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Word of the day: Prosopography

Prosopography

[prah-sə-PAH-ɡrə-fee]

Part of speech: noun

Origin: Latin, late 16th century

A description of a person's social and family connections, career, etc., or a collection of such descriptions.

Examples of prosopography in a sentence

"The sociologist used the prosopographies of different groups to study larger trends."

"My grandmother traced our family's genealogy, and I used her research to start on the prosopography."

About Prosopography

This word stems from the modern Latin “prosopographia,” from the Greek “prosōpon,” meaning “face, person,” plus “-graphia,” meaning “writing.”

Did you Know?

British historian Lawrence Stone stated in a 1971 article that there was an old and new style of prosopography. Traditionally, the social science was most interested in well-known social elites, allowing a prosopography of a “power elite” to surface over time. By the 1970s, the new form of prosopography was concerned with wider populations of “ordinary people” who had some form of shared experiences and history. Genealogy is a popular hobby related to prosopography.

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