Digital Reference Sources

Many thanks to Deborah Brown, Librarian for Byzantine Studies, at
Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection for her contributions to this section.

The Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Studies
An invaluable guide to the entire field, including the major research tools, methods, and definitions.

Brill's New Pauly
An encyclopedia covering the ancient world from the prehistory of the Aegean to Late Antiquity including information on persons, places, institutions, events, artifacts, literature, technical terms, ideas, and concepts. This is the online version of both the German language Der Neue Pauly and the English language Brill's New Pauly.

Corpus dei Manoscritti Copti Letterari
Database for the study of Egyptian Christian culture from the 1st to 12th century ACE and in particular, the study of Coptic literature. Includes information partly in English and partly in Italian, on Coptic texts, grammar, the history of Coptic literature, catalogues of manuscripts, and a comprehensive bibliography for Coptic studies.

De Imperatoribus Romanis: Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors
This Online encyclopedia offers information on Roman emperors from Augustus (27 BC-AD 14) until Romulus Augustulus (AD 475-476) in the "Western Empire" and to Constantine XI Palaeologus (1449-1453) in the "Eastern Empire." It also provides timelines, outlines major battles, maps, and images of coins.

Encyclopaedia of Islam Online
Extensive reference encylopedia with over 13,000 articles on topics in Middle Eastern and Islamic studies. The Encyclopaedia of Islam Online represents a major resource in Middle Eastern and Islamic studies, with the online version bringing remote access to over 13,000 articles.

Encyclopaedia of the Qur’an
English language encyclopedia covering all aspects of the Qur’an including qur’anic terms, concepts, personalities, place names, cultural history and exegesis as well as essays on important themes and subjects within qur’anic studies.

Hagiography Database
The online version of the Dumbarton Oaks Hagiography Database. It includes an introduction and bio-bibliographic information on each saint (8th-10th centuries) included in the project. The database is divided into three sections: the Saints' list, the Authors' list, and the search citations.

Lexikon des Mittelalters
The Lexikon des Mittelalters is the standard encyclopaedia for the European Middle Ages, containing over 36,700 signed articles by 3000 authors. Coverage extends from 300 to 1500 AD/CE for the whole of Europe and parts of the Middle East and North Africa. A multilingual interface (English, French and German) allows users to search by headwords, subjects, keywords, etc. Search results may be printed or saved to disk.

Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium
With more than 5,000 entries by an international group of eminent historians, this is the standard research tool on 1,100 years of Byzantine history. Exhaustive in its coverage, it brings to life this vastly important culture and empire, from the 4th century to the 15th.

Prosopographie der mittelbyzantinischen Zeit
Under the auspices of the Berlin-Brandenbergische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Abteilung I consists of seven volumes (Prolegomena and Bde. 1-6) that provide coverage of the years AD 641-867. Abteilung II, the second phase of the project (in progress), will cover the years 867-1025. The link above provides information about the project in English and also makes available a new electronic text of the first seven volumes (displaying a maximun of 200 characters from an entry in the print version). The interface and help page are only available in German:


Prosopographisches Lexikon der Palaiologenzeit
The PLP covers the years 1259-1452. The CD-ROM version includes PLP volumes 1-12 in .pdf format. For Harvard library holdings for the PLP print version, please consult this HOLLIS record.


Prosopography of the Byzantine Empire I (641-867)
This database on CD-ROM covers the years AD 641-867 and is a project of the British Academy in cooperation with the German project PmBZ. It is intended as an "interim publication" (according to the Web site for the PBW) until the database can be made available online.

Prosopography of the Byzantine World (1025-1180)
The responsibility of the Centre for Computing in the Humanities at King's College London and the British Academy, this online database is the third part of a larger prosopographical project in cooperation with the Berlin-Brandenberg Akademie (PmBZ).


WBIS: Biographisches Archiv der Antike
The archive includes 120,000 biographical entries compiled from approximately 105 diverse reference works, encyclopaedias, manual, and similar publications. The reference sources, published between 1724 and 1989 in numerous languages such as English, German, Latin and Greek, depict personages influential from the 2nd millenium B.C. to the 7th century A.D. Geographically, the source material spans coastal regions along the Mediterranean Sea as well as interior regions of Central Europe and the Near East. This collection includes famous personalities not only from the ancient civilization of Persia, Greece, and Rome but also those from border lands and provinces such as Hispania, Gaul, Britannia, Germania, Raetia, Dalmatia, Illyria, and Moesia.