The primary purpose of this blog is to make available English versions of the paradoxographical texts, which (with three exceptions) have never been published in translation. [See * below for details of existing translations and how this project relates to them.]
Faced with the dilemma of postponing 'going live' indefinitely while building a full framework of cross-references along with online links, or putting up the texts little by little and playing catch-up with the references, I have now opted for the latter approach. The translations will therefore be published as posts on this blog as bare text; the cross-referenced versions, along with other resources, will appear at a somewhat slower rate on the companion Paradoxography website (the initial posts do, in fact, link to cross-referenced versions so that the principle is clear).
The translations are based on Giannini’s critical edition of the texts (Giannini, A. Paradoxographorum Graecorum Reliquiae, Milan 1967). Each post will aim to cover a page of Gianinni’s edition. Since work on this can be carried out only as a spare-time activity, the frequency of posting will vary, though I am aiming for a minimum of one per week. The translations are ‘quick-and-dirty’ reference versions intended to fill the gaps in the literature in the manner of sand-bags rather than dressed stone. Nonetheless, in light of the continuing unavailability of more scholarly efforts, it seems useful to release them into the wild in this state rather than to wait until the opportunity arises to work on them more systematically.
The blog and website is intended to be true a online resource; thus links will lead to versions of texts in the public domain rather than necessarily to the best versions available. So the user will be directed, for example, to William Smith’s comprehensive but outdated dictionaries of classical geography and biography rather than to their current equivalents. This also dictates the use of Latin transliterations of Greek words, since that is the form in which they are most commonly found in older texts that are in the public domain.
For this reason, as well as the provisional nature of the translations themselves, what is presented can make no claim to be an authoritative resource; however, I hope that it will prove to be of some use, particularly to readers with little or no Greek – at least, until something better comes along.
* Existing translations:
- the pseudo-Aristotelian περὶ θαυμασίων ὰκουσμάτων (De mirabilius auscultationibus – On Marvellous Things Heard), benefiting from its misattribution;
- Phlegon’s περὶ θαυμασὶων (On Marvels) and περὶ μακροβίων (On Long-lived Persons), made accessible through an admirable translation with commentary by William Hansen (Phlegon of Tralles' Book of Marvels, Exeter 1996);
- the compilation of the anonymous Paradoxographus Vaticanus, with translation and commentary by Jacob Stern.
Antigonus' ἱστοριῶν παραδόξων συναγωγή (Compilation of Marvellous Accounts) has been translated with commentary as a PhD thesis by I.R. Ciuca, but this has not so far been published.
Treatment of the existing translations is related to their accessibility. As the Loeb translation of Ps-Aristotle is already in the public domain, I will use that with only minor alterations for errors and ambiguities, or where the Greek text has been amended by later editors and thus differs from that in Giannini. Hansen's translation of Phlegon is available in print in a very affordable paperback edition; I will therefore provide only cross-references for this text since it is not my intention to undermine more scholarly work that is readily available to the average person. I will, however, provide a full translation of Paradoxographus Vaticanus, since the Stern version is in the form of a single chapter in an expensive edited book, and of Antigonus, since the Ciuca translation is not accessible.