This page was written in 1999, when this website was new. It contained my photograph, my email address, and various personal, educational and professional details and so forth.
Little by little, it has grown shorter. The internet is not so small a place as it was in those days. A troll was merely a nuisance, not a brutal thug determined to use the compulsive element in social media to drive a vulnerable teenager to suicide, and to jeer at them afterwards on their memorial Facebook page. A spammer was merely an advertiser, not an internet criminal determined to steal your every shekel, and your identity with it. Privacy was taken for granted. None of this is true today.
My email address was the first to go. That change was forced upon me by the torrent of spam. I created a form -- which the spammers soon learned to attack -- but this stemmed much of the trouble.
Next to go was my photograph, once I found that the nastier people online sought out personal information in order to use it to inflict pain on their victims. Professional details went next, for the same reason.
Today I have decided to remove the rest. It is a wrench, it is true. But I see no alternative. If I were to join the internet today, I suspect that I would not use my own name at all, but a pen-name. Anything else puts you at risk from the criminal element online.
I myself feel uncomfortable writing online under any name but my own. Occasionally some forum software prevents me from using my own name; but it is a weird feeling. But I think it would be absurd for me to attempt to use a pseudonym at this time of day.
All the same, I cannot sensibly allow personal details to remain on the web when I can prevent this. Nor should you.
You can still email me, if you like. The following link will take you to a form, and this will email me.
A note for high school students with assignments
Lately I have started to get emails like this, from people who have searched this site and arrived here:
My name is <insert name here> and I am a senior student currently undertaking my last year of high school. My research assignment in one of my subjects, Ancient History, is of primary sources that we are to find in backing up our research point/hypothesis. My chosen topic was <insert subject> and I was lucky enough to come across your website which contained a lot of useful and relevant information of the ancient writer Lucian of Samosata. Along with details of our researched historians, we are to assess and evaluate the reliability of the sources the research was gained from. By the looks of your biography on this website, it is impossible for me to know nor assume your background details, hence the writing out of this email. If it is not any trouble, am I able to know your educational details as well as qualifications due to the assessing of the reliability of your source? That would be a great help for my assessment.
Here is the reply that I gave to that student.
You cannot use me as a source. I am just a bloke on the internet. But ...
... the reason that you have found me is that I digitise primary sources. At the bottom of each page is where I got it from. In the case of the Lucian materials, I got it all from the Loeb Edition and Translation by Harmon. You can certainly reference Harmon! You probably have never heard of the Loeb series (published by Harvard University Press), but a google search will fill you in on this. It has Greek and English on facing pages. It is a respectable academic series (as you will discover). When you reference books of primary sources, always mention the publisher!
I transcribed two texts by Lucian from the Loeb, back in the days before Google Books. You can probably find the Loeb itself online, because Harmon did his edition a long time ago. In fact (to save you time), try https://ryanfb.github.io/loebolus/ I also wrote up a note on the manuscripts of Lucian, which I think I did from Harmon's introduction in vol. 1 (yes, Lucian comes in many volumes).
In general, this is the way to look for primary source material online. Use the web to track down the material, and then try to find out where it was originally published, and refer to that. The web is not reliable.
One wrinkle on this: I have actually commissioned academics to make translations of texts which don't exist in English, and put these online. You must ask your teacher how to handle that! I would guess that you could say "Online-only translation at roger-pearse.com/whatevertheurlis/file.pdf, translated by Dr Andrew Eastbourne, 2010" or something like that. Because actually I do have connections to the academic world, and googling my name in Google Books will give you references to my site. But ... it's a border case. You could also refer to me as "Independent scholar Roger Pearse, of tertullian.org". But really you should ask your teacher.
I hope that's enough for you all.
This page has been accessed by people since 11th December 1999.