From my diary

The carmen adversus paganos is a late 4th century poem which is one of only four texts that record the Taurobolium.  This ritual was when a bull was slaughtered over a grill, with people standing underneath to get bathed in the bull’s blood.  So I asked someone to do a translation.  Unfortunately it looks as if an English translation may already exist.  It’s hard to bring myself to pay for translating stuff that exists already in English, although inaccessible, when there is so much for which no translation exists.

I’ve finished the first stage of translating the first sermon of Severian of Gabala on the creation.  I need to look at a few difficult passages, and make sure they’re right, and then I will put it online.  Interestingly Severian is preaching to a hostile audience, or so it seems.

I’m still going through volume 3 of Quasten’s Patrology.  There are quite a few interesting-sounding texts that ought to be translated.  I just wish I had more money!  I’m thinking again about Cyril of Alexandria’s Contra Julianum, against the work of the emperor Julian the Apostate attacking the Christians.  This is only about 500 columns, so might be possible.

The translation of Severian’s De pace, preached when he reconciled with John Chrysostom, has been requested.  But I suspect I will not be able to reach terms with the translator.  He seems to know his Greek; unfortunately he does not have the native-speaker level command of English which a translator needs.  This means I will have to hire someone else to fix that, which means I can’t offer him much.  So … probably a bust.  I’m also wondering what to do about the Armenian sermons of Severian.


4 thoughts on “From my diary

  1. Speaking of Armenian, Roger, do you perchance know if there exists an English translation of Gregory of Datev’s Book of Questions? I’ve been looking around for one but haven’t been able to find any, and Aziz Atiya’s History of Eastern Christianity seemed to indicate that it’s a pretty important piece of medieval Armenian theological literature.

  2. Cyril’s Contra Julianum is in the Sources Chretiennes series, so a translation from the French would at least be possible.

  3. The Sources Chretiennes Contra Julianum is only books 1 and 2, I’m afraid. It is a great pity that they never did more.

    Christoph Riedwig has been trying to do a critical edition, but since this project has been pending for years, I have some doubts that it will ever complete.

  4. JB: I had never heard of Gregory of Datev (=Grigor Tatevatsi), but he is 13th century, I believe? There doesn’t seem to even be a Wikipedia article on the man.

    In general I find that information on Armenian materials is ridiculously hard to obtain, and I have no info on this. Do let us have an update if you find more, tho!

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