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Lecture 8

Lecture 8 - Epigraphy

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Christian Campbell

CLA260H1S Epigraphy July 25/12 • “things written on” • Study of things that are written on - in specific, hard and durable materials • Stele - upright inscribed stone surface • The earliest writing we have from Greece are epigraphic sources • As early as the Greek alphabet - really how we know about the development of the Greek alpha- bet • One of our earliest documents refers to the iliad - 8th century BC • Oldest documents are in their original form • Original lettering, formatting, layout Can trace evolution of a language • • Different places often used different alphabets • Alot of information from inscriptions that are not in historical documents • Names, tributes, etc Public epigraphy - inscribed for everyone to see • • Earliest are inscriptions of laws • Evidence evolution of polis Early Greek Laws Earliest come from Crete - mid 7th century • • First use of the world polis in a political sense • Inscribed on wall of temple of apollo - earliest inscription on temple wall • Polis organization: magistrate, assembly and council - tripartite structure that would be wide- spread through mediterranean • Gortyn law code - mid 5th century - largest example of a Greek epigraphy • Earliest from Crete, later seen in athens • Athens - Draco’s homicide law - 409 BC - much later than when Draco, the legendary law mak- er, supposedly lived Re-inscribed form the 7th century • • By 5th century inscriptions became primary tool for athens • Athenian tribute lists - 5th century BC • Important for history of athenian empire Records tributes that cities and people gave at Panhellenic festival • • Inscriptions for nonadministrative purposes too • If you saw athenian tribute list you could get an idea of the mental impact on a subject to athenian empire - clear propaganda purposes • Athenian Standards Decree • Required allied cities to use the same weight and standards asAthens • Found in several different polis along Ionian coast • Had to be put up in a public place - propaganda • Athenian casualty list - 5th century BC Inscribed giant stele with
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