Back at work after two weeks illness, and I find myself suffering from the tiredness that goes with being less than fully fit after illness. But I’m still busy with this and that.
I’ve been reading a little red hardback Loeb edition of Horace, and enjoying it more than I thought that I might. I’ve read it through before, of course, but it wasn’t very interesting to me then. This time it has been very good to read. The editor refers to the scholiasts on Horace; Porphyrio and the like. Their explanatory passages tell us who were some of the now-mysterious personages referred to in the text. Isn’t it funny that we don’t have translations of these? I know that the old scholia on Juvenal are really quite short; and I wish these existed in English. Perhaps I should seek out the scholia on Horace also.
The Horace has been on my shelves for ages. It wasn’t new when I bought it for five pounds at some unremembered second-hand shop. It was reprinted in 1961, and so I must infer was the property of another. His heirs disposed of his books for a song, no doubt, and so it comes to me. There is no book-plate – do men use book-plates any more? – nor note of name. One day it will pass on from me also. I hope the next owner enjoys it too.
Work on the Mithras site continues, and consists at the moment of adding entries from Vermaseren’s Corpus Inscriptionum et Monumentum Religionis Mithriacae to the site. I try to find a photograph in every case, although clearly more work will be needed. Gratifyingly, it is attracting some traffic. I haven’t really worked on the text pages on the site much. Once I have identified all the inscriptions and monuments that reference “Arimanius”, then I shall rework that page. That would seem to be a good way forward. In the mean time, I can do best by adding data.
Most recently I’ve been looking at some of the entries in the CIMRM for the Carrawburgh Mithraeum. These mainly consist of quotations from the Illustrated London News, as the temple had only just been discovered in the 50’s. Irritatingly the ILN is not online. There is a gushy story in the Guardian about it “going online”, but in reality all that has happened is that a commercial company has digitised it and made access available for money to well-heeled institutions. I shall need to consult it, and that means a 40 mile journey. I could wish that our government put a stop to this kind of extortion racket, which, after all, is funded by taxpayers money.
But this has led me to draw up a list of things to do, places to go, and photos to take. I have also started to look around to find out how I can discover what monuments, items, inscriptions about Mithras have been published in the last 50 years. At some point I shall have to start searching these, draw up a table of monuments and add them to the site. It will be rather fun to do some field trips! But … I shall probably have to seek the cooperation of the curators. And petty bureaucrats can be a pain. Likewise I need to get good photographs, yet I am a rotten photographer. So a little planning and thought seems called for.