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Latin Inscriptions


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Table of Contents

1. Who put up inscriptions and why? * 2. The Latin language and its Latin script * 3. How to read inscriptions * 4. Imagery and inscription * 5. The art of the stone cutters * 6. Inscriptions today

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Illustrated with the best examples of inscriptions from the British Museum's Roman collection, this book will explore the meaning of putting up public inscriptions and the standardised system of abbreviation that was used to ensure Romans from all areas of the Empire could read them. Written in the simple everyday-life Latin, they also reflect linguistic changes within society, allowing the modern day scholar to uncover the introduction of slang words and new spellings of Latin words. We may also stumble across spelling mistakes, for not everyone knew how to write Latin fluently, and often we find that words had been written phonetically.

About the Author

Dirk Booms is a curator of Roman archaeology at the British Museum. He has special interests in Roman architecture, sculpture, glass and inscriptions and is co-author of Roman Empire: Power and People (British Museum Press, 2013).

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