Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England

[Image: Witness list of a royal diploma, S 497 (extract); Aelfwine]


Sample Searches

Sample Searches

The following sample searches illustrate the features of, and different approaches to using, the PASE database interface.

1. Find all factoids relating to King Alfred.

The simplest approach here is probably to search by name. To do so, open the Persons -> Name Value Selector.

Select 'Alfred'. The Results List now lists the 97 persons named 'Alfred' held in the database.

Alfred the Great is listed as 'Alfred 8' in the Results List. Clicking this header causes his record to appear in the Record Display.

Clicking 'Open All' causes all factoid categories in the record to be expanded.

Right-clicking on this expanded list causes a context menu to appear. The list may then be printed by selecting 'Print Frame' from this menu.

2. Browse for the document whose image forms the right-hand corner of the PASE banner.

If you look closely, you can see that the fourth line of the PASE banner on the right-hand side begins 'Ego Eadgifu ...' ('I, Eadgifu ...'). To find out who she was, select Persons -> Office -> Queen in the Search Column.

This gives you an alphabetical list of all the persons asserted to have held the office of 'Queen' in the PASE database. Eadgifu is listed thirty-third, on the second page of the Results List.

Selecting 'Eadgifu 4' and then clicking 'Open All' reveals a list of sources, many of which are charters.

Charter S497 (under Recorded Name -> Eadgifu) is the charter pictured in the banner. Clicking on the link reveals more detail about the charter itself.

3. Find all persons described as a 'teacher' in the early ninth century.

Open Persons -> Occupation and click on 'T'. This produces a list of all occupations in the database that begin with that letter.

Select 'Teacher'. This yields a list of all 89 persons described as a teacher in the database.

Open the Date selector.

Select 'e ix'. This selection narrows the list to the 8 people known to be teachers between 800 - 832.

4. Find all factoids containing the text 'teach' and for which our source is the scholar Alcuin.

First, switch the View from Persons to Factoids.

Open the Contains Text selector, enter ''teach'' into the input box, and click the 'Go' button.

This will populate the result list with all factoids in the database that contain the word 'teach'.

Next, open Source.

Select 'Alcuin'. The Results List now displays only those factoids which both contain the word 'teach'and that have Alcuin as their source.

5. Find all factoids concerning the relationship of 'motherhood'.

Select the Factoid view, and then open Persons -> Relationship -.> Consanguineal Relationship.

Select 'Mother'. This produces a list of 240 factoids that record a person as being a mother.

6. Exploring the Possession selector.

Select the Factoid view, open the Possession selector, and click 'S' in the Letter Picker. This yields a list with four values: 'saltwork', 'ships', 'silver', and 'sword'.

Selecting 'sword' lists all factoids recording the possession of swords.

Alternatively, opening 'swords' displays a sub-list of all the individual kinds of swords listed in the database.

Note that is possible to traverse Possession values by text search. To jump to 'books', one could enter 'books' into the search box, and click 'Go'.

Opening 'books' would then reveal the books recorded in the database.

7. Explore a region of England.

Select the Factoid view. Then open the Location -> Region selector, click 'S', and select 'Somerset'. The resulting list displays all the information the database holds about Somerset.

To narrow the search to a specific location within Somerset, open Location -> Specific Location. Only locations within Somerset will now be displayed.

Selecting any of these (e.g., 'Wedmore') will then narrow the Result List to those factoids associated with this specific location.

8. Find all incidents of hanging.

In Factoid view, open Events -> Legal/governmental/administrative acts and legitimate use of violence -> Legitimate use of violence.

Select 'hanging'.

9. Find all kings involved in acts of grant and gift.

In Person view, select Person -> Office -> King. Then open Events -> Legal/governmental/administrative acts and legitimate use of violence -> Legal/governmental/administrative acts.

Select 'Grant and Gift'.

10. Find details concerning the Alfred the Great's journey to Egbert's Stone at Selwood, as recorded in Asser's Life of Alfred.

The search design of the PASE interface means there will often be several navigational routes to the same information. For instance, to find the reference to Alfred's journey to Egbert's Stone recorded in Asser's Vita Alfredi, one might use a variety of search strategies. For instance:

a) Select Factoid view. Then select Persons -> Name -> 'Alfred', Location -> Specific Location -> 'Selwood', and Source -> Asser -> 'Asser.Vit.Alfredi'.

The range of options has now been narrowed considerably. To complete the search, select Event -> Life-events/social and economic acts and relations -> Journey to reduce the Result List to a single factoid.

b) Alternatively, an expert user might simply perform a text search for 'Ecgbrihtesstan', Asser's way of denoting 'Egbert's Stone'.

This will produce results identical to the search path taken in (a).