This paper aims to reconsider the role of archaisms in epigraphy and, above all, their possible dialectal value. Indeed, according to a traditional theory, provinces that were colonized earlier by the Romans preserved archaic varieties of Latin. Scholars have often used inscriptions to support this idea, particularly in the case of Hispania..., but the results of this paper, which rely on the methodology of modern Computerized Dialectology, are negative in this regard.
The ERC research project LatinNow (Latinisation of the north-western provinces), is intended to be a broad-based investigation of linguistic change in the north-western Empire (namely Britain, Gaul, Germanies, Noricum, Raetia and Iberia). Drawing upon sociolinguistics, bilingualism studies, digital epigraphy, and archaeology, specifically the a...nalysis of writing materials, the area of Nijmegen has been used as a starting point, showing the different phonological features available and how they are distributed on the different writing materials, in terms of studying changes in the Germanies.
In 2005 and 2006 in the Hellenistic city of Marise (Marisha/Bet Guvrin, Israel) five adjoining fragments of a Greek inscription has been found. The stele contains three letters: an order from Seleucus IV (187-175 B.C.) to his chancellor Heliodoros about a certain Olympiodoros, who was put in charge of the sanctuaries of Koilē Syria and Phoinik...ē; a letter from Heliodoros to Dorymenes (who was in all probability the strategos of Koilē Syria and Phoinikē at that time); and a letter from Dorymenes to a certain Diophanes (probably the hyparchos of the district of Marise). The letters are dated to the month Gorpiaios of the year 134 S.E. (summer of 178 B.C.). There is no doubt that Heliodoros in the dossier of Marise, and Heliodoros in the Second Book of Maccabees (ch. 3–4) is the same person who attempted to plunder the Temple of Jerusalem, but according to the 2Macc 3:25–27 he has suffered a divine punishment. In this paper I am arguing that the “Heliodoros-affair” happened in the earlier years of Seleucus IV’s reign, probably nine or eight years before Olympiodoros was put in charge of religious affairs in Koilē Syria and Phoinikē. If we accept this chronological order, the known list of four strategoi of Koilē Syria and Phoinikē can be easily put together.
The position of the word final –s, after a weakening in archaic Latin, seems to be fixed in the spoken language in the classical period. Then, it partially disappeared in the Romance languages: in modern languages, it is conserved only north and west of the Massa–Senigallia line, while we cannot find it neither in the eastern regions nor in... South Italy. Based on this fact, linguists generally claim that the weakening of the final –s started only after the intensive dialectal diversification of Latin, simultaneously with the evolution of the Romance languages. However, the data of the Computerized Historical Linguistic Database of Latin Inscriptions of the Imperial Age (LLDB) do not verify this generally accepted opinion. We can find almost as many examples of the lack of word final –s as that of –m also from the earlier centuries of the Imperial age. The aim of this paper is to explore the reasons behind the inconsistencies between the scholarly consensus and the epigraphical data.
The epitaph of Priest Iohannes (CIL III 9527, Salona, August 13, 599 or AD 603) is one of the few inscriptions from the sixth-century Salona, which can be dated with precision. It is also one of the rare inscriptions from Dalmatia of this period, which mention a person (proconsul Marcellinus) known from other sources (Registrum epistularum of P...ope Gregory the Great). However, its linguistic importance seems to be summarized in the remark of its most recent editor Nancy Gauthier (2010) that the language of the epitaph reflects the features of Latin spoken in Dalmatia at the time (“la langue vivante”). The aim of this paper was to check the plausibility of this statement by comparing the Vulgar Latin features in the inscription with the results of research on Latin in late Dalmatia. Also, a new interpretation of the word obsis l. 13 is proposed.
This paper focuses on the distribution of the alternation of <B> and <V> in a corpus of Latin inscriptions from Sardinia (1st century BC – 7th century AD). The distribution of the graphemes has been related to the dating and the provenance place of the inscriptions, and the total number of occurrences has been compared with the nu...mber of corresponding forms in Classical Latin. The amount of other consonantal misspellings in the texts has been examined as well, in order to verify whether the absence of misspellings could be due to a high degree of literacy of those involved in the crafting of the inscriptions. The results of the survey show a widespread graphemic confusion between <B> and <V> in the island, especially from the third century AD. In most of the cases, Classical Latin /w/ is represented as <B>, both in initial and internal position. It will be shown that the examination of the variables considered here could shed light on the evolution of Latin /b/ and /w/ in Sardinia.
This paper examines writing and orthography in the work of Latin grammarians and spelling variants in epigraphic texts. It focuses on the uses of the letter H and the spelling of the word sepulchrum. The word’s spelling seems to be connected to the spelling of other words through the adjective pulcher, pulchra,...pulchrum. The analysis indicates that the teaching and learning of orthography had a limited influence on epigraphic texts, but there is evidence of the consistently high frequency of the spelling sepulcrum. The paper also shows how data on Latin orthography can help in understanding the chronology of the evolution of spelling in epigraphic texts.
Around 200 inscriptions have been found at Potaissa so far. Some of them disappeared and their texts are known to us exclusively from publications, others are kept in museum collections. The subject of this study is their linguistic examination, by following the peculiarities and the deviations from the classical norms of the language. When pos...sible, this data will be related to details on the donors, on the provenance of the epigraphs, on their type, and on other information that can contribute to shaping the cultural-linguistic profile of the Roman town.
The monograph of Alexander Weiß on public slavery in the cities of the Roman Empire based on Greek and Latin inscriptions shed light on the role and functions of the public slaves, arguing that they had a much larger role in the administration of the provincial cities than previously thought. Weiß intended to collect all epigraphical data on...public slavery, although he could not study some smaller corpora in Pannonia, like IlJug or the Corpus of Greek inscriptions found in Pannonia (CIGP). A new collection of inscriptions from Aquincum (Tituli Aquincenses) and new inscriptions offer a great opportunity to reexamine the epigraphical data of Pannonia on public slavery, and examine whether the public slaves of Pannonia fit into the administrative categories listed by Weiß, or might reveal new functions.
The paper examines again a form of the well-known crustula from Aquincum, and suggests some new possibilities for various readings of the lectio vulgata.
This paper republishes 12 Greek and Latin inscriptions from Roman Dacia, in most cases with illustrations. Previous readings are improved and more ghost-names are removed. These inscribed monuments and objects (some of them, in the category of instrumentum inscriptum) are explained in their series or contexts, pertaining to the militar...y milieu or the cosmopolitan side of the province.
In this short contribution we present lead mirrors with reflective glass surface that are characterized by the presence of the signature of the plumbarius and / or the creator of the form. These few but interesting epigraphic attestations allow some thoughts on how to produce this type of material and also on the people who were involved.
In this paper, a survey is conducted on the phenomenon of consonantal degemination through the corpus of epigraphic materials. The aim of this research is to understand the nature of this phenomenon and its possible implications in the field of dialectological studies.
This paper falls into two main sections. The first deals with the defixio and its traditional definition as an example of so-called private inscriptions. Unlike public epigraphs, which were monumental, crafted by professionals, intended for display, and had (mainly) a commemorative function, defixiones (whether written by...magoi or amateurs) are usually considered to be among Antiquity’s most private texts. Nevertheless, curse tablets and public inscriptions share a very important feature: both contained messages meant to endure. This specific feature brings us to the second section of this article, which discusses the influence of public inscriptions on curse tablets: to what extent are defixiones a reflection of monumental epigraphy? Aspects such as the ordinatio of the text, the media employed or the way they were displayed (even inside a tomb) are analyzed in this regard. In an attempt to answer these questions, three publicly displayed curse tablets are discussed in depth.