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Prolegomena to Caesarea Maritima: A Collection of Testimonia

I. What is a testimonium:

Unique passage of text from a work (sometimes quoting or paraphrasing or translating earlier works) that meets on of three conditions:

  1. Passage where toponym occurs, whether in reference to the place itself (the name of the city---Turris Stratonis, Caesarea Palestinae, Sebastos) or in an epithet (e.g. Eusebius of Caesarea, regardless of whether that person is attested at the location of Caesarea);

  2. Passage that is immediately relevant to Caesarea but does not explicitly name the city, such as a general description of its geographic region or a discussion of broader historical circumstances that would have impacted it

  3. Passage of text that was produced in Caesarea---this includes all inscriptions found there, but not e.g. all of Eusebius' writings regardless of content that we can reasonably suppose were composed in the city

II. Collection of testimonia:

Three main pathways to finding testimonia (ongoing process, open to addenda):

  1. Review of previous publications, including the major synthetic studies of textual sources, or historical narratives, already published: JECM I; Levine 1975; Avi-Yonah 1976; Holum 1998; Johnson 2000.

  2. Keyword-searches using standard scholarly tools, both book-indices of voluminous sources (Pliny, Josephus, Procopius) and online search engines from digital archives (TLG, Brepols LTT, PHI-ISS, sources for Hebrew, Syriac, etc?)

  3. Knowledge of editors and their collaborators deriving from their own research

III. Definition of testimonium:

Some texts are cited whole, including all inscriptions. Certain passages are episodes within longer works, and are inherently bounded by a start and a finish. In most cases, however, direct or indirect discussion of Caesarea is fully integrated into a longer discourse. In these case we have made a judicious, generous decision of where to begin and end the testimonium in such a way as meaningfully to include broader narrative context and fully to capture related ("thought-adjacent") information about the geographic region or historical period.

IV. Presentation of testimonium:

Text in original language and English translation, cited (not just the specific line or section in which "Caesarea" vel sim appears, but the full passage, as defined by line, book, chapter, page, etc in edition used) together with other information to contextualize the passage for reader: 1) its context at time of writing and prime relevance for users; 2) modern sources for text and translation; 3) related material that offers explanation of testimonium or facilitates its exploration via linked data

V. Content and format of presentation:

Content has six elements with distinct formats:

  1. Abstract: shortest summary, includes citation+date and place of composition+summary of "themes" (see below). Appears both in search-lists and in top right box of individual record.

    • A. Date of composition: These are in most all cases the best estimate on scholarly grounds, and very seldom a precisley bounded time when author started and ended researching and writing. (The date given is drawn from editor's general knowledge and specific understanding of the text in question; is not the place for detailed discussion or citation of scholarly arguments concerning the careers of authors. The date given for testimonium will typically align with the understanding of the textual editor and/or translator cited as source for testimonium.)

      • i. In some unusual cases single dates. These are either a best guess (rare---e.g. Artemidorus of Ephesus, single year accepted as best guess at floruit); or in some cases the known date of publication (uncommon, e.g. ca. 630 for Chronicon Paschale based on internal references to historical events).

      • ii. In most cases these are date ranges. Represent either

        • a. periods when scholars have determined (from internal and comparative data) that an author was working on researching and composing (e.g., Pliny the Elder in Rome for the first edition of HN ca. 70-77 C.E.), or the date range of a papyrus or inscription (from internal and comparative data);

        • b. a date range when we know the author was in a place in their career when they are most likely to have written something, or in a place directly relevant to writing (e.g., Aelius Herodian doing grammatical research in Alexandria before going to Rome in his later career; known dates of travel to the Holy Land by pilgrims, when we assume the began writing their itineraries, rather than doing that work exclusively back at home in e.g. Italy or Germany).

        • c. a date range that fits patterns external to the writing itself, such as how paleography relates a document's script fits known developments in writing (e.g. dated to a fraction of a century), or a work belonging to a particular historical or cultural era (e.g. the Pseudo-Aelius Herodian Parsings placed in ca. 1350-1500 based on its intellectual appeal, technical scope, and linguistic niveau)

    • B. Place of composition: either directly attested or extrapolated from conditions already explored in estimate of date of composition (see above). (The place given is drawn from editor's general knowledge and specific understanding of the text in question; is not the place for detailed discussion or citation of scholarly arguments concerning the careers of authors. The place given for testimonium will typically align with the understanding of the textual editor and/or translator cited as source for testimonium.)

  2. Context: Paragraph that describes author and work, its intent and subject; brief description of organization of work and where passage fits in that; brief summary of content of testimonium and note on why we care, sometimes highlighting interesting features (such as datum that occurs here and nowhere else)

  3. Text: passage in original language selected from most authoritative text that has been published. Always retyped by editorial staff, and the source cited under "Textual comment." No unpublished texts included. Sometimes explanation is needed for authoritative text, such as the preference for or dependence on one particular manuscript (e.g. Apocryphal Acts of Peter), or the parallel presentation of versions (e.g. Descriptio totius orbis et gentium). This info under "Discussion comment." Attempt always to preserve text as published (spelling and punctuating) though can be tricky for various reasons:

    • A. In very rare cases where only early modern text is available currently, text in which editor adopted contemporary typographic motifs and rather freely moved between Latin of a manuscript and academic Latin of the day (e.g. Bongars 1611), has been adjusted to modern textual standards (resolving ligatures and abbreviations, etc). These adjustments are noted under "corrigenda".

    • B. Medieval orthography in Latin [and Syriac and Arabic?] is a persistent challenge as it was not standardized. We simply reproduce what is in the published text. While most critical editions are faithful to their sources, some (particulary early modern, e.g. xxx on medieval Latin sources that changed y=hi/ī to simple i, or erased h as consonantal aspirant) have standardized the place names. In such cases we have to go with what they print.

    • C. More common are minor corrections in typography and punctuation: moving commas, removing initial capitals and ligatures, adding colons and/or quotation marks. These are noted under "corrigenda."

    • D. We have aimed to print documentary sources (papyri and epigraphy) with the conventional symbols/sigla (what is the word?) of the editors, which will vary from text to text, and not to coordinate and adjust them. We have preserved sublinear dots and various forms or brackets and indications of vacats and line breaks. One difference is the full resolution of abbreviations, and capitalization of proper nouns, to ease reading. Also attempt (but not always possible) to maintain line spacings.

  4. Translation: Translation into English that is both strictly accurate to the original text but also readable as modern prose. (Translations into modern Hebrew and modern Arabic to come?). Both translating themselves and referring to published translations. Editors have worked collectively on this effort, with field editors taking the lead (Greek and Latin: Rife; Hebrew and Arabic: Lieberman; Syriac and Armenian: Michelson with consultation to xx for Armenian; French, German, English: Rife with consultation to xxx for Old French).

    • A. Great challenge in this endeavor is the range of quality of existing translations, and the absence of translations for many texts. Although we did not from the start intend to fully reinterpret all testimonia and create a whole constellation of newly translated passages, in fact in a large majority of cases we saw the fundamental need to update or redo existing translations, and in some cases needed to provide one. Still a need to cite full existing translations of work from which passage originates in bibliography (see below) for utility for readers who want to read further. However, for translated passages, the nature of the translation can come in five varieties, arranged in order of most to lease dependence on existing publications:

      • i. Very rare: Under "Translation comment" reads "Trans. [source]". Translation of text-passage retyped verbatim from a published source, cited by author-date.

      • ii. Uncommon: Under "Translation comment" reads "Revised from [source]" Editor has essentially used the words of a published source, as cited by author-date, but has made minor adjustments for clarity or the purposes of, such as form or spelling of names of places or persons, touching up diction, adjusting punctuation. The diction, tone, and spirit of the cited translated typically persist in large part in the "revised" translation.

      • iii. Common: Under "Translation comment" reads "Adapted from [source]" Editor has rewritten in signficant ways the words of a published source, as cited by author-date, in the interests of strict accuracy and readability. The diction, spirit, and tone of the cited translation often persist to some degree in the "adapted" translation.

      • iv. Uncommon: Under "Translation comment" reads "Trans. [editor name] with reference to [source(s)]" Editor has translated text-passage because published sources, cited by author-date, are unacceptable on grounds of strict accuracy (i.e. they demonstrate misunderstandings of the original text) and/or readability (i.e. their English prose is archaic, awkward, obscure, etc). However, Editor considers his/her translation to have sufficiently benefitted from knowledge of (an)other published translation(s) (whether in diction, tone, spirit, or even content) as to merit explicit reference to those sources.

      • v. Rare to uncommon: Under "Translation comment" reads "Trans. [editor name]" Editor gives new translation over which they claim full ownership. Either (most often) no published translation of text-passage exists, or (very rarely) published translations have been deemed undeserving of reference or citation.

    • B. In the interest of presenting testimonia for users in a way that is both concise and versatile, not unitary and linear---unburdened by distracting length, cluttered design, or the shadow of authorial propriety---Editors have decided not to provide explanatory annotations. The usual exegesis that often appear in commentaries---literary parallels, translating units of measure, identifying toponyms, correcting historical or geographical errors, etc.---are left to published commentaries. The one exception is succinct notes under "Discussion comment" about unusual words that are important for meaning, but whose incorrect or imprecise rendering in published text and/or translation calls for direct comment (e.g. epsimena in Apocryphal Acts of Peter; dokites in Theophanes Confessor). Otherwise some of such information can be found and explored by user under boxes below on individual testimonium-page.

  5. Bibliography. Full bibliographic lemma for each cited text-edition and cited translation(s). Also added in rare circumstances are parallel publications that are especially important for understanding the context or source of the testimonium, such as key scholarly studies that discuss problems of authorship or authenticity of manuscripts etc. (e.g. Dickey 2014 on the problematic corpus of Aelius Herodian). Might be extended to include works that discuss the particular testimonium on Caesarea, but not consistently in version 1.0, apart from the publications of epigraphy and papyri.

  6. Further Explanation and Exploration: Four boxes will be added at the bottom from which users can find linked data, whether to seek explanation of the particular testimonium (i.e. create one's own exegetical adventure) or to simply launch exploration from the content of the testimonium (i.e. create one's own knowledge adventure). These are:

    • A. "Texts." Listed citations of texts, both inside and outside the corpus of testimonia on, that are explicitly named or alluded to in the text-passage.

    • B. "Places." Listed citations of places that are explicitly named or alluded to in the text-passage. This is data internal to the text-passage; it is distinct from the place of composition (above). Tricky to figure this out according to granularity: sometimes regions (Palestine, Asia Minor), sometimes settlements or features (Ioppa, Constantinople, Mount Carmel, River Nile), sometimes districts or buildings (Tyropoeion in Jerusalem, Ecclesiastical Library or Church of St. Probus at Caesarea).

    • C. "People" Listed citations of people (or deities?) explicitly named or alluded to in the text-passage. Includes figures whose existence in myth-historical memory overlapped with the divine (e.g. Andromeda, Adam, Elijah, rabbis, saints, Jesus Christ, deified emperors). Not sure how to handle "deities", who can be otherwise covered by "theme" search under "paganism" though we can imagine a user wanting to search for e.g. Jupiter/Zeus---perhaps such a specific search is just not an option. This should include groups of people at a useful level of specificity: e.g. "Romans," "Jews," "Pilgrims" are not useful groups but can be covered by "theme" searches, while e.g. "Samaritans," "Blemmyes", "Knights Templar" are useful groups. Names for groups that are defined or named purely by region , i.e. reference to the people who live in that region simply in the context of human geography, should probably be searchable exclusively under that region in "places" (e.g., "Moabites," "Idumeans") unless the designation also has a broader ethnic, cultural, linguistic significance (consider what to do with "Arabs" or perhaps "Saracens" as a group distinction?)

    • D. "Themes": These are broad interpretative categories that readers can search that will not only allow them to find various testimonia by common subject (e.g. all testimonia relating to "Herodian dynasty" or "History of Israel" or "Crusades" or "Natural Environment" or "Death and Burial" or "Maritime Activity"), but also allow them to branch out to explore other linked data organized under those or related headings e.g. by LOC classification. Need standard list of themes, and again a way to help users in managing the granularity of topical knowledge (e.g. if someone just searches under "gladiatorial combat" they will get one or two passages, but a search under "entertainment" will give them an array of passages relating to activities in the amphitheater, not just about gladiators but also about racing and martyrdom and the building itself).