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Category: Prosopography and onomastics

Identifying individuals through network visualizations

Today your reporter will deliver this post live from her new temporary habitat: the laundromat. I was hoping it would never come to this, but the landlord still hasn’t installed pipes for the washing machine. I’ve been postponing this ordeal for over a month now, and my laundry basket simply can’t handle the steady heaps of clothing being catapulted its way anymore. So I stuffed everything into my backpack, trolley, Ikea bag, any big container I own basically, and dragged myself to the nearest facility, with the very deceitful name ‘Happy Wash’. Yet there is absolutely nothing spirit-lifting about sitting in a fluorescently-lit corridor lined with machines shaking and snorting as if they’re about to take off. The owners are obviously of the hippy-dippy retro sort: there’s no Wi-Fi. One might argue that the absence of all technological diversions can be seen as a blessing, as it allows me to fully unleash my literary genius and focus on the task at hand: providing you, dear reader, with entertaining and educational refreshments. But somehow I find that being surrounded by glass doors offering a window into other people’s tighty whities being swirled around oddly discomforting and distracting (though luckily not satisfying). Today’s special is geared toward the prosopographically-minded. As we’ve been repeating for years now, you can’t do social network analysis if you don’t have a decent prosopography. It’s become kind of a mantra. You need to get your data sorted out. Now, while working on Trismegistos is awesome, it does…

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Onomastic network in Trismegistos People

Dear tootsie rolls, A while back I posted how the Oxford Internet Institute made this world a better place thanks to their sigma.js export plugin for Gephi. When I demonstrated this little gem to our Trismegistos Overlord, he was dead psyched. I tell you, that man can smell an opportunity aeons away.      So these past couple of weeks, he’s been edging me on to make networks of just about everything in Trismegistos. Compliant, obliging and submissive as I am, I’ve been doing practically nothing else ever since. The first database I conquered is the Names database. With 17,182 nodes and 69,860 edges, this is definitely the largest network I’ve set up so far. And now it’s all yours to play around with! It’s got a nice Egyptian component, and a Greek component, and some ambiguous names, like Anoubas, in the middle.    But our terrifyingly transcendental Trismegistos overlord had bigger plans still. Last week, he finally let me in on the deal: not only would we post the network online with the help of the plug-in, we would also display the ego network of each individual name.      So now, when you look up a name, like Achilleus (for those of you heathens who haven’t looked up names in Trismegistos yet, see fig. 1 & 2), you not only get an overview of all the variants, the number of attestations, the chronological and geographical spread, but also a visualization of all the other names Achilleus is connected to. Like…

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The Trismegistos Tabloid, July 18 2014

(Since Facebook doesn’t allow XXL pictures, and without them, this week’s Trismegistos Tabloid would be worthless, I’m posting it here, just this once. You can click on the pics to supersize them) Today’s TT features an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the Trismegistos People database! Some of you are probably already familiar with our website and how it works. Others just liked this page out of sympathy, or perhaps rather a sense of social obligation. But undoubtedly, most of you just like the funny pictures and have no idea what Trismegistos is actually all about. Don’t worry, I don’t judge. In the end, it’s all about the rising number of post and page likes I can present our Trismegistos overlord in the hope of a nice Christmas bonus. Anywho, this is what you get when looking up Mrs. Demetria-Tereus, daughter of Hermaios, online:       It shows her name, her parents, additional info on ethnics, titles, etc. if available, and then a list of all the texts she appears in. Pretty straightforward. In our Filemaker version, this is what her record looks like: We get some extra info, such as the family tree and a link to the Name database for onomastic purposes. Since our beloved D.-T. is mentioned four times, she also has four records in the related reference database: This is a much more extensive database, with links not only to the Name database and her family members, just like in PER, but also to the Text database, all other…

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In the shadows of the pyramids…

Today we will take you back in time… *impatient reader shouting at his computer* Yeah, duh! This is a blog about ancient networks! Douche! Now bring on those exotic Egyptians and six-packed Spartans! There. Now stop complaining What we actually mean is that today we’ll talk about the very first network study we did, the first case study we tinkered with to get familiar with different SNA concepts and processes and which we presented at our very first Sunbelt conference in Hamburg in 2013. Yes, you see, no need to worry. You’ll get there. Only a year ago we were SNA virgins too, eager to have our cherry plucked… am I taking this too far? Anywho, we started out with the archive of Zenon. Who is this Zenon fellow, you ask, and why were you drawn to his particular archive? Because he is the HERO of every papyrologist, I tell you. If there were a papyrology high school, Zenon’s poster would be tacked to every locker door, he’d flash a perhaps not so perfectly white and maybe even slightly lacunose smile from every smartphone background, and bitch fights would break out every other lunch break over who gets to dip his smooth flowing pen into their ink palette (and I mean this in the most literal of senses. We are not a gang of mummiphilous pervs). Zenon’s archive was found somewhere around the beginning of the 20th century during illegal excavations (I was going to say that our field bears…

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More events!

Here are some more events we thought you might be interested in. You might even spot us at some!   May 9-11: Networks and Interactions conference at Leiden University. Silke will enlighten the world with a paper on Demotic contracts from Ptolemaic Thebes. She created this cool multi-layered network incorporating the scribes, the contracting parties and the witnesses, linking those in the same documents, as well as recording family ties. The main focus is on the witnesses: how were they chosen? Were they connected to the notarial and scribal offices, or can they be linked to one or both parties as family and/or acquaintances perhaps? Or were they chosen randomly, passers-by simply picked from the streets when needed?   May 12: a conference on mixed-method approaches to social network analysis at Hendon Campus (Middlesex University) in Londen, where qualitative research is applied to social networks besides the traditional quantitative approach   July 11: Silke will present her Theban witness paper to a London audience this time, as part of the Digital Classicist London & Institute of Classical Studies summer seminars. More info, abstract and other speakers here! August 1: During yet another seminar in the Digital Classicist summer edition, Sebastian Rahtz and Gabriel Bodard will present the SNAP:DRGN project (of which our very own Trismegistos is a privileged partner!)  June 23-28 (2015!): Sunbelt XXXV – next mega SNA conference bij the INSNA will take place in Brighton (UK) next year, save the date! To make things easier, I created a calendar dedicated…

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