Guide de l’epigraphiste

A tool that can not be missing in your “epigraphic toolbox” is the Guide de l’epigraphiste.

In order to help epigraphers and “uninitiated” audience to approach epigraphy and to deal with the technicalities of such subject, a group of French scholars undertook the project of a Bibliographie choisie des épigraphies antiques et médiévales, as the self-explanatory subtitle clarifies.

Published for the first time in 1986,   updated  in a second edition in 1989 and in 2000 in its third edition, the guide contains a carefully selected bibliographical apparatus, with brief comments on individual works, a methodological introduction and a rich series of indices.

This fourth edition contains 2975 items, with titles published between 2000 and 2010.
Online, among other documents, you can find the available updates on June 2011, June 2012, and recently posted June 2013 too.

Ancient Bronzes in Berlin

It’s a well known fact, especially for antiquists and classicists, that the Antikensammlungen in Berlin are astonishing.

However, I don’t mean to eulogize Berlin’s museums in this post, but I want instead to praise and draw my readers’ attention to a useful on line database of a particular category of objects: bronze artifacts.

As we can read on the project’s webpage, it has been compiled and published a database of images of ancient bronze artefacts preserved in Berlin, encompassing the   objects published in the bronze collection of C. Friederichs (Antike Bronzen und Geräte im Alten Museum, 1871) and further acquisitions until 1945 (stocks and losses).

The project, advertised also on the AIEGL website by Dr. Manfred Schmidt, has been run by Antikensammlung der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin in 2004-2007 and 2008-2011 and has been carried out with the support of the DFG – German Research Foundation by Norbert Franken, led by Wolf-Dieter Heilmeyer and Andreas Scholl.

As an epigrapher, the interesting and very useful section is the online searchable database, in which I suggest to select, as  querying criteria in the Datenbank, “Inschrift” from the drop menu called “Gattung”.

In this way, you’ll retrieve 76 objects, Greek and Roman as well, that you can browse in different pages. Each item has a picture (at least  the majority of instances does) and by clicking on every record the user is provided with a detailed information on the artefact as a bronze object (inventory, provenance, preservation status) and as an inscription, with a detailed list of publication regarding that text (Literatur).

A paradigmatic example that illustrates the information retrievable in this online catalogue on a single object is the

Inv. Nr.: Fr. 2502, i.e. Tessera paganica. Tafel mit lateinischer Inschrift, von einer Büste der Juno bekrönt .

also known as CIL, II 2633 = ILS 6101.

In this case not only can you find the aforementioned data, but there are also “Weitere Abbildungen“.

And now, your turn to explore the database!