Short reports from BES Autumn Meeting

Reports given at British Epigraphy Society Autumn Meeting, November 21, 2009. (Brief summary by Gabriel Bodard)

1) Nicholas Milner on recent work at Oinoanda

Nicholas reported on the ongoing epigraphic work at the Oinoanda excavations (where he has been resposible for new inscriptions since 1994), funded by the DAI. New finds since 2007 include:

  • several inscriptions on an octagonal tower in the Hellenistic wall including references to Apollo Hypsistos; the tower seems to have been an outdoor shrine to the Sun, and seems to settle the taxing question of which god was referred to by Hypsistos at this site;
  • an inscription marking the foundation by C. Iulius Moles of a temple to Caesar, which appears to belong to the reign of Augustus;
  • in 2009, a base bearing a verse inscription to Nemesis and a sundial;
  • an inscribed lintel block from an early Christian church.

2) Ulrike Roth on Albert Rehm

Ulrike (incoming BES secretary) addressed the meeting with a question rather than a report. Albert Rehm was a German school-teacher and ancient historian (known for his epigraphic work), active in the periods before and after the Second World War, and was outspoken on the subject of the Nazi approaches to ancient history. He described himself as a “Third Humanist”, although this clearly meant something different from Werner Jaeger‘s use of the same label. Rehm believed firmly in the importance of working in the field (where Jaeger was reluctant to sully his view of the ancient world by visiting modern Greece), hence his epigraphic research. Ulrike is looking for information, even stories and anecdotes, about Rehm’s fieldwork, in the hope that this might cast light on his vision of “Third Humanism”.

3) Jonathan Prag on financial inscriptions from Taormina

Jon described a collaborative project to republish and analyse 13 financial inscriptions from the Sicel city of Taormina (which was allied to Rome in the Second Punic War), that have been published in scattered publications of variable quality. (8 of the inscriptions are in IG 14; 4 were published by Manganaro from inadequate photographs.) The inscriptions reveal many details of the city’s finances and administration in the 2nd and 1st centuries BC: there are changes over time in the math used, as well as in the administration, the calendar, and the currencies in use. One text in particular offers a thorny problem of dating: it is written in Greek, so should be from before the Roman colony in 27 BC; the reference to the month of  “Quinctilis” should be from before 46; the reference to “duoandres” should be after 44. Manganaro suggests that the text may date from the period when Sextus Pompeius governed the city between 44 and 36, but much remains unclear. The new publication will make new joins between some of the text fragments, and will also thoroughly address issues with the provenance of the inscriptions, some of which are moved and only partially recorded in the excavation reports.

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