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.
Meiggs first tabulated dated decrees (19) and then undated decrees (19).Mattingly (1976) puzzling over a phrase contended (see below) that the "earliest allowable dating" (19) for the Egesta inscription was Epameinōn (429/8 BCE).Recently Moroo (2002) has concluded that "there were no rules for using a particular letter form" and they can only "establish general trends".However as Moroo looked at sigmas being used as currency signs for staters, Clinton's (1996) comment probably applies, viz, that stater signs are in "a different domain and therefore irrelevant".The argument on letter-form evolution seems to have been terminated by Chambers, Gallucci and Spanos (1990).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.
Meiggs mentioned the alliance with Egesta as an example of this practice and so a date for the Egestan alliance after 421 BCE was indicated.
Before looking at a date that is not in the 450s, an important argument must be considered.
Note: February 2015 the greek has been updated, to be viewed correclty in all browsers and on i Pads and i Phones.
Introduction An alliance was made between Egesta (a town in NW Sicily) and Athens.
Mattingly (19) has conveniently summarised Meiggs' criteria as follows: Mattingly (19) in reply to Meiggs (1966), argued that "spelling, grammar, idiom, formulae and vocabulary", along with historical context should contribute to dating an inscription.