This is part of an interview with Professor Silvia Giorcelli Bersani.
The CIL (Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum) is the most important collection of Latin inscriptions, and is a very important tool for every student of Roman history. It was conceived by Theodor Mommsen (Nobel Prize for literature in 1902) in mid-19th century after dozens years of planning work and attempts. It was published thank the undertaking of the Berlin Academy (Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum consilio et auctoritate Academiae litterarum regiae Borussicae editum, Berolini 1863).
It is composed of a lot of volumes (and each of them is divided into installments and tomes) and is written in Latin. Because of its makeup it is still incomplete, even though it is widely updated. To date there are 18 volumes organized following different criteria: on a chronological basis (vol. I, containing republican inscriptions prior to Caesar's death, 44 B.C.[ad C. Caesaris mortem]); on a geographical basis (vol. II-XIV, divided into provinces, Italic regions and cities); on a typological basis (vol. XV, domestic tools, vol. XVI, military diplomas, vol. XVII, mile posts, vol. XVIII, epigraphic poems).
- VOL. I Inscriptiones Latinae antiquissimae ad C. Caesaris mortem
- VOL. I2 Inscriptiones Latinae antiquissimae ad C. Caesaris mortem
- VOL II Inscriptiones Hispaniae Latinae
- VOL. II2 Inscriptiones Hispaniae Latinae
- VOL. III Inscriptiones Asiae, provinciarum Europae Graecarum, Illyrici Latinae
- VOL. IV Inscriptiones parietariae Pompeianae Herculanenses Stabianae
- VOL. V Inscriptiones Galliae Cisalpinae Latinae
- VOL. VI Inscriptiones urbis Romae Latinae
- VOL. VII Inscriptiones Britanniae Latinae
- VOL. VIII Inscriptiones Africae Latinae
- VOL. IX Inscriptiones Calabriae, Apuliae, Samnii, Sabinorum, Piceni Latinae
- VOL. X Inscriptiones Bruttiorum, Lucaniae, Campaniae, Siciliae, Sardiniae Latinae
- VOL. XI Inscriptiones Aemiliae, Etruriae, Umbriae Latinae
- VOL. XII Inscriptiones Galliae Narbonensis Latinae
- VOL. XIII Inscriptiones Inscriptiones trium Galliarum et Germaniarum Latinae
- VOL. XIV Inscriptiones Latii veteris latinae
- VOL. XV Inscriptiones urbis Romae Latinae. Instrumentum domesticum
- VOL. XVI Diplomata militaria
- VOL. XVII Miliaria imperii Romani
- VOL. XVIII Carmina Latina epigraphica
Within the volumes each inscription is identified by a number (e.g. CIL, V 5768 = 5th volume, about Gallia Cisalpina, inscription number 5768, which in particular is a sacred epigraph in Hercules' honour coming from Milan) and is briefly described (kind and shape of the object, state of repair, where it was found and where it is today). Then there is the transcription of the text, paged up as in the original. They are written in CAPITALS and integrated where needed by using lower-case italics. ITALIC CAPITALS are used for those letters and lines which we already knew from other inscriptions and which were later lost. A series of slashes /// indicate that the surface of the text is damaged. After the text there is the bibliography and the apparatus criticus (i.e. all the studies on that document in chronological order, the reading variants line by line, the expansion of the abbreviations). Each volume has an index divided into chapters (nomina and cognomina, but also divinities, emperors, consuls, magistrates, soldiers, localities, collegia and corporations, activities, etc.) which is the principle means to find inscriptions.
Use Template:CIL to provide automatic links into the CIL database.