Some 300,000 inscriptions are known to survive from the Roman world. More than a thousand new ones are discovered each year. Such inscriptions can confirm or amplify our knowledge of great events portrayed in literary sources. They also provide a direct link to the lives and occupations of a vast number of ordinary people who have no place in the pages of the historians and whose existence is otherwise unrecorded. In Understanding Roman Inscriptions, Lawrence Keppie introduces the nonspecialist reader to the subject of inscriptions. He gives an account of context and history of inscriptions and explains their significance as a resource for anyone interested in the world of the Romans. For each inscription cited, Keppie provides the original Latin, an English translation and commentary on the inscription's significance in the everyday life of the Romans. Illustrated with eighty-five photographs, Understanding Roman Inscriptions provides a fascinating introduction to the most important source for the history and organization of the Roman Empire.
Includes bibliographical references (pages 148-153) and index.