From my diary

A little while back I started developing some PHP scripts to support the new Mithras Project pages that I intend to create.  Today I went back to look at these, to see if I could merge them into what I have been doing with a top-level menu.  And I found … that I don’t seem to have the latest version.  Oh rats!

I know that I created a version that worked.  It included automated tests as well.  But it isn’t here.  Nor is it on my travelling laptop.

I hope … hope … that I left a copy on my work machine.  Because I shall be pretty annoyed with myself if I have inadvertantly deleted it!

Meanwhile something jogged my memory.  Years ago I discovered an unpublished translation into English of Stephanos of Alexandria’s alchemical discourse 4.  It was made by Sherwood Taylor, who founded the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry and published discourses 1-3 in their journal Ambix.  I wrote to the journal’s modern editors, and offered them a copy.  Back in 2010 there was talk of publishing it in 2011.  I ended up corresponding with a certain Dr Jenny Rampling.  And … then I heard no more.

I’ve written asking for an update today.

UPDATE:  And Dr Rampling kindly wrote back this evening.  It seems that the item will not be published.  The labour involved in bringing the draft translation up to a standard publishable for 2012 was considered too great, particularly since it was based on a pre-critical edition.  The clincher was that, earlier this year, the editors learned that Stephanos scholar Maria Papathanassiou is actually preparing a critical edition of the discourses, together with commentary and French translation.

This last is excellent news, of course; I didn’t actually know that this scholar existed, and the new edition and translation will make the text much more accessible.


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