Upcoming workshop on SNAP ontology and data

Next week we shall be hosting a small workshop (already fully booked) at King’s College London to introduce a selection of potential project partners, data providers, advisors and other stakeholders to the SNAP:DRGN project.

The principal aims of the workshop include:

  1. Introduce the goals of the SNAP:DRGN project, the core datasets (LGPN, TM, PIR) and their current formats and contents, and the data models and ontologies that we propose to use for the preliminary data ingest.
  2. Learn about other prosopographical and linked data approaches in use in history and the digital humanities.
  3. Learn about other classical person datasets that might be suitable for exposing in SNAP-recommended RDF format and adding to our triplestore.

Continue reading Upcoming workshop on SNAP ontology and data


Last week, Faith gave a great overview of some of the issues involved in describing the relationships between people. This week, I’m going to come at the problem from the other side, looking at what data we have, and how SNAP plans to represent them.

Our initial datasets include Trismegistos People (TM, described by Mark), the Lexicon of Greek Personal Names (LGPN, described by Sebastian), and a set of names (article headwords) from the Prosopographia Imperii Romani, 2nd edition (PIR²) put together by Tom Elliott. TM has web pages that document the references to names and people found in papyri, many of which are hosted at Papyri.info, as well as resources describing the names and person; references, names, and persons all have unique identifiers. LGPN comes at the problem of modeling people from a different angle. They start with persons and add names and references; persons and names have unique identifiers. From PIR², we have only persons, with a “principal” name and identifying number (the article number) attached to them. Continue reading Tensions

Relationships Are Never Easy…

People are inherently social creatures. This means any project about people almost always has to deal with the relationships between people. In this, SNAP:DRGN is no exception. Since this is not a new problem there are a number of different models that already exist and are in use in other projects. Ideally we would reuse an existing, standard ontology to describe the relationships—this would allow us to be easily compatible with other similar projects that had (one hopes) gone through a similar thought process and came to the same conclusion. Continue reading Relationships Are Never Easy…

The Lexicon of Greek Personal Names in SNAP

The Lexicon of Greek Personal Names (http://www.lgpn.ox.ac.uk/) started in 1972 as a British Academy Major Research Project to collect and publish all known ancient Greek personal names; it was well into digitisation by the early 1980s, so it has a proud 30 year history of involvement in technological developments and interest in long-term data management. LGPN primarily, however, produces printed volumes (seven to date) which cover different geographical areas, so the exposure of material in linked data form for SNAP necessitates doing some new work on mapping from the existing database structure to the new ontology. Continue reading The Lexicon of Greek Personal Names in SNAP

Introducing Trismegistos People

Trismegistos People was born about five years ago, as a prosopographical and onomastic expansion to the Trismegistos platform. This collaborative venture coordinated by Ancient History in Leuven collects metadata about all texts from Egypt (800 BC- AD 800), whatever their language or genre (it’s also currently expanding outside Egypt, but that’s a different story). With Trismegistos People, our goal was to add information about the individuals and names present in these texts, and thus expand upon the Prosopographia Ptolemaica (PP), a Who’s Who of Ptolemaic Egypt (332 – 30 BC) developed over the course of more than fifty years in Leuven. Continue reading Introducing Trismegistos People

Networking Ancient People (press release)

SNAPsideA consortium led by scholars in Digital Humanities at King’s College London has been awarded an AHRC Digital Transformations Big Data grant to develop links between several databases of people from classical antiquity. The SNAP:DRGN project (“Standards for Networking Ancient Prosopographies: Data and Relations in Greco-roman Names”), will work with partners at Oxford, Southampton, Edinburgh, Leuven in Belgium, and Duke in the United States, to create standards for bringing together references that are to the same or related people from ancient Greek and Latin texts. Continue reading Networking Ancient People (press release)