Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2010.07.20

Ángel Martínez Fernández, Estudios de Epigrafía Griega. Serie investigación 1.   la Laguna:  Servicio de Publicaciones, Universidad de la Laguna, 2009.  Pp. 532.  ISBN 9788477567868.  €20.00 (pb).  

Reviewed by Vassilios P. Vertoudakis, Ecclesiastical Academy of Crete and Hellenic Open University, Greece (

[Authors and titles are listed at the end of the review.]

The present volume is a collection of 42 contributions on Greek epigraphy under the coordination of Ángel Martínez Fernández, Professor of Classics at the University of La Laguna (Tenerife, Spain). The scholars contributing to this collective book come from Universities and Research Institutes of France, United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Canada, USA, Australia, Greece, Cyprus, and, of course, Spain. As a Spanish publication just over half of the papers are in that language; while English, Modern Greek, French, Italian and German are also represented. Nevertheless, regardless of the language, many of the scholars’ citations demonstrate familiarity with the literature from other countries.

The book consists of a prologue written (in Spanish) by the coordinator of the volume (pp. 13-14), the bibliographical abbreviations (pp. 15-22) and the main corpus of the papers (pp. 23-532) divided into sixteen sections. In each contribution the reader can find a summary and key-words in English, which makes this volume quite useful for the international scientific community, even if one is not familiar with the Spanish language. Moreover, some papers are accompanied by photos of the epigraphic material, where necessary.

The significance of epigraphy for classical studies is well known. The disciplines of classical philology, linguistics, archaeology and ancient history all encounter and need the field of epigraphy. Inscriptions are considered to be genuine sources of the ancient world, and authentic documentary evidence for all the aspects of private and public life. The present volume reflects the variety and complexity of the informative material offered by inscriptions for a better knowledge of Greek culture in both depth and breadth. The articles are highly specialized and they publish new material or add new arguments to the body of existing scholarship rather than provide an overview of Greek epigraphy and its relationships to the other disciplines of classics.

As there are a large number of papers, I will not attempt to summarize each one, but will simply discuss the broad categories of subjects and point out some particular contributions..

The First section is mainly of Iberian interest. J. Corell and X. Gómez Font present seventeen inscriptions (and graffiti, seals, tituli picti as well) found in the Valencian district. J.L. Ramírez Sádaba offers a comprehensive article concerning the Greek epigraphic evidence discovered in the Iberian Peninsula. The Second section contains one paper of A. Magnelli who attempts to re-read the archaic inscription engraved on the plinths of the famous kouroi of Delphi.

The Third section concerns paleography, alphabets and script. M.L. del Barrio Vega presents a study of the Corinthian spellings for e-vowels, with a reconstruction of the early Corinthian alphabet and considerations of its later development. E. Nieto Izquierdo studies the archaic votive offering IG IV, 507. Although it was found at the Heraion of Argos, he proposes another origin, namely Cleonai - Nemea. A short but highly interesting paper is offered by Stephen V. Tracy in which he formulates his reservations about dating Greek inscriptions by letter-forms.

One of the longest sections, containing linguistic and lexicographic papers (by A. Alonso Déniz, M. Bile, I. Calero Secall, E. Crespo, A. Lillo, J. Rodríguez Somolinos, R.-A. Santiago Álvarez), demonstrates the fundamental significance of inscriptions for dialectological studies of the Greek language. As is well known, most of the Greek dialects are only attested epigraphically. In a separate section is an article by A. Panayiotou-Triantafyllopoulou on Greek personal names in Cyprus during the 1st millennium B.C.

The most philological part of this volume is to be found in the sections concerning epigrams and their relations to literature. E. Calderón Dorda presents a typology of the Greek hexameter in funerary epigrams of the second and third centuries A.D., and M. S. Ortiz de Landaluce analyzes the mythological references in epigrams inscribed on votive offerings, gravestones, and commemorative or honorary monuments. Three papers (by M. García Valdés, J.G. Montes Cala and J. B. Torres) deal with the relations between inscriptional material and literary works of post-classical times. On the other hand historians will be especially interested in the sections on the economy, society and politics (by L. Migeotte, L.Hernández Guerra, M. Mayer i Olivé).

The fact that inscriptions are of great significance for the study of Greek religion is demonstrated by nine most interesting papers discussing a variety of issues (R. M. Aguilar, A. Avram, M.W. Baldwin Bowsky, A. Bernabé, Fr. Graf, C.M. Keesling, M. Paz de Hoz, J. Méndez Dosuna, G. Petzl). In the following sections M. García Teijeiro studies a magical inscription from Pergamon, M. del Henar Velasco López examines mythical sources for the earliest use of writing in Greece, E. Martín González analyzes the characteristics of archaic epitaphs in prose, and G. Baratta presents and catalogues a group of lead mirrors with Greek inscriptions from certain Roman provinces.

The high point of the volume, in my opinion, is the last section, devoted to the first publication of new inscriptions. V. Apostolakou presents a funerary epigram from Lato pros Kamara in Crete, discovered in 2005, which was dedicated to a woman, thirty years of age, who died during labor. A. Chaniotis publishes a new funerary epigram for a young man from Aphrodisias in Caria in which motives of premature death dominate. The coordinator of the volume, A. Martínez Fernández, studies a short inscription engraved on a funerary monument found in Aptera in western Crete bearing the name and the origin of its builder. A. Martínez Fernández and V. Niniou-Kindeli present five unpublished inscriptions of names engraved on funerary stelae, again from Aptera. N. Tsatsaki publishes and examines an inscribed jug from Eleutherna in central Crete. V. Apostolakou and V. Zografaki present eight short funerary inscriptions from Olous in eastern Crete. Finally, Y. Tzifopoulos publishes two inscriptions, one funerary and one dedicatory, recently found in the area of Rethymnon in Crete. In this last section of the book, the prominence of Cretan epigraphy mirrors the close scholarly relationship which A. Martínez Fernández has with Crete and his special interest in inscriptions of the island (see his recently published work Epigramas helenísticos de Creta, Madrid 2006).

In conclusion, the volume is not an introduction or "Companion to Greek Epigraphy," but contains specialized contributions aimed at specialists. Apart from epigraphists, this work will definitely be useful for classicists, dialectologists, linguists, archaeologists and historians of ancient Greece. Prof. Ángel Martínez Fernández, who undertook the demanding but rewarding task of coordinating so many international contributors from different countries, has indeed accomplished a very good result. In the book there are no noticeable misprints.

The volume is of excellent aesthetic quality and the black and white photographic material has been very well printed. One final observation that might be made is that the book would have been even more useful for scientific and academic research if an index of inscriptions and passages discussed as well as a general index had been included.

Table of Contents



Josep Corell - Xavier Gómez Font, "Las inscripciones griegas del País Valenciano (IGPV)", p.25
José Luis Ramírez Sádaba, "La epigrafía griega hallada en la Península Ibérica", p.57
Adalberto Magnelli, "Kleobis e Biton a Delfi: realtà o leggenda?", p.81
María Luisa del Barrio Vega, "Sobre algunas grafías del alfabeto corintio", p.95
Enrique Nieto Izquierdo, "A propósito de una inscripción encontrada en el Hereo de Argos: IG IV, 507", p.101
Stephen V. Tracy, "Dating by Lettering in Greek Epigraphy: General Styles and Individual Hands", p.105
Alcorac Alonso Déniz, "Ἄρταμις Φαοντία (SEG XLVIII 560)", p.113
Monique Bile, "Epigraphie, dialectologie et lexique", p.119
Inés Calero Secall, "Las rentas de una propiedad: Epikarpía frente a karpós en el Código de Gortina", p.129
Emilio Crespo, "La difusión temprana del dialecto ático en el Peloponeso", p.137
Antonio Lillo, "Sobre la primera epifania de la llamada Crónica de Lindos", p. 145
Juan Rodríguez Somolinos, "Notas lexicográficas. Addenda Epigraphica a DGE II", p.155
Rosa-Araceli Santiago Álvarez, "Epigrafía y Léxico juridico: Algunos ejemplos", p.167
Ἄννα Παναγιώτου Τριανταφυλλοπούλου, "Ελληνική ανθρωπωνυμία της Κύπρου ", p.181
Esteban Calderón Dorda, "Tipología del hexámetro en las inscripciones funerarias griegas de los siglos II-III d.C.", p.195
Manuel Sánchez Ortiz de Landaluce, "Elementos miticos en el epigrama inscripcional", p.205
Manuela García Valdés, "Notas a una inscripción como intertexto en Claudio Eliano", p.221
José Guillermo Montes Cala, "Poesia epigráfica en las Dionisíacas de Nono de Panópolis", p.227
José B. Torres, "El himno de Epidauro a la Madre de los dioses: Epigrafia e intertextualidad", p.239
Léopold Migeotte, "L'apport des inscriptions àl'étude des finances publiques et sacrées des cités grecques", p.251
Liborio Hernández Guerra, "Matrimonio y promoción social de las libertas hispanas de cognomina griego-oriental", p.263
Marc Mayer i Olivé, "Los honores recibidos por la familia de Marco Aurelio en la parte oriental del imperio romano: ¿Cambio o continuidad en el culto dinástico?", p.277
Rosa M. Aguilar, "Las inscripciones de Commagene", p.297
Alexandru Avram, "Épigraphie et histoire religieuse: Le culte de Léto dans les cités de la Mer Noire", p.305
Martha W. Baldwin Bowsky, "An extra-Mural Sanctuary of Roman Aptera?", p.315
Alberto Bernabé, "Sobre la nueva laminilla órfica de Feras", p.323
Fritz Graf, "Zeus and his Parhedroi in Halikarnassos. A Study on Religion and Inscriptions", p.333
Catherine M. Keesling, "Name Forms on Athenian Dedications of the Fifth and Fourth Centuries B.C.", p.349
Maria Paz de Hoz, "The Aretalogical Character of the Maionian Confession Inscriptions", p.357
Julián Méndez Dosuna, "¿Un nuevo testimonio de αἶζα 'cabra' en una lámina órfica?", p.368
Georg Petzl, "Bedrohter Kultvollzug: Hilfe von höherer Stelle", p. 377
Manuel García Teijeiro, "Sobre las piedras-talismán del instrumental mágico de Pérgamo", p.389
M. del Henar Velasco López, "Los inicios de la epigrafía segün los mitos griegos", p. 399
Elena Martín González, "Los epitafios griegos arcaicos en prosa", p.413
Giulia Baratta, "La bella e lo specchio: Alcune iscrizioni greche su specchietti in piombo", p.427
Βίλη Αποστολάκου, "Χαρὼι Ενίπαντος. Επιτύμβιο επίγραμμα από την αρχαία Καμάρα ", p. 457
Angelos Chaniotis, "Lament for a young man: A new epigram from Aphrodisias", p.469
Ángel Martínez Fernández, "Una nueva inscripción de un monumento funerario de Aptera", p.479
Ángel Martínez Fernández - Βάννα Νινιού-Κινδελή, "Νεές επιτύμβιες στήλες από την Απτέρα", p. 487
Νίκη Τσατσάκη, "Ενεπίγραφο μετρικό αγγείο των ύστερων ελληνιστικών χρόνων από την Ελεύθερνα Κρήτης", p.497
Βίλη Αποστολάκου-Βασιλική Ζωγραφάκη, "Νέες επιτύμβιες επιγραφές Ολούντος", p.509
Yannis Z. Tzifopoulos, "Two Unpublished Inscriptions from the Rethymno Prefecture", p.525
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