IOSPE is a multi-year international collaborative project based at King's College London, and currently supported by the A. G. Leventis Foundation and the Loeb Library Foundation.
The aims of the project include: a new study of all ancient and medieval inscriptions originating from the Greek settlements on the Northern Coast of the Black Sea; bilingual Russian and English critical editions of the texts; and publication of the new IOSPE in print and digital formats.
Inscriptiones antiquae Orae Septentrionalis Ponti Euxini graecae et latinae (IOSPE) was the original (1885-1901) publication of ancient inscriptions from the Northern Coast of the Black Sea. We retain this title in the new edition for reasons of conceptual and bibliographic continuity.
The new conception of the IOSPE corpus consists in capturing in its entirety the ancient epigraphic production of the northern Pontic region – that is, not only inscriptions made on stone (lapidary inscriptions), but also on other media and fabrics, such as ceramics, metal, and bone. Lapidary inscriptions have been traditionally privileged in epigraphic corpora, while non-lapidary inscriptions have been published separately. We intend to facilitate the work of researchers by providing epigraphic texts on all materials within one corpus. For practical reasons of presentation, lapidary inscriptions will still form a separate series within the corpus, while graffiti (inscriptions scratched onto ceramic, metal, bone and other surfaces) and dipinti (inscriptions painted on such surfaces) will form another series. Stamps on ceramic vessels, which constitute yet another category of inscriptions, very specific in purpose (designating manufacturer or owner) and form, are grouped in a separate series as well.
The overarching structure of the new IOSPE accommodates three series: series 1, lapidary inscriptions; series 2, graffiti and dipinti; and series 3, ceramic stamps. Within each series, inscriptions will be grouped by their place of origin. We distinguish four geopolitical areas and four corresponding collections: (I) Tyras and its vicinity, (II) Olbia and its vicinity, (III) Chersonesos and western, southern, and central Crimea, and (IV) Bosporus. Each collection is further divided into fascicles based on geographic, linguistic, or chronological criteria, whichever apply within that area. Byzantine inscriptions constitute a separate collection covering the entire region...