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Letters in Antiquity

The other Greeks in Macedonia
The lost histories
The epigram

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The grave stele of Paterinos
Grave stele of Paterinos, son of Antigonos, from Beroia. Besides the relief figures of the dead man and his relatives, the stele bears a crowning relief and an engraved epigram, early 1st century BC, Veroia, Archaeological Museum.

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The grave stele of Paterinos
Veroia, early 1st century BC

The form of literature most widely cultivated in Macedonia, other than historical works, was the epigram, a type of short poem. We know Macedonian epigrams either because they were included in anthologies, or because luck or the archaeologist's spade brought to light the stones on which they were inscribed.

The oldest epigrams date to the early 4th century BC; their composition continues without interruption to the end of antiquity. The majority are either funerary or votive dedications and are often connected to the deeds of famous persons, such as Eurydike (mother of Philip II) and Philip V. However, even the humble funerary epigrams for the undistinguished dead provide us with valuable examples of Greek poetry.

See Also
Civilization - Language in Antiquity


Macedonian Heritage
Content courtesy Ekdotike Athenon S.A.