Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 20 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Epigraphy is a discipline that deals with all kinds of inscriptions other than those in manuscripts. Greece and other ancient cities produced a large number of inscriptions that have revolutionized our knowledge of antiquity. The number of preserved inscriptions declined considerably in Late Antiquity, while the traditional categories, except for the agonistic, survived until about 600 CE. Christianity had little impact on what is often called the "epigraphic habit". Religious dedications and invocations were now addressed to the new God, along with his angels and saints. Inscribed tombstones for quite ordinary people (for example, traders, bakers, barbers, superintendents of stores, soldiers) often specified their place of origin and occupation. A remarkable series of more than 500 epitaphs referring to some 115 different professions can be found at Korykos (Cilicia). Since c. 610 CE, until the end of the Byzantine Empire and beyond, epigraphs no longer commemorated ordinary people (except occasionally in graffiti), who were instead buried in unmarked graves. This development signaled the decline of the epigraphic habit.

Keywords: epigraphy, inscriptions, epigraphic habit, graves, epitaphs, tombstones, Korykos, Byzantine Empire, epigraphs

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.