When my dear friend and colleague Cynthia Stallman-Pacitti learned that her cancer was terminal, she spent as much as possible of her remaining months with her family. Her Pancratius project, arising out of her 1986 Oxford D.Phil thesis, was nearly complete—she had revised the Greek text, dividing it into chapters and rewriting the apparatus, as well as producing an English translation and updating the commentary. Another colleague, Dr Andrew Turner, had manually paginated the Greek text and its apparatus to face the English translation and notes, pushing Microsoft Word to its limits. Before giving up work on the project, Cynthia printed out a single copy of her draft. This was scrupulously proof-read by our senior colleague Dr K.J. McKay. When Cynthia died, on 15 October 1992, her family asked Assoc. Prof. Roger Scott to look after her papers, and I archived the files on her work computer. Roger and I were not fully aware of what the other held.
Prompted by an enquiry from Professor Bryan Ward-Perkins in March 2017, Roger Scott found the printout annotated by Ken McKay († 2011) and, among many preserved drafts, I was able to identify the matching computer files. These were Microsoft Word 5.1 documents, and the Greek was in the Kadmos font (into which, in 1989, I had converted it from the transliteration encoding used to print the D.Phil. thesis); the files were converted into the current version of Microsoft Word and, with help from Lucius Hartmann, the Greek was converted into Brill’s unicode font. Roger Scott and I proof-read the entire work, incorporating Ken McKay’s suggestions.
Cynthia had received advice on formatting and layout from Prof. Elizabeth Jeffreys, who was then on the executive of the Australian Association of Byzantine Studies (AABS), but she did not have enough time to implement all the suggestions that were put to her. Given that the font change had already upset the fragile pagination, it was decided to produce a bibliography of secondary sources and implement it in the introduction and notes. The stemma, which I had drawn up in now obsolete software, was redrawn. On the advice of Brill’s most helpful representative, Marjolein van Zuylen, the apparatus criticus was reformatted. With further advice and encouragement from present and past members of the AABS executive—Prof. Bronwen Neil, Assoc. Prof. Ken Parry and Dr Ann Moffatt—the Introduction has been rounded out with an abstract and an English summary of the text, both drawn from the D.Phil. thesis. Maps have been redrawn in accordance with Cynthia’s notes. The apparatus criticus retains her innovative economy in citing a phrase by the first letters of its words, replacing superfluous duplication with a hyphen, and using a plus sign (+) for the more usual ‘add.’ Dr Sarah Gador-Whyte assisted with reading the proofs, and Dr Kosta Simic with the index.
No attempt has been made to update the bibliography. But the work is not out-of-date; it is the editio princeps of the Life and its first translation into any modern language, and it identifies many areas for further research.
Ihor Ševčenko dedicated his last major publication (the Life of the Emperor Basil) to Cynthia’s memory. Her D.Phil. supervisor, Cyril Mango, wrote that this book would be a fitting memorial for her. I hope that my contribution is worthy of her friendship.
I especially thank Cynthia’s husband, Nick Pacitti, and her family for permission to proceed with this publication.
The University of Melbourne, 16 July 2018