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Instructions For Using The Hagiography Database

Please note that the interface for the Hagiography database is under development.

The database is divided into three sections:

Saints

This contains the list of all saints of the 8th-10th centuries from whose vitae data has been abstracted and classified. By clicking on a saint's name, you will access basic information on the saint. The continuous Greek texts of the saints' lives which we are able to disseminate electronically under copyright law may also be accessed from this location. We have received two types of copyright permission for the electronic reproduction of Greek texts. One variant permits us to reproduce the entire vita of a saint as a continuous text (accessed through the saint information page), the second permits us to reproduce the Greek text only in sections (accessed through the search citations pages). For complete lists of the vitae included in the database, and vitae whose Greek texts had to be omitted, see the Introduction.

The example of Eustratios of Agauros will be used to illustrate the various features of the biographical information pages.

BHG No.

E.g., 645, representing the reference number assigned to the saint and corresponding texts in the Bibliotheca Hagiographica Graeca, 5 vols., ed. F. Halkin (Brussels, 1957-84)

Birth Year

E.g. 791. This represents the known or approximate birth year of the saint. (NB: One must always consult the summary of the saint in the Introduction to determine whether the dates on the Saint record are exact dates or approximate dates or dates indicating only a rough estimate of one half of a century, or represent a terminus ante quem or a terminus post quem!)

Death Year

E.g. 886. This represents the known or approximate death year of the saint (or a terminus ante quem or a terminus post quem).

Author

E.g. Anonymous. This represents the name of the author if known.

Vita Start Year

E.g., 886. This represents the known or approximate earliest possible date for the composition of the vita. (NB: One must always consult the summary of the saint in the Introduction to determine whether the dates on the saint record are exact dates, approximate dates or dates indicating only a rough estimate of one half of a century, or a terminus ante quem or a terminus post quem!) Often the death date of the saint is taken by default to be the earliest possible date if there is no other chronological evidence available.

Vita End Year

E.g. 1000. This represents the known or approximate latest possible date for the composition of the vita. Often the earliest manuscript date of the vita is taken by default to be the latest possible date if there is no other chronological evidence available.

Domain

E.g. Rural. This field can be labelled Rural, Urban, C/ple (i.e. Constantinople) or Unknown, as the controlling social background to the action in the vita.

Region

E.g., Biztinianas, Agauros, Mt. Olympos, Constantinople. These represent the major geographical areas where the saint resided or visited, beginning with the place of birth. The full list of topography in an individual vita can be searched through the field, Topographical Names.

Edition

E.g. Papadopulos-Kerameus, Analekta 4 (1897) 367-400 and 5 (1898) 408-410. This field gives the edition used for entry into the database and will be the source for the page and line numbers on the key word records. Any deviation in pagination or in other parameters of citation will be noted here. Also noted here will be any works which were used to supplement or emend the text of the vita. (NB: The text in Greek files is a corrected [and sometimes supplemented] text and not a carbon copy of the printed edition. Care has been taken to mark emendations and corrections by lege: in the Greek text files, but one must always consult the printed edition to ascertain its original orthography and punctuation which may have been tacitly corrected. The aim of the textbase is to provide a handy text that is also an improvement on the original edition.)

Greek Text

Clicking on this highlighted phrase will take you to the continuous Greek text of the saint's vita or synaxarion notice. (For 26 vitae the Greek versions of the continuous texts have been omitted because of our failure to obtain copyright permission for the electronic dissemination of the texts; the list of excluded texts will be found in the Introduction.)

Authors

The Authors' List is useful only for ascertaining the vitae written by an individual author. No biographical information is provided on the authors.

Citations

Search in All the Vitae

This is the part of the database that contains the indexed information from the saints' lives. It opens to a search screen where queries can be entered. At the right of the screen, you will find pull-down menus of the three types of classification, categories, sub-categories and words. Perusal of these menus is an excellent way to familiarize yourself with the contents and system of classification of the database. By highlighting a specific category, you will automatically be provided with a list of subcategories. By choosing a subcategory you will also be automatically provided with a list of associated words. For example, clicking on apiculture (in the menu to the right of categories) will lead you to its three sub-categories, apiculture, place of, apiculture, products of, and apiculture, techniques of. Clicking on apiculture, place of will in turn lead you to three word selections, apiary, beehive and beehive pots. Should you wish to search for beehive, click on the word and it will automatically be entered in the words box on the lefthand side of the screen. (Alternatively you may type beehive in the appropriate box.) To execute a search for this word in all the vitae, click on the Search button, making sure that the box reading Show saints is empty (click on it to remove the checkmark). About twenty cards will then appear on the screen. Each card will provide the following information:

  1. the page and line number of each passage where beehive is found
  2. a transliterated portion of the Greek text in the Notes field to provide some context
  3. the tripartite classification
  4. if the highlighted phrase see text appears, that means the Greek text of this passage can be accessed by clicking on this phrase. The Greek text that appears is only a fragment of the vita (except in the case of short synaxarion notices), usually the paragraph from which the indexed terms were taken. For a complete list of the texts we were permitted to reproduce in this fashion see the Introduction.
  5. In cases where a miracle is described in the text, there will be a show miracle card indication by which you can access a brief description of the miracle in English.

To return to the search screen, hit the back button on the toolbar. Clear the search screen by pressing the Clear button at the bottom of the screen.

Search in a Single Vita

If you want to search for a word in a single vita, for example, all instances of beehive in the vita of St. Philaretos the Merciful, enter beehive in the Words box; then click on the Saint box to get a pull-down menu of saints, and click on Philaretos the Merciful. Click on the search button, and the eight passages with beehive in this vita will appear on the screen. If you are searching for a multi-word entry, e.g. holy water, you must place a period (and no space) between the two words (holy.water).

Search For a Proper Name

To search for a proper name, type the name in the appropriate box, e.g. Theopiste. Clicking on the Comment button to the right of the box will produce a list of the two individuals named Theopiste who are included in the database, and provide brief identifications. These names are not directly linked to the database, but will provide you with the correct form of the name. Thus typing in Theopiste.abbess in the Proper Names box (or using the copy and paste function) and pressing the search button will produce thirteen instances where Theopiste is mentioned in the vita of Theodora of Thessalonike. Please note that a period (without any spaces) must separate words for both proper names and toponyms (e.g., Theophylaktos.of.Nikomedeia).

Follow the same procedure to search for topographical names. For example, type Amorion in the appropriate box. Pressing the Comment button to the right will give you a brief description of the location of Amorion. Exit the Comment screen and press the Search button, and you will call up the 24 instances in which the word Amorion appears in the database. To narrow the search, you can type in an additional search parameter, such as the vita of Blasios of Amorion (enter Blasios of Amorion in the Saint box), in which case only two cards will appear. If you are searching for a multi-word toponym (e.g., churches of Sts. Kosmas and Damianos), you must place a period (without any space) between each word of the phrase (e.g., church.of.Sts.Kosmas.and.Damianos). If you press the Comment button, it will list seven different churches by this name. You may highlight the church you select, and copy its name to the toponyms box on the query screen. Then press the search button and you will call up all instances of this church in the database.

Searching All Cards For a Vita

If you wish to see all the entries for a vita in the order in which they appear in the text, enter the name of the saint in the Saint's box and press search. This will produce the full sequence of record cards for that vita.

Searching For Greek Words

It is also possible to search for Greek words in transliterated form that have been entered into the Notes field for a card. Thus, if you are looking for instances of monydrion, type in monydri (so that the word can be found, irrespective of its case ending) and press search. This will produce five instances of the word, all from the vita of Sts. David, Symeon and George. Remember that if you want to check the edition from which the Greek text originates, click on the saint's name. This will take you to the saint's card with complete bibliographical information.

If you experience any difficulties in using it, please contact the Byzantine Studies Program.

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