Inscriptions from MI.AA.UM.KM

The Kelsey Museum of Archaeology in Ann Arbor houses the largest collection of Greek and Latin inscriptions in the United States. Though enhanced over the years by miscellaneous acquisitions from various sources, the collection was essentially built upon four foundations: the University of Michigan excavations at Terenouthis in Egypt in 1935 and three major purchases in Italy around the turn of the century by knowledgable agents of the university whose goal was to assemble a teaching collection for the training of American classicists. In 1899, Walter Dennison, then Instructor of Latin at The University of Michigan, secured on behalf of the university the purchase of 276 Latin inscriptions from the extensive collection of antiquities owned by Giuseppe De Criscio, the parish priest of Pozzuoli in Campania. Three subsequent purchases, from De Criscio himself in 1905 and 1909 and from his heirs in 1922, added another 32 pieces from the same region. In 1900 and 1901, Francis W. Kelsey, who had included a small fragment of stamped brick from Capri among the original purchases he made in Italy in 1893 to found the university's archaeological collections, acquired 477 examples of urban brickstamps from workmen and dealers in Rome. Seven years later (in 1908 and 1909), through six separate purchases at Rome, Dennison obtained another 100 epitaphs of urban provenience, most of which originated in tombs along the Via Appia or from the necropolis north of the Porta Salaria that had recently been uncovered during the laying out of a new residential zone of the modern city. Finally, in 1935 the University of Michigan excavations at the cemetery of Terenouthis added 194 funerary stelae, many inscribed in Greek, to the collection.

Most of the inscribed objects in the De Criscio collection had already been published by Mommsen in CIL X in 1883; many others were subsequently edited in cursory fashion by Walter Dennison in the American Journal of Archaeology 2 (1898) 373-402 and more thoroughly by John H. D'Arms in American Journal of Archaeology 77 (1973) 151-67 and by D'Arms and others in Puteoli IX-X (1985-86) 41-78. Finley A. Hooper published the grave stelae from Terenouthis in 1961 (Funerary Stelae from Kom Abou Billou, Ann Arbor). Dennison's purchases in Rome in 1908 and 1909 were first edited in their entirety seventy years later by the participants in a graduate seminar in Latin epigraphy led by Mario Torelli in 1978 and published by Martha W. Baldwin and M. Torelli in 1979: Latin Inscriptions in the Kelsey Museum: The Dennison Collection (Ann Arbor). John Bodel published the Roman brickstamps acquired by Kelsey and others in 1983 (Roman Brick Stamps in the Kelsey Museum, Ann Arbor). Steven L. Tuck published a comprehensive edition (excluding brickstamps) of the extensive holdings of Latin inscriptions in the De Criscio and Dennison collections, as well as a few miscellaneous fragmentary Latin inscriptions from Africa and Asia on stone, at Terenouthis (inv. no. 21194, a military epitaph), Carthage (inv. 85 and 86, two epitaphs), and Antioch in Pisidia (inv. 93880, 93894, and 93896, three fragments of a framed text); and bronze at Karanis (inv. 21412, two fragments of a military diploma of ca 158-161 CE), in 2005 (Latin Inscriptions in the Kelsey Museum (Ann Arbor 2005).

In addition to the pieces itemized below, the Kelsey Museum collections include some forty unpublished Greek inscriptions from Seleukeia (inv. 35748-35785, 35854-35856), two fragments from Antioch, perhaps from the same inscription as those published by Tuck as no. 400 (inv. 93882-93883), and one inscribed architectural fragment from Corinth (inv. 2371). Other than inventory numbers, we have no specifics about these pieces and so they have not been registered individually.

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Latin written in Greek