Eusebius book update

The sales figures for last month through Amazon for Eusebius of Caesarea, Gospel Problems and Solutions, have just arrived.  Sales continue fairly level, with no evident sign of diminishing, which is good news.

The total sold through Amazon so far, since June, is 55 copies.  That includes both hard back and paper back copies, but not the ones sold directly by myself.  I’m also getting orders through the book trade, mostly from European dealers.

We’re not at breakeven point yet by any means, but the fact is that the book is selling far better than I had any reason to expect.

This is down to everyone who contributed; Nick who did the cover design and Bob who did all the typesetting and made sure it was all professional; David who translated so much of it and went through bits that I had missed and corrected them; Adam who translated all the stuff that I couldn’t get done, and transcribed the text; and Carol and her friends at UCL who did such interesting things with the Coptic.  And it is of course to all the other people that I have not mentioned, but whose role was critical.  The list of credits is a very long one!

The links to the Amazon pages are:

UK Hardback (50GBP)

UK Paperback (30 GBP)

US Hardback ($80)

US Paperback ($45)

I can’t quite imagine this book as a Christmas present, but if you can, please oblige!

Copies can also be bought direct from me through this site.

11 thoughts on “Eusebius book update

  1. Dear Roger, my profound apologies. Illness and family issues side tracked me since I last emailed you, but I did finally get through this volume and loved it. Well done to you and to the translators and all involved with this book.

    I’ve put up a review at Amazon under my nick (Jep) – my very first ever – and I will also forward you the document I promised. Yes I am slack, but I haven’t forgotten.

    And while I am here, let me pass on my thanks for all the wonderful work you do on the internet and wish you, and yours, and all your fans and readers a very blessed Christmas.

  2. Firstly, let me thank you enormously for that very kind review! It’s great!

    I’m glad you were able to get through the book OK! It’s very heavy, of course.

    I have not forgotten the purpose behind it all, which is to put the translation online. In truth that has got easier, now that some of the copyright issues with the original text have disappeared. Once the book has sold pretty much all the copies that it is going to, I will move to do this. My hope is that it will recoup the money laid out, in which case I can send the money round again and get something else translated.

    The second volume — Origen on Ezechiel — is proceeding very slowly, and I will have to cut the knot at some point and go to press, finished or not! But most of it is done.

  3. My pleasure Roger.

    The book was suprisingly easy to read. Sure, some of Eusebius’ explanations were heavy going but the nature of the work itself meant you could read one self-contained unit at a time and digest that before moving on – which is how I approached it (a generous amount of white space certainly helped the eyes too!).

    I am not well read enough to know how typical his answers were for his time (e.g. why it was fitting Mary would be engaged rather than not engaged when she became pregnant with Jesus), and some of his more technical explanations may not hold up under scrutiny or satisfy a modern reader but I enjoyed them and found myself thinking of a squillion things I’d like to chase up.

    While on the subject of Mary, I also think you did well to assemble a group with expertise in each language and its literature. I can’t imagine a single person ever being able to edit this particular work (I speak as a total novice here). I say this because I am part way through Shoemaker’s book on early traditions about the assumption of Mary where, as he notes, one of the primary obstacles to their study has been their preservation in many ancient languages, most of which have never meen translated into English. He seems to have learnt everything from Old Irish to Georgian and Ethiopic and Syriac and whatever else himself, in order to access them. He has added some translations at the end of the tome. One has to commend him for that mammoth effort (but can you learn Old Irish in like, er, eight weeks?) but it comes at a price. A reviewer noted some pretty egregarious errors in his translation of the first few fragments of the Syriac – of the very basic kind – so who knows how well he did with his primary texts and what impact that would have had on his analysis. But what else could he do?

    Well he could have done what you did I suppose! Or commissioned you to get the works translated. You’re quite an expert on this.

    Am looking forward to your Origen volume. I will start putting the pennies aside now.

  4. I think his explanations are interesting in part because they are so early, and must reflect ideas in the early church not that long after the apostolic period.

    I’m quite sure that the languages are the reason that no-one has ever tried compiling and translating that lot into any modern language before. It was quite a trial to deal with so many people, because I am not a people person. But it got there in the end. Mind you, I thought at one stage that the Syriac was a goner — Adam McCollum was the third person to start in on it, and the only one to finish.

    The white space was a rather inevitable consequence of not having lots of footnotes to fill in the space. But as you say, it has the good consequence of making it easier on the eyes.

  5. As another non-people person I can relate. But more kudos to you – and to Adam – for bringing it to completion.

    Sorry to read you got bruised with your Methodius adventure, though. Sadly, that too, happens. Curious that even without having a feel for Christian literature he could nevertheless not render it into grammatical English. I recall a professional translator saying to me once that one should seek a translator who is a native speaker of the language into which you are translating for that very reason (although I also believe that in some contexts such as film dubbing, translators work in pairs). I am not sure if that was his opinion or a conventional practice in his profession but it made sense. Anyway, I dare not ask the background of your Methodius man lest it rehashes a bad experience for you and embarasses and stresses him further. Chalk that one up as another opportunity to…er…grow (yes you may groan at that – I certainly did every time my mother said that to me!)

  6. Your friend is absolutely right, and I always make sure to use native English speakers. It is quite impossible to translate someone else’s thoughts into a language not your own, however well you speak it, and I have had experience of that.

    Still, onwards and upwards!

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