The Epigraphical Museum, which is housed in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, was built in 1885 and is the largest of its kind in the whole world.
Its collection consists of thousands of inscriptions dating from the 8th century BC to the modern period. Those have provided scientists with valuable information on all areas of life - religion, politics, economy, and culture.
Visitors can easily draw information about the inscriptions they are interested in from the installed bilingual panels.
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The permanent exhibition mainly features Greek inscriptions originating from the region of Attica, but there are some coming from the rest of Greece and Asia Minor, too. Most inscriptions are engraved in ancient Greek, but Latin and a small number of other languages, like Phoenician and Hebrew, have also been detected.
• Room 11 is the first exhibition hall of the museum and hosts the oldest ancient Greek inscriptions (8th-5th century BC). Information on the evolution of writing is provided, as well as on the main categories of inscriptions during the Archaic Period - laws, funerary monuments and votive monuments. Among the room's most impressive exhibits have to be the oldest surviving Attic stone inscription found on the Acropolis (8th century BC) and the tombstone dedicated to the Corinthians who died in the naval battle of Salamis (480 BC).
• Room 1 presents important public texts of ancient Athens, like resolutions on various issues, lists of votive offerings of the Acropolis and treaties of alliance. Resolutions written during the Peloponnesian War are also on display.
• Room 2 showcases various types of inscriptions. Some indicative examples are the resolution of the Gytheates to honor Nemerius and Marcus Cloatius, two Roman brothers, for their financial assistance to the town, the resolution for the euphemism of Aphrodite's Sanctuary on the southern slope of the Acropolis, and the pedestal of a statue of Sulla.
• Room 9 has a plethora of epigraphic monuments, dating from the 6th century BC to the 4th century AD, which provide information about public life during antiquity, especially in ancient Athens.
Lastly, in the museum's lobby, visitors can admire the resolution for the foundation of Athenian League II and the Salamis Tablet.
The main intention of the museum is to research, study, register, protect, preserve, publish, photographically document and promote ancient Greek inscriptions; last but not least, to create a rich photographic archive for all the inscriptions as well as an epigraphical library.
Next to the main building, there is an exhibition hall where every so often temporary exhibitions of ancient Greek inscriptions or modern art exhibitions influenced by the ancient Greek script and inscriptions are realized. In the same building, there is a conference hall used for scientific meetings, speeches, and lessons.
Given the fact that only a few are aware of its existence, the Epigraphical Museum is a tranquil oasis for its visitors who will have the opportunity to relax among ancient pillars and admire inscriptions of unique historical importance.
The Epigraphical Museum is open every day from 08:30 to 15:30, except for Tuesdays (closed).
There are many ways to reach the Epigraphical Museum from any location in Athens.
Private transfers: We recommend using an online pre-booked transfer service, which provides transfer by taxi, minibus, or private VIP car and arranging a pickup directly from the port, airport, or your hotel. Alternatively, there’s the option of arranging a pickup by a local driver directly at the following numbers: (0030) 18288, (0030) 18222, (0030) 18180. You can also book your taxi online.
On foot: As the Epigraphical Museum is located in a central area of Athens, it can be easily reached on foot from Omonia Square in approximately 10 minutes.
By metro: The closest metro station is Victoria (Green Line). Note that the Epigraphical Museum is located within a 10-minute walking distance from the metro. Get a map of the metro here.
By bus/trolleybus: The closest bus stop is "Politechnio" (Bus line 224). Check the routes and the official timetables on OASA Telematics.