Meaning of prosopography in English:



  • 1A description of a person's appearance, personality, career, etc., or a collection of such descriptions.

    ‘Genet's prosopography of the members of the University of Paris in the Middle Ages’
    • ‘On the broadest construal, this would issue in a comprehensive prosopography of everyone who had ever lived in a given territory (and of a good many who lived outside it).’
    • ‘His book examines the society's first century via a prosopography of its 255 members.’
    • ‘This is a miniature prosopography, exploring the ‘cultural, religious and social characteristics of machine builders’.’
    • ‘The work then presents an equally detailed prosopography of the families that kept said taverns.’
    • ‘The prosopography continues with a self-contained and disproportionately long multigenerational family history of the Zudendorp clan, complete with discussion of its historiography.’
    1. 1.1mass noun The study of prosopographies, especially as an aspect of the study of Roman history.
      ‘Putting aside the opening and closing pages, the study would seem a quite readable effort in political prosopography.’


1920s from modern Latin prosopographia, from Greek prosōpon ‘face, person’ + -graphia ‘writing’.