From my diary

As you may have seen, I have resumed translating the Annals of Eutychius (or Said ibn Bitriq as he was known in life) from the Italian translation of Bartolomeo Pirone into English, with the assistance of Google Translate.

I would much prefer to translate the Arabic directly.  But since I don’t know Arabic, and I have no access to the Arabic text, then I am working from the Italian version.  This itself seems to be a rare book.  The object is to make the text known.  Anyone intending to base themselves on a statement in Eutychius should, of course, arrange to translate the original.  But that I leave to those able to do it.

Yesterday I revised the application for grant money for the translation of Methodius De Resurrectione and De autexusio from Old Slavonic.  It’s nearly as I want it to be.  I’ve written to the translators to check their availability in the timescale that (annoyingly) I have to specify.

I’ve spent some time on twitter, combatting the persistent nonsense that Mithras was born on 25th December.  No ancient source connects the two, and the idea originates from a careless bit of speculation by Franz Cumont – a great man, but altogether too prone to speculate.

It is now Christmas Eve.  I’m sure that some of my readers are off to late church services for carols and midnight masses and the like.  If you have such an opportunity, do take the opportunity to do something different.

Merry Christmas to you all!

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