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The Tune Fragment

Introduction:  It is my privilege to announce for the first time the discovery of a Greek fragment of some significance. Thanks to the good services of the ABMC, the beginning of a short epic from a mediocre poet has come to my attention, and I present my translation to you in Ernie’s honor. It consists of two pages, about 21 x 28 cm, of single column. It seems to have been written in very late antiquity and is the only surviving fragment. I have proposed that it be called the Tune fragment. The content is as follows:


Tell me, O Muse, of the man of many books, 
who, thanks to the United States Navy, 
saw the world after he graduated from high school.
Many were the peoples whose cities he saw,
and many the woes he suffered in his heart upon the sea,
seeking to win his own life and the return of his comrades.

Ernestius Tunius longed to know the minds of others—
and their tongues—Kiowa, Greek, Latin, Coptic, Nubian.
All these yielded their secrets to him. 

To help them understand these books, 
the noble couple engaged the assistance of other heroes
of the Instant Antiquitoot, 
Knights of the Faculty Club roundtable:
Isocrates Hester and Quintillian Hock,
Indiana Scheider and Perpetua Shaw,
Macrina Torjesen and Marvin ben Zechariah,
Theodora Salzman and Jonathan ben Joshua,
Stanley Pseudo-Jones and Kristin of Troy.
Regina Gesina cheerfully published Coptic fragments 
so that Michael the Egyptian would not be Saad.
At the encouragement of Colwell the Pompus,
Ernestius Magnus roamed the earth, and the internet,
in search of books—fat books, thin books, Greek books,
Coptic books, German books, Nubian books,
little green books and little red books,
even imaginary books like Q.
Colwell the Pompus had build the
Claremont School of Mythology and its shrine,
the bibliotheca. Here, at last, the books of
Ernestius Tunius and Gudrunia Magna
found their home, including the precious
Codex Vaticanus Imitatus.
Find books he did. Along the way, Ernestius Tunius, 
accompanied by the angel Rafael, gave support to
the Claremont Instant Antiquitoot,
under the direction of King James, son of Robin.
(I have here a copy of the new King James Bible.)
The Instant Antiquitoot soon was recognized 
as a major center of research and publication.
Thanks to the daily services of the high priests,
Michaelis Boddius and John son of Dicka,
and the priestess Betty Not-Pseudo-Clemens,
the books, and books, and books of Ernestius
will enjoy circulatio aeterna. 
Together with these warriors brave,
Ernestius set out to slay the dragon of linguistic ignorance,
girding his loins with philology, 
donning the breastplate of papyrology, 
his feet shod with generosity,
taking the shield of Coptic grammar
and the helmet of patience for the arcane,
and wielding the sword of textual criticism,
Ernestius slew the dragon and won the hand
of the fair maiden, Gudrunia, who helped him
buy even more books.

Ernestius and his assistants, Rafael the archangel,
Gudrunia Magna, and Leslie Never-in-a-Hayes,
continue to fight the never ending battle
for truth, justice, and the Antiquitoot way.

--tribute from Professor Dennis R. MacDonald
Director, Institute for Antiquity and Christianity
21 February 2002
Claremont, California