Epigraph: A Basic Helpsheet
I. BRIEF OVERVIEW OF STRUCTURE AND CONTENT:
EpiGraph, a database of Roman inscriptions, contains the complete text of all inscriptions found in volume VI of the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum. The program allows users to search the database for specific words and phrases, as well as more detailed information (including the presence of cognomina, Claudian letters, ligatures, reversed letters, Greek text, breaks in the stone, and erasures).
II. STARTING UP EPIGRAPH:
Place the CD-ROM in the computer's CD carrier by pressing the button outside of the CD-ROM drive to open and close it. Click on the Start button, select Programs, then select Epigraph from the pullout menu. Then click on the Epigraph icon in the submenu. If you cannot find this icon, please ask a staff member for assistance.
A title screen will appear; click OK to continue. Then a dialogue box will appear, offering you a choice of two databases:
- Text Only: This database contains the full text of the inscriptions and displays the data without any marks for epigraphical features or editorial annotations. You should choose this database if you are looking for specific words or phrases.
- Raw Data: This database contains the full text of the inscriptions, but includes marks for unusual letter forms, ligatures, breaks in the stone, cognomina, and other forms. You should choose this database if you are looking for special features without regard to vocabulary or context (or for refining searches begun with the "Text Only" database).
Starting vocabulary-based searches in the "Raw Data" database may give an unexpectedly low result count, due to symbols inserted in the text.
III. USING EPIGRAPH:
After selecting the appropriate database, you will be given a dialogue box with four basic fields. The most important of these are the "Items" and "Search For" fields in the upper left-hand corner. The "Items" field has a pull-down menu which allows you to specify the type of information you need (cognomina, for example). For a word search, you will want to select "Full Text." This tells the search engine to search all parts of the database. Having selected the search criteria, you then type in the word of phrase you are looking for in the "Search for" field.
The results of your search will appear in the box marked "Search Steps" (with the number of hits in brackets). Clicking on the Display button will pull up a list of texts with the first few line of each item displayed. Clicking on one of these summary items displays the complete text.
Clicking on the Clear button clears the "Search Steps" box to make way for new searches.
Advanced searching involves putting together a number of smaller searches using boolean operators (AND, OR, and NOT).
Suppose we begin by searching for the word "Caesar" in the "cognomina" field. The database tells us that there are 274 items in the database containing this word under this search criterion (which is, of course, too large to be useful under most circumstances). We can refine the search significantly by conducting a search for another term we know to be within our search criteria and combining the two searches. If you were interested in references to both Caesar and Strabo, for example, you might conduct a search for the name "Strabo" (which yields 27 hits).
With the results of both searches in the "Search Steps" box, you would then go down to the box marked "Combination of Steps." Typing in the numbers for each search separated by boolean operators (i.e. "1 and 2") combines the search terms into one search. In other words, a search for "1 and 2" will search the database for every instance of "Caesar" and "Strabo" in the same inscription.
This same technique allows one to construct extremely detailed search criteria. For example, one might request "(1 and 2) or (3 and 4) not 5". this would search for instances of either the first and second terms within an inscription, or the third and fourth terms, while filtering out all inscriptions with an instance of the fifth criteria.
Results of searches can be either saved to disk or printed. Both options are available through the file menu.
EpiGraph provides on-line help for all aspects of the program not covered by this document (including a complete list of symbols used in the "Raw Data" database). You can access help from either the command bar or the Help button in the search engine dialogue box.
IV. EXITING EPIGRAPH AND REMOVING THE CD-ROM:
To exit the program, select Exit from the File menu. You should find yourself back at the Windows desktop. You can then eject the CD-ROM by pressing the button below and to the right of the CD carrier. Please place the CD-ROM back in its case and return it to an Etext Center assistant.