I’ve got a whole week off this week. I’ve started by typing up a couple of stray early 19th century translations of monodies by Libanius which I found on google books and printed off. Copious use of the long-S prevents any real use of OCR, so it’s manual typing.
It’s curious but the only out of copyright texts by Libanius translated into English all seem to be monodies! A monody, I learn from one of the footnotes, is a dirge sung by a single actor on stage. The two texts are monodies over Nicomedia, destroyed by an earthquake; and over the temple of Apollo at Daphne. This was a famous oracle just outside Antioch, and was also famous for temple prostitution. When Julian the Apostate was wintering in Antioch in 362, before his Persian campaign he oracle complained that the presence in the town of the body of the martyr St. Babylas was preventing the god giving oracles. The emperor ordered that it be moved; and shortly afterwards the temple burned down.