Segre (19) and Raubitschek (197f) asserted that the three-barred form () was replaced by the four-barred form () on inscriptions after 445 BCE.
On this basis, the dates of a number of inscriptions with three-barred sigmas (e.g. Mattingly attacked this letter-form analysis and asserted that historians had been "imprisoned by a dogma" (199) and an "over-rigid application of epigraphy" (Mattingly, 193).
The evidence for this alliance comes from an inscription on two fragments of a marble stele, labelled variously Inscriptiones Graecae I2 19,20 and I3 11.
The alliance has been dated as 458/7 or 454/3 or 418/17 BCE (Fornara, 20). Evidence for the first two dates is discussed and then the claims of letter-form analysis.
However, he decided, from the inscription itself, that a dotted phi was appropriate in front of "ων" was to use letter forms to "formulate criteria" and "provide the framework" for dating fifth century Attic inscriptions that could not be dated by other means.
Meiggs first tabulated dated decrees (19) and then undated decrees (19).
This still fitted Meiggs (199) "buoyant mood" as it meant a shift of only four years.
Introduction An alliance was made between Egesta (a town in NW Sicily) and Athens.
Evidence for the third date is discussed and the question of Thucydides' silence about the alliance is raised.
The consequence of the alliance for Sicilian politics is discussed.
Meritt and Wade-Gery agreed that letter-form dating was not self evident but "true in fact" (19) and then argued that the historical context of these decrees pointed to earlier dates than Mattingly, in conformity with letter-form dating.
When Mattingly (1963) dated the Egesta alliance, he first looked to the 420s and suggested that Epameinon (429/8 BCE) or Aristion (421/0 BCE) might be appropriate (198).