In full compliance with the methodological principles of the project (macro- and micro-historic approach) we have included a large number of entries, which do not fall within the usual categories of place names, people and events, that are, as a rule, the large majority of the contents of the respective conventional works. There are entries that we incorporated in the category “General” because they cover an extremely wide thematic field.
The criteria that were used in their selection are:
- the relation to the Hellenic element
- the importance for understanding the Hellenic cultural phenomenon
- the importance for understanding the environment of Hellenism
- the singularity or the innovative character of the phenomenon
- the diachronic character of its appearance
- its relation to the specific geographical area
- its importance to the definition of the constitution of Hellenism
- its necessity for the interdisciplinary examination of Hellenic culture
These entries make possible to approach specialized issues in five wider categories:
The Society entries examine the institutions, social classes, their hierarchy and other forms of organization, people, smaller groups and their movement, as well as ideological and ethnic issues.
The Economy entries examine issues related to raw materials, primary and secondary production, productive relations, land owning, commerce and transactions, monetary and credit politics, small industries and consumption.
In Politics we have included entries related to the exercise of power, the competition among institutions or social groups, diplomacy and collective actions.
In the Religion category emphasis is given to entries about divinities and cults in antiquity, the dogmas, heresies and ecclesiastical organization of Christianity, as well as about religious centres, religious groups, and particular phenomena like monarchism and religious missions.
Finally, in Culture the entries deal with issues of fine arts (artists, movements and works), literature and scholar tradition, the Greek language and idioms, sciences and philosophy, education and athletics, as well as issues of ethnology (popular forms of art, customs) and archaeology (excavations, inscriptions).
These essential categories are probably expressed differently in the groups of entries that have to do with each period of time, given the peculiarity of the area of the Black Sea, where the numerous and great differences among the historical periods necessitated at times different approaches to the above mentioned categories.