In my last post I mentioned some works by Porphyry which have not been translated into English. One of these was the Ad Gaurum, on how the soul enters the unborn child. The text was edited: K. Kalbfleisch, Abhandlungen der königlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin; Philosophische-historische Klasse, 1895 p. 33-62. That is one of those infuriating German series which have both a scientific and a scholarly sub-class. Even in paper form, it tends to be hard to find the right volume! Inter-Library Loans get it wrong. And so forth.
Since it was published in 1895, it should be out of copyright. But I cannot find it online. (UPDATE: It’s here) But I then found this page from the IRHT in France. Apparently the text is preserved in a single manuscript, Cod. Supp. gr. 635, Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale. And there have been three translations, one in French and two in German:
À Gauros. « Sur la manière dont l’embryon reçoit l’âme », par A. J. Festugière, La Révélation d’Hermès Trismégiste, t. III, Les doctrines de l’âme, Paris, 1953, Appendice II, p. 265-302.
Porphyrios, Die Beseelung der Embryonen, par K. Limburg, Diss. Köln, 1975.
Grundfragen der Embryonalentwicklung aus der Sicht eines Neuplatonikers : Übersetzung und Bearbeitung der Schrift des Porphyrios « Über die Beseelung der Embryonen », par U. Jurisch, Diss. med. Erlangen-Nürnberg 1991.
The German translations were both in dissertations. I’m not sure how to access continental dissertations, I must say.
The page refers to the need to examine the manuscript under ultra-violet light because of water damage. It all seems to be notes for a forthcoming text and translation, directed by Luc Brisson, which will be more extensive than the Festugière translation (which they refer to as excellent).
Apparently Porphyry makes use of material from Genesis in the book. If so, it is really remarkable that the work has escaped attention.
UPDATE: The Festugiere book is still for sale. Three volumes, $150. Now that’s what I call a barrier to learning!