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Alexei Zadorojnyi

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The aim of the paper is to examine socio-cultural assumptions behind the perception of epigraphic writing among the pepaideumenoi of the empire in the second century CE, and, relatedly, to outline the ideologies of Greek epigraphic writtenness through close readings of select key passages from authors of the Second Sophistic. In the first section, the paper investigates attitudes to epigraphic writing in Pollux’ Onomasticon (especially 5.149-50) and discusses the apparent accentuation of ancientness and (un)readability of inscriptions. In the second part, the argument addresses issues of epigraphic literacy, elite monumentalization and political prestige by zeroing in on a passage from Arrian’s Periplous and dissecting the spectrum of meanings implied in Greek adjective eusēmos. The third section examines the ideological force of graffitism which sources of second century CE cast as the socio-cultural antipode of high epigraphy; the focus is now on the epithet asēmos.

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Volume-editor Andrej Petrovic, Ivana Petrovic and Edmund Thomas

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Donald E. Lavigne

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This paper argues that Archaic Greek epigram participates in the competitive poetic milieu of the period through its materiality and spatiality. This new, multi-media genre channels and adapts the poetics of the premier poetry of the period. Through its site-specificity, epigram creates its authority and its ability to foster kleos in each epigrammatic performance.

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Volume-editor Andrej Petrovic, Ivana Petrovic and Edmund Thomas

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Volume-editor Andrej Petrovic, Ivana Petrovic and Edmund Thomas

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Ida Östenberg

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This article targets erased Roman inscriptions in terms of materiality. It argues that the physical material and form of inscriptions played a crucial part in the phenomenon commonly termed damnatio memoriae. Materiality is further applied as a theoretical concept. Hence, the paper discusses changed, attacked, and erased inscriptions as agents that transmitted novel messages of the past and present to their viewers. It argues that these messages often differed from the original purpose of the erasures.

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Volume-editor Andrej Petrovic, Ivana Petrovic and Edmund Thomas

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P. J. Rhodes

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The Greeks destroyed documents or erased parts of them when they had served their purpose or for any reason were no longer wanted. Sometimes this was due to a change in the political climate: e.g. in 200 BCE the Athenians decided to delete all references to the Antigonids in public documents.

I examine particular erasures from the fifth and fourth centuries: these range from the correction of simple errors, via rewording to meet the wishes of honorands, and updating e.g. when alliances were reaffirmed, to changes of policy as when the Spartans removed Pausanias’ couplet from the Serpent Column.

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Sean V. Leatherbury

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This paper explores the symbolism of the tabula ansata (“tablet-with-handles”), a popular frame for monumental donor inscriptions in the Roman period. While patrons continued to use this form to frame texts in late antiquity, changing mediums affected how patrons conceived of and how audiences interpreted the meaning and significance of the frame. This paper discusses the origins of the tabula form and focuses on three Late Antique examples of the tabula in Italy, Greece, and Jordan that adapted variants of the Roman form, clarifying how transformations in material impacted the form’s function as a sign for “monumentality.”

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S. J. Heyworth

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Beginning from the play with sepulchral epigram in Propertius 1 and 2, the paper explores the enormous variety of ways in which elegy presents itself as material (and immaterial) text. Writing can be done with stylus or pen and ink, a chisel or a knife, tears, charcoal or milk; and on bronze, marble, bark, wood, apples, papyrus, silk, wax, water, air, and human skin. The mixture of soft and hard matches the genre’s play on durus and mollis. The range of substances matches the uses of elegy, inscribed on stone for permanent memorials, or spoken as an expression of love.