ERC-funded project on South and Southeast Asian epigraphy

Colorful roofs of an Indian temple complex seen projecting above a wall of rectangular stones.

The temple of Sundareshvara at Nangavaram, Tamil Nadu, India (photo by E. Francis, 2007).

The content of this post was provided by M. Francis and A. Griffiths.

Two Paris-based research units, the Centre d’études de l’Inde et de l’Asie du Sud (CEIAS, UMR 8564, EHESS & CNRS) and the École française d’Extrême-Orient (EFEO), the Humbolt-Universität zu Berlin (UBER) and the university « L’Orientale » in Naples (UNO), will collaborate in a six-year research project granted by the European Research Council (ERC) as part of its “Synergy” scheme.

The project DHARMA: The Domestication of “Hindu” Asceticism and the Religious Making of South and Southeast Asia (2019–2015), will be launched on May 1st 2019. The ERC funds are awarded through the European Union’s Research and Innovation Programme Horizon 2020. The project’s three Principal Investigators are Emmanuel Francis (CEIAS), Arlo Griffiths (EFEO) and Annette Schmiedchen (UBER).

The project will focus on the religion known today as “Hinduism”, a major world religion and the main religion of the world’s largest democracy, India. But this history is not limited to India. DHARMA will study the history of “Hinduism” in comparative perspective, focusing on the period from the 6th to the 13th century. During this period, the Bay of Bengal served as a maritime highway for intense cultural exchange. The resulting process of “Indianization”, marked notably by the spread of “Hinduism”, of an Indian writing system, and of India’s sacred language Sanskrit, touched large parts of South and Southeast Asia.

The Sanskrit word DHARMA can designate the cosmic law that is upheld both by gods and humans. But it is also often used to refer to any of the numerous temple-related foundations made to support this law. The DHARMA project seeks to understand the process of “institutionalization” of “Hinduism” by investigating the roles of various agents, from kings and noblemen to priests, monks and local communities. It emphasizes the social and material contexts of “Hinduism”. This emphasis requires a multi-regional, multi-scalar and multidisciplinary methodology in order to forge a real synergy of scholarship on premodern South and Southeast Asia.

Our approach will be based on the correlation and contextualization of written evidence from inscriptions and manuscripts, as well as material evidence from temples and other kinds of archaeological sites. The project will be carried out in four task forces. Three regional task forces will focus, respectively, on the inscriptions and archaeological sites of the Tamil-speaking South of India (A), of Central through North-Eastern South Asia into what is today Myanmar (B), and of mainland plus insular Southeast Asia (C). A fourth, transversal task-force (D), led by Dominic Goodall (EFEO) and Florinda de Simini (UNO), will focus on textual material transmitted in manuscript form. For our operations in Asia, the EFEO regional centres in Pondicherry, Siem Reap, and Jakarta will serve as anchors.

South and Southeast Asian manuscripts, normally written on palm-leaf, preserve a rich textual archive relevant to the history of “Hinduism”. We will produce editions with translations of texts that have so far remained unpublished, and therefore untapped, by historical research. These include descriptions of religious practices, as well as prescriptions that deal both with lay religiosity and with religious life in temples and monasteries. As for archaeological evidence, we are in an ideal position — thanks to the long-term collaboration between French and Asian archaeologists — to initiate surveys and contribute the data from excavated sites which are known to be rich in data and which will thus enable us to confront our findings in the inscriptions and texts with the archaeological record. Inscriptions are the main sources for the history of premodern South and Southeast Asia. But they are not all accessible, even less so in a machine-processable format. For the large-scale comparative research that we propose to undertake, making as much as possible of South and Southeast Asian epigraphy available, in a digital database, is therefore a core objective of this project. By making the epigraphy of South and Southeast Asia (in Sanskrit and vernacular languages) enter the digital age, the DHARMA project will create exciting new pathways to comparison across regions. The project will participate in the ERC’s Open Research Data Pilot, and will publish all of its epigraphic data in the form of TEI/EpiDoc encoded XML files under a Creative Commons license.

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Exploring the Social and Cultural Contexts of Historic Writing Systems

Thursday 14th – Saturday 16th March 2019.

Faculty of Classics, University of Cambridge.

The conference schedule has now been released. It can be downloaded here: crews conference 2019 programme.

More about the project at
the Crews Project website.

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Workshop on Digital and Practical Epigraphy (London, April 29–May 4)

We invite applications for a six-day training workshop in digital and practical epigraphy at the Institute of Classical Studies, University of London, 29 April – 4 May 2019.

The workshop will be organised by Gabriel Bodard (ICS) and Katherine McDonald (Exeter), with additional training provided by Charlotte Tupman (Exeter), Charles Crowther (Oxford), Valeria Vitale (ICS) and Caroline Barron (Birkbeck). There will be no charge for the workshop. There will be a limited number of bursaries available to assist students and other unfunded scholars with the costs of travel and accommodation, provided by the AHRC Early Career Leadership Fellowship ‘Connectivity and Competition’ (PI Katherine McDonald).

The focus of the workshop will be on skills for Greek and Latin epigraphy, including squeeze-making, photogrammetry, reflectance transformation imaging (RTI), and EpiDoc. EpiDoc ( is a community of practice, recommendations and tools for the digital editing and publication of ancient texts based on TEI XML. No expert computing skills are required, but a working knowledge of Greek/Latin or other ancient language, epigraphy, and the Leiden Conventions will be assumed. The workshop is open to participants of all levels, from graduate students to professors and professionals. Although the focus is on Greek and Latin epigraphy, we welcome applications from those in other adjacent fields.

To apply for a place on this workshop please email by Friday 15 February 2019, including the following information:

  • a brief description of your reason for interest
  • your relevant background and experience
  • if you would like to request a bursary, an estimate how much you would need.

If you have any questions before applying, please don’t hesitate to contact Katherine ( or Gabby (

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International Digital Epigraphy Association Annual Meeting

The following notice appeared shortly before the winter break. Please direct inquiries to the IDEA leadership team.

IDEA Annual Meeting

What is the Future of Digital Epigraphy?

The annual meeting of IDEA – International Digital Epigraphy association will be held on January 21st, 2019 in Rome, at the Aula Teleconferenze in the Vetrerie Sciarra – Università “La Sapienza”.


10.30 – Silvia Orlandi, “Future perspectives of IDEA”

11.00 – Giulia Sarullo, “Report on the Zadar workshop”

11.30 – Claudio Prandoni and Franco Zoppi, “Technical report on the maintenance
activities of the portal”

12.00 – IDEA General Assembly

13.30 – Lunch

15.00 – Visit of the cloister of San Lorenzo fuori le mura

The participation fee is 100 € (75 € for AIEGL members) and will include the annual IDEA membership fee.

Those who will not be able to be present can participate to the event via Skype (in this case, please contact Giulia Sarullo).

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Doctoral Workshop on Roman Epigraphy (Madrid, February 20-22)

Casa de Velázquez (Madrid) – Universidad de Alcalá.
February 20 – 22, 2019. 

Casa de Velázquez (Madrid) – Universidad de Alcalá.
20 – 22 février 2019.

Casa de Velázquez (Madrid) – Universidad de Alcalá.
20 – 22 de febrero de 2019.

Latin Epigraphy in the Roman World: Researching, Editing and Enhancing the Value of Inscriptions

L’épigraphie latine dans le monde romain: recherche, édition et valorisation

Epigrafía latina en el mundo romano: investigación, edición y puesta en valor

In the context of the project to produce the pertinent fascicules of the new edition of CIL II covering the inscriptions of the colony of Augusta Emerita (Mérida, Spain), members of the research team are organizing a Doctoral Workshop on Roman Epigraphy at the Casa de Velázquez (Madrid) and at the University of Alcalá, home of the Centro CIL II, from 20 to 22 February 2019. Continue reading

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Postgraduate Course in Greek Epigraphy (Athens, June 2019)



16th June – 29th June 2019

Whether publishing new inscriptions, reinterpreting old ones, or critically analysing editions, this course provides training for historians, archaeologists and textual scholars alike in the discipline of reading and interpreting epigraphic evidence. Students will be guided through the process of producing editions of inscriptions, gaining practical first hand experience with the stones as well as instruction in editorial and bibliographic skills. Guest lectures on historical and thematic subjects will explore the ways in which epigraphic evidence can inform a wide range of Classical subjects. The course will be taught primarily by Prof. Graham Oliver (Brown) and Robert Pitt (BSA) and will utilise the most significant epigraphic collections around Athens, where students will be assigned a stone from which they will create a textual edition. The importance of seeing inscriptions within their archaeological and topographical contexts will be explored during site visits around Athens and Attica. Some prior knowledge of Greek is essential, although students with only elementary skills are advised that reading inscriptions is a very good way to advance in the language!

The course fee of £780 includes accommodation in shared rooms at the BSA, where self-catering facilities are available, as well as 24 hour access to the superb library, entry to all sites and museums, and BSA membership. Free membership for the remainder of the session will be offered to students wishing to remain at the BSA after the course to continue their research. Travel to and from Greece is the sole responsibility of the course participant.

The course is limited to 12 places, and open to students of any university pursuing Masters or Post-graduate degrees.

Further information can be obtained from the BSA website ( Completed application forms and an academic reference letter should be emailed to the Assistant Director, Dr. Chryssanthi Papadopoulou, ( no later than January 31st 2019.

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Oxford Epigraphy Workshop, Spring term 2019

Mondays, 1-2pm
First Floor Seminar Room, Ioannou Centre, 66 St Giles, Oxford
All welcome (attendees are free to bring a sandwich lunch).

Monday 14 January
Nikolaos Papazarkadas (Oriel College, Oxford)
The contributions for the refoundation of Thebes: a new epigraphical and historical analysis

Monday 21 January
Oliver Clarke and Dan Etches (New College, Oxford)
A new inscription from Antandros

Monday 28 January
Hüseyin Uzunoğlu (Antalya)
The Roman Army Marching through the Imperial Estates: a new inscription from the museum of Eskişehir

Monday 4 February
Dario Calomino (Warwick)
An ‘obol’ for Hermes? Interpreting festival payments in OGIS 484

Monday 11 February
Ed Bispham (BNC, Oxford)
Elections, Curiae, Incolae and Voters in Early Imperial Spain

Monday 18 February
No workshop

Monday 25 February
Christian Wallner (Klagenfurt)
New epigrams from Pisidian Antioch

Monday 4 March
Lorenzo Calvelli (Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia)
Epigraphic forgeries: research methodology and a case study

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Publication of The Journal of Epigraphic Studies 1 (2018) and call for papers

Enclosed herewith is a leaflet about the publication of The Journal of Epigraphic Studies 1 (2018), including the table of contents of the first issue number as well as a subscription form.

The Journal now welcomes articles written in English, German, French, Italian or Spanish for the issue number 2 (2019). Articles submitted for publication in JES 2 (2019) should be sent by March 15, 2019 to: ​

More details about subscription, the submission procedure and the editorial rules are accessible through:

Table of contents – subscription form JES 1 (2018)

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Epigraphic symposium in memory of Stephanos A. Koumanoudes

On December 20-22, 2018, the Archaeological Society at Athens, the Epigraphic Museum and the Greek Epigraphic Society will co-organize a scholarly symposium in memory of Stephanos A. Koumanoudes (1818-1899).

Secretary General of the Archaeological Society and Professor of Latin at the University of Athens, S. A. Koumanoudes is widely considered one of the best 19th-century epigraphists, having published hundreds of Greek and Latin inscriptions. A prolific archaeologist,  a superb lexicographer and a talented polyglot, Koumanoudes was a major force in the intellectual life of modern Greece. The symposium will include an array of papers on Koumanoudes’ archaeological, epigraphical and other intellectual work. The Saturday session will consist of a series of papers on new or recently re-discovered inscriptions. The detailed program in PDF can be found here (program).

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3rd North American Congress of Greek and Latin Epigraphy (Call for Papers)

The 3rd North American Congress of Greek and Latin Epigraphy

“Inscriptions and the Epigraphic Habit”

January 5-7, 2020, Washington DC

Call for papers:The Third North American Congress of Greek and Latin Epigraphy will be held January 5-7, 2020, in Washington, D.C., under the aegis of the American Society of Greek and Latin Epigraphy (ASGLE), and with support from Georgetown University.

The congress will be held immediately following the Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America and the Society for Classical Studies in Washington DC (January 2-5, 2020), and will include thematic panels on a variety of topics, a poster session, and possible excursions. We invite papers that present epigraphy related to the ancient world from the archaic period through late antiquity.

Panels may be devoted to some of the following themes: The epigraphic habit, inscribed instrumentum, late antiquity, monuments and identity, religion, magic, the ancient city, the family in antiquity, ancient graffiti, curse tablets, slavery, writer and audience, text and context, literacy, and newly discovered or edited texts.

Location: Washington DC is itself a particularly epigraphically-rich city, with public, inscribed monuments ranging from the Vietnam Wall to the Lincoln Memorial, as well as the Library of Congress. The city is served by three airports: Washington Dulles (IAD, the major international airport), Washington Reagan National (DCA, a smaller airport on the metro line), and Baltimore-Washington (BWI, a bit further away, but sometimes has less expensive flights).

For more information, see:

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IVème Colloque Ductus, Rome, 5-7/12/2018

IVème Colloque Ductus

Inscriptions mineures en miroir : textes, langues et supports

Rome, Institut Suisse de Rome – École française de Rome, 5-7/12/2018

L’association DUCTUS – association internationale pour l’étude des inscriptions mineures invite à une réflexion sur les supports des inscriptions mineures et des graffiti figurés. Sur les différents types rencontrés, de la céramique au mobilier métallique en passant par la peinture murale et la pierre, où prend place le graffito? Comment est-il aménagé ? Quelle graphie est-elle choisie ? Le message que donne un titulus pictus ou une estampille rejoint-il celui de l’écriture quotidienne dans son positionnement comme dans le type de support choisi ? A ces questions s’ajouteront celles qui touchent au langage transcrit, qu’il soit sous forme abrégée, codifiée ou qu’il reflète un formulaire, une invective, un trait, un vœu en utilisant des formes dialectales ou grammaticales particulières.

Programme: IVeme_Colloque_Ductus-1

5.12.2018 – Istituto Svizzero – via Ludovisi 48

H09:00-9:30 Accueil
H09:30-10:00 Présentation

Inscriptions mineures
H10:00-10:30 Simona Marchesini (‘Alteritas’ Verona) The Medium is the Message. La relazione tra tipologia testuale e supporto epigrafico
H10:30-11:00 Christophe Schmidt (Université de Genève) L’écriture quotidienne à la frontière de l’Empire. L’apport des inscriptions mineures provenant des uici militaires de Rhétie
H11:00-11:30 Pause

Tablettes en plomb
H11:30-12:00 Francesca Murano (Università di Firenze) Questioni di grafia e questioni di lingua nei testi di magia aggressiva : il caso delle defixiones osche
H12:00-12:30 Celia Sánchez Natalías (Universidad de Zaragoza) Una nuova defixio latina dall’antica Hadrumetum
H12:30-13:00 Gabriella Bevilacqua (Università di Roma – La Sapienza) literas perlegerit (CIL X, 8214): defixio o contromisura di difesa ?

Varia Minora : céramique et métaux
H14:30-15:00 Maria Letizia Lazzarini (Università di Roma – La Sapienza) Qualche aspetto delle iscrizioni vascolari greche arcaiche
H15:00-15:30 Paolo Poccetti (Università di Roma Tor Vergata) & Luigi Vecchio (Università di Salerno) Iscrizione su un cilindretto di terracotta da Fratte (Salerno)
H15:30-16:00 Lavinio Del Monaco (Università di Roma – La Sapienza) L’iscrizione dalla tomba 482 di Osteria dell’Osa (Gabii) : bilancio degli studi e prospettive di ricerca
H16:00-16:30 Pause
H16:30-17:00 David Nonnis (Università di Roma – La Sapienza) Scrivere su ceramica (e su metallo): appunti sulla cultura epigrafica di Roma medio-repubblicana

Graffiti et inscriptions peintes
H17:00-17:30 Roberta Marchionni (Thesaurus Linguae Latinae, München) I soliti ignoti ed i loro post graffiti sui muri di Minturnae
H17:30-18:00 David Djaoui (Musée départemental Arles antique) Réinterprétation des graffiti de la taverne d’Hédoné à Pompéi (CIL IV, 1679)

6.12.2018 – Istituto Svizzero – via Ludovisi 48

Graffiti et inscriptions peintes (suite)
H09:30-10:00 Heikki Solin (Università di Helsinki) Come si devono studiare i graffiti parietali ?
H10:00-10:30 Eeva-Maria Viitanen (Institutum Romanum Finlandiae) Place, Material, Time and Pompeian Wall Writings

Varia Minora : céramique et métaux
H10:30-11:00 Marco Buonocore (Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana) Tituli parietarii Latini graphio exarati regionis IV Augusteae : dopo Mommsen
H11:00-11:30 Pause
H11:30-12:00 Antonio Varone (MIBACT) Graffiti inediti sovrapposti in edifici e spazi pubblici pompeiani
H12:00-12:30 Rudolf Wachter (Basel Universität) CIL IV, 1173 : un casse-tête enfin résolu ?
H12:30-13:00 Michel E. Fuchs & Richard Sylvestre (Université de Lausanne) Graffiti à la Maison des Quatre Styles à Pompéi : des noms pour un changement d’affectation des lieux

H14:30-15:00 Alfredo Buonopane (Università di Verona) Ancora sull’alfabetizzazione delle donne: graffiti femminili su instrumentum
H15:00-15:30 Thierry Luginbühl (Université de Lausanne) Comparaisons entre les faciès onomastiques des potiers augusto-tibériens de Lyon, du Plateau suisse et de Bourgogne

Langues fragmentaires
H15:30-16:00 Alessandro Campus (Università di Roma Tor Vergata) La scrittura corsiva tra Oriente fenicio ed Occidente punico
H16:00-16:30 Pause
H16:30-17:00 Ignacio Simon Cornago (Universidad de Zaragoza / Università di Roma ‘Tor Vergata’) La paleografía de las inscripciones ibéricas
H17:00-17:30 Serena Solano (Soprintendenza Archeologia Bergamo e Brescia) & Alberto Marretta (Parco Archeologico Seradina-Bedolina) Pagine di pietra: le iscrizioni preromane della Valcamonica
H17:30 Assemblée générale de DUCTUS réservée aux membres.

7.12.2018 – École Française de Rome (Piazza Navona)

Langues fragmentaires (suite)
9.30-10.00 Pierre-Yves Lambert (ÉPHE Paris) Latin ou gaulois sur l’instrumentum, par qui, pour qui et pourquoi
10.00-10.30 Filippo Motta (Università di Pisa) Considerazioni sulle rocce inscritte della Val Camisana (Alta Val Brembana)
10.30-11.00 Anna Marinetti (Università di Venezia) Evoluzione e conservazione negli usi scrittori del Veneto antico
11.30-12.00 Enrico Benelli (CNR-Roma) Ai margini dell’epigrafia etrusca. Riflessioni su alcune iscrizioni di classificazione incerta
12.00 Bilan et conclusions

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Reading the City, October 23-27, 2019

Call for Papers: Symposium Campanum 2019
Reading the City: Inscriptions of the Bay of Naples
October 23-27, 2019

Directors: Jacqueline DiBiasie-Sammons (University of Mississippi) and Holly M. Sypniewski (Millsaps College)

The Vergilian Society invites proposals for papers for the 2019 Symposium Campanum at the Villa Vergiliana in Cuma, Italy.

This symposium investigates the role of inscribed materials in the cities, towns, and villas of Campania. Unlike the nearly bare walls of today’s ruins, the written word had a vibrant presence in antiquity. From the large, stone inscriptions on buildings and monuments, to the small, nearly invisible graffiti in private homes, writing was ubiquitous. The goal of the symposium is to investigate the role of inscriptions in the Bay of Naples. How did everyday people interact with the writing on their walls, tombs, statues, and buildings? Does the presence and quantity of writing inform our understanding of ancient literacy? What is the potential and limitations of inscriptions to illuminate aspects of Roman society, or their limitations?

Recent scholarship on epigraphical material has focused on examining inscriptions in light of other types of evidence: artistic, archaeological, literary. We, therefore, invite papers that synthesize multiple strands of evidence and expand epigraphical study beyond the inscriptions themselves. Papers could, for example, contextualize evidence from inscriptions within the social, economic, or political fabric of the city. We are especially interested in papers that focus on the possible writing of the unfree, women, and the lower classes.

Another recent turn in epigraphical research has been to contextualize inscriptions within their physical environments. Graffiti, especially, responded to each other and the spaces in which they were written. The location of the Symposium Campanum provides an ideal venue for considering the contextualization of inscriptions. With this in mind, we plan to invite interested scholars to present their research on-site, in a building or area that pertains to their paper, if logistics permit.

The symposium will include three days of papers and discussion. Papers will be 30 minutes long with time for discussion. The schedule will also include visits to selected sites nearby. Meals and housing will be provided by the Villa Vergiliana. There will be a moderate fee (ca. $400) to cover registration, room, and board. Participants should plan their arrivals on Wednesday, Oct. 23 and departures on Sunday, October 27, 2019.

Interested scholars should send an abstract of no more than 300 words to by February 1st, 2019.

Participating scholars: Virginia Campbell, Sarah Levin-Richardson, Polly Lohmann, Kristina Milnor, Heikki Solin, and Eeva-Maria Viitanen

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