Translation of Euthymius Zigabenus’ Commentary on the Epistles is going smoothly and steadily.

If you go to my Translation Progress Report, you will see that, as of yesterday, I have finished translating 20% of the Commentary on St. Paul’s 1st Epistle to Corinthians. The main reason that my word count is below quota today (and on other days) is that I either run out of time in the morning or I am too busy or tired to translate. Today was such a day; I woke up at 8:25am and had to get my kids up right away.

My mornings usually look like this: I wake up to my alarm at 6am. I usually snooze it once for 10 minutes, then I get up, drink some water to hydrate myself, and begin translating. In 50 minutes, I am usually able to translate between 205 to 235 words, depending on the difficulty that I encounter; it is very rare that the Greek is so hard that I can’t hit 200 words before leaving for work. On weekdays, I then have to stop to get my daughter’s breakfast ready and to get myself ready for work. On weekends, if I have the energy and the drive, I can keep going, sometimes hitting 350 words in an hour and a half.

If I don’t translate anything in the morning, it is very difficult to motivate myself to translate at all in the afternoon, so I rely on having enough free time every morning to do the work that I have set out for myself. Once every 8 weeks or so, I have to go to work starting at 7am instead of 8am, so I have to get myself up at 5:30am instead of 6am in order to hit my quota. Next week is such a week, so we will see how I manage.

Critical Edition and Indexing

Progress on the Critical Edition depends entirely on me having first fully indexed all the manuscripts so that I can easily maneuver between the texts and the different sections of the texts. (For an explanation on why indexing is important when comparing different manuscripts, see my post here.)

To help get this portion of the project completed, I have committed myself to indexing every weekday during my one hour lunch at work. I eat my lunch for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on what food I pack myself, and then I spend between 35 to 45 minutes actively indexing.

At the moment, I am indexing Meteoron 65. It is a long manuscript, so it is taking me a long time to index it. When Meteoron 65 is completely indexed, I am going to start on Casanatense 1395, which is the manuscript that Nikiforos Kalogeras used to create the first printed edition of the Commentary on the Epistles (see the Timeline and Major Players of this Project for more details). Casanatense 1395, though, is the longest of the 8 Manuscripts, so it will probably take me a very long time to index it.

After both Meteoron 65 and Casanatense 1395 are completely indexed, I will have a go at Vat. gr. 636, which is a 13th century manuscript, just like Vat. gr. 646 (which was the first manuscript I indexed), but it is in horrible condition. It looks like it suffered water damage; a lot of the ink is smeared on a lot of pages. Indexing it completely might be extremely difficult, if not impossible because of its condition, which necessarily means that reading it word by word to make an edition based on it will be absolutely impossible. I will do my best when I get there and I will make at least one post when I hit those difficulties. (See here for some simple techniques to make less legible text more legible; in the case of Vat. gr. 636, Photoshop might not be effective at all to make it legible, but it is worth a try).


Because of my efforts at indexing, I have not had as much time as I would have liked to research different aspects of these manuscripts and the project in general.

I have had books sitting here at home for a few months now that pertain to Panteleimon 770, but I have not had the time to write up a post about it. I took these books out of the library in the hopes of continuing the research that I had started in August (see here for the post I had made about this). Maybe in the next month I will find the time to write up something about this.

There is also another book that I took out of the library that I am very excited to read. It has to do with Euthymius Zigabenus himself: both details of his life and details about all of his works. I will not spoil anything about this just yet. When the indexing is completed, I will be devoting a lot of my free time to reading this and doing my own research, using the sources and information provided in this book. Stay tuned for a post about it.

Nikiforos Kalogeras

The third facet of this project on Euthymius Zigabenus’ Commentary on the Epistles pertains to Nikiforos Kalogeras.

In many ways, Nikiforos Kalogeras has been my favourite part about everything that I have been doing for 6 months. I am a little sad that this third facet is almost completed.

I have the digital reproductions of all 3 of his known portraits/oil paintings.

I have the permissions to publish and reproduce 2 of the 3 oil paintings: the one from the Φιλεκπαιδευτική Εταιρεία and the one from the Rizarios Ecclesiastical School. The permissions for publishing the one from the University of Athens is eluding me because the Office of the Rector at the University seems to not want to take on the responsibility for granting me these rights. I’ve been emailing them weekly for months and I’ve called them a number of times, but I need them to reply in an email so I can have proof that I have the permission. Typing this out is serving as a reminder to myself to follow up with them again.

Kalogeras’ biography has been found and has been fully translated, but it has been undergoing editing for quite some time now. A few friends of mine have been helping me edit some difficult parts of the Katharevousa that I struggled with, but it has been a busy time for everyone, so the editing process has been slow. Soon enough though, it will be finished, and I’ll post it in the biography section of his page.

Acquiring the other manuscripts

As I wrote in the bottom section of the 8 Manuscripts, I am looking into acquiring digitized versions of two manuscripts that are not available online: Cod.graec. 259 and СПБ.ДА.62.

Because of the War in Ukraine, I cannot yet send funds to Russia to purchase СПБ.ДА.62, so that is on an indefinite hold (plus the Ruble is high, so the price is beyond what I can afford at the moment). But I have a reasonable quote from the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich for Cod.graec. 259 (see here for the catalogue information of this manuscript; it is written in German), and I intend to make this purchase sometime in the new year, when I have acquired the necessary funds; maybe by February or March.

The fourth Facet of the Project

In addition to the three Facets of this Project, I hinted at there being a fourth when I wrote the Preface of my first blog post.

I will not go into detail here about this, but, to sum it up, there are some letters that are attributed to Euthymius Zigabenus himself. I have read online that many scholars think that these were not actually written by him, but I do not have sources for this. I hope that the book about Euthymius that I took out of the library can shed light on this issue, but either way, the fourth facet has to do with these epistles of Euthymius, which actually fits very well with the name of my website “Zigabenus Epistles.”

I will save the rest of what I have to say for a later post, after I actually start working with these epistles. I probably will not be starting on them any time soon though, since my plate is already full with many other things, but just having a greater variety of things to work on is exciting.


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