Epigraph: Database of Roman Inscriptions

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Basic Searches
  3. Displaying Search Results
  4. Combining Searches
  5. Printing Search Results
  6. Saving/Exporting Search Results
  7. Symbols for the Raw Data version of the database


Epigraph reproduces as closely as possible the text of the inscriptions collected in volume VI of the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, published between the years 1876 - 1933. The fascicles of CIL volume VI contain almost 40,000 reports of inscriptions found in the city of Rome. Epigraph does not include information that can be found in the print volume, such as find spot, present location of the inscription, the material on which it is inscribed, the manuscript tradition on which it is based, alternative readings, or interpretive comments of various editors. Each record in Epigraph is identified by an Inscription Number used in the CIL. The data used in Epigraph is based on the compilation of the Indices Vocabulorum published as CIL VI pars VII in 1974 and 1975.

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Basics Searches

To access Epigraph from a LETRS Mac, click on the apple icon on the menu bar at the top of the screen, highlight the Electronic Texts folder, and select Epigraph. Epigraph will immediately launch and enter search mode. Epigraph will ask you to choose which version of the database you would like to work with: Latin Inscriptions (Text Only) or Latin Inscriptions (Raw Data).

The Text Only version contains the text of the inscriptions. The Raw Data version also contains the text of the inscriptions but uses symbols to represent the text as it actually exists on the monument including deliniation of short and tall letters, Claudian letters, reversed letters, ligatures, erasures, etc.

Choose the Text Only database to start with. After you choose a database the FULL SEARCH window will open.

The FULL SEARCH window provides you with a number of options that will help you to query the Epigraph database. The ITEMS drop down menu allows you to choose which information you wish to look for in the database. The options are: Inscription Number, Full Text, Cognomina, Numerals, Ligatures (groups of letters linked together and written without separation), Reversed Letters, Greek Text, Claudian Letters, Short Letters (letters written smaller than others), Tall Letters (letters that rise above the rest).

Full Text is the most general of options; it directs your search to the full text of all the inscriptions in the database. Full Text works differently depending on which version of the database you have chosen: In the Text Only version, Full Text searches the actual letters and words of the inscriptions, leaving out all special symbols. In the Raw Data version, Full Text searches letters, words, and special symbols, so you must be aware of the symbols Epigraph uses to describe the inscriptions in the database

N.B. Inscription Number links the Text Only and Raw Data databases. To search for a text in the Text Only database and then display the same text with symbols included (Raw Text), first conduct your search on the Text Only database. Then use the record number of the text(s) you are interested in and perform an Inscription Number search in the Raw Data database.

Enter your search term in the SEARCH FOR field. Then, choose Whole String or Start of String. Whole String searches for the exact search term. Start of String treats your search term as the start of a larger word. For example, if you choose Start of String, a search for Pomp would return results such as Pompey, Pompeius, Pompeii. When you have made your selections and entered your query, press the FIND button to run the search. The SEARCH STEPS area will display a summary of the results of your search.

Notice that your first search is assigned a number. Each subsequent search you perform will be assigned a number in the SEARCH STEPS area.

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Displaying Search Results

To display the results of a search click the DISPLAY button. The SUMMARY DISPLAY widow will open.

This display shows the first line of each inscription that matched your search criteria. Double click on an individual inscription to view the full inscription in detail.

N.B. If you have more than one search listed in the SEARCH STEPS window, when you click on the DISPLAY button you will retrieve only the results of the search indicated in the COMBINATION OF STEPS field. To view a different set of search results, type the number of the search you wish to display in the COMBINATION OF STEPS field, click the CHECK button, and then click the DISPLAY button.

To return to the original search dialogue box, Click on SEARCH from the menu bar at the top of the screen and then select CHANGE SEARCH.

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Combining Searches

If you want to combine any of your searches, all you need to do is type the number of the search and the appropriate boolean expression (and, or, not) in the COMBINATION of STEPS field. For example: Do a Full Text, Whole String search for fil. The results will be 827 records. Then do another Full Text, Whole String search for vit. The results will be 29 records. Combine the two searches by typing "1 and 2" in the COMBINATION OF STEPS field (this asks Epigraph to find all instances where fil and vit appear together.

Then press the CHECK button. The result will be 1 record (to display the result click the DISPLAY button).

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Printing Search Results

First select the inscription you wish to print from the SUMMARY DISPLAY window. To do this double click on the inscription line so that the inscription is displayed fully in the DETAIL DISPLAY window. Once the inscription appears in the DETAIL DISPLAY, select Print Options from the FILE menu at the top of the screen. Make whatever changes you would like to make in the options listed and then click on the PRINT button. You can print all the inscriptions of a particular search by selecting the All Records option.

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Saving/Exporting Search Results

First select the inscription you wish to save from the SUMMARY DISPLAY Window. To do this click on the inscription line so that the inscription is highlighted. You can select more than one inscription by holding down the <Shift> key as you click on an inscription heading. Next, select Export from the FILE menu at the top of the screen. Make sure the appropriate export option is selected (you can export selected results or all the search results). You may also click on the FIELDS button to choose the fields that will be exported to a file (the whole record, just the inscription number, or just the text of the record) Click the EXPORT button to save your search results to a floppy disk.

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Symbols for the Raw Data version of the database

If you choose to use the Raw Data version of the Epigraph database, your searches will produce some very strange looking results. Here's the same inscription viewed in Raw Text mode and Text mode:

The makers of Epigraph have used special symbols to indicate the physical features of individual inscriptions. The following are the complete set of symbols used in the Epigraph Raw Data version of the database.

Symbols delimiting a section of text:
|...|    Supplements or corrections to the text+
?...?    Uncertain supplements
0...0    Letters written over erasures
&...&    Ligatures
3...3    Letters partially erased or which have
	 survived erasure
2...2    Letters added by a second hand
W...W    Letters once recorded but no longer visible
03...03  Letters written over erasures, which have
	 themselves survived erasure
02...02  Letters written over ersaures which have
	 been added by a second hand.
*...*     Cognomen
*?...*?  Uncertain Cognomen
1...1    Letters added to the alphabet by Emperor
	 Claudius, Claudian Letters
6...6    Letters once recorded in Greek text but no
	 longer visible
8...8    Greek Text written in Latin characters
#...#    Letters written in reverse
=...=    Numerals
$...$    Greek Text
Symbols used to represent damaged, modified or special characters:
+        Break in the inscription
%        A single letter missing or unreadable
-        A number of letters missing
.        Interpunct
<	 Punctuation by ivy leaf
>	 Puncutation in another form
4        A cross
^        Damaged but legible letter
~        Mark over previous letter
_        Line through previous letter
9        Acephalous word
:        Tall Letter
;        Short Letter
5        Irregular form of letter	

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Last Updated: April 6, 1998
URL: http://www.indiana.edu/~letrs/help-services/QuickGuides/epigraph/index.html
Comments: Library Electronic Text Resource Service / LETRS@indiana.edu.
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