It is a time of solemn rejoicing here at Roger Pearse Towers. The staff have been given the evening off to make merry, and are even now dancing on the lawn wearing masks and wreaths of vine leaves and in their Sunday best. The maids are carrying candles and one and all are sampling the new wine — or at least, the decaf diet coke laid on copiously from the ancestral cellar.
The cause of all this merriment is that the last, the very last portion commissioned from someone else of the Eusebius volume has come in! Adam McCollum has transcribed all the Syriac text — 21 pages of it — which would be a job all by itself. But the original editors were weak and cowardly men, and only printed the consonants. Adam has added the vowels, which the original editors never had the courage to do. And he did it to a deadline and on time, and in a beautiful Serto font. Would that everyone I have worked with was so professional.
What this means is that the book can now be finished and prepared for the typesetter. I need await no-one but myself. I need to spend a day or so on adding some cross-references between the Greek and Syriac text. I ought to build some kind of index. I think there is a couple of days of editorial work; probably a couple of weekends.
Once that is done, I shall approach the people with whom I have discussed typesetting. They can typeset the Coptic, I think, as a sample. That will test their nerves and their skill; if they can do that, I shall be confident they can do all of it.
Thanks be to God, to have got this far after more than 2 years. My sincere thanks, not just to Adam who has been a tower of strength in all this, but also to David Miller who translated the Greek and Latin; Claudio Zamagni and the people at Sources Chretiennes who supplied me with the Greek text in electronic form; Tom Schmidt who typed up the new fragments of the Greek and checked all the other fragments over against Mai’s text; to Carol Downer and the UCL Coptic Readers Group who translated the Coptic and came through after I had given up any hope of doing that; to Ambrose Boles who transcribed the Coptic quickly and well into Keft, and by no means least to Adam McCollum who translated and transcribed both the Syriac and the Arabic and whose professionalism cheered me no end during the dark days when I wondered if it would ever all be done.
I’m not out of the woods yet. But now we can move forward.