After my post on Ephraim Graecus here, I discovered that a modern edition of the whole collection exists, with a translation of all the works into modern Greek. This is Φραντζοᾶς, Ὁσιοῦ Ἐφραίμ τοῦ Σύρου, Thessaloniki, 1988-98, 7 vols. There is a website with a list of the contents by volume, and some mysterious-looking linked pages of text for each here.
My initial efforts to locate this, even in printed form, initially drew blank because the editor’s name does not appear on the websites. You have to search for the Greek title, which is ΟΣΙΟΥ ΕΦΡΑΙΜ ΤΟΥ ΣΥΡΟΥ. Searching for the editor name is futile. If you do want to find it, try Phrantsoles (!).
I was luckier last night, and located a bookseller who had the volumes, in stock, and which played nice with Google Translate (just open in Chrome and right-click, and hit “Translate to English”. It’s here: https://www.politeianet.gr/sygrafeas/osios-efraim-o-suros-10469, Βιβλιοπωλείο Πολιτεία. I was able to create an account easily enough via the Google Translated form of the website, and no doubt could have ordered.
The seven volumes each cost about 18.40 euros. Unfortunately postage from Greece is as much again.
I have not been able to locate any copies of these volumes in British libraries. No doubt some Greek Orthodox people have them.
But the existence of these volumes means that anyone whose first language is modern Greek has an enormous advantage over the rest of us. It would be a tedious, but relatively straightforward business for such a person to prepare a summary of the contents of every work, in English and post it online. Such a step would instantly make the works far more accessible.
There are quite a few people in patristics from a Greek Orthodox background. Would any of them care to undertake the challenge?
There is more. Google Translate does not handle ancient Greek, for some reason. But it does handle modern Greek, as we have seen. I wonder what it would make of some of these texts?
- Konstantinos G. Phrantzolas / Κων. Γ. Φραντζόλάς, Ὁσιοῦ Ἐφραίμ τοῦ Σύρου ἔργα, Thessaloniki: Το περιβόλι της Παναγίας / To Perivoli tis Panagias, 1988-98, 7 vols. I’ve also seen google results for Phrantzoles (!). After looking at the edition itself, I can see the name is plainly Phrantzolas.↩
6 thoughts on “Hunting for the modern Greek translation of Ephraim Graecus”
Google translate is hit and miss with its translation of modern Greek to English. A large issue is the idiosyncrasies of the two languages, word to word translation can lead to gibberish, though not as much as trying to translate to another language family (think Chinese or Japanese). Newspaper articles or news items it will do ok, bureaucratic documents Google Translate will do horrible especially when initials get involved (e.g. ΟΠΕΚΕΠΕ, the agency that gives EU subsidies to farmers and former employer of mine is officially called in English Payment and Control Agency for the Guarantee of Community Aids to Greece) and technical texts can get just messy. Searching for Οσιου Εφραιμ Σύρου έργα, Ι found that it is 7 volumes and Google led me to this:
I clicked on one of the links and the text is in ancient Greek. Judging from the screenshot you have selected volume 2 of seven to buy. Περιβολι της Παναγιας (the Virgin Mary’s Garden, nickname for Mt Athos) sound like a religious publishing house, so I would suggest asking around at the nearest Greek Orthodox Church. I have no idea if we have one in Ipswich, but I’ve been to the Hagia Sophia Metropolis and St George in London. I don’t think they have bookshops, but someone might give you a clue
The page above has the titles both in the original that you can see, and in Modern Greek that you cannot. If you want one of the online book sellers, of those that popped up in my google search I would suggest Protoporeia which is a major bookstore in downtown Athens. The other ones I saw felt like monastery bookstores. I do not have though any experience with any online bookstores in Greece, I have made all my book purchases from physical bookstores
This still exists:
I used to live in the House of St. Gregory, and, in my day, there were always modern-Greek speakers around, whether residents or Parish members, so this might be a way of trying to get in touch with someone:
And then there’s the Parish – which has its Church in the back garden, there:
Thank you very much Ikkoki for your experience of Greek bookshops! That’s really useful.
David, I’d forgotten the Hellenic lot. Thank you!