Latin texts that ought to exist in English

I’ve been looking through volume four of Quasten’s Patrology, trying to find anything that I think really should exist in English.  I didn’t do very well.  Part of the problem is that volume 4 was not written by Quasten, and is quite inferior in a number of ways. 

Quasten always made sure you knew why you might be interested in an author, or in a text.  He would quote bits, or indicate their importance.  The Italians translated for volume 4 merely tend to refer to scholarly discussions.

The only items that caught my eye were a few short poems, such as the Carmen adversus paganos, which is one of only four texts to mention the taurobolium; or the Carmen ad senatorem quendam, which addresses a senator who had apostasised, gone over to the cult of the Magna Mater, and become a priest of Isis.

There must be quite a number of Latin historical texts that are of interest, of the kind that appear in Mommsen’s Chronica Minora and the like.

The only other item that I could think of was the fragments of Porphyry’s Against the Christians.  Quite a number of these are from works by Jerome.  I have a version of the fragments online, which isn’t very satisfactory, and omits a whole lot of these.  Perhaps this would be a good thing to attack.

As ever, I am open to suggestions.

I’m back to work today, after two weeks off with some kind of strain or sprain or whatever in my hip.  I was very glad that I cancelled my Syria trip. If 45 minutes in the car was enough to make me hurt, imagine what five hours in cramped discomfort in a plane would have done!


Leave a Reply