Historical Events Database - History

Mikey

The Living Force
Re: Historical Events Database

Palinurus said:
Thanks for the update, Data. If I understand all this correctly, you're aiming at a completely new level of professionalism for this whole endeavor.

Yes. The 'old' database was too forgiving in what could be entered. With the goal of making a scholarly, professionally-typeset publication out of it, I now see what has to be changed from a technical perspective.

I've finished migrating the data to the new scheme semi-automatically as good as I could. Right now I'm reviewing a cross-section of entries of ancient authors (Cicero, Livy, etc.) to get a feeling for classical sources (esp. for writing algorithms for automatically generating citation syntax). I'm a bit of a late-comer in this respect. However, I've finished checking all the Cicero entries, and now have a good 'feeling' for all available Cicero's translations and publications, online and in paper. Next I'll look at Livy. I'm using the new database myself as I go along, and therefore it will be well tested and optimized for the next collaboration step in our project. I've found that having an Spreadsheet-like interface for listings greatly eases the work (see screenshot).

It's tedious and slow-coming work. But I hope that at some point you all can come back and help out. I can't say yet when the time comes, maybe 2-3 weeks? Maybe, in the meantime, you can continue reading the sources that you've planned to enter, put sticky tabs into your books, or bookmark texts in your browser, so that you can focus on entering data later.

Once the database is available again, I think we will have to stick to the following work flow:

1. All previously filed events will have to be re-visited by the creator, and then 'Cleared for Review'.
2. Those events 'Cleared for Review' will then have to be 'Reviewed' by another person.
3. Events have to be fixed by the creator or the reviewer until it is considered 'successfully reviewed'.
4. Only 'successfully reviewed' events will be considered for any publications.
5. For the actual publication (on paper and e-book) we might only choose a subset of those successfully reviewed events (one of the reasons is to use paper space better)

Basically, this will be a filtering process. This sounds like a lot of work and hassle (it will be), but I don't see any other way to produce anything of a good quality or coming near to a scholarly work.

Apart from publication in book form, we could make the database available read-only for other researchers, but this is just an idea on the side.

I think I'll need to either make video tutorials, or personal training via Skype...

Stay tuned!

Dirgni said:
This sounds if you will/could use something like a relational database in the background?

Yes. The Events in the 'old' database were just one table, not relational. This would have been enough if all the fields would have been used uniformly across all contributors -- the autocomplete feature was supposed to help with that. But the fields were not enough, and were used for mixed purposes. All of this will have to be fixed in the new database by all of us.

Now everything is relational, most importantly the tables for Sources, Texts and Events (I'll also add a new table for the Pleiades Project information).
 

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Mikey

The Living Force
Re: Historical Events Database

zadig, please wait with working on the database!!! :O I'm still doing operations on data where nobody should interfere! You could have asked here instead of just going ahead! What happend to networking?!?!?! :deadhorse:

I've locked the database again.
 

Mikey

The Living Force
Zadig said:
Data said:
zadig, please wait with working on the database!!!

Sorry, since the database was open, I thought that your work was over.

It's alright, no damage done.

I'm done with programming and am currently writing a user manual. It will be ready in a few days.
 

Mikey

The Living Force
I've created a 'sister-thread' called Historical Events Database - Coordination for technical questions, problem reports, problem fixes, announcements, updates, coordination and general networking for all contributors of the Historical Events Database project.

From now on, this present thread should be used for questions related to history and content only.
 

Palinurus

The Living Force
While busy re-editing my existing entries making them ready for review and intended to be reformatted into the lay-out of the new style HED, I decided to compare the translations by William Whiston and by Henry St. John Thackeray for the one entry I got done until now. I am using the Whiston translation throughout because the Loeb edition isn't available completely in PDF-format.

It's from Wars of the Jews Book 4, Chapter 1, Section 10. In bold is the reason for this snippet to be included in the database, under Unusual Weather.

Ccel edition William Whiston said:
But then Vespasian himself came to his assistance against those that had fled to the citadel,
and brought his whole army with him; now this upper part of the city was every way rocky, and
difficult of ascent, and elevated to a vast altitude, and very full of people on all sides,
and encompassed with precipices, whereby the Jews cut off those that came up to them, and did
much mischief to others by their darts, and the large stones which they rolled down upon them,
while they were themselves so high that the enemy's darts could hardly reach them.
However, there arose such a Divine storm against them as was instrumental to their destruction;
this carried the Roman darts upon them, and made those which they threw return back, and drove
them obliquely away from them; nor could the Jews indeed stand upon their precipices, by reason
of the violence of the wind, having nothing that was stable to stand upon, nor could they see
those that were ascending up to them; so the Romans got up and surrounded them, and some they
slew before they could defend themselves, and others as they were delivering up themselves;

Loeb edition Henry St. John Thackerey said:
To aid the attack on the fugitives in the citadel Vespasian now brought up his entire
force. The summit, all rock-strewn, difficult of access, towering to an immense height,
and surrounded with precipices, everywhere yawned to depths below. Here the Jews worked
havoc among the advancing enemy with missiles of all kinds and rocks which they rolled
down upon them, being themselves from their elevated position no easy mark for an arrow.
However, to seal their ruin, a storm miraculously arose which, blowing full in their faces,
carried against them the arrows of the Romans and checked and deflected their own. Owing to
the force of the gale they could neither stand on the edge of the precipices, having no firm
foothold, nor see the approaching enemy. The Romans mounted the crest and quickly surrounded
and slew them, some offering resistance, others holding out their hands for quarter;

Just to archive the differences and allowing others to comment, if needed.
 

Mikey

The Living Force
Question to Zadig about dating in a particular source:

In this source ...

La Chronographie d'Élie Bar Šinaya (Esias of Bisibis) http://hed.quantumfuturegroup.org/sources/507-wbvpbfd

... events are dated by "Olympiade" numbers and "Anno" numbers. Do those anno numbers correspond with our Julian calender? If not, which calendar system is it, and what is the method to convert anno numbers into Julian year numbers?
 

Zadig

Jedi
Data said:
Question to Zadig about dating in a particular source:

In this source ...

La Chronographie d'Élie Bar Šinaya (Esias of Bisibis) http://hed.quantumfuturegroup.org/sources/507-wbvpbfd

... events are dated by "Olympiade" numbers and "Anno" numbers. Do those anno numbers correspond with our Julian calender? If not, which calendar system is it, and what is the method to convert anno numbers into Julian year numbers?

Seleucid era or Greek year.

Conversion : - 311. E.g., AG 812 - 311 = 500-501 AD.
 

Altair

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Here are some examples of events from Old-Russian Chronicles (translated from Old-Russian) as asked by Data in this post http://cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php/topic,37255.msg582710.html#msg582710

- In the year 911 a big spear-like star was seen in the West
- In the year 1105 appeared a comet with a big tail and was see the whole month
- In the year 1264 appeared a terrible star and was shining for 3 months

Examples are taken from _http://www.doverchiv.narod.ru/morozov/8-I00-04.htm
 

Laura

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Altair said:
Here are some examples of events from Old-Russian Chronicles (translated from Old-Russian) as asked by Data in this post http://cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php/topic,37255.msg582710.html#msg582710

- In the year 911 a big spear-like star was seen in the West
- In the year 1105 appeared a comet with a big tail and was see the whole month
- In the year 1264 appeared a terrible star and was shining for 3 months

Examples are taken from _http://www.doverchiv.narod.ru/morozov/8-I00-04.htm

Excellent stuff. And if those events coincide within a year or two either way with significant social/environment events, that's helpful too.
 

Altair

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Laura said:
Altair said:
Here are some examples of events from Old-Russian Chronicles (translated from Old-Russian) as asked by Data in this post http://cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php/topic,37255.msg582710.html#msg582710

- In the year 911 a big spear-like star was seen in the West
- In the year 1105 appeared a comet with a big tail and was see the whole month
- In the year 1264 appeared a terrible star and was shining for 3 months

Examples are taken from _http://www.doverchiv.narod.ru/morozov/8-I00-04.htm

Excellent stuff. And if those events coincide within a year or two either way with significant social/environment events, that's helpful too.

Thank you, Laura. I'll work on it. :)
 

Mikey

The Living Force
Shijing, feedback about event #722: http://hed.quantumfuturegroup.org/events/722-ssrqqar

Whenever Kronk, Yeomans or Panekier mention Roman sources, try to go to the original and get more info and context. For example, I looked up the text from Philostorgius in his Ecclesiastical History. Turns out he reported much more than just a comet! I was able to get 8 different events out of this entry!

1. Event #722: A comet of extraordinary magnitude
2. Event #4937: A pestilence strikes as has never occurred before within the memory of man
3. Event #4938: Famine
4. Event #4939: Grievous earthquakes overturning houses and entire cities from their foundations
5. Event #4940: Fierce droughts and fiery whirlwinds descending from above
6. Event #4941: Deluges of rain
7. Event #4942: Earth is opening up and sinkholes swallow up inhabitants
8. Event #4943: Rock-sized hail up to eight pounds falls in many places

The graph now produces a proper spike for the year 400.
 

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Mikey

The Living Force
Also, whenever Kronk, Yeomans or Panekier mention only eastern sources, I will approve events but they will not published as per Lauras info. Best to focus first on those entries which have at least one Roman/western source.
 

shijing

The Living Force
Data said:
Whenever Kronk, Yeomans or Panekier mention Roman sources, try to go to the original and get more info and context. For example, I looked up the text from Philostorgius in his Ecclesiastical History. Turns out he reported much more than just a comet! I was able to get 8 different events out of this entry! [...] The graph now produces a proper spike for the year 400.

OK, I'll be trying to do that from now on -- that extra Philostorgius material you found looks great.

Data said:
Also, whenever Kronk, Yeomans or Panekier mention only eastern sources, I will approve events but they will not published as per Lauras info. Best to focus first on those entries which have at least one Roman/western source.

I've been working on getting the events in the three comet books caught up through 500 AD, but I'll look ahead in the materials and try to do the ones with Western sources first, and then go back and fill in the gaps (there are also a few minor errors that will need to be edited -- missing page numbers, etc). I've only got 100 years to go, so hopefully it will be finished in a few weeks. Once I hit 500 AD, I'll go back through the previous entries and try to do what you describe above. When I get to that stage, is it best for me to message you through the interface to reopen any events that I can find additional historical material on?
 

Mikey

The Living Force
Shijing said:
When I get to that stage, is it best for me to message you through the interface to reopen any events that I can find additional historical material on?

Yes. Or even better, create new events/texts and ask me to merge them with existing ones.
 
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