Inscriptions of Greek Cyrenaica

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  • Catherine Dobias
  • Lucia Criscuolo
  • Alice Bencivenni


The Inscriptions of Greek Cyrenaica (IGCyr) and the Greek Verse inscriptions of Cyrenaica (GVCyr) are two corpora, the first collecting all the inscriptions of Greek (VII-I centuries B.C.) Cyrenaica, the second gathering the Greek metrical texts of all periods. These new critical editions of inscriptions from Cyrenaica are part of the international project Inscriptions of Libya (InsLib). For the first time all the inscriptions known to us in 2014, coming from this area of the ancient Mediterranean world, will be assembled in a single online and open access publication.

From the demonstration site (accessed 2014-10-30):

A comprehensive corpus of the inscriptions of Greek Cyrenaica is a longstanding desideratum among the scholars of the ancient world. Greek inscriptions from Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic Cyrenaica are currently scattered among many different, sometimes outdated publications, while new texts have been recently discovered and edited.

In 2011 Catherine Dobias-Lalou, who has been a member of the French archaeological mission in Libya since 1976 and has been studying the inscriptions of the Greek period since 1970, agreed to edit a comprehensive epigraphic corpus in EpiDoc with the collaboration of scholars from the University of Bologna (Lucia Criscuolo, Alice Bencivenni), the University of Macerata (Silvia Maria Marengo, Gianfranco Paci) and the University of Roma Tor Vergata (Simona Antolini).

In the same year the Inscriptions of Greek Cyrenaica (IGCyr) project became part of the wider international Inscriptions of Libya (InsLib) project, incorporating Inscriptions of Roman Tripolitania (IRT[1], already online), the Inscriptions of Roman Cyrenaica project (IRCyr[2], in praparation), and the ostraka from Bu Ngem (already available on the website[3]). The collaborative undertaking was agreed upon between Charlotte Roueché, Catherine Dobias-Lalou and Lucia Criscuolo in May 2011 and involves the Universities of Bologna (Dipartimento di Storia Culture Civiltà), Macerata (Dipartimento di Studi umanistici), Paris IV Sorbonne (Centre de recherche sur la Libye antique) and King's College London (Centre for Hellenic Studies and Department of Digital Humanities).

Since then the thematic corpus Greek Verse inscriptions of Cyrenaica (GVCyr) has been designed as a corpus cutting across IGCyr and IRCyr. It includes Greek metrical texts from both the Greek and the Roman periods in Cyrenaica. An essential addition to the IGCyr and GVCyr corpora, as well as a natural outcome of the study of the inscriptions, is the planned publication of the Prosopographia Cyrenaica.

The IGCyr corpus assembles nearly 800 inscriptions from Greek Cyrenaica (VII-I centuries B.C.). The majority of these inscriptions have been published previously, sometimes in versions which can be improved, while nearly 30 of them are unpublished.

Most of these texts have been re-read by Catherine Dobias-Lalou, who as a member of the French archaeological mission in Libya from 1976 was able to examine most of the material available in Shahat (Cyrene), Susa (Apollonia) and paid shorter visits to Tulmaytha (Ptolemais), Tocra (Taucheira), Benghazi (Euesperides/Berenike) and other locations. Further improvements have been provided by Gianfranco Paci and Silvia Maria Marengo, who have both studied the inscriptions from Cyrenaica for many years; it has also been possible to draw on the archive of earlier epigraphists of the Italian mission held by the University of Macerata. The publication, online, of all these inscriptions in one single new critical edition has been made possible by Lucia Criscuolo, Alice Bencivenni and the University of Bologna, which is hosting the IGCyr-GVCyr corpora.