The practice of inscribing texts onto stone, metal, or other durable materials has a long and varied history; non-durable materials were also used for the display of texts across antiquity and the medieval period, though they do not have the same rate of survival. An appreciation of the permanence of stone as a medium, however, does appear to have directed at least some epigraphic activity; the Latin verse preserved on the funerary monument of the Flavii of Cillium in north Africa (CIL VIII 212), thought to date to the second half of the second century CE, records that the dedicatee can be considered immortal because “through all time he prefers to accompany this monument and to live for eternity in the inscribed record” (ll. 55-59). The text and monumental tomb worked in unison to create an impression of immutability; similar sentiments are expressed in other funerary monuments, though not...
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Book Review| November 01 2020
Appreciating Materiality: a Long View on Epigraphic Culture(s)
Katharina Bolle, Carlos Machado and Christian Witschel, eds.,
The Epigraphic Cultures of Late Antiquity.
Franz Steiner Verlag,
2017. 615 pp. ISBN 9783515115582. $111.00.
Irene Berti, Katharina Bolle, Fanny Opdenhoff, and Fabian Stroth, eds.,
Writing Matters: Presenting and Perceiving Monumental Inscriptions in Antiquity and the Middle Ages.
Berlin and Boston, MA:
2017. 395 pp. ISBN 9783110529159. $103.99.
Studies in Late Antiquity (2020) 4 (4): 519–525.
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Naomi Carless Unwin; Appreciating Materiality: a Long View on Epigraphic Culture(s). Studies in Late Antiquity 1 November 2020; 4 (4): 519–525. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/sla.2020.4.4.519
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