Ariadne: Resources for Athenaze


Chapter 4

Boundary Stones and Gravestones

Just as the English language from the 16th-18th centuries exhibited peculiar ways of spelling, so too did Greek until the alphabet and spelling became more or less standardized in the 4th century BCE. Two of the most important spaces in Athens are the Agora (market) and the Kerameikos (cemetery, named after the potters' quarters located nearby).

Here are two boundary stones that mark off these public areas from encroachment by houses and private establishments. As you read each one, write out the full text of each inscription, then rewrite it in lower case letters, and finally translate each one.

Agora boundary stone

Kerameikos boundary stone

The next two are associated with the Shrine of the Tritopatres. No one knows for sure who the Tritopatres were, perhaps the souls of dead ancestors.



The last two inscriptions are women's gravestones. Click on the largest image available and zoom in to read the inscription. What images of women do these two gravestones reveal?

Aristylla stele

Mnesarete stele


Xenokrateia stele  

After you have attempted to transcribe the inscriptions, you may check your work here.



Photo credits: John Gruber-Miller © 2013



Classical Studies
Cornell College

Last Update: March 14, 2013 11:23 am
John Gruber-Miller