A chronogram is a text (often an inscription), in which certain letters, construed as Roman numerals, express a date via the sum of their numerical values. For example, the sentence ‘LorD haVe MerCIe Vpon Vs,’ printed on a pamphlet might indicate its year of publication as (L + D + V + M + C + I + V + V =) 1666. [more inside]
The Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum is a massive, 17-volume catalog of 180,000 inscriptions and graffiti found across the Roman Empire in classical times. It's available for free online now, starting with the parts published before 1940. I'm fond of volume 4, which covers Pompeii and Herculaneum. (Pompeii graffiti prev) [more inside]
Reading Markson Reading: ‘Exploring the mind, method and masterpieces of David Markson through the marginalia found on the pages of the books in his personal library.’ (previously: 1, 2)
We've discussed odd bookmarks, but what about the humble inscription? Start with two lovely efforts to collect inscriptions, including the Book Inscription Project and
Inscripticateded Dedicated to the One I Love, which tracks inscriptions found at used book stores. Read up on the history of inscriptions at the Library of Scotland's wonderful Private Life of Books, and discover how inscriptions change the value of books. And pity the poor author, who often has to come up with interesting inscriptions for book tours. Have you seen or written any good inscriptions?