Greek Inscriptions and Orthography

From: myron kauk (
Date: Wed Sep 22 1999 - 17:28:45 EDT


        I have been asked a question about dating the different scripts of
the Greek alphabet. It appears that in the inscription we have from Herod's
Temple that warns Gentiles not to enter on pain of death, the full Sigma is
used. Coinage from Herod's time reflects both the full Sigma and an
abbreviated Sigma that looks like our letter 'c'. In the Byzantine period
only the abbreviated Sigma is found.
        1) Is this information accurate?
        2) If so, when did the full Sigma cease to be used and when did the
abbreviated Sigma start being used?
        3) How reliable is such information for dating inscriptions?
        Can anyone speak to this or point me in the direction of more

Grace be with you,

Myron C. Kauk

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