Eusebius, Agapius project news

Long term readers of this blog will know that I commissioned a translation into English of Eusebius of Caesarea’s book about differences between the gospels and their solutions (Quaestiones ad Stephanum/Marinum).

The Greek remains of this text are now almost entirely translated.  The last few fragments from catenas remain; but almost all of the mass of fragments in Migne (reprinted from Mai, which is what we are using) are done.

There is no progress on the Syriac or Coptic front, tho, which is disappointing.  I’m considering asking my Greek translator to do the other minor works of Eusebius — the epitomes of the Commentary on Luke, On Easter — while we wait.

Once the work is complete, the intention is still to publish it myself and sell copies to people to cover the translation costs; and, when that is done, to make it available online.

I think a book about problems in the gospels and how to overcome them ought to have a popular market as a paperback among Christians.  Not sure what to call the book, tho.  Maybe:

Eusebius of Caesarea
Commentary on the Gospels
A fourth century writer resolves differences between them

What do people think?

I’ve also begun to translate the first half of the world history of the 10th century Arabic Christian writer, Agapius.  This looks very likely to be of considerable interest.

6 Responses to “Eusebius, Agapius project news”


  1. Tom Schmidt

    Great news! If the first edition is going to be more academically focused (if, for example, you market it more for University Libraries, etc) You may want to omit “A fourth century writer resolves differences between them” and rather say “A fourth century writer discusses differences between them” or something along those lines.

    Some more pedantically minded academics may dispute the idea that Eusebius resolved any of the differences, which may lower the opinion of the translation and reduce the market for it. Obviously for a popular christian market the subtitle works well. Just a thought.

    Tom

  2. Tony Schiavo

    Good news, Roger. Coincidentally, we’re in the process of producing an inexpensive version of the Vita Constantini at the moment.

    I agree with Tom about the subtitle–perhaps: “A fourth century historian grapples with the differences among them” to get around the pedantry.

    Anyway, the Agapius history really interests me. I’ve seen it cited with some frequency in secondary sources. Does he have much on the Justinianic period, by chance?

  3. Roger Pearse

    Tom, I did have two markets in mind here. For an academic market, it won’t need more than “Eusebius of Caesarea: Gospel questions”.

    But for a popular market, in the Christian bookshop, it needs more; something to grab the ordinary reader who is asking “boring! why do *I* want read this?” is needed. I think the wording I proposed is a little clunky, tho.

    Tony: interesting to hear about the Vita – tell me more! Who is the proposed audience?

    I too have seen Agapius cited a lot, which is why I’ve determined to translate it. I’ve done the portion from the time of Christ to his own time already. There are a couple of pages on the time of Justinian, but that section is fairly diffuse and not very interesting. Wait and see — the whole thing will appear online when I’m done anyway.

  4. Roger Pearse

    Maybe “Tough questions about the gospels”?

  5. Tom Schmidt

    Eusebius of Caesarea
    An Ancient Writer Harmonizes Gospel Differences?

    or

    An Ancient Gospel Harmony

    I relaize that Eusebius does give what we would call a Gospel Harmony, but isn’t Augustine’s Gospel Harmony essentially a walk through of Gospel difficulties rather than a true Harmony? or am I mistaken?

  6. Roger Pearse

    Interesting thoughts. It’s whatever will give the right message to the ordinary man in the bookshop, that this book contains stuff he wants to know and is actually by someone who lives a short way down the road from Jesus himself, historically.