External evidence and the reconstruction of missing texts: CIL III 256 as case study

Juan Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The article takes CIL III, 256, the epitaph of Eutychus’ son, as a case study on how to interpret lost inscriptions preserved only through the reports of explorers and antiquarians who saw the material before it went missing. It argues that in those cases, it is only through careful examination of external evidence that a plausible reconstruction of the text can be achieved. It then examines the inscription taking into consideration the standard nomenclature used by slaves of the imperial household, the syntax of similar inscriptions, the way in which most greek names were Latinised, other roman cultural practices like the naming of newborns, and last but not least the context in which the inscription was found in the old city of Ankara. It concludes that three people were mentioned in the original inscription, namely the imperial slave Nereus, his vicarius Eutychus and the son of the latter, whose name is not given. the article also considers the reasons why Eutychus’ son remained unnamed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-112
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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