip of an upper horizontal is visible. The restoration of
ἐκκλησίαι is based on the probable restorations of ICor 8,1 2 line 7 and ICor 8,1, 3, line 5, but is by no means assured.

Line 5: Clearly part of a name. If the inscriber observed syllabification, as it appears, the final syllable in line 4 should have ended in a vowel or diphthong, such as [Κλε]|ανδρο[—] or [Εὐ]|ανδρο[—]. It could also be Ἀνδρο[—].

Line 6: If the inscriber observed syllabification, [—]|ρ οὐκ υ[—], [—]|ρ’ οὐκ υ[—], or [—]|ρ ου κυ[—]… should be excluded and it looks as if we have the end of a name followed by the beginning of a patronymic or ethnic. Names beginning in Κυ- are relatively rare, so we may have an ethnic such as Κυρηναῖος, Κύπριος, or Κυζικανός (the latter is already attested at Korinth at ICor 8,1 29). If so, this may be a proxeny decree. Alternatively, if this is the end of a Korinthian man’s name, the ΚΥ may refer to his tribal affiliation of Κυνόφαλος. For this Korinthian tribe, see S. Dow, HSCPh 53 (1943) 90 ff. and N. Jones, TAPA 110 (1980) 176-7 (links to JSTOR provided above).

Although Korinth was one of the most powerful city-states in the Greek world, we know precious little about how the government functioned there, primarily because of the paltry epigraphical remains. Each new inscription, no matter how small, has the potential to alter our understanding of this enormous puzzle. Such is the potential of the present inscription, but the fragmentary state of it once again cheats our hopes. It is, however, the first solid example of a decree found at Korinth beginning with the formula ἐπὶ γραμματ-. Even so, we cannot be sure whether this new inscription was passed by the government of Korinth, or some other city or governmental body such as the Akhaian League.

24 June, 2008

Virtual Seminar on Some Unpublished Inscriptions from Corinth III

Filed under: e-seminar,EpiDoc,events — PaulIversen @ 16:00

This is the third entry in our Virtual Seminar on some Unpublished Inscriptions from Corinth (see post I here and post II here). It will feature our first Latin inscription, which consists in four fragments of buff-colored micaceous marble. Fragment A was found beside the Lechaion Road in December, 1929 and has already been published, Fragment B was found 12 July, 1976 in Quarry Trench 9, Fragment C was found a day later 13 July, 1976 also in Quarry Trench 9, and Fragment D was found 6 August, 1974 in Quarry Trench 3. All the fragments are broken on all sides, except Fragment D, which seems to preserve part of the original right edge, although it is not at a right angle with the inscribed surface and therefore it may have been trimmed for reuse. The corner, however, is smoothly rounded here between the two adjacent faces and there are no partial letter traces at the edge. None of the four fragments join and it is not clear to us in what order they should be placed. Photos, squeezes, and autopsy of stones.


Date: 44 a. – 22/3 p.

Fragment A:

Published: Kent, ICor 8,3, 345.
Height, 0.0135 m. ; width, 0.127 m. ; thickness, 0.080 m.
Height of letters, 0.008 to 0.009 m. ; interspace, 0.004 to 0.006 m.
Corinth inventory, I-989 ; CECI II, I-989.

[— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —]
[— — —] • M(arcum) • Instle[ium Tectum — — —]      1
[— — — —] •̣ Corint[hu]m • C • Anṭ[— — — — —]
[— — — —]M • et • Q(uintum) • Cornelium [— —]
[— — — — —] p̣ṛobaruṇt • XX̣[— — — — — — —]
[— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —]


Line 1: Kent read Instẹị[um Tectum], but the remnants of the last two preserved letters are clearly LE. For more on this reading, see the commentary below.
Line 2: There is some loss of the surface at the beginning of the line, but the traces of an interpunct may still be seen. Nothing of the H or V is visible. At the end of the line, Kent read Mịṇ[ucium], but this reading would require a space of 0.006 m. between the last stroke of the M and the I, which is three times greater than that found elsewhere on this stone and the new fragments. We believe that AN are clear, followed by the lower part of a hasta, the spacing and context of which suggest a T.
Line 4: The tops of the P and R are visible. The right hasta of the N is visible. After the first X, the trace of the upper left diagonal of another X is visible.

Fragment B:
Height, 0.070 m. ; width, 0.110 m. ; thickness, 0.043 m.
Height of letters, 0.007 to 0.009 m. ; interspace, 0.004 to 0.007 m.
Corinth inventory I-76-14A ; NB 632, pp. 83 ; NB(FI) 655, pp. 20-21, Object 620A.

[— — — — — — — — — — — — —]
[— — — —] . . . ỊỊA • decuṛ[ion— —]      1
[— — —]s • apparitoruṃ [— — — —]
[— —]er LXII • M • C[— — — — —]
[— — — —]ṣp̣uṇ[— — — — — — —]
[— — — — — — — — — — — — —]


There is a micaceous flaw in the surface running from the top line at the left of the A through the O in line two and the C in line three to the preserved end of line four that makes reading difficult.

Line 1: Traces of three letters followed by two hastae, the first of which leans slightly to the right. Then an A followd by an interpunct. The upper left corner with a piece of the rounded loop of the R is clear at the edge of the break.
Line 2: The upper left angle of the M is visible. [tribuniciu]s apparitoruṃ ?
Line 3: There is a generous space after the R, but no interpunct seems visible, rather a slight point of damage high in the line space.
Line 4: The first letter trace is most consistent with an S, but it could also be the top of a C or the rising tip of a T or F that is found elsewhere on these fragments. The second letter trace can be the top of a B, P or R. The final trace has a hasta and diagonal connected at the top left corner and to the right there is the tip of another hasta, most consistent with an N.

Fragment C:
Height, 0.105 m. ; width, 0.115 m. ; thickness, 0.048 m.
Height of letters, 0.007 to 0.009 m. ; interspace, 0.006 to 0.007 m.
Corinth inventory, I-76-14B ; NB 632, p. 86 ; NB(FI) 655, pp. 20-21, Object 620B.

[— — — — — — — —]ỊḄṚỊ[— — —]      1
[— — — — — — — —]nus • IIỊ[— —]
[— — — — — — —]C• Fideḷ[— — —]
[— — — — —]Ị• Caesaris [— — — —]
[— — — — A]ntiochus •I• [— — —]      5
[— — — —]canus • I[I — — — — —]
[— — — — —]ṾỊ • [— — — — — —]


Line 1: The bottom of a hasta, followed by a letter with a base that resembles a B or D, followed by two letter traces that conform well with the bottom part of an R or a crowded IC, followed by the faint trace of a hasta.
Line 2: At the end of the line, only a faint trace of the third hasta is visible. A fourth may have followed the break. The numeral is overlined.
Line 3: It is not clear if the C is the last letter of an abbreviation, such as PROC(urator) or C for C(uravit)/C(uraverunt) or a name such as C(aius). It is not clear to us whether Fideḷ[—] is part of a proper name or an adverb or adjective.
Line 4: At the beginning of the line the lower half of a hasta survives.
Line 6: The overline of the numeral seems to be preserved to its full length and so the restoration of another I seems assured.
Line 7: The upper left tip of a diagonal and to the right of it the tip of a hasta are visible and are consistent with a V. Then there follows the upper tip of another hasta slightly lower in the line followed by an interpunct. We seem to have the end of a large number without an overline (cf. the large number in line 3 of Fragment B, which is also not overlined).

Fragment D:

Height, 0.080 m. ; width, 0.070 m. ; thickness, 0.035 m.
Height of letters, 0.006 to 0.008 m. ; interspace, 0.005 m. to 0.016 m.
Corinth inventory, I-74-11 ; NB 610, p. 82 ; NB(FI) 611, p. 57, Object 464

[— — — — — — — — — — — — — —]
[— — — —]aedes[. .]E[— — — — — —]         1
[— — — — Ma]ecius • A(uli) • f(ilius) • Co-
[rnelius — —(?)] vacat
[— — — — — — —]t •A• decu-
[— — — — — — — —]ṃ. vac. 0.016 m.        5


Line 1: Only part of the lower horizontal of the last E is visible.
Line 2: Or [D]ecius. Maecius is more common at Korinth.
Line 3: It is unclear whether the beginning of this line was inscribed or the text at the end of our line 2 continued at the beginning of line 4. It seems more likely that it finished here and a new entry was begun at the beginning of line 4.
Line 5: The two apices of a letter characteristic of an M elsewhere seem clear. Since there is a vacat of 0.016 m. to the right of this, it appears that we have the end of the line.


H.S. Robinson originally thought that these fragments might belong to the Lex Coloniae Corinthiensis (he noted that the words CAESARIS, DECVR[ION—], and APPARITORVM all appeared in the Lex Coloniae Genetivae Ursonensis and deduced a parallel). However, Mary Hoskins-Walbank while working on her dissertation (non vidimus) took a look at the stones and in some correspondence with Robinson expressed the view that they were more consistent with a fasti document – a view we find more likely. She also thought this stone might have been damaged in the earthquake of AD 22/3 and then discarded rather than suffering a damnatio memoriae.

One of the more intriguing aspects of this inscription lies in the reference to a Marcus Instleius in Fragment A, line 1, heretofore read as Insteius, who was one of the earliest duoviri of the colony of Korinth (established 44 BC). The spelling Insteius has been preferred by previous studies rather than Instleius undoubtedly because Instleius is not attested elsewhere (we do, however, find an A(ulus) Instuleius Tenax attested at Egyptian Thebes = Colosse de Memnon 2), while the name Insteius is attested in both Greek and Latin epigraphical and literary sources. The reading Insteius, however, is epigraphically impossible on this stone. Furthermore, the reading Instleius is corroborated on another stone from Korinth (ICor 8,3 149, line 1, photo here). Kent read the first line of this stone as [M •] INSTỊ[E]Ọ • C • F • TECTO, but he went on to add that “the letter following T can only have been I or L, and clearly was not an E. As there is no join between fragments a and b, as there would have been if the E had simply been omitted, I have assumed that the letters EI were erroneously transposed.” However, a transposition on this carefully carved piece of revetment seems scarcely believable. In addition, an L is more likely than an I given that the hastae of the other two instances of I on this same stone are taller while the close proximity of this letter’s hasta to the T that precedes it makes more sense space-wise if it is the hasta of an L (compare how the E in TECTO tucks in under the first T). In line 1 of ICor 8,3 149 we therefore propose reading INSTḶ[ΕΙ]Ο̣.

The reading Instleius rather than Insteius is further corroborated by a series of coins struck at Korinth (see Amandry BCH Suppl. XV pp. 124-128) that, given the rarity of the name Instleius, undoubtedly refer to our same man. On the reverse of several of these coins we find IIVIR paired with INSTL • CAS (example here), and on the reverse of others we find II VIR paired with INTS CAS (example here – where the order INTS is probably a ligature for INST). Previous scholars have interpreted the two men’s names as Inst(eius) and L. Cas. (for the last Amandry suggested L. Cas(tricius Regulus), while Kent suggested L. Cas(ius […]), but the placement of the interpunct between the L and C argues against such a reading and when we add the evidence of the coins to the inscriptions we once again are lead to believe his name was spelled Instleius. Perhaps the form Instleius may have been an older, alternative form of Insteius much like stlis is an earlier form of lis (as in Decemviri Stlitibus Iudicandis). Amandry (p. 36) places Instleius’ office of duovir in 42 or 41 and his office of duovir quinquennalis in 35.

If we assume Instleius is an alternate form of Insteius, this Marcus Instleius, as others have already pointed out, may have been the same man who fought at the side of Antony at the siege of Mutina in 44 BC (Cicero, Philippic 13.26) as well as at Actium in 31 BC (Plut., Antony 65.1).

5 June, 2008

Virtual Seminar on Some Unpublished Inscriptions from Corinth II

Filed under: e-seminar,events — PaulIversen @ 09:53

The second posting of our Virtual Seminar features a tantalizing fragment of fine, buff poros limestone coated with a layer of fine stucco, broken on all sides with the back missing. The inscription has register lines that are set 0.011 m apart. H.S. Robinson initially felt that “The face of this fragment has suffered from exposure to fire and has turned gray; the fine gray surface is probably not a stucco (too thin) but represents a calcining of the outer ‘skin’ of the stone by heat” (NB 521, p. 179). Later, however, he agreed with the view that it was a layer of fine stucco. Found 17 July, 1972 in Temple Hill Trench X, which lay north of Wall 2. Photo, squeeze, and autopsy of stone.

Height, 0.10 m. ; width, 0.095 m. ; thickness, 0.092 m.
Height of letters, 0.005 to 0.007 m. ; register lines, 0.011 m. apart.
Corinth inventory I-72-5 ; NB 521, p. 179 ; NB 566, p. 9, Object 219.

fin. IV – med. II a.      NON-STOIX

[— — — — — — — — — —]
[— — — —]Χ̣ΑΙ[̣— — — —]           1
[— — — —]ΩΝ̣ΤΕ[— — —]
[— — —]ΑΙ[̣.]ΣΕΠΙΤ̣[— — —]
[— — —] δοκῇ αὐτο̣[ῖς — —]
[— — Κορι]νθίων τα[— — —]      5
[— — —] . σταμεν[— — — —]
[— — — —]Ε̣ΙΣΤΑΠ̣[— — —]
[— — — —]Λ̣ΕΤ[— — — —]
[— — — — — — — — — —]


Line 1: None of the stucco remains in this line but the letters are scratched deep enough to leave vestigia. At the beginning of the line only the bottom lower right serif of a diagonal-shaped letter is visible and the angle and placement suggest chi rather than kappa. At the end of the line only the lower portion of a hasta is visible.
Line 2: The letter after the omega is very difficult. The spacing suggests one wide letter, as is found on the rest of the fragment. We see the tip of the left apex of a letter. H.S. Robinson read a mu, but we believe there is only damage on the right side and so we read a nu. The spacing from the right side of the omega to the shaft of the tau in this line is 0.020 m. and in line 5 the three successive letters ΩΝΤ yield 0.019 m.
Line 3: At the beginning of the line after the alpha a hasta is visible and there may be the beginnings of two horizontal cross-strokes suggesting either a rho or epsilon. At the end of the line, the high elevation of the hasta and spacing indicate a tau.
Line 4: At the end of the line there is only the small trace of the lower left quadrant of a circular letter.
Line 5: Or possibly [συ]νθίωντα[ι —].
Line 6: At the beginning only a serif is visible. H.S. Robinson read the upper part of a vertical stroke, but it appears more likely that this cut is damage given that it has a slightly diagonal shape. We could also split up the words and read [—].στα μεν[—] or [—].ς τὰ μὲν [—], etc.
Line 7: The letter trace at the beginning of the line preserves a top horizontal and a left hasta, thus indicating epsilon. The final letter trace preserves a vertical and top horizontal of a gamma or pi. Pi seems more likely in scale.
Line 8: Only the apex of an alpha, delta, or lambda is visible that, given the preserved field, was preceded by a short letter.

The sense and purpose of this inscription remain obscure.

Update: I have corrected two errors in the date based upon A. D’Hautcourt’s comment (before I had mistakenly written fin. III – med. I a.).

My next post should be the week of 23 June.

28 May, 2008

Virtual Seminar on Some Unpublished Inscriptions from Corinth I

Filed under: e-seminar,events — PaulIversen @ 10:26

I. Introduction

This post represents the first installment at Current Epigraphy of what will be a summer-long “Virtual Seminar on some Unpublished Inscriptions from Corinth.” For the next few months about every two weeks I will upload Don Laing’s and my preliminary text of a Greek or Latin inscription from Corinth and invite suggestions for restorations or comments on the context, date, etc. Tom Elliott and Gabriel Bodard will then work up an EpiDoc version of the resulting texts. As Tom Elliott explained here, the purpose of this first-ever virtual epigraphical seminar is to promote a new model of collaboration and publication of epigraphical texts with the following benefits: a preliminary text will be made available more quickly; scholars or those interested will be able to “attend” the seminar at their leisure from anywhere in the world with an internet connection; students will see how epigraphers work and it may raise more interest in the discipline; there should be more interest in the final print version that will appear in Hesperia, where proper attribution to those who proposed any particular idea or reading will be given and comments on this experiment will be included; the final print publication will be stronger (these inscriptions from Corinth, like most inscriptions from there, are very fragmentary and they lend themselves to collaborative treatment); the project will introduce more epigraphers to the advantages of EpiDoc. Special thanks are due Guy Sanders (Director of the ASCSA dig at Corinth) and Charles Watkinson (Director of ASCSA Publications) for their support of this project.

II. Historical Background to the Inscriptions

These inscriptions were unearthed on Corinth’s Temple Hill between 1970 and 1978 in the excavations conducted by the American School of Classical Studies at Athens that were overseen by H.S. Robinson and partly supported by the Temple Hill Fund administered by Case Western Reserve University. H.S. Robinson assigned Don Laing to publish them, and last year Don asked me to join him in finally getting them out. In June of 2007, therefore, the two of us went to ancient Corinth and did autopsies of the stones; the readings given in all subsequent posts will represent our joint opinion of what we saw. [As a personal side note, I want to wish Don all the best, as two weeks ago he found out that he has lymphoma and last week he underwent his first round of chemotherapy; he tells me that his first treatment went well and that he is feeling fine].

III. Abstract

In this first post Don and I will conclusively show that a partially published fragment of an archaic text belongs with an already published sacrificial calendar (Meritt, ICor VIII,1 1). We will also follow H.S. Robinson in positing that this sacrificial calendar was housed under the Late Geometric Temple’s roof, where it was destroyed by fire ca. 570 BCE. In addition, we will present for the first time a second inscription that is inscribed on a lead tablet; it too records a sacrificial calendar that is similar, or possibly even identical, to the stone sacral calendar. Finally, based on this new material, we will suggest a new layout for ICor VIII, 1 1, proffer a historical context for the monument, and invite comments.


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