Current Coverage

Trismegistos People now counts over 450,000 attestations of people. It is far from exhaustive, however, and the number will rise further, perhaps to 600,000 or more, for several reasons.

First of all Trismegistos Texts itself does not yet include all published texts from Egypt and the Nile Valley dated between BC 800 and AD 800. For a survey of its current estimated coverage, click here.

Furthermore, of the texts in Trismegistos, not all have currently been checked for personal names. The coverage varies per language /script, as does the method used. A survey:


Papyrological texts
Greek papyri and ostraca have been semi-automatically ‘parsed’ on the basis of a Unicode XML version generously provided by Duke in October 2008 at the start of our project. The precise procedure has been described in Journal of Juristic Papyrology 39 (2009), pp.31-47. As a result of this cooperation we have been able to process a substantial portion of the roughly 45000 texts in a few years with only few collaborators. The records are detailed (including information about the case etc.) but have not yet been checked, and there are no doubt still many mistakes, some caused by human error, others by technical problems (e.g. wrong cases, places identified as people and vice-versa).
Names from the following sets currently present in Duke are still missing in Trismegistos People:
Texts added to the Duke Databank of Documentary Papyri after October 2008
The DDbDP version used is that of October 2008. Since then many corrections have been made, but also many new texts have been added thanks to the SoSOL editor in the Papyrological Navigator. These have not yet been ‘parsed’, but we hope to find a way to process these in the same way as the corpus provided in 2008.
Post AD 500 Greek texts
Because of the scholarly focus of our project Creating Identities in Graeco-Roman Egypt [CIGRE], we have concentrated on texts that pre-date AD 500. Those after 500 still have to be done. We hope that someone with more expertise on the Byzantine period will volunteer to do (part of) this work, which should be feasible within a reasonable period because of the semi-automated online interface. A short online training session suffices for volunteers to have a go at the remaining texts on their own computers. For more information, please contact Mark Depauw.

Epigraphic texts
The names in Greek inscriptions have been entered manually, which is much more time-consuming. Also personal names have been added in the nominative and no information about the case attested in the text is currently included. Names in amphora stamps have been excluded, because they were stamped outside Egypt.


For Demotic papyrological and epigraphic material manual entry started at the end of the project Multilingualism and Multiculturalism in Graeco-Roman Egypt [MaMiGRE], and was continued in the course of CIGRE. This is even the only set which has been partially checked. Much work remains to be done, however.


Papyrological texts
The Coptic papyrological texts have been added through a cooperation with Alain Delattre, who worked for one year as a fellow in our project (Mar 2009-Mar 2010). His Brussels Coptic Database database included a field listing transliterated names for each particular Coptic text. We developed a way to integrate this information onomastically and to check how many times each name was attested in the text. It was not yet possible to include line numbers for the attestations: the first reference of each name is called occ1, the second occ2 etc. Since these are almost always short texts, we have assumed that identical names in the same text refer to identical people. The longer texts which also mention father’s names have NOT yet been added.
Epigraphic texts
Coptic epigraphic texts have not yet been included.

Hieroglyphic and hieratic

Again all manual entries, partially done at the end of MaMIGRE and some during CIGRE.


Papyrological texts
Latin papyrological material from Egypt – normally included in Duke – remains to be done: even the onomastic set used in the parsing procedure is now only in the early stages of development.
Epigraphic texts
Latin inscriptions have been done manually, but since the onomastic set has not yet been developed, the entries may look peculiar.

Other languages and scripts

So far nothing has been added for any other script, although we have done some preliminary work for Arabic in the names database.

For precise figures of how many texts are covered and how, see 'Quality Control'.