I’ve now returned working on the letter of Aurelius and Mizonius, to which the breviarium or summary of the canons of the council of Hippo was attached, and with which it is usually transmitted. This is basically done, although I’ve had to look up a few phrases. It was much easier to do, after spending so much time with the canons, than I remembered. The more Latin we do, the better we get; if, that is, we don’t cheat and gloss over difficulties with a paraphrase. I’ll post that next week. I’ll also look at whatever material survives about the Council of Carthage in 397, where the breviarium was compiled.
I’ve continued to work on the Tertullian Project Technical Update. At the moment that means finding broken links and fixing them as best I can. Some of these broken links are more than 20 years old. In many cases all that can be done is to remove them.
One lesson that I have found is never, ever, to rely on images on another site. There is one page which relies on a photograph of the first page of a manuscript at a famous library. That photograph was paid for by me. I commissioned that library, long ago, to make a photograph for me. This was before digital cameras, so I got a colour slide for my money. Later they placed an image on their website. But … it has vanished. It is no longer there. Fortunately I kept a copy.
When I created the Roman Cult of Mithras pages, back in 2011 or 2012, one of my motives was to build a directory of images of Mithras online. There were and are very many such photos, taken by tourists, in high resolution and full-colour. These are far better than the reference photographs. So it helps to be able to identify them. I took a decision when I did so to hold local copies of all the images. I knew that newspapers sometimes publish good photographs of finds. I also knew that newspapers do not tend to keep articles online for very long! Images appear and vanish. The only solution is to keep the image locally. The Tertullian Project Technical Update is proving the wisdom of that policy.
Identifying broken links is a chore. There are various online sites, all of which limit you to a small number of pages unless you pay them. I had some difficulty finding scripts online, until I thought to add “Github” to the search terms. Indeed I adapted one PHP script to run locally for my own purposes. But of course something like the Linkchecker python script is far better, even if it takes ages to run.
I’ve still got quite a few links to fix. That can happen in slow time, as I feel like it.