How much would it cost to translate all of Migne’s Patrologia Graeca?

I was imagining myself a billionaire again last night.  Sadly I awoke to poverty as usual.  But then I saw this post on Archaic Christianity about Migne.  It started me thinking about what I would do with all my billions.

I think that I would probably fund a complete translation of the PG volumes, just as they stand, and make them freely available online in English.   So what would that cost, exactly?

I calculate that at 10c a word of Greek, it would cost $20 per column, and most volumes have 1000 columns.  So a volume should cost $10,000 to translate. 

Now there are 220 odd volumes in the PG, so that would cost $2.2m, or thereabouts.   That’s not really a lot, is it?

Even if we doubled it, at $5m to translate all of this into English, it still wouldn’t be a lot, would it? 

Is there anyone out there with a spare $5m?

5 Responses to “How much would it cost to translate all of Migne’s Patrologia Graeca?”


  1. Seumas

    I don’t have 5M, but if someone else does, I’ll get to work!

  2. Roger Pearse

    Me too!

  3. Kent

    Of course, if you had an electronic version of the PG with fully encoded links to translations to Philip Schaff’s Early Church Fathers, that would be a close second, right?

    I thought you might be interested in a newly available electronic edition of the PG from Logos Bible Software, with links to Schaff, plus a lot more.

    And you don’t need $5M for the translations, or as much as $40,000 for the print version.

    http://www.logos.com/products/prepub/details/4345

  4. Michael

    Since I can’t even afford the time and money for the PL and PG reprinted by the Centre for Patristic Publications, I got an Enchiridion Patristicum some weeks ago as my summer treat. A compromise indeed.

    I’m currently learning Greek having mastered some rudimentary Latin. Daily reading of Church Fathers’ writings on the Breviary truly prepares me for Cicero and various Classical authors, though the ‘immersion’ method does have its flaws due to a lack of guidance explaining the nuances in the grammar – I have to look it up word by word at the first stage, which is very challenging. But then after a year of reading on my phone app during the two hours I travel to school, I’m pleased with my own progress as a amateur.

    By the way, are there suitable introductory texts to Patrology and Patristics for beginners like me?

    I plan to enhance my proficiency in Latin, Greek and, at a lower priority, German (due to time constraint) during this summer. I’m convinced that a good grasp of Classical languages will do me more good than simply delve into Philosophy and Theology reading without even mastering the basic tools.

  5. Roger Pearse

    Thankfully we can get them all in PDF form these days online :-)

    Well done to have a go. Every bit you do helps, you know?

    I’m no guide on books, but Quasten’s Patrology (not excluding the 5th vol by Angelo di Berardino) is the basis for all that I know.

    Keep on trucking! :-)



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