Hippolytus’ Chronicle

I had an email this week from Tom Schmidt, who is about 670 lines of the way through the 1,000 lines of this work.  He says he intends to put his translation of the text online, which is very good news indeed!

He’s also been wondering whether a PhD in Patristics would be an opening to a career.  I had to tell him that I had no idea what careers were like in patristics — I’m a computer programmer, not an academic.  Anyone any thoughts?

My own feeling was that he should become a stockbroker, get rich, retire at 30, and do what he liked then.

9 thoughts on “Hippolytus’ Chronicle

  1. I just finished the translation (778 lines, not 1000) but it will take a while to correct! If anyone does have advice on a PhD in Patristics, please drop me a line.

  2. I have general PhD advice: In general there are two kinds of countries: those where research is mostly supported by goverment (e.g. France, Sweden) and those where research is mostly supported by the private sector (US, UK, Japan). In the first kind research and thus research carrers are supported by an agenda set by goverment. Patristics and related fields like theology or byzantine history or medieval history are rarely a serious research priority and thus rarely lead to a good job. In those where research is supported by the private sector it is even worse: there is no economic benefit in doing patristics research so generaly you live of whatever the goverment hands down or some rare private grant. The only kind of countries where religious studies lead to jobs are those with religious polices like Saudi Arabia, Iran etc. Try googling patristics careers and see what comes up for more advice

  3. Tom,

    If patristics is your love, then follow your heart. However, don’t expect to get a job in it, especially in the U.S. What you might consider doing–I expect you are young–is a double degree. Patristics and a law degree would be a perfect combination. The law degree would take less time than the patristics degree and having it would provide you with a career that would enable you to buy the scholarly works you are interested in.

    If you don’t pursue patristics you will forever regret it. But you will definitely need something to provide a good living for yourself.

  4. I agree. Follow your heart and be practical. Don’t consider having a job at the end of the process a done deal. I have a PhD in New Testament and Early Christianity with a concentration in Patristics. I pursued the PhD with a part time in hand and full time job already promised. I am a Bible translation consultant. I wrote my dissertation after going to work full time … so that meant a year and a half of sleep deprivation. I consider myself very fortunate to have a job that pays well. I have friends with PhD’s who (1) do not have work or (2)are working well below their “pay grade.” In my truly insane moments, I have thought about getting a law degree, however so I can make enough money to pay off my college loans!

  5. BTW, I would love to look at your translation of the Chronicle with an eye to offering some suggestions for correcting it.

  6. Roger, I can send you a copy of my dissertation in pdf format with the text and translations of Hippolytus’ Commentary on the Song of Songs and introductory discussions. I just need your email address.

  7. I once had a friend who had to start work before he finished his dissertation. The effort to do the latter while working drove him to alcoholism.

  8. Thanks for the advice, I do have a Masters degree and a job I love that allows me the free time to pursue some scholarship, so currently it does seem like I should stick with what I have.

    Yancy, I would like to send you my draft, once I finish typing it up from my manuscript (which may be a couple weeks), send me your email. You can find mine here http://chronicon.net/blog/?page_id=2

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