A New Edition of Post-403 B.C. Athenian Inscriptions

Over the last four years, steady progress has been made in preparing an international team of researchers to create a new corpus of Athenian inscriptions from after 403 B.C. Meetings of epigraphers have taken place in London (November 1996), New York (December 1996), Rome (September 1997) and Athens (June 1998). This year that progress has culminated in the announcement of major funding initiatives to support the production of the new Corpus. The first crucial step was the award this summer by the Arts and Humanities Research Board of a major grant to Professor John Davies (University of Liverpool) with Dr Alan Bowman (Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents). The AHRB award will enable two Senior Research Fellows of the University of Liverpool, Dr Stephen Lambert and Dr Graham Oliver, to publish new editions of Athenian decrees of the fourth century B.C. Their work will be based mainly in Oxford and Athens. The success of this award was followed shortly by news of major funding from Australia, Germany and USA.

The international project is founded on the extensive participation of Greek academics and the co-operation of Greek government institutions and learned societies. Without the support of Greek colleagues, a project of this nature on such a scale would not be possible. Dr B. Petrakos (Secretary of the Greek Archaeological Society), Dr C. Kritsas (Director of the Epigraphical Museum in Athens), Dr M. Hatzopoulous (Research Centre for Greek and Roman Antiquity, National Hellenic Research Foundation) and Mr A. Matthaiou (Secretary of the Greek Epigraphical Society) have provided considerable support and are working at the heart of this new initiative.

The whole project is sponsored by Inscriptiones Graecae of the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften. Successive volumes of IG have served as the standard against which epigraphical publications have been measured since the nineteenth century. The participation of the Berlin Akademie in the project is crucial. In June 1999 the administrative structure of the project was formally established at a meeting held in the premises of IG in Berlin and hosted by Professor P. Hermann and Dr K. Hallof.

Overall supervision of the project lies with an Advisory Board made up of senior epigraphers. Its members are drawn from many countries: Professor M. Osborne (La Trobe, Australia), Professor S. Follet (Sorbonne, France), Professor Ch. Habicht and Professor P. Hermann (Germany), Dr B. Petrakos, Dr. Ch. Kritsas (Greece), Professor S. Tracy and Professor R. Stroud (USA) and Professor J. Davies (UK). It was agreed that Professor Davies should act as Spokesperson for the Board. An Editorial Committee has overall responsibility for the running of the project and the co-ordination of the editorial processes. The Committee consists of A. Matthaiou (Greece), S. Lambert and G. Oliver (UK); Mr S. Byrne (La Trobe, Australia) is an Associate Editor. The project will produce a new series of volumes of Athenian inscriptions and replace the current second edition of volume two of Inscriptiones Graecae, (commonly known as IG ii2), edited by Johannes Kirchner and published between 1913 and 1940.

During Kirchner's work on IG ii2 and in the years after its publication, the American excavations at the Agora found numerous new fragments and complete inscriptions. A new corpus embracing these documents discovered sincethe publication of IG ii2 will serve as a vital research tool for scholars and students alike. The new corpus (IG ii3) will see the production of smaller fascicles, usually consisting of around 250 inscriptions. Initially, the work of Dr Lambert and Dr Oliver will be devoted to the production of two volumes collecting the state decrees of the second half of the fourth century. These volumes will provide features which did not appear in the previous edition. Selected translations of inscriptions will be provided, the commentary on each text will be more extensive than those provided before and there will be greater attention to the archaeological context and visual record of the inscription. Photographs of the most important stones will be contained in the same volume as the text and commentary, and the important advances in the study of letter-cutters by Professor Stephen Tracy will be incorporated.

At the same time, Angelos Matthaiou will complete the publication of the decrees of the first half of the fourth century and Professor Osborne and Sean Byrne will work on those of the third century B.C. Professor Follet is already preparing the Athenian decrees of the Roman period. There is a great deal of material to be assigned and it is expected that the international participation in the project will be extended even further.

IG, ii2 19a: a fragment of a proxeny decree for a Rhodian, one of the Athenian state decrees which will be included in the first fascicle of the new IG, ii3.

There are many people to thank for their encouragement and assistance in the launch of this project. The British Epigraphy Society, Dr David Blackman, Director of the British School at Athens, and Professor P.J. Rhodes, have all supplied critical support to those involved in maintaining the momentum of the project in the UK. The Austrian Academy has been very generous in making available some of the results of its bibliography of Athenian inscriptions. It is appropriate that the Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents is acting as the base for the UK involvement in the project. The extensive squeeze collection and IT resources of the CSAD are fundamental to the project. Dr Alan Bowman and Dr Charles Crowther have provided considerable support in developing the partnership with Professor John Davies and The University of Liverpool which has secured the AHRB funding.

The first volumes will be ready for publication in five years time, at the end of the first round of funding. If you have any questions or would like more information on the project, please get in touch.

Dr Graham Oliver, CSAD, 67 St Giles, Oxford, OX1 3LU
e-mail: graham.oliver@lithum.ox.ac.uk

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Created on Tuesday, 26 October, 1999: 21:58:52