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στήλη). An upright tablet or slab of stone. At Athens such tablets were set up in a public place, especially on the Acropolis. Laws, decrees, treaties, etc., as well as sentences of punishment against defaulters were engraved upon them, and thus made publicly known. The use of stelae for funeral monuments was common in all Greek countries. In earlier times they are narrow and thin slabs of stone, slightly tapering towards the top, which is crowned either with anthemia (decorations of flowers and leaves), or with a small triangular pediment ornamented with rosettes. The shorter but broader stelé, crowned with a pediment, is later than the other kind. Many such stelae resemble small shrines or chapels. Besides the inscription referring to the dead, they often bear representations of them in relief, as in the famous monument to Dexileos, B.C. 390, near

Stelé from the Acropolis of Mycenae. (Reber.)

Stelé. (Street of the Dead, Athens.)

the Dipylum at Athens. From the stelae, many important Greek inscriptions have been recovered, on which see Epigraphy.

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