The Online Critical Pseudepigrapha

This site, edited by Ian Scott of Tyndale Seminary, contains online editions of many Old Testament Pseudepigrapha in various ancient and medieval languages, though the basis for most is Greek, with Latin also well represented. The Introductions to each text are original and helpful, including a description of the manuscript evidence across multiple versions, and an annotated bibliography of print editions designating manuscripts used, which can also be browsed by author or keyword and searched. The currently available electronic texts are often a transcription of an out-of-copyright edition, and sometimes include evidence from multiple manuscripts; eclectic texts taking into account extant versions in Coptic, Syriac, Armenian, Ethiopic, and other languages are planned.

While the Online Critical Pseudepigrapha is still very much a work in progress, it is laudable for its efforts to make widely available the electronic text of these important documents, and thus multiplying possibilities for research. The full texts of widely cited works such as the Lives of Adam and Eve and the Testament of Abraham, which are not yet in Perseus or other open access digital library, can now be employed in DH research, for example corpus analysis with the statistics program R; copyright information varies by text, and a full statement is given here: http://ocp.tyndale.ca/copyright-and-permissions

Corpus Coranicum Beta Version

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The Corpus Coranicum is a long-standing research project at the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, under the direction of Prof. Angelika Neuwirth, established in 2007 and currently funded through 2025. Its ultimate goal is the production of a comprehensive commentary on the Qur’an, based on both the textual tradition, especially early manuscripts, and literary passages, including biblical traditions, which shed light on the context of its production. A beta version of the online commentary is now available. One can browse by sura and verse (displayed with a special font, “Coranica”), exploring a facsimile of the associated page(s) in the 1924 Cairo print edition; scanned black-and-white photographs of the associated page(s) in early manuscripts from the archive of G. Bergsträßer, assembled in the 1920s, lost, and sensationally rediscovered in 2008; variant readings; “Texte aus der Umwelt des Korans,” most frequently from the Hebrew Bible and New Testament (the latter given in Greek, not Syriac); and an associated commentary. Of course, this magisterial project is also a massive undertaking, and the final two sections are only available for certain verses. The “Texte aus der Umwelt,” in particular, is a wide-open field, and is currently the subject of intensive research, as evidenced especially by the recent creation of IQSA. As Qur’anic studies rapidly develops, there is no question that Corpus Coranicum will be an essential resource.

Inscriptions of Israel/Palestine

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The Inscriptions of Israel/Palestine (IIP) is a premier open-access epigraphic database directed by Professor Michael Satlow of Brown University, begun already in 1996.  The goal of the project is to digitize the approximately 15,000 published inscriptions from Israel/Palestine, over a broad temporal range, from the Persian Period to the Islamic Conquest (i.e. 500 BCE – 640 CE); approximately 1,500 inscriptions have already been entered.  What distinguishes this site from others of similar scope is the multiple languages included: Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and Latin.  One can search the database in any of these languages, or their English translations (the project’s own); by content (e.g., “synagogue” or “church” for inscriptions in synagogues or churches); or by accompanying figures (e.g. cross).  Similarly, one can browse by place, date, inscription genre, physical medium, language (including multiple languages such as Aramaic and Greek), and, finally, religion (Jewish, Christian, Pagan, but currently no Samaritan).  This powerful tool allows for tracking various expressions (e.g., “one God”), and more generally, epigraphic practices, across the communities of Israel/Palestine.  In short, the site is a major resource for the study of the religions of Late Antiquity.

Roman Catacombs Online: From the International Catacomb Society to Google Earth

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The International Catacomb Society is a non-profit organization “dedicated to the preservation and documentation of the Roman catacombs & those rare vestiges of history that illustrate the common influences on Jewish, Christian, and Pagan iconography and funerary practices during the time of the Roman Empire.”  It features an expanding website with already substantial resources, mostly for Rome.

While the substantial archive of images and bibliography is available only to members (dues support the goals of the organization), a substantial (and growing) number of resources are open-access.  The “Vaults of Memory” online exhibit, by the Society’s founder, Estelle Shohet Brettman, contains well over one hundred slides with a rich selection of catacomb art and inscriptions accompanied by explanations; in short, excellent material for an introductory class.  There is also a helpful glossary of terms; and interactive maps, which clearly situate the catacombs, along with select other monuments, including the tituli churches.  An ongoing series of PDF publications on the catacombs, most by Jessica Dello Russo in the series Roma Subterranean Judaica, are also important resources.  The site also includes contact information for arranging visits in Rome itself; one site, the catacombs of Priscilla, were recently renovated, and are now included in Google Earth!

Blogging the NT and LAR in Spain, with Antonio Piñero

This very popular Spanish blog, entitled “El Blog de Antonio Piñero,” contains posts by its namesake, a Professor of Greek Philosophy at la Universidad Complutense de Madrid, as well as weekly contributions by Gonzalo Del Cerro and Fernando Bermejo-Rubio.  These are helpfully written for a general audience, with an overall focus on the historical Jesus and the New Testament.  However, Piñero and Bermejo were both involved in the Spanish translation of the Nag Hammadi Library, and the blog does reflect this broader reach.  Bermejo-Rubio in particular has a number of interesting posts on varied topics in Late Antique religions, such as Apollonius of Tyana and Manichaeism.

http://blogs.periodistadigital.com/antoniopinero.php

 

 

 

The Talmud Blog

The Talmud blog, edited by Shai Secunda and Yitz Landes, with regular contributors Amit Gvaryahu, Ophir Münz-Manor, and Ron Naiweld, has a wide variety of posts on Talmudic culture.  The topics range from musings on the Israeli movie “The Footnote” (a fascinating drama involving Rabbinics scholarship) to the inscriptions of the Sasanian mage Kerdīr; indeed, a significant number concern Judaism in Late Antiquity, in both the Roman and Sasanian Empires.  Conference updates, book reviews, and even surveys of recent dissertations are also included.  The toolbox collects a number of useful resources, such as a blogroll and web resources for rabbinic studies; links to digitized books, including e-texts; and a wonderful collection of links to images and transcriptions of Talmudic manuscripts.

http://thetalmudblog.wordpress.com/

The Campbell Bonner Magical Gems Database

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This database of magical gems, named after Campbell-Bonner’s famous collection of 1954, is in fact far more extensive, containing over 1,000 items.  These are drawn from over 30 collections, including the British Museum, and the Budapest Museum of Fine Arts, which is curating the website with the University of Fribourg, under the direction of an international editorial board.  According to the site, the database, which is currently expanding, contains “a fourth of the known corpus of magical gems.”  Its search functions allow the user to browse the gems by collection, material, place of discovery (only a few of which are known), iconographical schemes and elements, vocabulary (gem inscriptions in Greek and Latin), names, voces magicae, Logoi, and Characteres.  The entries themselves contain this information, when available, along with digital images of the gems; these can even be sent as electronic postcards!  There is a small glossary and bibliography, which has the helpful feature of noting the gems referred to in each entry.  Clearly this is a major resource, which will become even more important as the site grows.

http://www2.szepmuveszeti.hu/talismans/