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Albert M. Friend was appointed to be in charge of research at Dumbarton Oaks in 1945.  He succeeded Wilhelm Koehler, who had initiated a project to create a catalog of early Christian and Byzantine monuments, and had assigned art historical Junior Fellows to compile visual material and philological Junior Fellows to assemble associated texts. When Friend inherited these projects, referred to as the Research Archive and the Fontes, respectively, he opted to shift to a more focused approach instead of continuing Koehler’s broad scope. He initiated specific projects on the Church of Sion in Jerusalem and the Holy Apostles in Constantinople.

For the Holy Apostles project, Friend chose to work with Downey and Underwood, two young Junior Fellows at Dumbarton Oaks, originally from Princeton. As part of the Fontes project, Downey had already established a complete textual apparatus for the Holy Apostles.

By the summer of 1947, Downey had completed the majority of the translations and editions of the two most important texts, by the Rhodian and Mesarites. It is certain that Downey had finalized his translations and editions of both the Rhodian and Mesarites by 1949, and he published Mesarites’ text in 1957.


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