From my diary

Andrew Eastbourne has now translated into English the Latin preface to De Lagarde’s Coptic catena, and this has arrived today.  I’ve passed it over to the lady translating excerpts from Eusebius from the Coptic in that catena, who requested it.  There will be probably be some tweaking as it contains fragments of Coptic.  With luck, this will bring forth the translation of the Coptic materials which I have been awaiting.

A little card on the doormat tells me that the postman has a book for me that he couldn’t get through the letter box.  This must be vol. 1 part 1 of Harnack’s Geschichte der altchristlichen Litteratur bis Eusebius, in a cheap reprint.  Even that reprint is not simple to find; but part 2 was so full of useful information that I feel obliged to obtain a copy. 

I need to write to Sebastian Brock, the Syriac scholar, and ask him about the report I read in an article from the 1960’s suggesting that some of the lost Syriac mss. from Seert might yet be found, buried in the ground in 1915.  If no-one has ever followed that up, I ought to write to the Time Team TV programme, suggesting it.  Their use of geophysical search technology might well recover the lost books, if they are still there. 

One task that I was not relishing was changing the Greek in footnotes in the Eusebius volume that I have commissioned into unicode.  I’ve passed that out to someone, for money.  Blessedly, he’s done the first chunk, and made a very nice job of it.  I am very grateful — my lingering cold leaves me too weak to do much, leaving me feeling like an old man (!), and I can earn the money to pay for such work more easily than I can do the work myself.   If only I could hire someone to edit the book for me!

I’ve also written to Claudio Zamagni asking about how he formatted his manuscript of the Greek/French Eusebius, to submit it.  Did he, I asked, set it up with facing Greek and French pages, at that stage?  I really know so little about this side of things that it is hard to get started with setting up the book to be typeset.  I wish,  I wish, that I didn’t have to print a text as well as a translation.

One thing I discovered this week is that the Luxor Hilton hotel has reopened.  First reports from TripAdvisor are positive.  In fact it was open before Christmas, but I didn’t know about it.  I think I might stay there for a week next winter, just before Christmas.  I have truly missed the heat of Egypt this winter!  More snow here today, which is very trying.

Someone owes me a transcription and translation of some bits of Christian Arabic from Sbath’s Vingt traites.  I must try to remember who, and prompt them. 


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