Goettingen: Day 10
Posted by John Meade on June 23, 2011
My time in Goettingen has been very profitable thus far. I have scanned or photographed most of the necessary manuscripts (mss) for my project (of course one can’t have too many, but I think I have the important ones).
Dr. Gentry and I took a trip to Koeln (Cologne) on the 20-21, in order to meet Professor Hagedorn and his wife Ursula Hagedorn. They would probably not approve of my high praise of their hospitality and help, so I will keep it brief. We arrived in Koeln and were met by the Hagedorns, who happily drove us to our hotel so that we could check in. Then we drove to their house, where they served us one of the best home cooked meals I have had in Germany. Then we proceeded to “talk shop,” and for me and the Hagedorns, that means the Catena of Job [catena: chain in Latin, the comments from the church fathers are "chained" together]. Their work space is in the upstairs of their house. They have one room for work (Kollationen!) and another room where they store the microfiche of the manuscripts and other relevant sources. It was very clean and everything was in its place when we arrived. I asked questions and received valuable answers to them. Midway through the visit, they wanted to make sure that I had all I needed to complete my project. They loaned me the microfiche of their ms U (Ra 3005), which is a very important ms for the project, since it is an accurate witness to the oldest catena of Job and the hexaplaric readings contained therein, and it is not available at the Septuagint Institute in Goettingen. They then proceeded to ask if Dr. Gentry and I had their works on the Job catena, published by De Gruyter. Dr. Gentry had the first of the four volumes, and I had the ones from Southern’s library . Amazingly, they gave me volumes 2, 3, and 4 (they did not have any copies of volume 1 left) and Dr. Gentry volumes 2 and 3. This is an amazing gift to a poor PhD student. When I thought they could not do any more for us, they invited us to dinner on the Rhine river and bought us dinner. We only spent a day with them, but I will never forget them nor their generous hospitality to me. I hope our paths will cross again.
We also had a chance to give them Ra 476 (a catena ms containing Job), which Dr. Gentry had acquired, and they were very happy to have it. I’m sure I will have questions about it in the weeks and months to come, which I will send to Professor Hagedorn, and I’m sure he will be more than happy to respond.
One closing reflection is in order. During our time with the Hagedorns, it was absolutely evident that they wanted to encourage and help a young scholar such as myself. They were excited to see someone studying and using their materials, which they had worked so hard to produce, and someone who was trying to bring more light to some of the same old questions. Let’s be mindful of the shoulders we stand on, and when, Lord willing, we are in that position, let’s be very quick to encourage young scholars in their work in any way we can. I will never forget my visit with the Hagedorns in June 2011. I hope I never forget the measure of encouragement they have extended to me since I began corresponding with them.