“Prosopography provides us with a fund of predigested historical data in a permanent state of deconstruction; it is a powerful analytical tool which literally reduces history to atoms, for a πρόσωπον is an άτομον, the indivisible unit of human existence. A catalogue of all recorded historical persons is therefore as close as we can come to creating a complete, fully articulated and objective record of the past.”

[Paul Magdalino, “Prosopography and Byzantine identity”, Fifty years of Prosopography. The Later Roman Empire, Byzantium and beyond, ed. Averil Cameron, Oxford University Press 2003, 46.]