This evening I spent some time looking at Huber’s article, Zur Georgslegende (1906). I’d not looked at this before, so it was time to do so. It contains five Latin versions of the Life of St George.
I also OCR’d the article, so that I could pass the German introduction through Google Translate, to see if it contained anything useful. It was indeed very waffly and poorly structured, as is often the case at that period. There was a lot of criticism of Papebroch, the Bollandist editor, for not printing much of the Latin versions.
But I learned from it that Arndt’s edition of the “Passicrates” Life that I am currently working on is indeed every bit as bad as I had thought. Huber suggests that the text itself probably suffered, both from a bad translator, when it was created from Greek; and then from errors in transmission by copying. He queries whether it has been significantly interpolated. He also makes clear that Arndt isn’t a critical edition. He gives as his third Passio another recension of the “Passicrates” life, which isn’t as old but is much easier to read. My thanks to the kind correspondent who drew my attention to this. But on the whole Huber achieves little in the pages he devotes to the question.
I came away from the exercise feeling even more strongly that a scholar needs to dedicate himself to sorting out the hagiography of St George, and write a definitive monograph. It really can’t be that hard to list the versions, compare the texts within them, and do a proper analysis for both Latin and Greek.
My next task was to look at the possible meanings of “separo”, which usually means “separate”. This appears at various points in Arndt’s text, in contexts where this meaning does not make sense. Possibly “sever” will cover most of the choices.
However it is becoming clear that I ought to prepare a Word document containing the Latin, if only to use for searching through. This will probably be my next task. I have OCR’d and corrected chapters 12-21 already, but the rest should be done too.
Something that distracted me this evening was the tools that I am working with. I’m using my old QuickLatin product for quick morphologies, which it does perfectly well. But I find that I am using other PDFs and online dictionaries. Surely these could be integrated somehow?
The problem is that it was written in Visual Basic 6, which is now some twenty years old, and only runs on Windows 10 by a special miracle. Another tool that I use, to interleave Latin and English text, was written in VB.Net 2008, which replaced it. This too is now more than ten years old. Microsoft have been terrible at keeping their development tools working, and compatible, and I have complained before about their current offering, Visual Studio Community Edition, as nearly unusable by anyone but a professional.
My eye was caught by the old Delphi product, which I downloaded and played with a bit. I always liked Pascal, the language it used. It would be a bonus to be able to generate Android and iPhone apps. Why can’t you do that from Visual Studio? But of course my code is all in VB. I have to work on this stuff in odd moments, unlike the way a professional works. There is no way that I will ever port all this to Delphi; which is, in any case, nearly a dead tool itself.
Eventually I decided to leave that task for another time. I was slightly nervous today that I might get a call about a job, and need to put everything to one side. Whatever I do, it has to survive the call to go and earn a living, and to drop everything else in the mean time. That is quite a demand of any project.
I’d better settle down and work up a text for chapters 1-11.
Update: I have just discovered, to my utter astonishment, that Arndt prints his corrections to the text, sometimes in the text with the manuscript reading in the footnote; and sometimes in the footnote, leaving the (unintelligible) manuscript reading in the text! Generally “corr. minimos” means that minimos is what he thinks it should be. “se. cod.” means that he has corrected it, but the ms. read “se”.
Less clear is “seccabo prius, corr. rad.” where he has printed “secabo” in the text. The latter is the normal spelling. But what is “prius”? Not the manuscript? and what is “rad.” short for? Some of his “corrections” in the footnotes don’t even make sense.
Incredible rubbish. Both he and his editor should have been shot.
Update: An even worse example. Footnote reads: “corr. inest” on “inextimabiles”. By this he means we should read “inestimabiles”. Good grief. Fortunately after the first few pages he settles down. But clearly his editor never read any of this.
Update: A commenter has pointed out that the mistake is mine! that “corr.” indicates a feature of the manuscript, changes introduced by a “corrector”. “rad” is for “radendo”, “scraped away”. Thank you!