Thursday, September 5, 2013


Voula N. Bardani, Stephen V. Tracy (ed.), Inscriptiones Atticae Euclidis anno posteriores. Ed. tertia. Pars I: Leges et decreta; Fasc. V: Leges et Decreta annorum 229/8-168/7. Inscriptiones Graecae, II/III.3 1, 5. Berlin; New York: De Gruyter, 2012. Pp. x, 293; 80 p. of plates. ISBN 9783110264487. $419.00.

Reviewed by Filippo Canali De Rossi, Liceo Classico Dante Alighieri, Roma (

Version at BMCR home site

The present volume, which is due to the joint efforts of Voula N. Bardani and of Stephen V. Tracy is numbered as part I, fascicle 5 of a planned new edition of IG II-III (from now on IG II-III3), and along with fascicle I, 2, 1 is the first of the new series to appear. Collecting Leges et decreta of the years between 229/8 and 168/7 BC, this volume corresponds to pp. 339 to 393 of IG II-III2 pars I (sections XVII to XX). Little more than fifty pages there are here expanded to over two hundred (not including indexes), and while the corresponding sections of IG II-III2 included 113 entries, the current edition presents 327 entries, for an increment of more than 200 texts.2

More than fifty newly included texts became known between the publication of IG II-III2 (1916) and World War II, being first published by, among others, A.S. Arvanitopoulos, O. Broneer, B.D. Meritt, S. Dow, W.K. Pritchett, M. Crosby, E. Schweigert; almost eighty additional inscriptions were published through the 50s and the 60s (new editors include G.A. Stamires, O.W. Reinmuth, J.S. Traill), an increment that has been slowing down recently with only 27 new texts being published from the 1970s to the first decade of our millennium (recent editors include R.S. Stroud, Tracy, R.L. Pounder, M.B. Walbank, A.G. Woodhead, J. Camp II, K.R. Daly, Bardani). Some Athenian decrees have been picked up from corpora of other cities, including no. 1170 from Magnesia on the Maeander, for the theoroi who announced the institution of a new festival; no. 1239 from Priene (honoring the city's envoys sent to the Panathenaia); no. 1240 for a doctor in Cos; no. 1242 for the renewal of friendship with Miletos; no. 1258 from Delos (a decree honoring King Pharnaces and Queen Nysa of Pontos); no. 1323 from Pergamum (a decree honoring Eumenes II and his brothers); no. 1390 from Miletos (an award of citizenship to theoroi); a decree of Gonnoi and the Athenian response, inscribed at Gonnoi (no. 1145); a decree in honor of the Ephesians, inscribed in Athens (no. 1150). Finally, a number of more or less desperate fragments have been here reproduced. To the new texts we may also add entries that had substantial increment since IG II-III2 through discovery and publication of new fragments,3 but many other inscriptions, of course, benefit to a varying degree from scholarship produced in the interval between IG II-III2 and the present edition. In recent decades, a major achievement made in the study of public Attic epigraphy has been Stephen Tracy's precise identification of cutters' hands (with relevant chronological implications). A minor inconvenience is that cutters' hands are referred to here (as in general in Tracy's scholarship) by reference to the numbers of the older IG II- III2 corpus (e.g. "cutter of IG II-III2 913"), so that the reader is redirected to an edition that the new corpus is meant to replace.

A few words about the contents of the book. Attic epigraphy is not always exciting, especially in the Hellenistic age. Some very interesting or historically significant documents are here included, but these are rather the exception than the rule. Among these one might include for example the honorary decree 1135 (=Syll3 496) extending to Timosthenes of Carystus the privileges once conceded (IG II-III2 467) to his homonymous grandfather, who had fought for the liberty of Athens in a war against Antipater, and so was included among the great benefactors of Athens, "those who had either set up trophies by land or sea, or restored freedom, or employed their private resources for common safety, or had been benefactors and good advisers". Another good example is the decree no. 1137 for Eumaridas of Cydon, who had rescued many Athenian citizens captured during an Aetolian raid in Attica and taken as prisoners to Crete: there is here a revised chronology (228/7 instead of 217/6 BC) with respect to IG2 and Syll3 595-597. Concerning the decree 1292 for the Athenian citizen Cephisodoros (= Moretti, ISE I, 33), encompassing a 30 year career spent in public service (this included, although not explicitly stated in the inscription, a momentous embassy to Rome, which provoked the Roman intervention in Greece and the outbreak of the Second Macedonian War),4 Tracy supports the date of Matthaiou and Lewis (184/3) against the recent return of Woodhead to the traditional date of 196/5 BC.5

The commonest type of decree consists in verbose honors for the prytanes of a tribe, holding office in a certain year: for example, in 227/6 the prytanes of the tribe Cecropis related to the assembly about the sacrifices they had made to various gods before meetings of the assembly; in return the people praised the prytanes for performing appropriately their religious duties and bestowed upon them a golden crown, ordering public registration of the decision (1139); in no. 1153 (year 222/1) separate decrees of both council and assembly for the prytanes of the Acamantis tribe are inscribed. No. 1176 is a standard decree for ephebes and their teachers: they are praised for performing due sacrifices, making a convenient enrollment, marching in processions, journeying to Eleusis, training in good order in gymnasia, running torch races, performing a display of armed combat and one of sailing, preparing to be ready for any necessity of war – so that the next ephebes will be encouraged to perform with similar zeal. There are also a few inedita, whose edition is credited to Theodore Leslie Shear Jr.: of text no. 1144 for the prytanes of the tribe Oineis only few lines of the people's decree are extant, followed by three crowns inscribed with the names of the treasurer, of the secretary, and of the prytanes as a body; a number of civic officers are mentioned in the following council's decree, dated to before 225 BC and almost entirely preserved: these include a priest of the tribe's eponym Oineus, a treasurer and a herald of the council, a secretary and an assistant secretary of the people, and an aulos-player. Another ineditum is text no. 1162 (almost 140 lines) for the prytanes of the tribe Aiantis: it includes a decree of the people honoring the prytanes for performing sacrifices and a decree of the council honoring individual officers (again secretary, treasurer etc.); the decrees are followed by crowns and a list of the prytanes by demes. Finally in the newly published decree no. 1256 (over 125 lines) ephebes of the year 197/6 are praised for having been obedient to the director and the teachers, and for having duly performed their duties: these included sacrifices, processions and sports, but also keeping guard over 'both cities' (Athens and the Piraeus are meant); there follow a list of the ephebes by the twelve tribes and crowns in honor of their advisors, including trainers of gymnastics, of armed combat, of archery, of throwing missiles with a catapult, and a teacher of grammar. One gets the impression either that Athenian citizens in general aspired to have their names on public records, thus imparting a historical dimension to civic service (in modern terms we can say that they were thus getting their fifteen minutes of fame), or that it was instead the intent of the political system to involve as many people as possible into his rolls.

The volume is completed by more than 70 pages of concordances and indexes, while in IG II-III2 there was no general index, and only comparationes numerorum at the end of each part. Indexes, compiled by the general editor of the IG series Klaus Hallof, include here Viri et mulieres, Reges, dynastae eorumque propinqui, Nomina geographica (including a subsection of Demotica attica), the Sermo Atticus decretorum proprius),6 Res sacrae, Calendaria and finally an Index locorum ubi tituli inventi sunt.

There follows – a major achievement of the present edition – complete photographic coverage of the epigraphical texts: indeed 395 pictures are printed for 326 of the 327 inscriptions in 80 B/W plates at the end of the volume. The only missing picture is that of the (quite insignificant) fragment 1438; for inscriptions 1317 and 1394 a facsimile is printed instead of a picture; in some cases squeezes have been photographed (1170, 1239, 1258, 1323; as additional images: 1154, 1168, 1290, 1390). A minor inconvenience is that pictures (adjusted to satisfy compositional needs) are not to be found in strict numerical order.

The new volume will be necessary for any library aiming at general coverage in the field of ancient epigraphy,7 but this reader is left to wonder whether the new IG series – conservative as it is with respect to older IG volumes (including most notably the presentation of lemmata and commentaries in Latin, and the absence of translation into any modern or ancient language) – serves well the purposes of modern scholarship. On the other hand the result of this choice is to keep such an ambitious effort to a manageable size. It is probably for the same reason that consideration and citation of modern bibliography is not as extensive as it might be.8


1.   Leges et decreta annorum 352/1 - 322/1. Edidit Stephen D. Lambert, Berlin 2012.
2.   I. Leges et decreta annorum 229/8 - 198/7 (pp. 1-48 and nos. 1135-1179); II. Leges et decreta annorum 229/8 - 198/7 attribuenda (pp. 49-88 and nos. 1180-1255: the dating span is the same as for the former section, but the documents' chronology is here speculative); III. Leges et decreta annorum 197/6 - 168/7 (pp. 89-159 and nos. 1256-1336); IV. Leges et decreta annorum 197/6 - 168/7 attribuenda (pp. 161-202 and nos. 1337-1417). A fifth section (Leges et decreta generis dubii et incerti, pp. 203-217 and nos. 1418-1461) consists of fragments too short to be included in any section with absolute certainty.
3.   E.g. IG II-III2 898 = IG II-III3 1288 (the integrated text was also produced in Iscrizioni Storiche Ellenistiche III, 139); IG II-III2 899 = IG II-III3 1289; IG II-III2 910 = IG II-III3 1333; IG II-III2 901 = IG II-III3 1363 and IG II-III2992 = IG II-III3 1372.
4.   Canali De Rossi, Le ambascerie dal mondo greco a Roma, Roma 1997, 13.
5.   A.P. Matthaiou, D. Lewis, "The archon Charikles," Horos 6, 1988, 13-20.
6.   A lexical instrument called Sermo publicus decretorum proprius was published as a separate fascicle (with a chronological table) as part IV of IG II 2; it is here updated but of course is also restricted to the relevant chronological section.
7.   Given the cost and scope of the project of replacing an existing reference work, typographical accuracy is a must. I could find only the following typos: on p. 3, nr. 1337, lemma: Bielman[n]; on p. 35, nr. 1168, lemma: manu imp(r)udente; on p. 67, nr. 1215, commentary to line 18: , liber(a)tam. A misnumbering occurs on plate XXIX for pictures nos. 1224 [1244] and 1225 [1255].
8.   Reference to this newly published corpus is not yet to be found on the Packard Humanities Institute Searchable Greek Inscriptions site, although most of the texts may be found under the older IG II-III2 number or the original publication.

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