From my diary

I’m on holiday, and not doing very much, other than dealing with some of minor nuisances that fill our days if we are not careful.  I have no desire to do anything very demanding!  I’m browsing twitter for anything of interest to us, and finding it rather full of tedious hooting and shouting about US presidential candidates.

But I am translating each day a piece of the 10th c. Annals of Eutychius (=Sa`id ibn Bitriq), as it gives me very little trouble to do so, and it’s good to push that along.  My apologies if it isn’t very interesting to some people.  I view it as a text in the Byzantine tradition of chronicles, which preserves some material not known elsewhere.

The translation (from the Italian, using Google Translate) has no scholarly value, but it does make this obscure text far more accessible.  Someone with Arabic can do a proper translation sometime.

I can’t recall if I have any translations in flight elsewhere.

Once I get a little more fit, and if the weather improves, then I might try a visit to Leicester one day.  I believe there are substantial Roman remains there!  We’ll see.


6 thoughts on “From my diary

  1. Oh no, don’t apologise! your translation is valuable, especially for historians of the later Sasanians. I am happy to keep reading them.

  2. Thank you! I have not really begun to catch up with them, but I am very glad to know they are there, for a glimpse at what seems (as Zimriel notes) a very interesting source.

    Speaking of probably interesting translations, I just saw something about Liverpool University Press having a Half-Price sale today (3 March), for ‘World Book Day’ (supposedly by ordering and using a code: WBD50).

  3. Keep up the good work on Eutychius, Roger. I read each instalment over my cornflakes before leaving for the office, and it sets me up for the day. Honestly! I was thinking just the other day how many Late Antique (I do somebody will come up with a better term) Christian texts have been translated in the past 40 years. When I was an undergraduate in the 1970s, Byzantium and the Syriac-speaking Churches got about half a shelf in the Classics section of Blackwells. Now, if still not exactly spoiled for choice, we can at least read the most important texts.

    Which reminds me (I nearly forgot): my translation of the Ecclesiastical Chronicle of Bar Hebraeus has finally been published by Gorgias Press, only two years later than planned. It’s not cheap, but it might at last introduce Bar Hebraeus to a far wider readership than he has had so far. Sadly, two monasteries near Mosul mentioned on several occasions by Bar Hebraeus (the Syrian Catholic monastery of Mar Behnam and the Chaldean monastery of Mar Eliya) have been blown up in the past two years by ISIS. Life for Christians in the Middle East is no better now than it was when Bar Hebraeus was writing.

  4. I agree that progress is being made on translations, although so many remain offline. Thankfully bootleggers make at least some of these accessible to the rest of us. But it is something for translations to exist. I wish more work was done on Christian Arabic sources. What’s needed is a handbook of what exists, to act as a route-map.

    Excellent news about the Bar Hebraeus! Thank you so much!

    It’s awful about the Near East. When I had to cancel a holiday to Syria in 2010, when I wanted to see Palmyra etc, it never occurred to me that it might not be there next time.

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