At the core of this project lies a database compiling different information about the letters of Libanius. The database and the different applications built around it have been designed to allow several different functions, such as:

  1. Storing the basic information about each letter (Date, Destination, Recipient and Carrier).
  2. Providing users with the original text.
  3. Cataloguing the careers of the officials involved in Libanius' epistolary network.
  4. Creating a typology of the letters.
  5. Showing how many letters were sent to a particular official at the different stages of his career.

Please note that only about 386 letters have been entered so far into the database, either partially or fully. Thus, all of the numerical data and maps are based only on this small portion of the corpus of Libanius. For more details about the degree of completion of the different facets of this project, refer to the diagram below.

New Database Application

In order to achieve all of these goals and allow users to interact with the data, I have configured a CakePHP application, which can be found here (or by clicking on the image below).

In this application, the user can navigate all of the major tables in the database and see the more complex relationships between them in the "Details" section for each entity. The application has been formatted in such a way that the user can interact with every text that is turquoise coloured.


Database Structure


N.B.: The number under each table represents the number of entities in that table when the diagram was made (04/23/17).

The database is based on a relational model and is composed of the following 9 tables:

  1. Letters, which contains:
    1. Letter_ID
    2. Date_Min
    3. Date_Max
    4. Destination_ID
    5. Recipient_ID
    6. Carrier_ID
  2. People, which contains:
    1. Person_ID
    2. Person_Name
    3. Pupil = If this individual is a pupil of Libanius
    4. Parent = If this individual is the father of one of Libanius' students
    5. PLRE_ID = Number given to that specific individual by the authors of The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire
    6. BLZG_ID = Number given to that specific individual by Otto Seeck in his Die Briefe des Libanios zeitlich geordnet
  3. Destinations, which contains:
    1. Destination_ID
    2. Destination_Type = Either a city or a region (which includes, but is not limited to, provinces)
    3. Latitude
    4. Longitude
    5. Pleiades_ID = Identifier given by the Pleiades Gazetteer to this entity
  4. Types, which contains:
    1. Type_ID
    2. Type_Name
    3. Description
  5. Translations, which contains:
    1. Letter_ID
    2. Norman_1992 = Number given to that letter by Norman in his book Libanius. Autobiography and Selected Letters
    3. Cabouret_2000 = Number given to that letter by Cabouret in her book Libanios. Lettres aux hommes de son temps
    4. Bradbury_2004 = Number given to that letter by Bradbury in his book Selected Letters of Libanius from the Age of Constantius and Julian
    5. Cribiore_2007 = Number given to that letter by Cribiore in her book The School of Libanius in Late Antique Antioch
  6. Careers, which contains:
    1. Career_ID
    2. Person_ID
    3. Position
    4. Location = Where the official was stationed for the duration of this assignment
    5. Date_Min = Beginning of the assignment
    6. Date_Max = End of the assignment
  7. Mentions, which contains:
    1. Mention_ID
    2. Letter_ID
    3. Person_ID
  8. LinkTypes, which links the Letters and the Types tables:
    1. Letter_ID
    2. Type_ID
  9. Texts, which contains:
    1. Letter_ID
    2. Greek_Text