I’m mainly busy with the Mithras site at the moment.
I’ve been working through a list of new finds since 1960 made by John W. Brandt, together with a list by Szabo Csaba. In each case I do a web search for pictures or sites. I did the Riegel Mithraeum on Friday night. It’s slow, but useful.
I wish I could find a picture of the curious sword found at Riegel. This had a semi-circle in the middle of the blade, as wide as a man’s neck. If put on, it would look as if a sword had been driven through the neck. Undoubtedly it featured in some initiation ceremony.
Today I collected a curious volume from the library – Al. N. Oikonomides, Mithraic art: a search for unpublished and unidentified monuments. It’s only a little book, with monochrome photos of a few such. But it’s still very interesting, if not very scholarly. It’s basically a set of random notes typed up.
I’ve also been working on the site infrastructure. This relies on a borrowed perl script, buried deep within, to handle references; and I have never liked it, or indeed fully understood it. On Friday I started to rewrite the thing in Java, rather cautiously – for website providers rarely support Java, or don’t support it very well. Indeed mine has the “Diablo Java 1.6” runtime, of which I had never heard, but which turns out to be the BSD port of Oracle’s JRE, licensed in some strange way. After several hours labour, the results were in, and it worked and was satisfactory; much more so than the original perl script. I shall now move a lot of the code to Java, and take the opportunity to rethink some design decisions.
The Origen volume has come back from the typesetter with the latest set of corrections, and I have now produced a proof copy for the translator, and another for me. I think that I will allow one set of corrections from this, and then go to print. Somewhere there has to be an end to this task. The typesetter, Simon Hartshorne, has been very good about this indeed, but I am embarassed to trespass on his generosity much more.
I’m probably doing some other things as well: just can’t think of them tonight!