Writing the History of Epigraphy and Epigraphers
Organized by Sarah E. Bond
The American Society of Greek and Latin Epigraphy invites submissions for a panel at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Society for Classical Studies in San Diego.
The history of epigraphy as a discipline stretches back to antiquity itself. In the same manner that Herodotus used inscriptions in order to list the temple inventories from Delphi and Delos and Suetonius appears to have drawn on the myriad inscriptions that dotted the Roman Forum, modern epigraphers continue to publish, interpret, and interweave epigraphic remains today. Although the focus is normally on the ancient content of these epigraphic remains, this panel turns its focus on the epigraphers themselves.
As the Society for Classical Studies looks back on 150 years of its existence as an academic organization in 2019, epigraphers should similarly take a moment to reflect on the evolution of our field. From the Rosetta Stone to the Vindolanda Tablets, behind every great inscription is a great woman, man, and sometimes an entire archaeological team. We often contextualize inscriptions in their original time and provenance as a means of understanding the context and historical milieu in which they were written, yet understanding the motives, biases, and ethics of an epigrapher are similarly enlightening. Moreover, the role of the epigrapher as both historian and philologist is extensive. Whether it be Louis Robert’s (1904-1985) and his wife Jeanne’s publication of the Bulletin épigraphique from 1938 to 1984 or Joyce Reynolds’ publication of The inscriptions of Roman Tripolitania in 1952, epigraphers have helped to influence classics, ancient history, and digital humanities in many meaningful ways.
The main objective of this panel is to explore broadly the relationship between classical antiquity and the epigrapher. This might include but is not limited to how ancient and early medieval writers used epigraphic evidence, how Renaissance antiquarians drew on classical epigraphy in order to create new fonts for the printing press, the impact of German scholars publishing over 250,000 inscriptions in the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum and the Inscriptiones Graecae from the latter half of the 19th century up until the present. The role of epigraphers in shaping the current state of digital humanities today is of equal import. Histories of epigraphers dedicated to working with ancient Near Eastern, Hebrew, Greek, Roman, Syriac, Etruscan, and any other language inscribed within the ancient Mediterranean world are welcome to apply.
Abstracts will be evaluated anonymously by members of the ASGLE Executive Committee and external readers, and should not be longer than 650 words (bibliography excluded): please follow the SCS “Guidelines for Authors of Abstracts.” All Greek should either be transliterated or employ a Unicode font. The Abstract should be sent electronically as a Word file, along with a PDF of the Submission Form [ASGLEAbstractForm1-2019], by March 3, 2018 to Sarah E. Bond at email@example.com.