Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus

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PAL Website: Frequently Asked Questions

How do I cite an entry from the PAL database?

A standard form for the citation of any entry from our database is given at the bottom of entries for Works and Manuscripts, and at the top of Transcriptions. The given URLs are permanent links. See here for more exact references to sections of transcriptions.

How to cite sections of transcriptions?

In order to cite individual sections of a transcription you may use the so-called “anchors” or “fragment identifiers” that are given for each section. They generally have the form #IV.3 (Section 3 of Book IV) and are to be appended to the URL of the page concerned, for example “”. The full link may be copied clicking on the anchor “#” and copying the link from the address field of your internet browser or by right-clicking on the anchor and selecting “Copy link address”.

How can I search on the PAL website?

The search filter for Works, Manuscripts, Transcriptions, Images and terms from the Glossary is explained here. Besides, you can search the currently displayed page by means of the search function of your browser (shortcut CTRL-F). A full text search is under development.

How do I use the search filter for the PAL database?

The PAL database consists of entries for Works, Manuscripts, Technical terms in Greek, Arabic and Latin, Transcriptions and Reproductions. The search filter for each of these categories can be reached by clicking on the menu item concerned. In the search filter one may type a free-text search function in any of the database fields presented in the columns of the data table under the filter. Search texts in different fields may be combined, or text may be specified to be contained in any column. For example, “Author=Pt” and “Title=Alm” will only find Ptolemy’s Almagest and its translations. Uncheck the boxes under “a=A” to make the search case sensitive (note, however, that case sensitive search is not available in fields in which accented characters can also be found by typing the unaccented character). Uncheck the boxes under “x y=y x” to fix the order in which the search terms should appear in their field. Check the box under “.*?” to use regular expressions in the search. Finally, you may select specific values for each field from the dropdown box at the end of the line. Click on the Reset button to empty all fields. The data are filtered while the search text is being entered. Thus by first typing rare parts of your search terms (e.g. “Pt”, “Cent”, or the shelfmark of a manuscript) you will usually be able to find what you are looking for by typing only a few characters.

How can I sort the data tables?

The data in the tables specified by your search can be sorted by any field with an upward and downward arrow in the heading. Click on such a header to sort the data in alphabetical order, click once again to sort it in the reverse order. Hold down the SHIFT key and click on the headers of additional columns in order to sort by a combination of fields. For example, in a search for manuscripts click on Author first, then hold the SHIFT key and click on Title in order to show the works of the respective, alphabetically ordered authors in alphabetical order.

How can I use regular expression?

Regular expressions provide a very powerful means of performing more complicated searches. When, in the search filter, you check the boxes under “.*?”, certain symbols will be interpreted in a special way and not as part of an ordinary search string. Some examples are:

A full overview of the character patterns that can be used in regular expressions may be found here.