The homilies of Origen are all offline. This is because the 19th century translators of the Ante-Nicene Christian Library (repackaged as the Ante-Nicene Fathers later) were selling their translations by subscription, and couldn’t get enough subscribers to translate these works. Of 574 homilies, only 186 have survived, mostly in Latin translations by either Rufinus or Jerome.
Quite a few have been translated in various series during the 20th century. But under our accursed copyright laws, these remain offline and inaccessible to ordinary mortals.
From time to time, I wonder what to do about this. What can be done, I wonder?
I suppose that I could commission someone to make a translation. But this would be costly, and also wasteful. I hate the idea of spending my hard-earned to produce a translation of Origen’s homilies, when so many ancient texts remain untranslated.
I’ve toyed with the idea of getting someone who knows Latin to take a modern critical edition of the Latin text, and whatever translations exist in English, and produce a copyright-free version that way. It’s always quicker and easier to translate something when someone else has done the heavy lifting and produced a first version. I wouldn’t care whether the result was of publishable quality, so long as it was fairly true to the original. But… who would I ask? I could make such a thing myself fairly easily if laboriously, if I had time, but I don’t.
If I were a billionaire, of course, I would just buy the companies that own the existing versions, give the texts away, and then sell on the companies. But I am not.
Are there any other alternatives? It is deeply frustrating. What can be done?