The first duty of the editors in presenting this collection of classical inscriptions from Tripolitania is to acknowledge their indebtedness to all those whose help and advice has made its preparation possible. As will be seen from the title-page, the editors have been fortunate in securing the collaboration of a group of scholars, each of whom has made notable contributions to the knowledge of Roman Tripolitania and is familiar at first hand with the epigraphic material from the province. Professor Salvatore Aurigemma, first Italian Superintendent of Antiquities for Tripolitania, and his successors, Professors Pietro Romanelli and Renato Bartoccini, have all checked the typescript, in whole or in part, and made many valuable suggestions; Professor Bartoccini has also made available the notebooks recording his own discoveries between 1925 and 1929, still in part unpublished. Professor Giacomo Caputo, Superintendent since 1936, has not only given valuable help in reading and checking the texts but has generously contributed the material, much of it as yet unpublished, from his own excavations of the Theatre at Lepcis Magna and from other recent work under his direction. Mr Goodchild, Director of Antiquities under the British Administration from 1946 to 1948, has helped at every stage, in the initial reading of the texts, in their checking, and in their preparation for publication: many of the readings in Sections VII-XII are the result of his systematic exploration of the interior, and he is entirely responsible for the drafting and for the subject-matter of Section XIII (Milestones). With the exception of certain texts, now lost or inaccessible, and of some of those from the interior which have been read by Mr Goodchild, the editors have, jointly or severally, re-read the entire series, and the responsibilty both of the readings and for the form in which they are presented is theirs alone. It is obvious, however, that such merits as the resulting collection may have are due very largely to the generous collaboration of their colleagues.
In the preparation of the individual texts the editors have at various times received generous and authoritative help from Sir John Beazley, the late Professor Gastone Bersanetti, Professor Attilio Degrassi, M. Julien Guey, Professor A.H. McDonald, Professor I.A. Richmond, Professor Ronald Syme and Professor H.T. Wade-Gery; and in all matters concerning the Neo-Punic texts from Professor Giorgio Levi Della Vida. Professors Francesco Béguinot and Angelo Silvani have advised respectively on the Libyan and the Christian texts. For permission to incorporate several unpublished texts from the interior of Tripolitania, thanks are due to the discoverers, Mr. David Oates and Mr. Michael De Lisle. Other unpublished texts were brought to the notice of the editors by Signor Mario Fabbri (Garian area), by Signor Conti (Tarhuna area), by Superintendents J. Colman and T. Hookey of the Tripolitania Police and by Mr T. W. Hillyard.
Finally editors wish to express their deep indebtedness to the unfailing help and enouragement of Mr. H. M. Last, from the first formulation of their task to is final completion; to Mr. (Brigadier) Maurice Lush and Mr. (Brigadier) Travers Blackley, successive Chief Administrators of Tripolitania, to Mr. (Brigadier) Howard Mercer, Chief Secretary, and to members of their staff, for much practical help, generously given; to Mrs A. H. A. Hankey, who collaborated with Miss Reynolds in the initial transcription of the texts, and to Mrs Maureen Millar; and to Signora F. Bonajuto and Signora M. Lattanzi, who have, cheerfully and accurately, performed the innumerable tedious tasks involved in the preparation of the typescript, and have since rendered invaluable assistance in seeing the volume through the press.
The volume is published with the aid of grants from the British Academy and from Oxford University Craven Fund.
J. M. R.
J. B. W. P.