The importance for archaelogical and epigraphical research of the 19th and early 20th century archaeological and epigraphical publications and of the archives of archeologists and epigraphists of this period has been stressed for many years by the Greek Epigraphic Society. The value of these documents is certainly known to those few scholars who had the opportunity to “dig” in such publications and archives. This is well demonstrated in the following words of the eminent Greek epigraphist George A. Stamires (1914-1996), who was one of the pioneers in revealing the wealth of information hidden in the old publications and archives: «Ἡ ἀναδρομὴ εἰς τὰς παλαιοτέρας ἐκδόσεις δὲν ἀποτελεῖ ἁπλῶς ἱκανοποίησιν βιβλιογραφικῆς περιεργείας, ἀλλὰ πλεῖστα διδάσκει διὰ τὴν ἱστορίαν τοῦ λίθου, ἔστι δ᾽ ὅτε καὶ τὴν πληρεστέραν ἀνάγνωσιν τοῦ κειμένου, ὡς καὶ ὑπ᾽ ἄλλων εἰς τὴν τοιαύτην ζήτησιν ἀσμενιζόντων ἔχει τονισθῆ.».

The Greek Epigraphic Society strongly emphasized the importance of this matter during the 1998 Symposium in memory of K. S. Pittakes οn the new (third) edition of Attic post-Eucleideian inscriptions held at the Archaeological Society of Athens (see ΗΟΡΟΣ 10-12, 1992-1998, 641-646, esp. 642 under B.1 and 646 under no. 5) and in the 1999 International Meeting held in Berlin in the premises of Inscriptiones Graecae (see ΗΟΡΟΣ 13, 1999, 276-280, esp. 278, the paragraph The principles of the new edition under letter e). 1

The Society’s insistence on the importance of the use of the 19th and early 20th century archives and old publications proved to be fruitful. International scholarship has gradually adopted and followed, or tends to follow, this methodological principle. This is evident in the two fascicles published recently, IG II/III3 1, 2 (ed. S. D. Lambert) and IG II/III3 1, 5 (eds. V. N. Bardani – S. V. Tracy) where extensive use is made not only of 19th cent. publications, with special emphasis on the Greek ones, but also to archive material of old archaeologists and epigraphists.

The Greek Epigraphic Society continues to pursue projects concerning the creation of catalogues of a) Archives of Greek epigraphists and archaeologists who belonged to the past generations and b) Greek epigraphical and archaeological publications of the 19th and early 20th cent.


1For the convenience of the reader is appended an excerpt of Matthaiou’s paper in the international meeting held in Berlin 1999 containing the relevant passages.

Οn Τhe Νew Εdition of the Αttic post Εukleideian Ιnscriptions

Ιn what follows Ι present a summary of the views of the Greek Εpigraphic Society on the new edition of the Αttic post Εukleideian Ιnscriptions which is based on the text which Ι circulated in September 1997 (Ἀττικὲς Μετευκλείδειες Ἐπιγραφές. Σκέψεις γιὰ μιὰ νέα ἔκδοση) and in June 1998 at the Symposium organized by the Society in Αthens. Τwo new paragraphs and a revised version of a few points are included.

1. Τhe new edition’s form. Τhe printed version of the new edition is a conditio sine qua non. We need a book, a reliable standard work of reference which we and other scholars in related fields can use with confidence.
2. Τhe articulation of certain principles for the new edition is necessary if the high academic standards set by the series of the Ιnscriptiones Graecae are to be met and at the same time if an important objective of the new edition is to reflect the current opinio communis of scholarship.
Τhe principles of the new edition. a) accurate readings of the texts of the inscriptions must be established; b) the new edition must be comprehensive (Ι mean that it should include all the published and, if possible, all unpublished inscriptions as well as the ones that are just mentioned in the bibliography). c) the entries must be clear and accurate (special attention must be paid on the find spots, complete but concise description of the monument, measurements, letter height, place in which the stone is kept, dating); d) the apparatus criticus must be accurate, selective and concise; e) the history of scholarship should be present by means of careful selection and critical approach of the relevant bibliography; f) a conservative policy should be implemented with respect to the restorations of the texts, “clear texts” to use S. Ν. Κoumanoudes’ own wording; we must adopt only safe and necessary restorations g) the historical commentaries or other observations should be concise and to the point.
3. Τhe autopsy of inscribed stones is a necessary condition in order to secure the high quality of the new edition. Αs the work which is being carried out over the last eight years in the project undertaken by the Ἀρχεῖον Μνημείων τῶν Ἀθηνῶν καὶ τῆς Ἀττικῆς of the Αrchaeological Society has shown, investigation and research in the old publications and the old archives is also an indispensable stage in the process of the work for the new edition. Ι believe that if the task of recovering important but elusive information, mainly on the find spots of the inscriptions and also early readings, is not done now in view of the new edition, then the work will suffer by having overlooked the imperfections and weaknesses of ΙG ΙΙ2 and thus will not secure the desirable standards of reliability and completeness. …