Humanities may be under attack, but thankfully Greek Epigraphy keeps thriving, at least in terms of sheer number of publications, as can be seen in SEG for which I have been working as an assistant editor since 2007. SEG LVI (2006) came out at the very end of 2010, but it probably hit most libraries (including ours here in the CHS) earlier this year. It contains 2,159 lemmata. One would be justified to get lost in a maze of inscriptions stretching chronologically from the late 8th century B.C. to the early Byzantine period and geographically from Spain to Iraq. Here I would like to draw the attention of fellow-bloggers to some of the most intriguing new documents.
1) I start with SEG LVI 1003, a Chian boundary stone recording a series of associations, some of which may have been gene (γένη).
Homerists will be glad to see that in L. 3 we have the first epigraphical attestation of a clan (?) of descendants of Homer.
2) I move to mainland Greece and Hellenistic Thessaly. In 170/69 B.C. or thereabouts the citizens of Larisa honored several men, amongst whom I will single out a hitherto unknown philosopher from Athens named Satyros (SEG LVI 636):
δάμου τοῦ Λαρισαίουν· ὀπειδ[εὶ] Σάτ[υ]ρος Φιλίνειος Ἀ-
θα[να]ῖος ἐοὺν φιλόσοφος τὰν ἐνδαμίαν πεποίειτει
χρόνοι πλείονος ὀστρεφόμενος οὑς ποτείνεκε ἀν-
δρὶ καλοῦ καὶ ἀγαθοῦ καὶ τὰ κράτιστα καὶ κάλλι-
στα τοῦν ἐν τοῦ βίου πάνσας ποτ τὸς πολίτας προθυμίας
καὶ σπουδᾶς ⟨ο⟩ὐθὲν ἐ[λλεί]πουν καὶ τὸν ἐνεστακόντα πό-
λεμον συνμένο[υν] μετὰ τοῦν πολιτᾶν, ἔδοξε τοῦ δά-
μου τοῦ Λαρισαίουν ἐπαινεῖσειν Σάτυρον Φιλίνειον Ἀ-
The text has already generated interest, and M. Haake just published an article on Satyros in Tyche 24 (2009).
3) Still in mainland Greece with a dedication to Zeus Saotes, signed by none other than the famous sculptor Lysippos (SEG LVI 551):
Ἱππίας Ἐροτιώνιος Διὶ Σαώτη ⁝ ἀνέθηκε
Λύσιππος Σικυώνιος ἐπόησε vacat
The inscribed base in question probably comes from Thebes, and is thought to have supported a statue of a Theban general, whose name eludes us, but who might have been the great Pelopidas. The metrical text preceding the dedication reads:
[Π]ατρὶς ἀριστεύουσ᾽ ἀλκῆι δορὸς Ἑλλά[δος ἄλλης]
[ε]ἵλετο τόνδ᾽ αὑτῆς ἡγεμόν᾽ ἐμ πολέ[μωι]
[ὅ]ς ποτε κινδύνοις πλείστοις Ἄρεως ἐ[ν ἀγῶσιν]
[τ]ὰς ἀφόβους Θήβας μείσζονας ηὐκλέ[ισεν]·
4) But I think I won’t err in arguing that the highlight of SEG LVI is the casualty list of the members of the tribe Erechtheis who fell at the Battle of Marathon (the 2500th anniversary of which was celebrated last year). Paradoxically, the inscription (SEG LVI 430) was not found in Marathon, not even in Athens, but in Kynouria, in the central Peloponnese! It seems that at some point in the mid-2nd century CE, the Athenian tycoon Herodes Atticus transferred the stele from Marathon to his Peloponnesian villa at the site called Loukou. I reproduce the accompanying epigram and I invite dedicated philologists to solve the alleged crux of L. 2 (first verse of the first hexameter):
Ἐ ρ ε χ θ ε ΐ [ς]
Φêμις ἄρ᾽ | hος κιχ[άν]<ει> αἰεὶ εὐφαõς hέσσχατα γαί[ες]
τõνδ᾽ ἀνδρõν ἀρετὲν πεύσεται hος ἔθανον
[μ]αρνάμενοι Μέδοισι καὶ ἐσστεφάνοσαν Ἀθένας
[π]αυρότεροι πολλõν δεχσάμενοι πόλεμον
22 names of fallen soldiers follow
A first airing of the text along with a translation has now been given by Peter Thonemann in the latest Times Literary Supplement (the controversial one with Kate Moss on the cover).