Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum

The corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum (abbreviated CIL ) is a comprehensive collection of ancient Latin inscriptions. It forms as documentation received public and private inscriptions, an indispensable resource for life in the Roman Empire and the Roman history.

The CIL has the goal of all Latin inscriptions from the entire territory of the empire together geographically and systematically sorted. The corpus is continuously recycled in new editions and supplements. The language of the CIL is traditionally Latin (a change to this practice in future volumes will be discussed ). The continuation of the responsibility of the Berlin- Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW ).

1847 Theodor Mommsen suggested the Royal Prussian Academy of Sciences in a memorandum an organized collection of Latin inscriptions, which had been described piecemeal in the past centuries by hundreds of scholars before. 1853 began work on CIL. Mommsen, who had been with the publication of the inscriptions of the Kingdom of Naples, a model for the corpus, remained for half a century until his death, the driving force of the company and worked even more of the books that relate to Italy. Much of the work for the parties - epigraphists not only the Berlin Academy, but also from other European countries - is to personally visit the places and monuments, to make copies of as many originals ( autopsy principle). In the cases in which previously described inscriptions were untraceable, the authors tried to get an accurate reading by comparisons with the works of earlier authors who had seen the original. The first volume appeared in 1862.

The CIL currently consists of 17 " volumes " in more than 70 parts and contains about 180,000 inscriptions. 13 supplementary volumes contain panels and special indices. The first volume, in two parts, includes the oldest inscriptions to the end of the Roman Republic; Volumes II to XIV are divided geographically; the Volume XIII, for example, is devoted to the inscriptions of the Gallic and Germanic provinces. ( For some regions, however, the corresponding volumes of the CIL have been replaced by other collections, such as in Britain, there was only the manageable number of about 750 Roman inscriptions there.) Volumes XV to XVII contain specific inscription genera ( Instrumentum domesticum, military diplomas, milestones ). A Volume XVIII, to contain the " Carmina Latina Epigraphica ", is in preparation. A Latin Numerorum Index: A finding aid to the corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum was published in 2004.

The descriptions consist of an image of the original inscription ( if they still exist ), drawings show the letters in original size and position, and an interpretation tries abbreviations and missing words to reconstruct and to discuss issues and problems.

About the editors of individual volumes were next Mommsen Eugen Bormann, Hermann Dessau, Wilhelm Henzen, Otto Hirschfeld, Emil Hübner, Christian sleeves and Karl Zangemeister, in later times Géza Alföldy ( who headed the project from 1992 to 2007 ), Attilio Degrassi and Herbert Nesselhauf. Head of the project is Werner Eck, head of BBAW job Manfred G. Schmidt since 2007.