A Repertoire of Byzantine “Beneficial Tales”

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This website of “Narrations Useful to the Soul,” a genre that flourished in Late Antique monasticism, has quietly been online since at least 2001, when it is cited by John Wortley, its author, in Dumbarton Oaks Papers 55. Is this one of the first online resources to be explicitly cited in an article on Late Antiquity? In any case, it is still available at the author’s personal webpage courtesy of the University of Manitoba, where he is an emeritus professor. The Repertoire consists of over 900 précis of “spiritual tales,” culled from a wide variety of Late Antique sources, selected primarily according to criterion of narrative form. The tales are ordered arbitrarily according to “W” numbers, and frequently cross-reference the entries of François Halkin in Bibliotheca Hagiographica Graeca (1957) and Novum Auctarium Bibliothecae Hagiographicae Graecae (1984), which one must consult for manuscript descriptions of unpublished texts. The great research benefit of the site (is it good for the soul?) is the ability to search these texts for content.

http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~wortley/

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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.

The Life of Martin on Dickinson College Commentaries

Dickinson College Commentaries, created by Professor Chris Francese with a grant from the Roberts Fund for Classical Studies, currently consists of electronic editions of Julius Caesar’s Gallic War, Sulpicius Severus’s Life of Martin, and Ovid’s Amores Book 1. The texts are a combination of previous editions and do not reflect additional manuscript work; rather, the focus is pedagogical, as I can attest from my own use of the site in a Late-Antique Latin seminar I offered this spring.  Audio files of the entire text are available for download, and words not in the site’s core vocabulary lists of Greek or Latin (themselves invaluable resources) are glossed; a substantial number of grammatical notes are also provided by Francese.  Dickinson College Commentaries is now accepting submissions for electronic editions of additional Latin texts, to be reviewed by the editorial committee, and thus represents a unique, valuable opportunity for publishing digital editions of Greek and Latin texts to be used especially in the classroom.

 

 

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/

Anastasios of Sinai: Digital Editions in Patristics

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This is a high-quality author site for Anastasios of Sinai, the seventh-century monk of St. Catherine’s, who has enjoyed a recent surge in scholarly attention, including both critical editions and studies of his witness to a transitional period in Late Antiquity that saw the rise of Islam in the eastern Mediterranean.  The site, by Clement Kuehn (with contributions by Joseph Munitiz, S.J.), contains some well-organized, annotated bio-bibliographical information, as well as breathtaking photography of the Sinai region. Continue reading

A Bibliography on Christianity in Palestine/Eretz-Israel

This large bibliographical database covers all periods from the Roman Empire to the present.  Late Antiquity, with the development of the Christian Holy Land, is well represented.  Like the Comprehensive Bibliography on Syriac Christianity, it is hosted at Jerusalem’s Center for the Study of Early Christianity.  The bibliography can be browsed alphabetically by author, year, era (Roman Palestine, Byzantine Palestine, Islamic Period, Crusaders, Mamluk Period, Ottoman Period, and Modernity), or according to a very large number of keywords based on tags for each entry, a feature that offers significant searching power. Continue reading