Uncovering sources for ancient history is the aim of my work on ancient personal names (onomastics). This research has revealed the details of the interaction of Hellenic traditions with local ones, and of Greek with local languages, in the Near East and Egypt in Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine times. Discoveries include previously unknown names and epithets of gods, preserved through their presence in personal names (theophorics).
The Lexicon of Greek Personal Names sheds light on social history through a sort of “phonebook” for the ancient Mediterranean world, tracing fashions in name-giving across time and place.
The Lexicon, whose work began in the 1970s, has collected and organized by region and time-period all known personal names in the ancient Greek-speaking world from mainland Greece, the Greek islands, Cyrenaica (modern Libya), western Europe, and Asia Minor (modern Turkey). Recent volumes in preparation extend to the ancient Near and Middle East, and to Egypt.