Athens and Macedon
Attic Letter-Cutters of 300 to 229 B.C.
Publication Year: 2003
Published by: University of California Press
Series: Hellenistic Culture and Society
Title Page, Copyright
...The present study focuses on the inscriptions of third-century b.c. Athens; the research in preparation for it, in fact, concentrated on the years 290 to 229. However, it became apparent as the work progressed that it was necessary to revisit briefly the cutters published in ADT who had worked into the third century, namely the Cutters...
...Efforts to establish the Athenian archon list of the third century b.c. continue and progress is being made. More will be possible when all relevant texts now known are published. The recent publication of a fragment containing the name of a new Athenian archon, [A]mbrosios, who must date between the years 290 and 250...
Part I: Athenian Government and the Macedonian Kings
Oligarchy versus Democracy: 338 to 262 B.C.
...It is often adjudged—correctly, it appears to me—that the end of Athenian, indeed of Greek, liberty occurred when Philip of Macedon defeated the Athenians and their allies at the battle of Chaironeia in 338 b.c. In fact the Athenian leader Lykourgos speaking in the summer of 330 b.c. claimed...
Macedonian Domination: 262 to 229 B.C.
...the siege continued. The Athenians finally had to capitulate in the year of Antipatros’ archonship, which was most probably 263/2. The king dealt firmly with his defeated foes. A Macedonian garrison initially was stationed in the city on Mouseion Hill as well as in Piraeus, and there can be no doubt that the king took political...
Addenda to IG II 2 1262 Cutter, ca. 320 –ca. 290 b.c.
...For a description of this cutter’s lettering, photographs, and a full list of inscriptions, see ADT 136 –147. This man was one of the major cutters in Athens at the end of the fourth century and beginning of the third. It now appears likely that he was active down to at least the year 290 b.c....
Addenda to IG II 2 650 Cutter, 318/7–283/2 b.c.
...With the assignment of IG II 2 500 to this hand we now have one inscription by the II2 650 Cutter securely dated to the years 307 to 302. Nevertheless, it appears that he did most of his work during the first two decades of the third century.1 He prefers letters 0.007 m in height (i.e., relatively speaking, quite large), and he invariably leaves...
Addenda to Agora I 4266 Cutter, ca. 304–271 B.C.
...The Cutter of Agora I 4266 began work in the last years of the fourth century and continued inscribing down to about the year 270. See ADT 164 – 169 for a description of his lettering, photograph, and list of inscriptions....
IG II 2 478 Cutter, 305/4–302/1 B.C.
...Plain lettering done rather quickly—that is the dominant impression of this cutter’s writing. He frequently omits strokes and makes an unusual variety of shapes in some letters, particularly phi and omega. Most of his other letters are quite uniform from example to example...
IG II 2 657 Cutter, ca. 305–ca. 275 B.C.
...The mature lettering of this workman is neat and regular. His long strokes, particularly verticals and diagonals, often curve or bend slightly. He occasionally omits strokes—for instance, one of the finials at the base of omega. Moreover, the overlapping of certain strokes—a feature of his lettering that we might regard as carelessness—is done quite...
IG II 2 689 Cutter, 305/4–ca. 270 B.C.
...This cutter employs thin strokes and inscribes his letters rather lightly. Moreover, strokes rather frequently overlap or do not meet precisely. The lettering has an evanescent, somewhat sloppy, quality....
Agora I 3238 and 4169 Cutter, 286/5–ca. 239 B.C.
...He was a very careful workman who made few inscribing errors. He usually inscribed letters that are rather small (ca. 0.005 m) with liberal interlinear spacing. With the exception of omega, he regularly inscribed omikron, theta, the loop of rho, and the central part of phi with straight strokes. The central part of phi, for example, is usually a neat rectangle (fig. 21)...
Agora I 6664 Cutter, 281/0–ca. 240 B.C.
...The inscriptions of this cutter convey an impression of neatness thanks to his use of thin, firmly incised letter-strokes. The ends of strokes often thicken, giving the impression of nascent serifs. His round letters tend to be quite round and he rather frequently imparts a curve to the slanting strokes of alpha and lambda as well as to the top stroke of sigma. It is not unusual, indeed, for any one of his long strokes...
IG II 2 776 Cutter, ca. 255–ca. 240 B.C.
...Although he does not inscribe his texts using a stoichedon pattern, this cutter spaces his letters out on the horizontal so that the space between each letter exceeds the height of the letters. He also leaves quite liberal interlines, viz. more than the height of the letters. Nevertheless, his lettering has a somewhat uncertain appearance, perhaps...
SEG II no. 9 Cutter, 251/0–ca. 240 B.C.
...This workman makes letters with thin strokes that often taper at the ends to points. Strokes do not meet one another precisely and long strokes tend to bend or curve, sometimes rather awkwardly. Letters made from multiple strokes, such as epsilon, mu, nu, and sigma, vary a great deal in shape from example to example. Although not...
IG II 2 788 Cutter, ca. 260–ca. 235 B.C.
...Particularly in the case of epsilon, sigma, tau, and upsilon, he thickened the ends of strokes somewhat to create what may be described as nascent serifs. Among his most distinctive letter-shapes are alpha, sigma, and upsilon (fig. 47). He rather often leaves the apex of alpha open and makes the left slanting stroke shorter. The lower half of sigma is normally much larger than the upper, and the...
...In the course of the present study, I have come across several small groups of texts that are the work of the same man. I have not devoted a separate section to each (i.e., “Cutter of IG or Agora I whatever”) because these dossiers number two or three texts at the most and none is dated precisely, i.e., by an archon date...
Conclusion: Inscribers of the Years 300 to 229 B.C.
...The two most prolific cutters at work during the years 300 to 229 b.c. were the Agora I 3238 Cutter and the IG II 2 788 Cutter. Their careers overlap beginning about the year 260. For about fifteen years—that is, down to about the year 245—they exercised a virtual monopoly in Athens over the inscribing of long measures on stone. To illustrate the point...
Appendix One: Athenian Archons from 261/0 to 234/3
Appendix Two: Agora I 5392 3855: A Prytany Decree from ca. 275–270 B.C.
Index to Greek Texts
Index of Passages Cited
Index of Persons
Comparatio Numerorum to SEG
...This concordance between SEG and the “inscriptions assigned” that are not published in IG was compiled by M. B. Richardson, assistant editor of SEG, whose assistance I record here with great gratitude...