I know that various people are interested in the translation of Agapius, so they may be pleased to learn that I am still working on this. In fact I did some more this afternoon. What a pleasant change it was, after fighting with Firmicus Maternus.
There must be something wrong with the text of the latter, I think. Comparing my own effort to that of Clarence Forbes, the ACW translator, I noticed a distinct tendency to paraphrase at points. He had to fight with the text to get some sense out of it at various points.
But I’ve ordered the French edition of Turcan, and with luck that will address some of the textual issues. In the mean time, it is nice to work on a translation that doesn’t involve squeezing your mind or feel like chopping wood; where you can just translate like breathing.
Agapius has an interesting comment on the book of Ruth:
In year 5 of the same [=Samson], the story of Ruth the Moabite took place, i.e. originating from the tribe of Moab. Boaz married her and fathered by her Obed, grandfather of the prophet David. The story of Ruth contains 246 verses; her book is so beautiful, that it was translated from Greek into Arabic.
Agapius is one of the earliest Christian Arabic writers, so it seems that Ruth was translated earlier still. Note that the translation was from the Septuagint.