Database of
Medieval Nubian

Welcome to the Database of Medieval Nubian Texts (DBMNT)

I am happy and proud to present to you the entirely new version, both design- and content-wise, of the Database of Medieval Nubian Texts (DBMNT), which is the outcome of over two decades of my research on different aspects of literary culture of Christian Nubia and of three different research projects. The DBMNT was officially inaugurated in 2011 as an integral part of my book entitled Chronological Systems of Christian Nubia. At the beginning, the database consisted of 733 records, gathering all Nubian texts in which various chronological phenomena are recorded. However, since the beginning of work, the DBMNT was constructed to include all kinds of written sources from Christian Nubia, not only those containing dates. For the past 20 years, I have been collecting and entering those sources to produce what is now DBMNT Texts. As a result, at present the database contains 4,518 records, which cover all possible forms of written expression left by the inhabitants of the Middle Nile Valley in the Middle Ages. Since 2012, DBMNT is integrated with Trismegistos Texts and each Nubian text exists now in the latter database.

In the second round of work, this time in the framework of my ‘What’s in a name?’ research grant (2016–2018), the database of Nubian names was created. Thanks to the involvement in the process of Yanne Broux and Mark Depauw from Trismegistos, this part of the database was designed so as to allow an easy integration with the TM People database (see here for details). In this way the present tables DBMNT Names, Name Variants, and People came to existence, which currently comprise 1,738 names recorded in 2,576 variants for 3,725 persons.

The third, but hopefully not the last step was the preparation of a database of Nubian identity markers, carried out during my work on the IaM NUBIAN project (2019–2021). This part of the database, called DBMNT IM References, covers all possible textual means of expression of one’s identity. There are, for the time being, as many as 8,538 records there.

As a result, the user receives now a tool that is fit for studying different historical and socio-cultural aspects of medieval Nubian literary culture such as language use and literacy, onomastics, identity, church and state organisation, or prosopography. It also constitutes a convenient point of departure for research on issues such as Nubian palaeography, materiality of sources, epigraphic habit, etc. Thus, DBMNT is slowly becoming (or perhaps has already become) a Nubian Trismegistos and it is my hope that it will be used as the ultimate source of knowledge on Christian Nubian written sources.

Grzegorz Ochała
Sulejówek, 23 December 2022