June 17th, 2013 by Roger Pearse
Does anyone have access to this item:
Joseph Sievers, Forgotten Aspects of the reception of Josephus’ Bellum Judaicum: Its Lists of Contents, in Eve-Marie Becker, Stefan Scholz, “Kanon in Konstruktion und Dekonstruktion”, DeGruyter, 2011. p.363-386.
Somewhat annoyingly, Cambridge University Library did not appear to have the book, and it isn’t listed in COPAC either.
If your library has it, please drop me a line using the contact form. Thank you.
UPDATE: I have it – thank you all who replied.
June 17th, 2013 by Roger Pearse
Via the excellent AWOL I learn of a digital repository for PhD theses. Oxford, it seems, has declined to support the British Library’s EthOs initiative, preferring to keep material produced at Oxford on an Oxford website: Oxford University Research Archive.
This afternoon I did a search of the archive (from my smart phone – the site is not well adapted for it, tho), and found rather little. But I did find some things of interest to us:
Not a great haul from one of the world’s leading classical universities; but perhaps it is early days yet. They are clearly digitising theses, which can only be good.
June 14th, 2013 by Roger Pearse
I’m getting interested in the manuscript tradition of the works of Polybius. Basically books 1-5 of his history come down to us directly. Books 6-18 are transmitted by a collection of excerpts known as the Excerpta Antiqua. Finally there are long quotations in some of the compendia of the time of Constantine Porphyrogenitus. I have just ordered a copy of Moore’s study on the mss., and will doubtless know more on Monday.
But a google search revealed that one ms. of books 1-5 is accessible at least: British Library, Additional, 11728, written in 1416. Looking at my Loeb of book 1, I can even read the Greek script (not, for me, by any means to be taken for granted).
I was interested to see that the text was divided into sections, each marked with a red capital letter. Not, I note, the same ones used in the Loeb!
June 14th, 2013 by Roger Pearse
An interesting post here.
It’s been a while since I’ve had one of those coordinated attempts at stoning me in the comments. It’s always a pressure group and their supporters. I almost miss them … the comments coming in thick and fast and me deleting them after a sentence or two, unread. Zap zap zap!
June 13th, 2013 by Roger Pearse
I’m writing an article at the moment, for publication. I’ve got too much bibliography for me to remember everything any more.
I’ve got lists of articles on bits of paper, and no idea, in some cases, why I looked at something. I’ve got folders full of PDF’s. And I’m forgetting stuff. Stuff that I know I need to look at.
This cannot be an unusual experience. It must happen to everyone doing a PhD. But those days are long behind me, and we didn’t have computers in those days.
So what do people use? There must be software to help this along. Maybe even that stores PDF’s, so I can access my research from anywhere?
An example of the sort of thing that I don’t want to clutter my head with came up today. One article that I read referred to Eusebius Church History, and suggested that Eusebius can’t have written the quotations himself; they must have been done by literary sidekicks. The article referenced T.D. Barnes’ Constantine and Eusebius. I got hold of this, and he does say it, but didn’t research it. Instead he references Lawlor and Oulton’s old SPCK translation (vol. 2 has a preface with a discussion in it), plus a general article from Texte und Untersuchungen on Eusebius’ methods in general.
What I will want to use is the Lawlor and Oulton reference. But I don’t want to lose the chain of references. I don’t want to end up wondering why I have a photocopy of two pages of the Barnes article on my disk. In fact I don’t want to see that Barnes article, except when I am following that reference in the main article; it’s just clutter on the disk.
So … suggestions? What should I be using?
I vaguely recall people saying “Zotero”. Will that cope with my needs?
June 13th, 2013 by Roger Pearse
I’m having a research day in the university library. Feel free to say hello. I’m the chap with the white shirt, crimson tie, and grey trousers.
June 10th, 2013 by Roger Pearse
Anthony Alcock has produced a modern translation of a Coptic text, The Repose of St John the Evangelist and Apostle. It was published originally in 1913 with a translation by Wallis Budge.
The new translation (with facing text) is here:
The Repose of John_alcock_2013 (PDF).
June 5th, 2013 by Roger Pearse
Two very early manuscripts exist of a Syriac translation of the “Church History” of Eusebius. One of these dates from 462 A.D. It was bought from the monks of the Nitrian desert in Egypt, and destined for the British Library; but the middleman, a certain Pacho, double-crossed his masters and instead sold it, together with three other books, to the Tsar for 2,500 roubles – a significant sum in those days. Today it has the shelfmark, National Library of Russia, New Syriac mss. 1.
The Syriac version was first published in 1897 as Histoire ecclésiastique d’Eusèbe de Césarée; éditée pour la première fois par Paul Bedjan. It is a curious fact that I have been quite unable to locate this book online. A couple of years later another edition was made.
Can anyone point me to the Bedjan edition?
Nina Pingulevskaya, who catalogued the Syriac mss. of the library in St Petersburg, published an article about this ms, thankfully online here. Using Google translate, the sense is fairly obvious.
UPDATE: Adam McCollum points me to a copy online here. If you page down, you will find a download link at the right.
June 4th, 2013 by Roger Pearse
I have today come across a very curious paper, telling a strange story. I give the opening portion here.
In the early Spring of 1779 a young French nobleman pulled up his camel outside the ancient monastery of Anba Makar, just off the main route between Alexandria and Cairo. He had in his pocket a letter of introduction from the Pacha, but the thirty-foot walls and the total absence of gates seemed to make a ready welcome unlikely. Louis de Launay, comte d’Antraigues, had left France on 11 June 1778 on board His Majesty’s Ship Caton, accompanying his uncle,the comte de Saint-Priest, French ambassador at the Sublime Porte. He began to record his journey in the minutest detail, in memoirs and letters, which ultimately found their way into the Municipal Library at Dijon. Little seemed to escape the attentionof this alert and enquiring traveller—archaeology, history, geography, political systems, social customs, religious practices. His strong reactions to the injustices of despotism which he encountered on his journey (Turkey, Egypt, Wallachia, Bessarabia, Poland, Austria) firmed up his political position, which helped him to become a formidable revolutionary pamphleteer by 1789. And his attention to detail was a good preparation for the work he was to do, from 1791 until his murder in Barnes Terrace, near London, in 1812, during which period he was the central figure in the counter-revolutionary espionage network in Europe.
From the foot of the wall of the monastery, which he calls St. Macaire, he managed to attract the attention of one of the monks; the letter of introduction was hoisted aloft on a rope and after some delay the head of house showed himself and invited d’Antraigues and his party in. ‘In’ meant ‘up’: a chair was lowered in which he, his drogman, and two companions were hauled up over the wall; the Arab guide and drivers, having been paid in advance, were left to camp outside the walls.
On the second day, he and his dragoman spent eight hours in the library going through ancient manuscripts. His findings filled him with delight. Not only the authors represented, but the details of the development of handwriting and orthography, the effect of time on different inks, the art of dating manuscripts, all fascinated him. The source of his information on these erudite matters (hardly the stock-in-trade of a rather wild ex-officer and man-about-court) will be referred to shortly. He had done sufficient homework beforehand to be able to recognize a truly remarkable find: a seventh-century manuscript of the Hypotyposeis (Outlines) of Clement ofAlexandria, the second-century Christian apologist and reputed master of Origen. He was aware that the work had always been considered as lost, known only by fragments quoted by Eusebius. Eusebius describes them as summaries, interpretations, and narratives of all canonical scripture.
But what d’Antraigues saw wasquite different: 208 large folio pages of the work,
. . . ecrites en lettres capitales dans le VIIe siecle avec des notes a la marge d’un autre caractere.
He goes on to note details of the author and his work:
“… Les Hypotiposes de St. Clement sont rassemblees dans un grand volume in folio de parchemin couvert en bois et garni de plaques de losanges. Il contient 208 feuilles.”
D’Antraigues saw a number of other manuscripts which he recognized as valuable—a third-century Polybius, a complete Diodorus of Sicily dating from the third century, and a seventh-century Pausanias—and offered to buy them for a handsome price. But these impoverished monks refused, because they knew the French were addicted to magic, and these books were ‘grammars of this diabolical art’. They would rather burn the library down, they maintained, than let them fall into the hands of a Frenchman.
Nevertheless, the simple virtues of these ignorant monks left a profound impression on him; to have robbed them of a book would have been a cruel abuse of hospitality which men of letters might commit, but he was not such a ‘vil escroc’ as that.
Of course not. What a charming, honest fellow, he must be, this young chap with gambling debts and, no doubt, a manuscript for sale?
The whole narrative is probably false. What gives it away is the introduction of the three classical texts. What on earth would a Coptic monastery be doing with Greek texts? Especially with Greek pagan texts? And, not just a bit of Diodorus Siculus, but the whole, huge text? No, this is rubbish. We see book-lists manufactured during the 17-18th century, which dangle the existence of Hegesippus, of the Greek Irenaeus, of Eusebius against Porphyry and other long lost texts before the eyes of curious westerners. That all were manufactured by orientals who stood to profit thereby is not in doubt.
The article adds, naively:
Certainly, since d’Antraigues could show great powers of imagination where the depiction of feelings or dramatic scenes was concerned, one has to face up to the possibility that he falsified the account of his discovery of the Clement manuscript. It is very difficult, however, to admit it as serious. Claiming discovery of a non-existent manuscript in memoirs which he never attempted to publish seems rather unlikely for a young man who had no intention of aspiring to membership of the Academie des Inscriptions.
Sadly it is not so simple. It is possible to think of various ways in which someone who had “made such a find” could expect notoriety, and various useful ways to make money would become possible.
Reading the way in which the article discussed a few of the obvious problems with the account – and devised learned reasons why they were not problematic – brought to mind the way in which people discuss the claims of Morton Smith to have found a letter of Clement at Mar Saba, containing a “Secret Gospel” of Mark.
For the moment the article can be found here, at ScribD. It is well worth perusing the opening section.
June 3rd, 2013 by Roger Pearse
I upgraded to IE10 recently, but have been driven crazy by one ‘feature’. When I type in the address box a few letters of one of my regular sites, it shows me a whole list of url’s which I have never visited and in which I have no interest. This infuriating trick must be commercially driven — “pay to join our spam list!” — and will drive a lot of people to Chrome.
Anyway it did it once too often today. I’ve found a link that tells you how to turn it off. Basically it’s Tools | Internet Options | Content | Auto-complete, and turn off “suggestions”.
I thought I’d add this, as it is such a nuisance.
It’s things like this that remind us how little power we have. Still, ’twas ever thus. The desire for money is the root of all sorts of trouble. As has been said before.