Epigraphy and the Historical Sciences

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By far the largest single source of new information about the ancient Greek and Roman world is provided by the flow of newly discovered inscriptions, which presents both a challenge and an opportunity. In order to interpret any inscription we need to be able to apply the knowledge that we already have. On the other hand, inscriptions present the opportunity to gain new knowledge about virtually every aspect of the mix of cultures and societies which we call Graeco-Roman antiquity. This book therefore emphasises the importance of the two-way connections and contributions which link epigraphic studies with the historical sciences as a whole.

Epigraphic information is helping to reshape and extend our knowledge of the religious life, the languages, the populations, the governmental systems, and the economies of the Graeco-Roman world. New techniques and technologies are helping to make epigraphically based information more accessible, whether in terms of public display or in terms of the ever-widening possibilities of information technology. The act of looking at the Graeco-Roman world through the window provided by the epigraphic record offers a distinctive gaze of unique and exceptional value.

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Oxford University Press
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