posted by Hannah Cornwell
Abigail Graham – Re-Appraising the Value of Same-Text Relationships; a Study of ‘Duplicate’ Inscriptions in the Monumental Landscape at Aphrodisias
On Monday 4th February, Dr. Abigail Graham (Warwick) presented a series of inscriptions from Aphrodisias in order to explore the ways in which we view inscriptions and in particular ‘same-text inscriptions’. The purpose of Dr. Graham’s discussion was to emphasise what a study of ‘same-text inscriptions’ can reveal about the relationship between text and monumental space, and what we might learn from that about the values and processes of creating a monumental inscription, both in terms of the ancient audiences’ perceptions and the very act of carving the inscription.
Dr. Graham examined the exterior and interior dedications of the Sebasteion propylon, the inscriptions recording the reconstruction of the propylon and North portico, and the dedication on the East Court at the Hadrianic Baths. She demonstrated how the presentation of the texts was dependent on the architectural space, and that functional markers and spaces were used to make sense of the message of each text. Texts were carefully arranged in the space in order to express certain values: spatial distinctions were made between recipients and benefactors, whilst civic identity and family were also emphasised.
Dr. Graham concluded by emphasising that the existence of the same text, as in the instances from Aphrodisias, does not necessarily mean the same inscription: each inscription must be treated as an individual text, and understood in terms of the process of its creations and how it would have been viewed within its monumental space.