European Pagan Memory Day

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NOTES FOR A STANDARD FOR DATABASE OF TEMPLES REUSED IN OR AS CHRISTIAN CHURCHES

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Dedicatee deity (block 1--)

Of course, the dedicatee deity is the deity to whom the temple or the site was dedicated; currently the block 1-- hosts data about the deity or deities dedicatee of the sacred place. In this block there is only the tag 100, which is the name (names) of the deity (deities), and itís a repeatable field. See also the paragraph about block 4-- on the opportunity to change the block 1-- in the block of data about the original temple and not only about the deity.

Form of the name

The most important question on this block is about the form we should use for the deityís name. As we have already said many times, in order to integrate databases from different countries, is very important to use always the same name to call a deity, and only one name, therefore we have the problem of the language to choose for the name. As a general rule, a name should be always used in the original language (non of us translates his/her first name when introducing abroad); for Greek deities and for deities of those Slavonic people who use the Cyrillic alphabet thereís also the problem of transliteration (only a very sophisticated software could deal with different alphabets), for others the problem could be what is the correct original form of the name.

A possible solution is to use Latin or Latinized form of the name for Graeco-Roman deities (but, since Greek and Roman religions became so close what about deities with similar characteristic but different name? Should we indicate every temple dedicated to Artemis as a temple dedicated to Diana? This would cause a loss of information) and to choose the most known form of the name for other deities. Anyway, the various national groups taking part to the survey should draw up conversion tables from names they use in current languages to names used in the database.

Itís also needed to choose an expression to use when the deity couldnít be identified; the expression must be in the chosen official language of database (the same with which we call the templesí parts, for example), but must be chosen carefully: if we simply say "unknown" we could create confusion with late antiquity dedications to the gnostic "unknown god". Something like "unidentified" or "still not identified" sounds better; we should better avoid using punctuation signs or leaving the field blank, because this would frustrate any attempt to search for sites whose dedicatee deity is not known.

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