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The Cambridge Handbook to Byzantine Epigraphy

Ida Toth, Faculty of Classics, University of Oxford, Summer Fellow 2011

The seven weeks of sustained research work at the Dumbarton Oaks Library have enabled me to study a wide spectrum of primary sources and to select the most suitable illustrative material for the Handbook to Byzantine Epigraphy, a practical guide through the main corpora and collections of extant epigraphic material and the main issues of reading and studying Byzantine inscriptions.

During my term as a summer fellow, I have been able to examine thousands of images from the epigraphy database and the Byzantine Photographs and Fieldwork Collections, and to choose nearly two hundred most representative samples, which will serve to provide a fuller picture of the evolution of the Byzantine epigraphic habit and to fill gaps in the general understanding of some more idiosyncratic epigraphic practices.

In addition to focusing on broader epigraphic issues, I have also created a database of eleventh-century inscriptions, which I intend to use for my contribution to the panel “Toward a Corpus of Byzantine Inscriptions” at the forthcoming 22nd Congress of Byzantine Studies in Sofia, and, in an extended version, as part of the chapter on middle Byzantine epigraphy. The historical information this material yields will also be incorporated into the database of the Prosopography of the Byzantine World.