IEph and PHI

A forthcoming SBL Press book edited by James R. Harrison and L. L. Welborn, titled The First Urban Churches 3: Ephesus, contains, not surprisingly, a multitude of references to the standard collection of inscriptions from Ephesus, commonly abbreviated IEph. The abbreviation stands for the following work:

Wankel, Hermann, et al., eds. Die Inschriften von Ephesos. 8 vols. in 11. IK 11–17. Bonn: Habelt, 1979–1984.

Few scholars or students will have direct access to the print volumes, but the original texts within them can be accessed freely online at the Packard Humanities Institute (PHI) Searchable Greek Inscriptions website (here). The PHI site provides a remarkable amount of Greek inscriptional material and is well worth exploring on its own. This post focuses on the Ephesus material in order to introduce IEph and PHI and to share a solution to a problem that SBL Press faced when trying to coordinate the two resources.

The PHI Ephesus collection is most easily accessed by going to the PHI Bibliography page (browse by bibliography or go directly here), then scrolling down to Ephesos. The PHI Ephesus collection is that which Donald F. McCabe assembled for the original PHI CD collection, but it includes, as noted on the PHI website, text material from the IEph volumes. Importantly, it also provides texts discovered or published after 1984, that is, after the final volume in IEph was published.

The complication for users is that the McCabe numbering of texts is not the same as the IEph numbering. For example, clicking on Ephesos takes one to a list of texts. Clicking on 1293–1360 leads to a second ordered list, and clicking on 1333–1352 leads to a third with individual texts listed. Clicking on PHI text 1351 leads to the actual page containing the Greek text.

The main point to note here is that PHI 1351 is IEph 3030, a text that appears in volume 7.1 of IEph. The problem that arose for us was trying to fact check a reference to IEph 7.1.3030 (the proper way to reference a text in IEph) in the PHI database. As far as we have been able to discover, there is no online source that automatically transforms IEph text numbers into PHI/McCabe text numbers.

Google’s advanced search function provides a solution. The PHI database is consistent in how it lists the IEph references, so one can search just the PHI inscriptions site for a precise IEph text in order to discover its McCabe number. The process is simple.

  1. Go to the Google Advanced Search site at
  2. Type the general PHI inscriptions URL ( in the site or domain field.
  3. Type the IEph abbreviation and the IEph number in the field specifying an exact word or phrase (or place the same within quotation marks in the “all these words” field).
  4. Click on the search button at the bottom of the form, and the result should be a direct link to the PHI text (in this case Ephesos 1351) that corresponds to the IEph text reference.


We cannot guarantee that this process will work in every case (some IEph texts are not in PHI), but more often than not it has led us quickly and accurately from an IEph reference in the Harrison-Welborn manuscript to the actual text online, which has allowed us to fact check the texts of many Greek inscriptions referenced in this forthcoming volume.

* PHI also offers access to a collection of Classical Latin Texts ( that is well worth exploring.