Cretan Institutional Inscriptions

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The institutions of «one hundred-citied Crete»
The Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic history of Crete is a history characterised by a very high level of fragmentation. The frequent silences of the literary sources and the gaps in the epigraphic records have resulted in wide sectors of the island history still being overshadowed, and in a similar fate befalling many of its political entities. The institutional history of Crete, in particular, was greatly affected by such fragmentation, and also by the bulky presence of the albeit scarce literary sources. The alleged greater authoritativeness of authors such as Plato, Aristotle or Ephorus, in fact, often prompted to force what was witnessed by the uneven epigraphic records with the aim of relating to a single model the contradictory information coming from different areas, flattening however in this way the variegations of the multiform landscape of «one hundred-citied Crete» (Hom. Il. II 649) in the name of the existence of only one unitary Kretike politeia.
Cretan Institutional Inscriptions
Within that framework, the PhD research project Kretikai Politeiai: Cretan Institutions from VII to I Century BC has set itself the goal of collecting systematically the sources related to the institutional elements of the numerous political entities of the island, aiming at highlighting the specificity of each context in the period between the rise of the poleis and the Roman conquest of Crete.
The research, carried out at the Department of Humanities of the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice by Irene Vagionakis from 2016 to 2019 under the supervision of Claudia Antonetti and Gabriel Bodard, had as outcome the creation of the database Cretan Institutional Inscriptions, built by using the EpiDoc Front-End Services (EFES).
The main component of the database consists of the epigraphic collection of the 600 inscriptions constituting the core of the documentary base of the study, for each of which an XML edition compliant with the TEI EpiDoc international standard was created. Each EpiDoc edition includes a descriptive and a bibliographic lemma, the text of the inscription, a selective apparatus criticus and a commentary focused on the institutional data offered by the document.
In addition to the epigraphic collection, the database includes also a collection of the main related literary sources, a catalogue of the attested Cretan institutions (assemblies, boards, officials, associations, civic subdivisions, social statuses, age classes, months, festivities and other celebrations, institutional practices, institutional instruments, public spaces) and a catalogue of the political entities of Crete (poleis, koina, dependent communities, extra-urban sanctuaries, hegemonic alliances).

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