What untranslated ancient texts deserve to be translated? Here is a list of texts that I have thought about translating, which I feel ought to exist in English. Of course there are many others that probably deserve attention too — these are merely ones where I have given some serious thought to it. It’s a wish-list, in a way.
The fragments of Philip of Side.* He wrote a massive universal Chronicle which is now lost. But there’s a miscellaneous manuscript in the Barocci collection in the Bodleian which has excerpts from various texts, including a biggish chunk of Philip. It was published a century ago with German translation. It includes an otherwise unknown chunk of Papias. But surely we’d like to have this? Not so expensive to do, either. Maybe more chunks exist in other mss?
Gelasius of Cyzicus. His history of the Council of Nicaea in three books has a critical edition in the Berlin GCS series, but no modern language translation. It’s the only text on Nicaea written within a century not translated.
Cyril of Alexandria, Contra Julianum. Massive 10 book refutation of Julian the Apostate. Should be just as interesting as Origen, Contra Celsum. Probably 100,000 words, or say $10,000 to get translated?
Cyril of Alexandria, De recta fide. “You need to think like this” says Cyril, in three works of this title. A German translation exists of the first. They’re all crucial to understanding the Nestorian split. Not that long, really.
Eusebius of Caesarea, De Pascha*; Commentary on Luke*. Two short fragmentary works. I’ll probably try and do these.
Eusebius of Caesarea, Commentary on the Psalms. Massive text with no proper text available. Someone should attack this.
Chrysostom, Against the Jews*. Wendy Pradels found part of Oration 2, which had been lost. This has been published with German translation, but never in English. The rest has twice been translated, but offline. We really need a good quality, non-PC version. He also did a sermon against Jews and Pagans, which needs doing.
Chrysostom, On the Nativity*. Two sermons, often referred to at Christmas time. One has been translated but is only available in a PhD thesis. The other not. Probably wouldn’t cost too much to do. Only a Migne text available.
Al-Makin. Big 13th century Arabic Christian chronicle. We urgently need the bit about Josephus from it. The text has never been edited or translated.
Bar Hebraeus, Chronicon Ecclesiasticum. A massive who’s who of Syriac Christianity. Amazing that this hasn’t been done. Probably another $10,000 job, but… I have great difficulty getting translators from Syriac.
Syriac fragments of Eusebius from the Mingana library. I have photos of these. Not very long; but same problem as Bar Hebraeus.
Thomas of Edessa, On the Nativity, On Easter. The text of the first was published in a thesis with Latin translation. I have photographs of both from the Mingana. Probably each is around 10,000 words, or about $1,000 for a translation. The first is interesting for a reference to 6th century sun-worship in Syria; and if we’re going to do the first, we should do the second. But… I can’t get translations made from Syriac.
Quite a list, isn’t it? How to proceed…!
UPDATE: 9th February 2013. Coming back to this, I find that we have made some progress. I have added an asterisk to items that have been done, either by myself or Maria D. (see comments). Which is good news, actually!