Crowdsourcing Chrysosotom

For a long time I have thought it would be a great thing to have the Migne Greek Father and Latin Father series digitized, tagged, and translated. It was brought to my attention that Logos plans on releasing the Greek and Latin copies of Migne. The problem is, none of the volumes are tagged or translated (They have said that tagging may be included at a later date due to interest). While the digitization of Migne is a huge first step, Migne is no more accessible to students than before. After all, anyone can download all the volumes from archive or google books. That’s where crowdsourcing comes in.

Crowdsourcing, I’m sure you are familiar with the concept. If you aren’t, crowdsourcing is the process of appealing to a large audience in order to obtain the money for start up costs or completing large tedious tasks. I would like to initially apply the concept to Chrysostom’s Homilies on Philippians.

Now, I know my vision is fundamentally flawed. Crowdsourcing relies on a large pool of individuals to contribute to the project. For this project, we are limited to people who know Greek, are interested in Chrysostom, and are willing to put a bit more time than is required to “simply translate” the passage. Nevertheless, I’m going to make a go of it!

What I would like is some help morphologically tagging and translating the homilies throughout the year. I have done the first paragraph. You can access the work here. Like the reading plan, everything is tentative at the moment. Mary Beth, my wife, will help build the database and the means of inputing the tagging into the database.

Why put in such a large amount of effort? The work that is produced will make the text more accessible for those interested in translating it. It will give you more practice recognizing forms, parts of speech, etc. Finally, maybe, just maybe, we will convince Logos or Accordance that digitization, tagging, and translating are all goals worth the time and effort!

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3 Responses to Crowdsourcing Chrysosotom

  1. Brian Renshaw says:

    I love this idea. Thanks for getting it together. I’ll make some plans to try and contribute in the near future once finals are finished.

  2. Jacob: I think that a tagged patristic corpus is a wonderful notion, But why Chrysostom? With due respect to him, he is no Basil. Would it not make sense to start such a project, in order to demonstrate feasibility, with a shorter, self-contained, more central text such as Athanasius De Incarnatione or Basil De Sancto Spiritu, which might be used in teaching dogmatics as well as Greek? And which text? I only use Migne when there is absolutely nothing else available.

    • jacobcerone says:

      Alistair: Great thoughts. Here is my reasoning: I chose Chrysostom on Philippians for a couple reasons. First, SBL has a diglot of the text. If readers need translation help, they are free to purchase the volume for assistance. Second, I chose Migne because it is a public domain text that I can, without any fear of copyright laws, put on my site. Third, one our Greek professors, David Alan Black, regularly teaches through Philippians. I thought it would be nice to have it as an additional text to translate. Finally, though I have no excuse for not choosing Basil, Athanaius’s De Incarnatione has already been digitized, tagged, and translated in Accordance.

      In terms of feasibility . . . your concern is well taken. Chrysostom on Philippians alone is a massive undertaking. In thinking through what it would entail to set up a system to enable others to contribute is substantial. I am hoping it can and will be done. If nothing else, though, my hope is that it will get others (possibly more capable and qualified than myself) to start thinking along these lines.

      If you have any insights or thoughts, I would love to hear them. Even if that means scrapping this altogether and refocusing my attentions elsewhere (other writers, texts, mss, etc). These past couple posts on Chrysostom have only been the results of initial thoughts and brainstorming 🙂

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