Roger Pearse

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Thoughts on Antiquity, Patristics, putting things online, information access, and more
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Should we build reproductions of now vanished buildings?

23 Juin, 2018 - 22:16

The ancient city of Norwich in East Anglia is still surrounded by much of its medieval circuit of walls.  But the gatehouses are all gone.  They were thrown down in an outbreak of civic improvement in 1792, to improve access to the city and save money on repairs.  By that time they were all rather cracked and ruinous anyway.

One of the most impressive was...

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From my diary

23 Juin, 2018 - 21:34

A.J. Festugière, Sainte Thècle, saints Côme et Damien, saints Cyr et Jean (extraits), saint Georges. Traduits et annotés, Paris: Picard, 1971, arrived by ILL a week ago.  Something made me guess that it might contain French translations of some of the miracle stories printed by Aufhauser in S. Georgii Miracula, Teubner, 1913; and so it does!  In fact it...

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A collection of sayings attributed to Ammonius/Amun

15 Juin, 2018 - 21:14

Dr Anthony Alcock has translated for us all a collection of sayings, some Syriac, some Greek, which are attributed to St Ammonius, or Amun, a disciple of the desert father St Anthony.  These take the form of short anecdotes.

It’s lovely to have these in English!  The PDF is here:

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9th century ms of Chrysostom on Matthew for sale at Sothebys

9 Juin, 2018 - 22:52

I learn from the Twitter feed of the excellent and erudite Pieter Bullens of a curious story.  One of the most important manuscripts of Chrysostom’s Homilies on Matthew, currently University Library, Basle, under the shelf-mark B. II. 25, is to be sold at Sothebys after a 38-year loan....

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Looking at Aufhauser’s 1913 “edition” of miracle-stories of St George

2 Juin, 2018 - 21:21

A couple of years after his 1911 publication on the miracles of the Dragon and the Demon, Aufhauser went on to publish the text of 19 miracle stories or other pieces about St George, in the Teubner series in 1913.  (Online at Archive.org here).

The book contains text(s) taken from several...

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From my diary

26 Mai, 2018 - 21:46

So much is online these days, that I hardly use my local library any more.  Also I have rather more money than I did thirty years ago, and the temptation is strong to simply order any book that I want, and have it appear at my house – or my hotel room – the next day.

It is, of course, terribly wasteful to do this.  But I admit to having...

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Do we really have a 4th century inscription from Sakkaia / Shaqqa dedicated to St George?

25 Mai, 2018 - 22:27

If you want to know about the origins of St George, it isn’t very long before you hear that a church inscription in Syria exists, dedicated to St George, and dating from the 4th century AD.  The details are often a bit vague; but the site is the town of Shaqqa or Shakka, ancient Sakkaia or Saccaea, sometimes called Maximianopolis, after the co-emperor of Diocletian.

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The Miracles of St Ptolemy – translated from Arabic by Anthony Alcock

25 Mai, 2018 - 19:31

Dr Alcock has kindly translated another Eastern Christian text.  This one is a collection of miracles by St Ptolemy.  It’s here:

Thank you so much, Dr A.!

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Help at last! A FREE database with all the references to the Saints and their cult before 700 AD!

23 Mai, 2018 - 21:47

For the last few weeks I have been trying to find out about St George.  Starting from nothing, I want to know when the first mentions of him are, what literary texts are available, etc.  It’s been amazingly hard work, poring over century-old German monographs, the Acta Sanctorum, trying to find more recent works, and so forth.  Hagiography is dreadful to work...

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The oldest dateable inscription mentioning St George

23 Mai, 2018 - 13:43

The first evidence in the archaeology of St George is from a little church in Syria, in a town called Izra, or Izraa, or Ezra, or Ezraa, or Zorava, with the usual Semitic indifference to vowels, and the usual consequent confusion.

Here is the relief, in a nice new modern photograph from...

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A fragment of a sermon by Peter I of Alexandria – by Anthony Alcock

15 Mai, 2018 - 18:24

We don’t get a lot of new ante-Nicene material these days, which is why such a piece is very welcome.  Peter I of Alexandria was put to death in 311 AD in the persecution of Diocletian.

This fragment of a sermon is preserved in Coptic.  Anthony Alcock has translated it, and here it is!

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Suddenly a light shines – something at last on the Martyrdom of St George!

15 Mai, 2018 - 18:21

I’ve been trudging through Krumbacher and another heavy old German tome, running the text into English and looking for pointers to understand the mass of literature about the Passio or Martyrdom of St George.  While these give a great deal of detail, the beginner would often be grateful for a roadmap.

Today, quite by accident, I came across...

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The 13 miracles of St George

10 Mai, 2018 - 20:56

The literary texts about St George the Megalomartyr preserved in the medieval manuscripts naturally include the story of his martyrdom and death.

But with this is also preserved an ever-growing collection of miracle stories.  These were summarised by J.B. Aufhauser in 1911 in his Das Drachenwunder des heiligen George in der griechischen und...

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The standard English “Life” of St George – by Jacobus de Voragine

5 Mai, 2018 - 21:41

St George is one of only two medieval saints to make it through the reformation and still be celebrated in modern England; the other being St Nicholas, of course.  But few could name the sources for whatever legends are told.

There seems little doubt that modern ideas about the saint derive from the 13th century best-seller, the Legenda Aurea or...

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From my diary

3 Mai, 2018 - 21:52

This time of year is always busy, isn’t it?  But I’ve still been looking into hagiographical texts.  A kind correspondent sent me a link to a mass of links to various editions of the Acta Sanctorum, which I must look at.

Early in the week I was looking at various texts of the Life of St George.  I found that Metaphrastes...

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From my diary

28 Avril, 2018 - 13:28

I have updated the Acta Sanctorum blog post with a load of links to the original edition.  I wasn’t able to locate all the volumes on Google Books – although I suspect that they are all there, but it’s a whole lot better than nothing.

...

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Chasing some fake news about the Gospel of Barnabas

27 Avril, 2018 - 23:42

Weird websites can be a lot of fun!  Often they get hold of some obscure fact, which might pass us by.  It can be interesting to track it down.  I was reading Twitter earlier today and came across a series of tweets by an Islamic propagandist, one of which mentioned the Acta Sanctorum.  The page is headed...

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A short Syriac legend on the Emperor Maurice – in English

27 Avril, 2018 - 22:22

Anthony Alcock has emailed in an English translation of another Syriac text.  This one is a hagiographical text, perhaps of Nestorian origin, on the Emperor Maurice.  It’s here:

Thank you!

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The Saints’ Lives of St George – texts and sources

23 Avril, 2018 - 19:36

Today is St George’s Day, in England at least, and I found myself wondering what the literary sources were for his legend.  About all I know about him is the story of St George and the Dragon.  So I started looking for some kind of list of the hagiographical sources for his Vita or Saint’s life.  I found very little; so I thought that a post on what I could...

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From my diary

14 Avril, 2018 - 19:15

It’s all rather busy right now, as it always is for me in April.

First, I’ve tried to enable “https” on the roger-pearse.com address.  It’s possible that this will cause something odd to happen.  Please let me know if it does.

I’ve got hold of the Greek text of Severian of Gabala, De sigillis...

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