Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents

Epigraphy Workshop 10th November

Jonathan Prag, Sebastian Rahtz, Robert Parker - 'Lexicon of Greek Personal Names: the perils and potential of digital data'.

On Monday 10th November Jonathan Prag (Merton College), Robert Parker (New College) and Sebastian Rahtz (Chief Data Architect, IT services) spoke on the importance of how research projects should engage with digital data storage, with particular reference to the history the Lexicon of Greek Personal Names
(LGPN).

The main concerns that were stressed as regards the importance of digital data were:
  • The re-use of data for unforeseen purposes
  • using open standards for semantic interoperability
  • Exposing data consistently and persistently
  • moving to being independent of technology


For further information on the management and storage of research data:http://researchdata.ox.ac.uk/



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Epigraphy Workshop 3rd November

Charles Crowther - Cilicia and the Commagenian Dynasty


In a remarkable demonstration of reverse engineering, Charles Crowther (CSAD) presented a Greek inscription found in 2000 at Göçük Asarı, a hill site in western Turkey (ancient Cilicia). The original text is currently being prepared for published by M. Sayar, but a preliminary translation in English has been published, and Crowther offered a potential translation back into ancient Greek from the English, in order to discuss the inscription. The inscription appears to date from the reign of Antiochus IV, referred to as philokaisar and philoromaios. Crowther also offered an alternative reading of the text than that provided by the translation, suggesting that there are three different dating formulae used: 24th year of the rule of Antiochus IV; 10th year of rule for the Lukaonians and Lekonantians; 2nd year for Armenian citizens.

Along side the inscription from Göçük, Crowther also presented another text illustrating the reign of Antiochus IV. A monumental architrave inscription, originally 11m in length with bronze inlaid letters, from Elaiussa Sebaste (SEG 35, 1730) preserves part of Antiochus title, which appear to give him the titles of philokaisar kai philoromaios, whilst his father's titles appear to include philoellenos kai philopatridos. The building to which the inscription belongs has not been identified.

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Epigraphy Workshop 27th October

Juliane Zacchuber - A revised reading of a decree from Bargylia: three kings, sympolities and Carian concerns
Monday 27th October.

Juliane Zacchuber (Lincoln College, Oxford) presented a new reading of a Rhodian decree, originally published by Blümel (2001, Epigraphica Anatolica 32: 94-6). The document presents an arbitration decree between Antiochus III of Syria, Philip V of Macedon, and Ptolemy V Epiphanes, in the wake of war between Antiochus and Ptolemy, and also outlines the handing over of territory to Antiochus by Philip.

Zacchuber has been able to make significant restorations to early sections of the document, which serves to emphasises the possible explusion of different groups from the land; her restorations to lines 13-14 of the text help to shed light on the identity of three cities, who formed a sympolity. Zacchuber emphasised the decree's significance for gaining insight into the concerns and fortunes of those communities of Caria, beyond the international interests of monarchs.

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EpiDoc Training for CSAD Projects


Dr. Charlotte Tupman (King's College London) held a two day workshop (25-26th October) on EpiDoc for researchers of two CSAD projects: Dr. Kyriakos Savvopoulos (The Corpus of Ptolemaic Inscriptions Project), and Dr. Hannah Cornwell (The Ashmolean Latin Inscriptions Project). The workshop was held in the CSAD project room, at the Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies.

The training with enable both projects to work in collaboration with EAGLE.

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CSAD and EAGLE

On Thursday 16th October, Dr. Pietro Luizzo of the The Europeana EAGLE Project met with representatives of CSAD (Prof. Alan K. Bowman and Dr. Charles Crowther) and some of its projects (AshLI, represented by Prof. Alison Cooley of Warwick University, and Dr. Jane Masséglia) along with Prof. Byran Ward-Perkins for the Late Statues of Anquitities Project.


CSAD & EAGLE meetingCSAD & EAGLE meeting: (l-r): Dr. Jane Masséglia (AshLI), Dr. Pietro Luizzo (EAGLE), Dr. Charles Crowther (CSAD), Prof. Byran Ward-Perkins (Lasts Statues of Antiquity), Prof. Alison Cooley (AshLI),and Prof. Alan Bowman (CSAD).


The aim of the meeting was to discuss cooperation between CSAD and EAGLE's portal. Projects that will be providing metadata for EAGLE are the Ashmolean Latin Inscriptions Project (an AHRC-funded collaboration between the University of Warwick, the Ashmolean Museum and CSAD); The Corpus of Ptolemaic Inscriptions project; and Roman Inscriptions of Britian.

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Epigraphy Workshop, October 20th

Peter Thonemann - Croesus and the Oracles
Monday 20th October 2014

At the first Epigraphy Workshop of the new academic year, Peter Thonemann (Wadham College, University of Oxford) presented a reassessment of Herodotus' account of Croesus and the oracle of Amphiaraus, through an analysis of two new inscriptions from Thebes, recently published by N. Papazarkadas (The Epigraphy and History of Boeotia: New Finds, New Prospects, 2014: 223-51). The new inscription offers insight into how Herodotus may have constructed the history of Croesus' interaction with the oracle of Amphiaraus (Hdt. 1.49, 1.52, 1.53.2).

The inscriptions are two copies of the same text, inscribed on different faces of a base. One text is in a Boeotian script, dating to c. 525-475 BC, the other is in the Ionic script, dating to c. 400-350 BC. The text commemorates the rededication by a priest at the sanctuary of Apollo Ismenios, of a gold shield dedicated by Croesus to Amphiaraus. Based on Herodotus' own account of his visit to the sanctuary at Thebes (Hdt. 5.59-61), and the inscriptions he recorded he saw there, alongside the new inscription, Thonemann convincingly argued that rather than the King Croesus, the inscription may in fact instead refer to a posthumous dedication to Amphiaraus by another Croesus (possibly Croesus the Athenian). Thonemann went on to posit an interesting scenerio of Herodotus using the inscription to construct a relationship between King Croesus and the oracle of Amphiaraus, which enabled Herodotus present Croesus as considering the oracle, along with that of Delphi, as 'the only truce oracles'.

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Michaelmas Term Epigraphy Workshops

Oxford Epigraphy Workshop, Michaelmas Term 2014

All meetings at 1.00 in the First Floor Seminar Room, Ioannou Centre, 66 St Giles, except that of October 20 which will be in the Lecture Theatre, Ioannou Centre.

Monday, October 20: Peter Thonemann, ‘Croesus and the oracles: a new inscription from Thebes’

Monday, October 27: Juliane Zachhuber, 'A revised reading of a decree from Bargylia: three kings, sympolities and Carian concerns'

Monday, November 3: Charles Crowther, ‘Cilicia and the Commageneian dynasty’

Monday, November 10: Jonathan Prag, tba

Monday, November 24: Alan Bowman, Simon Hornblower, Charles Crowther, Rachel Mairs, Kyriakos Savvopoulos, ‘Corpus of Ptolemaic Inscriptions from Egypt (CPI): some case studies’.

Monday, December 1: Susan Walker, ‘Dignitas amicorum: text on late Roman gold-glass.’

There will be a handling session in the Ashmolean after this talk: details later.

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New grant for Hyperspectral Imaging

We are pleased to announce the success of a recent application, led by our Assistant Director Charles Crowther, to the John Fell Fund for grant support of a new collaborative project to provide the University with state-of-the-art hyperspectral imaging (HsI) within a bespoke laboratory in the new Weston Library. The requested equipment, essentially an advanced type of ‘camera’ capable of analytical imaging through extremely accurate and high resolution colour measurement, will be the most advanced equipment of its type available in the UK for heritage and conservation. The project is to be an internal collaboration between the Humanities Division and individual academic colleagues from within its faculties, the Digital Humanities (DH) network, the Bodleian Libraries, Oxford e-Research Centre, the School of Geography and the Environment, and the Ashmolean Museum.

Hyperspectral imaging collects and processes information from across the electromagnetic spectrum, aiming to obtain the spectrum for each pixel in the image of a scene, with the purpose of finding objects, identifying materials, or detecting processes. In the context of this new Humanities project, the advanced HsI camera equipment to be purchased will enable researchers to analyse the University’s unique research collections, to acquire data from diverse artefacts ranging from built heritage to historical manuscripts, to develop a robust approach to analysing results, and to collaborate with heritage organisations across the UK.

For the CSAD, with over 15 years of experience of multispectral imaging techniques and equipment, HsI represents the most exciting development in this field. The application of HsI to documentary material in Oxford collections has the potential to resolve details that have until now been beyond reach, whilst also bringing to light significant new documents.

The project will begin in November 2014, and will run for three years.

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CSAD summer picnic



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They say times flies. This is certainly true of the CSAD picnic to the Uffington White Horse, on 9th July - it seems like only yesterday we were there for our first visit organised by Maggy Sasanow and Richard Catling- but that was 3 years ago!


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First spot was the White Horse (where we may or may not have made wishes on the eye of the Horse!), followed by a brisk walk to the Hill Fort, and then Wayland's Smithy (where is it said that if you left a horse, who had lost a shoe, along with a silver coin on the capstone, you would return the next day to find the horse shod and the coin gone - alas, we had neither the means nor the horse to test the legend). After some searching Maggy managed to location her own 'inscription', which proved more elusive than 3 years ago.



CSADers at Wayland's Smithy

After the walk, substantial quantities of delicious food from people's home countries were produced, including some lovely bottles of champagne, thanks to the kind support of Roger Michel, who generously sponsors the RTI work at the CSAD.


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So, until next year...hopefully!

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Kingston Lacy obelisk - the CSAD and the European Space Agency

The Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents has recently become involved in an unexpectedly exciting cross-discipline enterprise. Combining two of the Centre’s current projects, the Corpus of Ptolemaic Inscriptions (CPI), and Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI), the CSAD has recently begun preparation for the capture of RTI and 3D interactive images of the 6.7 meter tall obelisk from Philae in Egypt, now situated in the grounds of the Kingston Lacy estate in Dorset.

Kingston Lacy obelisk.jpg

The CSAD’s three-year CPI project is currently creating a corpus of up-to-date editions of almost 500 Greek, bilingual and trilingual inscriptions on stone from Egypt during its rule by the Hellenistic dynasty founded by Ptolemy I in 323, and ending with the death of Cleopatra in 30 BC. The obelisk at Kingston Lacy is one of those important multi-lingual inscriptions, in which Greek and Egyptian hieroglyphic scripts exist alongside one other, and which in the 19th century provided clues to deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphics.

The CSAD's RTI project is focussed on the development and implementation of a photographic method that captures a subject’s surface shape and colour and enables the interactive re-lighting of the subject from any direction. A particular strength of RTI is that it can reveal surface information that cannot be seen with the naked eye. While the scripts on the Kingston Lacy obelisk are in a reasonably good state of preservation, and reading is still possible, the opportunity to improve the accuracy of the text, and to find and identify elements of pigment in the inscription, provide sufficient reason for re-examining the monument. There are also considerable conservation benefits to be gained for the National Trust, which now owns the Kingston Lacy estate, through the creation of a permanent, accurate, interactive virtual image of the obelisk as it is today, since gradual deterioration of the original over time is an inevitability.

The CSAD team on site.jpg

But the biggest surprise did not come to light until after identification of the obelisk as being of particular epigraphical interest. Soon after discussions with the National Trust were begun, it was revealed that the obelisk is set to achieve considerably wider significance later this year: its name has been given to the robotic craft that in November 2014 will attempt a landing on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, as part of a mission launched in 2004 by the European Space Agency. The main robotic spacecraft has been named Rosetta, after the famous Egyptian basalt slab, featuring a decree in three scripts, and the lander is named after the Nile island of Philae, where the Kingston Lacy obelisk was discovered. The European Space Agency hopes that, just as a comparison of the scripts on the Rosetta Stone and the obelisk led to a greater understanding of the Egyptian writing system, the Philae and Rosetta space mission will lead to a better understanding of comets and the early Solar System.

The Philae robotic lander.jpgSo it was decided that the CSAD work on the obelisk should become part of the multi-disciplinary focus on the obelisk, planned to culminate at the time of the comet landing. RTI and 3D imaging of the obelisk, together with another obelisk fragment and a sarcophagus nearby in the Kingston Lacy grounds, will be carried out over the summer and early autumn; time-lapse photography will record the process, from erection of the purpose-designed scaffolding, through the cleaning of the obelisk by the National Trust conservation department, to the RTI photography and 3D scanning; an exhibition, and the possibility of a short documentary film on the obelisk and its flamboyant history, and the CSAD’s part in recording it, are also being discussed, all to be ready to mark in style the landing of its namesake, Philae, on the comet in November.

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Epigraphy Workshops Trinity Term 2014

Oxford Epigraphy Workshop, Trinity Term 2014

All meetings at 1.00 in the First Floor Seminar room, Ioannou Centre, 66 St Giles

Monday, May 5: J.- C. Decourt ‘Une nouvelle lex sacra dans la région de Larissa (Thessalie)’.

Monday, May 12: tba – offers welcome

Monday, May 19: Daniele Miano, ‘Portable salvation in the fourth century BC: on bronze strigils marked in Greek from central Italy and Tyrrhenian islands’

Monday, May 26: Chris Faraone, ‘Writing Greek amulets’.

Monday June 9, Pierre Fröhlich, ‘New Inscriptions from Euromos’.

Friday, June 13 (n.b. unusual day!): Massimo Nafissi, ‘The new Iasian momument for the Hecatomnid basileis and its dedicatory epigram’.

All welcome!

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Newsletter 17

The Spring 2014 CSAD Newsletter (issue number 17) has now been published. The newsletter features articles on: the completion of Richard Grasby's series of Studies Processes in the Making of Roman Inscriptions, and the installation at the CSAD of his marble replica of RIB 330, a dedicatory inscription from Caerleon, Wales; reports on the two major new projects, a Corpus of Ptolemaic Inscriptions (CPI) and Facilitating Access to Latin inscriptions in Britain's Oldest Museum (AshLI); and and international workshop on Graffiti, held recently at Ertegun House in Oxford. Paper copies of this latest CSAD Newsletter are available from Maggy Sasanow at the Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents (margaret.sasanow@classics.ox.ac.uk), or a pdf can be downloaded here:
Download file "Newsletter17.pdf".

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Part time Postdoc research position for Latin Inscriptions Project

The AHRC funded Latin Inscriptions in the Ashmolean Museum is now advertising for a part-time postdoctoral research assistant, to start in September 2014.

Details of the position and how to apply can be found here: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/classics/research/dept_projects/latininscriptions

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BES Epigraphy Workshop 2014

British Epigraphy Society

Practical Epigraphy Workshop

CORBRIDGE

24- 26 June 2014

The British Epigraphy Society will hold its sixth Practical Epigraphy

Workshop this summer from 24 to 26 June at Corbridge, Northumberland.

The workshop is aimed primarily at graduates wishing to develop hands-on

skills in working with epigraphic material, though we also welcome

applications from those at any stage in their career who would like to

acquire a greater sensitivity to the gathering of epigraphic evidence.

With expert tuition, participants will gain direct experience of the practical

elements of how to record and study inscriptions. The programme will

include the making of squeezes; photographing and measuring inscribed

stones; and the production of transcriptions, translations and commentaries.

Participants may choose to work on Latin or Greek texts, and the workshop

will be open to those either with or without epigraphic training.

The course fee will be £90 for this three-day event.

Please direct enquiries about the workshop to Peter Haarer:

peter.haarer@classics.ox.ac.uk

To apply for a place on the Workshop, please contact Maggy Sasanow

for an application form: margaret.sasanow@classics.ox.ac.uk

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Epigraphy Workshops Hilary Term 2014

All meetings at 1.00 in the First Floor Seminar Room, Ioannou School.

Monday, Jan. 27: Susan Walker, Dignitas amicorum: text on late Roman gold-glass.’

Susan Walker has kindly arranged an opportunity to see and handle some of the glass in question in the Ashmolean straight after the seminar, but places are limited to ten and she needs to know numbers in advance: if you’d like to take up this offer, please let Robert Parker know by Wednesday, January 22: first come, first served.

Monday, Feb. 3: Rachel Mairs, 'Greek and Demotic on the Stele of Moschion: The Interaction Between Languages and Scripts.'

Monday, Feb. 10: Robert Parker, ‘ A New Legal Soap – the territorial dispute between Messenia and Megalopolis (SEG LVIII 370).’

Monday, Feb. 17: Ed. Bispham, ‘After Imagines Italicae: the case of Lucania.’

Monday, March 3: Greg Votruba, ‘Literacy, ethnicity and religious consciousness of ancient mariners: inscriptions and pictographs on Hellenistic and Early Roman anchors.’

Monday, March 10: Ilaria Bultrighini, ‘The history and development of the seven-day week in the Roman Empire and the Near East: some notes on the epigraphic evidence.’

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Launch Party for LGPN V.B and Robert Parker’s Personal Names of Ancient Anatolia

A joint launch for the Lexicon of Greek Personal Names series, Volume V.B: Coastal Asia Minor: Caria to Cilicia (OUP 2014) and Professor Robert Parker’s Personal Names of Ancient Anatolia (OUP 2013) will take place in the Outreach Room in the Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies on Thursday 27 February 2014 at 5pm. Please contact Fabienne Marchand (fabienne.marchand@classics.ox.ac.uk) by Monday 24 February 2014 if you wish to attend.


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CHANGE in advertised Epigraphy Workshop (4th Nov)

Ed Bispham will be unable to present his advertised paper on 'After Imagines Italicae: the case of Lucania', on Monday 4th November, week 4. Instead, Charles Crowther will be speaking on 'The Son of God in an underground sanctuary in Commagene'.

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Epigraphy workshop - week 3

posted by Hannah Cornwell

Denis Rousset - The Stele of the Geleontes in the sanctuary of Claros. Purchases and gifts of land for a koinon of Colophon.

On Monday 28th October, Denis Rousset (École pratique des hautes études, Paris) presented his research on an unpublished inscription for the sanctuary of Claros. The stele, found during the French excavations of Claros in 1995, near the Temple of Apollo, documents the purchases and gifts for land for a koinon of Colophon during the second half of 3rd century BC and the 1st quarter of 2nd century BC. Rousset argues that the stele contains two successive texts, concerned with the communal land of the Geleontes.

The publication of this inscription was entrusted to Rosset by the late Philippe Gauthier, and Rousset’s research on the stele will be published in the forthcoming publication of the inscription in Journal des savants 2014, fasc. 1, and forms part of his wider research project on the inscriptions of Claros.

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Epigraphy workshop, Michaelmas Term

Epigraphy Workshop, Michaelmas Term 2013

All meetings at 1.00 in the First Floor Seminar room, Ioannou School.

Monday, Oct. 21: Simon Hornblower, 'The "Lokrian Maidens Inscription" (IG 9. 1 (ed. 2) 706) and Lykophron's Alexandra (1141-1173).
Monday, Oct. 28: Denis Rousset, 'The Stele of the Geleontes in the sanctuary of Claros. Purchases and gifts of land for a koinon of Colophon'.
Monday, Nov. 4: Ed. Bispham, 'After Imagines Italicae: the case of Lucania'.
Monday, Nov. 11: Sofia Kravaritou, 'Thessalian attitudes to death: some notes on SEG XXVIII, 528 and beyond'.
Monday, Nov. 18 Polly Low and Peter Liddel, 'The koinon of the Phrikyladai: a new decree from Liverpool'.
Monday December 2: Georgy Kantor, 'Dynamis and Aspourgos in recent inscriptions from the Bosporan Kingdom'.

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New AHRC funded project

The CSAD is pleased to announce the recent success of a major grant application to the AHRC for the funding of a three-year project to create a corpus of up-to-date editions of the Greek, bilingual and trilingual inscriptions on stone from Ptolemaic Egypt (323-30 BCE), numbering almost 400 items, based on material collected and annotated by the late Peter Fraser FBA (1918-2007), who was the leading authority of the 20th century in the field of hellenistic epigraphy in Egypt and the wider context. The editions will include introductory material, commentaries, translations and digital images and will be made available both in book form and on-line. The project will be led by Professors Alan Bowman and Simon Hornblower, and Dr. Charles Crowther, and the project will employ one full time postdoctoral Research Assistant for three years, beginning in Michaelmas Term 2013.
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From the takeover of Egypt by Ptolemy after Alexander the Great died in 323 BCE, until the deaths of Cleopatra and Antony in 30 BCE, government and administration was conducted almost entirely in Greek, which became the predominant language. Both in the public and private spheres, epigraphic inscriptions on stone were central to Greek culture, commemoration and communication, and the Ptolemies brought this tradition with them into the newly formed hellenistic monarchy. Among hellenistic kingdoms, Egypt is unique, however, in that epigraphy in its own language survived alongside the politically dominant Greek.

The project will make available for the first time a full corpus of scholarly editions, replacing older publications and other partial collections which are organised by specific local region and therefore do not offer a full picture of Greek epigraphy of the Ptolemaic period. The new corpus will give proper weight to the importance of public and private documentation on stone, which, in Egypt, tended to be overshadowed by papyrus documents. It will illustrate the ways in which this mode of public pronouncement and display became important in what was originally a language culture 'alien' to the Greeks, not merely in 'Greek' cities such as Alexandria, Ptolemais and Naukratis, but also in indigenous Egyptian towns. Fraser's work between 1950 and the mid-1970s recognised the importance of this material and provided the basis for understanding and exploiting it. Bringing it to completion will give a deeper understanding of Ptolemaic Egypt , whilst also maximising the achievement of a great scholar.

Ptolemaic Inscription no. 137

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