Trismegistos [TM], called after the famous epithet of Hermes - Thoth, the Egyptian god of wisdom and writing who also played a major role in Greek religion and philosophy, is a platform aiming to surmount barriers of language and discipline in the study of texts from the ancient world, particularly late period Egypt and the Nile valley (roughly BC 800 - 800 AD).
The core component of TM is Trismegistos Texts, currently counting 675313 entries. When the database was created in 2005, it focused on providing information (metadata) on published papyrological documents from Graeco-Roman Egypt. Chronological boundaries are always artificial, and the nature of the sources soon suggested that BC 800 and AD 800 were more suited. Since egyptology does not know a disciplinary boundary between papyri and inscriptions, TM also decided to expand by adding all epigraphic material as well. Papyrology on the other hand includes also writing tablets from outside Egypt, which led us to widen our geographical scope to the entire ancient world. Finally, since the distinction between published and unpublished is increasingly less productive in a digital environment, we now no longer discriminate in that respect either. In principle, however, we still provide only metadata.
This means that Trismegistos increasingly wants to be a platform where information can be found about all texts from antiquity, thus facilitating cross-cultural and cross-linguistic research. This will of course only be possible through cooperation with all players in the field, since our aim is to lead people to the partner websites, where more information, often including also photographs, transliterations and translations of the texts, can be found.
Several aspects of the Texts database have been elaborated in the course of successive projects (see History) and have become separate databases linked with the core Trismegistos Texts database.
- The Collections database, built on the Leuven Homepage of Papyrus Collections, is a set of currently 3720 modern institutional and private collections of texts and their 212658 inventory numbers. It is searchable both separately and in the Texts database.
- The Archives database, built on the Leuven Homepage of Papyrus Archives, is a set of currently 497 collections of texts in antiquity, mainly in Egypt, and the 17521 texts that are part of these archives. It is searchable separately, leading to the texts themselves.
- The People database, building on the Prosopographia Ptolemaica, is a complex set of prosopographical and onomastic databases. It currently contains 493087 attestations of personal names of non-royal individuals living in Egypt between BC 800 and AD 800, including all languages and scripts and written on any surface.
- The Places database, expanding the geographic database of the Fayum project, is a set of currently 47670 places in Egypt and increasingly also outside (in view of the expansion of TM to the ancient world in general). It contains the currently 197357 attestations of toponyms in texts from Egypt (BC 800 – AD 800), but is also linked to the provenance field in Trismegistos Texts.
- Finally, because abbreviations are often different in the various disciplines, we have also started creating a Bibliography which resolves many of the short references we use in Trismegistos. The other way round it also wants to facilitate the search for all texts in a specific publication. Its coverage is patchy except for the publications dealing with Demotic and Abnormal Hieratic, where the Demotistische Literaturübersicht provides a much higher standard of bibliographic information.
This series, edited by W. Clarysse (K.U.Leuven) / M. Depauw (K.U.Leuven) / H.J. Thissen (Universität zu Köln), aims to provide freely downloadable pdf-documents with scholarly tools based upon or providing links to the Trismegistos database.
Contributors can send in manuscripts in Word format to firstname.lastname@example.org. The editors will decide whether the manuscript fits in the series and can be accepted for reviewing. An anonymous version of the manuscript will then be sent to two or more peers for evaluation. On the basis of their report the editors will take a decision whether to publish it in the series or not. Authors will be given the anonymous notes of the reviewers and can be asked to implement changes to their manuscript.
TOP 1 (Click to download)
M. Depauw, C. Arlt, M. Elebaut, A. Georgila, S.A. Gülden, H. Knuf, J. Moje, F. Naether, H. Verreth, S. Bronischewski, B. Derichs, S. Eslah, M. Kromer
A Chronological Survey of Precisely Dated Demotic and Abnormal Hieratic Sources
Version 1.0 (February 2007), Köln / Leuven 2008, xiii, 232 pp.
TOP 2 (Click to download)
A survey of toponyms in Egypt in the Graeco-Roman period
Version 2.0 (July 2013), Köln / Leuven 2013, 1253 pp. (12 Mb).
ISBN: To be determined (Version 1.0: 978-9-490604-0-35)
(The old version 1.0, from September 2008, is still available as well: click here to download in pdf).
TOP 3 (Click to download)
The provenance of Egyptian documents from the 8th century BC till the 8th century AD
Version 1.0 (August 2009), Köln / Leuven 2009, 314 pp. (13.3 Mb).
TOP 4 (Click to download)
Rural Settlements of the Oxyrhynchite Nome. A Papyrological Survey
Version 2.0 (May 2012), Köln / Leuven 2012, 496 pp. (8.4 Mb).
(The old version 1.0, from October 2009, is still available as well: click here to download in pdf).
TOP 5 (Click to download)
Toponyms in Demotic and Abnormal Hieratic texts from the 8th century BC till the 5th century AD
Version 1.0 (August 2011), Köln / Leuven 2011, 719 pp. (9.6 Mb).
TOP 6 (Click to download)
A New Survey of Greek, Coptic, Demotic and Latin Tabulae Preserved from Classical Antiquity
Version 1.0 (February 2012), Leiden / Leuven 2012, 78 pp. (0.6 Mb).
TOP 7 (Click to download)
The Scholia Minora in Homerum. An Alphabetical List
Version 1.0 (November 2012), Köln / Leuven 2012, 250 pp. (2.0 Mb).
TOP 8 (Click to download)
Double Names in Roman Egypt: A Prosopography
Version 1.0 (January 2015), Leuven 2015, ix & 357 pp. (2.3 Mb).
Y. Broux, with contributions from S. Vanbeselaere
Spaghetti Monsters al dente. An Introduction to Network Analysis for Historians
Further volumes are in preparation.
Trismegistos Online Publications Special Series (TOP SS)Often a PhD thesis for some reason cannot be published immediately. In the years that follow, the authors do not find the time to revise the manuscript as they wanted. This in turn causes problems because new literature appears or the evidence of new sources needs to be incorporated. As a result, the manuscript often remains unpublished and the valuable insights risk to be inaccessible and thus lost for scholarship.
To prevent this, Trismegistos Online Publications have decided to open up a new 'Special Series', where valuable PhD theses or other scholarly manuscripts can be published with an ISBN number.
Contributors can send in manuscripts in Word or PDF format to email@example.com. The editor will consult experts about the quality of the manuscript without taking into account whether it is abreast of recent scholarly literature or developments.
TOP SS 1 (Click to download)
Panopolis, a Nome Capital in Egypt in the Roman and Byzantine Period (ca. AD 200-600)
Leuven 2014 [= Diss. Leuven 2007], xiii & 578 pp. (28.4 Mb).
The TOP Special Series was created in 2014. Earlier manuscripts that have been made available in a similar way can be found below.
Theadelpheia and Euhemereia. Village History in Graeco-Roman Egypt
Leuven, 1999 (Click here; WARNING: large file 55 Mb !! ).
[Unpublished PhD thesis]
Egyptische geografische elementen in Griekse transcriptie
In Dutch - (English title for reference only: Egyptian geographical elements in Greek transcription)
Leuven, 1988 (Click here; ZIP-file; after decompressing, you will get a folder containing the text itself - which has been split up in 2 parts – and an index to the text. All files are searchable PDF's. WARNING: large file 95,8 Mb !! ).
[Unpublished Master thesis, in Dutch]
The northern Sinai from the 7th century BC till the 7th century AD. A guide to the sources
Leuven, 2006 (Click here).
ISBN: 978-9-490604-0-11 To open the pdf files, your computer has to have a recent version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. Some other applications can open pdf files as well, such as Preview on Mac OS X; however; the links in the pdf to the online database may not work in other applications (earlier versions of Preview e.g. do not recognize the links - this seems to have been fixed in Mac OS X 10.6 though).