I mentioned some time back that I came across the works of the philosopher Stephanos of Alexandria. In particular I discovered that he delivered nine discourses on alchemy, the last before the emperor Heraclius in the early 7th century.
Three of these discourses were translated into English before WW2 by a chap called Sherwood Taylor, who published them in Ambix, the journal of the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry. I suspected that more might exist in manuscript, so I located Taylor’s papers, and found a fourth discourse in draft among them. This I sent to Peter Morris, editor of Ambix, with the suggestion that it might make a nice anniversary item. He agreed but deputised it to someone called Jenny Rampling. This was October 2009, since when I heard nothing. I thought I’d prompt him, so emailed again this evening.
But this all prompted me to go and look at their website. And … it’s like a glance into the 1980’s. Every activity seems to be offline. They look so much like a small band of people, with a very restricted interest, as fan groups tend to be. So every such group had to be, before 1995. It’s not clear that they have moved on that much, tho. The website is good, but everything points people offline. They’ve digitised all the back-issues of Ambix — good, although probably not that hard to do — but made sure no-one can see them unless they pay.
I hope they start to reach out. While I am not very interested in the history of chemistry, it is a pity that the ancient texts embedded in Ambix are not accessible more widely.