From my diary

Last week and this I have been staying in two different hotels in neither of which it is easy to sleep.  How great the noise is, in our society!  It does make it difficult to do anything else.

Last night there were a couple of comments on the post in which I ask whether there is any actual ancient evidence that Pythagoras went to India.  I ended up looking up and posting here all the passages in which it is mentioned that Pythagoras studied under the Brahmins; but none confirm the story of actually going to India. 

The general quality of the passages is low; the whole story looks legendary.  Fragments of Alexander Polyhistor, at second and third hand in Clement of Alexandria and Eusebius’ Praeparatio Evangelica; a statement in Apuleius’ Florida; a statement in the largely legendary Life of Apollonius of Tyana by Philostratus … this is not the stuff of good history.

I’m still working on the Mithras pages.  I’ve created a page which lists all the inscriptions which mention a “pater patrum” of Mithras.  It probably refers to a senior priest in a Mithraeum, but we don’t know for sure.  Last night I also came across and read most of an article by Richard Gordon in the Blackwell Companion to Roman Religion, which gave a very nice overview of Mithraic studies.

A couple of translation projects are going forward as well. 

4 thoughts on “From my diary

  1. Stuff that helps sleep in noisy areas:

    1. One of those velcro eyemasks that also has earmuffs attached.

    2. Memory foam earplugs.

    3. Sleeping with an opposing noise (white noise, quiet music, nature sounds, a soothing audiobook, or some kind of educational programming that doesn’t have a lot of loud music included).

  2. Just a quick to say that I’ve just skimmed your new Mithras page, and was most impressed: a model of accessible scholarship, attractively illustrated. Keep up the good work! So much better than the tendentious crud in the Wikipedia article.

    You inspire me to do something similar myself on the history of individual Christian villages in Iraq, another area where sound scholarship is impossible on Wikipedia because of the internecine squabbles between Nestorians, Chaldeans, Jacobites and Syrian Catholics.

    If only one had more time …

  3. That’s very kind of you! The images were one of the drivers for the site; unlabelled pictures of monuments are all over the web, and I wanted to work out what was what and what we know about it.

    Do go ahead and create a site of your own. It can only be of inestimable value. As you say, in Wikipedia it becomes impossible as one is drawn away from adding value into fighting with every bolshy teenager who decides to contribute his ignorance.

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