Welcome to Crossreads

Crossreads will offer the first coherent account of the interplay of linguistic and textual material culture in ancient Sicily over a period of 1,500 years. Sicily was a multilingual, multicultural region at the crossroads of the ancient Mediterranean, colonised and invaded repeatedly by Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans and many others. Historical accounts have traditionally prioritised the literary texts of classical antiquity, creating a Helleno- and Romano-centric narrative, which often relegates the island to a footnote (particularly after the Roman conquest in the third century BCE). However, the inhabitants, native and immigrant, did write, and those texts survive in large numbers, engraved on a variety of durable materials – the practice of epigraphy. These texts embrace a broad socio-economic range, across public and private life.