From my diary

Home, with piles of electronic gear.  But when will I get time to set it up?  That said, being unable to use my main machine is becoming increasingly irksome. 

I’ve been looking for possible Greek texts to get translated.  There’s a little pile of sermon material by Chrysostom.

Most interesting of these are three items which appear in Migne in very truncated form.  De Regressu Sancti Joannis (PG52, col. 421), De Recipiendo Severiano (col. 423), and Severian’s reply De Pace (col. 425).  All three are given in Latin, and seem far too short to be full versions.  Now I know that the Greek exists of Severian, and indeed a full version of it.  But I am unclear about the others.

It turns out that I did enquire of a scholar who had published about these, and got the response that I should look in the Clavis Patrum Graecorum vol. 2, from 4438 onwards, and also in the supplement.  I believe that there are oriental translations of this stuff also.

And that, dear reader, is why I am annoyed that I can’t access my main machine, on which resides my copy of CPG2!

There are also some short tracts by Epiphanius of Salamis, in which he expresses strong antipathy to icons.  These would be of general interest: but it turns out that a translation exists already, by Stephen Bigham, in Epiphanius of Salamis: Doctor of Iconoclasm? (2008).  Of course this is offline (drat).

Never mind.  There are still lots of Chrysostom sermons!

13 Responses to “From my diary”


  1. Jeremiah

    There are always more Chrysostom sermons!

  2. IG

    I’ve just started translating his sermon on the ascension (PG 50.441) I won’t be getting it done quickly as I have too many other committments, but I’ll send it on when I am done.

  3. Roger Pearse

    @IG: well done, that man! And yes, I’d love to see it when it’s done.

    @Jeremiah: there seem to be. But I hope to make a difference, one way or another!

  4. Jeremiah

    Roger, when I was an undergrad it was my dream to translate the entire corpus of Chrysostom. Then I found out that there are no critical Greek texts for so much of his stuff, that it would take a whole lifetime doing nothing else to finish such a project. Still, it is a shame that such a wonderful (and flawed) figure is largely accessible only through an extremely old translation of Migne’s text.

  5. Roger Pearse

    It was a good dream, tho! I wish you had done so!

    I think that the best thing we can do is to make translations from whatever texts are available. That should encourage/shame scholars to make critical texts.

  6. Jeremiah

    Do you have a list of untranslated works?

  7. Roger Pearse

    An awful lot of Chrysostom was translated by the Oxford movement. But there are untranslated homilies, and I think his letters are mostly untranslated. Off the top of my head:

    Three homilies “De diabolo” on the circus and theatre are untranslated. So is his homily on the circus games, but I have just offered someone a commission to do it.

    His homily on the Jews and Pagans remains untranslated.

    After his first exile he did a sermon on his return, then one “De Severiano recipiendis”, i.e. that the feud with Severian of Gabala had got to stop — Severian did one “De Pace” in return — and there is another Chrysostom homily after that I think. None of these are translated.

    One of the homilies of Christmas has been done, but is offline; the other has not. There are homilies on Easter and other festivals, all untranslated.

    Why, do you feel like dabbling again? If so, I would encourage you to! Anything you did could only be a step forward. I could produce a proper list, once I get back home tomorrow.

  8. Jeremiah

    I make no promises, since I have a lot of work to do on my master’s thesis. However, I have been translating Apostolic Fathers stuff just to practice, so perhaps my practice could be put to the service of others if I just changed what I’m translating. If you make me a list and give me Migne page numbers (I have almost all the Chrysostom volumes in pdf form) or make a pdf of the relevant pages, I’ll see if I can get something translated. I warn you, this is much later than I usually translate so much of the vocab will be different. That means it may be slow going.

  9. Roger Pearse

    It’s probably best to concentrate on your thesis, you know? And the Greek of the apostolic fathers will be rather closer to the NT than Chrysostom.

    Patristic Greek has its own foibles and its own lexicon, Lampe’s “Lexicon of Patristic Greek” (a pirate PDF is around, which is just as well as it costs loads).

  10. Jeremiah

    Uh oh, have you gone perusing around our blog and decided no help is better than mine? Lampe is sadly absent from my collection for the aforementioned reason, but I have access to it at the library if BDAG and LSJ fail me. Nevertheless, I’ll not chase extra work.

  11. Roger Pearse

    Heh. Have you something to confess, then? I did look at one post and thought that you were taking on some views from the secular establishment rather uncritically, and said so, but that’s as far as I got. Where are the juicy bits then, where you confess your infatuation with Beelzebub, your love for Obama, that Mitt Romney is your cousin, your close personal friendship with Tony Blair, your internship with David Cameron, and that you work as a merchant banker?!

    But actually I don’t care what anyone’s politics or religion are, if they’re keen to translate the fathers and have the skills to do so. I’d only worry, e.g. if we had a particular strong view which ran against the grain of the text (because a strong view that ran with the grain of the text might even be a virtue and produce a better and more lively translation).

    No, I take the view that anyone who is keen to have a go should be encouraged to do so. The more the merrier! Most patristic Greek is untranslated after all.

    I can certainly post a list, although the homilies around the exile are something I need to look up in the CPG. (I’m rather restricted in what I can access until Friday)

    And I really do hesitate to lead you away from your thesis.

    What attracts you about Chrysostom, may I ask?

  12. Jeremiah

    The way he dealt with Eutropius and the way he treated the poor. He was clearly a man of incredible conviction and great faith. At the same time, he was horribly anti-Jewish. I find that dichotomy fascinating, and the mixture of admiration and horror it produces in me.

  13. Roger Pearse

    How do you fancy having a go at translating “De Recipiendo Severiano” (PG 52, col. 423-426)? It’s in Latin, and clearly only a fragment. Supposedly the Greek is lost.

    I’m wondering whether a full Latin text might be found somewhere in the mss of the Latin Chrysostom. Wenger managed to find a full one of De regressu, also printed as a Latin fragment in the same area.



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