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Epigraphy and the Greek Historian

Epigraphy and the Greek Historian

Volume: 47
Copyright Date: 2008
Pages: 224
  • Book Info
    Epigraphy and the Greek Historian
    Book Description:

    Epigraphy is a method of inferring and analyzing historical data by means of inscriptions found on ancient artifacts such as stones, coins, and statues. It has proven indispensable for archaeologists and classicists, and has considerable potential for the study of ancient history at the undergraduate and graduate levels.Epigraphy and the Greek Historianis a collection of essays that explore various ways in which inscriptions can help students reconstruct and understand Greek History.

    In order to engage with the study of epigraphy, this collection is divided into two parts, Athens and Athens from the outside. The contributors maintain the importance of epigraphy, arguing that, in some cases, inscriptions are the only tools we have to recover the local history of places that stand outside the main focus of ancient literary sources, which are often frustratingly Athenocentric. Ideally, the historian uses both inscriptions and literary sources to make plausible inferences and thereby weave together the disconnected threads of the past into a connected and persuasive narrative.Epigraphy and the Greek Historianis a comprehensive examination of epigraphy and a timely resource for students and scholars involved in the study of ancient history.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-8801-8
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Contributors
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Abbreviations
    (pp. ix-xii)
  5. Epigraphical Sigla
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  6. Phillip Edward Harding: List of Publications
    (pp. xv-xviii)
  7. Introduction
    (pp. 1-12)

    Malcolm McGregor, former head of the Department of Classics at the University of British Columbia, is reported once to have said that epigraphy was the handmaiden of history. This epigrammatic statement, I think, captures the essence of the traditional approach to the study of epigraphy and its relative importance to history. For scholars like McGregor who worked on theAthenian Tribute Lists (ATL), itself an invaluable work of scholarship for those constructing fifth-century Athenian history, inscriptions were important mainly for what they told us about political history; that is to say, how they served our understanding of Thucydidean history. Though...

  8. Part One: Athens

    • Drakonian Procedure
      (pp. 15-30)

      In these first lines of the first partially extant Athenian law code, Drakon makes a confusing beginning, elliptically prescribing the same procedures for both intentional and unintentional homicide – at least that seems a cogent understanding based on the limited evidence available.² But in the rest of the sentence, he may actually be more straightforward, although there has been much less scholarly clarity about his procedural instructions here than there might have been. Drakon says that the killer ‘flees,’ and the Kings ‘judge,’ and theEphetai‘decide,’ and the family of the deceased ‘reconciles’ – each procedure indicated by an infinitive verb...

    • Hypereides, Aristophon, and the Settlement of Keos
      (pp. 31-56)

      In 363/2 BC Aristophon of Azenia, a prominent politician of long standing, was sent as general to the island of Keos to quell a revolt. In the wake of his success there he proposed a decree to settle affairs, but his settlement soon came under attack. In 362/1, at the relatively young age of twenty-eight and perhaps to make a name for himself, Hypereides (frs.40–4) prosecuted Aristophon, charging that his settlement was harmful and motivated by greed. Hypereides conducted a vigorous prosecution of the wily old politician, who was acquitted, it seems, by only two votes (Hyp. 3.28). Shortly...

    • Athenians in Sicily in the Fourth Century BC
      (pp. 57-67)

      During the last quarter of the fifth century BC, Athenian military expeditions to Sicily twice ended in failure: first in (427–)424, and then in (415–)413. The second of these episodes, which fills the sixth and seventh books of Thucydides and led to the calamity he describes there, had a shocking impact at the time (Thuc. 8.1–2) and for some years afterwards – eclipsed only, indeed, by the defeat and humiliation (in 404) of the great imperial city that had mounted the campaign. Large numbers of Athenians had died in and around Syracuse, but ‘at least seven thousand’ was...

    • IG ii² 1622 and the Collection of Naval Debts in the 340s
      (pp. 68-78)

      IGii² 1622 (EM 10386) is one of a series of inscriptions (IGii² 1604–32) that preserve the accounts of the fourth-century Athenian navy. The inventories span a fifty-five-year period, from approximately 378 to 323 BC.IGii² 1622 comes from the middle of the series, dated on internal evidence from archon dates (especially lines 379–85), to about 342/41. Tracy assigns 1622 to the cutter ofIGii² 334, whom he dates to the period 345–320.¹ 1622 preserves an unusual entry category, a report on the collection of debts from naval officials between the years 345 and...

    • The Slave-Names of IG i³ 1032 and the Ideology of Slavery at Athens
      (pp. 79-116)

      In Classical Athens, personal names mattered. Like most ancient Greeks, Athenians believed that the lexical connotations of a name expressed its bearer’s personality or role. For example, Odysseios’ name is associated with the verbodussthai, ‘to will pain to,’ six times in theOdyssey(1.62; 5.340, 423; 16.145–7; 19.275; 19.406–9); Hesiod feels compelled to explain away the munificent connotation of Pandora’s name in theWorks and Days(80–2); and Herodotos records that King Leotychides of Sparta takes the Samian Hegesistratos’ name as quite suited to one about to lead an army (>hêgeomai, ‘lead,’ andstratos, ‘army’;...

  9. Part Two: Athens from the Outside:: The Wider Greek World

    • Theopompos and the Public Documentation of Fifth-Century Athens
      (pp. 119-128)

      An important target of the fourth-century BC historian Theopompos’ often vitriolicPhilippikawas fifth-century Athens, the subject of one of his notorious digressions (FGrHist115 FF 153–6). I do not intend to examine here what can be discerned from it of Theopompos’ political views, because Michael Flower has demonstrated convincingly that they are typical of the fourth-century intellectual elite, with a hostility to democracy, a preference for oligarchy, and a partiality for pre-fourth-century Sparta.¹ Instead, I shall argue that Theopompos takes the first critical look at inscriptions as imperialistic documents, for in two of the four preserved fragments from...

    • Horton Hears an Ionian
      (pp. 129-149)

      Work on fourth-century BC documents has been greatly aided thanks to the edition and translation of many of them produced by this Festchrift’s worthy honorand. Naturally, Phillip Harding’s edition included the decree of Aristoteles, the ‘charter’ of the Second Athenian League (Harding no. 35). Recently, Sheila Ager concluded a study of this decree, with the following remark: ‘Much of the instinctual rationale for ejecting the TheraiandēmosfromIGii 43 (and for seeking Athenocentric Cyrenaean motivations behindSEGix 3) originates in an outmoded tendency to view history only in the context of the big players.’¹

      The subject of...

    • Rescuing Local History: Epigraphy and the Island of Thera
      (pp. 150-176)

      The south Aegean island of Thera (modern Santorini) is famous both for its compelling beauty and for its celebrity in recent decades as the ‘Pompeii of the Aegean.’¹ Known in remote antiquity asKalliste, ‘most beautiful,’ the island’s stunning topography and equally sensational archaeology find congruence in the same event: the catastrophic eruption of the Theraian volcano in the Late Bronze Age, an eruption that buried the thriving settlement near the modern village of Akrotiri, and that resulted in the formation of the modern-day caldera and the spectacular cliffs surrounding it.² The remarkable archaeological discoveries at Akrotiri, together with the...

    (pp. 177-186)
    (pp. 187-190)
    (pp. 191-193)
    (pp. 194-198)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 199-201)