• A topical guide is a study tool which assists in finding quotations and passages marked with a selected topic. This is helpful for:

    - Quickly learning basics about a specific topic

    - Finding where to search for information on a topic

    - Obtaining evidence to support claims concerning a topic

    This topical guide is implemented as a small SQLite3 database containing many quotes and passages from sources explaining Epicureanism: https://www.dropbox.com/s/1l6g…sjql/topicalGuide.db?dl=0

    If a pop up asks you to sign into Dropbox, close it using the X in the upper-right corner. You do not need a Dropbox account to download and use this topical guide.

    A categorized list of topics may be found here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/nafyhctcbzaky80/Topics.txt?dl=0

    Table of Contents

    How to Use

    How to Set Up

    Database Structure

    How to Use

    Indexed passages are labeled with certain topics, allowing users to search for a selected topic and obtain a list of related passages.

    For example, searching for the topic "Limit Desires" provides 30 indexed passages, from Epicurus, Diogenes of Oenoanda, Cicero, and Seneca.

    Search results from the topic "Limit Desires".

    Changing the topic to "Friendship" provides 22 indexed passages.

    Search results from the topic "Friendship".

    Available topics may be found in this text file ( https://www.dropbox.com/s/nafyhctcbzaky80/Topics.txt?dl=0 ) or within the topical guide in the table "topics".

    How to Set Up

    To be able to use the topical guide, a program for viewing SQLite3 databases is required. Below is a walkthrough for installing such a program and how to view the topical guide using it.


    1. Go to http://sqlitebrowser.org/.

    2. Choose and download the correct installer for your machine.

    3. Run the installer.

    Using Topical Guide

    1. Launch DB Browser for SQLite.

    2. Click on "Open Database" at the top-left. Navigate to your Downloads folder and select "topicalGuide.db".

    a. If you do not see "topicalGuide.db", you may need to download it here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/1l6g…sjql/topicalGuide.db?dl=0

    3. Click on "Browse Data" tab in the top-left bar. You may now see and filter through passages within the topical guide.

    a. Type keywords into the "Filter" textboxes to limit which passages are displayed. For topics, it is recommended to search for only one topic at a time.

    b. Use the "Table" dropdown menu to view sources or available topics instead of passages.

    Database Structure


    A table of indexed passages, the main focus of the topical guide.

    school: The branch of philosophy associated with the passage.

    author: The writer or creator of the passage.

    passage: An indexed quotation.

    source: The book or literature where the passage was taken from.

    reference: The specific part or section where passage was taken from.

    topics: Keywords from available topics which the passage is marked with.

    notes: Miscellaneous information concerning the passage.


    A table of sources where passages within the quotes table may be found.

    school: The branch of philosophy associated with the passage.

    title: The name of the book or literature which is the source.

    author: The writer or creator of the source.

    translator: If translated into English, the name of the translator.

    datePublication: When the source was published or written.

    dateTranslation: If translated into English, when the source was translated.

    links: URLs pointing to the specific source used.

    notes: Miscellaneous information concerning the source.

    numQuotes: The number of passages within the quotes table taken from the source.


    A table of available topics used to mark passages within the quotes table.

    category: The broad group containing the topic.

    topic: The keyword used to represent the topic.

    definition: The meaning associated with the topic.

    numOccurrences: The number of passages within the quotes table marked with the topic.

  • Wow! I will look further into this asap - thanks for posting! So you are basically creating an SQL database for the Epicurean texts? What translations are you using?

    I am pretty familiar with the nature of SQL databases but I usually see them associated with some kind of "Front End" to make them more usable. Do you have a goal for that?

    Also, if I read your post correctly, you pretty much jumped directly into the technical details without explaining much about the background and goals of your project, and how it replaces other resources that might already be available. Can you sort of back up and give us the global view of what you are doing? Thanks very much!

  • I am glad you are excited for this project. I hope it will be useful to many.

    I am creating an SQL database for Epicurean and utilitarian passages/quotes from texts (I am a utilitarian, see the "Background" section for details). The passages have citations and are tagged with topics. One may search using a topic and find a number of passages from multiple sources to find quotes or know where to go to learn more about a topic.

  • I am unfamiliar with creating front ends, but have experience with backends (I am a college student, studying computer science). I do not know to begin creating a front end for an SQL database and I am new to SQL.

    The background and goals of my project are described in the "Background" section, the very last section of the post, which is available at the bottom of this file: https://www.dropbox.com/s/kg66…/Topical%20Guide.txt?dl=0 (I use a separate file since I hit the character limit for posts on the forum).

  • Daniel I wonder if you could post some screen shots of the program in use.

    Also, what is the data you are putting into the database? It would probably be helpful to post a list of the source material so that it would be clear what it is possible to find by searching the database.

  • Having a screenshot and list of sources in the post are excellent ideas! Thank you.

    How to input data into the database is explained in the "Contributing Passages" section. Please see the "Example" subsection to see what data my Java converter will take. For quality control, I plan to manage any data going into the master copy of the database.

  • Daniel Van Orman

    Changed the title of the thread from “Work-In-Progress: Topical Guide” to “Topical Guide”.