BMCR 2001.03.08

Guide de l’épigraphiste. Bibliographie choisie des épigraphies antiques et médiévales. Troisième édition entièrement refondue

, , Guide de l'épigraphiste : bibliographie choisie des épigraphies antiques et médiévales. Guides et inventaires bibliographiques ; 6. Paris: Editions Rue d'Ulm, 2000. 424 pages ; 24 cm.. ISBN 2728802548 190FF.

Disclosure: when the book was published I happened to be in Paris and was invited to the launch party, where in addition to having a decent time, I met several of the authors.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Epigraphy But Were Afraid To Ask… The blurb at the back says it all: “L’épigraphie fait peur. Historiens, linguistes, archéologues en connaissent l’intérêt; ils ont peine à s’y retrouver…” This book seeks to provide the answers, assembled by a large team of scholars. The result is thorough, up-to-date,1 often dryly scholarly, and extraordinarily useful. At the very least, Classics libraries should have the Guide…, troisième édition, on their reference shelves; scholars, both faculty and graduate, will certainly need to use it. They should seriously consider acquiring this work, which is very reasonably priced. A website will post supplements and related material ( The Guide is very successful in providing guidance and answers—within its own terms and parameters, which need examination and debate.

The origins of the work lie in bibliographical lists prepared for students and readers at the library of the Bibliothèque Normale Supérieure at the Rue d’Ulm: these sheets, locally produced and locally used, were gathered and published in the first edition of the Guide (1986), followed by a second edition (1989), which simply added bibliographical complements as an appendix to the text of the first edition. The present, third, edition recasts the additions of the second version, along with fresh bibliographical citations, into a continuous text; it represents a vast improvement over the second edition (which was still extremely useful, in spite of its age and the awkward, cumulative structure). These local origins are betrayed by two signs. First, works are mentioned under their (rather threatening-looking) call numbers for Ulm or the Sorbonne or the nearest Parisian library: the marks of the Guide‘s parochial origins and very specific set of users ( Normaliens moving in the Parisian library constellation) are not hidden, but taken for granted. Second, and more diffuse, the work often shows an austerity and integrity of scholarship which indicate the high standards of an institution devoted to specialized graduate education and to erudition. In spite of claims in the preface (p. 13), this is not a guide for beginners, but a highly specialized outil de travail. The prefaces make clear that the list of authors (no less than sixteen) is incomplete. The Guide was produced by three generations of authors (for Greek: mainly D. Feissel, D. Feissel bis, D. Rousset), but also by a host of readers, helpers and reviewers, going back to the typed version and its readers, L. Robert, H.-G. Pflaum and H.-I. Marrou, formidable figures indeed (“trois maîtres disparus”, “divinités tutélaires”). It is impossible for a single reviewer to treat all the subjects covered by this mighty team effort. In the present review, I shall concentrate on the Greek side, with some general views; a second part, by T. C. Brennan, will tackle Roman epigraphy. I do not make any pretense at comprehensiveness, only at a personal take on this particular work within the field. Many of these remarks will be “Anglo-Saxon”, especially in bibliographical orientation: this seems justified when reviewing a book which aims at international diffusion, and which deserves wide readership in the English-speaking world.

A few pages of preface explain the principles: the focus is on texts, though the level of bibliographical resolution does not go down to the publication of single texts. Then the stuff starts rolling, for several hundred pages of bibliography, each title listed with its own rubric number. Chapter 1 covers general treatments (handbooks, bibliographies). Chapter 2 lists sourcebooks and general collections of documents.

Chapter 3 is devoted to Greek inscriptions, by geographical region; this order roughly corresponds to the way in which the scholarship has shaped itself, with mainland and insular Greece covered, more or less patchily, by the Inscriptiones Graecae, and the rest of the Greek world (notably Asia Minor) covered by a plethora of regional or site corpora. Chapter 4 takes on Latin epigraphy.

Chapter 5 lists museum catalogs, with further references to such works mentioned fully elsewhere in the Guide (for instance the extraordinary catalog of the museum at Manisa, in Turkey (ancient Magnesia under Sipylos), which is listed in its geographical place, no. 264). Chapter 6 gives a list of “thematic corpora”—historical inscriptions, calendars, economy and society, war, law, architecture and sculpture, contests, religion, honorific texts, funerary texts, epigrams, writing tablets and ostraka, instrumentum domesticum.

Chapter 7 lists bibliographical tools for keeping up-to-date. Chapter 8 is devoted to “Studies on inscriptions”—it in fact is a ragbag, listing both studies on inscriptions, and works using inscriptions. The first category is very useful: the first six or so sections list works on the historiography of the discipline, technical issues of studying inscribed material, the medium of public writing, palaeography, language, onomastics… But the chapter veers out of control, turning into copious bibliographical notes—setting forth what exactly? Things the good epigraphist should know about the ancient world (chronology, onomastics, geography)? or Good Books people have written using epigraphy? The latter sections of chapter 8 are both copious and partial:2 they certainly violate the “priorité aux textes” principle (p. 13). In a future edition, the whole chapter might have to be brought under control. Chapter 9 covers “peripheral epigraphies”: Minoan and Mycenaean, Anatolian languages, Semitic languages, Egyptian, Iranian, the fascinating Buddhist edicts of king Asoka (published in Greek, Aramaic and a variety of Indian dialects), Italic, Celtic, and finally the epigraphy of Mediaeval Europe. The meatiness of the chapter belies the “peripheral” status granted to these epigraphies (the concept, unabashedly Helleno- and Romano-centric, might need reexamining: in what way is Linear B peripheral to Classics? or the Xanthos trilingual stele?). Chapter 10 lists collected essays and scholars’ bibliographies. Chapter 11 covers congresses, periodicals and series. The volume ends with two pages of addenda.

A number of tools facilitate quick reference. At the beginning of the book there is a very useful table of abbreviations—which, happily, is not normative, but descriptive, simply listing some of the ways in which works can be referred to. The abbreviations are followed by a series of sketch maps. At the end, three indices: by author’s name, by geographical locale, and by theme; this is proper for a volume that so often, in reviewing other works, praises indices or tut-tuts over the lack of them.

The previous edition of the Guide was already indispensable; there is no doubt to my mind that this version will be equally important. Some imaginary, or not so imaginary, test-runs, might make this clear. For instance, a determined graduate student, interested in gender and in euergetism by women, but with training in Roman history, might well puzzle over what is meant by the bald, yet apparently very important reference I. Iasos 4. She will easily use the geographical index to find a reference to W. Blümel’s corpus for the Karian city of Iasos (no. 282), in order to find a letter by the Seleukid queen Laodike III concerning a gift of grain to the city with instructions to sell the grain and use the profit on dowries for poor citizen women.

Or imagine a scholar, say a young Indo-Europeanist with a strong interest in Early Greek poetry and epic. Alongside his wife, a Latinist, he is looking at at κλέος ἄφθιτον, and might puzzle over a reference found in a TLG search using Pandora: a funerary epigram for one Telesilla, “Anthologiae Graecae Appendix, Epigrammata sepulcralia, Epigram 553”. The Thesaurus Linguae Graecae Canon of Greek authors and works (ed. 2), p. 127, has a heading entitled “EPIGRAMMATICI in App. Anth.“, including a section for “Epigrammata sepulchralia”: they are drawn from E. Cougny, Epigrammatum anthologia Palatina cum Planudeis et appendice nova, vol. 3, Paris: Didot 1890. When our hero looks this up he finds the text (no. 553) p. 182, and a paragraph of commentary p. 267. The most important references seem to be “Murator. p. 1349” and “Franz Corp. III, p. 1022, n. 6747″. The author index in the Guide helps our scholar identify the first item as L. A. Muratori, Novus thesaurus veterum inscriptionum…, Milan 1739-1742 (in the Guide, no. 1166). The second item, also found in the author index, is, as our Indo-Europeanist suspected, the Corpus Inscriptionum Graecum, the venerable grandfather of Greek epigraphic collections ( Guide, no. 55). In the CIG, he duly finds the text at no. 6747, with a daunting lemma explaining the origins of the text: found at “Piove di Sacco”, transported to Padua, and published in the early eighteenth century by one “Salomonius”, from the readings and supplements of one “Nicolaus Commenus Papadopoulus”.

All very well; but our hero knows that, in this day and age, he cannot quote an inscription from CIG, a work dating to the century before last. Where can he find a more modern text of the Telesilla epigram? The Guide has a helpful section on Greek epigrams (chap. 6, section 11): no. 1047 mentions Kaibel’s Epigrammata Graeca… (1878), and no. 1052 directs him to W. Peek’s Griechische Vers-Inschriften (1955), with its table of incipit lines (no. 1053). This last work allows our hero to locate the epigram as Peek 1053, from Kaibel 676 and IG 14.2317. The latter reference takes him to a very clear lemma by Kaibel, laying out the history of the text without the rather baroque obscurity of CIG : Papadopoulos / Salomonius, whence the CIG text, whence Kaibel, both in his collection of epigrams, and in IG 14. At this point the work has only started: our young hero might want to find out about the conditions the text was found in, by looking up the editio princeps, and discovering more about Commenos Papadopoulos; he will have to make his mind up about the fluctuating restorations. He will also want to think about what this inscription means—the point of his day’s work in the library to start with. At least, he will have found the correct, up-to-date reference ( IG 14, and not Cougny, let alone the TLG reference), and gained a good grasp of the complex, mediate state of the text. The Guide will have been of invaluable help at crucial points in this little journey upriver.3

Finally, when I read an allusion by Cowley (in CRAI 1921, publishing a bilingual Aramaic-Lydian text from Sardeis) to Clermont-Ganneau’s work showing that Aramaic texts in Egypt were in fact produced for, or about, Persians, the Guide took me to J. A. Fitzmeyer and St. A. Kaufman et al., An Aramaic Bibliography (no. 2018), which soon put me on the right track ( Rev. Arch, 36 (1878), 93-107; 37 (1879), 21-39). In other words: the Guide works.4

Nonetheless, some bibliographical items, in my view, could rightfully be added to the listings, even though they are very rich already. The following list has no pretensions, nor is it complete: it is personal and reflects my own preferences, as well as my own reading. Among the introductions to the topic, F. Millar’s extended meditation on epigraphical sources really needs mentioning.5 On Delos, note R. Hamilton, Treasure Map: a Guide to the Delian Inventories, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2000 (this of course appeared after the cut-off point for inclusion in the Guide). On Teos (p. 58), add J. and L. Robert’s edition of the sympoliteia between Teos and Kyrbissos, for another “important document” and generally a monograph on the area;6 in a similar vein, the very important decree on the cult for Artemis at Bargylia might need inclusion (p. 64).7 On the “Greek Far-East” (p. 79), there are several omissions, some surprising. The Greek inscriptions at Armavir, in Armenia (including quotations from Euripides) should be mentioned,8 as should the Greek inscriptions of Georgia,9 and the important Hellenistic inscription from the Karafto cave in Northern Iran.10 Generally, the topics of Greek inscribed texts in the “East” was tackled by S. Sherwin-White and A. Kuhrt (n. 8), in F. Millar’s Roman Near East, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1993; and especially in Millar’s recent survey article, “Looking East from the Classical World; Colonialism, Culture and Trade from Alexander the Great to Shapur I”, International History Review, 20. 3 (1998), 507-31. On technique (chapter 8, section 2), in addition to the items listed on p. 202, note M. Chambers, for a rereading of the “Egesta decree” aided by laser light and special photography, and C. Crowther’s papers on computer image enhancement technology to improve reading squeezes.11 The notes on “supports de l’écriture” (chapter 8, section 3) needs a reference to T. Ritti, Sigli ed emblemi sui decreti onorari greci (Memorie dell’Accademia dei Lincei, ser. 8, vol. 14, 1969), with the Roberts’ review in BE 71, 64. On palaeography (chapter 8, section 4, p. 206), perhaps add O. Kern, Inscriptiones Graecae (Bonn: A. Marcus and E. Weber, etc, 1913), for its photographs of inscriptions (for instance the Hellenistic decree from Hanisa, incised on a bronze tablet framed by trouser wearing, “Oriental” caryatids). On language (chapter 8, section 5), I would supplement the paragraph on dictionaries (p. 215) with reference to papers by L. Robert and P. Herrmann meant as gestures towards an epigraphical lexicon;12 on the abstract language of the decrees, one could think of Veligianni-Terzi (no. 1621), D. Whitehead’s recent piece on “cardinal values” of Athenian documents, and even P. Schubart’s pieces on Hellenistic kingship.13 Finally, the genre of “consolation decrees”, by which a polis looks back on the life of a deceased citizen and consoles his family, might warrant a paragraph (perhaps in chapter 8, section 11, “institutions”?).14

In perusing the Guide, I was struck by the frequent generosity and usefulness of certain entries or sections, which provide not only bibliographical indications, but, in a few lines, summaries of contents, appreciation, and reference to reviews. For instance, L. Moretti’s IGUR (the Greek inscriptions of the city of Rome: no. 202) receives a brief but illuminating evaluation. The Guide first warns you that Moretti supplants earlier editions (in IG 14—did you know that?); we further learn that Moretti’s lemmata, illustration and commentaries are exemplary. No. 243, the Roberts Claros, receives a useful two and a half line summary of content; no. 289, listing the Austrian Reisen im südwestlichen Kleinasien, recommends them as “d’un intérêt irremplaceable”. The massive Ephesos Repertorium is broken down by volume, with summaries for each volume (nos. 247-54), a generous “prémâchage” of the work for which readers should be grateful. Even more useful are those cases where continuous paragraphs detail the stratigraphy of research or explain problems: the introduction to Asia Minor (pp. 55-6), or the essays on “peripheral epigraphies”, notably by Georges [-Jean] Pinault, are exemplary, for the skill of presentation and the in-depth knowledge that underlies such elegance.

In general, these notes or these essays, by presenting the “substantifique moelle” of each volume, introduce an essential dimension of scholarly opinion and comment, experience, and breathing-space, in the pinakism of specialized bibliography. Gathering titles is not difficult, especially with Internet resources; what matters is less sapientia than sapor, the involvement and appreciation behind reasoned bibliography. In this respect, I wish that the practice of thoughtful, pithy comment were generalized throughout the work. In some cases, it would simply be a matter of mentioning a published review (for instance, on no. 264, H. Malay’s catalog of the Manisa Museum, K. Rigsby’s review; on no. 378, R. Canova’s corpus of texts from the Land of Moab, it seems a shame not to mention the Roberts’ warm-hearted notice in BE 56, 337). Ehrenberg and Jones’ collection of documents concerning Augustus and Tiberius (no. 893) was excoriated by the Roberts in BE, 52, 2: reading this critique of what I had known as an undergraduate mainstay was an eye-opener, and the review deserves mention ( BE 58, 510, seems to relent a little).

In other cases, a few words could specify the nature of a review or comment on the work listed: L. Robert’s reviews of Fraser’s Samothrace corpus (no. 193) or A. Dain’s Louvre inscriptions (no. 862) are highly critical and important methodologically. M. Wörrle’s recent work on Lykia, instead of being listed as a bald set of references, could have received very brief summaries for each article (no. 292). In yet other cases, the entry is unaccountably laconic. For instance C. B. Welles’ Royal Correspondence (no. 880) deserves a few words (“excludes Greece and Macedonia, still useful but much subsequent work on texts, new material appeared”). Likewise, the Athenian Tribute Lists (no. 68) should receive a word of summary, a reminder of critiques by Louis Robert (conveniently listed in the self-referential bibliography of ATL vol. 3), and perhaps a pointer to the text in IG I (ed. 3). The Hellenistic texts from the Samian Heraion, published by Chr. Habicht (nos. 186, 188) deserve a line or two of comment, such as the Klaros decrees received. The section on palaeography (chapter 8, section 4) in listing St. Tracy’s recent work might want to indicate how it is different (connoisseurship of individual carver’s hands), or even controversial. When mentioning H. Mattingly’s recent collection of articles (no. 2441, The Athenian Empire Restored: Epigraphic and Historical Studies, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1996), it would make sense to indicate that these studies are devoted to downdating a number of important documents of the Athenian empire, from the 440s to the 420s B.C.: a very Anglo-American debate, but one which had wider repercussions beyond the rebarbative issue of the three barred sigma. And so on: I would have found such notes extremely useful in those areas where I know nothing, and where my eye glided across arrayed bibliographical entries without any asperity to awaken interest. This approach (generalizing the practice of very brief comment) would expand the work’s bulk; if this is a consideration in a next edition, I would recommend losing weight in chapter 8 (and possibly rein in a little the enthusiasm of the contributors of chapter 9).

Appreciation and review are essential, because they start the reader on the most important feature: what to do with the inscriptions. In this respect, two criticisms could be made about the Guide : one concerns research method, the other concerns the contribution of theory to the study of epigraphical documents. On the first topic: SEG and the Bulletin Épigraphique ( BE) should not be relegated to the short, rather marginal chapter 7, “Mise à jour…”: they are essential tools for locating individual texts (which the Guide is reluctant to mention), and for finding out about the constant stream of changes to the texts of the inscriptions: new readings and restorations. Such bibliographical resources should be mentioned prominently, in chapter 1, and their importance heavily underlined. Our fictional graduate student (see above), after finding out I. Iasos 4, will need SEG 39.1110 for reference to important adjustments to the text by C. Crowther.

Admittedly, the Guide is not a textbook, and does not provide a practical introduction to method; it provides guidance, in the absence of an unified, hegemonical corpus of Greek inscriptions (the Inscriptiones Graecae having long faltered in this purpose.15 It is worth making the point that epigraphical method, ultimately, boils down to Getting the Best Text You Can (edition, restoration, dating all fall under this heading); look up first editions, then follow the subsequent trail of scholarship down to the most recent, authoritative text. This is conveyed to the reader by the “genetic lemma”, which distinguishes among editions from the stone or visual records of the stone, and subsequent reproductions of such editions. This is as important as reading a literary text in an up-to-date, reliable edition. One cannot quote an epigraphical text from an old collection (such as CIG) without checking subsequent evolution in the state of the text: this is as unacceptable as quoting Aeschylus from an eighteenth-century edition. After that, making sense of the text is a matter of reading (and translating) and rereading a lot. None of this is particularly difficult. The Guide is of invaluable assistance for this sort of research, but could make clearer the principles involved: the Mode d’emploi (pp. 13-15), in addition to showing how to use the book, could also have given a few, very brief, pointers on how to conduct epigraphical research.

My second observation bears on recent work which has started to constitute a cultural history of epigraphy: issues of viewing, reading and conceiving monumental writing in social contexts.16 R. MacMullen defined an important concept, the “epigraphical habit” (why and when write on stone in the first place?), explored further by E. Mayer.17 G. Rogers, in studying a single Ephesian inscription, the donation of C. Vibius Salutaris, drew on work by M. Clanchy and C. Geertz to produce a thoughtful analysis of monumental writing as the embodiment of a creative social act, the negotiation of local identity in a Roman world.18 C. Hedrick has looked at the emergence of the epigraphical habit in democratic Athens, in connection with democratic political culture.19 M. Detienne’s imaginative essay on “the space of publicity” explores the implications of public writing for the polis, as a lived and imagined entity; N. Loraux’s later work makes use of public documents in discussing conflict in the polis.20 I would single out several works by J.-M. Bertrand: his groundbreaking article on “performativity” in royal letters and civic decrees (in the sense developed by J. L. Austin: how such documents, which survive in the inscribed record, are performative speech-acts which do things in being produced), his paper on punitive epigraphy in Plato and in “real” cities, and his recent book on writing in Plato’s Laws.21 P. Vidal-Naquet observed that he never heard the most important of Greek epigraphists, Louis Robert, discuss or even mention Plato;22 Bertrand shows that it is possible, and even necessary, to discuss Plato and Louis Robert in the same breath. None of this figures in the Guide. The argument might be made that it does not need to appear in a sober reference work which hardly needs more bibliographical ballast in order to register trendy fads or developments. I would disagree: these studies are at least as important as those quoted in the disparate chapter 8 (maps, prosopography, economy…). In fact, it is absolutely vital to illustrate the double nature of inscriptions: as documents, direct artefacts produced by ancient societies, gripping in their immediacy; as texts, which have to be studied as performance, speech-acts, communication, sites of memory, and as discourse in stone.23 This will allow the crucial connection to be made between the richness of the texts, and the energy of potential interpreters.

“L’épigraphie fait peur…” Really? At the foundation of the field, there lies a set of admirable skills: the transformation from carved stone to scholarly edition takes good eyes, cool technique, deep learning, integrity of scholarship.24 Just as specialists of early modern and modern history take pride in the technical aspect of archival research, and rejoice in the quirky immediacy of their material,25 “epigraphists” should be proud of their expertise, and the directness of the material. This is the lesson of Cavafy’s most epigraphical poem, “In the Month Athyr”: after painstakingly reading an ancient epitaph, complete with missing letters and restorations between square brackets, the “I”-voice in the poem observes, simply, “It seems to me that this Leukios must have been greatly loved”, μὲ φαίνεται ποὺ ὁ Λεύκιος μεγάλως θ’ ἀγαπήθη.

From the point of view of those who read the material, the skills involved (getting the best text and knuckling down for a nice read) are not particularly difficult, as I argued above: they merely require thoroughness and a good library (let your legs do the walking). Classicists (specialists of Attic tragedy, Homer, Hellenistic poetry, the Greek novel, etc.) should know their way around the epigraphical material, and the Guide will be indispensable in this regard.

Epigraphy will only frighten us if specialists, in resentful satisfaction at being ignored, and non-specialists, in anxiety about perceived difficulty, collaborate in fetishizing the technical aspect of the field, and ghettoizing the discipline. That is the lesson of R. van Gennep’s satirical tale about epigraphy: a scholar in the year 9040 discovers a fragmentary inscription from nineteenth-century Europe—in fact a plaque with the abbreviation MACL, “M(aison) A(ssurée) C(ontre) L(‘incendie)”—and sets to work: “L’épigraphie étant sa spécialité, il a éprouvé de longues hésitations dans leur lecture et dans la fixation de leur date”, “since epigraphy was his specialty, he has experienced long hesitations in reading them [these letters] and in fixing their date.”26 But I don’t think that is quite the spirit in which the Guide was written, and certainly this is not the spirit in which I hope it will be read. This learned, austere, marvelous work will not do your research for you; but it should facilitate or even provoke it. All the points above were meant ultimately to pick out and reinforce these features: status as reference work, but also didactic force, and even protreptic potential.

(to be continued)


1. Though note that, inevitably, new work has appeared since publication: for instance, several volumes in the IGSK series of city corpora for Asia Minor: vol. 57 on Tyana, edited by D. Berges; vol. 58, on Byzantion, edited by A. Lajta.

2. I see no reason, for instance, why R. Parker, Athenian Religion: A History (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996) is not included in the section on religion, as an instance of a “good book using inscriptions”. The same holds true for R. van Bremen, The Limits of Participation: Women and Civic Life in the Greek East in the Hellenistic and Roman Periods (Amsterdam : J. C. Gieben, 1996).

3. Any resemblance with real persons or colleagues of mine is quite fortuitous.

4. One could imagine other examples: a scholar of Greek vases interested in “le système des objets” would find references to collections of inscribed dedications (no. 998, M.-L. Lazzarini); a graduate student interested in Greek literature and religion, and wanting to find out about the oracle at Dodona, which she knows from Herodotus, and whose responses actually survive in material form (no. 132 for publication by H. Pomtow; but of course there is much that has appeared since then). On the other hand, if our vase specialist wanted to find the best text for the Lindos chronicle and its “musée imaginaire”, or the Greek religion person sought the Mnesiepes inscription about the foundation of a shrine to Archilochos, complete with mythic narrative of the poet’s life, they might have to be a little more inventive in using the Guide, along with other resources.

5. F. Millar “Epigraphy”, in M. Crawford (ed.), Sources for ancient history, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983, 8-136. C. Newton’s spirited essay, translated by S. Reinach in his Traité d’épigraphie grecque (no. 1), is still worth reading.

6. J and L. Robert, “Une inscription grecque de Téos en Ionie. L’union de Téos et de Kyrbissos”, Journal des Savants 1976, 154-235, republished in Opera Minora Selecta 7.

7. Bargylia: text in SEG 45.1508 of fragments published by W. Blümel.

8. For references, BE 52, 181-7, with references to the original Armenian publications; Chr. Habicht, Über eine armenische Inschrift mit Versen des Euripides”, Hermes 8 (1953), 251-6; and most important, the recent discussion in S. Sherwin-White and A. Kuhrt, From Samarkhand to Sardis, London: Duckworth, 1993, 194-7. On Armenia, note also the Aramaic inscription from lake Sevan (“King Artaxias, son of Zariatr, drew fish here”), which Robert mentions: A. Dupont-Sommer, Syria 25 (1946-8), 53-66.

9. BE 58, 516 refers to T. C. Kaoukchischvili’s edition of Greek inscriptions of Georgia, Tiflis, 1951 (in Georgian; all ancient material already published earlier; non vidi). Of course, this may not be up-to-date or complete; but it is exactly the sort of information that I would turn to the Guide to discover.

10. P. Bernard, “Heraclès, les grottes de Karafto et le sanctuaire du mont Sambulos en Iran”, Studia Iranica 9 (1980), 301-24.

11. M. Chambers, R. Gallucci, P. Spanos, “Athens’ Alliance with Egesta in the Year of Antiphon”, ZPE, 83 (1990) 38-63. C. Crowther’s papers can be read in the Newsletters put out by the Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents (available on-line at

12. L. Robert: Etudes épigraphiques et philologiques, Paris: E. Champion, 1938, chap. 4; Hellenica 1, chap. 21; Hellenica 2, chap. 13; Hellenica 11-12, chap. 1. P. Herrmann, Epigraphica Anatolica 20 (1992), 70-2; 21 (1993), 71-5.

13. D. Whitehead, “Cardinal values: the language of approbation in Classical Athens”, Class. et Med. 44 (1993), 37-75; W. Schubart, “Bemerkungen zum Stile hellenistischer Königsbriefe”, APF 6 (1920), 324-347; “Das hellenistische Königsideal nach Inschriften und Papyri”, APF 12 (1937), 1-26.

14. L. Robert, Hellenica 3, chap. 2, with references to earlier work by K. Buresch and O. Gottwald; Hellenica 13, 137, 229-31. M. Sève, “Un décret de consolation à Cyzique”, BCH 103 (1979), 327-59 (bibliography on the subject at 333 n. 3); “Un enterrement public dans une épigramme d’Aigialè d’Amorgos ( IG 12 7, 447)”, REG 109 (1996), 686-8.

15. For a sense of the hegemonical scope and ambition shown by the Inscriptiones Graecae as project, and its unrealizable character, L. Robert, Opera Minora Selecta 5, 267-8 (from a review of C. Edson’s Thessaloniki volume).

16. The section on “supports de l’écriture” does not quite cover these developments (though note no. 1194, C. Lawton, Attic Document Reliefs, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995), and even no. 1176, J. Sparrow Visible Words, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1969).

17. R. McMullen, “The Epigraphical Habit in the Roman Empire”, AJP 103 (1982), 233-46; E. A. Mayer, “The Epigraphic Habit in the Roman Empire: the Evidence of Epitaphs”, JRS 80 (1990), 74-96.

18. G. M. Rogers, The sacred identity of Ephesos. Foundation myths of a Roman city. London and New York: Routledge, 1991.

19. “Democracy and the Athenian Epigraphical Habit”, Hesperia 63 (1999), 387-439.

20. N. Loraux, La cité divisée: l’oubli dans la mémoire d’Athènes, Paris: Payot, 1997; M. Detienne, “L’espace de la publicité, ses opérateurs intellectuels dans la cité”, in M. Detienne (ed.), Les savoirs de l’écriture en Grèce ancienne, Presses Universitaires de Lille, 1992.

21. “Formes de discours politiques: décrets des cités grecques et correspondance des rois hellénistiques”, in Cl. Nicolet (ed.), Du pouvoir dans l’antiquité: mots et réalités (Cahiers du Centre Glotz 1), Paris and Geneva: Droz, 1990, 101-115; “De l’usage de l’épigraphie dans la cité des Magnètes platoniciens”, Symposium 1995 De l’écriture à l’oralité: lectures des Lois de Platon, Paris: Publications de la Sorbonne, 1999.

22. P. Vidal-Naquet, Mémoires, vol. 2, Paris: Seuil, 1998, 164.

23. I have tried to approach this topic in a survey of recent work in the epigraphy of Hellenistic Asia Minor: “The Epigraphy of Hellenistic Asia Minor: A Survey of Recent Research (1992-1999)”, AJA, 104 (2000), 95-121.

1.24] For an example, F. Lefèvre, “Traité de paix entre Démétrios Poliorcète et la confédération étolienne (fin 289?)”, BCH 122 (1998), 109-41.

25. A. Farge, for instance Le goût de l’archive, Paris: Seuil, 1989; R. Cobb, for instance Death in Paris : the Records of the Basse-Geôle de la Seine, October 1795-September 1801, Vendemiaire Year IV-Fructidor Year IX, Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 1978. R. Darnton, The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History, New York: Vintage Books, 1985; N. Davis, for instance Fiction in the Archives: Pardon Tales and Their Tellers in Sixteenth-century France, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1987 (when will there be a similar work on the Anatolian confession stelai or the Hellenistic honorific decree? In these two cases, as for the French “pardon tale”, narrative is seen very clearly as social transaction, richly revealing of society and ideology).

26. R. van Gennep, Les demi-savants, Paris: Mercure de France, 1911, 126-7. One of the scholarly authorities quoted in van Gennep’s fantasy is called Cumont, probably after Franz Cumont—an indication that the tale is a swipe at Classical epigraphy (this is pointed out by R. Needham in his translation, The Semi-scholars, London: Routledge, 1967).