The British Library Blog: From the Egerton Gospel to Ephrem Palimpsests

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The British Library, which labels itself “The World’s Knowledge” with some justification, has a large collection of ancient manuscripts in diverse languages and media, probably the most impressive in the world.  Less well known, perhaps, is its outstanding blog, which includes both reflections on collection items as well as entries on newly digitized texts, including the Egerton Gospel and Codex Alexandrinus.  The latter has a great entry on the conservation process, as does the entry on “Some Syriac Manichaean Treasures in the British Library.”  Ephrem’s otherwise lost Prose Refutations of Mani, Marcion, and Bardaisan, preserved as a palimpsest on Add. 14623 was recovered by Charles Mitchell, with the help of a certain “re-agent” at the turn of the century.  The nature of this unidentified chemical is discussed, along with the eminent possibilities for reading the earlier text with the help of advanced digital photography.  This wonderful post explores other significant holdings on Manichaeism, such as the Chinese Compendium on the Teachings of Mani, the Buddha of Light.

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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

 

 

 

Bumberazi by Stephen Rapp: Explorations in Medieval Georgia and Caucasia

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This site presents the research of Stephen Rapp, who has done much over the past several decades to present Late Antique and Medieval Georgia to an Anglophone audience.  It contains an important list of links to the Georgian text and/or English translations of key sources, including the Life of Nino and the Conversion of Kartli; links to relevant sites; as well as a gallery of photos taken by the author.  An important resource for an understudied area of Late Antiquity.

http://bumberazi.com/

Kartvelologists (or aspiring ones) may also consult other Old Georgian resources strewn across the web: hmmlorientalia has a great survey of basic grammatical resources, as well as a series of posts on Old Georgian; and a number of Old Georgian writings are available as e-texts on Titus.org.

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/

 

Die Griechischen Christlichen Schriftsteller and Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum Online

Significant portions of two magisterial series of critical editions for Christian texts from Late Antiquity can be easily downloaded from enumerated lists linked to archive.org and Google Books: Die Griechischen Christlichen Schriftsteller (GCS), available at Roger Pearse and Patrologia Latina, Graeca, & Orientalis (PLGO; through Scribd); and Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum (CSEL), also available at Roger Pearse and the PLGO.  While all of the texts from the series Sources Chrétiennes, founded in 1942, are still under copyright, useful information on the many volumes can be found on the Institute’s website.  Similarly, Brepols Corpus Christianorum, and its various subseries, are under copyright; the Series Latina is available by subscription in the Library of Latin Texts.

Vetus Latina: Online Resources

This site offers basic information on the Old Latin (Vetus Latina) versions of the bible, which remain comparatively intractable and overlooked in research on the history of the biblical text and of early Christianity.  Last updated in 2008, it nevertheless contains some useful information, including a book-by-book list of the available editions, an ongoing project of the Institut Vetus Latina in Beuron, published by Herder Press.  Also useful is the explanation of the numbering system for Old Latin manuscripts, which includes a few stray images.  To my knowledge, the only fully digitized Old Latin manuscript is Codex Bezae at Cambridge; some important codices, such as Codex Veronensis (4), are partly photographed as part of the Verbum Project, which I will review shortly.  The extensive note cards of patristic citations, held at the Institut Vetus Latina, have been digitized and are available for a subscription fee from Brepols, but even this resource can be difficult to navigate.

http://www.vetuslatina.org/

The Age of Spirituality: Late Antique and Early Christian Art

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1977 was not only the year of Star Wars, it also heralded the Age of Spirituality!  As a follow up to the recent post on Byzantium and Islam, a special exhibit from 2012 with a permanent web presence, I note here that the Metropolitan Museum of Art has made available for download a true monument of scholarship on early Christianity and Late Antiquity, produced in conjunction with one of the most important special exhibits ever (“hailed as one of the most important didactic exhibitions ever assembled by an art museum”), The Age of Spirituality: Late Antique and Early Christian Art, Third to Seventh Century (Nov. 19, 1977-Feb. 12 1978). Continue reading