MemberlistThe Library Index  FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   RegisterRegister   ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 
Inventing History : forgery: a great British tradition (British History)
Reply to topic Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3 ... 139, 140, 141
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Mick Harper
Site Admin

In: London
View user's profile
Reply with quote

Britons! Try to imagine a past for which we have no evidence apart from archaeology. Actually, that's not very difficult, we do it all the time for the Neolithic, the Bronze Age and the Iron Age. We may get it wrong but we can at least envisage it. Now do the same for Roman Britain. That's a bit harder because you have to rid your mind of all sorts from Boudicca to "... and the legions left..." although you can assume circumstantially that the legions must have ceased to exist, whether by leaving or otherwise, at some point. We can assume there were Roman legions in Britain from the archaeological evidence though precisely when they were here is more uncertain.

See! You survived, didn't you? Life went on. In fact don't you feel a strange sense of liberation creeping over you? Oh, you don't. Well, never mind, that will come.

PS My spell checker insists Boudicca should be Boadicea so the past isn't set in stone.
Send private message
Mick Harper
Site Admin

In: London
View user's profile
Reply with quote

A well known schoolboy joke is “Who wrote Caesar’s Gallic Wars?” Well, you had to be there, but now we know it wasn’t Caesar, who was it? Though, I suppose, ‘when was it’ would be more useful. When Hatty came up with this for the first extant copy

CAESAR, Caius Julius (100-44 B.C.), Commentarii de bello Gallico, in Latin, MANUSCRIPT ON PAPER
[Austria, probably Salzburg], 1463
2. Joseph Jacob Henry de Battis, doctor of theology and canon of St Willibald in Eichstatt, 1769: engraved armorial bookplate pasted inside upper cover (Warnecke 127).

I pressed the intercom switch. “Griselda, tell that woman to get the dirt on Willibald and Eichstatt, I’ve heard those names before. And it’s time for my back rub.” But it and she are only figments of my imagination so this is all taken from Hatty e-mails and subsequent discourses. It turns out I was remembering (from Meetings with Remarkable Forgeries) Willibrord and Echternach. As usual I was quite right to be wrong.

St Willibald is a marvel. And produced another ‘first’. This is his bio from the Catholic.net
Born a prince, the son of Saint Richard the King. Brother of Saint Winnebald of Heidenheim and Saint Walburga. Related to Saint Boniface.

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something untrue ...
Send private message
Mick Harper
Site Admin

In: London
View user's profile
Reply with quote

A variant on Irish saints is Anglo-Saxon saints and Willibald and his brother Winnebald joined Willibrord, Apostle to the Frisians (did I mention Church forgers lacked imagination?) as evangelists to all parts of the continent. Except oddly the Anglo-Saxon parts on account of nobody knowing where precisely they are. It's the sort of thing you forget when you go and live in a new country.

He nearly died as an infant, leading his parents to pray for his life, vowing that he would be dedicated to God if he survived. Entered the Abbey of Waltham, Hampshire, England at age five.

This is a bit odd. There’s a Bishop’s Abbey in Waltham, Hants but as far as I know nobody has ever suggested this is anything other than a late medieval foundation. There’s the famous Waltham Abbey in Essex where King Harold was or was not buried but.... anyway there are the usual career moves for the rising saint

Educated by Egwald. Benedictine monk. Pilgrim to Rome, Italy in 722 with Saint Richard and Saint Winnebald; his father died on the way, and Willibald suffered from malaria while there. Pilgrim to the Holy Lands in 724.

where he set not one but two world records

He reached Jerusalem on 11 November 725, and is the first known Englishman in the Holy Land; the book of his travels, Hodoeporicon, is the first known English travelogue

Three if you include the first Englishman to arrive anywhere on an actual named day. Four if you include 'first Englishman arrested for espionage'. [Better check these, Hattie, I'm winging it a bit.]

At one point he was arrested by Saracens at Emessa as a Christian spy, and imprisoned in Constantinople

Some confusion here since this would be seven hundred years before the Saracens captured Constantinople but you wouldn’t expect a Catholic source to be too clued up on the Eastern Orthodox Church

Willibald then spent ten years helping Saint Petronax restore the monastery of Monte Cassino

This is medium important since Monte Cassino has to be put on the early map for all sorts of reasons despite not existing before about 1100 AD. That 'restoring' is a nice touch.

He served there as sacristan, dean, and porter

“Carry your bags, Sir?” “No, I want you to convert Germany.”

In 740 he was sent by Pope Gregory III to help Saint Boniface evangelize the area that is modern Germany

And last but very definitely not least, to help out with the tourist trade five hundred years later

Willibald's relics are kept in a marble reliquary urn in Saint Willibald Cathedral, Eichstätt, Germany, which was completed in 1269

Sets the skin tones off, marble does.
Send private message
Hatty
Site Admin

In: Berkshire
View user's profile
Reply with quote

he set not one but two world records

He reached Jerusalem on 11 November 725, and is the first known Englishman in the Holy Land; the book of his travels, Hodoeporicon, is the first known English travelogue

Willibald's career gave rise to another world first, or double-first more accurately -- a strange echo of his own

Hygeburg (floruit 760–780), also Hugeburc, Hugeberc, Huneberc or Huneburc, was an Anglo-Saxon nun and hagiographer at the Alemannian monastery of Heidenheim. She is "the first known Englishwoman to have written a full-length literary work" and "the only woman author of a saint's life from the Carolingian period

She should be better known but her authorship is a recent discovery, made by the person editing the Monumenta Germaniae Historica

The name of the nun who wrote the lives of Willibald and Wynnebald was not known until in 1931 Bernhard Bischoff discovered it in a cryptogram in the oldest manuscript (from c. 800)


Willibald is less well known than his sister, Walburg/ Walburga or Walpurga, whose feast day -- Walpurgis Night -- is May Day Eve (30 April - 1 May) and celebrated across Europe. She eventually got a 'Life' in the fourteenth century, though before Bischoff decided that 'Hygeburg' was the biographer of Willibald and Wynnebald, the honour had traditionally been bestowed on Walpurga

Because of her rigorous training, she was able to write her brother Winibald's vita and an account in Latin of his travels in Palestine. As a result, she is often called the first female author of both England and Germany.
Send private message
Mick Harper
Site Admin

In: London
View user's profile
Reply with quote

The big problem is surely the quality of De Bello Gallico (already I feel old-fashioned using the name). Herodotus is often called the Father of History which, when you read 'him' (obviously he never existed) you can quite believe since he seems so modern. But you try reading Tudor history (which I haven't) and there's no comparison. It is the same problem you get when looking at Pompeian frescoes and comparing them with Byzantine icons. It is not a case of chalk and cheese, more a case of childish daub and grown-up art. Except the adult grew up to be a child.

Literary criticism, like all forms of connoisseurship, is a hopeless guide to the facts. Using my own powers, I would say the quality of De Bello Gallico wasn't reached until Gibbon. But then Gibbon rather stands out as being not of his time. No, we'll just have to rely on the facts.
Send private message
Hatty
Site Admin

In: Berkshire
View user's profile
Reply with quote

They weren't queuing up to get Julius's legacy on papyrus, the sole Roman biographer of Caesar appears to have been Suetonius

Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus, commonly known as Suetonius (c. 69 – after 122 AD), was a Roman historian belonging to the equestrian order who wrote during the early Imperial era of the Roman Empire.

His most important surviving work is a set of biographies of twelve successive Roman rulers, from Julius Caesar to Domitian, entitled De Vita Caesarum. He recorded the earliest accounts of Julius Caesar's epileptic seizures.

No original manuscript of the Life of Caesar has ever been found and the transmission of Suetonius's work is 'not fully understood'.

The oldest extant Suetonius manuscript, dated ninth century, was produced by an outfit known as The School of Tours. I hardly need add there's no archaeological evidence for Tours existing in the ninth century but, say the scholars, there's documentary evidence because the manuscript was loaned to, or maybe a transcript of it was sent to, Lupus Servatus aka Lupus of Ferrieres, "in about 844"

The medieval manuscript tradition (9th–13th centuries) of Suetonius's De vita Caesarum has not been fully understood, and no complete and accurate stemma of the earliest extant witnesses has been drawn.


The oldest surviving manuscript is the most important. It comes from the the early ninth century and it's now in Paris ("Paris.lat. 6115"). Traditionally it's called "Memmianus" (M) from its sixteenth-century owner, Henri de Mesmes. M was written at Tours (France) about 820.
Although over 200 manuscripts are extant, "De vita Caesarum" seems to have survived into the ninth century in a single manuscript, since lost.

We came across Lupus earlier

Hatty wrote:
A fascinating insight into Carolingian survivals. Lupus de Ferrières wrote a letter to someone called Einhard, 'a Frankish scholar and courtier' and the author of Charlemagne's biography, Vita Karoli Magni, "one of the most precious literary bequests of the early Middle Ages." Not only has Lupus' letter survived, so has his copy of Cicero (he claims in his letter to have borrowed one from Einhard in order to copy as his own copy is falling to pieces).


The Lupus letter is a link for the lives of Cicero, Caesar, Charlemagne.

The date of the work is uncertain, and a number of theories have been put forward. The inclusion of Charlemagne's will at the end of the work makes it fairly clear that it was written after his death in 814. The first reference to the work, however, comes in a letter to Einhard from Lupus of Ferrieres, which is dated to the mid-9th century.
Send private message
Hatty
Site Admin

In: Berkshire
View user's profile
Reply with quote

Still on the subject of letters that have inexplicably survived, the only source for 'Tiro' comes from Cicero's letters which as we know have no reliable provenance

Marcus Tullius Tiro (died c. 4 BC) was first a slave, then a freedman of Cicero. He is frequently mentioned in Cicero's letters. After Cicero's death he published his former master's collected works. He also wrote a considerable number of books himself, and possibly invented an early form of shorthand.

No information is included about Tiro's origins, neither his date of birth nor where he was born. Yet, despite his sketchy background and the absence of original manuscripts, he is thought to have several works, as well as 'Tironian notes', to his name.

He is believed to have collected and published Cicero's work after his death, and, it seems, was a prolific writer himself: several ancient writers refer to works of Tiro, now lost.

He is credited with inventing the shorthand system of Tironian notes, later used by Medieval monks, among others. There is no clear evidence that he did, although Plutarch credits Cicero's clerks as the first Romans to record speeches in shorthand.

I myself learnt a form of basic shorthand based on phonetics (thought to derive from 'Phoenician') which omits vowels, and I wondered if there might be some link between Tiro and Tyre. Hebrew famously omits vowels though I don't know if Arabic does.
Send private message
Hatty
Site Admin

In: Berkshire
View user's profile
Reply with quote

From the Society of Classical Studies....

Tiro's Cicero: A Case of Manuscript Forgery?

Various ancient sources make reference to a copy of Cicero’s speeches hand-made by his freedman, Tiro. The consensus of recent decades has been that this manuscript was in fact a forgery made in the second century. I argue that Tiro’s Cicero was not a single, purpose-made forgery, but rather that the name was applied to a whole series of spurious copies that arose accidentally. This argument has implications not just for the validity of the particular readings attested for Tiro’s Cicero, but more broadly for the existence and nature of forged or spurious manuscripts in the Roman world.

Further on, our old friend Poggio Bracciolini turns up. Bracciolini (1380 - 1459), Papal secretary, early Renaissance humanist and prolific forger of ancient works, published inter alia the 'lost orations of Cicero'

I argue that the ancient references to Tiro’s Cicero do not actually refer to a single, purpose-built forgery, but rather to several manuscripts that had been more-or-less mislabeled. The references to Tiro’s Cicero are found in Fronto (Ad Caes. 1.7.4), Gellius (1.7.1, 12.10.6, 13.12.16), and a subscription to a fifteenth-century manuscript of the De Lege Agraria made by Poggio Bracciolini (Vat. Lat. 11458, 56v).

The author, Thomas Hendrickson, accepts this Tiro manuscript is a forgery but still believes there was a genuine original once upon a time

I agree that the manuscript probably was not genuine, but I argue that it was more likely the result of mistaken attribution than of purposeful deception. If someone who was copying a manuscript also copied a first-person subscription, the new copy might be perceived as an original. At some point Tiro probably did make a copy of Cicero’s speeches, and it could have spawned a legion of apparent originals.

Our case for the moment, pending developments, is that Tiro was invented to act as a conduit but this Classical scholar's argument relies on a series of 'subscriptions' or signatures. Our interpretation might be wrong but is a good deal simpler

The example of the De Lege Agraria subscription shows how this might have happened. The manuscript preserves a double subscription, which reads emendaui ad Tironem and then Statilius Maximus rursum emendaui ad Tironem. I would point out that this double subscription necessitates not two but at least four acts of subscription. First, someone checked a manuscript against Tiro. Then, Statilius Maximus copied that subscription and added his own. Third, unless we accept that Statilius’s personal copy survived over 1200 years to find Poggio, at least one other person copied both subscriptions into a manuscript. Fourth, Poggio copied the subscriptions. A reader lacking the resources of paleography and codicology could easily see Poggio’s manuscript and believe that “I, Statilius Maximus, corrected this.” We might wonder whether, around the third stage, it would be fair to say that the manuscript that copied both subscriptions became a “forged” Statilius Maximus edition.

https://classicalstudies.org/annual-meeting/148/abstract/tiro%E2%80%99s-cicero-case-manuscript-forgery
Send private message
Hatty
Site Admin

In: Berkshire
View user's profile
Reply with quote

Poggio Bracciolini's Wiki entry has a postscript

Poggio was famous for his beautiful and legible book hand. The formal humanist script he invented developed into Roman type, which remains popular as a printing font today (his friend Niccolò de' Niccoli's script in turn developed into the Italic type, first used by Aldus Manutius in 1501)

I'm not sure how much credence to give this claim in view of Bracciolini's history. Aldus Manutius, the founder of the Aldine Press, was a friend of Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, the humanist/Neoplatonist philosopher who is famous for founding the 'Hermetic Reformation' and the Christian Kabbalah.

The official history of printing says the first printed books had come off German presses which used a Gothic, or blackletter, type and soon developed sub-styles: Bastarda, fraktur, rotunda, and Schwabacher. Italy, the next in line, designed a typography based on 'humanist script' so it is known as humanist, or Neo-classical type. I'm not sure how much credence to give the orthodox version in view of its claim that

In their enthusiastic revival of classical culture, Italian scribes and humanist scholars of the early 15th century searched for ancient lower case letters to match the Roman inscriptional capitals. Practically all of the available manuscripts of classical writers had been rewritten during the Carolingian Renaissance, and with a lapse of three hundred years since the widespread use of this style, the humanist scribes mistook Carolingian minuscule as the authentic writing style of the ancients. Dubbing it lettera antica, they began by copying the minuscule hand almost exactly, combining it with Roman capitals in the same manner as the manuscripts they were copying
Send private message
Mick Harper
Site Admin

In: London
View user's profile
Reply with quote

Marcus Tullius Tiro (died c. 4 BC) was first a slave, then a freedman of Cicero. He is frequently mentioned in Cicero's letters. After Cicero's death he published his former master's collected works. He also wrote a considerable number of books himself, and possibly invented an early form of shorthand.

I myself learnt a form of basic shorthand

Hatty, let's apply the AE rule, 'What is, is what was'. If you publish my collected emails after my death (they'll be queuing up) then you will find your name mentioned quite a lot. You may very well publish a number of books yourself (I've left a cardboard box under the stairs) but, with the best will in the world, I doubt you will invent a new form of shorthand. I know you're always saying, "I'm not your slave, do it yourself" but I wouldn't call you a freedman either. Still, there must be some reason why a Tiro figure is needed. I can't see why at present.

We know he was invented because it's another double world record: the Classical author whose writings survived in the greatest volume happened to have a slave who invented the earliest shorthand system to have survived. It's another Harry Hill situation: what are the chances of that?
Send private message
Hatty
Site Admin

In: Berkshire
View user's profile
Reply with quote

Mick Harper wrote:
...1453 is when printing started, give or take. Or as we would say, when a whole bunch of people looking for markets for their new invention had arrived in the west.

Another of those foreshadowing events that is familiar enough to make a narrative sound credible, at least to historians. The Renaissance of the 14th/15th centuries is said to have a parallel four to five centuries earlier

from Twitter
Thomas the Slav (Θωμᾶς ὁ Σλάβος), 760-823, was an imperial army officer of Slavic origin from the Pontus region (northeastern Asia Minor) who led a massive revolt against the Emperor Michael II in 821-823. By the time he besieged Constantinople Thomas’ army grew to 80,000 men.

The earliest, and only, record of this seige is in Theophanes Continuatus, an 11th century manuscript kept in the Vatican Library

Its name derives from its role as the continuation, covering the years 813–961, of the chronicle of Theophanes the Confessor, which reaches from 285 to 813. The manuscript consists of four distinct works, in style and form very unlike the annalistic approach of Theophanes

It was probably written by Theodore Daphnopates, shortly before 963

How to explain that such a crisis, apparently unreported for over two centuries, is only mentioned in a single manuscript?

...the text we call Theophanes Continuatus lost interest for generrations of scholars and readers, which explains its preservation in only one manuscript, Vat. gr. 167

Enter John Skylitzes, 'a Greek historian of the late eleventh century'. Nothing is known about him, but sounds 'Scythian'. Or make that Thracian

he is usually identified with a certain John Thrakesios

Either way he or his alter ego is credited as the author of the history of Dark Age Byzantium entitled 'Synopsis of Histories'

John Skylitzes made extensive use of the first four books of ThCont for his Historical Synopsis. In the end Skylitzes' work replaced our history and became a text of reference in later times for the history of the ninth century, as attested by the large number of manuscripts; and Skylitzes was in turn used by later historians, whose chronicles were to have an even greater diffusion

Unfortunately the manuscript in the Vatican is reported to be full of errors and lacunae for which John Skylitzes is blamed because he kept changing words and syntax and 'did not follow a set pattern in his rewriting of the Theophanes Continuatus'

...although contemporary with Skylitzes, Vat. gr. 167 does not belong to the same family as the manuscript used by him but represents another branch of the textural tradition

In certain corrupt passages in Vat. gr. 167 Skylitzes appears to have preserved the correct original reading, for his text makes perfect sense and cannot have been taken from other sources. Thus, the text which Skylitzes had must have been better than the Vatican's

It's a suitably Byzantine muddle but I think what they're saying, without saying it, is the manuscript is a Skylitzes forgery. And it holds a world record as a unique survival

The most famous manuscript of the Synopsis was produced in Sicily in the 12th century known as the Madrid Skylitzes, and is now at the Biblioteca Nacional de España in Madrid. It features 574 miniatures, while some 100 have been lost, and is the only surviving Byzantine illuminated chronicle in Greek, providing an invaluable primary source for the visualization of contemporary Byzantium
Send private message
Mick Harper
Site Admin

In: London
View user's profile
Reply with quote

While going through our back catalogue I came across this, the significance of which we did not realise at the time because it was a side shoot of the Franks Casket story

The 4th Earl of Ashburnham was a bibliophile who amassed an important collection of printed books and manuscripts and was known as "one of the great collectors of the nineteenth century". His incunabula included two copies of the Gutenberg Bible and approximately thirty volumes that had been printed by William Caxton.

It is beginning to look like the term 'incunabula' is a trade term for 'early fake'. It is unusual for a collection, however important, to have two Gutenberg Bibles and it would appear to be near impossible for any collection to be able to amass thirty Caxtons. Blimey, we thought he had mostly gone in for ephemera but clearly he had his eye on the four hundred year posterity/heritage market. They don't make craftsmen like that any more. Obviously if any collection did have that many Caxtons, it would be likely to be an English collection on account of him being a particular hero of ours and therefore, as they say, very collectable. But he may have been even more collectable in France

Most of Ashburnham's manuscripts were acquired through three large purchases in the 1840s. In 1847 he bought 1923 manuscripts from Count Guglielmo Libri. Libri was a collector and dealer who had stolen a large number of items from French public libraries while he was employed to create a union catalogue of manuscripts in the library collections.

They're not having them back, I can tell you that for nothing. Prolly nicked them off us in the first place. Bastards. I hate 'em. No, wait, that's the Germans, isn't it? If they think they're getting their Gutenbergs back they can whistle Three Lions.
Send private message
Hatty
Site Admin

In: Berkshire
View user's profile
Reply with quote

German historians, and the rest agree, calculate there are about 27,000 surviving incunabula in the world though a proportion (how large?) turned out to be the wrong side of 1500 AD, usually due to cataloguing errors, so they don't count.

If manuscripts can survive 1,000+ years, there really should be more early printed books so we have an amorphous mass known as 'lost incunabula' to account for the many books, even entire editions, that are presumed missing. The search continues.
Send private message
Hatty
Site Admin

In: Berkshire
View user's profile
Reply with quote

The Ashburnham collection(s) bring up the names of Soltykoff (via Libri) and Barrois

The 4th Earl of Ashburnham had been a bibliophile who amassed an important collection of books and manuscripts, most of which were acquired in the 1840s in three separate large purchases. The Stowe collection consisted of almost 1,000 items from the auction of the contents of Stowe House in 1847, and the Libri and Barrois collections, numbering 1923 and 702 respectively, had been purchased in 1848. Another group of 250 manuscripts, called the Appendix, was acquired over the course of the 4th Earl's life

both of whom are key figures in the tale of the British Museum's and V&A's acquisitions under the aegis of Augustus Franks

Lord Ashburnham originally offered to sell the whole collection to the British Museum for £160,000 in 1879. He refused to consider lowering the price or selling off part of the collection, and the British Museum trustees declined his offer

Ashburnham denied that any of the manuscripts were stolen, but was obliged to sell the collections separately, starting with the Stowe collection, which the British government purchased for £45,000 in 1883. The other manuscripts were sold off over the following years, with most going to the French and Italian governments and to the collector Henry Yates Thompson. The last of the Barrois collection was finally sold in 1901
.


Following the bankruptcy of the 2nd Duke, much of the valuable collection was sold. The library has provided provenance to many valued manuscripts including the Stowe 2 Psalter, Stowe 54, the Stowe Breviary and the "Stowe manuscripts".

I wouldn't bank on it. Take the 'Stowe Missal' which, according to the Irish Academy

contains the earliest substantial prose tract in Irish and is ‘the earliest extant manuscript book of the Irish church’

Why it's called the Stowe Missal rather than the 'Lorrha Missal' where it's believed to have been produced is not clear. Perhaps its provenance was less than watertight

According to the first inscription on the cumdach or shrine, it was in the monastery of St Ruadhan in Lorrha, Co. Tipperary, c. 1050, and recent researches indicate that it may have been written there.

The old story was that the manuscript and shrine left Ireland after about 1375, as they were collected on the Continent in the 18th century, but this appears to be incorrect, and they were found inside a stone wall at Lackeen Castle near Lorrha in the 18th century.

The British Museum appears to take provenance at face value. Take an example provided -- 'Stowe 2 Psalter' -- and you find its first owner is Thomas Astle (1735 – 1803), an 'English antiquary and palaeographer' and, of course, cataloguer extraordinaire.

He was articled to an attorney, but did not follow up his profession, and went to London, where he was employed to make an index to the catalogue of the Harleian manuscripts, printed in 1759, 2 vols, folio ... Astle eventually brought together the most remarkable private collection of manuscripts in the country.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Astle
Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3 ... 139, 140, 141

Jump to:  
Page 141 of 141

MemberlistThe Library Index  FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   RegisterRegister   ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group