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Latin Inscriptions


Theodor Mommsen. Lithography by Arthur Kampf.
Theodor Mommsen (litho by Arthur Kampf)
On this page, you will find some conventions for the publication of Roman inscriptions on this website.

CIL

Many Latin inscriptions have been published in the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, which started in 1853, directed by the great German scholar Theodor Mommsen (1817-1903), who received the Nobel Price for his contribution to the study of the Roman Empire. Other famous scholars connected to the CIL are Otto Hirschfeld (1843-1922) and Hermann Dessau (1856-1931).

The project is divided into seventeen parts. The first one contains all Latin inscriptions from the Republic, the next parts are devoted to provinces (IV is Pompeii, VI is Rome), and the last three parts deal with domestic objects, military diploma's, and milestones. The collection is printed in seventy folio volumes, and thirteen additional volumes have appeared.  They contain almost 200,000 inscriptions. That is about an entire bookcase, and most libraries have a little explanatory list to make searching easier. These volumes are very heavy, so it really helps to know that part XIII, volume 2, book 2 is about Germania Inferior.

Because the project is extremely important, its history reflects the history of Germany: scientific and scholarly institutions of the Prussian kingdom, German Empire, Weimar Republic, Nazi Germany, the German Democratic Republic, and the German Federal Republic, have offered assistance to the epigraphic specialists. Today, the Berlin and Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities is responsible.
A website with database is here.

Conventions on this website

On the Livius website, the following conventions are used.
BOLD CAPITAL Main text
Strike through Word already deleted in Antiquity ("erasure")
BLUE Text restored because the inscription is damaged
Italic lower case Full text of an abbreviation, e.g., COnSvl
PINK Spelling error

Example

Ancient-Warfare.com, the online home of Ancient Warfare magazine
Inscription on an honorific column from Mainz. Landesmuseum, Mainz (Germany). Photo Marco Prins.
Inscription on an honorific
column from Mainz (Landesmuseum)
Iovi Optimo Maximo
PRO SALVTE NERO-
NIS CLAVDI CAE-
SARIS AVGusti IMPeratoris
CANABARI PVBLICE
Pvblio SVLPICIO SCRIBONIO
PROCVLO LEGato AVGvsti PRo PRaetore
CVRA ET IMPENSA
Qvinti IVLI PRISCI ET
Qvinti IVLI AVETI
To Jupiter, greatest and best,
for the health of Nero
Claudius Cae-
sar Augustus, imperator,
by the cannabae community.
Publius Sulpicius Scribonius
Proculus was governor.
Made and paid for by
Quintus Julius Priscus and
Quintus Julius Avetus
The cannabae was the civil settlement next to a military camp, in this case the legionary base of Mainz-Kästrich. The name of the emperor Nero was already erased in Antiquity (damnatio memoriae).
© Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 2006
Revision:28 June 2006
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