Collections of inscriptions are very useful but a little intimidating for budding Classicists to get their teeth into. These collections are almost always referred to by their acronym, which appear as a meaningless series of letters to the uninitiated. And since epigraphy is a somewhat arcane topic, it is surprisingly difficult to find the full titles of epigraphical resources online.
For example, according to general lists like acronymfinder, there are at least 136 options for what ARS might stand for, none of which have anything at all to do with epigraphy or ancient texts. Even if one entered the search terms “ARS epigraphy abbreviation,” one would not, at the time of this writing, be able to find any page which spells out the entire title of the ARS. And without the title, it is very difficult to check if the text of the ARS is available online or if your University or College Library has it on the shelves.
To remedy this situation, I’ve compiled a list of epigraphical resource abbreviations, their full titles, and links to access them online if that is possible. The list may not be comprehensive, but it should at least cover the abbreviations Classics students are most likely to stumble across. You’re welcome, internet!
|Abbreviation||Full name||Online Access|
|ARS||Ancient Roman Statutes, A. C. Johnson, P. R. Coleman-Norton, and F. C. Bourne, eds. (Austin, 1961)||No|
|CFA||Commentarii Fratrum Arvalium qui supersunt, J. Scheid, ed., (Rome, 1998)||Not online. But for the text of the Arval Brothers, see Henzen: Acta fratrum Arvalium quae supersunt|
|CIG||Corpus Inscriptionum Graecarum||Link
See also the IG, which is a continuation of the CIG.
|CIL||Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum (Berlin, 1863-)||The CIL, remarkably, comes with pictures of the inscriptions themselves, fully accessible online.
|CLE||Carmina latina epigraphica, post editam collectionem Buechelerianam in lucem prolata (1912)||Link|
|CSEL||Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum||Monastic Manuscript Project: Link
Ancient World Online: Link
Roger Pearse: Link
|FCT||Fasti consulares et triumphales, A. Degrassi ed., (Florence, 1957, 1963)||No|
|FGH||Fragmente der griechischen Historiker (Leiden, 1923-)||Translated selections (free): Link
Brill’s New Jacoby (paid service): Link
|Henzen||Acta fratrum Arvalium quae supersunt, Guil. Henzen ed., (Berlin, 1874)||Link|
|Hübner||Exempla scripturae epigraphicae latinae a Caesaris dictatoris morte ad aetatem Iustiniani consilio et auctoritate Academiae Litterarum Regiae Borussicae, Aemilius Hübner, ed., (1885)||Link|
|ICE and ICK||Inscriptions of the Christian Empire, and Inscriptions of the Christian Kingdoms||These two collections were mentioned several times on search results, but the online database for both the ICE and the ICK (Infimae Aetatis) is either down or broken.|
|IG||Inscriptiones Graecae (Berlin, 1873-)||This is a continuation of the CIG.
Packhard Humanities Institute (includes full IG): Link
|IGRR||Inscriptiones Graecae ad res Romanas pertinentes, R. Cagnat, J. Toutain, et al., eds., Vol 1, 2, 4 (no more publ.) (Paris 1901-27, repr. Rome 1964)||Link|
|Inscr. Ital.||Inscriptiones Italiae (Rome, 1931-)||Not online, and not to be confused with Inscriptiones Italiae Continens (1892)|
|ILCV||Inscriptiones Latinae Christianae Veteres, E. Diehl, ed., (Berlin, 1924-67)||No|
|ILER||Inscripciones Latinas de la España romana, J. Vives, ed. (Barcelona, 1971-2)||No|
|ILLRP||Inscriptiones Latinae Liberae Rei Publicae, A. Degrassi, ed., (Rome, 1963-5)||No|
|ILS||Inscriptiones Latinae Selectae, H. Dessau, ed., (Berlin, 1892-1916)||Link|
|OGIS||Orientis Graeci Inscriptiones Selectae, W. Dittenberger, ed., (Leipzig, 1903)||Archive.org: Link
Searchable database: Link
|ORF||Oratorum Romanorum Fragmenta Liberae Rei Publicae, E. Malcovati, ed., 3rd edn (Turin, 1967)||No|
|PG||Patrologia Cursus Completus, Series Graeca||List of downloadable PDFs on Google Books: Link
Roger Pearse’s PDFs: Link
|PL||Patrologia Cursus Completus, Series Latina||Documenta Catholica Omnia: Link|
Roger Pearse’s PDFs: Link
|RDGE||Roman Documents from the Greek East, R. K. Sherk, (Baltimore, 1969)||No (despite the erroneous listing on archive.org)|
|RMR||Roman Military Records on Papyrus, R. O. Fink, (Cleveland, 1971)||No|
|SIG||Sylloge Inscriptionum Graecarum, W. Dittenberger, ed., 3rd edn (Leipzig, 1915-21)||Link|
The links are current as of the 25th of January, 2014. If some of these volumes cannot be found for free online, do check whether your University or College library has these on the shelf or in ebook format for library members. And if I’m missing something obvious, or if any of the links above go out of date, feel free to comment below and I’ll modify the list.