Sigla appLaunch sigla

Sigla is a web toy app providing a quick lookup at the most important epigraphical Roman and Greek abbreviations. It also provides some handy tools, like a perpetual Roman calendar, and an ancient eras converter.


Each abbreviation may correspond to one or more solutions (e.g. A might be resolved as amicus, annus, or assis), and may include variants, wrapped in brackets. For instance, A(ER) C(OLL) = aere collato may appear in the forms A C or AER COLL, or D E R (I C) = de ea re (ita censuere) may appear in the forms D E R or D E R I C. When an abbreviation has variants, its details expands their full list, e.g. from D E R (I C) it lists D E R and D E R I C.

Once you select the set (Roman or Greek), you are free to combine several filters to lookup the list:

  • abbreviation: the full abbreviation, including or excluding its variants. For instance, you might enter d e r to find D E R (I C).
  • solution: any part of the solution(s) text. Usually this filter uses fuzzy matching to provide more results; should you want to limit them to exact matches only (=find only those solutions including the text you entered), just enable the exact option.
  • letter: the first letter of the abbreviation.
  • solutions count: the minimum and/or maximum count of solutions of each abbreviation.

You can reset all the options by clicking the red X button.

You can see the details about each abbreviation by clicking the magnifier button.

The data which feed the app come from simple, plain text files, which can be easily edited by human operators. This was done to allow students work on these lists, whose first origin was the product of OCR. For instance, here is a sample from the Latin data:

A A A F F:aere, argento, auro flando feriundo
A B:amico bono
A B M:amico bene merenti
A(ER) C(OLL):aere collato
A D:ad diathesis
:ante diem

Here you can see that every abbreviation starts a new line, and is followed by 1 or more solutions, each introduced by a semicolon. Abbreviations with variants use brackets, as explained above.

Roman Calendar

In this Roman calendar you can convert a Roman date to a modern date, by typing the date, either in its abbreviated or full form (e.g. pr eid iun or pridie eidus Iunias), and entering a year (required to detect leap years and change the calendar accordingly). For years before 45 B.C., the converter uses the “Julian Proleptic Calendar“, which extends the Julian calendar backwards in time.

Note that you can freely mix different levels of brevity, e.g. all these texts would be accepted:

  • ante diem iii kalendas martias
  • a d iii kal mart
  • ad iii kal mart
  • kal mart
  • kalendis Martiis
  • die IV ante Kalendas Iunias
  • pridie kalendas Apriles
  • pr kal apr
  • … etc …

Inversely, you can enter a date and have it converted to our Gregorian calendar date. Here you can choose among different styles (fasti, standard, verbose; shortened or not), and eventually view the full month fasti. You can change the first nundinal letter of that month, too.

The reconstruction of dies fasti is based on Mancini 1937-8 (Fasti Praenestini) and is here only exempli gratia. Note that the “fasti” style is there to build a view similar to the ancient epigraphical fasti, so that in this style some dates will not be output at all. Thus, be sure to select either the standard or verbose style when just converting.

Eras Converter

This pane provides a quick converter among the most known eras of the ancient Greek and Roman world:

  • Gregorian: our Gregorian calendar era.
  • Olympic: the Olympic era (starting with the first Olympiad in 776 B.C., and ending with the last in 400 A.D.; each Olympiad has a 4-years period). You can enter the Olympiad era with a format like n,p where n is the Olympiad number, and p the period number (1-4).
  • ab urbe condita (AUC): the era beginning from the traditional date of the foundation of Rome (753 B.C.).
  • Constantine imperial indiction: the theoric number of a Constantine imperial indiction (ranging from 312 to 1805 A.D.).
  • Byzantine era: the era beginning with the date of the creation of the world according to Byzantines. Byzantines
    count years from the creation of the world, dated September, 1, 5509 B.C. (their year starts on September, 1). Thus,
    when entering a Byzantine year, you are prompted to enter the month, too.

Just pick the source era and enter a value to convert: a synoptic table of all the eras is shown at the bottom.

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