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In 1904 an excavation in Ephesus brought to light a series of inscriptions recording the results of medical contests that took place at the city over the two days of the Great Asclepieia during the 2nd century CE. Because of the fragmentary character of the inscriptions and the lack of literary sources, origin, proceedings and purpose of these competitions were vigorously debated among both doctors and classical scholars, however, the context of these unique contests was neglected. The aim of this paper is to offer a new frame of interpretation for the medical contests by setting the epigraphic evidence in a broader context. On the basis of other Ephesian inscriptions and references in the oeuvre of Galen, it will be argued that the participants belonged to a close, intellectual circle with connections to the emperors and the elite. Thus the competition should not to be viewed as a common practice for choosing civic physicians, but as public medical lectures or presentations (epideixis), which were very popular at the time. The Great Asclepieia of Ephesus provided an excellent opportunity for this elite body of physicians to demonstrate their medical proficiency and competence to the community, and to show their talent to wealthier patients.

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The So-called “Mithraic Cave” of Angera

A New Perspective from Archaeological Investigations

Acta Antiqua Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae
Author: Stefano De Togni


The existence of a mithraeum at Angera (VA, Italy) was assumed for the first time in the 19th century, after the discovery of two Mithraic inscriptions re-used as ornaments of a private garden in the middle of the small town. The location of the alleged mithraeum is still uncertain: the inscriptions have been found out of context, and the place of worship has never been localized.

The “Antro mitraico” (Mithraic Cave), also known as “Tana del Lupo”, is a natural cave situated at the base of the East wall of the cliff on which the Rocca Borromeo (the Castle of Angera) stands. At the cave the most visible archaeological evidences are tens of breaches cut into the outside rocky wall, which probably contained votive inscriptions or stele. These elements denote the use of the cave as a place of worship.

In 1868 Biondelli identified in the cave the location of a Mithraic cult, giving rise to a theory that continues still today. If, on the one hand, the proposal appeared plausible, there is no clear evidence that in the cave a mithraeum was ever set up; besides, the presence of many an ex voto is in conflict with the mysteric ritual practices. This paper is intended to present an analytical study of the monument, with a broader inquiry on the characteristics of mithraea and other sanctuaries within natural caves.

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Vol. 13 , p. 23 (inscription no. 6), p. 26 (inscription no. 11). Éléments de prosopographie: II. Les possesseurs de coupes sasanides Studia Iranica 13

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Bocskay György kalligráfus antikva betűs síremlékfeliratai

All’antica reprezentáció I. Ferdinánd bécsi udvarában

Művészettörténeti Értesítő
Author: Borbála Gulyás

György (George) Bocskay (†1575) was a member of a well-known Hungarian noble family. He was capable to adapt himself to the expectations of the Viennese court of the Habsburg Monarchy to build a significant career at the Hungarian Royal Chancellery as royal court secretary, royal councillor and calligrapher. He decorated various writing model books and charters for the Habsburg rulers as well as several letters of arms for Hungarian noblemen. However it is less known that the calligrapher made sepulchral inscriptions in stone as well applying a new technique of his time, the acid-etching. Emperor Ferdinand I commissioned him to prepare the Square Capitals for the marble cenotaph of Emperor Maximilian I in Innsbruck. Additionally, he used similar letters to inscribe the sepulchral monument of the highest ranking official of the Hungarian Kingdom, the Palatine Tamás Nádasdy and his wife, Orsolya Kanizsay in Léka (Lockenhaus).

After the Treaty of Passau (1552) the claim was established that after Emperor Charles V the member of the Austrian line of the Habsburg dynasty, Ferdinand I could have imperial power. The revival of the antiquity significantly influenced the rebuilding of his main residence, the Hofburg, the development of the Roman lapidaries and collections of antiquities at his court (Hermes Schallauzer, Wolfgang Lazius, Ferdinand I), and the style of festive decorations and artworks all’antica he commissioned during this era.

In 1562 Bocskay dedicated a writing model book to Ferdinand I in order to be commissioned to prepare the inscriptions of the sepulchral monument of Emperor Maximilian I. The manuscript included several writing samples in Square Capitals imitating the epigraphic monuments of the ancient Romans. Later he worked on the acid-etched and gilded inscriptions in Vienna in 1563–1568 according to the archival sources. He prepared inscribed marble plates for 24 marble reliefs of the cenotaph representing scenes of the life of Maximilian I as well as 18 plates of the sepulchral inscription on the frieze. The Latin texts were compiled by the vice-chancellor of Ferdinand I, Georg Sigmund Seld.

Bocskay was accommodated in the house of the Nádasdy family in Vienna. He probably equipped a workshop for the process there. He also prepared three more inscribed limestone plates for the sepulchral monument of the already mentioned Tamás Nádasdy and Orsolya Kanizsay. The marble cenotaph was erected in 1566 in the castle of Léka where the Palatine and later his wife were buried. The monument was transferred to the new family crypt of the Augustine monastery of Léka in the 17th century.

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The paper discusses the treatment of proverbial wisdom in Polish graffiti by drawing upon nearly 100 paremic structures collected on Polish Internet sites in the last decade. Proverbs in mural writing are classified as existential graffiti inscriptions due to their general rather than individualized reference. Graffiti writers challenge the potential of universal application of proverbs, paraphrazing the original forms, creating anti-proverbs in the process, with an eye to exposing the limited application of paremic wisdom or rejecting proverbs as entirely unsuitable in the context of modern Polish society. The paper explores the ways in which humour is employed in the use of proverbs in Polish murals.

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This article describes two Slavonic manuscripts now at the Benedictine Abbey at Pannonhalma. One is a Gospel book of Ruthenian origin, written in the seventeenth century, and the other the Acts and Epistles, written in Serbia towards the end of the sixteenth century. Both are fairly typical examples of such books, and in a reasonably good state of preservation. The Gospel book contains a number of inscriptions providing information about its history, and in particular connecting it with the village of Ivaškovicja in the Transcarpathian oblasť of the Ukraine. It is a further step towards a complete description of Cyrillic manuscripts in Hungary.

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In this paper the author publishes a new Roman grave-altar from Bikács (County Tolna). The richly decorated altar was erected by a peregrine Eraviscus and it can be dated to the first decades of the 2nd century. In eastern Pannonia very few grave-altars are known and this is the first one which was erected to a native father. He still had a Celtic cognomen but his son was called Appius. The find-spot can be found in the southern edge of the civitas Eraviscorum. This region is very poor in inscriptions.

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The changing attitude of the Egyptian elite towards widows and orphans is analysed on the basis of Old Kingdom, First Intermediate Period, and Middle Kingdom biographical inscriptions, as well as pieces of Middle Kingdom literature. The appearance of an obscure group of female titles composed with the word nmhyt, often translated as 'ward', during the late Middle Kingdom represents a crucial stage in this process. The relevant titles are interpreted in the context of the well known and often discussed social changes around the reign of Senwosret III. Finally, through a case study, the hypothesis concerning the understanding of the term nmhyt is tested on a set of documents from El-Lahun.

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In this paper the authors publish a new sarcophagus from Tatabánya found in 1989. The funerary inscription was erected to a tesserarius who served in the legio I adiutrix in Brigetio and other living members of the family by his half-brother. Based on the names the stemma of the family can be restored. The tesserarius was depicted on the frontal side with the hastile of the optiones in his hand. Based on the text, the palaeography and the rich decorated sarcophagus, it can be dated to the 2nd half of the 3rd century and it was made in a local workshop in Brigetio.

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The aim of this paper is to bring into discussion some data concerning early Christian inscriptions from the Iberian Peninsula on the differentiation of Vulgar Latin, focusing on the several methods and procedures of collecting data (in corpora and databases), and the interpretation as regards Latin dialectology. The low number of specific dialectal traits in early Christian funerary epigraphy contrasts with specific local features that can be found when we put the epigraphic texts into their social and cultural context. We may conclude that Latin dialectal evidence in Late Antiquity should be evaluated according to its context. We can understand both common and specific traits of the written language from this perspective.

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