A Tutorial



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A major problem faced by historians is the relative paucity of source material and the consequent danger of over-interpretation that arises from generalization and the "case-study" approach.

Prosopography can help to overcome this problem: "By subjecting a … large number of members from a predefined population to the same questionnaire, the particular characteristics of that population as a whole become visible".
[Verboven/Carlier/Dumolyn, A Short Manual to the Art of Prosopography, Introduction; hereafter cited as 'Manual, p.36'].

If you have not already done so, you should take time to read the Manual.

It explains what prosopography is, and is not, more fully and simply than can be done in this tutorial. It also gives you examples of what sort of work has been done using prosopography.

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©University of Oxford

The compilers were Dr Katharine S. B. Keats-Rohan with the assistance of Dr Olga Borymchuk and Jacquelyn Fernholz.