Trismegistos People

Beta Version September 2011


Trismegistos People is a tool dealing with personal names of non-royal individuals attested as living in Egypt in documentary texts between BC 800 and AD 800, including all languages and scripts written on any surface. Not included are pharaohs, emperors, and saints; people attested in texts outside Egypt (with the exception of some Prosopographia Ptolemaica entries) or people living outside Egypt (no consuls!); and names from non-documentary texts (e.g. narratives).

Trismegistos People consists of a complex set of prosopographical and onomastic databases. At the heart of the structure is the REF database, which lists attestations of people identified by personal names. It is linked to PER, a database of individuals, and to NAMVAR, a database of personal name variants which is in turn linked to NAM, a database of names. The current figures for each of these databases are as follows:

Each of these databases is still under construction and has its limitations: REF does not yet cover all Trismegistos Texts (read more...) and has not yet been checked for completeness or mistakes (read more...); the identifications in PER are mostly those of the Prosopographia Ptolemaica only (read more...); the transliterated Egyptian variants in NAMVAR are not always standardized (read more...); and the names in NAM could and often should be grouped otherwise (read more...), while some adaptations to the Latin name system may still be needed (read more...).

The current beta version of Trismegistos People is thus preliminary in many ways, and some users may frown upon this premature exposure of our fledgling database to public scrutiny. We hope, however, that even in its current state the tool may prove useful enough to avert nemesis. Also, digital instruments such as TM People have the advantage that they can be updated and improved easily. We would therefore be very grateful if users not only show clemency, but also help us improving the quality (read more...).

Internet databases tend not to be quoted, or only reluctantly. Often scholars will not document the use of digital tools and point to the (printed version of the) sources directly. Gradually, however, scholarship seems to enter a new phase where online edition is taking over the front position from paper copy. In this environment new procedures have to be developed, and for texts and places we provide the assistance of our stable numeric identifiers. We hope to do the same for people and names soon (read more...).

Finally, technically, the online version of the database itself should be self-explanatory. Search possibilities are limited for the moment, but we will develop these au fur et à mesure (and do use the Google Custom Search of TM People as well! You will find the search field in the upper right part of each page in the Trismegistos website). Please contact us with your comments and questions.

For Trismegistos,
Mark Depauw, September 2011