Monday, 13 July 2015

Notes on inscriptions: SIG 1

This is not the first of a series of posts working through the Sylloge Inscriptionum Graecarum, as fruitful as that would be. This is a convenient reference for the set of inscriptions that are online as SEG XVI 863 (= Buck[3] 104; [2] gives the text(s) in full | Schwyzer 301 | LSAG 415 n. 48 | SB VIII 10018).

F. Coulmas uses this text as an example in Writing Systems (Cambridge, 2003: 129). The caption ('Ionian Greek inscription'), transcription (e.g. ἐλθόυτος and ἀλογγόσο̄ς),  accentuation (e.g. ἢλθον) and translation ('The foreigners guided... and the Egyptians Amasis') are all sadly faulty.

The non-Ionic nature of the main inscription is evident from several  features:
Ἐλεφαντίναν, Ψαμά̄τιχō τοὶ, and μὲ. Note also πρᾶτον in the mark of Anaxanor.

Anne Jeffery's notes (search for 'Abou Simbel') are very informative about the variety of texts that compose this single 'inscription'.

LSJ cites this inscription in at least six entries. A search for 'Abu Simbel' returns ten instances.

LSJ s.v. ἵημι: 'Dor. ἀν-ίη SIG 1 (Abu Simbel, vi B.C.);' [my bold]
s.v. ἀνίημι: 'Ion. 3sg. ἀνίη SIG 1 (Abu Simbel, vi B. C.' (sic) [my bold]
This use of eta is also seen in ἦλθον and ἦχε. LSJ relates the latter to ἄγω, but then the eta would have to be an Ionic feature.

(On the basis of the drawing in Coulmas), the name Ψαμμά̄τιχος (Ψαμμήτιχος in Hdt.2.2.1, etc.) shows the (familiar) Light Blue use of <Ψ> for p+s and for /kh/, not the Red use of these characters for /kh/ and k+s respectively.

LSJ s.v. Ψ notes, 'not used in the Attic alphabet: in the Western Gr. alphabets it represents the sound χ (kh): with the value ps it is found in SIG1 (Nubia, vi B. C.),...'.

The key point in understanding these spellings is that (this) Rhodian script, like (some) Cretan, used eta for the original long e and for the result of the first wave of compensatory lengthening (e.g. ἦμι 'I am'), in contrast to other non-Ionic scripts which used <Ε>. The Cup of Nestor (line drawing) exemplifies for all three vowels:  
ΝΕΣΤΟΡΟΣ, ΠΟΤΕΡΙΟΝ (ποτήριον), and KENON (κεῖνον, κῆνον).
See Buck § 4.6 for eta in use to represent a vowel outside Ionic.

The mark of Telephos of Ialysos, one of the Rhodians illustrates this: Τλεφός μ’ ἔγραφε ℎο Ἰᾱλύσιο. The toponym on which the ethnic adjective is based appears in Homer in its Ionic form, Ἰήλυσος (Il.2.654: Λίνδον | Ἰηλυσόν τε || καὶ ἀργινόεντα Κάμειρον.).

Note also the name Ἀναχσάνορ (unless Ἀναξσάνορ: SEG XXIX 1669) and his mark ℎο Ἰᾱλύσιος ℎόκα ('Dor.' for ὅτε) βασιλ|εὺς λασε τὸν στρατὸν τὸ πρτον.

The adverb υἷς 'as far as' is only in this inscription (according to PHI Greek Inscriptions): Cf. Buck § 132.4 'Rhod. ... (no. 104.3)'.

κατύπερθε (apparently only here in epigraphic texts) shows psilosis and is called 'Ion.' in LSJ. Indeed, it is in Ionic (50x Hdt., 1x Arrian's Indika), but may not be unique to Ionic. We must remember that Rhodian has ἰαρός and ἰερός with a smooth breaking (Buck §§ 58.b 261.8: ἐπ᾿ ἰερέως 'of NN' appears as a dating formula), which suggests some degree of psilosis.

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