The Materiality of Text – Placement, Perception, and Presence of Inscribed Texts in Classical Antiquity


Written by an international cast of experts, The Materiality of Text showcases a wide range of innovative methodologies from ancient history, literary studies, epigraphy, and art history and provides a multi-disciplinary perspective on the physicality of writing in antiquity. The contributions focus on epigraphic texts in order to gauge questions of their placement, presence, and perception: starting with an analysis of the forms of writing and its perception as an act of physical and cultural intervention, the volume moves on to consider the texts’ ubiquity and strategic positioning within epigraphic, literary, and architectural spaces. The contributors rethink modern assumptions about the processes of writing and reading and establish novel ways of thinking about the physical forms of ancient texts.

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Andrej Petrovic, Ph.D. (2004), Heidelberg, is Professor of Classics at University of Virginia. He has published books on Greek epigraphy, literature, and religion. His latest book is Inner Purity and Pollution in Greek Religion (OUP 2016, co-authored with I. Petrovic). Ivana Petrovic, Ph.D. (2004), Heidelberg/Giessen, is Hugh H. Obear Professor of Classics at University of Virginia. She has published monographs, edited volumes and written articles on Greek literature, religion, and magic including Artemiskult in der Hellenistischen Dichtung (Brill 2007). Edmund Thomas, D.Phil. (1994), Oxford, is Associate Professor (Senior Lecturer) at Durham University. He has published widely on Roman architecture and its reception, including Monumentality of the Roman Empire (OUP, 2007). Contributors are: Katharina Bolle, Joseph W. Day, Valentina Garulli, Abigail Graham, Stephen J. Heyworth, Athena Kirk, Donald E. Lavigne, Sean V. Leatherbury, Joannis Mylonopoulos, Fanny Opdenhoff, Ida Östenberg, Andrej Petrovic, Ivana Petrovic, P. J. Rhodes, Edmund Thomas, Michael A. Tueller, Alexei Zadorojnyi.
"This generously illustrated book is a welcome publication that should reinvigorate the way in which we read and conceptualize epigraphic texts [...]Since this publication includes essays from the field of epigraphy, philology, and history of art and architecture, it should be of great interest to scholars across ancient disciplines. It represents a wide variety of perspectives, each of them pushing the field of epigraphy forward". Hanna Golab Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2019.06.28. "Oltre alla specificità, un altro punto di forza dell'approccio adottato è la sua multidisciplinarità: storia antica, filologia e archeologia, più giustapposte che in dialogo, forniscono un quadro variegato e coprono un'ampia area, sia geograficamente, sia temporalmente. [...] Il volume ha il merito di ricordarci come nello studio di documenti iscritti, accanto all'esercizio dell'epigrafia come scienza storica, sia utile, e addirittura necessario, affrontare il monumento nella sua complessità. Per questo possiamo essere grati agli autori e agli editori." Filippo Battistoni, Sehepunkte 19 (2019), Nr. 9 [15.09.2019].
List of Figures
Note on Contributors

The Materiality of Text: An Introduction
Andrej Petrovic

Part 1: Concepts

1 What is an ἐπιγραφή in Classical Greece?
Athena Kirk

2 The Aesthetics and Politics of Inscriptions in Imperial Greek Literature
Alexei Zadorojnyi

Part 2: Contexts

Section 1: Epigraphic Spaces

3 The ‘Spatial Dynamics’ of Archaic and Classical Greek Epigram: Conversations among Locations, Monuments, Texts, and Viewer-Readers
Joseph W. Day

4 Lectional Signs in Greek Verse Inscriptions
Valentina Garulli

5 Erasures in Greek Public Documents
P. J. Rhodes

Section 2: Literary Spaces: The Materiality of Text in Greek and Roman Literature

6 The Authority of Archaic Greek Epigram
Donald E. Lavigne

7 Writing, Women’s Silent Speech
Michael A. Tueller

8 Hard Verses and Soft Books: The Materials of Elegy
S. J. Heyworth

Section 3: Architectural Spaces

9 The Power of the Absent Text: Dedicatory Inscriptions on Greek Sacred Architecture and Altars
Joannis Mylonopoulos

10 Re-Appraising the Value of Same-Text Relationships; a Study of ‘Duplicate’ Inscriptions in the Monumental Landscape at Aphrodisias
Abigail Graham

11 Layers of Urban Life: A Contextual Analysis of Inscriptions in the Public Space of Pompeii
Fanny Opdenhoff

12 Damnatio Memoriae Inscribed: The Materiality of Cultural Repression
Ida Östenberg

13 Inscriptions between Text and Texture: Inscribed Monuments in Public Spaces – A Case Study at Late Antique Ostia
Katharina Bolle

14 Framing Late Antique Texts as Monuments: The Tabula Ansata between Sculpture and Mosaic
Sean V. Leatherbury


Index Locorum
Index Nominum
Index Rerum
Specialists, post-graduate students, and educated laypersons interested in Greek and Roman epigraphy, history, and cultural and anthropological investigations of writing, including comparative studies, and academic libraries and humanities research institutes.