Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Nomisma News: About 800 "Greek" concepts published to Nomisma

About 800 "Greek" concepts published to Nomisma
After two weeks of solid research and data entry labor by Andy Meadows and I (and after review by the Greek committee), about 800 new or updated concepts corresponding to the Greek world have been published to Nomisma.org in three spreadsheets. These entities include people (rulers, usually) and their associated dynasties and corporate entities. Aside from people and organizations we typically consider "Greek", these lists include entities from other domains that have always been historically part of the study of broader Greek coinage, including Parthian, Indo-Scythian, Numidian, Arabian, etc. These entities aren't a comprehensive listing of every possible ruler that issued coinage from a particular realm, but form a large portion of these rulers, reflecting the combination of an older spreadsheet of rulers with the entities necessary for the publication of a new Inventory of Greek Coin Hoards database (as part of the NEH-funded Hellenistic Royal Coinages project). Corporate entities can be separated into their own spreadsheets for further revision by subject specialists in order to fill in gaps.

What's useful is that while we are able to use the W3C Org ontology to link people to their roles in larger corporate entities (and the start and end dates of their reign(s)), we are also able to apply the same org:Membership model to link one foaf:Organization to a larger one. That is to say, the Kingdom of Cimmerian Bosporus was independent from 438-107 B.C., but from 107 to 63 was part of the Kingdom of Pontus, and from 63 B.C. to 370, operated as a client-kingdom of Rome.

This enables us to execute queries for all of the lesser kingdoms that served as client-states of Rome:

  ?org a foaf:Organization ;
         org:hasMembership/org:organization nm:roman_empire ;
         skos:prefLabel ?label FILTER (langMatches(lang(?label), "en"))

This can be taken a step further to list the client-kings of Rome by means of the link between the ruler and their kingdom and dates of their reign and filtering it against the date range in which that kingdom was a client-kingdom of Rome.

SELECT ?person ?p_label ?p_start ?p_end ?org ?label WHERE {
?org a foaf:Organization ;
         org:hasMembership ?membership ;
         skos:prefLabel ?label FILTER (langMatches(lang(?label), "en")).
  ?membership org:organization nm:roman_empire ;
              nmo:hasStartDate ?client_start;
              nmo:hasEndDate ?client_end .
  ?person org:hasMembership ?pMembership ;
          skos:prefLabel ?p_label FILTER (langMatches(lang(?p_label), "en")).
  ?pMembership org:organization ?org ;
               nmo:hasStartDate ?p_start ;
               nmo:hasEndDate ?p_end .
  FILTER (?p_end > ?client_start && ?p_end < ?client_end)
} ORDER BY ?org ?p_start

The query above results in the following table of rulers sorted chronologically. The first client-king of Bosporus is Pharnaces II, the son of Mithradates VI, who took over in 63 B.C.

Now that the publication of these entities is complete, I will turn my attention back to reconciling authorities in IGCH data in OpenRefine. The new coin hoard database should be ready by the end of March, and it will facilitate new modes of query that include querying by dynasty and corporate entity by means of the person-org/dynasty relationship inherent in Nomisma's LOD data model. Greek numismatists will finally have a decent open access tool for coin hoard research, coupled with the publication and interlinking of our archival records in Archer.

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