Joyce M. Reynolds, Reader in Roman Historical Epigraphy at University of Cambridge, honorary fellow at Newnham College, Fellow of the British Academy, has died at the age of 103. Joyce was the author of several important corpora of Libyan epigraphy, including Christian monuments of Cyrenaica (2003), Inscriptions of Roman Tripolitania (1952, 2009, 2021), Inscriptions of Roman Cyrenaica (2020), as well as many articles publishing individual or small collections of texts.
When she published the print Inscriptions of Roman Tripolitania in 1952, her goal was to make available the fullest possible collection of texts as quickly as possible, with very perceptive and important introductory accounts of the history of the region. The efficient format allowed her to include almost a thousand inscriptions in only 285 pages. That work has remained fundamental to research in the area until today. In the same spirit she accepted the idea of online publication as early as 2000. She did not herself enjoy looking at computer screens, but she grasped the benefits of being able to provide a really full, illustrated, account of every stone, and also the benefits of reaching a far wider audience than ever before.
Over the next decade, Joyce engaged with the digital teams of two major projects to develop standards for such publications. Her insights into scholarly needs and emphasis on unambiguous information and data were essential to the evolution of the EpiDoc recommendations, and the influence of her publications in this format is transforming the whole field of epigraphy
Throughout her career, she exemplified a commitment to collaboration with other scholars worldwide, including Libya, in a field not best known for collaborative spirit. The title page of IRT, which names seven co-authors and collaborators, is indicative of this good habit. Several generations of scholars owe Joyce a huge amount, and the field of Libyan epigraphy as a whole would be unrecognisable without her work, support, teaching and collegiality.
(Charlotte Roueché and Gabriel Bodard)
In memoriam Joyce M. Reynolds, 1918-12-18 to 2022-09-11