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

Byzantium and Islam: A Special/Web Exhibit at the Met

Museums large and small are not only digitizing their inventories; many now also create permanent websites for special exhibitions.  An excellent example of the latter is “Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition,” at the Met between March 14 and July 8 2012, one of the best presentations of the material culture of later Late Antiquity, which brought the now widespread academic trend of viewing early Islam within its historical context to a wider audience; Continue reading

Late Antique Inscriptions from Aphrodisias

Aphrodisias, a major site in Turkey where NYU has undertaken substantial excavations since 1961, now also has extensive online documentation for the period of Late Antiquity.  In 2004, Charlotte Roueché published the website “Aphrodisias in Late Antiquity,” an early example of the growing number of internet corpora of Greek and Latin inscriptions; this indeed represented a new stage in digital epigraphy, as it was the (exclusively online) second edition of her print book, Aphrodisias in Late Antiquity: The Late Roman and Byzantine Inscriptions (SPRS, 1989).  While still available on the web, this site has been superseded by “Inscriptions of Aphrodisias” since 2007, an edition of all inscriptions discovered between 1961 and 1994, including a substantial number which were previously unpublished. Continue reading

Apocryphicity by Tony Burke

This important blog on Christian apocrypha was established about six years ago by Tony Burke of York University.  The author posts updates and commentary on recent scholarship about apocryphal literature, as reflected in publications, conferences, and on the web.  Burke, along with Brent Laundau of the University of Oklahoma, is co-editing the two-volume More Christian Apocrypha (forthcoming with Eerdmans, beginning 2013); his site also contains a useful breakdown of many apocryphal texts that will appear in this work, almost all of them highly interesting, but with no English translation and limited bibliography, which is duly provided.

http://www.tonyburke.ca/apocryphicity/

“The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” and Codex Tchacos Fragments: Digital Images

The Coptic conference in Rome is off to a fast start!  Among the many interesting communications today at the Institutum Patristicum Augustinianum, two concerned fascinating and unpublished apocryphal texts (fragments, unfortunately), digital images of which have graciously been made available online before their print publication, allowing scholars and the interested public to study them immediately.  Professor Karen King of Harvard presented a tiny, poorly-written portion of a manuscript page, owned by a private collector, which features a dialogue between Jesus and his disciples in which he mentions “my wife.” Continue reading

Christian Arabic on the Web

The growing field of Christian Arabic studies, which has been especially invigorated by the work of Sidney Griffith, especially The Church in the Shadow of the Mosque: Christians and Muslims in the World of Islam (Princeton, 2008), now enjoys an expanding web presence as well.  Given the restricted size of this discipline, The North American Society for Christian Arabic Studies is a professional organization which seems to be based entirely on its website, without membership dues.  Still, it has many of the same benefits as dues-based organizations (there are notices of upcoming conferences and events), as well as additional resources, including a large, member-generated bibliography of recent publications, arranged by year and dating back to 2000. Continue reading

Hmmlorientalia by Adam McCollum

This rich blog by Adam McCollum features posts connected to his work as lead cataloguer of Eastern Christian Manuscripts at the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library at St. John’s University, Minnesota.  There are a number of interesting entries about manuscripts which he has examined, including observations about the field of Eastern Christian studies more generally (especially Armenian, Arabic, Ethiopic, and Syriac), which is literally centuries behind Classics with respect to cataloguing and editing. Continue reading