Epigraphic Squeeze Reference Guide

The reference works required to understand the Athenian Tribute Lists (ATLs) and our other squeezes can be overwhelming at first glance.  This guide is designed to help students and non-specialists navigate and understand the collection as well as the standard reference works where there is more information on the squeezes, including lower-case transliterations of the ancient Greek text.

The most important books for understanding Greek inscriptions are the many volumes of the Inscriptiones Graecae, or IG for short.  (The title is just the Latin for “Greek Inscriptions”.)  There are many volumes of the IGs and some of these volumes exist in multiple editions.  The volume number is indicated using Roman numerals, while the edition number is indicated using exponents (that is, numbers written in superscript).  For instance, the second edition of the second volume of the Inscriptiones Graecae would be written as IG II2, and read out loud as “IG two squared”.  (Somewhat frustratingly, the program that we currently use to host the squeeze collection does not support the italics or the superscript exponents; this means that on our database, it will be written instead as IG II2.)

The IG volumes are further divided into individual fascicles; however, since the inscriptions of the IGs are typically referred to by entry number, it is unnecessary to include the fascicle number (or page number, for that matter) in a reference.  The volume, edition, and fascicle numbers of each IG book appear on the first page, although they are in Latin: the volume is given as voluminis followed by the Roman numeral, the editio is given with the Latin ordinal number (prima for first, secunda for second, and tertia for third), and the fascicle number is given as fasciculus with the Roman numeral.

The squeezes in the McGregor Collection are mostly from the first volume of the IGs, which is in its third edition (1981).  This volume contains Attic inscriptions, including the Athenian Tribute Lists, and some sections were co-written by Dr. Malcolm McGregor himself based on his research.  Unfortunately, the explanatory text of the Inscriptiones Graecae is written in Latin.  This makes them difficult for an ancient Greek student to use, but they still are still a valuable resource, providing readable lower-case transcriptions of the ancient Greek inscriptions which can be lined up with our squeezes to read more of an individual inscription, or to find the column and line numbers of the squeeze.  Our collection provides both the IG I2 and the IG I3 numbers wherever possible.


The ATL inscriptions have another numeration system in addition to the IG system.  Each year of the tribute lists is numbered (starting with year 1), and referred to a List Number of Year Number (Annus number in the IGs).  More information about the ATLs in particular can be found in The Athenian Tribute Lists by Malcolm McGregor, H.T. Wade-Gerry, and Benjamin Merritt.

It is important to distinguish between numbers assigned to inscriptions and numbers assigned to stones (or fragments).  IG numbers refer to reassembled inscriptions, which generally incorporate several separate fragments of stone.  Because they are reassembled, sometimes the number assigned to a squeeze will change dramatically as scholars reassign a fragment to another inscription.

Other classification systems refer to the stone fragment itself, with set numbers that never change (unlike the IG numbers).  Some of the classification numbers that appear in our collection are: Epigraphical Museum (EM) numbers; British Museum (BM) numbers; Agora Museum (AG) numbers); Acropolis Museum (ACR) numbers; and Eleusis Museum (El.) numbers.  Of these, EM numbers are by far the most common, followed by BM numbers.  These numbers all refer to individual stones, and as such there may be more than one EM number represented on a single squeeze.

– Heather Odell


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