Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Classics Librarian on Finding CIG Citations

Finding CIG Citations
January 13, 2016 
Reposted with permission from Classics Librarian  by Phoebe Acheson
For the Corpus Inscriptionem Graecarum (CIG), all you need to know to find the inscription you want is its unique number, and this is just what most citations will give you. Inscriptions are numbered continuously starting at CIG 1 and continuing through all volumes and parts (ending at CIG 9926).
So, the inscription CIG 284 is 284th from the beginning of the set (it happens to appear in volume 1 part 2).
At the University of Cincinnati’s Burnam Classical Library, some friendly librarian of yore helpfully labeled the volumes with the CIG numbers contained therein:
photo of spines of CIG volumes
  • Volume 1: CIG 1-1792
  • Volume 2: CIG 1793-3809
  • Volume 3: CIG 3810-6816
  • Volume 4: CIG 6817-9926

Story version:
I got a message (on Facebook!) from a friend who is a first-year graduate student in Classics, with a background heavy on philology and light on history/archaeology.
I have a CIG number for an inscription (CIG 284) but I have no idea how to find what volume this would be in.
I’ve been staring at a shelf for like five minutes and I can’t figure out which one would be relevant and/or correct. How do I find this out?
My friend already knew that CIG stood for Corpus Inscriptionem Graecarum (WorldCat record, including volume and parts listings), published by August Bockh between 1828 and 1877. She was standing in front of the print volumes, which are generally next to the much more voluminous volumes of Inscriptiones Graecae (IG), which was created as a continuation of CIG, which I suspect is what perplexed my friend so thoroughly. Note that this, like many 19th century German reference works, is entirely in latin as that was the contemporary lingua franca for the scholarly community.
Since the CIG volumes are old enough to be no longer in copyright, they are available as downloadable .pdf files at Scribd. Many thanks to the communal effort of the group Patrologia Latina Graeca et Orientalis ( which made these available! I have not checked these thoroughly for accuracy but in my random perusings have found them to be complete and fully accurate. Links to individual .pdfs at Scribd follow:
The inscription CIG 284 turns out to be the Shield of Alkamenes, which has been owned by the British Museum since 1805 (item number 1805,0703.232), and they have a very nice online catalog of objects. The entry has an image AND bibliographic citations!
Note, as for this inscription, many things originally published in CIG have been subsequently republished in IG, so to be thorough you may need to look up a given inscription in multiple reference works – perhaps a future post will tackle the complexities of IG citations!

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