1 international alliance dating
The three-barred sigma (looking like a backward Z) is second from the left and last on the right.The round tailed rho is third from the right (looking like an R). Restricting possible archons to those from the start of the first Peloponnesian war, until the start of the final phase of the war, gives the five names in the second column, viz: Habron, Ariston, Epameinon, Aristion, and Antiphon κατὰ δὲ τὴν Σικελίαν Ἐγεσταίοις καὶ Λιλυβαίταις ἐνέστη πόλεμος περὶ χώρας τῆς πρὸς τῷ Μαζάρῳ ποταμῷ· γενομένς δὲ μάχης ἰσχυρᾶς συνέβη πολλοὺς παῤ ἀμϕοτέροις ἀναιρεθῆναι καὶ τῆς ϕιλοτιμίας μη λῆξαι τὰς πόλεις. Meiggs considered these factors to be consistent with dating the alliance at this time.Segre (19) and Raubitschek (197f) asserted that the three-barred form () was replaced by the four-barred form () on inscriptions after 445 BCE.On this basis, the dates of a number of inscriptions with three-barred sigmas (e.g. Mattingly attacked this letter-form analysis and asserted that historians had been "imprisoned by a dogma" (199) and an "over-rigid application of epigraphy" (Mattingly, 193).Meritt and Wade-Gery agreed that letter-form dating was not self evident but "true in fact" (19) and then argued that the historical context of these decrees pointed to earlier dates than Mattingly, in conformity with letter-form dating.When Mattingly (1963) dated the Egesta alliance, he first looked to the 420s and suggested that Epameinon (429/8 BCE) or Aristion (421/0 BCE) might be appropriate (198).Meiggs and Lewis (19) note that 454/3 BCE was the "generally accepted" date for the alliance until sometime around 1969 (1964), and Mattingly (198) rejected this completely. the rho was not readable, but Habrōn was left as the probable reading because of the probable beta.By 1971 Meritt (according to Wick, 197,n.8) had moved to Raubitschek's position. One reason was that the Lilybaeum mentioned was not founded before the fourth century (Ehrenberg, 196,n.138) and so there could not have been a war with that city in the mid fifth century.
The small, remote Egestan region of Sicily would then have seemed of little importance to Athens in the 450s.
The marble inscription The top three lines of the stele (Wick, 1995:plate XXIII) are given below showing its 48 character stoichedon (grid) pattern and the worn character of the marble.
A possible reconstruction from Meiggs and Lewis is shown as well.
This relates to the shape of Greek alphabet letters and how they evolved over time.
Kavvadias (1897) first drew attention to an earlier form of sigma () on the Athena Nike inscription.