Datasets in "sdam" package

Antonio Rivero Ostoic

Aarhus University

August 2022


Install and load one version of "sdam" package.

install.packages("sdam") # from CRAN
devtools::install_github("sdam-au/sdam") # development version
devtools::install_github("mplex/cedhar", subdir="pkg/sdam") # a legacy version R 3.6.x
# load and check version
[1] '1.1.4'

Built-in datasets

Package "sdam" comes with a suite of datasets and external data to execute different functions available in the package and to perform analysis.

For a list of built-in datasets in "sdam" use the "utils" function data() or utils::data() with the 'package' argument.

The CRAN distribution has four built-in datasets, while the development and legacy distributions add three more built-in datasets.

# pop-up a new window
# Data sets in package 'sdam':
# rp        Roman province names and acronyms as in EDH
# rpcp      Roman provinces chronological periods
# rpd       Roman provinces dates from EDH
# rpmcd     Caption maps and affiliation dates of Roman provinces
# Additional built-in datasets in 'sdam':
# EDH       Epigraphic Database Heidelberg Dataset
# rpmp      Maps of ancient Roman provinces and Italian regions
# retn      Roman Empire transport network and Mediterranean sea

A description of each dataset is available in the manual that from the R console is accessible as e.g.  the EDH dataset in a non-CRAN distribution.

# Epigraphic Database Heidelberg Dataset help

Ancient Mediterranean built-in datasets

The EDH dataset in "sdam" has information about Latin epigraphy retrieved from the Epigraphic Database Heidelberg API repository from the Roman world during the antiquity period.

A list of Roman provinces and regions in this dataset is available in dataset "rp", and use again function data() to load this built-in dataset to look at its internal structure with utils::str() function.

List of 66
 $ Ach: chr "Achaia"
 $ Aeg: chr "Aegyptus"
 $ Aem: chr "Aemilia (Regio VIII)"
 $ Afr: chr "Africa Proconsularis"
 $ AlC: chr "Alpes Cottiae"
 $ AlG: chr "Alpes Graiae"
 $ AlM: chr "Alpes Maritimae"
 $ AlP: chr "Alpes Poeninae"
 $ ApC: chr "Apulia et Calabria (Regio II)"
 $ Aqu: chr "Aquitania"
 $ Ara: chr "Arabia"
 $ Arm: chr "Armenia"
 $ Asi: chr "Asia"
 $ Ass: chr "Assyria"
 $ Bae: chr "Baetica"
 $ Bar: chr "Barbaricum"
 $ Bel: chr "Belgica"
 $ BiP: chr "Bithynia et Pontus"
 $ BrL: chr "Bruttium et Lucania (Regio III)"
 $ Bri: chr "Britannia"
 $ Cap: chr "Cappadocia"
 $ Cil: chr "Cilicia"
 $ Cor: chr "Corsica"
 $ Cre: chr "Creta"
 $ Cyp: chr "Cyprus"
 $ Cyr: chr "Cyrene"
 $ Dac: chr "Dacia"
 $ Dal: chr "Dalmatia"
 $ Epi: chr "Epirus"
 $ Etr: chr "Etruria (Regio VII)"
 $ Gal: chr "Galatia"
 $ GeI: chr "Germania inferior"
 $ GeS: chr "Germania superior"
 $ HiC: chr "Hispania citerior"
 $ Inc: chr "Provincia incerta"
 $ Iud: chr "Iudaea"
 $ LaC: chr "Latium et Campania (Regio I)"
 $ Lig: chr "Liguria (Regio IX)"
 $ Lug: chr "Lugdunensis"
 $ Lus: chr "Lusitania"
 $ LyP: chr "Lycia et Pamphylia"
 $ MaC: chr "Mauretania Caesariensis"
 $ MaT: chr "Mauretania Tingitana"
 $ Mak: chr "Macedonia"
 $ Mes: chr "Mesopotamia"
 $ MoI: chr "Moesia inferior"
 $ MoS: chr "Moesia superior"
 $ Nar: chr "Narbonensis"
 $ Nor: chr "Noricum"
 $ Num: chr "Numidia"
 $ PaI: chr "Pannonia inferior"
 $ PaS: chr "Pannonia superior"
 $ Pic: chr "Picenum (Regio V)"
 $ Rae: chr "Raetia"
 $ ReB: chr "Regnum Bospori"
 $ Rom: chr "Roma"
 $ Sam: chr "Samnium (Regio IV)"
 $ Sar: chr "Sardinia"
 $ Sic: chr "Sicilia, Melita"
 $ Syr: chr "Syria"
 $ Thr: chr "Thracia"
 $ Tra: chr "Transpadana (Regio XI)"
 $ Tri: chr "Tripolitania"
 $ Umb: chr "Umbria (Regio VI)"
 $ Val: chr "Valeria"
 $ VeH: chr "Venetia et Histria (Regio X)"

edhw() interface with "rp" dataset

  • Function edhw() is a wrapper to extract and transform the records in the EDH dataset that invokes "rp" dataset to retrieve the records from a specific Roman province or region in EDH.
Warning in edhw(province = "Arm"): "x" is for dataset "EDH".
Warning in edhw(province = "Arm"): "province" with no "vars" returns lists.
[1] "015521"

[1] " Mehrere, teils aneinanderpassende Fragmente erhalten. Die Inschrift lief über mehrere Tafeln hinweg; Angabe der Breite bezieht sich auf die erste der Tafeln mit den Zeilenanfängen. Rekonstruierte Gesambreite: circa 8,50 m."

[1] "Armenia"

[1] "21 cm"


[1] ""

[1] "Artaxata, bei"

[1] "Pokr Vedi"

[1] "80 cm"

[1] "HD015521"

[1] "Latin"

[1] "2015-10-22"

[1] "20-16 cm"

[1] "AE 1968, 0510.; B. Arakelean, RevPaz 126, 1968, 135-136; Foto u. Zeichnung. - AE 1968 "

[1] "limestone: rocks - clastic sediments"

[1] "data available"

[1] "0116"

[1] "1"

[1] "div[i] Nervae f[il. N]erva Traianus"

[1] "male"

[1] "Nerva+ Traianus"

[1] "Armenia"

[1] "Gräf"

[1] "Imp(erator) Caesar div[i] Nervae f[il(ius) N]erva Traianus / optimus A[u]g(ustus) G[e]rm(anicus) Daci[c(us) Par]thicus pont(ifex) max(imus) / trib(unicia) pot(estate) XX [im]p(erator) XIII co(n)s(ul) VI [p(ater) p(atriae) pe]r leg(ionem) IIII Scyt(hicam) fecit"

[1] ""

[1] "building/dedicatory inscription"

[1] "tabula"

[1] ""

[1] "(205) cm"

[1] "provisional"

[1] "1967"

The Warning messages from edhw() are first because there is not an explicit input in x, it is assumed that the input data is from the EDH dataset. The second warning message just tells the type object to return is always a list for argument province alone.

EDH in data frames

All records in the EDH dataset have a list format and it is possible to transform this information into a dataframe format with the wrapper function edhw(). For instance, displaying the first record from Arm as a data frame in argument 'as' is made by the record 'id' number.

However, it is easier to visualise in the screen only the variables related to people.

        id        cognomen gender                                name person_id
1 HD015521 Nerva+ Traianus   male div[i] Nervae f[il. N]erva Traianus         1
        id        cognomen gender                                name person_id province_label
1 HD015521 Nerva+ Traianus   male div[i] Nervae f[il. N]erva Traianus         1        Armenia

Obtaining all people variables

Start by looking at the people variables in the EDH dataset for the Roman province of Armenia.


Roman province of Armenia (ca 117 AD).

Roman province of Armenia (ca 117 AD).

Transformation of the entire province from the EDH dataset requires extracting first a list with the province content. Function edhw() is to obtain available inscriptions per province from EDH and all data attributes from people variable. The default outputs are a list and a dataframe for the first and the second instance of the function.

        id         age: years        cognomen gender                                name
1 HD015521               <NA> Nerva+ Traianus   male div[i] Nervae f[il. N]erva Traianus
2 HD015524 data not available        Cre(---)   male                        C. Val. Cre.
3 HD015524               <NA>           [---]   male                               [---]
      nomen person_id praenomen             status
1      <NA>         1      <NA>               <NA>
2 Valerius*         1        C. military personnel
3     [---]         2       [-] military personnel

People attribute variables in inscriptions for Armenia are age: years, cognomen, gender, name, nomen, person_id, praenomen, and, status, but any inscription with tribus or origo as in the case of other provinces.

For Armenia, two inscriptions have people variables and all people scripted are male, where record HD015524 spans two rows because there are two persons where one have nomen, cognomen, and name ineligible.

Datasets for cartographical maps

The plotting of the Roman province in the previous section requires other datasets. Apart from "rp". In "sdam", there are other three datasets invoked for plotting cartographical maps related to the Roman Empire and the Mediterranean basin, which are "rpmp", "rpmcd", and "retn".

Function calls dataset "rpmp" for the shapes and colours in the plotting of the cartographical maps of different regions of the Roman Empire. For the caption and province dates with this function shapes and colours are in dataset "rpmcd".

Vignette Cartographical maps and networks has more about transportation networks in the ancient Mediterranean.

Datasets with dates

There are built-in datasets in "sdam" related to dates as well that are either displayed in a cartographical map or used for other computations.

List of 3
 $ Ach: 'HD001917' num [1:4] 105 -190 571 761
 $ Aeg: 'HD000741' num [1:4] 144 -71 500 571
 $ Aem: 'HD000010' num [1:4] 121 -201 771 972

From this set of three Roman provinces in the EDH, the longest timespan is for Aem, and on average Ach has the oldest incriptions, while Aeg has incriptions with the newest dates.

List of 2
 $ Early:'data.frame':  45 obs. of  3 variables:
  ..$ Province: chr [1:45] "Italia (Final Consolidation)" "Sicilia" "Sardinia & Corsica" "Hispania Ulterior (Later Baetica)" ...
  ..$ EarInf  : num [1:45] -509 -241 -238 -206 -206 -206 -202 -202 -188 -188 ...
  ..$ OffPrv  : num [1:45] -272 -241 -238 -197 -197 -197 -146 -81 43 -133 ...
 $ Late :'data.frame':  45 obs. of  3 variables:
  ..$ Province: Factor w/ 45 levels "Achaea","Aegyptus",..: 30 43 42 27 28 26 3 23 32 9 ...
  ..$ LateInf : num [1:45] 476 436 436 409 409 ...
  ..$ Fall    : num [1:45] 476 436 436 409 409 409 409 418 1400 1500 ...

The early and later Roman influence in the 45 ancient provinces and regions are timespans with a terminus ante quem and a terminus post quem.

Vignette Dates and missing dating data has the visualisation of these and other dates.

External data

Apart from the built-in datasets, it is attached as external data the semi-colon separated file StraussShipwrecks.csv with the Shipwrecks dataset for performing analyses: Reference and documentation in

Strauss, J. (2013). Shipwrecks Database. Version 1.0. Accessed (07-12-2021) from

Built from Parker, A.J. Ancient Shipwrecks of the Mediterranean and the Roman Provinces (Oxford: BAR International Series 580, 1992)

Details about the access to the database are in:

See also