Epigraphy

The cultures of Mediterranean Antiquity defined, structured and organised their spaces and their world through the use of writing – in public, administrative and also in private contexts. Researching the monumental and private writings of Antiquity and the corresponding material culture – especially by examining durable writing media and form language – is an important component of our work at the Department of Ancient History, Papyrology and Epigraphy. In the field of Epigraphy, the study of inscriptions, we deal with the still ongoing and necessary basic research, but also the research of geographical and chronological connections, political-administrative structures, diplomatic relations, cultural history, history of mentalities as well as the history of epigraphical research.

Traditionally, editing and commenting on ancient inscriptions are the main emphases of our department’s research activities. The constantly growing collection of epigraphic sources of all regions of Mediterranean Antiquity requires thorough documentation. The inscriptions from Asia Minor (especially from Ephesus, Lycia and Pisidia), Roman Austria as well as the entire Danube region and Southeast Europe are among the research foci. Members of our department make valuable contributions to the publication of internationally distinguished standard reference works, among them being the Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum, the Tituli Asiae Minoris and the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum. In addition to the traditional inscription corpora, we also actively contribute to the development and maintenance of digital corpora in the field of digital humanities.

Epigraphy also plays an important role in teaching, the University of Vienna being one of the few universities regularly offering epigraphic courses in the curriculum, ranging from introductory lectures to edition exercises.

The cooperation with national and international partners, especially the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the Austrian Archaeological Institute, the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, the epigraphy.info project and the Epigraphic Database Rome are of great significance for us and establish our work in an international context.

Votive altar in the santuary of Diana and Apollo at Montana (Moesia inferior, Bulgarien). Photo: C. Cenati, april 2019

Monumental gate of the Tetragonos Agora in Ephesos. Photo: İ. Kuncewicz