Agapius and Archive.org scanned book quality

I was interested to find many volumes of the Patrologia Orientalis online at Archive.org.  Three of the four volumes that contain Agapius are among these.  So I downloaded PO7, which contains the section of Agapius from the birth of Christ (part 3 of 4), and printed a few pages. 

Now I’ve been doing some business trips lately. There isn’t a lot to do in a hotel during the evening, so I found myself scribbling an English translation in the margins.  I’ve decided to buy a PDA, in fact, to save myself the trouble of retyping.

However I began to get concerned at the quality of these (colour) prints.  In some cases the letters were not too clear.  At a couple of points, Agapius starts quoting Greek; and I couldn’t make out the letters!  The actual resolution seems to be 120 dpi at best.  This is way below the 400 dpi at which I scan everything myself, and isn’t really enough.

Perhaps I am missing something here, but if not, we have a problem, especially with texts in exotic alphabets.

We all know Agapius as containing an odd version of the Testimonium Flavianum.  This became widely known from an article by Shlomo Pines.  The version contained in the PO did not agree with my memory, so I went and looked up the Pines article.  It seems that Pines supplemented the PO text with quotations of Agapius in the later Arabic Christian historian, Al-Makin.  The version in Al-Makin is longer than that in the Florence ms, which alone contains this part of Agapius, and contains extra sentences.  Strictly we should refer to this as the Al-Makin version of Agapius, perhaps.

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