FOURTEENTH CENTURY WAS MORE PRODUCTIVE THAN ANY OTHER OF
Father R. Simon, in his select Letters, tom.i., p. 218, says,
"I will tell you only here in general, that very able critics
have believed Greek MSS. to be twelve hundred years old, which
were nevertheless quite new."
We have no MSS. of the Bible in our Libraries that are not elegant,
written and illuminated [decorated (see 1742, 1990)] in the
best manner; because there are none there except corrupt ones
In the whole of Greece this side of Byzantium, except perchance
on Mount Athos--where the number of books in existence is unknown--you
can hardly infer with certainty from Dom Bernard de Montfaucon's
[1655 - 1741] description that there were one hundred Greek MS.
books. Of the rest of the East we have no information. But in
the West, that is, in France, Italy, England, Germany, Holland,
he says on p. 21, that the number hardly reached twenty thousand.
How many more than in the East! The reason is that in the West
all were first written by the forgers. More has been adduced on
this head in my work On Greek MSS.
THE GANG OF FORGERS had Alphabets and Inks in both tongues,
Greek and Latin, and parchments to suit every age. A notable example
of the fraud is, that the copies which they made believe to be about
one thousand years old (at the present time) wherever they were written,
show the same form of writing, the same character; simply because
the writers had the same alphabet before their eyes....
"....who is ignorant that men and even the Pope himself
in these matters of fact ["to...discern falsehood
from truth"], are fallible and may be deceived?"
[Hardouin, quoting a letter]
So far then let what I [Jean Hardouin] have said suffice as
Prolegomena to be read as a preface to my Censure, by which
it will clearly appear as I hope, that the contrivers of so
many Dogmatic works and of Ecclesiastical History (as they
call it) had this object in view, to utterly ruin, if
possible, the whole of Religion. From my treatise on the Ancient
Coins of the French Kings it appears that this design was
taken up by THE IMPIOUS CREW and meditated in the reign
of Philip Augustus [Philip II (Philip- Augustus) 1165 -
1223]; much more under Philip the Fair [Philip IV, 'the
Fair' 1268 - 1314], and Philip of Valois [Philip VI,
of Valois 1293 - 1350]; that it afterwards was immensely enlarged
through more than one hundred and fifty years. The End.' .
Much unfounded paranoia? Sabotage, (hopefully) in the service of the
Catholic Church? A Jesuit tantrum? Etc.? [See: 1840-1842].
New Testament Studies, Philological, Versional, and Patristic,
Bruce M. Metzger, Brill, 1980.
there is no focus on the pervasive, paramount subject--Fiction!].
I is from the Journal of Biblical Literature, xci (1972),
pp. 3-24." ["ix"].
One [published 1972]
of all, it will be good to define terms. A literary forgery is
essentially a piece of work created or modified with the intention
to deceive. [see 1881 ("Forgery Defined")]
not all pseudepigrapha (that is, works wrongly attributed to authors)
are to be regarded as forgeries. In the case of genuine
forgery (if this oxymoron may be permitted) the attribution
must be made with the calculated attempt to deceive. This consideration
excludes from the category of literary forgeries both the copy
made in good faith for purposes of study and the large class of writings
that, in the course of their descent from antiquity, have become associated
with the name of some great classical author or Father of the Church.
Thus, if Lobon of Argos in the third century B.C. wrote the Hymn
to Poseidon attributed to Arion, Lobon is not necessarily responsible
for the attribution. A good example of the Church Fathers is the curious
confusion [sic] by which the Pauline commentaries of the
heretic Pelagius [c. 354 - after 418] have been transmitted
to us under the name of Jerome [c. 342 - 420], one of his most
bitter opponents. These commentaries are certainly pseudepigraphic,
but just as certainly they are not forgeries.
distinction must also be made between apocryphal and pseudepigraphic
works. The term "apocrypha" belongs to the history
of the canon and is far from being synonymous with pseudepigrapha.
In fact, the question of false attribution played very little part
in the identifying of the fourteen or fifteen books or parts of books
of the traditional Apocrypha, most of which are regarded by Roman
Catholics as deuterocanonical. Instead of the customary division
of Jewish post-canonical literature into Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha,
it is better (as Torrey3 argued) to make the term "apocrypha"
include all extra-canonical writings, and to use "pseudepigraphic"
as a literary category, whether the book is regarded as canonical
the light of the preceding definitions and distinctions, the following
pages will give consideration, first, to some of the chief
motives that prompted the production of literary forgeries
and other pseudepigrapha in antiquity. Secondly, attention
will be given to ancient and modern evaluations of such literature
and to a variety of attempts to solve the ethical, psychological,
and theological problems connected with the existence of canonical
of Ancient Pseudepigraphers" .
Over the centuries one of the most common motives in the production
of forgeries has been the desire for financial gain. The formation
of the two great public libraries of antiquity, that in the Museum
of Alexandria, founded by Ptolemy Philadelphus (283-246
B.C.), and that of Pergamum, founded by Eumenes II (197-159
B.C.), created a great demand for copies of the works of famous authors.
According to Galen [129 - c. 199 C.E.], the learned physician
of the second century A.D., literary forgeries were first multiplied
in numbers when the kings of Egypt and of Pergamum sought to outdo
each other in their efforts to increase the holdings in their respective
libraries. Monetary rewards were offered to those who would provide
a copy of some ancient author, and, in consequence, many imitations
of ancient works were composed and palmed off as genuine.5
than once Galen describes with indignation how the medical works by
both Hippocrates [c. 460 - c. 377 B.C.E.] and himself had been
corrupted by the interpolations [my guess: commonly, mini Forgeries]
of unscrupulous and uncritical editors.6 Because of the
production and sale of forgeries of works under his name, Galen
drew up a little tract entitled On His Own Books.7
The immediate reason for writing it was the following incident. One
day, in Shoemakers' Street in Rome, where most of the book-shops were
located [sources? details?], Galen witnessed a scene that must
have delighted his author's heart. A book was displayed bearing
the name Doctor Galen. A discussion began as to whether it was a genuine
work of Galen's. An educated man standing by, attracted by the title,
bought it and began to read it at once to find out what it was about.
He had not read two lines before he flung it aside exclaiming: "The
style isn't Galen's! The title is false!"
man, Galen comments approvingly, had had a good old-fashioned Greek
education at the hands of the grammarians and rhetoricians. But times
have changed. Aspirants to medicine and philosophy, without having
learned to read properly, attend lectures on whose subjects vainly
hoping to understand teachings which are the noblest known to men.
Accordingly, to avoid false ascriptions to him of inferior writings
Galen proposes to list and describe his genuine works--so he
wrote the pamphlet entitled On His Own Books.' [3-4].
Occasionally a literary fraud was perpetrated from the motive of
example is reported by Eusebius [c. 260 - c. 340],9
who mentions that early in the fourth century AD there appeared a
document purporting to be the Acts of Pilate, filled with calumnies
against the moral and religious character of Jesus.10
The author, plausibly thought to have been Theotecnus, an apostate
from Christianity and a violent persecutor of the church
at Antioch, of which city he was curator, issued an edict that
schoolmasters should assign the document to their pupils for study
and memorization." [4,5].
Much more often than malevolence were love and respect the motives
that prompted the production of pseudonymous works. For example,
the desire to honor a respected teacher and founder of a philosophical
school prompted the Neo-Pythagoreans to attribute their treatises
to Pythagoras himself, who had lived many centuries earlier.11
According to Iamblichus (ca. A.D. 250--ca. 325), it is most
honorable and praiseworthy to publish one's philosophical treatises
in the name of so venerable a teacher. Very rarely indeed, Iamblichus
tell us, have Pythagoreans ascribed to themselves the glory of their
inventions, and very few are known as authors of their own works.12
Thus it was, as Moffatt put it, nothing more than "innocent
admiration and naive sympathy which prompted a disciple to reproduce
in his own language the ideas, or what he conceived to be the ideas,
of his master, and yet forbade him, out of modesty, to present these
under his own name."13' .
THE NEW TESTAMENT IS A COMBINATION OF FICTION, PLAGIARISM, FORGERY!].
[see Addition 34; etc.]
is significant that Josephus [c. 37 - c. 100], who has occasion
in his parallel works to deal twice with the same situation, puts
two totally different speeches into the mouth of Herod.18"
goes under the name of Historia Augusta [see #24, 522-524]
consists of a mass of speeches, letters, and documents that contain
references to more than two hundred characters not elsewhere attested,
most of them highly suspect. Among them are no fewer than thirty-five
historians or biographers, cited as "authorities,"
most of whom scholars today (since Dessau's incisive analysis19)
regard as bogus.' .
Among the several kinds of literary forgeries in antiquity, arising
from diverse motives, that of producing spurious epistles seems to
have been most assiduously practiced. There is scarcely an illustrious
personality in Greek literature or history from Themistocles
down to Alexander, who was not credited with a more or less
extensive correspondence. Probably the most famous are the 148
Greek epistles supposedly written by Phalaris, tyrant of Acragas
(Agrigentum) in the sixth century B.C., in which he appears
as a gentle ruler and a patron of art and poetry. As is well-known,
these were brilliantly and vigorously exposed in 1697-99 by Bentley
as a worthless forgery,20 composed probably by
a sophist of the second century A.D.
which were falsely attributed to classical authors, other noteworthy
forgeries include the Letter of Aristeas, the correspondence between
King Abgar and JESUS, Paul's third letter to the Corinthians, his brief
letter to the Laodiceans, and the Epistle of the Apostles. The fourteen
spurious letters of the correspondence between the APOSTLE PAUL and
SENECA [c. 4 B.C.E. - 65 C.E.] were forged at a comparatively
early period, for they are quoted by Jerome [c. 342 - 420]21
and Augustine [354 - 430].22
idea of a friendly intercourse between the illustrious Apostle ["Paul"]
to the Gentiles and the pagan philosopher [Seneca (see Addition
34, 1580-1632)], whose Stoic teachings seemed to present so many points
of contact with Christian doctrine, appealed strongly to the
early Church Fathers. It was this that originally called
forth the forgery and at the same time caused it to be handed down
[imagine, what other forgeries (Fictions, etc.) were "called
forth" and "caused...to be handed down"!]
"The Annals of Tacitus", XIV:44, "Nero
[Emperor 54 - 68 (37 - 68)] and the Christians", did not
appear until the 15th century. Another Forgery! (see Addition
34, 1629)]." [7-8]. [See: Addition 34, 1580-1632 (Seneca)].
Still other literary forgeries and/or pseudepigrapha were produced
when, for diverse reasons, various compositions were attributed to
important figures of antiquity. Sometimes it is difficult to
distinguish between deliberate forgery and convenient assignment
of anonymous works to authors under whose influence they were written.
The prestige of such diverse figures as Lucian of Samosata
[c. 115 - c. 200] and John Chrysostom [c. 397 - 407] occasioned
the false attribution of many stray treatises to each. We have
132 pieces bearing the name of Lucian, besides some epigrams; in the
opinion of most classicists, many are either certainly or probably
not his [see 1865-1874 (Lucian)]. According to
one reckoning of Chrysostom's works, about 900 sermons (300 printed,
the rest in manuscript) have been falsely attributed to that Father.23
Similarly, the computistic writings of the Venerable Bede [c.
673 - 735], which were required textbooks everywhere in the Carolingian
system of schools, soon attracted other similar treatises assembled
by librarians from a variety of sources.24 Among Latin
poets, Vergil [Virgil 70 - 19 B.C.E.] attracted a good many
imitators, some of whose feeble attempts are included among the
short poems that are customarily identified under the rubric Appendix
Besides such assignments
for the sake of convenience,
FREQUENTLY LITERARY FRAUDS WERE PERPETRATED IN THE INTEREST OF SECURING
GREATER CREDENCE FOR CERTAIN DOCTRINES AND CLAIMS.
of the earliest such forgeries in Greek history date from the sixth
century B.C. According to the geographer Strabo [c. 60
B.C.E. - 20 C.E.],26 in order to provide support for the
Athenians' claim to the island of Salamis, a verse was interpolated
in the Iliad27 by either Pisistratus [600
- 527 B.C.E.] or Solon [640 or 638 - 559 B.C.E.]. Again, according
to Herodotus [c. 485 - 425 B.C.E.],28 Onomacritus
[c. 520 - c. 485 B.C.E.], the friend and counselor of Pisistratus,
was banished from Athens when it was proved that he had interpolated
in the Oracles of Musaeus, which he had edited, a passage showing
that the islands off Lemnos would disappear in the sea." [8-9].
WAY OF SUMMARY OF THE PRECEDING SECTION, IT HAS BECOME APPARENT THAT
ANTIQUITY A VERY LARGE NUMBER OF LITERARY FORGERIES AND OTHER PSEUDEPIGRAPHA
WERE IN CIRCULATION.
the reasons for their production are not always apparent today, in
many instances we can ascertain with tolerable certainty which one
of a wide range of motives was responsible for their origin."
Problems Concerning Canonical Pseudepigrapha" .
That persons in antiquity were aware of the concepts of forgery
and plagiarism33 is plain from the existence of
a wide range of words used to describe and condemn such practices,
e.g., ...[5 Greek words], adulterare,
confingere, falsare, supponere, etc.34
That scholars in antiquity were able to detect forgeries,
using in general the same kinds of tests as are employed by modern
critics, is also well attested. Thus, in his Vita Horati
Suetonius [c. 69 - after 122 ("until 121/2 secretary
to the Emp. Hadrian." (Ox. Dict. C.C.))]
mentions, "There have come into my possession some
elegies attributed to his [Horace's] pen and a letter
in prose, supposed to be a recommendation of himself to Maecenas,
but I think that both are spurious; for the elegies are commonplace
(vulgares), and the letter in addition is obscure--which was
by no means one of his faults."
the third century Dionysius, the scholarly bishop of Alexandria,
made a most sophisticated and extensive criticism of the style, vocabulary,
and content of the book of Revelation, in which he proved that it
was not written by the fourth evangelist but by a different John.35
two kinds of pseudepigrapha: forgeries and false attributions. A
study of Jerome's critical procedures reveals that he knew several definite
criteria for distinguishing between spurious and genuine writings and
that he used them with intelligence and discretion. For example,
he takes into consideration such points as the following when reviewing
a possibly false ascription:
Could homonyms [same names] be the cause of a false inscription?
Is the book in question inferior in subject-manner or treatment to
other works by the same author?
When was the book written, and how does this probable date agree with
other historical evidence?
Do statements in the book or the point of view contradict or conflict
with undeniably authentic writings of the alleged author? (Jerome
regarded this evidence as of little value)
Is the style of the work appropriate to its language, time of composition,
and author? (Jerome was particularly sensitive to stylistic tests
but realized that they must be used with caution and restraint).36
is instructive to examine some of the specific reasons adduced by
patristic writers for or against the genuineness of certain disputed
books. With regard to the Book of Enoch, for example,
apparently some persons in the early Church were inclined to
doubt that the antediluvian ["a person who lived before the flood"]
could have written the book since it would have perished in the flood.
Tertullian, however, suggests that they should take into account
the circumstance that Noah, the survivor of the flood, would have
heard from Methuselah the preachings of Enoch, "since Enoch had
given no other charge to Methuselah than that he should hand on the
knowledge of them to his posterity."37
the other hand, Tertullian is severe in his judgment against the
Asiatic presbyter who acknowledged that he had written the Acts
of Paul and Thecla. The author defended himself at his trial
by pleading that it was because of his love for the great Apostle
that he had composed the account. His plea, however, was unavailing,
and he was deposed from the ministry--and rightly so, Tertullian
implies, because in the book the author made Paul guilty of allowing
a woman to preach and to baptize!38
other cases, however, when a given author was held to have been in
personal contact with an apostle, Tertullian apparently saw no difficulty
in regarding the work as essentially that of the latter ["apostle"],
for he says, "[The Gospel] which was published by Mark may be
maintained to be Peter's, whose interpreter Mark was; for even the
narrative (digestum) of Luke is generally ascribed to Paul--since
it is allowable (capat videri) that that which disciples
publish should be regarded as their masters' work."39
About the year
200 Bishop Serapion of Antioch prohibited the reading of the Gospel
of Peter in the parish of Rhossus, a city of Syria lying northwest
of Antioch. On a former visit to that place he had indeed permitted
the church to read the book (a work till then unknown to him)
in its services. Soon afterward heresy broke out in Rhossus, and some
appealed to the Gospel of Peter in support of Docetism. Thereupon
Serapion examined the book and, finding some parts of it to be unorthodox,
he rejected it peremptorily as a forgery (...[Greek word]).40
like manner the vehement warnings in the Apostolic Constitutions
(6.16) against "the poisonous books which Simon and Cleobius,
and their followers, have compiled under the name of Christ
and his disciples" are motivated far more on the ground of what
was taken to be their heretical teaching than because of their pseudonymous
character. Similarly CYRIL OF JERUSALEM [c. 355 - 387],
GIVING A LIST OF THE CANONICAL BOOKS, SAYS: "THE FOUR
GOSPELS ALONE, BUT THE REST ARE FALSELY INSCRIBED AND HURTFUL
summarization! Of course, include "the four gospels" in
this description, and, the New Testament is completely summarized]
[3 Greek words]). The Manicheans also wrote a Gospel according
to Thomas, which, tinged with the fragrance of the evangelical title,
corrupts the souls of the more simple."41
the preceding examples it appears that patristic writers condemned
pseudonymous works not merely on literary grounds but also, and sometimes
primarily, on doctrinal grounds [see 1762 (Acts of Paul and
Thecla)].42 After the limits of the canon became more
widely recognized, pseudepigrapha ["forgeries
and false attributions" (see 1762)] that were also
apocryphal [I prefer: apocrypha "that were also"
pseudepigraphal] were put on the forbidden list of works. But
there were many exceptions--probably because there were many different
motives that led to the production of pseudepigrapha--and no strictly
consistent policy or pattern can be discerned either in the selection
of the OT or the NT books or in the rejection of other books.'
[10-13]. [See: 1716].
footnote 33] 'Copyright did not exist until relatively modern times.
As G.H. Putnam points out,
such thing as literary property [defined as ownership in a specific
literary form given to certain ideas, the right to control such particular
form of expression of those ideas, and the right to multiply and dispose
of copies of such form of expression] can be said to have come into
existence in ancient times, or in fact until some considerable period
had elapsed after the invention of printing" (Authors
and their Public in Ancient Times (2d ed.; [New York: G.P. Putnam's
Sons, 1894] iv) [)].' .
made a brief but comprehensive survey of religious pseudepigraphic literature,
giving more attention to Jewish examples than Torm [Friedrich Torm]
had done.48 He argues as follows:
a writer in the Old Testament introduces God as speaking, and
thus man is confident that he can speak as God, so also the [early]
Christians are able to use transmitted sayings of Jesus
and compose speeches such as the Sermon on the Mount or, in a freer
manner, to produce discourses of Christ, as the Fourth Evangelist
is generally acknowledged to have done. If one thus is able to speak
freely as God and Christ concerning any historical tradition, then
it is no great step beyond if one should believe himself warranted
to write in the name of a Patriarch or of an Apostle."48
should, therefore, not be regarded as unusual that several pseudepigrapha
are included in the canon, for
OR REJECTION WAS ON THE BASIS OF ECCLESIASTICAL TRUTH [(commonly,
a non sequitur!) AMUSING!], NOT THAT OF LITERARY GENUINENESS
[MORE AMUSEMENT!]."49' .
most recent extensive contributions to the discussion of religious
pseudepigrapha and literary forgeries in antiquity are those
of Joseph A. Sint55 and Wolfgang Speyer [see
1991],56 both of whom make a sharp distinction between
secular and religious documents. Sint classifies ancient pseudonymous
writings in two main categories, those arising from mythical and religious
motivating forces, and those arising from literary forces, though
he admits that these categories are not mutually exclusive. Speyer's
classification is more detailed. After differentiating between secular
and religious documents, he classifies the latter in three categories:
Genuine religious pseudepigrapha, widespread in the Near East and
also known in Greece and Rome, emerged from mythological origins and
represented a deity or a mythological personage as the author
[compare: Old Testament. New Testament.].
There were also forged religious pseudepigrapha which imitated
the genuine religious pseudepigrapha, and
FICTIONAL religious pseudepigrapha [and "canonical
literature"], which were artistic compositions that belong
to the realm of poetic art.
It was the heretics,
Speyer [see 1991] thinks, who began the production of "pious"
forgeries in the early church [that, is a '"pious"'
statement! They were all heretics! (see below) (see #10, 233
the ensuing struggle with gnosticizing and libertine communities,
orthodox writers (such as, for example, the author of the Epistle
of Jude) adopted pseudepigraphy, which had proved to be an effective
literary contrivance.57 In the ensuing years, when there
was so much talk about forgeries which were also regarded as
heretical, the composition of pseudonymous writings in a good sense
was rather unlikely. In fact, according to Speyer, only a few authors,
particularly those in remote regions, employed the pseudepigraphic
format (Einkleidung) in a good sense.58
from questions that might be raised concerning the validity of Speyer's
attributing the origin of "pious" pseudepigrapha
to heretics,59 it is problematic how far such schematically
ordered classifications are really helpful in the evaluation of pseudepigrapha.
At most they draw attention to the variety of motives that led
to the production of forgeries and pseudepigrapha, and the consequent
difficulty of applying any one criterion in judging them. Speyer's
tendency, however, toward setting up strict categories occasionally
makes for artificial distinctions.
must conclude from the preceding survey that literary forgeries were
of many kinds, from the amusing hoax to the most barefaced and
impudent imposture, and that the moral judgment to be passed on each
must vary accordingly. Indeed, in many cases such a judgment can be
only tentative, not only from sheer inability to discover the motive
which prompted the author, but also because the Platonic doctrine
of the "noble falsehood"60 pervaded
Greek speculation and passed by inheritance to hellenistic culture
in general [see Addition 27, 1251 (Eusebius)]. Thus it is not
surprising that the assumption underlying the attitude of many was
that the mere formal accuracy of a statement was of infinitely less
importance than the religious or moral value of its content.'
bibliography on the subject of literary forgeries and pseudepigrapha
is very extensive. In addition to the books and articles that
are mentioned in the footnotes of the article, the following selected
titles are significant for one or another aspect of ancient, medieval,
and modern forgeries." 
bolded brackets, and contents, are by the author (Bruce M.
Speyer [see 1991], Bücherfunde in der Blaubenswerbung der
Antike (Göttingen: Vadenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1970). [Deals
with writings thought to have descended from heaven [compare:
Old Testament. New Testament.], writings from tombs and from the earth,
and writings from temples, libraries, and archives.]
Taylor and Fredrick J. Mosher, The Bibliographical History of
Anonyma and Pseudonyma (Chicago: University of Chicago, 1951).
[Admirable in every respect.]" .
Hector, Palaeography and Forgery (London and New York:
St. Anthony's Press, 1959). [Deals with the pre-Mabillon
period of palaeographical criticism.]
Tout, "Mediaeval Forgers and Forgeries," BJRL
5 (1918-20) 208-34.
MEDIAEVAL EYES FORGERY IN ITSELF WAS HARDLY REGARDED AS A CRIME"
(p. 209).]' .
Abbott, "Some Spurious Inscriptions and their Authors,"
Classical Philology 3 (1908) 22-30. [Of a total of 144,044
Latin inscriptions in vols. II through XIV of the Corpus Inscriptionum
Latinarum, 10,576 are spurious [see 1825 (Paret)]; that
is, one to thirteen. Perhaps the most prolific forger was Pirro
Ligorio [1513 - 1583] [see 1990] (the successor to Michaelangelo
[sic] in supervising the work at St. Peter's in Rome), who was
responsible for 2995 of the 3645 spurious inscriptions in CIL
A. Farrer, Literary Forgeries (London: Longmans, Green,
1907; reprinted, Detroit: Gale Research Co., 1969) German translation
by Fr. J. Kleemeier, Literarische Fälschungen (Leipzig: Th.
Thomas, 1907). [A wide-ranging account of frauds perpetrated
by English, German, Greek (Constantine Simonides), Irish, Italian,
and Scottish forgers.] [see 1888-1894 (Farrer)]
J. Goodspeed, Strange New Gospels (Chicago: University
of Chicago, 1931); reissued with significant additions under the title,
Modern Apocrypha (Boston: Beacon Press, 1956); reprinted
under the title Famous Biblical Hoaxes (Grand Rapids:
Baker Book House, 1968) [see Addition 34, 1518].' [21-22] [End of
Thirteen [published 1979]
Jerome's Explicit References
Manuscripts of the New Testament" ["199"]
the more scholarly patristic writers Origen and Jerome take first
place in the Eastern and Western Churches respectively."
data assembled above tend to confirm the generally favorable estimate
held by scholars as to Jerome's sagacity as a textual critic.1"
Two [published 1970]
for the Nameless in the New Testament
Study in the Growth of Christian Tradition
nature abhors a vacuum, so early Christians were reluctant to leave
unidentified this or that person who is mentioned but not named in
the pages of the New Testament. Since those who are curious generally
attempt to satisfy their curiosity, pious readers and hearers of the
Gospel narratives sought to supply answers to such questions as: What
were the names of the Wise Men and the shepherds who came to worship
the Christ-child? A list of the names of the twelve apostles
is given in each of the Synoptics, but who exactly were the seventy
disciples whom Jesus also sent out (Lk. 10, 1 ff.)? At
the time of Jesus' trial several persons are mentioned in the canonical
sources without being given more precise identification, such as Pilate's
wife, the centurion stationed at the Cross, the two
thieves who were crucified with Jesus, and the officer in charge
of the soldiers guarding the sepulchre. TRADITION PROVIDED
NAMES FOR ALL OF THESE--sometimes several different names...."
[published 1976, 1977]
Lexicon of Christian Iconography1
1968 the first volume of a monumental publishing enterprise came from
the press, Herder's Lexikon der christlichen Ikonographie.
The editor, the late Engelbert Kirschbaum, S.J., had planned the work
to embrace six volumes, 1 to 4 dealing with general Christian
themes, and 5 and 6 dealing with saints and other holy persons. The
scope of the latter part, however, has subsequently been expanded,
with the consequence that instead of two volumes, four will be needed
to deal in a more comprehensive way with the saints that are to be
'The longest article
in the first volume of the Lexikon is devoted to "Christus,
Christusbild" (100 columns). Here the subject matter is considered
under headings devoted to Early Christian art, Byzantine and
Eastern Christian art, the art of the Carolingian and subsequent
epochs, Gothic art, the Renaissance and baroque period, the nineteenth
century, and the Eastern churches of the fifteenth to the eighteenth
course all artistic efforts to represent the physical appearance of
our Lord rest entirely on the pious imagination of artists, for the
New Testament, as is generally conceded, is entirely silent as to
whether he was tall or short, heavy or slender, swarthy [dark]
or light-complected. Several scholars, however, have thought
that one or another stray comment in the gospels may bear on the subject.
Rendel Harris, for example, raised the question whether Jesus
may not have been a short man. The proof text to which he appealed
is ambiguous, namely, the statement that Zachaeus climbed a tree in
order to see Jesus "because he was little of stature"
(Luke 19:3). Harris asked: Who was short, Zachaeus or Jesus?
The answer, however, must surely take into account the consideration
that, if Jesus had been short in stature, the records
would have mentioned [amusing! an apologist's, pathetically
grasping, argument from silence] other persons besides Zachaeus
who would have had difficulty in seeing him in the midst of the crowds.
some have deduced from a passage in the Fourth Gospel that Jesus
was prematurely aged. In John 8:57 the question is addressed by the
Jews to Jesus, "You are not yet fifty years of age, and
have you seen Abraham?" Why, it has been asked, should Jesus,
who presumably had just turned thirty, be compared with someone "not
yet fifty" unless he appeared to be much older than his years?
But the passage is susceptible of other interpretations. One need
not follow A.T. Olmstead who, earlier this century, deduced
from the passage that Jesus was born about 20 B.C. and therefore
would have been about fifty at the time represented in the account.
It is altogether probable that, perplexed over Jesus' earlier paradoxical
statement ("Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he
saw it and was glad," John 8:56), the comment of his hearers
means no more than, "You are not yet half a century old, and
how can you have seen Abraham, who lived centuries ago?"
absence of information in the gospels as to Jesus' physical appearance,
however, did not discourage Christians in subsequent centuries from
imagining what he looked like. Several of the early Church Fathers,
including Tertullian and Origen, held that Jesus
was ugly and even repulsive. The basis for such an opinion was the
Old Testament description of the suffering servant of Isaiah
53 applied literally to Jesus ("he has no form or comeliness...no
beauty that we should desire him," for he is "like a root
out of dry ground"--that is, deeply lined and wrinkled). On the
other hand, other Church Fathers, including Augustine and Jerome,
supposed that Jesus was supremely handsome, the archetype of
manly beauty. They based this opinion on such Old Testament passages
as Psalm 45, "you are the fairest of the sons of men,"
and the Song of Songs, which speaks of one who is like "the rose
of Sharon," and who is "the chiefest among ten thousand."
a relatively full list of early representations of Christ (most
of them depicting him without a beard), the author makes no reference
to the beardless bust
of a young man, with
the chi-rho symbol behind his head and with a pomegranate (symbol of
immortality) on either side of him, in the Hinton St. Mary floor-mosaic,
dated by J.M.C. Toynbee to the fourth century (Journal of
Roman Studies 54 : 1-4), and therefore the earliest presumed
representation of Christ so far known to have been made in Britain
[see Addition 21, 1120-1124 (Ancient Britain (Del Mar))].
The author might also have exploited much more fully (col. 372) the
evidence from coins struck by Christian emperors, such as those
of Justinian II (685-695 A.D.) [see #2, 21, 121.]. Regrettably
there is no mention, much less discussion, of the diversity of representations
of Christ (with and without a beard [see #9, 225], with curling
and with straight hair), nor of the significance that his image comes
to displace that of the emperor on the obverse side of the coin. No
illustration of a coin is provided. On the references in the New
Testament Apocrypha to early Christian depictions of Jesus,
see now J.D. Breckenridge, "Apocrypha of Early Christian Portraiture,"
Byzantinische Zeitschrift 67 (1974): 101-109.' [213-214]. [See:
Addition 21, 1116].
Nilgen's article on "Evangelisten and Evangelistensymbole"
is packed with information, well-ordered and illustrated. It may be
mentioned here that the significant study on "Portraits of
the Evangelists" by A.M. Friend, Jr. (Art Studies,
5, 7 [1927, 1929] was to be followed by further investigation
into the antecedents of the Christian representation of the
evangelists. These studies, as Professor Friend once told the present
writer, involved identifications of the specific classical authors
whose iconographic representations Christian artists adopted as models
for the four evangelists, namely the philosophers Plato, Aristotle,
Zeno, and Epicurus, and (for a second series) the poets Euripides,
Sophocles, Aristophanes, and Menander [see Addition 34, 1641-1643,
etc.]. Unfortunately Friend died before he was able to work
out completely these identifications, but they will be published,
along with the supporting evidence, by Kurt Weitzmann in a posthumous
publication of Friend's research (see Illuminated Greek
Manuscripts from American Collections, An Exhibition in Honor of Kurt
Weitzmann, ed. Gary Vikan [Princeton: Princeton University Press,
1973], p. 47 [see pages 44-49: "Portraits of the Evangelists
in Greek Manuscripts"], n.).' [214-215].
Myths, and Their Parallels in Other Religions, Being a Comparison
of the Old and New Testament Myths and Miracles with Those of Heathen
Nations of Antiquity, Considering also Their Origin and Meaning, By
T.W. Doane [1852 - 1885 (note the brevity of life. note the accomplishments.),
with numerous illustrations, Seventh Edition,
who knows only one religion knows none."--Prof. Max Muller
[1823 - 1900].
same thing which is now called CHRISTIAN RELIGION existed among the
Ancients. They have begun to call Christian the true religion which
existed before."--St. Augustine. [see #3, 68, 358.]
love for what is old, our reverence for what our fathers used, makes
us keep still in the church, and on the very altar cloths,
symbols which would excite the smile of an Oriental, and lead
him to wonder why we send missionaries to his land, while cherishing
his faith in ours."--James Bonwick [(prolific author) 1817 -
York, The Truth Seeker Co., Publishers of Freethought Books, 38 Park
Row, 1948 (c1882).
MAINTAIN THAT NOT SO MUCH AS ONE SINGLE PASSAGE PURPORTING TO BE WRITTEN,
AS HISTORY, WITHIN THE FIRST HUNDRED YEARS OF THE CHRISTIAN
ERA, CAN BE PRODUCED TO SHOW THE EXISTENCE AT OR BEFORE THAT
TIME OF SUCH A PERSON AS JESUS OF NAZARETH, CALLED THE CHRIST, OR
OF SUCH A SET OF MEN AS COULD BE ACCOUNTED HIS DISCIPLES OR FOLLOWERS.
Those who would be likely to refer to Jesus or his disciples, but
who have not done so, wrote about:
Out of this number
it has been claimed that one (Josephus) spoke of Jesus,
and another (Tacitus) of the Christians. Of the former
it is almost needless to speak, as that has been given up by Christian
divines many years ago. However, for the sake of those who still cling
to it we shall state the following:
Lardner, who wrote about A.D. 1760, says:
1. It was never quoted
by any of our Christian ancestors before Eusebius.
has nowhere else mentioned the name or word Christ, in any
of his works, except the testimony above mentioned,3
[see footnote, below] and the passage concerning James, the
3. It interrupts the
4. The language is quite
5. It is not quoted
by Chrysostom,5 though he often refers to Josephus,
and could not have omitted quoting it, had it been then,
in the text.
Rev. Dr. Giles says: "Great is our disappointment
at finding nothing in the works of Philo about the Christians, their
doctrines, or their sacred books. About the books indeed
we need not expect any notice of these works, but about the Christians
and their doctrines his silence is more remarkable, seeing that he
was about sixty years old at the time of the crucifixion, and living
mostly in Alexandria, so closely connected with Judea and the Jews,
could hardly have failed to know something of the wonderful events
that had taken place in the city of Jerusalem." (Hebrew and Christian
Records, vol ii. p. 61.)
REV. DR. ASSUMES THAT THESE "WONDERFUL EVENTS"
REALLY TOOK PLACE, BUT, IF THEY DID NOT TAKE PLACE, OF COURSE PHILO'S
SILENCE ON THE SUBJECT IS ACCOUNTED FOR.
these philosophers were living, and must have experienced the immediate
effects, or received the earliest information of the existence of
Christ Jesus, had such a person as the Gospels make him out to be
ever existed. Their ignorance or their willful silence on the subject,
is not less than improbable.
bk. xviii. ch. iii. 3.
book. xx. ch. ix. 1.
Bishop of Constantinople, who died [407. (c. 347 - 407)]
is not quoted by Photius [4th century], though he has
three articles concerning Josephus [c. 37 - c. 100].
the article Justus of Tiberius [contemporary of Josephus
(Dict. Greek and Roman Bio. and Myth.)], this
author (Photius) expressly states that his historian (Josephus), being
a Jew, has not taken the least notice of Christ.
Justin [Justin Martyr c. 100 - c. 165 (?)], in his dialogue
with Typho [Trypho] the Jew, nor Clemens Alexandrinus [c. 150
- c. 215], who made so many extracts from ancient authors, nor
Origen [c. 185 - c. 254] against Celsus [2nd century],
have even mentioned this testimony.
on the contrary, Origen openly affirms (ch. XXXV., bk.
i., against Celsus), that Josephus, who had mentioned John the Baptist,
did not acknowledge Christ.1 [see footnote, 1772]
In the "Bible
for Learners," we read as follows:
Josephus, the well-known historian of the Jewish people, was born
in A.D. 37, only two years after the death of Jesus; but though
his work is of inestimable value as our chief authority for the circumstances
of the times in which Jesus and his Apostles came forward, yet he
does not seem to have ever mentioned Jesus himself. At any rate, the
passage in his 'Jewish Antiquities' that refers to him is certainly
spurious, and was inserted by a later and a Christian
hand. The Talmud compresses the history of Jesus
into a single sentence [see #3, 47], and later Jewish writers concoct
mere slanderous anecdotes. The ecclesiastical fathers mention a few
sayings or events, the knowledge of which they drew from oral traditions
or from writings that have since been lost. The Latin and Greek historians
just mention his name. This meager harvest is all we reap from sources
outside the Gospels."2
Farrar [Frederic William Farrar 1831 - 1903], who finds himself
compelled to admit that this passage in Josephus is an
interpolation, consoles himself by saying:
single passage in which he (Josephus) alludes to Him (Christ) is interpolated,
if not wholly spurious, and no one can doubt [see Addition
29, 1281 ("bullshit")] that his silence on the subject
of Christianity was as deliberate as it was dishonest."3
Rev. Dr. Giles, after commenting on this subject, concludes
is the first who quotes the passage, and our reliance on the judgment,
or even the honesty, of this writer is not so great as to
allow of our considering everything found in his works as undoubtedly
then, is the first person who refers to these passages.5
Eusebius, "whose honesty is not so great as to allow of our
considering everything found in his works as undoubtedly genuine."
Eusebius, who says that it is lawful to lie and cheat for the
cause of Christ.6 [see footnote, below]
This Eusebius is the sheet-anchor ["A large anchor, formerly
always the largest of a ship's anchors, used only in an emergency."
(O.E.D.)] of reliance for most we know of
the first three centuries of the Christian history. WHAT THEN MUST
WE THINK OF THE HISTORY OF THE FIRST THREE CENTURIES OF THE
9. (1771)] Lardner: vol. vi. ch. iii.
2Bible for Learners, vol. iii, p. 27.
3Life of Christ, vol I. p. 63.
4Hebrew and Christ, Rec. vol. ii. p. 62.
5In his Eccl. Hist. lib. 2. ch. xii.
6Ch. 31, bk., xii. of EUSEBIUS Prae paratio
Evangelica is entitled. "HOW FAR IT MAY BE PROPER TO
USE FALSEHOOD AS A MEDIUM FOR THE BENEFIT OF THOSE WHO REQUIRE TO
BE DECEIVED;" and he closes his work with these words:
"I HAVE REPEATED WHATEVER MAY REBOUND TO THE GLORY, AND
SUPPRESSED ALL THAT COULD TEND TO THE DISGRACE OF OUR RELIGION."
[(10/7/2006) this is disputed by Roger Pearse. Richard Carrier defends
it. Sources are very problematic. My guess: the above Eusebius "quotations"
should be deleted].
passage in Tacitus which Christian divines--and even some liberal writers--attempt
to support, is to be found in his Annals. In this work he is
made to speak of Christians, who "had their denomination
from Christus, who, in the reign of Tiberius, was put to death
as a criminal by the procurator Pontius Pilate."
answer to this we have the following:
This passage [Annals 15:44 (see 1852-1853)], which
would have served the purpose of Christian quotation better than any
other in all the writings of Tacitus, or of any Pagan writer whatever,
is not quoted by any of the Christian Fathers.
It is not quoted by Tertullian, though he had read and largely
quotes the works of Tacitus.
And though his argument immediately called for the use of this quotation
with so loud a voice (Apol. ch. v.), that his omission of it, if it
had really existed, amounts to a violent improbability.
This Father has spoken of Tacitus in a way that it is absolutely impossible
that he should have spoken of him, had his writings contained such
It is not quoted by Clemens Alexandrinus, who set himself
entirely to the work of adducing and bringing together all the admissions
and recognitions which Pagan authors had made of the existence of
Christ Jesus or Christians before his time.
It has been nowhere stumbled upon by the laborious and all-seeking
Eusebius, who could by no possibility have overlooked it, and
whom it would have saved from the labor of forging the passage in
Josephus; of adducing the correspondence of Christ Jesus and Abgarus,
and the Sibylline verses; of forging a divine revelation from the
god Apollo, in attestation of Christ Jesus' ascension into heaven;
and innumerable other of his pious and holy cheats.
Tacitus has in no other part of his writings made the least allusion
to "Christ" or "Christians."
The use of this passage as part of the evidences of the Christian
religion, is absolutely modern.
There is no vestige nor trace of its [Annals 15:44]
existence anywhere in the world before the 15th century.1
No reference whatever is made to this passage by any writer or historian,
monkish or otherwise, before that time,1 which, to say
the least, is very singular, considering that after that time it is
quoted, or referred to, in an endless list of works, which by itself
is all but conclusive that it was not in existence till the fifteenth
century; which was an age of imposture and of credulity so immoderate
that people were easily imposed upon, believing, as they did, without
sufficient evidence, whatever was foisted upon them.
The interpolator of the passage makes Tacitus speak of "Christ,"
not of Jesus the Christ, showing that--like the passage
in Josephus--it is, comparatively, a modern interpolation, for
The word "Christ" is not a name, but a TITLE;2
it being simply the Greek word for the Hebrew word "Messiah."
When Tacitus is made to speak of Jesus as "Christ," it is
equivalent to my speaking of Tacitus as "Historian," of
George Washington as "General," or of any individual as
"Mister," without adding a name by which either could
be distinguished. And therefore,
14. It has
no sense or meaning as he is said to have used it.
Tacitus is also made to say that the Christians
had their denomination from Christ, which would apply to any
other of the so-called Christs who were put to death in Judea
[? (references for this clause?)], as well as to Christ Jesus.
"The disciples were called Christians first at
Antioch" (Acts xi. 26), not because they were followers of a
certain Jesus who claimed to be the Christ, but because "Christian"
or "Chrstian," was a name applied, at that time,
to any good man.3 And,
The worshipers of the Sun-god, Serapis, were also called "Christians,"
and his disciples "Bishops of Christ."1 [validity?]
much, then, for the celebrated passage in Tacitus.' [564-568].
'1 [from 9. (1773)] The original MSS, containing
the "Annals of Tacitus" were "discovered"
in the fifteenth century. Their existence cannot be traced
back further than that time. And as it was an age of imposture, some
persons are disposed to believe that not only portions of the Annals,
but the whole work, was forged at that time. Mr. J.W. Ross,
in an elaborate work published in London some years ago, contended
that the Annals were forged by Poggio Bracciolini, their professed
discoverer. At the time of Bracciolini the temptation was great
to palm off literary forgeries, especially of the chief writers
of antiquity, on account of the Popes, in their efforts to
revive learning, giving money rewards and indulgences to those
who should procure MS. copies of any of the ancient Greek or Roman
authors. Manuscripts turned up as if by magic, in every direction;
from libraries of monasteries, obscure as well as famous; the most
out-of-the-way places,--the bottom of exhausted wells, besmeared
by snails, as the History of Velleius Paterculus, or from garrets,
where they had been contending with cobwebs and dust, as the poems
of Catullus.' .
10. (1773)] A portion of the passage--that relating to the
manner in which the Christians were put to death--is found
in the Historia Sacra of Sulpicius Severus [c.
360 - c. 430?] ["historian and hagiographer"; "priest"
(Ox. Dict. C.C.)], a Christian Father,
who died A.D. 420; but it is evident that this writer did not
take it from the Annals. On the contrary, the passage was taken--as
Mr. Ross shows--from the Historia Sacra, and
bears traces of having been so appropriated. (See Tacitus & Bracciolini,
the Annals forged in the XVth century, by J.W. Ross.) [see:
Addition #35, 1688; 1813, 1853, 1991 (Sulpicius Severus)]
12. (1773)] "Christ is a name having no spiritual
signification, and importing nothing more than an ordinary surname."
(Dr. Giles: Hebrew and Christian Records, vol. ii. p. 64.)
name of Jesus and Christ was both known and honored
among the ancients." (Eusebius: Eccl. Hist., lib. 1, ch.
name Jesus is of Hebrew origin, and signifies Deliverer,
and Savior. It is the same as that translated in the Old
Testament Joshua. The word Christ, of Greek origin,
is properly not a name but a title signifying The
Anointed. The whole name is therefore, Jesus the Anointed or
Jesus the Messiah." (Abbott and Conant; Dic. of Relig.
Knowledge, art. "Jesus Christ.")
In the oldest Gospel
extant, that attributed to Matthew, we read that Jesus said unto
his disciples, "Whom say ye that I am?" whereupon Simon Peter
answers and says: "Thou art THE CHRIST, the Son of the living God....Then
charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus
THE Christ." (Matt. xvi. 15-20.)
clearly shows that "the Christ" was simply a title
applied to the man Jesus, therefore, if a title, it cannot
be a name. ALL PASSAGES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT WHICH SPEAK
OF CHRIST AS A NAME, BETRAY THEIR MODERN DATE.
3 [from 16. (1774)] "This name (Christian)
occurs but three times in the New Testament, and is never used by
Christians of themselves, only as spoken by or coming from
those without the Church. The general names by which the early
Christians called themselves were 'brethren,' 'disciples,'
'believers,' and 'saints.' The presumption is that the name Christian
was originated by the Heathen." (Abbott and Conant: Dic.
of Relig. Knowledge, art. "Christian.")
are called Christians (not, we call ourselves Christians).
So, then we are the best of men (Chrstians), and it can never
be just to hate what is (Chrst) good and kind;" [or, "therefore
to hate what is Chrestian is unjust."] [Justin Martyr:
Apol. 1. c. iv.)
of the ancient writers of the Church have not scrupled expressly to
call the Athenian Socrates, and some others of the best
of the heathen moralists, by the name of Christians."
(Clark: Evidences of Revealed Relig., p. 284. Quoted in Ibid. p. 41.)
who lived according to the Logos, (i.e., the Platonists),
were really Christians." (Clemens Alexandrinus,
we are called Christians, for this reason, and none
other, than because we are anointed with the oil of God."
(Theophilius of Antioch, in Ibid. p. 399.)
is the Sovereign Reason of whom the whole human race participates.
All those who have lived conformably to a right reason, have been
Christians, notwithstanding that they have always been
looked upon as Atheists." (Justin Martyr: Apol. 1. c. xlvi.)
makes a person called Triephon answer the question, whether the affairs
of the Christians were recorded in heaven. "All
nations are there recorded, since Chrstus exists even among the Gentiles."
1 [from 17. (1774)] "Egypt, which you commended
to me, my dearest Servianus, I have found to be wholly fickle and
inconsistent, and continually wafted about by every breath of fame.
The worshipers of SERAPIS (here) are called Christians,
and those who are devoted to the god Serapis (I find), call
themselves Bishops of Christ." (The Emperor Adrian
to Servianus, written A.D. 134. Quoted by Dr. Giles, vol. ii. p. 86.)'
[c. 55 - 120] says--according to the passage [Annals 15:44 (see 1852-1853)]
attributed to him--that "those who confessed [to be Christians]
were first seized, and then on their evidence a huge multitude
(Ingens Multitudo) were convicted, not so much on the charge
of incendiarism as for their hatred to mankind." Although
M. Renan [Ernest Renan 1823 - 1892] may say (Hibbert Lectures,
p. 70) that the authenticity of this passage "cannot be disputed,"
yet the absurdity of "a huge multitude" of Christians
being in Rome, in the days of Nero, A.D. 64--about thirty years
after the time assigned for the crucifixion of Jesus--has not
escaped the eye of thoughtful scholars. Gibbon [Edward Gibbon
1737 - 1794] --who saw how ridiculous the statement is--attempts to
reconcile it with common sense by supposing that Tacitus knew so little
about the Christians that he confounded them with the Jews,
and that the hatred universally felt for the latter fell upon the
former. In this way he believes Tacitus gets his "huge
multitude," as the Jews established themselves in Rome as early
as 60 years B.C., where they multiplied rapidly, living together in
the Traslevere--the most abject portion of the city, where all kinds
of rubbish was put to rot--where they became "old clothes"
men, the porters and hucksters, bartering tapers for broken glass,
hated by the mass and pitied by the few. Other scholars, among whom
may be mentioned Schwegler (Nachap Zest., ii. 229);
Köstlin (Johann-Lehrbegr., 472); and Baur (First
Three Centuries, i. 133): also being struck with the absurdity
of the statement made by some of the early Christian writers
concerning the wholesale prosecution of Christians, said to
have happened at that time, suppose it must have taken place during
the persecution of Trajan, A.D. 101. It is strange we hear
of no Jewish martyrdoms or Jewish persecutions till we come to the
times of the Jewish war, and then chiefly in Palestine! But fables
must be made realities, so we have the ridiculous story of a "huge
multitude" of Christians being put to death in Rome, in
A.D. 64, evidently for the purpose of bringing Peter there,
making him the first Pope, and having him crucified head downwards.
This absurd story is made more evident when we find that it was not
until about A.D. 50--only 14 years before the alleged persecution--that
the first Christians--a mere handful--entered the capitol of
the Empire. (See Renan's Hibbert Lectures, p. 55.) They were
a poor dirty set, without manners, clad in filthy gaberdines, and
smelling strong of garlic. From these, then, with others who came
from Syria, we get our "huge multitude" in the space of
14 years. The statement attributed to Tacitus is, however,
outdone by Orosius [early 5th century], who asserts that the
persecution extended "through all the provinces." (Orosius,
ii. 11.) That it was a very easy matter for some Christian
writer to interpolate or alter a passage in the Annals of
Tacitus may be seen from the fact that the MS. was not known
to the world before the 15th century, and from information
which is to be derived from reading Daillé [Jean Daillé 1594
- 1670] On the Right Use of the Fathers, who shows that they
were accustomed to doing such business, and that these writings are,
to a large extent, unreliable.'  [End of Appendix D.]
and Critics, Creativity and Duplicity in Western Scholarship,
Anthony Grafton, Princeton, c1990.
satirist Lucian [c. 117 - c. 180] [was it Lucian? (see 1865-1874)]
showed off his forger's dexterity and his critic's competence at one
and the same time by forging a work in so convincing a replica
of the notoriously obscure style of Heraclitus [fl. c. 500
B.C.E. ("Heraclitus is the first Greek thinker to have a theory
of *psych or '*soul' as it functions in the living person."
(Ox. Class. Dict.))] that it deceived a famous
critic.32 [German reference. "famous critic"?
Galen? (see 1865)]" .
literary and religious forgery and their counterpart modes of criticism
survived the fall of the ancient world, however, forgery and criticism
of legal authorities became the dominant new forms in the Middle
Ages. MOST PRACTITIONERS OF FORGERY AND CRITICISM WERE CLERICS
AND LAWYERS. Forgers usually wanted to equip a person or an
institution with a basis for possession of lands or privileges....
most literary and elaborate of medieval forgeries--the Donation
of Constantine, the notorious EIGHTH-CENTURY document
that tells the tale of how the Emperor Constantine, cured of
leprosy by Pope Sylvester, showed his gratitude by conveying
the entire Western empire to the Church and departing for Byzantium--makes
a powerful effort to give the appearance of including legal documents
formalized in expression and attested by the requisite witnesses.
The volume of this activity was never small; perhaps half the legal
documents we possess from Merovingian [c. 500 -751 C.E.] times,
and PERHAPS TWO-THIRDS OF ALL DOCUMENTS ISSUED TO [AND
BY] ECCLESIASTICS BEFORE A.D. 1100, ARE FAKES...."
. [See: 1743].
is a prologue, to a forgery, by Erasmus] 'Hase's [Karl
Benedikt Hase (another forger!)] reputation as man and
critic has at least been mixed; that of Erasmus has been almost
spotless. Modern scholars quite reasonably revere him [Erasmus]
as one of the great exposers of error and mendacity. He had
a deep knowledge of ancient history and literature and a keenly discriminating
sense of style. Turned on the rich corpus of texts traditionally
attributed to Seneca [see 1632, 1736]--some classical and some
late, some pseudepigraphical and some forged, and some by another
author of the same name--these sharp instruments of dissection easily
excised the supposed correspondence of Seneca and Saint Paul
from the genuine matter. Erasmus' pungent preface used stylistic,
historical, and substantive arguments:
is nothing in the letters from Paul worthy of Paul's spirit. One hardly
hears the name of Christ, which normally pervades Paul's discourse.
[The author] makes that powerful defender of the Gospel cowardly and
timorous....And it's a sign of monumental stupidity when he makes
Seneca send Paul a book De copia verborum [On Building Vocabulary]
so that he will be able to write better Latin. If Paul did not know
Latin he could have written in Greek. Seneca did know Greek."12
PURGING THE SPURIOUS,
IN FACT, WAS CENTRAL TO ERASMUS' SENSE OF HIS CALLING AS A CHRISTIAN
SCHOLAR. It inspired his removal of the comma Johanneum
(I John 5:7), the most explicit scriptural support for the doctrine
of the Trinity, from his first edition of the New Testament. His
[Erasmus] distaste for a culture nurtured on literary deceit
emerges from his life of Jerome, with its trenchant attack
on the medieval legends of superhuman cures and interventions that had
distorted and disguised the facts.13 When Erasmus
defended the arguments by which he, like Lorenzo Valla before
him, had denounced the corpus of Dionysius the Areopagite, he made clear
his opposition to all production of fraudulent works, even in support
of desirable ends: "In those days even pious men thought it
pleasing to God to use this deceit to inspire the people with eagerness
1530, Erasmus published his fourth edition of the works of Saint Cyprian.
This included as a stop-press supplement a treatise, De duplici
martyrio (On the Two Forms of Martyrdom) [more,
Martyrology], which, as its table of contents said, was "DISCOVERED
IN AN ANCIENT LIBRARY; MAY IT BE POSSIBLE TO SEARCH OUT OTHER VALUABLE
WORKS OF HIS AS WELL."15 The treatise praised
the virtues of martyrs in the traditional sense, THOSE WHO DIED
TO BEAR WITNESS TO THE TRUTH; but it went on to praise other
forms of Christian life--the life of those willing to die but
not called upon to do so, the life of the virgin who struggles
to avoid a sin--as equivalent in merit to martyrdom [proto- "Soap
Operas"]. It takes a position highly sympathetic to Erasmus,
who had always disliked the kind of Christianity that equated
suffering with virtue, and had always preferred the human Christ
hoping to avoid death in Gethsemane to the divine Christ ransoming
man by dying at Calvary. It is preserved in no known manuscript
or ancient library. It explicates scriptural passages in peculiar
ways, ways also found in Erasmus' New Testament commentaries. And
it is written in a beautiful but peculiar Latin honeycombed with biblical
and patristic citations and marked by a frequent use of nouns with
diminutive endings--the very Latin in which Erasmus wrote the great
literary works that he acknowledged, like The Praise of Folly,
and the funnier one that he did not [acknowledge], the Julius Excluded
duplici martyrio is not Erasmus' discovery but his composition;
it marks an effort to find the support of the early Church for his
theology at the cost--which he elsewhere insisted must never be paid--of
falsifying the records of that Church.
GREATEST PATRISTIC SCHOLAR [ERASMUS] OF THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY
FORGED A MAJOR PATRISTIC WORK.16'
[See 1805 (Paret)].
"16. Cf. Erasmus' provision by back-translation from the
Vulgate of the Greek text of the last six verses of the Apocalypse,
in its own way a form of invention of evidence that his manuscripts
did not provide. See B.M. Metzger, The Text of the New Testament,
2d ed. (Oxford, 1968), 99-100." .
was not the only grave and learned gentleman to hoax the entire world
of learning with an uncharacteristic piece of fakery.
Sigonio [see 1991], later in the sixteenth century,
was the dominant scholar of his day in two or three fields--the reconstruction
of the chronology and constitutional history of early Rome, the history
of medieval Italy, and the theory of historiography. A revered
teacher and prolific writer, he was especially known for his mastery
of Cicero's works and HIS own ABILITY TO WRITE PURE CICERONIAN
PROSE. Early in the 1580s he brought out a new text supposedly
communicated to him by a printer--the Consolation, mentioned
above, which Cicero wrote on his daughter's death. This work,
preserved only in fragments and testimonies by classical authors,
was avidly bought, eagerly read, and immediately denounced. Contemporary
readers thought the work tried far too hard to prove its own authenticity;
it contained Italianisms of style, alien turns of thought, and even
phrases borrowed from earlier Renaissance writers. Though not all
agreed where responsibility must lie, many attached it to Sigonio
himself, especially when he defended the book, lamely but doggedly,
against all attackers. The controversy brought only discredit on Sigonio,
and the text itself seems unworthy of his attention, or his authorship.17
Still, it seems certain that Sigonio did write it, perhaps as an exercise
in the rhetorical genre of the Consolation, perhaps with help--yet
certainly under false pretenses. [see 1901-1903]
THIS CASE AS IN ERASMUS', A GREAT SCHOLAR EMERGES AS A GREAT SINNER
AGAINST THE ELEMENTARY RULES OF SCHOLARSHIP, EVEN THOUGH NOTHING IN
HIS EARLIER LIFE PREPARES US FOR THIS.
Sigorio's [Sigonio's] case, unlike in Erasmus', there is
no obvious idealistic justification for his act." [45, 48].
DESIRE TO FORGE, IN OTHER WORDS, CAN INFECT ALMOST ANYONE: THE LEARNED
AS WELL AS THE IGNORANT, THE HONEST PERSON AS WELL AS THE ROGUE.
In some contexts, naturally, it did not seem so immoral as in others--or,
perhaps, did not seem immoral at all. Nanni [Annius
of Viterbo (Giovanni Nanni) c. 1432 - 1502 (Catholic Encyc.)]
[see 1744-1746], for example, was a Dominican [Dominicans:
"The Hounds of Hell"!]; the mendicant friars of the later
Middle Ages often seem to have acted on the assumption that real records
and facts needed to be heightened and dramatized if they were to do
justice to their sacred subjects. Medieval Dominican biographers
of Saint Jerome embroidered the facts they had with
the more colorful story that he had reappeared again and again after
his death in solid, material form--that he had pushed an insufficiently
respectful abbot to the edge of a cliff and allowed him to live only
after he promised to build a church and dedicate it to Jerome.
Early sixteenth-century Dominicans in Bern adorned a statue
of the Virgin Mary with drops of varnish, to show that the statue
wept and thus possessed miraculous powers; they even spoke through
her lips, inserting a speaking tube to utter supposedly divine prophecies
and commands.18 Like those earlier rabbis whose exegetical
method of aggadah, the provision of edifying stories,
filled in the factual gaps and missing motives in the austere dramas
of the Pentateuch, the Dominicans invented the texts and facts they
needed even when discussing subjects and beings of the utmost seriousness.
There was after all no other way, in this increasingly
literate and critical
age, to defend the orally transmitted traditions of the late medieval
church. Nanni participated not only in a long-term literary tradition
of forgery but in the late medieval fiction-producing culture of his
order [see Appendix III, 724 (Benedictines [see 1989])]; as well;
no wonder, then, that he felt licensed to restore [?] the truth [?]
by pia fraus.
to infer, as some historians have done, from single cases like
Nanni's the more general assertion that the flourishing of
forgery reveals that early periods did not share our notion
of truth and authority, is surely unjustified. Forgery evidently
tempts the virtuous as well as the weak, and has been practiced by
those who condemned it most sharply. General theses cannot possibly
do justice to this tangle of complex individual cases." [48-49].
generalizations shed little light on the obscure realm of ends, they
brilliantly illuminate the vivid realm of means. Forgers have
been as consistent over the ages in their choice of media as they
have been diverse in their personalities and interests. A relatively
restricted group of colors makes the forger's palette, now as two
millennia ago. After all, the forger has to carry out a limited
range of tasks, one that has not altered greatly over time. He
must give his text the appearance--the linguistic appearance as a
text and the physical appearance as a document--of something from
a period dramatically earlier than and different from his own. He
must, in other words, imagine two things: what a text would
have looked like when it was written and what it should
look like now that he has found it. Two forms of
imagination should lead to two different, complementary acts of falsification:
he must produce a text that seems distant from the present day
and an object that seems distant from its purported time of origin.
Two further technical tasks remain: he must explain where his
document came from and reveal how it fits into the jigsaw puzzle
of other surviving documents that makes up his own period's record
of an authoritative or attractive period in the past. Imagination
and corroboration, the creation of the forgery and the provision of
its pedigree: these deceptively simple requirements are almost all
that a forger has to meet. But they are not exhaustive, and the last
one is as crucial as it is often elusive. THE FORGER NEEDS
TO GIVE HIS WORK AN AIR OF CONVICTION AND REALITY, A SENSE OF AUTHENTICITY."
richest of all historical studies on forgery, Wolfgang Speyer's
[see 1991] magnificent Die literarische Fälschung im heidnischen
und christlichen Altertum , arranges material
from virtually all primary and secondary sources on ancient criticism
in a lucid, jargon-free, and mercifully concise account. Speyer
reveals again and again the penetrating insight and meticulous
attention to detail that Alexandrian and Christian scholars
often brought to the tasks of higher criticism. Yet Speyer's
book implies that the criticism now practiced differs fundamentally
from that known before the last centuries. He suggests that criticism
has become in modern times an objective study applied to all
sources; criticism in antiquity was a subjective study applied
to sources one wished to attack. The one ["objective"] forms
part of philology, the other ["subjective"] part of rhetoric;
the one ["objective"] takes an impartial and exhaustive
approach, the other a subjective and erratic one. This distinction
is vitally important, as we will see, but it needs qualification and
supplementation if it is to yield the fullest possible insight.2"
[1646 - 1729] [see Appendix III, 717-732 (Jean Hardouin)] HAD USED
THE EVIDENCE OF ANCIENT COINS TO ARGUE THE INAUTHENTICITY OF VIRTUALLY
EVERY ANCIENT TEXT EXCEPT PLINY'S NATURAL HISTORY AND HORACE'S
EPISTLES ("Virgil," he wrote, "never thought
for a second of writing the Aeneid"), AND HAD THUS
GIVEN NOT JUST A MONUMENTAL EXAMPLE OF LEARNED CRANKINESS BUT A POWERFUL
IMPETUS TO CRITICAL SCRUTINY OF ALL SOURCES, THE APPARENTLY GENUINE
AS WELL AS THE OBVIOUSLY SUSPECT....' [72-73]. [See: 1989 (Hardouin)].
a condensed but comprehensive survey of the general history of scholarship
in the West, see L.D. Reynolds and N.G. Wilson, Scribes
and Scholars, 2d ed. (Oxford, 1974), which ranges widely and offers
helpful guidance to the monographic literature. More detailed accounts
are provided by the old but informative History of Classical Scholarship
by J.E. Sandys (Cambridge, 1903-1908), and the two more recent
volumes by R. Pfeiffer, History of Classical Scholarship
from the Beginnings to the End of the Hellenistic Age (Oxford,
1968) and History of Classical Scholarship from 1300 to 1850
(Oxford, 1976), best consulted in the revised German edition, Die
Klassische Philologie von Petrarca bis Mommsen (Munich, 1982).
best single prospect of the whole history of forgery, as I have said
before, is afforded by W. Speyer's [see 1991] Die literarische
Fälschung im heidnischen und christlichen Altertum (Munich,
1971), which includes much material on modern forgery (and
criticism) as well as their earlier counterparts. N. Brox offers
a lucid and helpfully skeptical supplementary account in Falsche
Verfasserangaben (Stuttgart, 1975). The older compilation by J.A.
Farrer, Literary Forger [Forgeries]
(London, 1907) [see 1888-1894], is broad-gauged and informative, though
generally antiquated on points of detail. The most stimulating general
treatments in English are G. Bagnani, "On Fakes and Forgeries,"
Phoenix 14 (1960): 228-244, and R. Syme, "Fiction
and Credulity," in his Emperors and Biography: Studies in
the Historia Augusta (Oxford, 1971). The best recent survey in
English is B. M. Metzger, "Literary Forgeries and
Canonical Pseudepigrapha," in New Testament Studies: Philological,
Versional, and Patristic (Leiden, 1980), 1-22 [see 1757-1769];
see also D.G. Meade, Pseudonymity and Canon (Grand Rapids,
Mich., 1988). both have good bibliographies. Some of the more original
and influential articles on forgery in the ancient world are
collected in Pseudepigraphie in der heidnischen und jüdisch-christlichen
Antike, ed. N. Brox (Darmstadt, 1977).
medieval forgery, see in general P. Lehmann, Pseudo-Antike
Literatur des Mittelalters (Leipzig, 1927; repr. Darmstadt, 1964);
H. Fuhrmann, "Die Fälschungen im Mittelalter," Historische
Zeitschrift 197 (1963): 529-554; G. Constable, "Forgery
and Plagiarism in the Middle Ages," Archiv für Diplomatik,
Schriftgeschichte, Siegel - und Wappenkunde 29 (1983): 1-41; and
P. Meyvaert, "Medieval Forgers and Modern Scholars:
Tests of Ingenuity," in The Role of the Book in Medieval Culture,
ed. P. Ganz (Turnhout, 1986), I:83-95.
For forgery and
its neighbors in Renaissance culture, the most insightful general
treatment remains C. Mitchell, "Archaeology and Romance
in Renaissance Italy," in Italian Renaissance Studies, ed.
E.F. Jacob (London, 1960); for criticism, see the contrasting
general accounts of P.G. Schmidt, "Kritische Philologie
und pseudoantike Literatur," in Die Antike-Rezeption in den
Wissenschaften während der Renaissance, ed. A. Buck and K.
Heitmann (Weinheim, 1983), and A. Grafton, "Higher Criticism
Ancient and Modern: The Lamentable Deaths of Hermes and the Sibyls,"
in The Uses of Greek and Latin: Historical Essays, ed. A.C.
Dionisotti et al. (London, 1988).
the new pasts invented in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries,
see in general I. Haywood, The Making of History (Rutherford,
Madison, and Teaneck, 1986). An invaluable guide to the Enlightenment's
new forms of historical consciousness is L. Gossman's Medievalism
and the Ideologies of the Enlightenment (Baltimore, 1968). Perhaps
the deepest study of a modern forger is that found in the notes
to D.S. Taylor's edition of Chatterton's Complete Works
(Oxford, 1971); see also his fine work, Thomas Chatterton's Art
(Princeton, 1978). I. Haywood's Faking It (Brighton,
1987) summarizes the argument of his larger book and briefly considers
both some more recent literary forgeries and the related question,
into which I cannot enter here, of the forgery of works of
art. See also the far more elaborate, and still stimulating, treatment
of the latter topic by O. Kurz: Fakes, 2d ed. (New York,
single work surveys all the methods of detection applied by modern
critics, but R.D. Altick's The Scholar Adventurers
(New York, 1950) vividly describes a number of them as applied in
specific episodes. Finally, the BRITISH MUSEUM FORGERY SHOW OF
1990 [see 1737-1751] will present the largest assembly yet made
of forged texts and objects. Its catalogue (by
N. Barker) will not only reproduce many of these but also provide
further information on many of the literary forgers and critics
discussed in this book.' [151-153] [End of: "A Note on Further
from: The Witnesses
to the Historicity of Jesus, by Arthur Drews [1865 - 1935],
Tr. Joseph McCabe, Watts, 1912. Arno reprint, 1972. [See: 1856-1857].
THE QUESTION OF THE GENUINENESS OF "ANNALS," XV, 44.
is, however, not superfluous, perhaps, to consider more closely what
is regarded as the most important profane witness for the historicity
of Jesus--that of Tacitus. Such witnesses still seem to make a
great impression on the general public. Even theologians who are themselves
convinced of the worthlessness of such witnesses as regards the problem
we are considering do not fail, as a rule, to repeat them to "the
people" as if they gave some confirmation of their belief in
an historical Jesus. That would be prevented once for all if it could
be proved that the whole passage is not from the pen of Tacitus
at all. However, this statement, which I advanced in the Christ
Myth in accordance with the view of the French writer Hochart,
has been so vehemently attacked, even by those who, like Weiss
and Weinel, admit the worthlessness of the passage as far as
the historicity of Jesus is concerned, that it seems necessary to
inquire somewhat closely into the genuineness of Annals,
xv, 44.' [24-25].
for the Genuineness.
can, of course, be no question of any impossibility of interpolating
the passage [Annals 15:44 (see 1852-1853)] in the Annals
on the ground of "the inimitable style of Tacitus,"
as defenders of the genuineness repeat after Gibbon.1
There is no "inimitable" style for the clever forger,
and the more unusual, distinctive, and peculiar a style is, like that
of Tacitus, the easier it is to imitate it. It would be strange if
a monastic copyist of Tacitus, occupied with his work for months,
if not for years, could not so far catch his style as to be able to
write these twenty or twenty-five lines in the manner of Tacitus.
Teuffel, in his Geschichte der Röm. Literature (5th
ed. 1890, ii, 1137), commends Sulpicius Severus [see 1991]
for his "skill" in imitating Tacitus, among others,
in his composition. Such an imitation is not, in my opinion, beyond
the range of possibility. Moreover, as far as the historicity of
Jesus is concerned, we are, perhaps, interested only in one single
sentence of the passage, and that has nothing distinctively Tacitan
Equally invalid is
the claim that the way in which Tacitus speaks of the Christians
excludes all idea of a Christian interpolation. Von
Soden thinks that
"would certainly have put early Christianity in a more
favourable light, as they always did when they falsified the
story of the rise of Christianity [pause] in
the historical works they read."
overlooks the fact that the injurious epithets on the new religion
and its adherents would probably, in the opinion of the forger,
tend to strengthen its chances of passing as genuine. They are just
what one might suppose to be in harmony with the disposition of Tacitus.
The expressions, moreover, are at once enfeebled by the
reference to the sympathy [see 1815 (Paret)] that the Romans
are supposed to have felt for the victims of Nero's cruelty. It
is a common occurrence in the accounts of the Christian martyrs
for the pagan opponents of Christianity to find their hostility
changed into sympathy, and recognise the innocence of the persecuted
Christians. We need quote only the description of Pilate
in Matthew and Luke--his "I find no blame in him"
and "I am innocent of the blood of this just man"--and the
supposed words of Agrippa when Paul is charged before
him: "This man doeth nothing worthy of death or of bonds."1
So Pliny the younger condemns the Christians in his
letter to Trajan, although he acknowledges their innocence.
This, it is true, is not the case with [pseudo] Tacitus; he
seems rather to regard the Christians as guilty, whether or
no they were the authors of the fire. But he allows the spectators
to be touched with pity for the executed Christians, and thus
awakens a sympathetic feeling for them in the readers of his narrative.
is said, however, that Tacitus, "on account of the difficulty
of his style and his whole attitude, was not generally read by Christians,"
so that his text is, "in the general opinion of experts, the
freest from corruption of all the ancient writings." So at least
von Soden assures us (p. 11). In this, however, he is merely
repeating the opinion of Gibbon. As a matter of fact, none
of the works of Tacitus have come down to us without interpolations
[see 1852, etc.]. This supposed "purity of the
text of Tacitus as shown by the oldest manuscripts" exists
only in the imagination of Gibbon and those who follow him. It
is, further, not true that the Christians did not read Tacitus.
We have a number of instances in the first centuries of Christian
writers who are acquainted with Tacitus, such
as Tertullian, Jerome, Orosius, Sidonius Apollinaris, Sulpicius
Severus, and Cassiodorus. It is only in the course
of the Middle Ages that this acquaintance with the Roman historian
is gradually lost; and this not on account of, but in spite of, the
passage in Tacitus on the Christians. This testimony
of the Roman historian to the supposed first persecution of the Christians
would be very valuable to them for many reasons.' [25-27].
'THE BELIEF THAT
THE NERONIAN PERSECUTION OF THE CHRISTIANS BELONGS TO THE REALM OF FABLE
further confirmed by the fact that the other witnesses that are quoted
for it are just as vague and indecisive. What propagandist material
would not the details of this first persecution of their faith have
furnished to the early Christians! Yet what trace of it do
we find in them? Let us take the evidence of Melito of Sardis.
In his writing to the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, in which he
endeavours to explain to the Emperor how beneficial Christianity
had been to Roman power, we read: "The only emperors who, seduced
by evil-minded men, sought to bring our religion into evil repute,
were Nero and Domitian, and from their time the mendacious
calumny of the Christians has continued, according to the habit
of people to believe imputations without proof." In these words,
which, moreover, are only known to us from Eusebius,1
there is no question of a general persecution of the Christians
under Nero; it is merely stated that Nero tried to bring
the Christians into bad repute. Dionysius of Corinth
(about 170) also, and the presbyter Caius, who lived in the
time of the Roman bishop Zephyrinus (about 200), affirm only,
according to the same Eusebius,2 that Peter
and Paul died the death of martyrs "about the same time"
at Rome,3 [see footnote, 1786] which does not necessarily
mean on the same day or the same occasion, or that the "trophies
of their victory" are to be seen on the Vatican and the road
to Ostia. Of the Neronian persecution they tell us nothing.
In Tertullian's Apologeticum1 we read that
Nero, cruel to all, was the first to draw the imperial sword
against the Christian sect which then flourished at Rome. He
thinks it an honour to himself and his co-religionists to have been
condemned by such a prince, since everyone who knows him will see
that nothing was condemned by Nero that was not especially
good. But there is nothing in his [Tertullian] words to show
that he was thinking of anything besides the death of the apostles
Peter and Paul. Indeed, he says expressly that the apostles,
scattered over the world at the master's command, after many sufferings
at length shed their blood at Rome through the cruelty of Nero,
and he [Tertullian] urges the pagans to read the proofs
of this in their own "Commentaries"; which is
much the same as when
REFERS TO THE ROMAN ARCHIVES [Tertullian: Apologeticus
XXI:20 (is "archives" in the Latin?)] THOSE WHO DOUBT
THE GOSPEL NARRATIVE OF THE EXECUTION OF JESUS [a classic Bluff
(see Loeb, Apologeticus, 112 (footnote [?]))! Tertullian? Century?].2
We read much the same in the same writer's Scorp., ch. xv:
"Nero was the first to stain the early faith with blood.
Then was Peter (according to the word of Christ) girded
by another, as he was fixed to the cross. Then did Paul obtain
the Roman right of citizenship in a higher sense, as he was born again
there by his noble martyrdom [martyrology!]."3
remains only the witness of Eusebius and of Revelation
[negated] [not presented]. Eusebius, however, merely reproduces4
the statement of Tertullian that Nero was the first of the emperors
to become an open enemy of the divine religion. He writes: "Thus
Nero raged even against the apostles [Fictional characters!
(see #8, 200-203)], and so declared himself the first of the arch-enemies
of God. It is recorded that under him Paul was beheaded at
Rome and Peter was crucified under him." In proof of this
he points to the fact that the names of Peter and Paul
remained until his
time on an inscription in the burying-place at Rome [more martyrology!].'
'3In this connection it may be observed that all these
references in EUSEBIUS must be regarded with the greatest suspicion.
This man, whom Jakob Burckhardt has called "THE FIRST
THOROUGHLY DISHONEST HISTORIAN OF ANTIQUITY," acts so deliberately
in the interest of the power of the Church and the creation
and strengthening of tradition that far too much notice is taken of
his historical statements. "AFTER THE MANY FALSIFICATIONS,
SUPPRESSIONS, AND FICTIONS WHICH HAVE BEEN PROVED IN HIS WORK, HE
HAS NO RIGHT TO BE PUT FORWARD AS A DECISIVE AUTHORITY; AND TO THESE
FAULTS WE MUST ADD A CONSCIOUSLY PERVERSE MANNER OF EXPRESSION, DELIBERATE
BOMBAST, AND MANY EQUIVOCATIONS, SO THAT THE READER STUMBLES UPON
TRAPDOORS AND PITFALLS IN THE MOST IMPORTANT PASSAGES." (J.
Burckhardt [1818 - 1897], Lebon Konstantins, 2nd ed.
1860, pp. 307, 335, 347.)' [32-33].
Orosius also, the friend and admirer of Augustine, relies
expressly on Suetonius for the expulsion of the Jews from Rome
under Claudius, and even mentions the Neronian persecution,
which, according to him, spread over every province of the empire,2
but for this does not quote the witness of either Tacitus or
Suetonius. When we further reflect that neither Trajan nor
Pliny mentions the Neronian persecution of the Christians
in his correspondence, although there was every occasion to do so,
since they were discussing the judgment and treatment of the Bithynian
Christians, we can hardly do otherwise than regard THE
PASSAGE IN SUETONIUS'S LIFE OF NERO as A LATER
INTERPOLATION [see 1878]." .
we take account of these many possible interpretations of Annals,
xv, 44, all of which are as probable as, if not more probable
than, the customary Christian explanation, the narrative
of Tacitus cannot be quoted as a witness to the historicity of Jesus.
We may say, indeed, that history has hitherto treated the passage,
in view of its importance, with an absolutely irresponsible superficialness
and levity...." .
Arguments against the Genuineness.
General Observations.--As regards the passage in Tacitus,
the simple credulity with which it had hitherto been accepted led
to a sceptical attitude, not only abroad, where the Frenchman Hochart,1
the Dutchman Pierson,2 the English author of
Antiqua Mater , Edwin Johnson, the American William
Benjamin Smith in Ecce Deus (1911), and others assailed
its genuineness, but also in German science. Besides Bruno Bauer,3
H. Schiller has drawn attention to certain difficulties in
the Tacitean tradition that had been overlooked; and even Arnold
acknowledges, though he endeavours to show the unsoundness of the
critical view of the passage, that "this reference, which had
hitherto been regarded as quite simple and easy to understand, has
been very little understood."4 According to Hochart
the passage ["The Annals of Tacitus", XV:44] contains
as many insoluble difficulties as it does words.5 ....'
'Death by fire
was not a form of punishment inflicted at Rome in the time of Nero
[Emperor 54 - 68 (37 - 68)]. It is opposed to the moderate principles
on which the accused were then dealt with by the State. The use of the
Christians as "living torches," as Tacitus describes,
and all the other atrocities that were committed against them, have
little title to credence, and suggest an imagination exalted by reading
stories of the later Christian martyrs. The often
quoted statements of Juvenal and Seneca have no bearing
on this; they are not connected with the Christians, and need
not in the least be regarded as references to the members of the new
sect sacrificed by Nero.
victims cannot possibly have been given to the flames in the gardens
of Nero, as Tacitus says. According to his own account, these
gardens were the refuge of those whose homes had been burned, and
were full of tents and wooden sheds. It is hardly probable that Nero
would incur the risk of a second fire by his "living torches,"
and still less probable that he mingled with the crowd and feasted
his eyes on the ghastly spectacle. Tacitus tells us in his life of
Agricola that Nero had crimes committed, but kept his own eyes of
them. THE GARDENS OF NERO (ON THE PRESENT VATICAN) SEEM TO HAVE
BEEN CHOSEN AS THE THEATRE OF THE DEED MERELY TO STRENGTHEN THE LEGEND
THAT THE HOLY OF HOLIES OF CHRISTIANITY, THE CHURCH OF ST. PETER,
WAS BUILT ON THE SPOT ON WHICH THE FIRST CHRISTIAN MARTYRS HAD SHED
THEIR BLOOD.1 [see 1815]
there is the complete silence of profane writers and the vagueness
of the Christian writers on the matter; the latter only gradually
come to make a definite statement of a general persecution of the
Christians under Nero, whereas at first they make Nero put
to death only Peter and Paul. The first unequivocal mention
off the Neronian persecution in connection with the burning of Rome
is found in the forged correspondence of Seneca and the
apostle Paul, which belongs to the fourth century. A fuller account
is then given in the Chronicle of Sulpicius Severus [see 1991]
(died 403 A.D.), but it is mixed with the most transparent Christian
legends, such as the story of the death of Simon Magus, the bishopric
and sojourn of Peter at Rome, etc. The expressions of Sulpicius
agree, in part, almost word for word with those of Tacitus. It
is, however, very doubtful, in view of the silence of the other Christian
authors who used Tacitus, if the manuscript of Tacitus which Sulpicius
used contained the passage in question. We are therefore strongly
disposed to suspect that the passage (Annals, xv, 44) was transferred
from Sulpicius to the text of Tacitus by the hand of a monastic copyist
or forger, for the greater glory of God and in order to
strengthen the truth of the Christian tradition by a pagan
witness.1 [see footnote, 1788] [see 1813]
how could the legend arise that Nero was the first to persecute
the Christians? It arose, says Hochart, under a threefold influence.
The first is the apocalyptic idea, which saw in Nero the Antichrist,
the embodiment of all evil, the terrible adversary of the Messiah
and his followers. As such he was bound, by a kind of natural enmity,
to have been the first to persecute the Christians; as Sulpicius
puts it, "because vice is always the enemy of the good."2
[see footnote, 1788] The second is the political interest
of the Christians in representing themselves as Nero's victims,
in order to win the favour and protection of his successors on that
account. The third is the special interest of the Roman Church in
the death of the two chief apostles, Peter and Paul, at Rome. Then
the author of the letters of Seneca to Paul
enlarged the legend
in its primitive form, brought it into agreement with the ideas of this
time, and gave it a political turn. The vague charges of incendiarism
assumed a more definite form, and were associated with the character
of Antichrist, which the Church was accustomed to ascribe to Nero
on account of his supposed diabolical cruelty. He was accused of inflicting
horrible martyrdoms on the Christians, and thus the legend in
its latest form reached the Chronicle [Historia
Sacra (see 1990)] of Sulpicius. Finally [third]
a clever forger (Poggio?) smuggled the dramatic account
of this persecution into the Annals of Tacitus,
and thus secured the acceptance as historical fact of a purely imaginary
story [Nero, and, "Christians"].
need not recognise all Hochart's arguments as equally sound, yet we
must admit that in their entirety and agreement they are worthy of
consideration, and are well calculated to disturb the ingenuous belief
in the authenticity of the passage of Tacitus. It seems as if official
"science" is here again, as in so many other cases, under
the dominion of a long-continued suggestion, in taking the narrative
of Tacitus to be genuine without further examination. We must not
forget what a close connection there is between this narrative and
the whole of Christian history, and what interest religious education
and the Church have in preventing any doubt from being cast on it.
Otherwise how can we explain that no one took any notice during
the whole of the Middle Ages of a passage of such great importance
for the history and prestige of the Church? No one, in fact, seems
to have had the least suspicion of its existence until it was found
in the sole copy at that time of Tacitus, the Codex Mediceus II,
printed by Johann and his brother Wendelin von Speyer [see 1991]
about 1470 at Venice, of which all the other manuscripts are copies.1
Our historians as a rule are content to reproduce the narrative
of Tacitus in somewhat modified [see 1852 ("eclectic")]
terms, without making any close scrutiny of Annals,
xv, 44 [see 1855]; thus does Domaszewski, for instance, in his
History of the Roman Empire (1909), to say nothing of the numerous
popular manuals of history. BUT OUR WHOLE SCIENCE OF HISTORY IS
STILL, AS REGARDS THE ORIGIN OF CHRISTIANITY,
THE MISCHIEVOUS INFLUENCE OF THEOLOGY,
IS CONTENT TO REPRODUCE ITS STATEMENTS WITHOUT INQUIRY'.
(see 1787)] "
- In his De l'Authenticit
des Histoires et des Annales de Tacite Hochart points
out that, whereas the Life of St. Martin and the Dialogues
of Sulpicius were found in many libraries, there was only
one manuscript of his Chronicle [Historia Sacra
(see 1990)], probably of the eleventh century, which is now in the
Vatican. Hence the work was almost unknown throughout the Middle
Ages, and no one was aware of the [supposed] reference
in it to a Roman persecution of the Christians. It is
noteworthy that Poggio Bracciolini seems by some lucky chance
to have discovered and read this manuscript (work quoted, p. 225).
Cf. Nouvelles Considerations, pp. 142-72.
- Compare Eusebius,
Eccl. Hist., ii, 28." .
the path breaker J.W. Ross (1878)", THE
ANNALS OF POGGIO BRACCIOLINI AND OTHER FORGERIES, LOUIS PARET.
Augustin S.A. 75018 Paris, Pb., 1992 [1995?], Numero d'Imprimeur 2-907
179-17-9 [my copy, is the only copy I have encountered (no copy in the
University of California system)]. [See: 1690]. [Note: many misspellings,
etc. (most are noted). Translation, etc., problems?].
letter, inserted in book]
Paret...[Paris address (I mailed a letter requesting communication
(no response)), and phone number (did not function for
of Tennessee Knoxville.
book presents FORGERIES THROUGH 30 CENTURIES.
title refers to the forgery committed by the Florentine Poggio Bracciolini
from 1423 to 1429.
forgery was denounced by J.W. Ross in 1878 and by P. Hochart in 1890
and 1894. The author [Louis Paret] adds 14 arguments to the
18 arguments of Ross and Hochart.
"Annals" are written on two parchments kept in
the Laurenziana Library of Florence.
listed as Mediceus II, written in Lombard letters, relates
in books XI to XVI the lasts years of Claudius (47 to 54 a.D.) and
the first 12 years of Nero (54 to 66, two years before his
death in 68). It appeared around 1450 in Florence, in an unexplained
manner. "Certain aspects of its discovery are veiled
in obscurity" - Michael Grant.
other, Mediceus II [?] 58.1, written in Carolingian letters,
describes in books I to VI, the reign of Tiberius (14 to 37 a.D.)
"Rescued from the forests of Germany",
it was bought for 500 gold sequins from an unknown seller by Pope
Leo X in 1513.
these Annals (name coined in 1533) were unknown until
1450 and 1513, their origin is wrapped in mystery. They are
said without proofs by some Latinists to date from the eleventh century
[ninth century claimed for Annales I-VI (see 1852 (Tacitus,
Jackson), 238], though during these 400 years (c. 1050 to 1450) no
author alludes to these texts.
by C14 will easily reveal the age of the two parchments.
The laboratory of Professor Willy Wölffi, which groups the
physicists of Federal polytechnic School of Zürich and the Institute
Paul Scherrer of Villingen (Switzerland) and ascertained the true
age of the Turin Shroud, will easily determine the age of two
parchments and the eventual difference of age between them which appeared
mysteriously at an interval of 80 years.
can certainly obtain from the Laurenziana the few square centimetres
of parchments needed for the dating, from the bottom of pages and
from the pages left for unexplained reasons partially unwritten
with the uncompleted text.
other 24 forgeries, culled from the tens of thousands of forgeries
exposed by hundreds of specialists, have been chosen for their amusing
character or their lethal result.' [End of letter]. [Received
this book c. 7/22/2001].
the page on Deuteronomy is inspired from F. Delisch (Bible
and Babel, 1903) and Joseph McCabe.
the critic of the Ignatius letters and the Pliny letters
owes much to R. Joly of the Free University of Brussels.
[sic] the Lyons martyrs [see 1798] are "eliminated"
on the obvious basis of Tertullian's Apologet. c. 192 aD and
Iraeneus [Irenaeus] adv. Haer; c. 202 aD.
the Donatio Constantini is derived mostly from Ignasz Döllinger,
who opposed the dogma of Papal infallibility.
Eleven days are taken from J.V. Leclerc (1838)
the chapter on Ptolemy is summarized for Astronomy from Robert
Newton (the crime of Claudius Ptolemy) and for Geograph
[apparently, Geography] from G. Berthelot (l'Asie ancienne.
the forgeries in Ancient times, Middle Ages and modern are quoted
from the exhaustive--and exhausting--Fälschungen by W. SPEYER
[see 1991] (München 1971) which condenses the findings of 7 industrious
Germans from 1890 onward and reports some 6,000 forgeries of all types.
for the Annals of Tacitus, the book "Bible Myths"
[see 1770-1776] 1920 gave me in a foot-note the name of J.W. ROSS
(1878). In the British Library the book revealed to my surprise
that not only the famous paragraph 44. of book XV (146 words) was
forged, but the whole book (87,534 words). The two books (1890,
1894) of P. Hochart add only a solid argument for the forgery
and some debatable suggestions.
the Historia Augusta (110,000 words) denounced by H. Dessau
in 1889, is described briefly.
the chapter Relics is taken mostly from the standard work of
Collin de Plancy (1828) and from 7 others [see 1824].
the largely ignored or denied MADOC story is taken wholly from Richard
Deacon (N.Y. 1966) who crossed alone the Atlantic Ocean in a small
flat-bottomed landing craft of World War II. He obtained information
from 30 specialists, mostly in Wales and libraries in Wales, London,
New York and Amsterdam.
Marco Polo's Devisement is the story of a true voyage to China,
despite the doubts raised by experts since 1828 and repeated in 1995.
the page on Vespucci condenses the authoritative work by F.J.
Pohl (N.Y. 1944)
The pages on W. Shakespeare from the definitive "Shakespeare
rediscovered" by Clara Longworth Countess Chambrun (N.Y.
The rehabilitation of Richard III from the mythoclastic "the
daughter of Time" by Josephine TEY (n.d.) and from Historical
enigmas (1981) of Hugh Williamson.
"a necklace for the Queen" is condensed from standard historical
Leo Taxil's fantastic books, from the review HISTORIA.
"History of a myth" by Norman Cohn supplied the pages
"Protocols of (the Sages) of Zion". Some Communist statistics
explain the articles of the London Times and the Morning
Post in 1920.
Several true and false scientific forgeriesfrom [forgeries
from] 1917 to 1934.
the vexed question of the authorship of the Piltdown skull forgery
follows Stephen Jay Gould, and for the Sinanthropus it quotes
Hervé Le Goff.
for the Lusitania sinking, H. Le Goff completes with
many important details (1982) omitted by Colin Simpson (1971)
The murder of Marshal Tukhatchevsky by Stalin is taken
from the review Historia
the statistics of the Nazi death camps are taken from the "Atlas
of the Shoah" [Holocaust] by Martin Gilbert
[see Addition 37, 2007].
the pages on Eisenhower are wholly from "Other losses'["]
by the Canadian James Bacque (Toronto 1989) who for years conducted
research in official and military circles in Washington including
Col. E.F. Fisher, Chief Historian of U.S. Army.
the million of German war prisoners missing represents scarcely
2% of the war casualties of 1939-1945, the fact that [they] died
in peace time makes this story worth retelling.
a brief article on art forgeries, maintaining only four
well-known fakes--from the review of Science et Vie.' [no page
following text is not to be construed as denying or affirming the
divinity of YESHUA HA NOZRI (Jesus)
WHELESS [see 1880-1881] writes: "Even a casual study of the
Four Gospels reveals that alleged doings and sayings attributed
to Jesus are scraps of fiction framed to fit and hang upon the flimsy
pegs of some odd ends out of Hebrew scriptures and tortured by
the sophistry of Christian priests into a "prophecy of
God" somehow "fulfilled" by this or that of the alleged
sayings or doings of Jesus.
Proscrustes' bed [Greek legend], the Hebrew texts
existed and the pious "Fathers" invented
Jesus-incidents which they tortured to fit the bed
Greek, Persan [sic], Hindu, Chinese, Maya gods or rulers born of virgins
Isaia [sic] 33:16
Psaum [sic] 34:31
Mary still virgin bears
Birth at Bethlehem
Birth in grotto
Rachel in Babylon cries for
Flight into Egypt
the Just heals the sick
the just flees naked
rides ass into town
grotto of brigands
[2 Greek words]
none of his bones..broken
side pierced by lance
keys of the House of David
Matt. I: 18-19
Matt. 2:18 (Herod)
Lk. 4:40, 5/35
Mk. 1:44, 3:5, 5:24
[which text(s)?] ignored by Ireneus [Irenaeus] in 180 but known by
Tertullian in 200 a.D)'  [End of entry]. [See: 1504-1518 (Shires)].
[see 1706 (Strange)]
attested only by Eusebios [Eusebius] of Cesarea,
c. 302 (Hist. eccl. III:36) and by 7 forged letters.
Eusebius terms him the third Bishop of Antioch in Syria, deducing
this from the Chronologie of Julius Africanus who knew "by
tradition" the names of the bishops of Antioch since 150 aD to
210 when he wrote. To obtain a list of Antioch bishops corresponding
to the list of fabulous bishops of Rome from St Peter down to 150,
he eecided [decided] to give Ignatius the third position, after Peter
and an unknown second. From this Chronology and as the forged letters
gave no clue to any date, Eusebius calculated that Ignatius
had been martyred in 107 under Trajan.
is the rickety scaffolding accepted by all "pious" writers.
AS USUALLY FORGERIES TANGLE WITH OTHER FORGERIES, if Ignatius
had been executed in 107, Pliny, Imperial Legate in Bithynia
would not have had to requext [request] Trajan in 110, for information
about the procedure against the numerous Christians in Bithynia
and the usual punishments. Trajan or the Imperial Chancery
would have replied curtly, after wondering about Pliny's ignorance,
that Christians were to be punished according to the "Institutum
Neronianum" (invented by Tertullian c. 192) and the
[supposed] execution of Bishop Ignatius [?] 3 years
credibility of Julius Africanus [c. 180 - c. 250 ("Christian
writer")] is about nil, as this worthy reports having seen at
Apamea the planks of Noah's arch the terebinth bush where Jacob buried
his Mesopotamian idols and Jacob's tent, while he was guarding his
travels from Antioch to Smyrna (Lydia) mentions no city in the 5 provinces
he crosses on the way and sends 7 letters to Christians in
Lydia only. The forger is a Smyrniote. The 7 Ignatius letters
are addressed to the Christians in Ephesos, Magnesia, Tralles,
Philadelphia, Smyrna, Rome and to Polycarpos, bishop of Smyrna.
to the letters, Bishop Ignatius is the only one of his community to
be condemned. All his flock is left in perfect peace. Phila. 10.1
"I am told that thanks to your prayers..the Church of
Antioch in Syria is in peace.. Elect a deacon.. Smyrn. 11.2-3 "your
Church should send a messenger to Syria to rejoice.. to have peace
and recovered their greatness and been reestablished..it would be
well of you to send a messenger with a letter to celebrate with them
the recovered peace thanks to God". Polycarp. 7.1-2 "..as
the Church of Antioch is in peace, thanks to God.."
is absurd to believe that only the Bishop of the sect was seized and
sent overseas with an escort of ten soldiers to Rome to be executed.
forger of Pliny's letter n 96 (p. 10) states that provincial
Christians so numerous in the small towns of Bithynia were
executed and Christian Romans sent to Rome for execution. But
in Antioch, the largest Roman city in Asia Minor, only the bishop
is seized to be martyred in Rome. And ten soldiers (10 "leopards")
guard him from Antioch to Rome, expensive escort!
is taken to Rome under heavy guard, not directly by ship as St
Paul did, but through Cilicia and Phrygia, where small Christian
communities dating from St Paul existed, but no letter or even a mention
writes to 6 Churches but not to his own Church at Antioch, he cites
Antioch 3 times (Phil. 10.1, Smyrn. 11.1, Polyc. 7.1) but 14 times
"Syria" or "the
finds a messenger to carry a letter to Rome, 2000 km distant,
but he only suggests 4 times (1 to Antioch, 3 to Syria) (Phil. 10.1)
to send a message to the flock in Syria. "it is convenient for
you to send one of your faithful to go to Syria to rejoice witthem
[with them] over the peace they now enjoy".
forger makes Ignatius write to 6 Churches but not to his own
for a simple reason: if the forged letter to Antioch (probably
forged around c. 163 and not in 107) had come to the true bishop
of Antioch, the forgery would have been obvious to the Christians
there, who recollected no persecution. And neither their bishop
Theophilos (c. 160 aD, attested by St Jerome. Ep. 151. ad Algasiam).
A successor to the martyred bishop would not have failed to extol
in his sermons the memory of his predecessor cruelly martyred in Rome
and who now looked down from Heaven upon his successor and his flock.
his letters Ignatius mentions no companions of martyrdom escorted
with him, though he mentions several visitors: the deacon Philo, the
Syrian Rheus Agal., one Ephesan and six more in Eph. 2
the forged letter of St Polycarp to the Philippians in Greece,
Ignatius has two companions, Zosimos and Rufus sent with him to Rome
for execution. Yet "Ignatius" does not mention these two
future martyrs. The Polycarp letter contradicts itself. In
chapter 9, Ignatius is already dead, holy, makarios[?]. In chapter
13 ": let us know what you have ascertained about Ignatius and
writing fromTroas [from Troas] (180 km NW from Smyrna) (Smyrn. 13:2)
Ignatius does not mention their bishop Polycarp. "I greet..I
salute.." but no Polycarp. "Your bishop worthy of God"
Polycarp is still ignored.
the "Martyrdom of Polycarpos" (17.2) the forger
suggests to Nicetas, father of the Irenarch Herod and brother of alce
[Alce] to request the magistrate to deliver the corpse of the martyr.
In two letters (Smyrn. 13.2, Polyc. 8.3) "Ignatius" greets
the Smyrniote Alce. If Ignatius was martyred in 107 and Polycarp in
163, there is an unexplained interval of 55 years.
interpolated Polycarp letters prove clearly the place of forgery:
Smyrna. Polycarp, the Christian bishop of Smyrna apparently
a quarrelsome personnality [personality], provoked the ire of the
pagan population who compelled the governor to execute him. The Irenarch
["An Eastern provincial governor or keeper of the peace, under
the Roman and Byzantine empires." (O.E.D.)]
pleaded that the games being over, Polycarp could not be thrown to
the beasts. But he had only a few soldiers under his orddrs [orders]
for a province of perhaps one million inhabitants (Roman peace was
no mere word) and mob violence obliged him to let Polycarp be executed.
A case of intercommunity squabble, infinitesimal compared to the slaughters
of Jews and Greeks in Cypre, etc..running into the 50,000. (JUSTER
[probably, Jean Juster 1881 - 1915])
letters are addressed to Smyrna and nearby towns: Ephesos 50 km, Magnesia
80 km, Philadelphia and Tralles 100 km, whereas Antioch is distant
by 800 km as the crow flies, 1300 km by the land route. Between Smyrna
and Antioch lie Phrygia Cilicia and Caria, with 8 towns visited by
St Paul, including Tarsus his birth place and Laodicea, one
of the 7 cities of the Apocalypse. Even when he writes from Troas,
2 of the 3 letters are sent to Smyrna.
Some 200 years later
a forger of the 4th century saw the need of "completing"
the Ignatius letters, with letters to the Christian communities
in the provinces between Antioch and Smyrna: one to Antioch (at last!)
one to Tarsus, birthpaplace [birthplace] of St Paul, another
to the deacon Heron and Maria. As the previous forger had forged
a letter of Polycarp to the Philippians in Greece, the later forger,
an Aryan or an Apolinarist, forged also a letter to the Philippians.
is thus taken to Rome under heavy guard, through all the West of the
province of Asia. His really amiable escort allows him to pen letters
to the Churches there and to receive local Christians.
Those should be hunted, according to letter n 97 of Trajan. to Pliny
in Bithynia. As "delatores" received part of the property
of those they denounced [compare: the Inquisitions], the guardsmen
lost the opportunity to make some fast sesterces.
these letters are similar in general contents. They are really
only sermons disguised as letters. They pursue two main purposes:
injunctions for the complete obedience to bhishops [bishops]:
By insistence on the hierarchy: Bishop, priest, deacon, the absolute
rule of the bishop over his flock. No baptism, no communion, no marriage
without his approval. The bishop represents God, his priests
are the "Senate of the Apostles", the deacons are "Ministers
of Jesus Christ" (Magn. 6). The flock is to revere the
bishop as Jesus himself. The priests are subservient to him,
as the strings of a lyre. (Ephes. 4:1)
the fight against Heretics, as numerous as the Orthodox. Epiphanos
[Epiphanius] in his Panarion [see 1803] lists 80 heresies
to match the 80 concubines of the Canticle. In his Philosophoumena
Hyppolytos denounces the sects. The greatest heresiarch of the second
century was MARCIO of Pontus in Bithynia. He is the "first-born
son of Satan". (see p. 12)
of the above is taken from Robert JOLY, Université Libre in Brussels.
He places [2 vertical marks ("in"?)] 161-2 the execution
of Polycarp 165-8, the seven letters of Ignatius [sic].
he [Robert JOLY] admits both the Pliny letters on the Bithynia
Christians in 110 aD under Trajan and the Lyons martyrs in 177 aD
under Marcus Aurelius (Hist. eccl. of Eusebios). This author
[Louis Paret] does not deal [does deal (see: 1795-1798 (Pliny);
1798-1800 (Marcus Aurelius))] with theee [these] two
[see 1701-1702 (Strange)]
jr, born in 62, held many public functions. He was named sevir
equitum, in 90 quaestor by Domitian, in 92 tribunus plebis, in 93
quaestor and senator, in 105-7 curator alvei Tiberis. In 100 he redacted
the gratiarum acto ordered by a SC ["Senatus Consult"
(see: 1797, 1802)], later expanded to the 20,000 words of Panegyrique.
his friend and senior colleague Tacitus, Pliny was the most prominent
lawyer of his times. For 28 years in Rome he pleaded famous cases,
some in presence of the emperor. (p. [sic]
In 110-111 aD Trajan
named his Legatus Augustii pro praetore consulari potestate in the province
of Bithynia in Asia minor to redress the provincial finances bankrupted
by uncontrolled expenses and thefts.
18 months of travel in Bithynia and sending 95 letters to Trajan,
most about trifling topics, his letter n 96 appears about Christians
in Bithynia, the only letter concerning Christians among the 368 letters
of the 10 books of letters.
letters were published in his life time in 9 books. Book 10 was
published after his death. Sidoine Apollinaire in Gaul (430-487)
knew only 9 books. Book 10 contains 107 letters (106 
Pliny to Trajan [see 1858], one (n 97)
of Trajan to Pliny.
this letter of 410 words, Pliny asks Trakan [Trajan]
to rule under which charge is he to prosecute and condemn Christians.
Without waiting for the imperial answer, Pliny writes that he had
the native Christians executed (jussi duci) and the Christians
of Roman citizenshio [citizenship] noted for shipment to Rome (adnotavi
in Urbem remitendos).
the forger omits the date of the process, the city where these criminal
Christians were arrested, their names and their number, the date of
executions, the names and number of the Roman citizens to be sent
who for 28 years pleaded in Rome and attended court cases, tells Trajan
that he never attended lawsuits against Christians and that
he ignores for which crime they are to be punished (cognitionibus
de Christianis interfui numquam. ideo nescio qui [quid] et
quatenus aut puniri soleat aut quaeri [see 1863]).
this ignorance, Pliny had those who persisted in being Christians
executed. Those who abjured by "cursing" Christ were
Christian testified that Christians met before dqwn
[dawn] to pray to "Christ nearly God" and expressed their
will to commit no crime of assault, theft or adultery.
forger thought himself very clever in contrasting the innocuous
belief of Christians withe the harsh ness [with the harshness]
of the judgment over a "perverse superstition held stubbornly"
(pertinaciam et inflexibilem obstinationem)
case eequir s [requires] Trajan's ruling, in view of the great number
of Christians of all ages, ranks, of both sexes. Temples are
deserted and sacrificial beasts no longer bought. I will punish their
stubborness [stubbornness] and inflexible obstinacy in their perverse
superstition." (pravam, immodicam)
utter lack of logic in Pliny's letter is matched by that in Trajan's
answer of 83 words. "You did well..Christians are
not to be searched for (conquerendi non sunt) those summoned who persist
are to be punished."
quirk of Roman law was that there was no State prosecutor. To be brought
before a judge, criminals had to be denounced by "delatores".
FORGER UNWITTINGLY NULLIFIES THE "INSTITUTUM NERONIANUM"
COINED BY TERTULLIAN IN 192 AND THE LURID CRUELTIES OF
NERON [NERO] IN ANNALS XV:44 INVENTED BY POGGIO BRACCIOLINI
Nero burnt or thrown Christians to the dog in 64,
Trajan could not have answered ": Thou hast taken the right way..Impossible
to follow an absolute rule.."
130 by Hadrian's [see 1989] order, all the praetorian edits
of permanence were collected into the Edictum Julianum, adopted as
statutory for the Senate. No mention of these dangerous monotheist
In 192 aD Tertullian
reading Trajan's answer (this shows the forged letters n 96
and 97 were published in the second century [maybe! Interpolated
in Tertullian? Etc.?]) writes angrily ": Trajan spares and punishes.
If you condemn, why dont [don't] you search for them? If you do not
search for them, why dont [don't] you absolve?".
legalistic Rome, a judge had only to cite a law (lex) or an S C ["Senatus
Consult" (see below; 1802)] or an edict, before sentencing Christians,
instead of sentencing for a "nomen" synonimous [commonly:
synonymous] with crime (flagitia cohaerentia nomini).
this experienced lawyer, had in 110 aD never heard of a law, Senatus
Consult, Imperial rescript, praetorian edict or of an "exemplum".
All these suppose a minimum degree of importance of the custom or
of the crime.
in the Roman Empire, neither a Roman citizen nor a provincial (termed
peregrinus in Rome) was compelled to a cult, to render hommage
[French] [homage] to a specific god or to the emperor. These obligations
incurred only to funcionaries [functionaries] and magistrates, until
tje [the] advent of Christian emperors who became "divine"
c. 350 aD onward.
less a Roman or a provincial could have been compelled to "curse"
his local divinity. Absolute religious tolerance was one of the few
virtues of Roman rule. Roman authorities were interested in the peaceful
collection of taxes and the maintenance of peace.
Christians were already in 110 so numerous in Bithynia as to leave
the temples deserted and sacrificial beasts to remain unsold is highly
improbable. Bithynia and Phyrgia were the country of origin of
the cult of the Mother Goddess CYBELE impersonated in the black stone
brought in great pomp to Rome in 205 bC, to protect Rome from Hasdrubal.
said before, criminals, in the absence of State prosecutor, could
be summoned before judges only by "delatores". If Christians
had been considered criminals in Bithynia in 110 aD, delatores who
received part of the possessions of the condemned would not have failed
to denounce MARCIO [?], a Christian bishop [?
(story "improbable" (Encyc. Rel. and
Ethics, V. 8, 407, N. McLean))] and wealthy shipowner [? (commonly
a description of Marcion, died, c. 160)], surely well-known in a small
son Marcio [Marcion, died c. 160] was in the second century
the "arch-heretic" the "son of Satan", violently
denounced by all Christian writers: Justin, Denys of Corinth,
Philippos of Gortyne in Crete, Modeste Melito of Sardis, Iraeneus
of Lyon, Theophile of Antioch, Miltiade, Proclus (himself an heretic)
Rhodon, Clement of Alexandria, Bardesane of Syria. Tertullian writes
"the Marcio heresy filled the whole world". The pagan Celsus
[c. 178 C.E.] known only from the lengthy refutations in contra Celsum
of Origen (adv. Marcion. V: xix, knows only two churches: the Catholic
and the Marcionite.
[Marcion] son went to Rome in 138, exposed his "heresy":
Jehovah was a cruel and false god. christ was the real Savior. He
offered the sum of 400.000 sesterces to the dignitaries of the Church
in Rome but his thesis and his money were not accepted. Surely this
sum would have tempted delatores in Bithynia and in Rome.
of letters 96, 97 [of Pliny]
J. Semler does not mince words. "stolidissimae
nugae, fraudesque non piae, sed impudentissimae". (["]stupid
nonsense, humbug, very impudent frauds".[)]
Pliny: E. Allain: Pline et ses héritiers. 2 vols. 1901
Guillemin: Pline et la litt. de son temps. 1929, 1969
Radice [see 1858]: in Empire and aftermath. London 1975.
by: G. Sicard, J.B. Charpentier, Sherwin-White [see 1863] (1966,
1968, JTS 1952) Sir Ronald Syme [see 1991].' [10-12] [End of
AURELIUS' 50 [LYON] MARTYRS
a lengthy text, 3755 Greek words, in Bk. V of his Historiria [Historia]
ecclesiastica, Eusebios of Cesarea [Eusebius of Caesarea]
c. 302, writes: "The very illustrious Churches of Lyons
and Vienna to the Churches of Asia and Phrygia (about their martyrs)..IV:1
recommend Irenaeus then priest at Lyon to (Eleutherios)
Bishop of Rome ..Christians were "insulted, stuck, dragged,
pillaged, stone, emprisoned [now, imprisoned] IV:3 beheaded, thrown
to beasts..under emperor Antonin.""
Julian, specialist in the history of Gaul, attests this
wholesale execution of some 50 Christians? Ernest LAVISSE
foremost French historian in the 19th century, in the 47 editions
of his History of France (1913-1951) accepts the martyrdom
of Blandine, the slave girl steadfast until death.
wrote first that the martyrdom took place i, 167 under Antonin the
Pius dead in 161. He later changed to 177, under Marcus Aurelius.
His history, written 125 years after the supposed event and in Bithynia,
2000 km East of Lyon, as the crow flies or 60 days of sea travel,
is obviously forged.
RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE RULED IN THE ROMAN EMPIRE. IN ITS 4 MILLION SQUARE
KILOMETER, 100 MILLION PEOPLE REVERED 1200 GODS. In Rome and
Italy, people revered Egyptian deities (Isis, Serapis) the Anatolian
) In the provinces some Roman soldiers and even tribunes revered the
Iranian Mithra or local gods.
municipal dignitaries had, at fixed feasts, to honor the official
Olympian gods and the deified emperor, excluding those murdered for
glaring crimes and vices as Caligula or dethroned as Nero.
IF AT ALL NOTICED, WAS CONSIDERED AS A VARIANT OF JUDAISM [see
1504-1518], WHICH WAS NOT ONLY A RELIGIO LICITA [(provisional)
permitted religion] BUT IT ENJOYED SPECIAL CIVIC PRIVILEGES as
the religion Jews declared in c. 170 "allied of the Roman People"
in the war against Antiochos IV Epiphanes. CHRISTIANISM
had the added advantage that it did not practice circumcision, equaled
by Roman law to castration, rated as a crime, when practiced upon non-Jewish
males. The difference between CHRISTIANISM and Judaism
were in Pagan eyes minimal, "as a fight about the shadow
of an ass" (contra Cels. III:1)
massive silence described on pages 69 to 73 of Christian writers
down to 1470 on the martyrs of Nero in 64 aD includes the Lyon
martyrs of 177 aD;
in his Apologeticum, Tertullian in North Africa in c. 192,
15 years after the Lyon executions of 177, praises Marc Aurel
[Marcus Aurelius], as protector of Christians, this very
recent times religious writers explain the persecutions of Christians
as judged "asocial" and "hating mankind". But
St Paul writing to Christians in Rome, mentions 23 "brethren"
some in the house of a freedman of Nero. In Gaul and the West all
the Christians were "Graeculi" from Asia Minor, Palestine
Syria and Roman "Asia" (now Turkey). If they "hated
mankind" they could have stayed at home, to hate their
fellow provincials, saving the 1000 sesterces for the trip to Italy
fact Gauls remained solidly pagan until c. 450, 300 years after Marc
Aurel, when finally convinced, at least externally by Imperial edicts,
Imperial gold and preference. They had clung tenaciously to their
"false" gods and idols (Epona, Esus, Lug, Maternae etc..)
Local heroes became Saints.
first Christian burial attested archaeologically in Lyon dates
of 252, 75 years after the supposed mass execution.
Christians from Vienna (Narbonensis province) could have been
"martyred" in Lyon is unthinkable. The Prefect of
Narbonensis would not have permitted this breach of his jurisdiction.
Even Harnack (Ausbreitung..) admits this.
legal Codex compounded under Hadrian [see 1989] c. 135
of all edicts of consuls and emperors does not mention this criminal
Christians nor legal proceedings against this new sect.
MOMMSEN [Theodor Mommsen 1817 - 1903], despite his profound
knowledge of the Roman legal procedures (Römisches Strafrecht) argues
lamely that Christians were prosecuted under the law of
coercio [coercion(?)], applied sometimes mildly, sometimes harshly"
by jusges [judges], not specifying where, when and by whom.
Nero in 64 aD had executed Christians by the "Institutum
Neronianum ["] invented by Tertullian in 202, why
neither Pliny nor Trajan mention this edict? The ponderous legal
system of Rome precludes the execution of Romans and provincials without
lengthy proceedings, witnesses, speeches, appeals to the emperor (provocatio
as granted to St Paul in Palestine[)(?)].
a Greek well attested historical personnage [personage], visited Pope
Eleutherios in Rome in 202 aD. He had succeeded to the phantom
bishop Pothin (Gree, ?) martyred in 177. In his
homelies [homilies] he never mentions his glorious predecessor, who
would have showered blessings upon the faithful flock at Lyon.
his adversus Haeresos IV:30.3, he writes "Egyptians owed nothing
to Hebrews..the Romans owe us nothing. On the contrary, the world
is in peace thanks to them, so that we can travel without fear, whereever
[wherever] we want".
W. Bowersock of Harvard came to the Symposium held in Lyon
in 1977, 1800 years after the [supposed] manslaughter
and pointed out slyly that 9 names of the alleged martyrs are the
same as those of the Montanists in H. eccl. V:13.20.
Eusebius run short of Roman names for his invented martyrs?'
[13-14] [End of entry]. [See: #17, 360-362 (Bowersock)].
CENTURIES OF FORGERIES
would be easy to impress and tire readers with dozens of pages filled
with forgeries culled from the books of H. Hagen (1889) E. Stemplinger
(1912) Th. Birt (1913) R. Sabbadini (1914) H. Willrich (1924) F. Torm
(1932) A. Meyer (1932) A. Sint (1960) and specially from W. SPEYER
[see 1991] (München 1971) who MENTIONS BRIEFLY 7000 ESTIMATED
GREEK, ROMAN AND CHRISTIAN FORGERIES. Most of the following examples
are cited from his work.
have been detected, but these few show that priests found since earliest
times forgeries to be the easy way to wealth.
decree on the grave of Amenophis III (1405-1372) was forged
to ensure permanent rights to Theban priesthood.
stele discovered at Elephantine by H. Brugsch to protect "for
ever" the priests of god Chnoum was erected by order of Ptolemaios
V Epiphanos in 187 bC and not by Pharaoh Djoser of the 3rd Dynasty
(c. 2700 bC) to legitimate the retunr [return] of the Southern Provinces.
sayings were ascribed to Amenhotep, son of Hapu (K. Sethe 1897). Letters
were forged under the name of Agathodaimon to Osiris, and of
Isis to her son Horus.
Harris Papyrus was redacted [redacted (probably, commonly)
= forgery, on a "sliding scale" (see 1991
(redaction))] by order of Ramses IV (c. 1160 bC) in the form
of his father's testament.
HAD 26 WORDS TO NAME FORGERIES, ROMANS HAD "ONLY"
15. Text criticism, denunciation of forgery and of interpolation
began in Greece in the 5th century bC., based as now on style study,
on words used in anachronism [see 1888].
ARGUMENT A SILENCIO was first used by GALEN [129
- c. 199] in "de glandibus" alleged to be by Hippocrates
[c. 460 - c. 377 B.C.E.] but rejected because not mentioned by any
of Hippocrates' colleagues.
[Diogenes Laertius 3rd century] ascribed an epigram on Midas
to Cleobulos and not to Homer who lived centuries before Midas. Demetrios
of Magnesia [fl. 50 B.C.E.] pointed out that the letters of Epimenides
to Solon, written in Attic and not in Cretan was a forgery.
Theopompos concluded that the peace treaty of Kallias in 489 bC with
the Persians was false, as it was written in Ionic and not in Attic
letters. Apollonios Melon judged false an oracle cle [delete "cle"]
of the Delphy Pythia, being uttered in trimeter instead of hexameter.
[Herodotus c. 485 - c. 425 B.C.E.] (II:116) denied Homer
the authorship of Kypria and (IV:32) of the Epigons, on the basis
of their contents. The forgery of "Diktys of Knossos",
companion of Idomeneos in the Trojan war, was immensely popular for
centuries, even in the Middle Ages in Western Europe.
the 2nd century bC, Alexandrian catalogues became the reference. The
works declared false by Kaikilios of Kale Akte and Dyonysios of Halikarnassos
were no longer read and disappeared. Menedemos of Eretria accused
Aeschines of having pirated Socrates' sayings, obtained from
his wife Xantippe. Emperor Julian attributed the tragedies of Diogenes
of Sinope to his disciple Philiskos of Aegena.
[4th century B.C.E.] asserted that Plato had plundered Pythagoran
texts, an accusation repeated for centuries.
[Democritus c. 460 - c. 370 B.C.E.] was one of the most plagiarized
authors, the main plagiarist being Bolos of Mendes [Bolus of Mendes
(Egypt) 3rd century B.C.E.] denounced by Seneca jr. [c. 4 B.C.E.
- 65 C.E.] Sextus Julius Africanus, bibliothecary of Alexander
Severus forged some Homer verses and the "Medicine of
Homer" under Galen's name. The Epucurian [sic] Zenon of
Sidon rejected as forgeries several letters ascribed to Epicurus.
Diogenes Laertios [Laertius] denounced the 50 letters attributed to
Epicurus by the Stoic Diotimos.
names can be ascribed to forgers passing under
the names of Orpheos, Musaios, Linos, Pythagoras, Homer, Hesiod,
Plato, Democrit, Eudoxos, Aeschylos, Socrates, Demosthenes, Isocrates,
forged for political purposes were said to be inscribed on
buried copper plates [compare: "Copper Scroll"
("two fragments"), found March 20, 1952, Qumran (The
Dead Sea Scrolls Deception, 21)] or on temple walls. Decrees of
assemblies were published.
oracles of Zeus Ammon in Egypt declared Alexander to be the son of
God. All Greek cities feigned to accept it. Only Sparta declared
dryly ": if Alexander wants to be a god, let him be [see
Pontikos [Heraclides Ponticus 4th century B.C.E.] was said
by Diogenes Laertios [Laertius] to have bribed the Pythia to obtain
oracular praise. Herodot [Herodotus c. 485 - c. 425 B.C.E.]
(V:56-61) states that inscriptions in faked antique letters were shown
in temples. Six centuries later Pausanias [fl. c. 150 C.E.]
quotes some old inscriptions of late priestly origin. (8:10.10--14.6)
were ascribed to Homer, genealogies to Hesuod [Hesiod fl.
8th century B.C.E.], anecdotes to Hippocrates, fables to Aesop.
forged testament of Alexander to his mother Olympia
(Fr. gr. Hist. 659) written in 321 bC and later interpolated
with clauses favoring Rhodes as quoted by Diodoros (20:81) had political
[c. 254 - 184 B.C.E.] was the most plagiarized author. Eight
philologists claimed that many of his comedies were forged:
Accius, Aelius Stilo, Aurelius Opilius, Servius Clodius, Manilius,
Volcacius Sedegitus (c. 150) M. Terentius Varro (de comediis Plautinis)
and Aulus Gell[i]us (3:3.1 - 13) (+) ["(+) Of the 130 comedies
ascribed to Plaute, they ["Eight philologists"] accept only
21 and 25."]
condemned the letter of Sarpedon written on papyrus unknown to Homer.
Marital complains repeatedly (VII:12.5-9--VII:72.12.6--X.3.5--10:33.5.10)
of forgers writing under his name verses offensive
to important men. Caligula forged some letters to his sisters.
used spurious Sybill oracles for political purpose. Dio Cassius
(44:23) says that by order of Mark Anthony, Vaterius, Caesar's secretary,
falsified Senatus Consults and Caesar's testament. Augustus
had some Sybill oracles burnt (Livy IV:20.6) and oubted
[doubted] some Caesar's speeches.
(Brutus 11:42) "Rhetors are allowed to lie in historical texts".
He proved the forgery of C?Verres [Gaius Verres
c. 115 - 43 B.C.E.] by the correction of tabulae publicae. He doubted
all religious oracles as that of Praenest (2.85,2.104, 12.1.1, 12.116)
and many religious writings (Ep. ad ..Dolabella). He denied
(de officiis. 3.1.4) all writings ascribed to P. Scipio Africanus.
political reasons Cicero was the target of several forgers
who wrote "Invectives" under the name of Catilina and Marc
Anthony, as denounced by Asconius. The Epistola ad Octavianum was
forged in the 3rd or 4th century aD by a rhetor (R. Lamarchias
Gell[i]us (N.a. 4.18.6) mentions the doubts raised
by several writers on Scipio's and Cicero's speeches. Cierco [Cicero]
was accused of having falsified a decree of Tribune L. Pacilius to
defend Clodius (Cic. pro Plancio 77) (P.W. L.A. 1126.96.36.199[)]
was said to recognize, as soon as heard, whether Cicero's jokes were
true or forged.
denounced several forged SC ["Senatus Consults"
(see above; 1797)] of the 5th century aUc. (III:55.13) He writes guardedly
of the speeches of Scipio and Tiberius Gracchus. ("si
modo ipsorum sunt quae feriuntur ["]).
to Dionysios of Halikarnassos (Ant. Rom. 4.62.6) Varro proved
by a wrong akrostichon the forgery of Sybilline oracles. Sueton
[Suetonius] (Vesp. 6.4) mentions one true-or-false letter of
Otho to Vespasian. Ammianus Marcellinus mentions the forgery of
Silvanus Francus by Dynamios. In his Apolegica, Apuleius
[born c. 123] denounces a forged letter written by the nephew
of the wealthy widow Pudentilla, to prevent him from marrying her.
[Romans] imitated the Greek classification of works
genuinae, spuriae, ambiguae. ...[3 Greek words]
collecting zeal of Ptolemids, Attalids of Pergamum, Lagids of Alexandria
provoked many forgeries.
deadliest forgery of antiquity is that of Eros, secretary of Aurelian.
By his too rapid wealth, he had aroused the wrath of his master. In
fear for his life, he wrote in the hand of Aurelian a list of courtiers
to be executed. These murdered Aurelian. (Stein. art. [apparently
the damaged word is "Eros"]. PW 61 (1907) 543 sq.
and Roman forgeries condensed from W. Speyer, p. 111-146'
#18, 367) (see: www.christianismus.it; www.christianismus.com)]
the first five centuries, forgeries and counter forgeries were exchanged
between the "orthodox" backed by the Pope
in Rom [Rome] and the ["]heterodox".
in the Byzantine (Greek) church the faithful consider themselves
as "orthodox" and the Romans as somewhat heterodox.
sects appeared and disappeared, each holding a doctrinal view of God
and salvation. The "Panarion" [see 1795] of
Epiphanos [Epiphanius] lists 80 heresies (to match the 80 concubines
in the Canticle of Canticles, but actually "onl" ["only"]
70). Of all these sects, only Nestorianism lasted for centuries and
spread as far as Mongolia where Mongolian princesses in Karakorum
denounces letters forged under his name (Thess. 2.2, 3.7 Cor.
11.3.5) and false apostles claiming to ne trie [apparently:
be the] Apostles. In his Apocalypse, "John"
curses those who dare tamper with his text (22.18 sq). Forgers
operated from earliest times.
formation of the Canon led to a critical survey of texts ascribed
to the Apostles. As the Greeks and Romans, Origen (186-252)
classified the works as accepted (...[Greek word]), doubtful (...[Greek
word]) and false (...[Greek word]). Eusebios (265-340) followed:
doubtful (...[Greek word]) forged (...[Greek word]) divided
into two subclasses: (1) the orthodox forgeries: Acts of Paul,
the Hermas Shepherd, the Petrus Apocalypse, the Barnabas letter, the
Didache, perhaps the Apocalypse of John and the Evangil of the Hebrews.
(2) the heretical forgeries: the evangils of Peter, Thomas,
Mathias, the Acts of Andrew, John and other Apostles.
Africanus [c. 180 - c. 250 (see 1990)] classifies texts
as perfectae, mediae et nullus auctoritatis (Tast. regil. 17.7) Eusebios
of Cesarea [Eusebius of Caesarea], no mean forger
himself, complains that Devil's apostles have interpolated his letters
complains un ad quosdam caros Alexand. (quoted by Rufinus)
of the forgeries of his doctrines, but comforts himself by
the forgeries of Pauline texts. Athanasius (295-373) related
how an Arian falsified his texts (Apol. ad Const. 19 PG)
was incensed by a false letter of him spread by Eustathios of Sebaste.
Theodoros of Mopsuestia saw his texts falsified by Apollinarusts.
Cyril of Alexandria mentions forgeries of his texts. (Ep. 40,
Patr. Gr. 77.201) Orosius convicted of forgery the slave Stilichos.
Jerome complains of false letters in his name (Apol. ad Rufin.
2.24) St Augustinus sealed his answer to a doubtful invitation to
of Popes (Innocens I, Leo I, Pelagius, Gregorius I, Julius) were
forged by Monophysites, Apthartodocetes and other heresiarchs.
In his "Tractatus contra Monophysitas" Emperor Justinian
compared Apollinarists texts with tupposed [supposed] works of Athanasios
and Cyril to ascertain the forgeries.
the Council of Chalcedon (451 aD) both Monophysites and Duophysites
battled with falsified letters of their adversaries.
the 5th Council of Constantinople, the texts of Cyril and Theodorus
of Mopsiestia [Theodore of Mopsuestia c. 350 - 428] were
rejected as falsified.
The result of
such strife was in the 6ch Council of 680-681, both parties agreed to
seal their respective archives and to open them only during the sessions,
so that no forgery could be made, once the discussions had begun. A
Harnack (Dogmengeshichte 2.433) terms it "the antiquarian
and paleographic [also, palaeographic] Council".
In it the "Sermo of Patriarch Menos (dead 552) to Pope Virgilius"
was declared forged from the appearance of the letters. Two letters
of Pope Virgilius to Justinian and Theodora were found to be interpolated
by Malarios, Patriarch of Antioch, in the sense of the Monotheletes.
the Council of 787 only complete texts were accepted, since "florilegia"
(extracts) were not convincing (Van den Ven 1955).
the West, the struggle for power between Bishoprics provoked thousands
of forgeries. The fight for primacy opposed Rome to Aquileia and
Ravenna, in Spain Merida to Barcelona, Toledo to Oviedo, in Gaul Arles
to Vienna and Lyon, in England Canterbury to York.
and monasteries invented saints by the thousands to justify land rights,
privileges and exemptions. "Victa" and "Passio"
of saints were composed to satisfy the religious feelings of the faithful
on anniversary days. Bishoprics and even cloisters forged saints.
Metz forged Clemens, Trier invented Valerius, Eucarius,
Maternus. Mainz invented Crescens.
forgeries were confirmed by saintly bones bought in East and in Rome.
All biographies of saints were pure inventions. They vied in stories
of weird tortures and of miracles, which remained undoubted until
Le Nain de Tillemont published in 1698 his "Memoirs
to assist["] etc.. [sic] in which he denounced the falsity
of thousands of hagiographies, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF PETER AND
PAUL, TOO DANGEROUS TO TACKLE, though he had elected to live
in Belgium, far enough of the long arm of French kings egged on by
pathbreaking was followed by the "Bollandists" of
Jean Bolland, Daniel Papebrook, G. Mensken. Leading Catholic
(Mgr Duchesne) and Protestant scholars (A. Harnack)
scores of others (A. Ehrhard, B. Neumann) have demolished thousands
of saints. One of the more entertaining demolishers is the
Jesuit DELAHAYE [see #13, 322-323; etc.]. His "Legends
of Saints" knocks off haloes and crowns by the hundreds.
His "Les passions des martyrs", more systematic and
not translated, exposes the false edicts of Hadrian [see 1989]
and Julian. Spoofs of "Imperial edicts are the obligatory
ornaments in Passion histories".
"White Magic" Dr. C.G. Loomis classifies some
10,000 miracles under 12 headings. This book gives us a sad idea
of the credulity of our ancestors.
Northern Gaul, St. Venevieve erectedd [erected] church in 475 to Saint
Denis near Paris, where the Merovingian kings were crowned. Hilduin
(814-840) brandishing unreadable Greek manuscripts identified this
St Denis with the Athenian Denys Areopagytes, converted by St Paul.
Hincmar by bold forgeries obtained for Rheims the primacy in Gaul.
From Charles the Bald in 869 all French Kings down to 1824 were
crowned and anointed with an heavenly oil replenished miraculously
through ten centuries.
the 12th century onward, pseudo-ancient literary works appeared, few
of their authors have been traced. Pseudo-Ovidiana (de vetula)
Ps-Martial, Ps-Apuleius, Ps-Hyeronimus (Ep. Valerii ad Rufinum) redacted
[redacted a pseudo work!] by Walter Map in the 13th century, the Ps-Boethius
(de disciplina scholarum) a mystification. P. Lehmann discovered the
author's name (Conradus) in the acrostichon of the Spragis.
the Renaissance humanist[s] avoided religious forgeries
and redacted [details? (can redaction be forgery,
by a coward, etc.? (see 1991 (redaction)))] antique texts out of
love for classical antiquity. P.C. Decembrio or B. Alberti redacted
a letter of Virgil to Mecenas. The Florentine A. Lancia wrote in Italian
a letter of Lucilius to Seneca, as pendant to the letters of
Seneca to Lucilius. The Dominican Giovanni Nanni [see 1990]
(Nannius) of Viterbo (1432-1502) in his Antiquitatum variorum published
in 1498 in Romalleged [Rome alleged] works of Berosos, Archilochos,
Plato and others.
Camerarius (d. 1574) forged letters between Paul
and the presbyter of Ephesos. In a book published in 1595 at Leyden
under the name of Enniussome verses allegedly of Paulus Merula. Francusco
Membeccari presented 19 letters in Latinof [Latin of] Libanius "translated
from Greek". A. de la Salle seems to hvve [have] redacted a fragmentary
Invective Catilina-Cicero. The Napolitan [Neapolitan (connected with
Naples, Italy)] Piero [Pirro] Ligorio (1530-1596 [1513
- 1583]) [see 1990] forged many inscriptions. Natali
Conti (1530-1582) forged quotations in "Mythologiae"
published at Venice in 1552.
von Trittenheim (1462-1516) forged a work allegendly [allegedly]
written uner [under] Chlodowig in the 6th century. Even Erasmus
[see #1, 9, 70. (Erasmus forgery)], who bitterly
complained of forgeries forged in 1530 works of Cyprian. In the
16th century, Enrique Cajad buried at Cape Cintra in Portugal some
Latin verses in honor of the conquest of India by the Portuguese and
were admired as ancient sybilline oracles. The monks Roman de Higuera
and Lupiano Zapata forged chronicles in honor of their convents.
False inscriptions "discovered" by Morales, Ponce,
Resende and Andreas Schott were accepted in the Thesaurus of Gruter.
Speyer [see 1991] (1971) quotes various forgers in Germany;
France, Spain in the 16th and 17th centuries. Curzio Inghirami
(1614-1655) wrote about Etruscan antiquities. Chr. Pfaff forged
fragments of Iraeneus allegedly found in Turin. Under the
name of Messala Corvinus, "de progenie Augusti Caesaris"
and under the name of Papirius Latro "de situ Reatino" were
published in Turin.
forgers mentioned by W. Speyer: W. Ahlwardt (d. 1830) forger
of Pindar, F. Wagenfeldt forger of Sanchuniathon, A. Bielowski
forger of Pompeius Trogus, K. Simonides Uranius in Egypt[,]
E. Lenormand as Mertzides (Greek inscriptions)
who write for no monetary gains wre [were] not known
in antiquity. They balance between the pleasure of taking in the public
and their colleagues and that of having their talent admired, once
mystifiers are rare. Some mystifications were intended as literary
exercises, as the works of Fobanus Hessus (1514) Letters of Maria
Virgo to God Father, Maria Magdelena to Jesus, Lydia to Paul,
de institutionem puerile.
Parenti (Firenze 1951) cites several such works. Some supposed
forgeries as "Consolatio ad Liviam" were found
to be true (Torino 1956)
the 19th century, the greatest mystifier was Prosper Mérimée
(1803-1870) prolific author of 22 historical novels, some
still readable [amusing]. In 1825 he wrote the "Theatre of
Clara Gazul" and in 1927 "La Guzla", an anagram. "Illyrian
Lieder of Hyacynth Maglanovitch". The book bore a photograph
of himself as H. Maglanovitch.
1845 he wrote the novel CARMEN, the tragic ending of the love
story of a Spanish customs sergeant and a female cigar maker. The
music of G. Bizet made this opera a success lasting to this
1862 Vrain-Lucas [Vrain-Denis Lucas] [see Addition 33, 1450-1453;
1990], a hunchback of a poor peasant family, who had worked in a genealogical
cabinet and followed history courses at the Sorbonne, contacted the
Academician Michel Chasles, a wealthy mathematician and geometer
and in the course of 5 years sold him 27,545 letters for the
enormous sum of $100,000. (some $1,000,000. at present) A. Thierry
letters were written by 660 illustrious persons
also made crude approximations of Carolingian script and archaic
orthography, but his texts are all essentially in modern French."
(Prince of Forgers, Rosenblum, 1998, 3)]:
[Sappho], Lazarus, Alexander to Aristotle, Maria Magdalena, Attila,
Vercingetorix to Caesar, Cleopatra to Caesar, Charles the Great (in
802) Joan of Arc (1430) Galileo (1641) Pascal to Newton.
the Academy of Sciences of Paris in 1867 these letters were declared
clumsy forgeries [see 1989]. Vrain-Lucas [Vrain-Denis
Lucas] was condemned to 2 years of jail. The letters were bequeathed
to the National Library.' [39-43].
1878 an Englishman not otherwise known, J.W. ROSS [see
1991] published in London a book of 430 pages, entered in the British
Library as 11840 i 4 "Tacitus and Bracciolini" in
which he asserted that the works of Tacitus were written by the well-known
Florentine Poggio Bracciolini between 1424 and 1427 and copied
in ancient letters until February 1429.
book was received in England with massive indifference. It decided
however Philippe [Polydore] HOCHART [b. 1831] of Bordeaux
to write two books (1890 300 pages, 1894 275 pages) amplifying the
thesis of ROSS, adding "not all the Ross arguments are valid.
Death overtook him in the state of poverty and isolation, the lot
of researchers" [this comment instantly endeared Polydore
"Tacitus and his manuscripts" (orthodox presentation.
Have corresponded with author (Roger Pearse)): www.tertullian.org/rpearse/tacitus/]
Poggio Bracciolini, Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1997,
Vol. 9, 543: "Poggio invented the humanist script (based
on the Caroline minuscule)"; "Lorenzo Valla [revealer
of the famous forgery, "The Donation of Constantine"],
with whom Poggio engaged in some of the most notorious and vituperative
polemics of a polemical age"; "POGGIOS ABILITY
TO HANDLE LATIN AS A LIVE IDIOM IS BEST SHOWN IN HIS COPIOUS CORRESPONDENCE...."]
thesis was termed "ingenious guesses" in 1893 by
Ph. FABIA, who received from the French Academy of Letters a prize
for his "Sources of Tacite" (462 pages).
Ronald SYME (dead 1989) knighted for his life-long study of
Tacitus, read certainly the books of Ross & Hochart, may have
mentioned them in the thousands of pages of his studies, but not to
my scant knowledge of his works.
great French specialist Wuilleumier who edited and commented
Tacitus, noting the 1205 similarities tabulated on page 110 wrote
"Ross-Hochart forget that the Medicis parchment dates from
the 9th [?] and 11th [?] centuries". P. GRIMAL,
the foremost French latinist at present, does not mention the two
compendium of Latin literature of SCHANZ-HOSIUS on page 642 says "for
the sake of curiosity, we may mention P. HOCHART 1890 and 1894 who
denies the authenticity of Tacitus [details?]"
PARET condenses the 950 pages of Ross and Hochart and extracts 9 irrefutable
and 6 probable arguments. From his studies he adds 9 irrefutable and
7 debatable arguments.' .
Place, dates of birth and death unknown. Son of a military tribune
in Otho's army. Named by Domitian praetor in 88, by Nerva
in 97 Consul suffectus. In 78 married daughter of Agricola,
proconsul in Great Britain. In 98 wrote "Life of Agricola",
in 99 Germania [see 1959-1967], in 102 Dialog of Orators In
112 named proconsul of Province Asia, attested by inscription found
in Mylasa (Caria) published by D. & D. in Bull. corr. hell. 1890,
104-109 he wrote Historiae of which only books I-IV are complete
and parts of Bk V remain. Attested by Pliny jr. intimate friend
and as lawyer junior colleague of Tacitus. Ep. 7.33
Historia Augusta, forged in 337-361 or 390-00, the chief
forger "Vopiscus" relates that Tacitus,
emperor [see 1809] for a few months in 275 ordered all
public libraries to stock ten exemplars of Historiae on their shelves.
(Apol. 161) "Cornelius Tacitus in quinta historiarum suarum".
St Jerome (347-420) (comm. ad. Mach. 3, 14 (25:1522 Migne)
believe that Tacitus wrote 30 volumes. Sidonius Apollinaris
(4.14:1) c. 480 mentions Gaius Tacitus.
attested in antiquity. The name Annales was coined
in 1533 from Bk IV:32 "nemo annales nostros cum scriptura
eorum contenderit, qui veteres populi Romani res composuere.
Grant, in his preface of the translation writes: "certain
aspects of the discvoery [discovery] in the 14th and
15th centuries are veiled in obscurity".
1429 Poggio Bracciolini, noted discoverer of ancient manuscripts,
seems to have brought to light books XI-XVI, (Claudius and Nero)
in lombard letters, now in the Medicean Library at Florence,
as Mediceus II 68.2
first modern mention of Annals and Historiae seems to be by Zacco
Polentone in 1463 (["]librorum Taciti numerum affirmare satis
certo non audeo"[)]. In 1469 Vindelinus of Speyer printed
at Venice the books XI-XVI.
to P. Wuilleumier, Nicolo Nicoli bequeathed a manuscript at an unspecified
date to the Convent of San Marco in Florence, whence it went to the
Laurentian Library in Florence, as Mediceus alter LVIII.2 This in-f
manuscript, written in lombard letters, consists of 47 sheets
(40x27 cm) with two columns of 35-36 lines. It describes the life
and death of Claudius (-10/54) and 10 years of Nero's reign (54-64).
Book XVI breaks off with the last words of Thraseas, about to die
after having the veins of his arms cut. Why did the scribe leave the
sentence unfinished? The dramatic suicide of Nero is a so much more
interesting topic, why did not the author cover the last four years
1513, shortly after his accession Leo X promised generous rewards
for Greek and Latin texts brought to him. In 1515 the first five books
of Annales were brought to him, written in small Carolingian letters,
now in the Laurentianum Library, as Mediceus prior LVIII.1.
In his Papal bull,
Leo X [Pope 1513 - 1521 (1475 - 1521)] said "After
We purchased at a high cost these books of Cornelius Tacitus lost for
some centuries, the merits and beauty of the work have decided Us
to raise them promptly from dust and oblivion. We have chosen (Beroaldo)
as publisher. We forbid to all those who will read Our bull--toprint
[to print] for 10 years from today this work without our express
permission, under pain of 200 ducats to pay without delay into the Apostolic
his dedicatory Epistle to Leo X, Beroaldus [Philipus
Beroaldus 1472 - 1518 (also: Filippo Beroaldo 1472 - 1518,
"librarian of the Vatican collection under Leo X and editor
of Tacitus." (Dict. Renaissance, c1967))] mentions
no place of discovery, no papal functionary, no sum disbursed
(500 gold sequins [source?]) no seller.
to Leo X] "At Your elevation, You announced that You would
reward those who would bring works out of their hiding places. This
hunt found in the forests of Germany these 5 books hidden there for
many centuries. (quae venatio Cornelii Taciti hos primos quinque
libros, qui per longam saeculorum ambitum fatuerant in saltibus Germaniae
true Father of us all, You [Leo X] ordered for
the public weal"
at Milano writing to Arcimboldi, later Archbishop of Milano writes
succinctly "priores quinque libros de barbaris redemptos".
does this manuscript sold to Leo X differ by its carolingian letters
from the manuscript of 1429 with lombard letters? why did it appear
80 years later? 56 years after the death of Poggio in ln 1459?
had five sons: Giovanni-Bautista, Giovanni-Francisco,
Filipo, Pietro-Pablo, Jacopo. Four became priests. Jacopo conspired
with the Pazzi against the Medicis and was hung from a window of the
the elevation of Leo X, Giovanni-Francesco, 65 years,
was the sole survivor, heir of the property and papers left by his
father [Poggio Bracciolini]. He could hardly say to have found
the manuscript in his heritage. Someone had to pretend a discovery
in Northern lands. German forests were a convenient place. Giovanni
died, taking his secret with him in the grave.
loss of the Annals in antiquity is improbable. In 275
the short-lived Emperor Tacitus [note: not, the historian Tacitus
c. 56 - c. 120 C.E.] had ordered every library to stock 10 exemplars
of the Historiae. This ensured the survival of the Historiae.
hundreds of works not protected by Imperial fiat survived.
In thousand of rolls we have the works of Cicero, dead 163
years before Tacitus, those of Titus-Livius dead 43
years before, the 37 books of Pliny's Natural History, to
quote only the authors from which Poggio derived his Annals.
have thousands of fragments left by hundreds of Latin authors,
as well as the complete works of Velleius Paterculus[,]
Valerius Maximus, near contemporary of Tacitus, of Quintilian,
Seneca, Juvenal, Martial, his contemporaries, of Silius Italicus,
Statius, etc.. Also hundreds of manuscripts of Greek authors,
especially Dio Cassius (dead 235)
would not have failed to copy these Annals with their vivid descriptions
ofthe [of the] most "picturesque" emperors.
massive silence in the Middle Ages, until Zecco Polentone, friend
of Nicolo, writes "librorum Taciti numerum affirmare non
audeo" (I dare not..)'
[End of entry].
Ross, author: "Tacitus and Bracciolini", 1878]
arguments, amplified further on, are as follows:
- p. 15 complete
silence about Annals until 1470
- p. 20 Christian
martyrs of XV:44
- p. 48,159 London in
time of Claudius
- p. 52 Antonia, mother
- p. 61 Annals I:1
contradicts Historiae I:1
- p. 72 Animosity against
- p. 345 Natalis,
chief plotter [see 1814, 1817]
- p. 377 extension of
- p. 233 Oracle of Colophon
- p. 237 Nineveh no
- p. 337 no Temple of
- p. 44 Furius Camillus
- p. 39 Interest rates
- p. 275 Cumanus and
- p. 117 linguistic
Complete silence about the Annals, until after the first printing
in 1470 at Venice by Vindelinus of Speyer. This argument merges with
argument (2) the lengthy refutation in 3 pages of the Christians burnt
in 64 ad. by Nero.
Ann. XV:44 [see 1852-1853] "Christians were made scape
goats by Nero [according to the Christian Fictions];
refined torments on these people hated for their crimes (flagitia)
vulgarly called Christians, named after Christ executed
by Procurator ["prefect" (Harper's Bible
Dict.)] [see 1851] (sic) Pontius Pilatus in time of Tiberius.
This awful superstition had spread from Judea..to Rome where all shameful
vices collect..an immense multitude was found guilty..for their hatred
of mankind. Dressed in animal skins, they were torn by dogs or
burnt on crosses to lighten the darkness..[sic]"
the massive silence of Pagan and Christian writers alike about these
horrid Christian criminals and their just punishment lasted for 1400
years, until the Annals became known.
historian: Philo, Josephus, Pliny the Elder, Curtius Rufus,
Suetonius [debateable, see 1878], Lucius Florus, Appianus,
Justinus, Dio Cassius, -- no geographer: Pausanias, Pomponius
Melo, Strabo, -- no poet Statius, Silius Italicus, Perseus -- no
satirist: Juvenal who mocks Syrians and Graeculi, Martial -- no
grammarian: Quintilian, Aulus Gellus, devote a word to this
sect which tried to destroy the Urbs ["The city of Rome"
(Ox. Latin Dict.)].
Only two clumsy
interpolations were made later to prove the existence of this new god
Christ. One in Jesephus [Josephus]: this man, if he can be
called a man.. In Sueton [Suetonius] (Nero 16 [see 1878]):
["]under Nero many abuses were suppressed: a limit was set to expenditures
-- public banquets limited to distribution of food -- the sale of cooked
viands in taverns was prohibited, only pulses and vegetables -- PUNISHMENT
INFLICTED ON CHRISTIANS, A SECT GIVEN TO A NEW AND MISCHIEVOUS SUPERSTITION
-- the old rights of chariot drivers to riot, beat and rob citizens
were ended.. [sic]"
Paul accused in Palestine by Jews before Felix, brother of Pallas
(Acts 24:1) In 52 aD appealed to Caesar (right of provocatio of Roman
citizens) He went to Rome under armed guard. In Epistl. to Romans
"to all in Rome beloved of God["] etc.. (I:7) "I am
ready to preach the Gospel to you in Rome also["]. In XVI: 1-15
he greets the "Saints" Priscilla, Aquilla, Epaenetus, Mary,
Andronikos, Junia (my kinsmen) Amplias, Urbanus, Stachys, Apelles,
and those in the house of Narcissus (Claudius' freedman) Tryphne,
Tryphon, Persis, Rufus, Asynicritos, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobos, Hermes
and their brethren Philogos, Julia, Mereus and his sister Olympia
and all the Saints with them.." St Paul was judged in 63 or 65
and set free. The incendy [sic] of [(my choice) fire in]
Rome took place in 64. He stayed in Rome two years "in
his own hired house" and unimpeded [...(Greek word)] made eight
disciples, some in the "House of Caesar" before going probably
to Spain, the "limits of the West" [...(Greek word)] to
[...(3 Greek words)] (acc. to Epist. of Clement to Corinthians chapt.
V. All this disproves the "immense multitude"
of the tortured Christians in 64 aD. 33 (25+8) [source?] "Saints"
in a city of one million inhabitants.
years later, "CHRISTIANISM" hardly noticed
in an Empire of 60 to 80 millions [see #18, 374 (McCabe)] was considered
as an improved variant of Judaism, a "religio lictita" [(provisional)
permitted religion] which had been granted several privileges. Since
the war of Rome against the Seleukid Antiochos Epiphanes in - 170,
the Jews allied of Rome had been declared "friends of the Roman
the first century Christians never called themselves Christians
[see 1676-1687] but by 20 other names: brother, friend,
disciple[,] saint, pious, chosen, just, faithful, devout,
truthful[,] religious, believer, God-fearing, worthy,
observant, living, reverent, servant of God.
of Tiberias, in the same district of Jesus, wrote about Roman
rule and the Jewish rebellion, and no mention of Jesus, to the
wonderment of Photios, Patriarch of Constantinople in the 9th century?[sic]
This history prudently disappeared after Photios.
his famous paragraph XV:44, Poggio tangles with the forger
of letter n 96 in the exchange Pliny-Trajan, alleged in 110.
Pliny jr. the foremost lawyer with his friend Tacitus under Trajan,
asks the emperor how to deal with Christians. "I never
took part in suits against them, therefore I dont know which pursuits
and penalties to be applied. Those who persevered I had them executed
to punish their obstination". Trajan's reply (letter n 97) is
equally absurd. "You did well, Christians are not to be
pursued, those who persist when summoned are to be punished."
80 years later Tertullian [c. 160 - c. 220] writes angrily":
Trajan spares and punishes. If you condemn, why dont you search for
them? if you dont search for them, why dont you absolve?" (story
of the martyrs of Bithynia on p. 10)
Why did Trajan
not reply curtly to Pliny "why, dont you remember that Christians
burnt two thirds of Rome and were justly burnt by Nero, only 50 years
Christian Apologists of the 2nd and third centuries ignore completely
these Neronian cruelties. More, they vie in declarations of loyalty
to the Empire. Had not their God said "render to Caesar
that is of Caesar"?
c. 145 writes an Apology to Emperor Antonius (138-161), no word of
Christians burnt as arsonists.
of Melito of Sardes c. 170 in his Apology "the Empire
was created by God to foster the spread of CHRISTIANISM in
mankind. Under Augustus CHRISTIANISM began. A great
proof of the excellence of the Christian religion is that it
spread simultaneously with the happy beginnings of the Empire, that
nothing bad occured [occurred] to the Empire since Augustus' reign.
On the contrary the Church has been brilliant and glorious
as the progress of the Empire." (Euseb. H.e. IV:26.7.8)
praises the Imperial rule (Euseb. IV:3.1)
of Laodicea praises Mark-Aurel [Marcus Aurelius] (161-180)
[Athenagoras 2nd century] writes c. 176 to Mark Aurel "all
the earth enjoys deep peace through your wisdom. All are ruled by
just laws in the whole universe. The laws established by your ancestors
conform to a perfect justice."
bishop of Lyon (180-208) (adv. haer.) "Romans owe us nothing.
On the contrary the world is in peace thanks to them, so that we can
(Greek word)] on land and on sea, wherever we want."
Rome the faithful of everywhere met and disputed openly". (III:3.2)
of Africa (155-220) writes that under Nero the imperial sword
struck Christians (caesariano gladio ferocisse [5:3][)] but
no burnings, no dogs. In the same Apologeticum (33.1) "the Empire
was chosen by God [source?]. I could say with reason: Caesar belongs
rather to us, since he was set up by our God [30:2]. The world is
better every day (ipse orbis cultior dedie) [source?]. This century
has restored the triple virtues of the Empire (Septimus Severus,
Julia Mammea, Julia Maesa) [source?]. We can cite a protector of Christians,
this very wise Emperor (Mark Aurel [Marcus Aurelius]) who attests
(a Christian miracle in Germany) [5:6].["(?)]
(183-252) points out the sychronism [synchronism] EMPIRE-CHRISTIANISM
[see: #6, 179; #8, 204-207; #10, 226-240; (Imperialism)]. The Empire
is the God-willed preparation of Mankind to the Gospel [see #6,
(260-325) of Cirta (Numidia) laments the unavoidable decadence of
the Empire (Inst. VII:15.11). The sinister prophecy of the Sybilline
books fills him with horror. Though he accuses Nero without details,
he writes "after Domitian, the Church was even more brilliant
and flourished even more. etiam multo clarius floridius enituit["]).
[Eusebius] of Caesarea (265-340) who devotes 3755 Greek words
in his ponderous Historia ecclesiastica to the supposed Lyon
martyrs [another forgery. see 1798-1800] in 177
under Mark-Aurel [Marcus Aurelius] ignores completely the "ingens
multitudo" burnt as torches or eaten by dogs. On the contrary,
Empire realizes a part of the Divine plan to redeem mankind, the Divine
aim of history".
two Pagan writers mention Christians. CELSUS [see 1879]
(c. 160) His virulent denunciation of CHRISTIANISM
does not mention Christian arsonists. His text is
known only through the long refutations of Origen [see 1879].
(Lukaios) [Lucian] of Samosata (Syria) (125-192)
in his 80 works he mentions Christians only in Peregrinus
[see 1873-1874] (11.6) and Alexander [see 1871-1872]
(25.38) Born in Egypt, secretary a cognitiabus, archistator
praef. in Egypt. In Peregrinus he depicts Christians
as morally blameless, with brotherly love, credulous zealots,
believe themselves immortal and despise death. All goods are
held in common and a clever impostor could rapidly become rich
at their expense, they adore a crucified god and are visionary
[see 1848, 1878; (Lucian)].
(1894, p. 1-5) informs about Christian writers of the early
Jerome [c. 345 - 420] who spent his youth in Rome ignores completely
the roasted Christians. Only St Peter, 25 years Bishop of
Rome (39-64) had his head cut off the same day as St Paul. Orosius
(480-573) bishop in Spain and Cassiodorus (Cronica c. 430) ignore
the Neronian cruelties. Likewise Isidore of Sevilla, Freculphe
of Lisieux, Adon of Vienna, Vincent of Beaucais (15th century)
and Dante Alighieri.
(1313-1375) mentions only Peter & Paul [see 1785] as
in 1878 followed p. 22 a false lead. He quotes the
imperatori flammeum dos et geniales torus et faces nuptiales..ut
at ferarum tergis contecti laniatu canum interirent..crucibus
affixiaut flam in usum nocturni..urerentur
ii:28-29) [see 1688, 1853]
imperatori flammeum [", missi1 auspices,"
(Loeb)] dost [dos et] genialius torus et faces nuptiales..[Ann.
XV:44 follows] ut ferarum tergis contecti
laniatu canum interi crucibus affixi aut
flammandi..in usum nocturni urerentur.
[see 1688, 1853]
(1894, p. 143) points out that Sulpicius Severus [c.
360 - c. 420-425 (CE)], a Gaulish cleric of
the 5th century, in his other well-attested works
(Letters, Dialogues, Vita St Martini) never mentions,
even once, this Historia Sacra [or, Chronicle
(CE)]. Neither does any other writer. A
manuscript was discovered by a cetain [certain] Flores
in the 13th century [details?], then lost again and rediscovered
"Historia Sacra" invents a Council
in Egypt in 337 in favor of Athanasius and a Council of
Sardica in 347 convened by Constantine. (dead in 337)
[Sigonio 1524 - 1584], himself a renowned forger
writes in Comment. Hist. Sacra ["Historia Sacra"]
": See how Sulpicius confounds facts and ates
[dates]! He is the only one to tell these things! he adds
what others have omitted, I wish he had never written
about these things"
this ["Historia Sacra"] religious work was of
no interest to buyers in Italy. It had been mentioned
by no writer, until "discovered" by
Poggio. It was finally printed in 1556 by Flach Francowitz[.]'
The clearest denial of the authenticity of the Annals is
expressed by Tacitus in the first paragraph of Historiae.
"I will begin my work at the second consulate of Servius
Galba, because the 820 years of the previous period (down
to 68 aD, year of Nero's death) have been related by numerous
authors eloquently and with freedom. If I live I propose
to relate the principate of Nerva and the imperium of Trajan
without love or hatred". (neque amore et sine odio)
this clear statement, Poggio decided to forge an history
from the death of Augustus to the death of Nero. In case
some readers would know the statement in Histories, Poggio
gave some clever reasons for his change of mind.
prosperous or adverse (times) of the ancient Roman people
are recorded by famous authors. The times of Augustus
did not lack distinguished minds but rising flattery deterred.
The reigns of Tiberius, Caius, Claudius and Nero, while
they shone, were falsified out of fear, after their deaths
redacted out of recent hatreds. Hence my decision
to report little about Augustus and his end (but) mostly
on the reigns of Tiberius and others (writing) without
wrath or partiality, having little cause for these (feelings)."
6 (not presented), is not in numerical order, and occurs
on the following book page (75)]
In the PISO plot mentioned in 3 words by Sueton [Suetonius]
but which Poggio blows to 24 chapters, Poggio mentions
[glancing, I noticed 11 mentions] Antonius Natalis
as chief plotter 5 times [see 1817].
NATALIS [Antonius Natalis (Roman knight)] WAS
DEAD BEFORE THE PISO PLOT [see below].
Seneca (Ep. 87[)]: "Nuper Natalis/tam improbae
linguae quam impurae in cujus [cuius] ore
feminae purgabuntur[purgabantur]/et multorum
heres fuit et multos habuit heredes [see translation,
("prudery"?)] "recently Natalis--a
man whose tongue was as shameless as it was dirty, a man
whose mouth used to perform the vilest offices--was the
heir of many, and also made many his heirs." (Seneca,
Ad Lucilium, Epistulae Morales, Loeb Classical Library,
vol. II, 333)]
Ross with Victorian prudery does not
quote the 10 indecent words [see above].' .
Reference to: "This Natalis was dead before
the Piso plot." If accurate, outstanding
evidence for a forgery; but, caveats apply. Was
it the same "Natalis"? Was he dead "before
the Piso plot"? Did Seneca write this? Etc.? [See:
Christian torches may have been copied by Poggio from Juvenal
(Sat. I:155) ..taeda (pine torch) lucebis in illa quo [qua
(John E.B. Mayor, 1966)] stantes ardent qui fixo gutture
[pectore (Mayor)] fumant.
[c. 55 - c. 140] who lived in Rome, wrote this in 120
aD, he never mentions Christians, whether
living or burnt to death.
HUMAN BODIES IN ANIMAL SKINS WOULD NOT PRODUCE A BRIGHT
FIRE. THE HUMAN BODY CONSISTING OF 75-80% OF WATER REQUIRES
5-6 KILOGRAMS OF WOOD PER KILOG. OF FLESH. THIS WAS
THE WELL-KNOWN RATE IN THE MIDDLE AGES, WHEN POPES GRANTED
"INDULGENCES" TO THOSE WHO CONTRIBUTED
FAGGOTS TO BURN HERETICS, IN THE NAME OF THE GOD OF LOVE.
"A bundle of sticks, twigs, or small branches of
trees bound together...for use as fuel" (O.E.D.)]
added the most unlikely details. HOCHART pointed
out that Nero would not have Christian torches set up
in his gardens, where he had given refuge to the homeless.
the homeless having lost all their belongings would
pity the burning Christian arsonists, as "victims
of Nero's cruelty" goes against common sense.
In the amphitheaters the Romans delighted in watching
the agony of gladiators who had not harmed them in the
least. A fortiori ["for a still stronger reason"
(Random House Webster's College Dict.)] would
they delight in watching the torture of arsonists who
made them homeless. In the "games without mercy"
(munera sin misione) they shouted to the winner "hoc
habet (take that) recipe ferrum (get the iron) vebera
(strike) jugula (kill) ure (burn)["] [see 1784]'
. [See: 1629; 1787-1788].
the 575 pages of his two books (1890, 1894) Polydore Hochart
[b. 1831] reproduces some letters of Poggio to Niccoli
with strong clues to the planning of the forgery. He names
several Middle Age writers ignorant of the Nero martyrs.
He furnishes revealing details on the skills of copysts
[copyists], on Poggio's way of life, he contributes
some plagiarisms which escaped Sir R. Symeand
[Syme and] FDR Goodyear, but only two fair arguments
for the forgery. He noticed however a glaring anachronism
[see 1888], ranking with the "London"
of J.W. ROSS.
mentions twice "gubernaculus",
(sternpost) rudder. This device
appeared in Canton in the first century bC (acc. to Joseph
Needham) and was introduced in Europe end eleventh
senturyor [century or] beginning twelfth century, 1000
years after Germanicus issaid [is said] to have used ["gubernaculis"]
in Ann. II:6 and Anicetus in XIV:4-5.
plures adpositis utrimque gubernaculis converso
ut repente remigio hinc vel illinc adpellerent...
is obviously copied From Germania 44:2 OF THE
[NOT (see 1966)] TRUE TACITUS: the Suiones
(Swedes) in the Black Sea (some early Vikings ?): pari
utrimque prora et mutabilis remigio quando hinc
vel illinc adpellere.
Poggio confounded prow ["the forepart
of a ship or boat; bow."] with rudder.
Double-prowed ships were no novelty. They are mentioned
in Sophocle fragm. 135. employed in the siege of Byzantium.
shows that Poggio took it from the Germania manuscript
brought by the Herschfeld [[Hersfeld Abbey]
"Convent near Fulda" ] monk. [see
Goodyear of Cambridge University noted that analogy
(t.23. 1981) but did not query the rudder. [like
other areas of Paret, I have not tried to confirm this
argument (expose?). Commonly, the abilities of a superb
Latin scholar, are essential].
valid argument of Hochart may be the "allusion"
in Ann. III:58 (Hochart 1894, p. 214).
charge of flamen dialis remained vacant for 72 years after
the death of Lucius Cornelius Merula, but "with no
interruption of ceremonies nor damage to the cult".
charge of flamen Augusti was somewhat similar to the Pope.
Clement V transferred the Papal Seat to Avignon (France)
in 1305. Gregory IX transferred it back to Rome in Jan
1377. Poggio was very much enemy of the Papacy, though
he was Papal secretary. This hostility to clerics common
in Italy at the time has already been noted. (Machiavelli,
Dante, etc..) p. 60
the effective absence of Popes from Rome was 70 years,
it also resembled the "Babylonian Captivity"
denounced by Jeremiah and 2000 years later by Petrarca.
IV:33, Poggio may have indulged in a left-hand critic
of the cruel rule of Idespots [despots] over Italian cities
of his time.
Poggio did not like England (parum diligo. Epist.
I:2) he admired the government balance between monarch,
noblemen and commoners; "delecta ex iis et consociata
respublicae forma laidari facilius quam evenere".
A government of these three elements is easier praised
than found" [double quotation mark?].
doubts that Rome, two thirds destroyed by the incendy
[sic] [fire] could be rebuilt in two years and
a new palace (Domus Aurea) with woods, lawns and lake
mentions that Nero returned from Antium only when
the flames approached the Domus Transitoria which housed
paintings and sculptures. In the 16th century the new
palace had long crumbled. When excavated, the Lacoon was
retrieved from the "grottoes" and the word "grotesque"
was coined.' [78-79].
[Antonius Natalis (Roman knight)] [see 1810]
[Suetonius] (Nero 36) "two plots were discovered.
The earlier and more dangerous was that of PISO at Rome
and the other by Vinicius at Beneventum and detected there."
["Tacitus"] does not mention the Vinicius
plot but devotes 24 lurid chapters to the Pisonian plot
and the punishment of his coplotters.
slipped on one plotter NATALIS, which he mentions 6
[glancing, I noticed 11] times (chapt. 49,
Classical Library, see Annals, Book XV: 50, 54, 55, 56,
60, 61 (60, 61, not listed in Index (for "Natalis")),
71. Natalis is mentioned 2 times in 50, 3 times in 56,
2 times in 60.]
who was finally pardoned.
did not read Seneca's Epistol. 87:16 but erudite J.W.
Ross did. In 1878, out of Victorian propriety, he
omitted the 10 obscene central words: "Nuper Natalis
(tam improbae linguae quam impurae in cujus [cuius]
ore feminae purgabuntur [purgabantur] [for
translation, see 1814]) et multorum heres fuit et multos
habuit heredes). Natalis had died before the plot
[see 1814].' .
(BODY PARTS) [see 1748; 1831-1837 (Relics)]
Foreskin (paaeputium [praeputium]) kept by Mary
after circumcision. 12 in France, 1 in Belgium, 1 in Germany,
1 in Rome. The one best attested at Charroux (Poitiers)
said to have been given as betrothal gift by Empress Helena
to Charles the Great, who had Charroux built to house
it in 788. A bulla of Clement VII in 1379 grants indulgences
to sightseers. Henry V sent it to London to help in the
birth of Henry VI from Catherine of France. Confirmed
by royal ordnance of 1447. Louis XI worshipped it in 1464.
Navel (umbilical chord) authenticated by Pope Clement
V in 1310. 2 in France, 2 in Italy, 1 in Cosstantinople
Blood. in crystal vials. 8 in France, 4 in Italy,
2 in Belgium, 3 in Constantinople. One drop had an adventurous
history. Nicodemus caught some blood on a parchment, put
it in a bird's beak. The bird landed in Normandy, where
the Abbey of Bec-Halluin was founded in 1200 by the Duke
of Normandy. The drop in Bruges (Belgium) of Abbey of
St Basil, liquefied every Friday from dawn to 3 p.m. (1148-1310)
when a criminal uttered a blasphemy, it became solid.
Teeth. One milk tooth at Soissons. Guibert, abbot
at Nogent wrote a book contesting its authenticity. Several
adult teeth at Charroux.
Nails. 5 nails of left hand, 2 nails of right hand.
Hairs. in Church of St Alban (Namur) confirmed
by bulla of 1249. 2 hairs in Chartres 1322. also at Lucca
Beard. one curl at Wittenberg 1509.
Tears. in crystal vial, shed on Golgot ha [Golgotha]
at Vendome. 5 in France.
Sweat on the Golgot ha [Golgotha (Calvary)], at
Vienne and St Omer.
Breath. at Genova. doubtful.
of Thorns [see 1989]. made of twigs of Acacia horrida,
var. nilotica, with thorns of 5-10 cm (2-4 in.) kept
in the chapel of Bucoleon in Constantinople. In 1204
the Crusaders came to Constantinople to pass through Anatoliato
Palestine to rescue the Holy Sepulchre from the Moslems.
But following the counsels of the Venitian Doge Dandolo,
they sacked the city and dethroned the Emperor. Byzantium
fell to Baldwin of Flanders, as well as one-fourth of the
relics, including the Crown of Thorns, which was
sent to Venice, as security for a money loan. In 1238,
St Louis IX repaid to the Venitians [Venetians] the loan
of 13,134 gold perpres[?]. The crown arrived in Paris in
1239. The king and all his Court, in shirt and naked feet,
carried it in 1248 to the Saint Chapelbuilt [Chapel built]
expressly to receive it. In the course of time, the kings
sent some 70 spines to other kings, to Venice and other
Seamless robe. with half-sleeves. Increasing
in size with age of God. at Argenteuil and Trier (Germany)
Shirt, sandals, shawl, belt. at Athens.
Swaddling clothes. at Prag, received by Karl IV.
Manger craddle [cradle] of Bethlehem.
in Church of Our Lady Bethlehem
some straw of the manger.
some of the incense brought ty [by] the
3 Magi to Bethlehem
some of the gold pieces brought by the 3 Magi.
the skulls of the 3 Magi
bones of the 3 Magi
skulls, tibias, femurs of the Innocents slaughtered
by Herod. (204 parts at Wittenberg)
part of the rock shown by Satan to Jesus in the desert.
12 baskets of bread multiplicated miraculously by Jesus
jars of water changed into wine at Canna wedding.
spines of the fishes fed to 5000 people.
some of these dried fishes.
bones of donkey on which Jesus rode on Palm Sunday.
of the palm leaves carried on that day.
piece of the cloth whth [with] which
Jesus dried Apostles' feet.
some of the water used to wash apostles' feet
piece of sail of bark in which disciples fished on
Lake of Tiberiad.
piece of broiled fish offered to Jesus by Peter.
table of Last Meal (whole)
part of said table. Frankfurt.
table cloth (whole) in Golden Fleece,
Calice [Chalice] of Last Meal
some crumbs of Last Meal
comb of cock who crowed in Caiphas' house, awakening
Peter to his duty.
some feathers of said cock.
stick on which cock crowned [crowed].
basin in which Pontius Pilatus washed his hands
some of the 30 silver coins paid to Judas
Judas' leather bag
10 feet of the rope used by Judas to hang himself
Holy Cross, obtained by Helena; mother of Constantine,
in 324 pieces. 35 splinters at Wittenberg.
Nails of cr cifixion [crucifixion].
at Wittenberg and Venice
Lance plunged into Jesus' body on cross.
sponge filled with vinegar.
purple robe worn by Jesus on ascent of Golgotha.
rods of flagellation.
thrown by soldiers to decide of purple robe.
Holy Shroud. Compiègne (destroyed) Besançon (visited
by Louis XIV) Cadorcen (1930) now Lirey-Turin.
blood-stained whipping post.
Hair, ranging from blond to black.
robes and mantles.
girdles. the one dropped by Mary when ascending
to Heaven, at Prato. In 1638 Ann of Austria, pregnant
of Louis XIV, had this girdle sent twice to her from Puy
Notre Damae in Anjou.
coffin. Emperor requested bishop Juvenalis to send
it to Constantinople.
House at Nazareth. discovered by Empress Helena.
translated later by angels to Loretto (Italy).
enormous demand for relics in Western Europe could be
satisfied only with bones. Those of Palestinian origin
fetched higher prices. Though bone splitting was forbidden
very early by emperor Theodose [apparently, Theodosius
I, Roman Emperor 379 - 395] in 389, breaking
of bones was the only way to satisfy the demand of churches,
abbeys and monasteries.
the Baptist. 6 skulls. For the one at Amiens,
the cathedral was built to house it. The skull at Constantinople
was taken to Venice in 1204. Also one finger of the right
hand, one tooth.
Peter (corpse) Pope Hormisdas (515) refused
it to Justinian.
Paul (corpse) Pope Gregory I (590) refused
it to emperor.
(skull) brought to Constantinople in 356.
(skull and one thumb)
(skull) brought from Achaia to Constantinople in
(bones) in church of Mount Zion. Bone
scrapings of St Stephen worked miracles.
ST AUGUSTINE REPORTS 70 MIRACLES WROUGHT BY THEM IN
HIS DIOCESIS WITHIN TWO YEARS, THREE WERE RESURRECTIONS
FROM THE DEAD.
Stephen besides 11 skulls left one of the rocks with which
he was stoned (at Tavaux, Haute Vienne).
saintsare [saints are] few. Besides Saint
Agnes cited above, Margarita left one finger, Maria-Magdalena
her hair and two skeletons (Vezelay, St Maximin). Perpetua
and Felicitas were revered in Numidia before the Arab
the Dombes district, 40 km north of Lyons, one four-footed
St Guinefort was revered. This greyhound had saved
his masters infant from a snake bite but was injustly
killed by his master, whose castle was then cursed and
fell in ruins.
the 13th century onward for five centuries, peasants
brought their sick "changeling" children for
identification or cure. Etienne de Bourbon tried without
avail to stop this cult.
the 13th century Church authorities tried ineffectually
to stem the flood of saints revered by the masses (as
by the "Forma interrogandi" of Gregory IX in
" Crown of Thorns" [see 1989] cost St
Louis IX 100,000 coins of 4.2 grams of gold at 22 carats,
or some 400 kilograms of gold. As one laborer earned then
5 grams gold per year, this crown made of some twigs
of Acacia horrida cost the salary of 80,000 laborers for
to the study by C 14 in 1988 of the Holy Shroud of
Turin, it was woven of linen grown in the Near East
between 1260 and 1390. J. Nickell: Inquest on the
shroud of Turin. (1988. 178 p) [see 1748]
de Plancy [see 1824] estimated that from the holy
bones purchased in Western Europe some 500,000 to 600,000
skeletons could be reconstituted. In Milano, the Church
of St Alexander owned 144,000 relics. The 400 churches
in Rome housed many more.
enormous number of relics could be obtained only by the
breaking of bones and by the spurious attribution of multiple
bones to the same saint.
instance St Lazarus left 3 skeletons, at Marseille,
avalon and Autun. Saint Agnes left three skeletons,
at Rome, at Montresa (Spain) and Utrecht.
Peter left 32 fingers, St Matthew eleven legs,
St John the Baptist left 13 skulls, 20 jaws, 60
of thousands of Saints, well known or of local fame only
were revered [see #6, 167; etc.]. To house
one tooth of St Lawrence, Philip II built his Escorial
Palace near Madrid in the shape of the grid on which this
Saint was said to have been burnt alive.
a religion based on the belief of sin, of eternal punishment
in Hell and of eternal bliss in Heaven, relics were revered
for their magical power over life after death.
was an easy step to the belief in their power to prevent
and to cure diseases, to help in childbirth (Catherine
of France with Henry VI, Anne of Austria for the birth
of Louis XIV).
belief in the magical power of relics stopped for 1500
years medical progress which had begun with Hippocrates
and Galen in Greece and thus caused the death of millions,
cult of relics had another indirect deleterious effect.
The enormous amount of work needed to build 350,000
cult buildings, devoid of practical use except to
glorify and "adore" unseen supernatural beings,
could have been directed to practical uses:
the sanitation of cities, the fight against epidemics,
roads, canals, irrigation, flood prevention.
all civilizations have erected wonderful structures
to honor their gods and rulers: Karnak, Luxor, Abu
Simbel, the Parthenon, Teotihuacan, Tikal, Chichen
photographed the Kukulcán pyramid, and,
the Great Ballcourt (Nikon, tripod, time
exposures), alone, Midnight-2:00 a.m., early 1980's. Consorting
with Mayan Gods (reciprocated?). Heard one (?) overhead,
in the Ballcourt. At first, extremely scary! Probably
a Bat species pursuing insects, and seemingly capable
of high speed, 180 degree turns--hence, the very alarming
Borobudur, the Schwedagon pagoda at Rangoon, covered with
20 tons of gold (40 million gold sheets of 0.5 gram) the
Vishavanâtha of Khajurato, the Brihadishvara in Thanjavur,
the Minakshi of Madurai, Angkor Vat and Angkor Tom.
technical achievements of Christian churches, the
domes of Latran and Saint Sophia, the vault of Beauvais
(48 m) the tower of Strasbourg (142 m) and Ulm are admirable
but did not lead to the betterment of the mud hovels
of the commoners, the construction of sewers and the prevention
[apparently, for Paret: 122-127 (my pages: 1818-1823)]
Analecta Bollandiana 1880-1930. Brussels
Bluche R. la vie quotienne au temps de Louis XIV
CABANEL Claire: Culte de la tunique 17 siècle. Nanterre
CABROL-LECLERCQ (Dom) Dict. Archeol.chr. et liturg. tome
14. 1948. col. 2312-2323, 2630.
CHEVALIER Ulysee (Chanoine): Etude critique du St Suaire
COLLIN de PLANCY: Dict. des reliques. 2 tomes. 1828.
COMBES (L. de) Invention de la vraie Croix 1903: p. 97,
DELAHAYE R.P.: Légendes hagiographiques p. 185-7
DOLAN: History of the Reform.
DURAND (Abbé): L'écrin de la Vierge. 3 vols. Lille 1885
ESTIENNE H.: Analog. pr Herodot. chap. 38 Le Duchat, Haag
HISTORIA: la verge de Moise. F. Rabadeau-Dumas
LALANNE Ludovic: Curiosités et Traditions. p. 123-4
LUCAS Henry S. Renaissance and Reformation. Harper Bros.
LUCHAIRE A.: Culte des reliques. Rev. Paris July 1900.192-3
MELAT G.: Echos merveilleux. s.d.
MELY. M. de: Chemises de la Vierge. Chartres 1885
Lapidaires grecs 1902...St Suaire 1904
REAU L.: Iconographie art Chrétien. 6 vols. PUF 1957
SMEDT de (R.P.) Acad.Sci. Belles Lettres, t. X 1903 p.
148. Liège 1883
STRING FELLOW BARR: Pelerinage [sic] of Western man [Barr,
Stringfellow. Peregrinage = Pilgrimage]
TOMEK W.W. Prag 1892-3. Encycl. Brit. edn 1911
SAINT YVES P.: Les Saints etc..1907..Reliques 1912
USENER M. HM/Archiv. relig. Wiss. 1904
VALLET de VIVILLE: Mem. Sect. Antiq. de la Morinière.
t. 6 2nd part. XL
VOOGT Paul de: l'hérésie de Jean Huss. Louvain 1975.'
began even before the creation of the script with letters
invented by gifted Phoenicians scribes. The title of
this book could have been "THIRTY CENTURIES
OF FORGERIES" [see 1735].
forgeries sensu lato ["In the broad sense"
(dictionary.com)] appear in this book in an approximate
1890 onward seven industrious Germans studied forgeries.
In 1971 W. Speyer [see 1991] condensed their findings
and added of his own. Some 6,000 forgeries can be tabulated
from his dense text and the numberless footnotes with
cryptic abbreviations, but nobody really cares if in the
3rd century bC. Artemon plagiarized Dionysios Skytobrachion
or the reversed [sic].
1990 Anthony Grafton [see 1777-1782] of Princeton
University described in a graceful style notorious forgeries
of abstruse subjects (French edition 157 pages, 15 pages
of notes and bibliography)
1908 F.F. Abbott found that out of 144,044 epigraphies
in the Corpus (C.I.L.) 10,576 are false [see 1766].
Only one amusing mystification, alleged stone inscriptions
[inscription], not included in the C.I.L. is reproduced
at length: "Eleven days" perhaps by Carlo
Sigonio [see 1991], which fooled Latinists for 200
years, with the critic by [delete "by"] J.V.
Le Clerc in 1838 exposing the forgery.
BEING HUMAN INVENTIONS, ARE APT TO FOSTER PROFITABLE
FORGERIES. The chapter of relics since antiquity
will divert all readers except priests, although some
priests since earliest times exposed the frauds.
martyrs of Bithynia, Smyrna, Lyons and Rome are eliminated
by evidence taken from contemporaries.
chapter on Tacitus forms one third of the book (62
pages out of 218), the hard core of the book, in fact
the cause of its redaction [1995?]. Even the suggested
C 14 dating will not convince all Latinists of the forgery
by a brilliant Florentine in the 15th century. May important
Universities obtain this C 14 dating and ponder the arguments
for the forgery.
chapters on Shakespeare and Marco Polo are denials of
forgeries (the Baconian authorship and Marco's
the course of history three forgeries resulted
in death; the murder of Emperor Aurelian in 275 by his
secretary's forged letters--in 1937 the execution
of Marshal Tukhatchevsky by a Gestapo-NKVD forgery--in
1945-46 the death by starvation and diseases of one
million German war prisoners through the denial of
the 1927 Geneva convention, mostly by a semantic fraud
(POW to DEF).' [back cover].
The Jesus Mysteries, Was the "Original
Jesus" a Pagan God?, Timothy Freke and Peter
Gandy, Harmony Books, c1999. [Must See!]. [See: 1734].
this book reference, I thank Robb Marks, Bookseller: 1/800/66WALDO;
HAVE BECOME CONVINCED THAT THE STORY OF JESUS IS NOT THE
BIOGRAPHY OF A HISTORICAL MESSIAH, BUT A MYTH BASED ON
PERENNIAL PAGAN STORIES." . [from 1734].
Falsification of History
Roman Church required a suitable history of its faith
that vilified its enemies and celebrated its triumph as
a sign of its God-given destiny. The truth of Christianity's
origins was, therefore, rigorously suppressed and a more
acceptable history was concocted--a fabrication, which
is still taken to be accurate by the vast majority of
people to this day.
Gnostics regularly and unashamedly created fantasy gospels.
But they acknowledged that they were mythologizing. Their
works, of which THE JESUS STORY itself is an example,
were never meant to be taken as anything other than allegorical
fiction [see #24, 497 (C.W. King)]. When
the Literalists ["orthodox"] created
their fantasies, however, they attempted [and,
succeeded,] to pass them off as historical
records. These works, which form the basis of the traditional
history of Christianity, are blatant forgeries.198
the end of the second century Paul's original letters
were interpolated and new ones forged to
bring him into line with Literalist Christianity
and distance him from Gnosticism. As part of the
general Romanization of Christianity, a tradition
was even fabricated that Paul had been in close communication
with the eminent Roman statesman Seneca. Three hundred
manuscripts still survive containing eight letters from
Paul and 11 letters of Seneca in reply--all
complete fakes, of course, but believed genuine until
the last century! In them, Seneca is made
to embrace Christianity and Paul to nominate
him as official preacher of the gospel at the imperial
court!199 In the FOURTH CENTURY, on the
basis of these fabrications, Jerome
342 - 420] included Seneca [c. 4 B.C.E. - 65 C.E.]
among his catalog of Christian saints.200
were also forged in the names of various apostles.
These are now included in the New Testament and
regarded as holy scripture, but at the time were viewed
with suspicion. Even Eusebius, the mouthpiece of Catholic
propaganda, regarded the authenticity of the letters of
James, Jude, Peter, and John as dubious and the Revelation
as entirely spurious.201 Letters attributed
to early Christians such as Justin Martyr, Ignatius
of Antioch, and Clement of Rome continued to
be forged, adulterated, and added to
well into the fifth century.202
WORKS INTO LATIN AFFORDED OPPORTUNITIES FOR DISTORTION.
In this way teachings such as those of the Christian
philosopher Origen [c. 185 - c. 254] were made
to appear in sympathy with what was regarded as orthodox
at the time.203
biographies were routinely constructed for Christian saints,
often directly based on the lives and legends of dead Pagan
holy men.204 Stories were invented of Peter
coming to Rome and being crucified upside down to give credence
to the Church of Rome being the center of Christian
power. But these tales were invented so late that no
one even considered including them in the New Testament.
Gnostic works were edited to remove their Gnostic teachings
and replace them with doctrinally correct material.205
Christians even adapted Pagan works to endorse
their own dogma. Oracles by the Pagan Sibyl, which prophesied
the coming of Jesus, were forged early in the fourth century
and quoted by Constantine himself at the Council of Nicaea
as proof of Jesus' divinity.206 They
even forged a Testament of Orpheus in
which the ancient prophet [Orpheus] of the Mysteries
was made to deny his former Pagan teachings.207
Christian additions [forgeries ("interpolations")]
were made to the works of the Jewish Pythagorean
Philo [13 B.C.E. - 45-50 C.E.],208 and
ridiculous legends invented that he had held discussions
on the Law with the disciple John and met Peter in Rome!209
The Jewish historian Josephus [c. 37 - c. 100]
was likewise transformed into a Christian and was
even equated with the New Testament figure of Joseph of
Arimathea!210 As previously discussed, additions
were made to his [Josephus] works that reverentially
testify to the historical existence of Jesus.211
further document attributed to Josephus called On the
Essence of God was also forged to reinforce
the previous forgery by putting Christian
doctrines into Josephus' [c. 37 - c. 100 C.E.]
mouth. Through careful linguistic studies, scholars now
know "beyond any doubt" that the forger of
this text was none other than Hippolytus (c.
222), the arch-heresy-hunter and protégé of Irenaeus
[c. 130 - c. 200]!212 Scholars have
also shown similarities in language and style between
this forgery and Paul's Second Letter to
the Thessalonians, which was written to call into question
the authenticity of the first (genuine [not genuine!])
letter.213 So, Hippolytus may well have
also been the forger of this letter of Paul.214'
The Dead Sea Scrolls Deception, Michael Baigent
and Richard Leigh, Summit Books, c1991. [See: chapter "6
The Onslaught of Science"; etc.].
Onslaught of Science
scholar or graduate student in Britain, or the States,
or anywhere else, having established some academic credibility
with a thesis or publication in one or another sphere
of biblical study, would apply for access to the Qumran
material. He'd have no reason to expect a rebuff--would
assume the scrolls were available for study by anyone
who had acquired legitimate academic credentials. In every
case known to us, however, requests for access have been
summarily refused, without apology or explanation--and
with the inevitable concurrent implication that the applicant
himself was somehow inadequate.
to take but one example, was the case for Professor
Norman Golb of the University of Chicago. Professor
Golb had done his doctoral dissertation on Qumran and
on Qumran-related material found in Cairo. Having amassed
years of experience in the field, he [Norman Golb]
embarked on a research project to check the palaeographical
dating of the scrolls, which had been established
by Professor [Frank] Cross of
the international team and which Golb felt could be improved.
To confirm his thesis, Golb of course needed to see certain
original texts--photographic facsimiles would obviously
not have sufficed. In 1970, he was in Jerusalem and accordingly
wrote to de Vaux, then head of the Ecole Biblique
and the international team, requesting access and explaining
that he needed it to validate a research project which
had already occupied years of his life. Three days later,
de Vaux replied, stating that no access could be granted
without 'the explicit permission of the scholar who is
in charge of their edition'.22 The scholar
in question was the then Father Milik, who, as
de Vaux knew only too well, wasn't prepared to let anyone
see anything. After all the time and effort he had invested
in it, Golb was obliged to abandon his project. 'Since
then,' he told us, 'I HAVE HAD GOOD REASON TO DOUBT
ALL CROSS'S DATINGS OF TEXTS BY PALAEOGRAPHY.'23"
in the Service of Faith"
[Solomon Birnbaum] ["bizarre" palaeographic]
method, as Eisenman [Robert Eisenman] says,
'is, of course, preposterous'.36 Nevertheless,
Birnbaum employed his technique, such as it was, to
establish 'absolute dates' for all the texts
discovered at Qumran. The most alarming fact of all
is that adherents of the consensus still accept these
'absolute dates' as unimpugnable.
Philip Davies of Sheffield states that 'most people who
take time to study the issue agree that the use of paleography
[also, palaeography] in Qumran research is unscientific',
adding that 'attempts have been made to offer a precision
that is ludicrous'.37 Eisenman
is rather more scathing, describing Birnbaum's endeavours
as 'what in any other field would be the most pseudo-scientific
and infantile methods'.38 To illustrate this,
he provides the following example.39
two scribes of different ages are copying the same text
at the same time, and the younger scribe were trained
more recently in a more up-to-date 'scribal school'? Suppose
the older scribe were deliberately using a stylised
calligraphy which he'd learned in his youth? Suppose
either or both scribes, in deference to tradition or the
hallowed character of their activity, sought deliberately
to replicate a style dating from some centuries before--as
certain documents today, such as diplomas or certificates
of award, may be produced in archaic copper-plate? What
date could possibly be assigned definitively to their
his palaeographic assumptions, Birnbaum overlooked
one particularly important fact. If a document is
produced merely to convey information, it will, in all
probability, reflect the most up-to-date techniques. Such,
for example, are the techniques employed by modern newspapers
(except, until recently, in England). But everything suggests
that the Dead Sea Scrolls weren't produced merely to convey
information. Everything suggests that they had a ritual
or semi-ritual function as well, and were lovingly produced
so as to preserve an element of tradition. It is therefore
highly probable that later scribes would deliberately
attempt to reproduce the style of their predecessors.
And, indeed, all through recorded history, scribes
have consistently been conservative. Thus, for example,
illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages contrived
to reflect a sacred quality of antiquity, not the latest
technological progress. Thus many modern Bibles are reproduced
in 'old-fashioned' print. Thus one would not expect to
find a modern Jewish Torah employing the style or technique
used to imprint a slogan on a T-shirt.
the CALLIGRAPHY IN THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS, Eisenman concludes
that 'they simply represent a multitude
of different handwriting styles of people working more
or less at the same time within the same framework
[compare: palaeography], and TELL US NOTHING ABOUT
CHRONOLOGY AT ALL'.40
Roth of Oxford was, if anything, even more emphatic:
'In connection for example with the English records, although
a vast mass of dated manuscript material exists covering
the entire Middle Ages, it is impossible to fix precisely
within the range of a generation ["generation":
annoying to define. a number please!] the date of any
document on the basis of palaeography alone'.
He warned that 'a new dogmatism' had
arisen in the field of palaeography, and that
'without any fixed point to serve as a basis, we are
already expected to accept as an historical criterion
a precise dating of these hitherto unknown Hebrew scripts'.
He ["Cecil Roth of Oxford"] even, in
his exasperation of the complacency and intransigence
of the international team, had recourse to the unscholarly
expedient of capital letters:
MUST BE STATED HERE ONCE AND FOR ALL THAT THE SO-CALLED
PALAEOGRAPHICAL EVIDENCE IS WHOLLY INADMISSIBLE IN
this [THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS] DISCUSSION.41"
[162-164]. [See: 1990 (palaeography)].
The Tradition of Manuscripts, A Study in the Transmission
of St. Cyprian's Treatises, Maurice Bévenot, S.J., Professor
of Ecclesiology and Lecturer in Patristics at Heythrop College
[University of London], Oxford, 1961.
Transmission and stemmata
(Pl. stemmata): "A diagram which represents
a reconstruction on stemmatic principles of the position
of the surviving witnesses in the tradition of the transmission
of a text, esp. in manuscript form." (O.E.D.)]
word should perhaps be here added on what may be called
the by-product of all this industry. It is customary
to find in the preface to the critical edition of an ancient
author, a stemma or family tree, designed to throw
light on the relationship existing between the surviving
among the MSS upsets all our calculations. It is
one of the chief merits of Dr. Paul Maas's booklet
Textkritik, that with his closing words he recognizes
this by quoting the graphic comparison of Otto Immisch.
As the chemical formula lays down inexorably the arrangement
of the atoms in each compound
useful analogy! In general, I have little confidence,
in the "word merchants", who have not
had, at least, the basic science education of American
Physicians, Dentists, and other science based specialists],
too does the stemma lay down the relations between
the MS readings for each passage--but only 'if
we have a virgin tradition. No specific ["remedy"]
has yet been discovered against contamination'
(Paul Maas, Textual Criticism (1958), p. 49).
reader will recognize that in the earlier part of this
study there is a manifest groping after the construction
of a stemma which should embrace all our
data satisfactorily. Not all the checks which these efforts
encountered are recorded here. It was only after the variant
readings throughout the treatise had been compared, MS
by MS, that the now obvious fact was recognized, viz.
that there had been so much comparison and correction
of readings in the ancestors of our
MSS, that the creation of a stemma as ordinarily understood
was now impossible.
IS NO REASON FOR THINKING THAT THIS IS SOMETHING PECULIAR
TO THE MSS OF ST. CYPRIAN; ONE MIGHT HAZARD THE STATEMENT
THAT IT IS EQUALLY TRUE OF ALL LATIN PATRISTIC LITERATURE
WHOSE TRANSMISSION DEPENDED EQUALLY ON THE MONASTIC SCRIPTORIA
OF THE MIDDLE AGES. For the classics, and especially
for the Greek classics, the situation may be different.
it would seem wise [pause] at least seriously [awkward]
to face the possibility that THE COMPLICATIONS IN
THE ANCESTRY OF OUR PATRISTIC MSS ARE SUCH THAT WE SHOULD
LAY ASIDE THE PRETENCE OF BEING ABLE TO RECONSTRUCT STEMMATA
THAT REALLY THROW LIGHT ON THEIR DESCENT. Perhaps
some other way of expressing the relationship between
our MSS can be found which will be more in conformity
with the facts."
[End of "3. Transmission and stemmata"].
A XVth Century Guide-Book to the Principal Churches
of Rome, Compiled
1470 by William Brewyn, Translated from the Latin
with introduction and notes
C. Eveleigh Woodruff, M.A., Hon. Librarian to the Dean
and Chapter of Canterbury, The Marshall Press, Limited,
1933 (c. 1477). [Note: this book was written before the
Protestant Reformation (16th century)]. [See: #6, 166-179].
Church of St. John Lateran, the
of the World and of the City*"
Tabernacle of the Relics. [see 1991 (Relics)]
in the nearest tabernacle (? to the altar) are
tiara or coronet (regnum) with which St. Silvester,
the pope, was crowned1.
the head of St. Zachary, the father of St. John the Baptist.
the head of St. Pancras, which dripped with blood for
three days, when this church was burnt by the heretics.
are) certain relics of St. Mary Magdalen.
knife of St. Laurence, the martyr.
tooth of the apostle Peter.
cup in which St. John the Evangelist drank the poison,
and received no hurt.
chain (cathena) with which St. John the Evangelist
was bound when he was led from Ephesus to Rome.
tunic of St. John the Evangelist*, which was placed over
three dead persons and forthwith they arose.2
ashes of St. John the Baptist, and some of his hair.
of the milk, hair, and vestments of St. Mary the Virgin,
and the shirt which the Virgin Mary made with her own
hands, for Jesus Christ.
linen cloth with which Christ dried the feet of the Apostles
pincers (forbices), and the reed with which Christ
was smitten, and some of the wood of the cross.
purple robe stained with drops of the blood of Christ.
veil of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which she placed as drawers
for Christ on the cross.
foreskin of our Lord Jesus Christ when he was circumcised.
of the water and blood which flowed from the side of Christ.
the greater tabernacle are the heads of the holy Apostles
Peter and Paul, reverently laid up in a case of silver
shaped like a man's head1.
in the chapel which is in the lower part of the church,
over (super) the altar, is the table on which the
Lord Jesus Christ supped with his disciples.
the ark of the covenant, and Aaron's rod2."
Chapels at the Font of
the door where the Font (fons) of Constantine is,
there hangs a tablet on which is the following inscription:
"This church is called 'Ad Fontes Constantini'
because within this great circular building the Emperor
Constantine was baptized by blessed Silvester, and Christ
appeared to the said Constantine when he was baptized3."
this church are many relics and many bodies of
Saints and many indulgences, and especially in the chapel
of St. John the Baptist1, into which women
do not enter, where there is remission of all sins....'
Relics in the Chapel of the
the chapel of the Saviour, or, as it was called in old
time, of St. Laurence,--in the holy Lateran palace, there
is a picture of the Saviour by St. Luke, but he [Luke]
did not put in the colours...." [27-28].
one time, the heads of the Apostles Peter and Paul
were here, but the blessed Pope Urban the fourth (1261-1264)
removed them and set them up, marvellously adorned, over
the high altar of the Lateran church, in the presence
of all the people of Rome; but the other relics aforesaid,
he suffered to remain in this same chapel.1
chin of the Apostle St. Bartholomew*.
relics of St. Matthew, the Evangelist,--in a crystal phial.
of the garment of blessed John, the Evangelist--in a silver
relics of St. John the Baptist,--in an ebony coffer...."
of S. Pudenciana."
2 [see footnote, below]*
the church of St. Potenciana (sic) [proto-"Freudian
slip"] there is a little chapel in
which St. Peter celebrated his first mass.
in another and larger chapel in the same church is laid
up the blood of three thousand martyrs in an aperture
(foramine) which is walled round with white marble
arranged in a square; and I have been twice within it
(et fait interius bis).
this chapel is an altar near which is the mark (signum)
of the consecrated host, which fell upon a stone of white
marble imprinting it in a very miraculous manner; this
imprint is covered over with iron-work, "Anglice
grated wt yren."
this church also, is the bench upon which the Lord Jesus
sat together with His disciples at the Supper; also,
some of the thorn and crown (sic) of the Lord,
and part of one of the nails with which Christ was crucified,
also some of the wood of the Cross of Christ.
some of the stone of the Lord's tomb; some of the stone
of the pillar at which Christ was scourged in Jerusalem,
in Pilate's house; some of the crib in which Christ was
born on the day of His Nativity; some of the bones of
St. Bartholomew the Apostle; some of the ribs of St. James
the Apostle; a tooth of St. Peter the Apostle; some of
the garments, or priestly vestments of St. Andrew the
Apostle; some of the arm of St. Matthew, the Apostle and
Evangelist; a bone of St. Paul, the Apostle*.
of the head of St. Thomas, the Apostle; a bone from the
head of St. Barnabas, the Apostle; some of the hairs of
Mary Magdalene; something of St. Potenciana
[sic]; some of the veil of the Virgin Mary; some of the
wood of the bier upon which the body of Mary was carried
the relics of St. Silvester, St. Gregory, the Pope,
Zachary, the prophet; St. John the Baptist, etc.
church is near to the church of St. Mary the Greater.'
[End of entry: "Pudenciana"].
"2The church of S. Pudentiana [sic]
on the Viminal is said to have been built during the second
century on the site of the house in which the Senator
Pudems received St. Peter, and was restored during the
pontificate of Siricius (384-398) Gregorovius. op. cit."
Church of St. Paul1
church of St. Paul, the apostle, belongs to the monks
of the order of St. Benedict.
the high altar are the glorious middle parts of the bodies
of the holy apostles Peter and Paul, which a long time
ago were divided by the blessed Pope Silvester."
"1The basilica of St. Paul on the Ostian
way, according to the Liber Pontificalis was erected by
Constantine over the tomb of the Apostle. It was reconstructed
on a larger scale by Valentinian II (386), and after being
subjected to several restorations was almost completely
destroyed by fire in 1823. The rebuilding of the church
was completed in the year 1854." .
on the feast of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul there
are as many indulgences as there are at St. Peter's, namely,
a thousand years.
at the entrance of the same church [apparently, "basilica
of St. Paul"], where the head of St. Paul was
found, there are every day as many (blank)
and also remission of a third part of all sins.
on the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, there are
indulgences of a thousand years.
on the day of the Holy Innocents,--many of whose bodies,
together with those of blessed Timothy, Julian, and many
other martyrs, rest in the same basilica,--there are indulgences
of XL years." .
in the said church is the chain with which St. Paul was
bound; an arm of St. Anne, the mother of Mary the Virgin
with flesh on the bone (?) (in carne ossis)
(sic); the head of St. Stephen, pope and martyr, and
many other relics." .
of S. Maria in Ara Coeli."
Altar of Heaven (ara celi)1*
is that venerable altar of Heaven concerning which in
the lessons for our Lord's Nativity, we find these words:
the emperor Octavian had reduced the whole world
to the rule of Rome, it pleased the Senate to will that
he should be worshipped as God. The emperor, however,
being a prudent man, and knowing that he was mortal, was
unwilling to usurp to himself the attributes of deity
(deitatis nomen). Nevertheless, at the pressing
request of the Senate, he summoned the Sibylline prophetess,
desiring to know by her oracular declaration, if any greater
man than he had ever been born into the world. When therefore
on the day of the Lord's Nativity, the Sybil being in
the place which at that time was the Emperor's bed-chamber,
there appeared at mid-day, a golden circle round the sun,
and, in the midst of the circle, the most beautiful Virgin
holding her Son in her arms. Then the Sybil showed the
vision to the Emperor, who, as he was marvelling at this
strange sight, heard a voice saying to him 'This is the
Heavenly Altar,' and forthwith he offered on this altar
incense to the Christ and His Mother."
that everything which is above written may be kept in
remembrance, and all may know that this altar is the chief
altar of the world, you will find, inscribed on marble,
between two pillars, these verses:
one and all who climb the heavenly stair
this first altar of our Lady fair
the Emperor Octavian was reared
time to him the Holy Child appeared.
Anacletus, the fourth pope* (76-90) after the blessed
Peter, consecrated and dedicated this venerable Altar
of Heaven. Within it lie the venerable bodies of these
the mother of the Emperor Constantine, who found the Cross
of the Lord Jesus Christ; the holy martyrs Arthemius,
the tribune; Abundus and Abundancius. The indulgence of
this venerable altar of heaven (according to what is contained
in the register of the lord Pope, which is kept in the
registry of St. Peter in which all the indulgences of
the city are registered) is three thousand years, and
this is doubled on the feast of the Assumption, for then
there are six thousand years, as I found inscribed on
a tablet (tabula) upon (super) a sarcophagus,
beneath the altar3, which is called the altar
THERE IS A PICTURE OF THE VIRGIN MARY IN THE MIDST
OF THE SUN WITH HER SON IN HER ARMS, depicted with
angels, upon the wall above the high altar in the same
the Picture of St. Mary Painted by St. Luke
on a tablet hanging near the above, is the following inscription:
faithful who shall inspect these present letters, and
are desirous of knowing something about the efficacy of
the sacred picture of the Virgin Mary which blessed Luke,
the evangelist, painted...." .
Stairway of Heaven (Scala Coeli)
is the second chapel2* that was founded in
the whole world in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
and it is called the Stairway of Heaven because it was
here that the blessed Bernard was deemed worthy to see
the ladder which reached to heaven. Whosoever celebrates
or causes a celebration to be made in this chapel for
souls in purgatory, they (the said souls) for the merits
of the same Blessed Virgin Mary shall speedily be set
Chapel Scala Celi3.
was found by our predecessors of old time in certain writings
that the second chapel which was founded in honour of
Holy Mary, is the church of St. Mary of the Heavenly
Stairway, in which beneath the altar, repose ten thousand
bodies [crowded!] of saints and martyrs slain in
the time of the emperor Tiberius [another excellent
example, of "Christian history"]...." .
Church of the Holy Cross*"
is recorded that Pope Silvester, Pope Gregory, Pope Alexander,
Pope Nicholas, Pope Pellagius and Pope Honorius* gave
to all, who at any time of the year, shall come for devotion
and pilgrimage to the holy places in Rome, amongst which
is this one, an indulgence of a thousand years, and to
those who shall die on the journey the remission of all
their sins1." .
the Jerusalem Chapel5
most sacred and venerable chapel, which is called the
Jerusalem Chapel, the blessed Helen, the mother of the
Emperor Constantine, built in what aforetime was her bed-chamber
(cubiculum). And the blessed Silvester, the pope,
adorned and sanctified this chapel on the xxth day of
the month of March, on the eve of St. Benedict's day.
And the notable relics, which are recorded below, were
laid up in the altar of the aforesaid chapel by the hands
of blessed Silvester, at the request of the aforesaid
Helen, which relics, the blessed Helen herself brought
from Jerusalem, at the request of the aforesaid Pope.
the cord with which Christ was bound on the Cross.
sapphires, one of which is full of the precious blood
of Christ, and the other of the milk of the glorious Virgin
Mary, the Mother of Christ.
a large piece of Christ's garment; a large piece of the
veil of the mother of Mary, the Mother of Christ; a large
piece of Christ's garment (probably repeated by mistake);
some of the hair of the Blessed Virgin Mary; the sponge
together with the salt and vinegar that were offered to
xi thorns [see 1989 (Crown of Thorns)] of the Lord's crown;
a large piece of the garment of St. John the Baptist;
the fore-arms of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul;
a lump (massa), like a loaf, formed of coal ashes
and the fat [my favorite!] of the blessed Laurence,
the martyr; a lamp filled with sweet oil (balsamo),
in which floats the head of blessed Vincent, the martyr.
the said chapel there is daily an indulgence of xxvii
years and xxvii quarantines, which begins on the fourth
day of the week before Passion Sunday, and lasts throughout
the whole year.
Pope Stephen, who died here, gave an indulgence
of all sins to all who come hither truly penitent and
from: A XVth Century Guide-Book to the Principal
Churches of Rome, Compiled c. 1470 by William
Brewyn, Translated from the Latin with introduction and
notes by C. Eveleigh Woodruff, M.A., Hon. Librarian to
the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury, The Marshall Press,
Limited, 1933 (c. 1477). [Note: this book was written
before the Protestant Reformation (16th century)]. [See: