“Six Things Are Said Concerning Demons” (Hagigah 16a). The System of Topic Tags Used in the ElyonimveTachtonimInventory to Describe the Features of Supernatural Entities and Their Relationships with Humans

Wojciech Kosior


This paper has two main purposes: to outline the methodology underlying the tag ontology utilisedin the ElyonimveTachtonim[hereinafter: EvT] inventory and to demonstrate the system of topic tags used to designate recurring subjects recognisedin the accounts involving supernatural entities [hereinafter: SE]. The EvTdatabase stores over 700 such accounts, which are annotated using a complex system of tags with several categories: class and type of SE, grammatical number, literary genre, topic, and the attitude of the SE towards humans. The tags facilitate information retrieval and, thanks to the partition of text into units, allow for the creation of data models. The topic tags are organisedinto a hierarchy of increasingly fine distinctions, arranged into several-tier structure. There are two main groups of topics: (1) the qualities and features of the SEs such as their appearance, knowledge, and skills and (2) the relationships between the SEs and humans ranging from cooperation to antagonism. 

This paper is intended primarily for both present and future users of the EvTdatabase who desire a more profound exposition of the system behind the inventory and would like to know the nuances of the classification process. The arrangement utilisedin the project is highly flexible and as such can be deployed in different cultural contexts and applied to diverse media. This means that the present paper can also serve as a point of reference for scholars wishing to construe an analogical database within the framework of some other cultural and religious tradition.

Słowa kluczowe: Digital Humanities, Babylonian Talmud, angelology, demonology