Standards for Networking Ancient Prosopographies

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  • PI: Gabriel Bodard
  • Original team: Hugh Cayless, Mark Depauw, Leif Isaksen, Faith Lawrence, Sebastian Rahtz
  • Other contributors: Neven Jovanovic, Rainer Simon, Charlotte Tupman


From the "About" section of the project website (Accessed 2018-03-06):

[The] Standards for Networking Ancient Prosopographies: Data and Relations in Greco-Roman Names (hereafter SNAP:DRGN or SNAP) project [aims] to address the problem of linking together large collections of material (datasets) containing information about persons, names and person-like entities managed in heterogeneous systems and formats.

The SNAP:DRGN project will pilot a new approach to working with diverse person data, using as a starting point three large datasets from the classical world: the Lexicon of Greek Personal Names, an Oxford-based corpus of persons mentioned in ancient Greek texts; Trismegistos, a Leuven-run database of names and persons from Egyptian papyri; Prosopographia Imperii Romani, a series of printed books listing senators and other elites from the first three centuries of the Roman Empire. We shall model a simple structure using Web and Linked data technologies to represent relationships between databases and to link from references in primary texts to authoritative lists of persons and names. We shall invite new projects and datasets in the domain to participate in the SNAP:DRGN network, to help us test the structures and contribute material on ancient people to the collection, and will help these projects to transform their data into a form that can be linked and annotated. We also plan to produce tools for illustration of the value of this data, and demonstrate research methods for working with the new material and information produced. The project will also show how to enhance and produce new data, generating new person references and links from classical texts that have not yet been looked at in this way (Greek and Latin inscriptions). We shall share our recommendations and our results through workshops, public conference papers, and a range of technical, academic and popular publications.

From the "cookbook" section of the project website:

SNAP:DRGN will publish recommendations and examples, with a view to encouraging: (i) the publication of minimal, consistent prosopographical data in RDF and compatible with the Linked Ancient World Data graph; (ii) building a loose network ancient prosopographical projects that will collectively contribute to a graph of millions of person-records; (iii) stand-off assertions of co-references or other relationships between persons, names and other prosopographical entities; (iv) Open Annotation Collaboration (OAC)-style RDF annotations of named entities in texts to point them to authoritative person-record-clusters in the SNAP:DRGN graph.

Participating projects and datasets

Full list at and

References and presentations

  • Gabriel Bodard. 2021. “Linked Open Data for Ancient Names and People.” in Linked Open Data for the Ancient Mediterranean: Structures, Practices, Prospects (edd. Bond, Dilley, Horne). ISAW Papers 20 (2021). Available:
  • Bodard, G., Cayless, H., Depauw, M., Isaksen, L., Lawrence, K.F., & Rahtz, S. 2017. "Standards for networking ancient person data: digital approaches to problems in prosopographical space." Digital Classics Online 3.2, pp. 28–43. Available:
  • K. Faith Lawrence. 2015. "Prosopography is Greek for Facebook: The SNAP:DRGN Project." _Proceedings of the ACM Web Science Conference_ (New York: Association for Computing Machinery, 2015). Available:


See also