05 July 2017

EvT version 002...

…is finally online! The most important changes and improvements include the following.
  • The contents of version 001 have been generally revised and the description of all the units reconsidered.
  • The class of angels has been significantly developed. Version 002 contains over 560 units (versus 290 of ver. 001) of which 386 speak about angels (versus 113 of ver. 001). The ghosts of the BT are still in the stub form with only 26 units and as such still need a separate treatment.
  • Despite the leap in numbers the classes of angels and demons are far from completion. The study allowed to discover numerous other entities unrecognized by previous scholarship but these still need running a dedicated complex search.
  • What is more, the classification of some of the entities needs to be reconsidered.
    • For instance, although in versions 001 and 002 batqol has belonged to the category of angels, it seems that she should be relocated to a hypothetical separate category including the anthropomorphized aspects of the god of Rabbinic Judaism like midah (divine attribute) or shekhinah (feminine divine presence). 
    • Similar is the case with these from among the entities which bear a human name (e.g. Yosef and Yonatan) and as such seem to be ghosts rather than demons.
    • The problem is most apparent in the case of ruach which tends to appear in various collocations which are currently recognized as the names of entities belonging to different classes, e.g. ruachqodesh is an angel, ruachtzaraat is a demon while ruachtumaah has some qualities of a ghost.
  • Some lesser editorial changes have been introduced, e.g. since all tags are one word in length, the comas proved redundant and as such have been removed.
  • A more detailed description of the theoretical and methodological background of the database can be found in the recently published paper available on the PJACNS site, my academia.edu account and personal web page. Please remember: if you plan to use the Elyonim veTachtonim database in your research, make sure to provide the full bibliographic data in references: Wojciech Kosior, Elyonim veTachtonim. Some Methodological Considerations on the Electronic Database of Angels, Demons and Ghosts in Early Rabbinic Literature, “The Polish Journal of the Arts and Culture. New Series”, 2017, 5 (1/2017), p. 89-112.

To be done in version 003:
  • supplementing the angels and demons with the remaining and less popular entities,
  • reconsidering the classes of entities,
  • supplementing the topics with more detailed tags,
  • covering the ghosts of the BT.

The estimated date of the publication of the next version: December 2017. Meanwhile, head to the Database tab and enjoy the company of angels, demons and (some of the) ghosts!