Christianism ("Christianity"), Etc.

Glen 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.

Had Eusebius run short of Roman names for his invented martyrs?' [13-14] [End of entry]. [See: #17, 360-362 (Bowersock)].


It 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.


Few have been detected, but these few show that priests found since earliest times forgeries to be the easy way to wealth.

The decree on the grave of Amenophis III (1405-1372) was forged to ensure permanent rights to Theban priesthood.

The 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.

Wisdom 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.

The 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.


GREEKS 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].

The 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.

PAGE 1800

Diogenes Laertios [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.

Herodot [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.

From 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.

Aristoxenos [4th century B.C.E.] asserted that Plato had plundered Pythagoran texts, an accusation repeated for centuries.

Demokrit [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.

No names can be ascribed to forgers passing under the names of Orpheos, Musaios, Linos, Pythagoras, Homer, Hesiod, Plato, Democrit, Eudoxos, Aeschylos, Socrates, Demosthenes, Isocrates, Lysias, Galen.

Oracles 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.

The 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 #24, 509]."

Herakleides 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)

Hymns were ascribed to Homer, genealogies to Hesuod [Hesiod fl. 8th century B.C.E.], anecdotes to Hippocrates, fables to Aesop.

The 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 purposes.

PAGE 1801


Plautus [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."]

Pliny 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.

Caesar 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.

Cicero (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.

For 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 1968).

Aulus 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. 1194.30.21.7[)]

Caesar was said to recognize, as soon as heard, whether Cicero's jokes were true or forged.

Livy 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 ["]).

According 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.

omans [Romans] imitated the Greek classification of works

as genuinae, spuriae, ambiguae. ...[3 Greek words]

The collecting zeal of Ptolemids, Attalids of Pergamum, Lagids of Alexandria provoked many forgeries.

The 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.

Greek and Roman forgeries condensed from W. Speyer, p. 111-146' [34-37].

PAGE 1802


(see #18, 367) (see:;]

In the first five centuries, forgeries and counter forgeries were exchanged between the "orthodox" backed by the Pope in Rom [Rome] and the ["]heterodox".

However in the Byzantine (Greek) church the faithful consider themselves as "orthodox" and the Romans as somewhat heterodox.

Numberless 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 adopted it.

Paul 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.

The 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.

Julius 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 (H.e.IV:23.12)

Origen 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)

Basileios 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 a council.

Texts 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.

In the Council of Chalcedon (451 aD) both Monophysites and Duophysites battled with falsified letters of their adversaries.

In the 5th Council of Constantinople, the texts of Cyril and Theodorus of Mopsiestia [Theodore of Mopsuestia c. 350 - 428] were rejected as falsified.

PAGE 1803

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.

In the Council of 787 only complete texts were accepted, since "florilegia" (extracts) were not convincing (Van den Ven 1955).


In 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.

Churches 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.

These 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 their bishops.

His 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".

In "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.

In 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.

Archbishop 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.

PAGE 1804


From 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.

In 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.

Joachim 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.

Johann 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.

W. 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.

Other 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)

PAGE 1805


Mystifiers 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 recognized.

True 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.

M. Parenti (Firenze 1951) cites several such works. Some supposed forgeries as "Consolatio ad Liviam" were found to be true (Torino 1956)

In 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.

In 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 day.

In 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 1911.

These letters were written by 660 illustrious persons

["Lucas 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)]:

Sapho [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.

In 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].

PAGE 1806


In 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.

This 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 Hochart--to me].

[see: "Tacitus and his manuscripts" (orthodox presentation. Have corresponded with author (Roger Pearse)):]

[see: 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...."]

This 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).

Sir 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.

The 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 sacrilegious authors.

The 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?]"

L. 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.' [50].

PAGE 1807

'TACITUS [see 1703-1704 (Strange)]

Biography: 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, p. 621.


In 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

In 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.

Tertullian (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.


Not 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.

Michael Grant, in his preface of the translation writes: "certain aspects of the discvoery [discovery] in the 14th and 15th centuries are veiled in obscurity".

In 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

The 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.

According 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 of Nero?


In 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.

PAGE 1808

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 Chamber".

In 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.

[Beroaldus, 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 invenit).

As true Father of us all, You [Leo X] ordered for the public weal"

Alcuati at Milano writing to Arcimboldi, later Archbishop of Milano writes succinctly "priores quinque libros de barbaris redemptos".

Why 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?

Poggio 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 palace.

At 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.

The 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.

But 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.

We 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)

Copyists would not have failed to copy these Annals with their vivid descriptions ofthe [of the] most "picturesque" emperors.

Same massive silence in the Middle Ages, until Zecco Polentone, friend of Nicolo, writes "librorum Taciti numerum affirmare non audeo" (I dare not..)'

[51-53] [End of entry].

PAGE 1809

'ROSS [J.W. Ross, author: "Tacitus and Bracciolini", 1878]

His arguments, amplified further on, are as follows:

8 irrefutable

  1. p. 15 complete silence about Annals until 1470
  2. p. 20 Christian martyrs of XV:44
  3. p. 48,159 London in time of Claudius
  4. p. 52 Antonia, mother of Germanicus
  5. p. 61 Annals I:1 contradicts Historiae I:1
  6. p. 72 Animosity against Greeks
  7. p. 345 Natalis, chief plotter [see 1814, 1817]
  8. p. 377 extension of poemerium

7 debatable

  1. p. 233 Oracle of Colophon
  2. p. 237 Nineveh no longer extant
  3. p. 337 no Temple of Fortuna
  4. p. 44 Furius Camillus
  5. p. 39 Interest rates
  6. p. 275 Cumanus and Felix
  7. p. 117 linguistic differences" [68].

1 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.

2 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 Rome where all shameful vices 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]"

Amazing! 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.

No 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.)].

PAGE 1810

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]"

St 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.

100 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 people".

In 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.

Justus 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.

In 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."

Some 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)

PAGE 1811

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 ago?"

The 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"?

Aristides c. 145 writes an Apology to Emperor Antonius (138-161), no word of Christians burnt as arsonists.

Bishop 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)

Quadratus praises the Imperial rule (Euseb. IV:3.1)

Apollinaris of Laodicea praises Mark-Aurel [Marcus Aurelius] (161-180)

Athenagora [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."

Ireneus, 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 travel fearlessly

[... (Greek word)] on land and on sea, wherever we want."

"In Rome the faithful of everywhere met and disputed openly". (III:3.2)

Tertullian 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].["(?)]

Origen (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, 179].

Lactantius (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["]).

Eusebios [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, to him

["(?)]the Empire realizes a part of the Divine plan to redeem mankind, the Divine aim of history".

PAGE 1812

Only 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].

LUCIEN (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)].

HOCHART (1894, p. 1-5) informs about Christian writers of the early Middle-Ages.

St 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.

Bocaccio (1313-1375) mentions only Peter & Paul [see 1785] as martyrs.

ROSS in 1878 followed p. 22 a false lead. He quotes the following plagiarisms:

Inditum imperatori flammeum dos et geniales torus et faces nuptiales..ut at ferarum tergis contecti laniatu canum interirent..crucibus affixiaut flam in usum nocturni..urerentur

(Sulpicius ii:28-29) [see 1688, 1853]

["Tacitus"] Ann. XV:37

Inditum 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 usum nocturni urerentur. [see 1688, 1853]

HOCHART (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 by Poggio.

This "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)

Sigonius [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"

But 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[.]' [68-72].

PAGE 1813

'5 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)

Despite 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.

"The 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)."

[note: 6 (not presented), is not in numerical order, and occurs on the following book page (75)]

7 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].

THIS 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, below]."

[[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)]

J.W. Ross with Victorian prudery does not quote the 10 indecent words [see above].' [74].

Comment: 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: 1817].

PAGE 1814

'Nero's 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.

Juvenal [c. 55 - c. 140] who lived in Rome, wrote this in 120 aD, he never mentions Christians, whether living or burnt to death.


[faggot: "A bundle of sticks, twigs, or small branches of trees bound together...for use as fuel" (O.E.D.)]

Poggio 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.

That 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]' [73]. [See: 1629; 1787-1788].

PAGE 1815


In 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.

Poggio 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.

II:6.3 plures adpositis utrimque gubernaculis converso ut repente remigio hinc vel illinc adpellerent...

This 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.

But 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. Dio 74.11.3

This shows that Poggio took it from the Germania manuscript brought by the Herschfeld [[Hersfeld Abbey] "Convent near Fulda" [64]] monk. [see 1965]

FDR 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].


A valid argument of Hochart may be the "allusion" in Ann. III:58 (Hochart 1894, p. 214).

The 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".

The 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

Since 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.

PAGE 1816

In Ann. IV:33, Poggio may have indulged in a left-hand critic of the cruel rule of Idespots [despots] over Italian cities of his time.

Though 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?].

--Hochart 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 also.

Poggio 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].

'NATALIS [Antonius Natalis (Roman knight)] [see 1810]


Sueton [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."

Poggio ["Tacitus"] does not mention the Vinicius plot but devotes 24 lurid chapters to the Pisonian plot and the punishment of his coplotters.

Poggio slipped on one plotter NATALIS, which he mentions 6 [glancing, I noticed 11] times (chapt. 49, 56[,] 61,71)

[Loeb 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.]

but who was finally pardoned.

Poggio 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].' [95].

PAGE 1817

'JESUS (BODY PARTS) [see 1748; 1831-1837 (Relics)]

1. 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.

2. Navel (umbilical chord) authenticated by Pope Clement V in 1310. 2 in France, 2 in Italy, 1 in Cosstantinople [Constantinople].

3. 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.

4. Teeth. One milk tooth at Soissons. Guibert, abbot at Nogent wrote a book contesting its authenticity. Several adult teeth at Charroux.

5. Nails. 5 nails of left hand, 2 nails of right hand. Charroux

6. Hairs. in Church of St Alban (Namur) confirmed by bulla of 1249. 2 hairs in Chartres 1322. also at Lucca (Italy).

7. Beard. one curl at Wittenberg 1509.

8. Tears. in crystal vial, shed on Golgot ha [Golgotha] at Vendome. 5 in France.

9. Sweat on the Golgot ha [Golgotha (Calvary)], at Vienne and St Omer.

10. Breath. at Genova. doubtful.

PAGE 1818

11. Crown 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 churches.

12. Seamless robe. with half-sleeves. Increasing in size with age of God. at Argenteuil and Trier (Germany)

13. Shirt, sandals, shawl, belt. at Athens.

14. Swaddling clothes. at Prag, received by Karl IV.

15. Manger craddle [cradle] of Bethlehem. in Church of Our Lady Bethlehem

16. some straw of the manger.

17. some of the incense brought ty [by] the 3 Magi to Bethlehem

18. some of the gold pieces brought by the 3 Magi.

19. the skulls of the 3 Magi

20. bones of the 3 Magi

21. skulls, tibias, femurs of the Innocents slaughtered by Herod. (204 parts at Wittenberg)

22. part of the rock shown by Satan to Jesus in the desert.

23. 12 baskets of bread multiplicated miraculously by Jesus

24. jars of water changed into wine at Canna wedding.

25. spines of the fishes fed to 5000 people.

26. some of these dried fishes.

27. bones of donkey on which Jesus rode on Palm Sunday.

PAGE 1819

28. some of the palm leaves carried on that day.

29. piece of the cloth whth [with] which Jesus dried Apostles' feet.

30. some of the water used to wash apostles' feet

31. piece of sail of bark in which disciples fished on Lake of Tiberiad.

32. piece of broiled fish offered to Jesus by Peter.

33. table of Last Meal (whole)

34. part of said table. Frankfurt.

35. table cloth (whole) in Golden Fleece, Burgundy.

36. Calice [Chalice] of Last Meal

37. some crumbs of Last Meal

38. comb of cock who crowed in Caiphas' house, awakening Peter to his duty.

39. some feathers of said cock.

40. stick on which cock crowned [crowed].

41. basin in which Pontius Pilatus washed his hands

42. some of the 30 silver coins paid to Judas

43. Judas' leather bag

44. 10 feet of the rope used by Judas to hang himself

45. Judas' lantern.

46. Holy Cross, obtained by Helena; mother of Constantine, in 324 pieces. 35 splinters at Wittenberg.

47. Nails of cr cifixion [crucifixion]. at Wittenberg and Venice

48. Lance plunged into Jesus' body on cross.

49. sponge filled with vinegar.

50. purple robe worn by Jesus on ascent of Golgotha.

51. rods of flagellation.

PAGE 1820

52. dice thrown by soldiers to decide of purple robe.

53. Holy Shroud. Compiègne (destroyed) Besançon (visited by Louis XIV) Cadorcen (1930) now Lirey-Turin. [?]

54. blood-stained whipping post.


55. Hair, ranging from blond to black.

56. robes and mantles.

57. veils

58. 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.

59. slippers.

60. crown.

61. chapelet

62. tears

63. autograph

64. coffin. Emperor requested bishop Juvenalis to send it to Constantinople.

65. House at Nazareth. discovered by Empress Helena. translated later by angels to Loretto (Italy).

The 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.

PAGE 1821

John 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.

St Peter (corpse) Pope Hormisdas (515) refused it to Justinian.

St Paul (corpse) Pope Gregory I (590) refused it to emperor.

Luke (skull) brought to Constantinople in 356.

Mark (skull and one thumb)

Andrew (skull) brought from Achaia to Constantinople in 356.


St Stephen besides 11 skulls left one of the rocks with which he was stoned (at Tavaux, Haute Vienne).

Female 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 invasion.

In 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.

From 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.

From 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 1232).

The " 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 one year.

According 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]

Collin 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.

This 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.

For instance St Lazarus left 3 skeletons, at Marseille, avalon and Autun. Saint Agnes left three skeletons, at Rome, at Montresa (Spain) and Utrecht.

Saint Peter left 32 fingers, St Matthew eleven legs, St John the Baptist left 13 skulls, 20 jaws, 60 teeth.

PAGE 1822

Teeth 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.

In 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.

It 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).

This 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, otherwise curable.

The 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.

But all civilizations have erected wonderful structures to honor their gods and rulers: Karnak, Luxor, Abu Simbel, the Parthenon, Teotihuacan, Tikal, Chichen Itza

[I 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 sounds.],

Pagan, 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.

The 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 of epidemics.

PAGE 1823

Bibliography [apparently, for Paret: 122-127 (my pages: 1818-1823)]

1. Analecta Bollandiana 1880-1930. Brussels

2. Bluche R. la vie quotienne au temps de Louis XIV

3. CABANEL Claire: Culte de la tunique 17 siècle. Nanterre

4. CABROL-LECLERCQ (Dom) Dict. Archeol.chr. et liturg. tome 14. 1948. col. 2312-2323, 2630.

5. CHEVALIER Ulysee (Chanoine): Etude critique du St Suaire Paris 1900

6. COLLIN de PLANCY: Dict. des reliques. 2 tomes. 1828.

7. COMBES (L. de) Invention de la vraie Croix 1903: p. 97, 209-10

8. DELAHAYE R.P.: Légendes hagiographiques p. 185-7

    : Leg. lettres tombées du ciel. Acad.Roy.Belg.

    : Passions .. 1966

9. DOLAN: History of the Reform.

10. DURAND (Abbé): L'écrin de la Vierge. 3 vols. Lille 1885

11. ESTIENNE H.: Analog. pr Herodot. chap. 38 Le Duchat, Haag 1723

12. HISTORIA: la verge de Moise. F. Rabadeau-Dumas

13. LALANNE Ludovic: Curiosités et Traditions. p. 123-4

14. LUCAS Henry S. Renaissance and Reformation. Harper Bros.

15. LUCHAIRE A.: Culte des reliques. Rev. Paris July 1900.192-3

16. MELAT G.: Echos merveilleux. s.d.

17. MELY. M. de: Chemises de la Vierge. Chartres 1885

: Lapidaires grecs 1902...St Suaire 1904

18. REAU L.: Iconographie art Chrétien. 6 vols. PUF 1957

19. SMEDT de (R.P.) Acad.Sci. Belles Lettres, t. X 1903 p. 148. Liège 1883

20. STRING FELLOW BARR: Pelerinage [sic] of Western man [Barr, Stringfellow. Peregrinage = Pilgrimage]

21. TOMEK W.W. Prag 1892-3. Encycl. Brit. edn 1911

22. SAINT YVES P.: Les Saints etc..1907..Reliques 1912

23. USENER M. HM/Archiv. relig. Wiss. 1904

24. VALLET de VIVILLE: Mem. Sect. Antiq. de la Morinière. t. 6 2nd part. XL

25. VOOGT Paul de: l'hérésie de Jean Huss. Louvain 1975.' [122-128].


PAGE 1824

[back cover]

'Forgery 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].

25 forgeries sensu lato ["In the broad sense" (] appear in this book in an approximate chronological order.

From 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].

In 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)

In 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.

RELIGIONS, 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.

The martyrs of Bithynia, Smyrna, Lyons and Rome are eliminated by evidence taken from contemporaries.

The 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.

The chapters on Shakespeare and Marco Polo are denials of forgeries (the Baconian authorship and Marco's non voyage).

In 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].

PAGE 1825

from: The Jesus Mysteries, Was the "Original Jesus" a Pagan God?, Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy, Harmony Books, c1999. [Must See!]. [See: 1734].

[For this book reference, I thank Robb Marks, Bookseller: 1/800/66WALDO; e-mail:].


'The Falsification of History

The 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.

The 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

At 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

[c. 342 - 420] included Seneca [c. 4 B.C.E. - 65 C.E.] among his catalog of Christian saints.200

Letters 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

TRANSLATING 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

PAGE 1826

Fictitious 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.

Popular 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

Clumsy 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

A 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' [237-239].

PAGE 1827

from: The Dead Sea Scrolls Deception, Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, Summit Books, c1991. [See: chapter "6 The Onslaught of Science"; etc.].


The Onslaught of Science

"....a 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.

Such, 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" [115-116].


Science in the Service of Faith"

"Birnbaum's [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.

Professor 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 of

PAGE 1828

dating 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

Suppose 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 transcriptions?

In 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.

Of 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

Cecil 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:


PAGE 1829

from: 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.

"3. Transmission and stemmata

[stemma (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.)]

A 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 MSS....

'Contamination' 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

[Comment: 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],

so 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).

The 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.


But 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."

[5-7] [End of "3. Transmission and stemmata"].

PAGE 1830

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: #6, 166-179].

"The Church of St. John Lateran, the

Head of the World and of the City*"

"The Tabernacle of the Relics. [see 1991 (Relics)]

Also, in the nearest tabernacle (? to the altar) are these relics:--

The tiara or coronet (regnum) with which St. Silvester, the pope, was crowned1.

Also, the head of St. Zachary, the father of St. John the Baptist.

Also, the head of St. Pancras, which dripped with blood for three days, when this church was burnt by the heretics.

(Here are) certain relics of St. Mary Magdalen.

The knife of St. Laurence, the martyr.

A tooth of the apostle Peter.

The cup in which St. John the Evangelist drank the poison, and received no hurt.

The chain (cathena) with which St. John the Evangelist was bound when he was led from Ephesus to Rome.

The tunic of St. John the Evangelist*, which was placed over three dead persons and forthwith they arose.2

The ashes of St. John the Baptist, and some of his hair.

Some 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.

The linen cloth with which Christ dried the feet of the Apostles at supper.

The pincers (forbices), and the reed with which Christ was smitten, and some of the wood of the cross.

The purple robe stained with drops of the blood of Christ.

The veil of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which she placed as drawers for Christ on the cross.

The foreskin of our Lord Jesus Christ when he was circumcised.

Some of the water and blood which flowed from the side of Christ.

In 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.

Also, 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.

Also, the ark of the covenant, and Aaron's rod2." [25-26].

PAGE 1831

'The Chapels at the Font of


At 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."

In 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....' [26-27].

"The Relics in the Chapel of the


In 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].

"at 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

[Other relics are]:

The chin of the Apostle St. Bartholomew*.

The relics of St. Matthew, the Evangelist,--in a crystal phial.

Some of the garment of blessed John, the Evangelist--in a silver coffer.

The relics of St. John the Baptist,--in an ebony coffer...." [29].

PAGE 1832

"Church of S. Pudenciana."

'Pudenciana 2 [see footnote, below]*

In the church of St. Potenciana (sic) [proto-"Freudian slip"] there is a little chapel in which St. Peter celebrated his first mass.

Also, 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).

In 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."

In 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.

Also, 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*.

Some 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 for burial.

Also, the relics of St. Silvester, St. Gregory, the Pope, Zachary, the prophet; St. John the Baptist, etc.

This church is near to the church of St. Mary the Greater.'

[35-36] [End of entry: "Pudenciana"].

[footnote] "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." [35].

PAGE 1833

"The Church of St. Paul1

The church of St. Paul, the apostle, belongs to the monks of the order of St. Benedict.

Beneath 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." [36-37].

[footnote] "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." [36].

"Also, 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.

Also, 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.

Also, on the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, there are indulgences of a thousand years.

Also, 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." [37].

"Also, 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." [37].

PAGE 1834

"Church of S. Maria in Ara Coeli."

'The Altar of Heaven (ara celi)1*

This is that venerable altar of Heaven concerning which in the lessons for our Lord's Nativity, we find these words:

"When 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."

Wherefore, 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:


Know one and all who climb the heavenly stair

That this first altar of our Lady fair

By the Emperor Octavian was reared

What time to him the Holy Child appeared.

Afterwards 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 saints2:

"Helen, 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 of heaven.

Also, 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 church." [43-45].

PAGE 1835

"Concerning the Picture of St. Mary Painted by St. Luke

Also, on a tablet hanging near the above, is the following inscription:

The 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...." [47].

"The Stairway of Heaven (Scala Coeli)

This 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 free...." [50].

"The Chapel Scala Celi3.

It 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"]...." [51].

"The Church of the Holy Cross*"

"it 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." [53].

"Concerning the Jerusalem Chapel5

This 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.

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First, the cord with which Christ was bound on the Cross.

Two 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.

Also 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 Christ.

Also, 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.

In 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.

Also, Pope Stephen, who died here, gave an indulgence of all sins to all who come hither truly penitent and confessed." [54-55]

1831-1837, 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: #6, 166-179].

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