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Frequently Asked Questions

 

No one has actually asked me most of these questions, but I figure they might get asked. Some of them reflect my observations on the way that people have used the site, or issues I have seen raised on other sites that are relevant to this one.

To read the answer to an individual question, just click on the question in the list. When you are finished, click on the up-arrow (Ý) to return to this menu.

1. What, no pictures???
2. What browser should I view this on?
3. How do I navigate?
4. How do I interpret the genealogical charts?
5. Any other tips on how to interpret these records?
6. Some of the text looks like nonsense. How do I get it to look right?
7. What are your credentials for doing this stuff?
8. Can I copy this material?
9. How often is this site updated?
10. How do I get in contact with you?
11. Are you going to publish this in a book?
12. How should I cite this material?
13. Why do you use A.D./B.C. rather than C.E./B.C.E.?


1. What, no pictures???

Yes. I decided to focus on providing information, not eye-candy. So the genealogy charts are about as graphic as its going to get, unless there are visual images of the source data (e.g. coins, papyri). As it is, the text, with all the hyperlinks, makes for pages which go up to 250 kB in size. For people with 56kbps modems, that's about at the limit of tolerable loading time, in fact I'm concerned its too much. Ý


2. What browser should I view this on?

Internet Explorer 8 (IE8). That's what I use, though IE6 and IE7 should also be fine. FireFox also works, although certain fonts and alignments appear differently in Firefox that they do in IE.

I'm not running a commercial site, so I'm not going to put alot of effort into making sure things work properly on other browsers or on other versions of Internet Explorer. But if there's a serious problem let me know and I'll try to work with you to get around it. Bear in mind that the page is prepared using WebExpress, which is an effective but basic web-editing tool, so I'm not going to be able to do anything too fancy.

The recommended screen resolution is 1024x768 or higher. It will work fine on lower resolutions, but the framing borders will be more visible and the paragraphing will break down a little. Ý


3. How do I navigate?

Hopefully its pretty easy once you figure out the system. The structure of each page is to have a menu frame on the left with the body of the page on the right. Search engines such as Google often point the user only to the frame containing the contents. To make it easy to get from a page found by a search engine to the proper framed structure, there is a link to the Home page in the top left corner of each page of content material, indicated by [Home].

The items in the menu frame to the left will take you to any of the individual pages, just click on the menu item. Individual hypertext links are highlighted in red; just click on these to find out more information about the topic listed.

There are several other types of pages, each associated with their own menu frames:

There are two types of genealogical chart in the genealogy pages. For conventions used in these charts, see the next question.

i) The first is an overview chart, giving a summary of the mainline genealogy for a given dynasty. This is the chart you will see when you select a dynasty from the main menu, or when you sellect the Overview link within a dynastic page. It shows the Egyptian rulers and coregents, their dates of rule, and their parentage. It is not a complete genealogy, so many wives, children and collateral links will be omitted. You can click on any name in the chart highlighted in red to get more detail. For an example of an overview chart (unlinked), click here for the Ptolemaic dynasty.

ii) The individual chart gives the complete family of an individual ruler or other individuals in the dynasty, i.e. their spouses and other partners, their parents, and their children. Where appropriate, individual charts may also be given for stepchildren and more remote descendants. Additionally, the husbands of daughters are usually named. The chart is associated with a text genealogy, which gives biographical details for the individuals, together with justification for the statements made. You can click on any name in the chart to access the text for that individual. Sometimes this will take you to a hyperlink, which indicates that the actual detail is on another page; you can choose to go there or to stay on the current page. For an example of an individual chart (unlinked and without text), click here for Ptolemy I.

Each statement in the genealogy is linked to a source reference and/or analysis contained in a numbered note immediately below the record. Often you'll be able to see the note on the screen, but to access the note directly click on the note number. When you are done reading the note, an up-arrow (Ý -- on Macs or in Firefox this shows as Y-acute (Ý) for some reason, but the link still works) at the end will take you back to the top of the page.

Sometimes, a version of the source data is directly available on the web, in which case you can click on the reference and it will appear in a new window. I'm always on the lookout for new web-sources, this is where the web really has potential to be valuable for a work like this, so please let me know if you find something I've overlooked.

I've tried to make sure the hyperlinks are accurate, but there are a lot of them and I've no doubt that I've made mistakes. Hyperlinks to external material also have a nasty habit of going dead without redirection. Let me know of any faulty or dead links you find and I will correct them. Ý


4. How do I interpret the genealogical charts?

I think most of the conventions are pretty standard, but I have added a couple of personal touches. These conventions are summarised on the Legend page, which you can reach from any page on the site.

Males are indicated in normal typefont, females in italics. If gender is unknown, male is assumed on the theory that males are more likely to be recorded or to retain status than females. Ordinary mortals are named in lower case; if the name is not known it is given as "[Unknown]" or "[Unknown]" (or sometimes "[Son]" or "[Daughter]"). A ruling king or queen of Egypt is named in full bold capitals as KING or QUEEN. A ruling king or queen of Egypt whose primary record is given on a different page is named in ordinary capital letters as KING or QUEEN. A ruling king or queen of some other territory is named in small capitals as KING or QUEEN. The person who is the subject of the current entry is always shown in bolded black letters. Members of their immediate family who have separate records are coloured in red. If there is no separate record, they are left in black.

On some charts, showing dynastic overviews, Egyptian rulers are also given dates. Dates when the ruler was primary are shown in bold. Dates when they were a coregent are shown in ordinary typefont. If a ruler was only ever a coregent, his or her name is shown in normal font; the name of a primary ruler, is shown in full bolded capitals. For an example, see the Overview chart for the Ptolemies by clicking here. On this chart, Ptolemy "the Son" is shown as coregent only from 268/7 to 259, while Ptolemy V is shown as coregent from 210 and primary ruler from 204 to 180.

Spouses are connected by "=" signs, informal liaisons by "x" signs. Only heterosexual relationships are shown. Where a given partner has had more than one relationship, the relationship is usually given a number, which is in chronological order if known. The ordering is strictly chronological: marriages are not distinguished from less formal liaisons in this regard. If there were several partnerships with no known parents or children, the partners will be stacked vertically; for an example see the chart of Ptolemy II by clicking here. Sometimes, especially where parents and/or children are known, the relationships of several partners are shown together on a line. If a name or relationship is separated by a comma (",") then the relationship does not involve the next name mentioned, but the name of the next person of appropriate gender.

So, a statement like:

 Man2 = (2) Woman1 (1) x (1) Man1 (2) = Woman2, (3) = (2) Woman3

means that the Man1 first had a liaison with Woman1, who later married Man2; that Man1 second married Woman2; and third married Woman3 as her second marriage.

If a partnership relation is uncertain, this is indicated by a "?" sign. The position of the "?" is significant. Thus:

Man ?(2) = (3) Woman        Man may have had a second marriage, with Woman,
                                      as her third marriage
Man (2) = ?(3) Woman        Man had a second marriage, possibly with Woman,
                                      as her third marriage
Man ?(2) = (3)? Woman       Man may have had a second marriage, with Woman,
                                       who may have had a third marriage to Man

Descent lines run from parents to children from top to bottom of the chart. Separate descent connections are shown from fathers and mothers to children. If there are at most two or three such partnerships, then they are each treated separately. However, this is not always graphically possible, especially if there are many partnerships involved. Since a polygamous chart is usually based on one individual (usually, though not always, a man), this situation is dealt with by dropping a line down from that central individual, and attaching lines representing the other relationships to that line, with an index matching the index for the partner. The children from each partnership are then attached to the line joining the two parents. For an example, see the chart of Ptolemy I by clicking here.

Dotted descent lines indicate uncertainty. Thus, if a woman is connected to a set of children by a dotted line, it indicates that the maternity of all the children is uncertain. Sometimes, a union certainly had children, but it is uncertain if any of the named children came from that union. In that case there will be a solid line connecting the two parents, but all the children will be connected to that line by dotted lines. Also, if the existence of a child is certain, but its identity is not and only one parent is certain, then a solid line from that parent will be converted into a dotted line before it reaches the child. For an example, reflecting a proposed identity of Cleopatra V with a known daughter of Ptolemy X, probably by Berenice III, whose name is not known, see the chart of Ptolemy X by clicking here.

Normally, each child is connected to the union of their parents by a single line, indicating whether that child is certainly a product of the union or not. However, sometimes both parents are certain for some children, but one is uncertain for others. This situation is not normally described on genealogical charts, so the convention used to represent it is entirely my own. In this case, the children whose parentage is partly uncertain receive two lines, one (on the left) indicating the certainty of their paternity, the other (on the right) the certainty of their maternity. For an example, see the chart of Ptolemy III by clicking here. Ý


5. Any other tips on how to interpret these records?

There are some code words you should understand:


6. Some of the text looks like nonsense. How do I get it to look right?

If it looks like gobbledegook in Latin script then it probably is not meant to be in Latin script. Here is what I have done to support non-Latin scripts.

Greek: Greek is used for Ptolemaic cult titles. It is written using the standard PC Symbol font, which means that PC users accessing the site through IE should see Greek automatically. If this string: "Qeoi FilomhtoreV" looks the same as this one: "Qeoi FilomhtoreV", then you aren't seeing the Greek. If it bothers you and you are using Firefox, switch to IE. Otherwise, I can't help you. The tradeoff, for true Hellenists, is that there are no accents. Sorry about that. I've no idea how this looks on a Mac, I hope its not too bad.

Egyptian transliteration: Transliterated Egyptian is used for royal titles. If this string: "ptwlmjs anx-Dt mrj-PtH" looks the same as this one: "ptwlmjs anx-Dt mrj-PtH" then you don't have the transliteration font. If you have a PC you can get the font here. Download it into the directory c:/windows/fonts.

My thanks to Troy Sagrillo for testing out the interface in MACs. Ý


7. What are your credentials for doing this stuff?

None, except that I'm interested in it, am able to research and to reason for myself, have a reasonable ability to read French, a marginal ability to read German, and can struggle through some Italian and Latin. I have written a few papers on 17th dynasty and Ptolemaic topics, both genealogical and chronological, which I may put up on the Web some day, that have attracted some attention and interest from some professional Egyptologists, so I know I am not completely out in the weeds. The UCSD History Department has made me a Visiting Scholar for the last several years, which has meant I have had Inter-Library Loan privileges. Without these privileges I could not have accessed much of the material needed for this research, and I am extremely grateful that I have been granted them.

Very little of what is in here represents original thought. There is a "Highlights" section for each dynasty where I point to discussions of any ideas that I think I have come up with which are not advocated by any scholar that I have found, as well as discussions on controversial topcs in the expert community.

I have no doubt that some of my comments will be naive, and some will be simply wrong. Please feel free to tell me so, preferably with pointers to material that shows me why and how. Ý


8. Can I copy this material?

You can make quotes for the usual fair-use reasons, so long as you attribute the material to me, and you can link to these pages all you want. There is no other permission to copy unless I give it to you specifically in writing. That's why there is a copyright notice at the bottom of each page.

I'm a reasonable guy so I will give permission to all reasonable requests to copy. These pages do represent a fair amount of work, so I think it is only fair that I get credit (or blame) for them, and I will insist on that in any permissions I grant.

If I find you have actually copied this material without my specific written permission, and especially if it is without proper credit, then I will send you a cease-and-desist nastygram. You will then have no imaginable excuse not to cease and desist, and I will place you on a published black list if you do not. This has fortunately not been necessary so far, although I have had to share a draft entry with an offender on one occasion.

Other than that, I will leave you to wrestle with your conscience and your moral self-esteem, unless you find some way of making money out of copying this stuff (which I don't expect, but who knows). In that case things will start to get serious. Ý


9. How often is this site updated?

Updates in sections already existing on the site gets added fairly often, as material comes to my notice. You can see what changes have been made to any individual page in the genealogy sections by looking at the edit history at the page. In other sections, they may get noticed on the introductory page or (e.g. bibliographic sections) not at all.

New sections get added rarely, maybe once every 12-18 months. Right now there hasn't been a major update since 2006 because the topic I am researching -- the Macedonian calendar -- turns out to be particularly deep. When major updates occur, they are announced on the home page and in various internet fora as they happen.

Do not take the absence of change notices on the front page as meaning that nothing is happening. If you select a section that is dark green in the menu -- i.e. a section that currently has no content -- you will normally get a default page. This willl tell you what major section I am currently working on, when I expect to release it, what I expect to work on next, and what additions I have recently made to existing pages that I thought were interesting. On occasion a dark green link points to external pages which give some coverage of the area that I have not yet around to. Ý


10. How do I get in contact with you?

Email me, which you can always do by clicking on my name in the copyright notice at the bottom of each page. If you have suggestions for improving the page, or new material I should look at, or errors in what I have written, I especially want to hear from you, but I would also like to know whether this site is actually of interest or use to anyone in the field. Ý


11. Are you going to publish this in a book?

This is a question I actually have been asked several times. The short answer is No. This is intended to be a web project. However, some of my conclusions go against the published literature, and in cases where I feel that the arguments are strong enough, or interesting enough, I have and will publish short notes or papers on these topics. I do this (a) to get the argument into a permanent medium and (b) to get the argument into a medium where scholars really pay attention. While many use the Net, it is (and with good reason) distrusted as a source of reliable material. That being said, if you are a publisher and if you think there is a book in this, and especially if you are willing to give me an appropriate advance, by all means contact me!

You can find out what I have submtted or published in academic journals by looking at my entry in the Bibliography of any section, or at my list of papers on academia.edu. If there is something you read here that you think I really ought to publish, let me know and I will consider it. Ý


12. How should I cite this material?

I have recently seen sections of this site cited in papers on the Ptolemaic period, and even in a forthcoming book. This is a tricky issue since material on the site is subject to change. I suggest the following approach:

For example: C. J. Bennett, "Ptolemy I" n. 6.1, http://www.tyndalehouse.com/Egypt/ptolemies/ptolemy_i.htm#Soter.6.1, accessed 1 April 2007. Ý


13. Why do you use A.D./B.C. rather than C.E./B.C.E.?

Habit -- it's what I was taught. I recognise that it is a sensitive topic for some people -- both ways -- for what they regard as very valid reasons. My own opinion on this debate is: "get over it". I am not personally religious. I do not endorse Christianity by using "A.D./B.C." to identify Julian or Gregorian years, just as I do not endorse Islam by using "A.H." to identify years on the Muslim calendar. It's just a convention. Ý

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