Oxford Patristics Conference – Wednesday (contd)

Rather more cheery than I was earlier.  A Dutch chap came to the stall and showed signs of wanting to buy a copy of the Eusebius book, which is nice, particularly since I haven’t been at the stall that much.  I’ll be there between 10:20 and 11:20 tomorrow, tho, because I left a note saying that I would.

Clayton Coombs, who gave a paper on Eusebius ad Marinum — which is contained in my book — is in the same college annex that I am, and very kindly offered to take me out to dinner this evening.  But I’m actually off to the Head of the River to meet Glen Thompson of www.fourthcentury.com, Andrew Maguire of www.earlychurchtexts.com and David Michelson of www.syriac.ua.edu.  How we will recognise each other I know not, but I shall be wearing my name tag, carrying the conference bag, and wearing a bright orange tie, so I shall be visible enough.  David has an interesting project to do a website for Syriac literature, on which he delivered a paper this morning — while I was on the road, drat him — and since I created my own Syriac site, I hope to talk about his.

I’ve spent the afternoon first in recovering from the journey and the stress of the check-in arrangements.  After that, I went over to the conference, and started wandering around the bookstalls and talking to whoever I met.  At the Gorgias press stall I met George Kiraz himself, who was sat there looking bored but wisely remarked that you can either mind the stall or else attend the sessions, but doing both is impossible and attempting it is stressful.  There was a copy of his publication of Michael the Syrian’s Chronicle there, which is actually a photo-facsimile of the manuscript.  For those who have seen the Chabot edition of the same work, the original is infinitely more readable than the horrible Syriac text of the Chabot edition. 

At the Gorgias stall I met Bob Kitchen, who has been translating the Book of Steps and making a new translation of the Discourses of Philoxenus.  I asked him what he thought of the old Budge translation, and he explained that, rather than be influenced by it, he’d not read it while he was working on his own version.  The new translation has just been sent in to Cistercian Press, I gather.

At other stalls I met some other interesting people — you know who you are, if you’re reading this! — and we talked about their projects and, of course, mine.  It was actually very pleasant to find people who (mostly) knew my work, and whose work was likewise known to me.

While I was doing this, people started carrying crates through the hall, the signal for throwing out time.  It was 4:30, which seemed early.  I popped in to check if there was any sign of interest in the book — none — and then headed up to the Bodleian, with a view to renewing my Bod. card.  But I found that admissions closed at 4:30, so headed back here.

Time to crash, to relax a bit, and prepare for the evening ahead.  It’s clouded over here, and there is a grey sky and a wind blowing through the streets, which — thankfully — is preventing my room from becoming too hot.

There’s a bunch of promotional material from the welcome pack that I have yet to examine, although someone told me that my leaflet made quite an impact when you went through it.  Still somewhat sore at having to fight to get a complete welcome pack, tho.

Another interesting snippet came from another conference attendee — they’d come over from Holland this morning, and were staying at the Randolph Hotel.  That has always had the reputation of being the best hotel in town, indeed 5* in standard, and I must investigate.  Maybe I should try it.  But then, I don’t know what it cost!  I booked into Queens because I wanted to go to meals with other conference attendees, but now that I find we get breakfast only, the logic in that has mostly evapourated.

There’s a session tomorrow evening at Wycliffe Hall, about Evangelicals and the Fathers.  I’d quite like to go — but I’m not sure whether my feet will carry me that far!

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