Over the past year, Professor Vinzent has edited hundreds of conference papers to create something the size of a major encyclopaedia. This enormous thing will emerge as volumes 53 to 72 of Studia Patristica, a journal that commenced in 1957. The fact that the cumulative run of a journal can increase by 38 per cent as a result of a single conference is alarming confirmation of the fear that we now entering an age when writers may soon outnumber readers. All of this excellent research will no doubt vanish into the shelves of research libraries and will be summoned by the occasional (wealthy) researcher from Peeters Publishers' full-text database, but how may of the articles will achieve a total global readership of even ten or twenty or thirty? A sobering thought.
My own paper, "The Great Stemma: a Late Antique Diagrammatic Chronicle of Pre-Christian Time", will appear in the Historica volume alongside papers by four eminent historians which I found among the most interesting of the entire conference:
- Guy Stroumsa's "Jerusalem, Israel, Athens, Jerusalem and Mecca: The Patristic Crucible of the Abrahamic Religions," which was a provocative exploration of how Islam, Judaism and Christianity are equal heirs of Late Antique intellectual debates;
- Josef Lössl's "Memory as History? Patristic Perspectives," which was a justification of his revisionist approach in his new textbook, The Early Church;
- Hervé Inglebert's "La formation des élites chrétiennes d’Augustin à Cassiodore," which told the interesting story of advanced education from the fourth century;
- Pauline Allen's "Prolegomena to a Study of the Letter-Bearer in Christian Antiquity," which lays the groundwork for an interesting book she is writing about Late Antique travellers who deliver letters.
It would appear that Martin Wallraff's discovery that Eusebius of Caesarea wrote another, previously unnoticed set of canon tables, which he made public at the 2011 conference, will not be written up in Studia Patristica, but in the Dumbarton Oaks Papers. The reason, I believe, is that this annual US journal is able to include high-quality colour reproductions of the new-found tables. Presumably that journal's moving firewall will allow the Wallraff paper to be downloaded for free from the year 2023.