Tiresias: A Novel Approach for Mining Book Indices

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Tiresias ( is a free database designed and constructed as an efficient tool to access and understand ancient texts for research purposes. It uniquely associates end-of-book subject indices with the index locorum. Based on indices of about 460 scholarly books in fields such as history, religion, biblical studies and more, Tiresias is multilingual, contains about 140,000 subject tags and about 16.4 million references to ancient primary sources, including non-digitized sources. It is especially helpful for comparative research between areas, cultures or languages, or for scholars working on long-term trends, who are therefore less familiar with sources which are not in their area of specialization. The paper describes three usage scenarios employing this newly available resource as an integral part of historical research and study. Tiresias provides inspiration for the construction of other databases making use of multiple book indices in various areas of the humanities and social sciences.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDigital Humanities Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • General Arts and Humanities
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Library and Information Sciences


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