(1) Overview

The database collects a list of inscriptions that feature epigrams from Ancient Greece, dated to the Hellenistic age (3rd–1st c. BC), from areas where Doric was spoken. Each entry is assigned a unique ID and a main edition, and is accompanied by details such as the provenance, date, type, metrical scansion, digital editions and identifiers with corresponding URL/DOI.

Repository location

Harvard Dataverse Repository. DOI: 10.7910/DVN/ROUKMW


The database was created as part of a doctoral research project that examines the dialect of Hellenistic inscribed epigrams from Doric-speaking areas, the results of which are presented in Pratali Maffei (). The database contributes to the updating and systematising of inscribed epigram corpora, undertaken by the scientific community in recent years. Specifically, Hansen (; ) collected epigrams dated to the 8th–4th c. BC and his volumes (Carmina Epigraphica Graeca) are currently being updated by Gonfloni (; ), in the form of an online database (CEG supplementum); Merkelbach and Stauber () recently collected inscribed epigrams from the Greek East, throughout antiquity. My database represents the first comprehensive attempt to systematise Hellenistic epigrams across Greece (3rd–1st c. BC) since the collections by Kaibel () and Peek ().

(2) Method


I have selected inscriptions with epigrams from Doric-speaking areas dated from the 3rd to the 1st century BC from Kaibel () and Peek (). I have subsequently updated the selection by cross-referencing the more recent editions of the epigrams already in the corpora (often with revisions to the dating), and I have supplemented it with more recent corpora of epigrams and inscriptions. Specifically, I have checked regional corpora of epigrams, i.e. Martínez Fernández () for Crete; Cairon () for funerary epigrams from the Peloponnese and Central Greece; and Dobias-Lalou () for Cyrene. I have also checked the following volumes of the Inscriptiones Graecae (IG): IV, IV(2).1 and V.1 for the Peloponnese; IX.1 and IX(2).1 for Central Greece; XII.1, XII.3–5 and their supplementa for the Aegean; Vázquez () for Rhodes; Guarducci () for Crete; and the supplementary publications Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum (SEG) and the Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique (BCH). This selection was done manually, since inscribed epigrams are collected very unevenly across corpora of inscriptions, often with no indication of their metrical nature.

Sampling strategy

I have collected epigrams from Doric-speaking areas, i.e. the Peloponnese (Arcadia excluded); Central Greece (Thessaly and Boeotia excluded); the Doric Aegean islands, i.e. Rhodes, Crete, Melos, Thera, Astypalaea, Calymnos, Cos, Nisyros, Syme, Telos, Carpathos; Cyrenaica; Sicily and Magna Graecia. I have excluded epigrams issued in Doric-speaking areas but found elsewhere, and epigrams from the Panhellenic sanctuaries of Olympia, Delphi, and the sanctuary of Asclepius in Epidaurus, produced by both locals and foreigners.

Quality control

I have given each inscription an ID, which comprises a location abbreviation (‘AEG’ for Aegean; ‘CGR’ for Central Greece; ‘EGY’ for Egypt; ‘ITA’ for Italy; and ‘PEL’ for the Peloponnese) followed by a numerical value. Each inscription can be searched by place (i.e. macro-region, region, city, and archaeological setting if applicable); for place names, I have adhered to the labels used in the PHI Greek Inscriptions online (http://epigraphy.packhum.org/). Each item is provided with a main edition and a date (century and specific years if applicable), as indicated in the Trismegistos database (). Most importantly, I have tagged each inscription by type and metrical scansion, which addresses gaps in previous editions, where this information is often given unevenly. For the sake of consistency, following Gonfloni (), I have followed the typological division of inscriptions by Hansen (; ), as ‘funerary’, ‘dedication’, and ‘various’ (tituli sepulcrales, dedicatorii, and varii in Hansen). At the same time, I have indicated when a dedication is inscribed on a statue base (or similar support), since several corpora (e.g. some volumes of the Inscriptiones Graecae) often classify these inscriptions as ‘honorific’, and their purpose is different from dedications to gods. Lastly, for each item I have provided the Trismegistos ID, cross-references with the editions of the Inscriptiones Graecae, and other digital editions and identifiers, to make their identification easier. I have also provided the URL/DOI of any edition online that provides the text of inscriptions so that the user is facilitated in their search. This data is provided in two tables, one designed as a list, with more condensed information (named ‘compact’) and one for automated analysis (named ‘machine-readable’); for the sake of clarity, both tables are provided with a ‘readme’ file which gives the definition of each column, value, and abbreviation.

(3) Dataset Description

Object name

Hellenistic Inscribed Epigrams from Doric-speaking Areas.

Format names and versions

Excel, CSV

Creation dates

Start date: 2018-10-01; end date: 2023-10-20

Dataset creators

Dalia Pratali Maffei





Repository name

Harvard Dataverse

Publication date


(4) Reuse Potential

The database aims to foster the analysis of Hellenistic inscribed epigrams, overlooked by previous scholarship, by offering a foundation for new editions and commentaries, and potentially a further expansion of the Carmina Epigraphica Graeca. Specifically, the database allows the user to find all the epigrams from the Doric-speaking world; to query or sort the database per location, date, inscription type, or metrical scansion; to find the text of each inscription as it provides links to the main epigraphic database(s); and to find the relevant discussion in online corpora and epigraphic supplements. Finally, a unique resource identifier of inscriptions is provided (Trismegistos ID), allowing for more queries on other databases that rely on the same URI.

At the same time, the database is not a re-edition of epigrams and does not provide a digital version of the inscriptions; no XML file of the collected inscriptions will be made available in the immediate future. This means that the creation of further data is needed for the corpus to be used for analysis.