About PBE I Online Edition

When it was issued in 2001, PBE's CD was the first publication from the major British Academy project which originally aimed to include details about all known individuals in or connected with Byzantium from AD 641 to 1261. By an agreement made between the British Academy and the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy (click here for the Prosopographie der mittelbyzantinischen Zeit ) the team at King’s College London then began work on the later period, AD 1025-1150 – a project that resulted in a first publication in 2006 and a second updated version in 2011 of the Prosopography of the Byzantine World, published online and available here.

To see information about PBE I that was written for publication on the CD in 2001, with details about the history of the project, click here.

Plans for the PBE I publication as a CD started in 1997, before it was evident that online WWW publication was going to be preferable.  Furthermore, WWW browser technology was not as sophisticated as it is today, so features such as the display of Greek text could only be handled rather awkwardly by means of a special font.  The original publication on CD was achieved with the help of Ashgate and the cooperation of John Smedley, to whom we are very grateful. However since PBE I was published in 2001 the CD medium became recognized as less and less satisfactory, while the technical possibilities of online publication improved, making possible the development of the searchable database now available as PBW (the name of the project was also changed from the Prosopography of the Byzantine Empire to the Prosopography of the Byzantine World). The original CD is now no longer available, but with the agreement of Ashgate this new website makes accessible online the material that originally appeared on CD. It is our hope that users will welcome this new online access to the material from the British Academy project for the period from AD 641 to 867.

The substantive content of the material is exactly as it was in 2001. Even the way it looks is essentially the same, to the extent that when one enters the PBE I pages, one apparently travels back to web page design as it was commonly practised in 2001. Other than the front page which has been graphically modernised, the only updates – mostly hidden from the user – are in background technical areas.

Technical updates
One of PBE I's original technical contributors, John Bradley (DDH, King's College London), who created the original materials for the 2001 CD, has updated a number of the technical mechanism behind that material.  In this newer rendering, the Greek now makes use of the Unicode standard.  Other changes have been made in the JavaScript that supported the specialised searching to bring it more in line with modern JavaScript practice.  The use of HTML frames, however, still remains in this re-expression since a significant part of the navigational operation of the PBE I pages depends on them.

Further Credits
The translation of the Greek from the special font needed for the CD into Unicode was achieved largely through the use of the Transcoder software.

The graphical design that one sees in the front pages of this website was done by Ginestra Ferraro, a front-end developer at DDH, King's College London.  The server setup and configuration for this site was created by Ginestra Ferraro and DDH's System Administrator Tim Watts.