Stoichedon


Stoichedon

The stoichedon (Greek: στοιχηδόν) style of epigraphy was the practice of engraving ancient Greek inscriptions in capitals such that the letters were aligned vertically as well as horizontally. Texts of this form give the appearance of being composed in a grid with the same number of letters in each line and each space in the grid filled with a single letter. The majority are Attic, but it was widely used in the Greek world, and the earliest examples are from not later than the second half of the 6th century BCE; the first is perhaps the Salaminian Decree. [See Macus Tod, ‘’A Selection of Greek Historical Inscriptions’’, 1933, for dating.] It was the dominant style of inscription in Athens during the 5th and 4th centuries BCE and was the preferred style for official state proclamations. The last stoichedon text dates from the 3rd century CE and is the genaeological inscription from the Heroon of Oenoanda in Lycia. [ RP Austin, "op cit." p.117.] The idiom was less common in Latin epigraphy, a rare exception is the Sator square.

This form of inscription is of particular interest to scholars of Greek epigraphy due the chance it affords to reconstruct fragmentary texts. Few if any Greek tablets survive intact, however the language and tenor of inscriptions are often formulaic and with a knowledge of the precise number of missing letters it is possible to make an informed guess about the lost text.

ee also

*Boustrophedon

Notes

Bibliography

*R. P Austin, "The Stoichedon Style in Greek Inscriptions", Oxford, 1938.
*A. G. Woodhead, "The Study of Greek Inscriptions", 1967.


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