Attic Inscription Online guidelines

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This page has been kindly provided by Stephen Lambert and summarized for the needs of this wiki.

Bear in mind that the translations are designed to be useful and informative primarily to those who have no or little knowledge of Greek (e.g. undergraduate students on Ancient History courses taught in translation) but also to more advanced researchers, who also, however, will have access to more conventional scholarly tools. Clarity, simplicity, and general user-friendliness are therefore as important as accuracy. In general, please try to avoid giving the translation an overly cluttered feel.

Please follow the policies stated on the home page of the site and the conventions and format of the translations already posted on the site.

Clause arrangement

Try to arrange your translation such that a clause in the original Greek has the same line numbers as the equivalent clause in the translation. It is not necessary, however, to arrange individual words in the translation so that they appear in the same line as in the original Greek.


Include transliterations for key words and phrases, or terms which are difficult to render accurately into English. Please follow precedents here, both in relation to selecting what transliterations to include and in relation to how transliterated words and phrases are translated. A list of existing transliterations is included for ease of reference. You may add new transliterations for words and phrases not transliterated in existing translations on AIO, but we would like to keep the proportion of text transliterated roughly to existing levels. Also, please flag up if you transliterate for the first time text for which there is an equivalent in an existing translation, but for which no transliteration has been supplied hitherto. That way we can ensure consistency across the site. Please reproduce the form of the word as it appears in the text, including any inflection. Do not put nouns into the nominative or verbs e.g. into the infinitive or first person singular present tense. Please place macrons over etas and omegas in transliterations, where those letters occur in the text. Do not use macrons in texts in Attic script where eta and epsilon and omicron and omega are not differentiated.

Alternative translations

Alternative translations of a word or phrase may represent alternative possible understandings of given Greek text or alternative readings or restorations of the Greek itself. These may be indicated by including the alternative translation in round brackets preceded by “or” in italics (see examples on the site). Please only use these alternatives for important words or phrases in the context of the relevant inscription. Do not use them for minor variants which do not have a major impact on the sense. In some cases it will be preferable to plump for one translation, and place it in square brackets with a question mark, rather than give alternative translations.

Square brackets

Please do not put text which is formulaic or can be restored with complete confidence in square brackets. Do however use square brackets for non-formulaic restored text or text where there is some degree of uncertainty about the restoration (this would include some text included in square brackets in an IG text). It is sometimes helpful to the reader of a translation to be given the gist of restored text even if the precise words may be uncertain. In these cases please use square brackets and include a question mark within them (this would include some text included in the apparatus in an IG volume).

Missing text

Missing text is indicated by three dots (a space after each), or where there is a single word or part of a single word missing, by -.

General stylistic points

Please use active formulations, where possible, not passive ones. So translate e.g. angrapsai ton grammatea by "the secretary shall inscribe the stele" not "the stele shall be inscribed by the secretary". Also try to avoid literal translations which read more than a little awkwardly in English. It doesn't matter if words in the translation end up in different lines from their equivalents in the original text, so long as the clause as a whole occupies the same lines as in the original.