Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Can't Someone Just Tell Me Whether the Library at Zagoras Now Has a 1646 or 1680 Edition of Voss's Epistolae Genuinae S. Ignatii Martyris?

I am a very patient person. But one thing that I have little toleration for is out and out stupidity. Such stupidity was recently demonstrated to me by the Library of Zagoras when I have repeatedly asked them to determine whether the Voss Ignatius book they have in their possession is the 1646 edition that was published in Amsterdam or the 1680 edition that was published in London.

I had been getting on quite well with the librarian up until now. But apparently she recently consulted with a famous leading authority on paleography who happens to think that Morton Smith forged the Mar Saba document and now she refuses to answer any of my questions about the book.

Let's remember that the records of the library itself say that John Priggos sent the library a 1646 edition of the book, while the noted expert in paleography has emphasized that these records are inaccurate and that we should judge what was sent by Priggos's shipping logs which note that book was the 1680 edition from London. The fact that the paleographer makes such a big deal about this list of 253 books out of a total of 2153 books sent in total is also part of my frustration.

I do not understand how someone can argue that the records at the library at Mar Saba were infallible but then turn around that very similar records at Zagoras should be ignored. Yet it is these kind of arguments that make me take issue with the expert's published conclusions about the Mar Saba document.

Is forgery the only possibility to explain the great number of insightful observations that he has provided about the manuscript? I don't think so. But if these people revert to stonewalling investigations into the truth merely because the person doing so is an 'outsider' (= a non-Greek) we will never make any headway with the problem.

I think John Priggos is one of a number of candidates who should be considered as viable candidates for being the author of the Mar Saba document. I am trying to investigate another possibility right now - a seventeenth century Patriarch of Jerusalem - but I don't think that I will receive any assistance from any of the Greeks I have been in contact with so far. Apparently my status as a ξένος does me in.

One can see quite palpably that this is also what did Morton Smith in. Just look at the interview that Charlie Hedrick conducted with this man. Smith is identified as everything from a charlatan to a spy for the British government. Why? Because he was a ξένος. Now I will have to send a Greek friend to Zagoras to ask the simple question - is the Voss book in their possession a 1646 or 1680 edition.

This is unscientific in the highest degree but it is perfectly understandable when you look at the history of this people. They simply don't trust ξένοι and always cheer for the 'home team.'

Email stephan.h.huller@gmail.com with comments or questions.

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