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Meetings with Remarkable Forgeries (British History)
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Hatty
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Willibrord's Trier connection is not just a portable altar. The land charters of "Abbess Irmina" were, historians say, from Trier

two presbyters from Trier, named Huncio and Warenbertus, wrote charters in 697-8, 699 and 704 for Abbess Irmina granting gifts to the monastery at Echternach. There is not however evidence that either worked at Echternach.

Nothing is known about Irmina. Her mum, Gertrude, is scarcely known either but at least someone wrote Gertrude's Life even though it's caused no end of debate about her relationships with Frankish bigwigs. As St Gertrude she is patron saint of Nivelles in Belgium as well as of Breda

The Vita was originally thought to have been written in the eleventh century, but this was later disproven with the discovery of a version dating from the eighth century. ...The time range is determined using a combination of Latin style, references by contemporary works, the accuracy of the events (indicating a close proximity to their occurrence), and references in the text to known events. The Vita is one of just a few sources dating from seventh century France, and one of only three from Austrasia (all of which deal with Gertrude). This makes the Vita very important as a source for Charlemagne's ancestry as well as placing the "Cradle of the Carolingians" in the middle Meuse in Brabant as opposed to Moselle in Luxembourg, where Pepin II and Plectrude had large tracts of land

It is quite without precedent to name the scribes responsible for a charter. The evidence for Willibrord himself is thin on the ground.

From his life, written by Alcuin, in two books, the one in prose, the other in verse, together with a homily, and an elegant poem in his honour. Also Bede, l. 5, Hist. c. 11, 12, and St. Boniface, ep. 97. See Batavia Sacra, p. 36, and Mabillon. Annal. Bened. t. 1, l. 18, sec. 4, and Acta Sanct. Ord. S. Bened. Sæc. 3, part 1, p. 601.


Batavia Sacra was published in 1714 by Hugo Franciscus van Heussen

Hugo Franciscus van Heussen (1659 - 1719 ) was a Dutch priest and historian. He was also coadjutor of the archbishop of Utrecht Johannes van Neercassel and after his death he was nominated by the chapters of Haarlem and Utrecht as his successor.

Under several pseudonyms, he has made an extensive contribution to the description of the (church) history of the Netherlands and Belgium.

1714 coincides with the Treaty of Utrecht so bigging up Utrecht ('Batavia' is the archaic name for a region of Holland, from Latin Batavi, a people who dwelt between the Rhine and the Waal on the island of Betawe) and Willibrord the First Bishop of Utrecht is presumably not coincidental. But why would he need to use pseudonyms?

The reference to Willibrord by Mabillon is in his work on the history of Benedictine saints

a monumental collection of the lives of the Benedictine Saints, under the title Acta Ordinis S. Benedicti (published in nine volumes between 1668 and 1701).
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Mick Harper
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I slightly disagree. Although Willibrord is known as 'the apostle to the Frisians', the Dutch have never made much use of him. For a start, the Dutch regard Frisians as suspiciously over-Germanic. They do of course push the 'Batavian' angle and were still doing so (or began to do so) in the era of the Dutch East Indies Company. Jakarta used to be called Batavia.

Nor does Utrecht push the Willibrord connection (so far as I know). For Luxembourg he's a very big deal indeed, getting them a UNESCO world heritage designation. His body has miraculously survived through lots of changes of ownership and the big fire of 1031 which destroyed all evidence of the changes-of-ownership (and the archaeology) but whether they would let us lift the lid on Luxembourg's biggest tourist attraction is doubtful.
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Mick Harper
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News that Italy and France are massing their troops on the border over Leonardo paintings -- it's his cinquecento this year -- probably requires our intervention. The Queen's collection of Leonardo drawings (the biggest in the world, natch) are all fakes so we can afford to offer them as a job lot to the losing side. Even though the last Frog/Wop war (in 1940) was nearly bloodless, making sure they both aren't trying should complete the job. Next!
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Wile E. Coyote


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For Luxembourg he's a very big deal indeed,


I think you understate your case.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxbHhzlpdK4
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Mick Harper
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One is mildly envious. Does anyone know whether this resembles the Cornish folk dances? It would be nice to link Forgeries

The famous Dancing Procession became part of UNESCO's Intangible World Cultural Heritage in 2010 etc

with The Megalithic Empire.
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Mick Harper
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But talking of dancing crowds, I am watching (courtesy of Michael Wood off the telly) Ovid's celebration bash to mark the passing of two thousand years since his passing. Or a bit less if you feel it was Dante that was placing himself 'at the summit of his art' by writing Ovidian poems rather than putting them out under his own name and getting nicked for heresy and indecency. Always a toughie for artists, that one. I use Olympia Press myself. Not that he bothered to hide it very strenuously

So who was this I, this trifler in tender human passions? You want to know who I was, posterity? Then listen...

Very autobiographical, Ovvie baby. I shall begin my own in the same way. Just gotta find the right name.
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Hatty
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One of the Seven Wonders of the World was the Colossus of Rhodes. It only stood for 54 years before being toppled by an earthquake so one has to take various people's word for its dimensions and grandeur.

The official story is
The statue, begun in 292 BC and completed in 280 BC, was designed by Chares of Lindos (a pupil of the famous foruth-century BC Rhodian sculptor Lysippos) and would have been built by an extensive workshop in a pointed act of recycling.

"Recycling" is a way of getting round the obvious objection that no-one would have that much bronze available to build a statue so the people of Rhodes reportedly melted down weapons to get enough bronze. Trouble is, there are no known originals which makes it hard to judge if the Colossus, or indeed the thousands of other statues 'made by Lysippos', actually existed.

Pliny describes Lysippos as having made around 1,500 works during his career, all of them in bronze. Though many marble Roman copies after his lost originals exist, the only possible original that survives is the so-called Victorious Youth, also known as the Getty Bronze, displayed in the Getty Museum in California.

Oh dear. What are the chances the marble copies are not copies but originals 'after Lysippos'? There is no contemporaneous record. 'Pliny', whether the Elder or the Younger manifestation, would be writing some three hundred years after the event.
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Mick Harper
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Yes, as the Colossus of Rhodes was slipping into the Aegean so the Victorious Youth was slipping into the Adriatic. The latter snagged on fishermen's nets and made its way to the Getty. The former, not so much. But you have to admire the symmetry.
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Hatty
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The latter snagged on fishermen's nets and made its way to the Getty. The former, not so much.

Since the debris of the fallen colossus was never found (even though the statue's location is known), the disappearance would require a credible explanation.

Some eight centuries later the Saracens were on hand to do the necessary

It was only in AD 653 that an Arab army under Muawiyah I captured the island of Rhodes and, according to Theophanes the Confessor (d. AD 818), melted down the bronze in the statue. A Jewish merchant from Edessa is said to have bought the metal, requiring 900 camels to carry it off

900 camels is a nice touch. Perhaps someone was trying to give Theophanes' chronicle the ring of authenticity, though it isn't clear who the author was

Theophanes contributed but little to the chronicle that bears his name, and that the vast bulk of its contents are the work of Syncellus ... Theophanes' part of the chronicle covered events from the accession of Diocletian in 284 (which is the point where the chronicle of George Syncellus ends) to the downfall of Michael I Rhangabes in 813. This part of the chronicle is valuable for having preserved the accounts of lost authorities on Byzantine history for the seventh and eighth centuries that would be otherwise have been lost.

Theophanes' Chronicle was much used by succeeding chroniclers, and in 873–875 a Latin compilation was made[8] by the papal librarian Anastasius from the chronicles of Nicephorus, George Syncellus, and Theophanes for the use of a deacon named Johannes in the second half of the ninth century and thus was known to Western Europe.[1]

There also survives a further continuation, in six books, of the Chronicle down to the year 961 written by a number of mostly anonymous writers (called Theophanes Continuatus or Scriptores post Theophanem)
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Mick Harper
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I don't get it, even from an internal consistency POV. If the statue fell in 226 BC, the bronze must have been lying around (in or out of the water) for 878 years. More a job for Steptoe & Son, I would think, than nine hundred camels. You're not telling me they didn't have a single oxy-acetylene torch anywhere in the ancient Dodecanese.

This Theophanes Chronicle sounds like the convenient single source that magically survives to tell us exactly what we need to know, that we come across constantly in Western Europe. Better add it to the list. Oh, and Saracens onto the Vikings list if they're not already on it.
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Wile E. Coyote


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Mick Harper wrote:
But talking of dancing crowds, I am watching (courtesy of Michael Wood off the telly) Ovid's celebration bash to mark the passing of two thousand years since his passing.


Of course Ovid's passing is really another key to the start of the AD chronology.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fasti_(poem)

The Fasti or Fausti (Latin: Fastorum Libri Sex, "Six Books of the Calendar"), sometimes translated as The Book of Days or On the Roman Calendar, is a six-book Latin poem written by the Roman poet Ovid and published in 8 AD. Ovid is believed to have left the Fasti incomplete when he was exiled to Tomis by the emperor Augustus in 8 AD. Written in elegiac couplets and drawing on conventions of Greek and Latin didactic poetry, the Fasti is structured as a series of eye-witness reports and interviews by the first-person vates ("poet-prophet" or "bard") with Roman deities, who explain the origins of Roman holidays and associated customs—often with multiple aetiologies. The poem is a significant, and in some cases unique, source of fact in studies of religion in ancient Rome; and the influential anthropologist and ritualist J.G. Frazer translated and annotated the work for the Loeb Classical Library series. Each book covers one month, January through June, of the Roman calendar, and was written several years after Julius Caesar replaced the old system of Roman time-keeping with what would come to be known as the Julian calendar.



Though Ovid mentions he had written twelve books, no verified ancient text has been discovered with even a quotation from the alleged books for July through December (books 7 to 12).[9] In 1504 the eccentric humanist and classical text collector Conrad Celtes claimed to have discovered the missing books in a German monastery. He wrote a letter about the books to the Venetian publisher Aldus Manutius, who insisted on seeing them himself before signing a contract.[10] The purported missing verses had actually been composed by an 11th Century monk, were known to the Empire of Nicaea and had allegedly informed a popular harvest festival under the reign of John III Doukas Vatatzes, but even so, many contemporaries of Celtes believed him, and classical scholars continued to write about the existence of the missing books until well into the 17th Century.[11]


Conrad Celtes (Celts!?) was a free-thinking humanist and lover of things pagan, rather than Christian. Conrad is another in the frame for making up World (ie Germanic) history. He is supposed to have found a map of all Roman roads, in the Roman Empire.

Both the christians and the humanists are rather good at showing the other side made it up.
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Mick Harper
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Brilliant! As Ishmael would say.
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Mick Harper
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Oh no, even our lords and masters have started noticing the emperor is wearing some very iffy clothes

BBC
Cleethorpes teacher Gordon Taylor's Anglo-Saxon treasures to be sold

Kate Wiles
I.... what?? SEVENTY-TWO GRAVES? Anglo-Saxon scissors? Pendants with runic inscriptions??

Jude Seal‏ Replying to @katemond
I find this sale both disturbing and worrying on many levels.
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Wile E. Coyote


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The massive A14 archaeological project has revealed....
https://bit.ly/2TAXIIc

40 Roman industrial pottery kilns along Roman roads

7 prehistoric burial grounds (barrows and cremation cemeteries)

8 Iron Age to Roman supply farms, some with wells

3 prehistoric henge monuments (ceremonial enclosures)

2 post-medieval brick kilns

3 Saxon settlement sites, one with royal connections (I like the royal connections bit, Danny Dyer has royal connections)

1 deserted medieval village occupied from 8th to 12th century

Don't titter. Please don't titter.


I particularly like one star artefact, Anglo Saxon (c.7th century AD), it's an (err) object (err) decorated with a dot and circle pattern, may have been (err) part of a belt-hanger for a woman’s domestic tools (a ‘chatelaine’). As it is made from deer antler, (err) it could also have been worn as an amulet.

Eh????. What is it?
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Mick Harper
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It certainly underscores everything we said in The Megalithic Empire and summed up in the last chapter of Forgeries. And undermines the tosh we’re taught

“No previous excavation had taken place in these areas, where only a few cropmarked sites indicated the presence of former settlements, but we now know that extensive, thriving long-lived villages were built during the Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman and Saxon periods."

In other words nothing very much changed between the Agricultural Revolution c 3000 BC and the Industrial Revolution c 1700 AD.

"We now have the evidence to rewrite both the prehistoric and historic records of the area for the last 6,000 years.”

So why won't you be doing it?
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