More on Chrysostom and Bareille

A correspondant whose return email address was invalid — preventing a reply! — wrote to me:

Just a quick message to inform you that Bareille’s french translations have a reputation of not being accurate.

There’s a much better translation (and a new edition of the greek) of Chrysostom first sermon in Sources Chrétiennes 272 as an appendix to  his Dialogue sur le Sacerdoce (Sur le sacerdoce [Texte imprimé] : dialogue et homélie / Jean Chrysostome ; introduction, texte critique, traduction et notes par Anne-Marie Malingrey).

I can’t write more now, but I want to thank you for all what you do : making all these patristic texts available.

The good wishes are much appreciated. 

It is always a question how good some of these older translations are.  We have to be a little wary about what subsequent translators say as well — they do have a vested interested in asserting that their own translation was worth doing, after all!

But I don’t think I will go back and revise the work with the SC text in mind, tho; it’s good enough for most purposes.


Chrysostom’s “First sermon” now online in English

I’ve finished translating Chrysostom’s first sermon into English from the French of Bareille.  As far as I know it hasn’t previously been translated into English.  It’s here.  I place the translation in the public domain, so do whatever you like with it, personal, educational or commercial. 

Of course it would be far better to have this translated directly from the Greek, but I think I will save my funds for texts that don’t exist in Bareille. 

It was quite interesting to see that Google translate, which I made use of, has got still better at handling French.  It still needs intervention, but the work this time was minimal.  I see that Google has also added a page of “Translators Toolkit” which I must explore.

I do have a few tools which I have written myself which help me to work with translating.  The most important of these is a little utility which takes a paragraph and splits it into a sentence a line.  I then paste that into Google translate, copy the resulting translation back, and the tool will interleave the sentence of text with the Google translation.  It makes working on the text very easy, as I don’t have to look back and forth between  two solid masses of text.


From my diary

I’ve been asked how it is that I have moved from Tertullian to Chrysostom.

The answer is that I haven’t moved to Chrysostom, really.  I started work on the web with the Tertullian Project, because there was nothing much about him online and I was filling a gap.

But when I came online, I found a great deal of anti-Christian polemic consisted of supposed “quotes” from the Fathers “proving” that the Fathers advocated lying, cheating, violence etc.  The grand author of these was a book by one Joseph Wheless, Forgery in Christianity, from which the material was plagiarised and improved. 

In some cases it was easy to show that the “quotes” were fake by going to the online English translation.  But others quoted from works not online.  So I began to place online translations of patristic works where there was an existing out-of-copyright translation which was not online.  This collection grew into the Additional Fathers, where I made these texts available as public domain.

From this it has been a natural step to start adding translations, by doing them myself, or commissioning them.  Naturally I tend to look for shorter works.

My current emphasis on Chrysostom arises from my discovery that the Homilies against the Jews were online, in a version whose copyright status is unclear, but that a portion remained untranslated.  This I commissioned and distributed.  But while looking at the entries for Chrysostom in Quasten’s Patrology vol. 3, I am struck by the number of short works which remain untranslated into English.  Some are of great historical interest, such as the one on the celebration of New Year in Roman times, or those on Christmas.  All these get quoted in anti-Christian polemic, probably in a distorted way.

My interest in Severian of Gabala came from someone writing to ask me about a passage in one of his sermons De sigillis librorum.  Until then I knew little about Severian.  A little research revealed an interesting author, whose works were unavailable in English.  Reading Bareille’s French translation revealed an author whose style is very distinctive and would translate well. 

So at the moment I am concentrating on ways to get works by these authors online.  I think I can make a difference.  In a few months, doubtless, my attention will be drawn by something else.  But whatever I do, I think it will benefit everyone.  So … let’s be a butterfly!

I was thinking last night about how to handle the fact that a French translation by Bareille exists of most of Chrysostom (although not the letters, I notice, nor the spuria).  I think it is probably best if I don’t commission translations of works that exist in that fashion — a translation from the French will probably do for most non-academic purposes.  If I restrict myself to commissioning only material where nothing exists in English or French, that would probably be the most effective use of my funds.


Mysterious book – anyone know what it contains?

A correspondant draws my attention to this book at Brepols.  But I’m blessed if I can work out what the book contains:

Homiliae Pseudo-chrysostomicae
Instrumentum studiorum I.
K.-H. Uthemann, R.F. Regtuit, J.M. Tevel (eds.) 309 p., 153 x 245 mm, 1994. ISBN: 978-2-503-50340-0. Languages: Greek. Paperback. Retail price: EUR 113,00

German is not my language, but with the aid of Google here is a translation:

The study of pseudo-Chrysostomica has made great progress since 1968 with the Codices Graeci Chrysostomici [a list of manuscripts of works] and the list of as yet unedited texts collected by M. Geerard in 1974 in the second volume of the Clavis Patrum Graecorum, for those patristic scholars who work on critical editions of homilies. But the texts themselves have not yet become available to the larger circle of interested patristic scholars; if we wait for critical editions of the same, for the history of the tradition based on all now available witnesses to be clarified, then there is little hope that in coming decades, they will become known to patristic scholars and generally philologists, who are not working directly with the relevant manuscripts themselves. The Clavis of M.Geerard alone lists 239 unedited texts, and this list is far from complete. If you are looking for a way to present all known Pseudo-Chrysostomica and in print as soon as possible and still provide a generally useful text, then it can only mean reproducing the output of one or more “good” manuscripts of the text without each apparatus, without any compromise in the direction of a critical edition.The texts, which Bernard de Montfaulcon (1655-1741) created today afford us useful service, and whoever is interested in the particular content of a text will usually make use of Migne.The scientific ideal of a critical edition is therefore not in question, certainly not from the editors of this new Instrumentum studiorum.

So … what does the book actually contain?

UPDATE: A correspondant points me here, to the online Chrysostom bibliography, which gives a list of contents:

Uthemann, K.-H., R. Regtuit & J. Tevel, Homiliæ Pseudo-Chrysostomicæ, Instrumentum studiorum. Volumen I, Turnhout: Brepols, 1994. [rev. Voicu JbAC 38 (1995) 198-199; contains updated texts of 42 homilies: De sacrificiis Caini (CPG 4208), In Noe et filios eius, de cherubim (CPG 4232), Hom. de Noe et de arca (CPG 4271), De paenitentia sermo 1 (CPG 4615), Quod grave sit dei clementiam contemnere (CPG 4697), Oratio in martyres omnes (CPG 4841), In ver et in resurrectionem (CPG 4858), In illud: Vigilate et orate (CPG 4870), De nativitate 1 (CPG 4871), In Adam et de paenitentia (CPG 4888), In orationem Pater noster (CPG 4896), In tentationem domini nostri Iesu Christi (CPG 4906), De creatione mundi, revera Ad Stagirium (CPG 4911), De fide et contra haereticos (CPG 4917), In caecum natum (CPG 4918), Oratio in exaltationem crucis (CPG 4927), De salute nostra et oratione perpetua (CPG 4938), Encomium in sanctos martyres (CPG 4950), Sermo de quadragesima (CPG 4955), In sanctum Stephanum (CPG 4958), Sermo de agricolis in vinea laborantibus (CPG 4966), De ieiunio (vel In postremum iudicium) (CPG 4968), De vigilantia (CPG 4972), In pharisaeum et meretricem (CPG 4984), In illud: Iesus autem fatigatus ex itinere (CPG 5003), In sanctam theophaniam (CPG 5004), In Paulum apostolum CPG 5013), In illud: Si enim dimiseritis hominibus (CPG 5019), De nativitate Iohannis Baptistae (CPG 5023), In Adam et in Sodomitas (CPG 5045), Quod deus superbis resistat (CPG 5047), In illud: Nemo potest duobus dominis (CPG 5059), De nativitate II (5064), De nativitate III (CPG 5068), Quod debet episcopus docere (CPG 5073), Hom. in Ps. 71 (CPG 5074), Contra Iudaeos et Graecos et haereticos, De exitu animae, In illud: Attendite vobis ipsis, In illud: Noli aemulari in malignantibus, De paenitentia sermo II, Sermo in Adam; the last 6 are not listed in CPG]


Chrysostom’s first sermon

The first sermon preached by John Chrysostom as a priest in 386 AD is extant (PG 48, 693-700).  A German translation exists in the old Bibliothek der Kirchenvaters 3 (1879), p.401-414.  It is also one of the texts translated by Bareille’s 11 volume French translation, and appears in volume 1. 

As far as I know, no English translation exists.  I don’t know that the contents are particularly noteworthy.  But I fancy translating something, so I may run Bareille’s French across into English.  It won’t be publishable, but — who knows — it may make the text more widely known.



Savile’s edition of Chrysostom

The text of the complete works of Chrysostom published by J.-P. Migne was a reprint of the Benedictine edition by Montfaucon of a century earlier.  Rather surprisingly, it does not contain all the material included in the 8-volume edition produced a century before that by Sir Henry Savile.  

I learn from Quasten’s Patrology 3 and also from the Clavis Patrum Graecorum 2 that some of the sermons of Severian of Gabala are only contained in Savile’s edition.

A kind reader has sent me PDF’s of Savile.  It’s rather daunting!  The lack of a Latin title is a clue; inside there is solely Greek.  There is an index at the end of volume 8, but it too is all in Greek.  In short, it is a rather tough proposition to find your way around! 

Fortunately the CPG gives page numbers for the sermons in question.

I’ve been working on transferring data and software to my new PC since Saturday, and I’m getting there.  But it is a wearisome business.  Windows 7 hasn’t attacked me yet, but give it time.

I’ve had another chunk of the Greek of Eusebius’ Quaestiones back from proof-reading.  I’ve also had a chunk of the Coptic back in English, although not in any useful format — the translator seems to have terrible trouble doing simple things with a computer, which is very, very wearing.  On a more positive note the translator of the Arabic bits is on course to complete those.

The translation with text of Origen’s Homilies on Ezechiel is progressing very well, and there is very little more to do.  The translator has worked very hard on this, and it shows.  It’s likely to be ready before the Eusebius, at current progress.  If it does appear first, I might send it out first, contrary to my original intention.


Henry Savile and his edition of the works of Chrysostom

Looking at the Clavis Patrum Graecorum — a text that should certainly be online — we find that the works of Severian of Gabala appear in two main editions, under the name of Chrysostom.  There is the 1718-38 century edition of the works of Chrysostom by Montfaucon, the Benedictine editor in France.  This is what Migne reprinted.

But there is also an edition by Henry Savile, published at Eton, of all places, in 1612.  A couple of Severian’s sermons only appear in this edition.

I am impressed by the CPG, by the way.  It neatly clears up what exists for Severian, and where it may be found; in Greek, Latin, Syriac, Armenian.

Philip Schaff’s introduction to the works of Chrysostom in the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers edition is useful.  After discussing the marvellous labours of Montfaucon, he adds:

The edition of Sir Henry Savile (Provost of Eton), Etonae, 1612, in 8 vols. for., is less complete than the Benedictine edition, but gives a more correct Greek text (as was shown by F. Dübner from a collation of manuscripts) and valuable notes. Savile personally examined the libraries of Europe and spent £8,000 on his edition. His wife was so jealous of his devotion to Chrysostom that she threatened to burn his manuscripts.

Lady Savile was not the first wife to threaten her husband’s books, out of jealousy, as Reynolds and Wilson, Scribes and Scholars records.

But is the edition accessible?  Is it online?  It is, after all, a very old book, and the USA did not exist when it was published.  It is US libraries, after all, who have made Google Books and what they are.

A search suggests that it might form part of “Early English Books Online”, a project which is not freely available.  UK taxpayers funded it, so naturally it has been placed under the control of a commercial company and only rich institutions are allowed to use it.  (It is depressing, sometimes, to see the combination of waste and greed and littleness of mind characteristic of British higher education).  You can’t even see if it is in there.

Does anyone have access to EEBO, and can check whether it is there?


Chrysostom “In Kalendas” translation progress

I’ve received the first column of Chrysostom’s sermon on New Year, and it’s been checked over by someone I trust who has given it the all-clear (i.e. only a couple of minor glitches).  Full-speed ahead!


Chrysostom “In kalendas” progress

The first column of Migne’s text of John Chrysostom’s sermon On the kalends of January, translated and transcribed, has arrived!  I have sent the sample to a trusted translator for comment.  With luck it will be good and we can proceed.


Projects progressing, projects new

My project to publish an edition and translation of the remains of Eusebius of Caesarea’s Gospel problems and solutions continues to progress.  I still intend to make the translation freely available online, but first I need to sell some paper copies to recover the money spent.  The total of the money is now assuming quite impressive dimensions – about the size of a small car!

Today an updated version of the translation of the Coptic fragments arrived.  The translator has difficulties with technology — I have asked her to print whatever she needs to and just send it to me!  I’ve also suggested she get a training course in this stuff, because it’s really not optional any more.

Also the chap proof-reading the Greek has nearly finished the fragments of the Ad Marinum bit; I’ve sent him the fragments of the Ad Stephanum portion as well.  If he wants it, I may send him a large chunk of the epitome as well.  This is going really well.

Also someone has written and volunteered to translate some of the untranslated Chrysostom that I discussed here, on a commission basis.  I’ve sent him Migne’s text of the sermon ad Kalendas — on the New Year’s festival — and we’ll see what sort of job he makes of the first column of that.

In addition the chap I sent the Severian of Gaballa, De sigillis librorum, has volunteered to have a go at a translation for free.  That is very kind of him, and it will be interesting to see what emerges.  I’ve also had an interesting email from the chap who put me onto Severian in the first place, with some manuscripts detail (which I must actually read!).

A busy day.  But I shall start winding down things on this blog; I now need to prepare seriously for Syria.