Tuesday, March 29, 2011

found a womans journal from 60 AD - translating now

Well, things are going well.  My skimming system seems to be working.  I’ve built a reasonable index and I’m making good progress.  Sebastian has joined the team.  He’s very quiet, very much a cloistered scholar, but his Greek translations are excellent.  He’s also doing a bit of skimming, but mostly focuses on one text at a time.  Regrettably his other languages aren’t that strong.
I have found one set of books which seem to be unique.  They’re all from a single amphorae.  They’re on vellum, like the others, but it seems to be of a much better quality, making them very expensive indeed for the period.  Their carbon dates are 60 AD plus or minus 15 years and they’re also the only other documents I’ve found so far that are written in Aramaic.  This is kind of neat for me, because Sebastian doesn’t have any Aramaic at all. 
I’ve scanned through the pages and these texts appear to be the personal journal or diary of a woman named Miri.  I’ve decided to spend my mornings skimming the main library and my afternoons translating this set of documents in full. 
The books don’t seem to be ordered or numbered in any way, so I’m reading and translating them in a fairly random way, simply picking a scroll and working through it.  Hopefully when I’ve done all of them I’ll be able to arrange them in a reasonable chronological order.  The first few scrolls I’ve translated are about her earlier life, which seems to have been spent in Alexandria, though she doesn’t appear to be Egyptian.  I wonder?  This diary may be that gigantic new discovery I’ve always dreamt of.

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