from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A study, often using statistics, that identifies and draws relationships between various characters or people within a specific historical, social, or literary context: "an authentic tour de force of historical writing: part intellectual history, part cultural history, part prosopography” ( Josiah Bunting III).
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. a study of the individuals in a group of people within a specific context and their relationships
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In rhetoric, the description of any one's personal appearance.
In the mid-twentieth century, another major contribution was a large project in what the Greeks called prosopography, or collective biography.
Chapter One employs a prosopography of over one thousand trade unionists and Working Men's Party operatives based on an extensive analysis of census, tax list, probate, insolvency, and other documents.
John Frazee within the home by utilizing a prosopography of New York's organized men between 1800 and 1840.
The Randolphs of Turkey Island: A prosopography of the first three generations, 1650-1806 Ph.D. diss., College of William and Mary, 1977.
It can stand with such a tower of prosopography as Sir Ronald Syme's The Roman Revolution 1939, repr. variously.
V. -- I pardon this epitrope, but pray use less metaphor and more litotes in the prosopography you dedicate to my modest entity --
Despite all differences of approach, he himself wrote only two years ago, "Ronald Syme wrote superbly and authoritatively when he used prosopography to clarify a revolutionary movement ” the upsurge of new social strata under Augustus" (English Historical Review, 1973, p. 115; compare his review of The Roman Revolution reprinted in Secondo Contributo alla Storia degli Studi Classici, 1960, 207 f. and his remarks in Studi Romani 14, 1966, 1-3).
But in my review of Syme's book in Journal of Roman Studies 1940, 73, I also expressed my fundamental objection to prosopography as a method of interpreting history: "Prosopographical research has the great virtue of reaching individuals or small groups, but does not explain their material or spiritual needs: it simply presupposes them.
In the wrong hands, the kind of history that concentrates upon economic problems can be quite as bad as ” and even more boring than ” bad prosopography.
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