I’m still proofing the OCR of the English translation of Ibn Abi Usaibia, and reached p.639 last night.
The translation of Methodius De lepra is creeping forward. I prompted the translator last night, and another couple of (short) pages arrived this morning, and I have just annotated them and sent them back. These pages from the German need to be completed by a translation of a Greek fragment. The translator has subcontracted that bit out, so it will need to be checked. It will be interesting to see what that is like.
But great joy — a draft translation of John the Lydian’s section on December arrived this morning. And in fact I had no comments on it, so it is pretty much done, and all I shall have to do is pay for it and upload it.
The translator of John also sent me a comment on the “cline” issue for the Sol Serapis post.
He’s also been working on the Origen Homilies on Ezechiel book, which I do hope we will manage to get out of the door sometime. Most of it is done, and I think both of us will be glad to draw a line under it.
Meanwhile I’ve heard nothing from Chicago University since I accepted their price for digitising Loviagin’s Russian version of Methodius. It’s hard to believe that any institution takes a week to answer an email. I hesitate to nag them!
One of those winter viruses laid its cold hand on me at the weekend, so I’ve been a little under the weather since. This morning the sun came out, and, feeling rather more normal, I drove up to Cambridge and visited the university library. I think I got the very last free car parking space there!
It’s been a while since I’ve been — my pass ran out in June. They will only issue me a pass for 6 months, which is tiresome. There’s some noodle in the library administration with the fidgets — every time I turn up and reapply for another 6 months, there is some extra demand for evidence of this or that or the other. But I got through the assault course OK.
I went to have a look at Vermaseren’s Mithras: the secret god. I’ve only ever seen extracts of this, and I was looking to see whether he gave any sources for some of the line-drawings of reliefs. And … he doesn’t! I have a copy on order by ILL from my local library, so I will look at this some more then. Curiously Cambridge did not have the original Dutch version of the book, nor the German translation.
Another item that I went to look for was the German original of Manfred Clauss’ The Roman cult of Mithras. This was indeed present, but I couldn’t make much of it — I think the virus was trying to make a comeback at that point and my head grew fuzzy.
But what I did find was Reinhold Merkelbach’s Mithras; and I also found next to it the two volumes of Mithraic Studies edited by John R. Hinnells, Turcan’s book, and a few other items. I was impressed with Merkelbach’s book — it looked very sound. He surveys the data about Persian Mithra, and then starts a new section for Roman Mithras and states plainly that the latter was a new cult, using systematically elements borrowed from the Iranian mythology. That seems to me to hit the nail on the head.
Finally, a bit of vanity: I went to the catalogue and searched for my own name, to see if the Eusebius book had been added to the library. And it had! Off I went, to find it next to all the other editions and translations of Patristic literature, but sadly minus its beautiful dustjacket. I felt quite indignant for a moment at the loss of what had cost me so much time and labour; but then they do the same with all their books. Nice to see it there, anyway.
I think I shall spend some time on the sofa now. It’s been a busy day!