From Greek Metrical Inscriptions
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A rich production of epigraphic poetry written in Greek flourished in the territories of the Greco-Roman world during the Imperial age (late 1st century BC-3rd century AD). A corpus of about two thousand Greek metrical inscriptions exhibits significant diversity in the geographical, socio-historical, archaeological contexts, and the literary aspects. Indeed, a wide range of poetic forms is written and enjoyed by authors, clients, and recipients from various socio-cultural backgrounds.

There is currently no repository that allows for easy collection of data on the inscriptions from the corpus. The inscriptions are indeed scattered across various editions, which are often incomplete due to the discovery of new inscriptions following publication. The aim of the database is to gather the Greek metrical inscriptions from the Imperial Age into a single collection, providing the following data: the geographic provenance, the edition(s), the dating, the type of inscription (/literary genre), the clients and recipients, the author (when known), the type of meter, the length of the text, the objects on which the inscription is written (with references to the images), the layout (in relation to the metrical structure), external links to the other epigraphy related websites. The database will enable the collection of the entire corpus of the Greek metrical inscriptions from the Imperial age. It will be possible to expand the corpus at any time, whether new inscriptions are discovered or new editions of already known inscriptions are published. By including external links, a network of digital resources will be created. In this way, it will be easier to have access to the production of Greek epigraphic poetry from the Imperial age, in its various literary forms, and diverse geographical, archaeological, and socio-historical contexts.

The project has been initiated by Pietro Ortimini (University of Pisa) and currently revolves around the data he has collected within the scope of his doctoral thesis on the literary forms and metrics of the Greek metrical inscriptions from the Imperial Age (late first century BC-third century AD). As a future perspective, it would be desirable to expand the database to include the Greek metrical inscriptions from the Archaic and Classical Period, Hellenistic Period and Late Antiquity.
Persistent identifier of the database:
The database is still a work in progress; any feedback is welcome.

The corpus: an overview

Geographic provenance Inscriptions [1] Main corpora, editions, image repositories [2]
Anatolian Peninsula A = 686
B = 404
tot.: 1090
Steinepigramme I, II, III/13-16, IV/17-19, Staab, Gebrochener Glanz, Merisio 2024, I.Cilicie, IGSK, MAMA, TAM/ETAM, Pfuhl/Möbius, Ostgr. Grabreliefs, I.Milet, I.Pergamon, I.Pergamon Asklepieion, Studia Pontica III, I.Sardis, Milet VI.1-3, Robert, Carie, Bean/Mitford, Rough Cilicia, Dömer 1941, I.British Mus., Marek/Adak 2016, Marek 2003, Ramsay, Phrygia, I.North Galatia, Stauber 2022
Near East (Armenia, Mesopotamia, Media, Syria, Iudaea, Arabia, Cyprus) A = 69
B = 45
tot.: 114
Steinepigramme III/12, IV/20-22, IGLS, CIIP
Egypt A = 135
B = 24
tot.: 159
I. Egypte métriques, I.Philae, I.Colosse Memnon
North Africa (Cyrenaica, Creta, Africa Proconsularis, Muretania) A = 47
B = 8
tot.: 55
GVCyr2, I.Cret., IRT
Southeastern Europe (Greece, Aegean Islands, Ionian Islands, Macedonia, Epirus, Illyria, Thracia) A = 264
B = 228
tot.: 492
IG II,2, II/III2, II/III3, III, IV, IV2,1, V,1, V,2, VII, IX,1, IX,12, IX,2, X,2,1, X,2,2 XI,2,1, XI,2,2, XI,4, XII,1-9, XII Suppl., I.Beroia, IGBulg, Corinth VIII, I.Eleusis, I.Thespies, I.Vallée Enipeus, I.Ano Maked., I.Thrake Aeg., I.Perinthos, IGSK 58, I.Ano Maked., I.Thrake Aeg., I.Perinthos, I.Rhénée, I.Olympia, I.Olympia Suppl., I.Atrax, Helly, Gonnoi, I.Epidamne, I.Apollonia Illyrie
Italia (Regiones I-XI), Roma, Sicilia, Sardinia, Corsica A = 85
B = 167
tot.: 252
IG XIV, IGUR, I.Aquileia, IG Locri, I.Messina, IG Napoli, IG Porto, IG Puglia, IG Ravenna, IGLMPalermo, IG Reggio Calabria, IG Velia, I.Mus. Catania
Western Europe (Hispania, Britannia, Gallia, Germania, Raetia, Noricum) A = 15
B = 5
tot.: 20
IG XIV, IG France, LatinNow, RIB
Eastern Europe (Pannonia, Dalmatia, Dacia, Moesia, Cimmerian Bosporus) A = 15
B = 33
tot.: 48
IGBulg, I.Histria, IG Dacia, I.Chr. România, I.Mésie Sup., IG Pannonia³, Telamon
Non-geographic corpora Cougny 1890; Kaibel, Epigrammata; Peek, GVI, Hunter 2022, AE, BE, SEG, CIL, The Squeeze Collection - CSAD, E-stampages, Venice Squeeze Project, Ubi Erat Lupa, Last Statues of Antiquity (LSA)


  1. The inscriptions are divided into two groups, A and B, based on greater or lesser certainty in dating to the Imperial period (see 3. Dating).
  2. Abbreviations according to SEG