BMCR 2007.04.30

Response: Gavrilov et al. on Corpus Inscriptionum Regni Bosporani: Album Imaginum

Response to 2006.10.16

Response by

Despite our response to the first letter of our opponents (BMCR 2006.02.15), in which we clearly demonstrate that the (mainly technical) work of systematization, revision, and preparation for final publication of an old academic collection of photographs, drawings, and other illustrative material, which is meant solely as a support volume to the CIRB, hardly deserves to be labeled as plagiarism, our opponents prefer to carry on with rather vicious accusations. Hence we would like to restate the facts one last time.

In the 1940s, if not earlier, the Institute of History in St.Petersburg embarked upon a project to produce an updated edition of the CIRB (alias IosPE II 2) and to accompany it with an illustrative volume (CIRB-Album ante nomen). The contribution of each team that helped to carry out the work for the CIRB-Album is clearly recognized in the “Outline of the History of CIRB and its Photo Archive”, published in the Russian edition of the CIRB-Album, pp. 395-413. Acknowledgements are given, inter alia, to I. Levinskaya and S. Tokhtas’ev, despite their opposition to the appearance of the CIRB-Album in its current form. They actively participated in the project under the auspices of the Institute in the early 1990s, until abandoning it in favour of a more ambitious task of producing a new fully revised state-of-the-art edition of the CIRB (CIRB 2, alias IosPE II 3) and of its accompanying volume of illustrations, which was going to include a substantial amount of new material, yet to be collected and analysed. We find, however, our opponents’ repeated claim to the old collection of photos as their exclusive property a little extravagant in the way that it implies a “misappropriation” of the work of several generations of scholars, as well as inadequate assessment of our contribution, which we described perhaps not sine ira but, for all that, sine contumelia.

As to the more elaborated criticism of I. Levinskaya and S. Tokhtas’ev against us in Russian in the Vestnik Drevney Istorii (Review of Ancient History), our full-fledged answer, also in Russian, has been sent to the same journal, where hopefully it will be published at the nearest opportunity. In this answer, we give documentary evidence both for the history of the project and for the conflict around it. Meanwhile, the readers with no Russian should consult the German translation of the “Outline of the History of CIRB and its Photo Archive”, available on the website of the Bibliotheca Classica, for the detailed account.

The above mentioned three documents embrace everything we have to say on the issue, which has given our opponents a pretext for unsustainable claims. All in all, notwithstanding some errors and imperfections in our edition, we are convinced — and are confirmed in this by many positive responses — that publication of the CIRB-Album in 2004 was a timely task, which both capitalized on the efforts of the previous generations of scholars and has brought forward the enormous future task of producing a new fully revised edition of CIRB 2. As our opponents profess repeatedly this remains their intention, for which we would like to wish all the best luck. Diximus.