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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 people mentioned in the same texts, as well as all other REFs of that particular person. The text itself is shown, from which we can copy the titles and ethnics mentioned in this specific reference, her role in the identification cluster is specified, as well as possible patronymics, metronymics, etc, and, since she has a double name and I wrote my dissertation on double names, there’s some info on that aspect as well.
Since most of the data in Trismegistos People was extracted from semi-automatically, people that appear in more than one text could not be identified (computers are not thatsmart you know). So this is one of those things we do around here if we’ve got some time to spare. Things can get pretty complicated though: say you have this guy who appears 10 times, and he mentions his patronymic 7 times, his papponymic 6 times, his metronymic 4 times, his father is also mentioned separately in three texts, and in a withered corner of a census list a brother and two sisters pop up… It’s not enough to just identify your one guy; you need to process the whole family. Sadly, despite our massive improvements on digitalization, this has serious consequences regarding my paper consumption, since you constantly need to write down endless lists of pnrs (unique numbers to identify individuals) and draw family trees to stay focused. Here’s an example of a pretty organized scribble:

And this is what happens when things start to get messy:

And that is where social network analysis comes in handy! But that’s a different
story, for which you should stay tuned at!

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