FREDA BEDI CONT'D (#4)

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FREDA BEDI CONT'D (#4)

Postby admin » Thu Oct 20, 2022 8:13 am

FREDA BEDI CONT'D (#4)






It is only due to the limits of space that I do not go on and on with similar narratives.... To put it ... bluntly, the sciences of Hebrew epigraphy and philology are nothing but a fool's paradise. The question arises: are we playing here with science or with science fiction? Is it possible that, as in the popular movie "The Matrix," we all live in a virtual world that was programmed for us by aliens and operated by a well-organized system of naïve scientists, media tycoons, and other messengers, who manipulate us so we can live calmly in the virtual reality that they created for us?

-- The Jerusalem Syndrome in Archaeology: Jehoash to James: Is it possible that over a century after Sir William Mathew Flinders-Petrie established the scientific methodology of biblical archaeology, the discipline is still controlled by dilatants [dilettantes] and charlatans?, by Yuval Goren
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Re: FREDA BEDI CONT'D (#4)

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Part 1 of 3

Epigraphic Criticism and the Study of Forgeries: A Historical Perspective
by Lorenzo Calvelli
Mar 25, 2021

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Monsieur Lorenzo Calvelli, ​professeur à l'Université Ca'Foscari de Venise, nous a fait l'honneur de nous présenter la conférence "Epigraphic Criticism and the Study of Forgeries: A Historical Perspective",​ le lundi 22 mars 2021, sur Zoom.

Résumé

What is a forged inscription and how can it be used for historical research? This talk will address the study of the phenomenon of epigraphic forgeries by assessing the relevance of this specific category of sources. Fake inscriptions were already produced in Antiquity and throughout the Middle Ages, but their number began to rise dramatically from the Renaissance onwards. During the 19th century, an actual epistemology for epigraphic criticism was developed by Theodor Mommsen and the other editors of the Corpus inscriptionum Latinarum (CIL). Since then, most corpora and critical editions have, often implicitly, followed their scientific principles. After a general discussion of the history of scholarship related to epigraphic forgeries, I will present a case-study and examine a group of inscribed bronze tablets belonging to different European museums, whose authenticity I intend to challenge by tracing their history from the moment when they were first attested to present.



Transcript

Lorenzo Calvelli
Universite Ca'Foscar I de Venise
Epigraphic Criticism and the Study of Forgeries: A Historical Perspective
March 22, 2021
Midis De L'Institut D'Etudes Anciennes et Medievales De L'Universite Laval

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Epigraphic Criticism and the Study of Forgeries.
A Historical Perspective
Epigraphic Database Falsae
Lorenzo Calvelli, Ca' Foscari University of Venice
University of Laval, IEAM Seminars, 22 March 2021

I would like to express my gratitude to Franz, to Martin, to Jonathan, and to all the organizers of the activities of the Institute D'Etudes Anciennes et Medievales. This invitation is really a great privilege for me, an extraordinary opportunity for discussing my research work. Especially since I hope to get some feedback on the topics that I'm going to present.

Before starting, let me just briefly introduce what I would like to discuss with you, and how I have decided to structure my talk. To begin with, I thought that it might be useful to spend some words on what exactly an epigraphic forgery is, and how this category of inscribed monuments and documents has been assessed so far. In the second part of my presentation I will focus specifically on a case study offered by a group of forged, inscribed, bronze tablets, to which I have recently devoted my attention.

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Gilbert Bagnani, On Fakes and Forgeries, "Phoenix" 14, 1960, 244
An object may be declared a fake because
(a) it is much too good to be true
(b) it is much too bad to be true;
or because
(a) it is like countless other objects
(b) it is not like any known object;
or because
(a) it confirms an established theory,
(b) it explodes an established theory;
and so on and so forth.

So I'm going to start my presentation with a thought-provoking quote by a celebrated Italian Canadian archaeologist, Gilbert Bagnani. In an article published in 1960, Bagnani stated, "an object may be declared a fake because it is much too good or it is much too bad to be true; or because it is like countless other objects, or because it is not like any known object; or because it confirms an established theory, or because it explodes an established theory, and so on and so forth. So I think that Bagnani consciously gave a self-contradictory definition of forgery through which he meant to show that forgeries have always existed, and have always been created for very different purposes. So they're often very difficult to label and identify. Today, after centuries of classical scholarship, the shifting concepts of "fakes" and "forgeries" still represent a central aspect of the study of the Greek and Roman world. And even in my field -- that of classical epigraphy -- the role of forged texts and monuments is extremely strong and complex.

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Livy [59 B.C.], IV, 16, 4
Sed ante omnia refellit falsum imaginis titulum paucis ante annis lege cautum ne tribunis collegam cooptare liceret. [Google translate: But first of all, he rejected the false title of the image, a few years ago, the law provided that he was not allowed to co-opt a colleague.]

But the most conclusive refutation of the forged inscription on his portrait is to be found in a provision of the law passed a few years previously, that it should not be lawful for tribunes to co-opt a colleague.

The tendency to forge inscriptions already existed in ancient Rome as early as in the mid 5th century BCE. In a passage of Livy's Book 4 -- you can see it on your screen -- we learned that a forged inscription --- Livy calls it, "____", was produced to demonstrate that Lucius Minutius had been a Tribune of the Plebs early in his career in 438 BCE.

We are told expressly that those who first wrote the history of Rome were Greeks, and their interest in things barbarian and Roman arose as a result of the intercourse between Greeks and Romans in the fifth century, when the Siciliotes and inhabitants of the Greek cities in southern Italy were necessarily brought into contact with the rising power of Rome. But though the earliest notices go back so far, it was not until the third century that Greek historians seem to have busied themselves especially with Rome, and the reason for this is easy to see. When in that momentous struggle between Greek and barbarian which culminated in the defeat of Pyrrhus, it became plain to every one that the seat of empire had been removed across the Adriatic, the clever Greek read the signs of the times and fell at once to describing, with or without knowledge, the beginnings and history of this new power. The form in which their narratives were put forth, determined all subsequent conceptions of the early history of Rome.

When these Greeks and their earliest Roman followers attempted to write the history of the first centuries of Rome, what had they in the way of records? The statement often made by the writers of the Ciceronian period, that all monumental records such as statues, laws and inscriptions of various sorts, had perished in the Gallic invasion, must be true for the most part, but supposing that some of these monuments were in existence -- and the discovery of the old inscription and surrounding structures in the Forum proves that some did survive -- it is hardly possible that they would have been used to any great extent in working out the history of the earliest times. The evidence of the few fragments that now remain from the early days agrees with what we should infer from arguments of another kind, in showing that, if there had been no destruction like that wrought by the Gauls, there would have been few monuments of a sort to afford reliable historical information of a remote period. There is therefore little account to be taken of matter outside of oral and written records. The banquet songs described by Cato were doubtless a familiar feature of daily life, but even without the distinct repudiation of Cicero and Livy, we should recognize at once their worthlessness as historical documents.

The Annales Maximi were according to Cato's statement a list of magistrates, prodigies, eclipses and the price of corn. But these meager lists cannot have made up those eighty rolls which Cicero describes and which contained the history of the city from the beginning down to 133 B.C., and which were diffuse enough to contain Piso's story of Romulus's use of wine. These Annales were written out long after the beginning of Latin literature, and owed their form and much of their content to the annals of the Greeks. In Pais's words, "The little that we know of them reveals such a direct imitation of the Greek writers, such abundance of words, or as we might better say, such garrulity, as suited the chatter of barbers [quelle ciancie di barbieri] which Polybius censures in Sosilus and Chaerea, the historians of Hannibal, but which did not suit in any way the redaction of state documents, compiled at a tolerably early date." No fragment of the Annales Maximi in our possession belongs to a redaction earlier than the third century. In short, after Pais's keen critique, it is difficult to see in them anything but a second century creation, based on the tradition of the great Roman families, the works of early Greek historiographers, and the earliest Roman poets like Ennius, and we must recognize the fact that "these fragments which have come down to us have nothing to do with the most ancient pontifical tablets which were little more than an illustration of the calendar."

The influence of Ennius, Naevius and other early Roman poets, if such there were, in shaping the legendary history of the early period, has probably been greatly underestimated. It can be shown further, that these poets drew their material for early times, as well as their inspiration from their Greek predecessors and contemporaries. It would be idle to discuss at length the characteristics of these Greeks who approached their subject with no intention or desire to learn the truth, but only to produce a skilfully constructed poem into which could be woven a vast mass of legend and myth, with the natural result that the product was characterized by pure imagination, duplication, and falsification. This compilation of the Annales Maximi during the second century, under the influence of the first Roman poets and annalists, gave rise to the formation of what is known as the "canonical" tradition of the origin and early history of the city, and this "canonical" form which was an attempt to correlate divergent accounts, seems to have been put into final shape by Varro in his systematization and arrangement of all existing knowledge.

Our own chief literary sources of information are three, Diodorus Siculus, Livy and Dionysius of Halicarnassus. The two latter give in general the accepted official version, while Diodorus is apt to present divergent accounts, and is usually credited with a greater degree of independent judgment. Nevertheless, the evidence of all three has practically no first hand value. The stream cannot rise higher than its source.

Interesting illustrations of the way in which this early history was manufactured, abound on every hand. Monumenta of various sorts were made and attributed to the days of the Kings, as the lituus of Romulus, of which Cicero speaks in the De Divinatione 1 [II. 80.]: "So do not mention the lituus of Romulus which you say could not have been burned in the great fire;" and of which Plutarch says: "It was kept in the Capitol, but lost when Rome was taken by the Gauls; afterwards when the barbarians had quitted the city, it was found buried deep in ashes, untouched by the fire, whilst everything about it was destroyed and consumed." Pliny the Elder2 [N. H., XXXIV. 22-23.] describes the costume of statues of the time of Romulus and Numa, and says of the statues of the three Fates near the Rostra: "I should suppose that these and that of Attus Navius were the first erected in the time of Tarquinius Priscus, if it were not for the fact that the statues of the earlier kings were on the Capitol," -- although in a preceding chapter he had expressly stated that the first bronze statue at Rome was made from the property of Spurius Cassius. Livy tells3 [I. 12, 6.] how Romulus vowed the temple to Jupiter Stator in the battle between the Romans and Sabines, but in the tenth book4 [36, II.] he writes: "Meanwhile the Consul raising his hands to heaven, in a clear voice so that he might be heard plainly, vowed a temple to Jupiter Stator, if the flight of the Roman line should be checked," and a little later1 [X. 37, 15.] having noticed the discrepancy, he continues: "And in this battle a temple was vowed to Jupiter Stator, as Romulus had previously vowed one; but he had consecrated only a fanum, that is the site set apart for the temple." Varro, quoted by Macrobius,2 [I. 13, 21.] speaks of seeing a bronze tablet on which was engraved a law with regard to intercalary months, said to have been passed in the year 472 B.C. The most trustworthy account, however, refers this legislation to the year 191 B.C.

We may compare also the epigraphic fabrication related by Suetonius in describing the prodigies that happened at the death of Caesar.3 [Jul. Caes. 81.] A bronze tablet was found in the tomb where Capys was said to have been buried, on which was cut in Greek this prophecy: "When the bones of Capys shall be uncovered, a descendant of Julius shall be slain by the hands of his kinsmen, and soon afterwards avenged by great slaughter throughout Italy." And Suetonius continues: "The authority for this statement is Cornelius Balbus, a most intimate friend of Caesar, so that no one is to suppose it fabulous or fictitious."...

Furthermore, as the Romans themselves tell us, all their historians down to the time of Pompey belonged to distinguished families by relationship or clientage, and this very fact caused them to be at pains to exalt the history of their own clans, a fruitful source of fabrication. But there was another influence at work, and that was the desire to exalt the whole state, and its history. Hence the determined effort to give official sanction to the tradition that the Romans came of Trojan or Hellenic stock, and that they could trace their origin to a time as early as any of the Greek cities.

Two other factors in the formation of this artificial structure, the received story of the early days, were the duplication of events actual or alleged, and the influence of current political tendencies and theories. The duplication of events, that is the assigning of what happened at one time to another much earlier date, in either the same or a slightly disguised form, while not peculiar to Roman history, has there found its widest application. It is not among the least of Pais's services that he has brought out with proper emphasis the great importance of this factor. So numerous are the examples, such as the repeated stories of Manlius, and the explanations of the Lacus Curtius, that it would be useless to linger over them. The reasons for such duplication are patent at the first glance, among them the stereotyped character and conduct of those who belonged to the same house, the desire of succeeding generations to imitate the deeds of their ancestors, and the fact that so many of the clans seem to have assumed in successive years the command against the same foes. Variations in later versions seem usually to have been intentionally made, in order that suspicion might be averted. Consulships, dictatorships and censorships were boldly attributed to the ancestors of those who had held these offices in historical times, and so notorious was the practice that even Cicero and Livy protested against it. In consequence of this same impulse, events of a later date were thrown back into earlier periods, as the fabled treaty of 508 B.C. between Rome and Carthage, and the establishment of the censorship in the days of Servius Tullius. The same tendency which has assigned to Charlemagne the achievements of more than one man produced such types as Appius Claudius and Coriolanus.

The last factor in the fabrication of Roman history upon which much weight must be laid, is that of the political attitude of the historian and his hero. Cato, as is well known, tried to do something to counteract this evil, by refusing to mention the names of those of whom he was writing, but nothing could have been farther from the purpose of all other Roman historians. One has only to read Livy's account of perfectly historical persons and events, to see how he deliberately warped or suppressed the truth in order to depreciate the services of those who represented opposite political views. Modern colorless critical history was something entirely unsupposable to the Roman mind. Education in morals and good citizenship, the avowed object of the Roman historian, demanded an expression on his part of what he considered right and patriotic, and a condemnation of the opposite. To the most critical and truth-seeking of Romans, even a writer like Froude would have seemed not only culpably impartial but absolutely impossible.

These elements have been recognized in some degree by all historians since Niebuhr, but the extent of their application has varied. We have in general come to regard the history of the regal period as legendary so far as details are concerned, but no such view has prevailed with regard to the republic. It is true that Mommsen in his Roemische Forschungen laid down the lines along which the investigation should proceed, and in his essays on Coriolanus, Spurius Maelius, Spurius Cassius and Marcus Manlius, demonstrated the non-historical character of many of the tales from the period of the early republic, but in these particular cases, the subjects were such as would most naturally be derived from mythical sources. Neither in his history nor in his essays, does Mommsen cast any serious doubt upon the truth of the main features of the traditional history of the period between the expulsion of the Kings and the fall of the decemvirate. The attitude of most scholars previous to 1898, may be illustrated by that of Pelham and Shuckburgh in their histories published in 1893 and 1894. Pelham, after explaining the reasons why the history of the early republic is subject to some extent to the same suspicions as that of the regal period, and stating that the "details are of no historical value," proceeds to relate the course of events in such a way as not to suggest for a moment that he discredits the main features of the narrative. Shuckburgh is much less skeptical and gives his readers to understand that he is treating of what is genuinely historical.

Hardened as we have become to the process of having long cherished beliefs destroyed, and prone as we are to welcome innovations in all things, we cannot overcome a sense of dismay at reading statements like these of Pais:
"We arrive therefore at the conclusion that the whole account of decemvirate, that is the creation of this magistracy, the sending of the embassy to Athens, the codification of the laws of the Twelve Tables, the circumstances and procedure with reference to Virginia, no less than the second secession of the plebs, the following passage of the Canuleian laws, and the revolution at Ardea, are the results of unskilful attempts to combine self-contradictory traditions, and have at bottom no historical or chronological value." ...

"In the case of all the history of Roman legislation before the decemvirate we are confronted with accounts not originally true and only altered by later changes, but produced by real and deliberate falsification.

"The pretended constitutional history of Rome, described by the annalists of the second and first centuries, is in direct opposition to the honest and sincere declaration of Polybius who asserted that it was difficult to explain the beginnings and successive modifications, and to foretell the future phases of the Roman constitution, since the institutions of the past, both private and public, were unknown."

This means that everything which has been handed down from the years before 440 B.C. is thoroughly discredited, and that the beginning of anything like genuine history must be placed after that date. It is doubtful if anything quite so destructive as this in the field of historical criticism has been effected for many years, and we are overpowered by the almost absolute negation involved. Painstaking labor and the utmost skill in the employment of great learning, have combined to produce a monumental work of the greatest importance, and one which forces itself upon the attention of all students of classical antiquity.

Process and results are precisely the same for both the regal and early republican periods, but let us look rather at the latter and examine briefly two or three of the main features in the narrative which has come down to us. Perhaps the most noteworthy event in the twenty years after the expulsion of the Kings, was the secession of the plebs to the Sacred Mount, which marked the culmination of the first stage in the struggle between plebeian and patrician, and resulted in the establishment of that most unique of Roman institutions, the tribuneship. The circumstances are familiar to all, how in the midst of wars with Aequians and Volscians, the plebs were put off again and again with false promises, until after the army had won a victory under the dictator Manius Valerius, and was encamped before the city, the Senate still refused to adopt the necessary reforms. Thereupon the army, by which we must suppose the plebeian part of it to be meant, marched in order to the Sacred Mount, or according to another version to the Aventine, and returned to the city only after their claims had been allowed, in part at least, and the tribuneship established. Half a century later, another secession is described. The decemvirs had refused to give up office, and had, it was alleged, caused Lucius Siccius Denitatus, a veteran of many campaigns, to be foully murdered, while the most notorious of the board, Appius Claudius, had by his attempt to carry off Virginia, forced her father to slay her in defense of honor. The army again marched to the Sacred Mount, nominated tribunes, advanced to Rome and occupied the Aventine. A compromise was negotiated by Valerius and Horatius, and the tribunate again established.

Now the very similarity of these two accounts is enough to arouse grave suspicion, and an investigation of all the attendant circumstances proves that the first secession is but an anticipation of the second, together with some features which repeat the story of the expulsion of the Kings. Thus of the two leaders in the secession, Lucius Junius Brutus and Caius Sicinius, the latter is but the duplication of C. Sicinius, one of the tribunes elected after the fall of the decemvirate, and both these again of that Sicinius who was tribune in 395 B.C., and after the taking of Veii proposed to emigrate thither from Rome and found a new state. The names of the tribunes, either when the establishment of the tribunate in 494 is spoken of, or the increase in their number in 471, or the reestablishment of the institution in 449, show by their identity or similarity, that they represent only repetitions and variations of the same tradition, and that the successive Sicinii or Siccii -- for these appear to be variants of the same name -- Icilii, etc., are due to this process of duplication. So Manius Valerius who pacified the plebs in 494 before the first secession, is the same person, and the occasion the same, that we find described in Livy,1 [VII. 39.] where he tells how in 342 the dictator M. Valerius Corvus checked the rage of the army by his eloquence, and again of the same occurrence in 302 or 300. In this latter year, moreover, this same Valerius, when Consul, caused the famous "lex de provocatione" to be again approved, which had been already passed twice in previous years, and always on the motion of members of this same family. That is, during the first two hundred years of the republic, the passage of the same measure was attributed to the efforts of the same family thrice, which means, of course, that the annalists who wrote under the inspiration of the Valerii, thrust this action of theirs further and further back.


-- The Credibility of Early Roman History, by Samuel Ball Platner

But what exactly is a forged inscription? It is difficult to offer a straight answer. Let me offer another example.

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Padua, Palazzo della Ragione (medieval townhall). Alleged funerary monument of Livy
CIL V 2865

In 14th century Padua, a Roman funerary inscription was discovered commemorating a man called Pitocillidius. This person was immediately identified with the Roman historian Livy, who was known to have been a native of Padua. The inscription was praised by Humanus, even by Petrarch, and became the object of civic and intellectual devotion. It was eventually displayed -- where you can see it in this picture here -- in the main room of the town hall of the city, where it still hangs today. Only in the 16th century did scholars begin to realize that its text just commemorated a freed man called Titus Libius Hales, and not the ancient historian.
The Shadow of Livy: a cultural history of the tomb of Livy in late medieval Italy
by Daniele Miano
University of Sheffield

First Degree Congreso Internacional de Ciencias Humanas - Humanidades entre pasado y futuro. Escuela de Humanidades, Universidad Nacional de San Martín, Gral. San Martín, 2019.

In the nineteenth century, classical historicism looked at Livy and other classical historians, such as Thucydides, to find the roots of modern history writing, and it looked back at the late medieval discovers of the text of Livy, from Petrarch and Lovato Lovati to Lorenzo Valla, as its ideal predecessors. If reading and commenting on Livy was considered a foundation for historical science, the 19th century narrative of his rediscovery was one made of manuscripts, philology, and textual traditions, and one of the triumph of rationality over the authority of sources. In my paper I shall argue that the story of the rediscovery of Livy as a triumph of humanist rationality can be contrasted by a more cultural and anthropological narrative which focuses on rituals, myths, and embodiment. In the same period of the rediscovery of the text of Livy, the discovery in Padua of a Roman imperial inscription mentioning a certain Titus Livius led to the belief that this was the tombstone of Livy. At the same time, the Paduans discovered a body believed to be of the Trojan hero Antenor, the founder of the city according to Livy. Lovato Lovati was so enthusiastic of this discovery that he wrote an epitaph for the spectacular medieval tomb of Antenor still visible in Padua, and wanted to be buried next to the hero. Petrarch wrote a letter addressed to Livy while he was at the monastery of S. Giustina, where the alleged gravestone was kept. In the early Fifteenth century CE, the Paduans believed that they had discovered the body of Livy, and the local chancellor Sicco Polenton promoted the erection of a spectacular tomb for the historian. At the court of Alfonso of Aragon, where a young Lorenzo Valla cemented his scholarly reputation, there was the habit of the so-called ‘hour of the book’: the learned men of the court would gather with the king to read classical texts and comment on them. Lively arguments would originate in these occasions, and we know that the ‘hour of the book’ was essential to promote Valla’s work on the text of Livy. Alfonso’s love for Livy would go as far as to request from the Paduans to send to him a bone from the body of Livy, a request that they were happy to comply with, and that shows the quasi-religious veneration of the King for the historian. This shows that late Medieval Italy did not necessarily see a humanist foundation of future historical science, but rather the construction of the foundation myth of such science, that as all powerful myths was rooted in embodied, spatial practices focused around the tomb and the body of the historian, and ritualised practices such as ‘the hour of the book’.

But is this inscription a forgery? Of course it's not! It is a genuine inscription, whose interpretation was somehow forged, or rather forced, for a specific ideological purpose.

In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the creation of epigraphic forgeries became more and more frequent.

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Giovanni Nanni called Annio da Viterbo (1432-1502): (1) author of the Antiquitatum variarum in 17 volumes; (2) monumental work of historical and archaeological forgery

Well-known forgers, like Annio da Viterbo and Pirro Ligorio,

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Pirro Ligorio (1514-1583): (1) architect, painter; (2) author of the Libri delle antichita in 40 volumes; (3) produces thousands of epigraphic forgeries

produced thousands of false inscriptions, both on paper and on durable materials, like stone or metal.

Humanus [learned] began to realize that the diffusion of forgeries was particularly related with two factors: first, the impossibility of carrying out a personal inspection of the inscription, what we call today the autopsy, and the fact that inscribed objects are often brought from one place to another.

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Fra Giocondo da Verona (ca. 1433-1515): (1) first develops the principle of autopsy (personal inspection) of inscribed monuments

In the late fourteen-hundreds, Fra Giocondo, was the first who understood the importance of carrying out an autopsy of the inscribed monuments. He then transcribed them in his epigraphic manuscripts.

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Martin Smet (ca. 1520-1567): (1) realizes the problem of mobility of inscribed monuments

In the mid-sixteenth century, Martin de Smet complained about the mobility of objects and monuments which were frequently displaced from one antiquarian collection to another. Around the same time, thanks to the discovery of some juridical inscriptions on bronze, and of the capitolini fasti [Fasti Capitolini] in Rome, scholars began to realize that inscriptions could serve as antiquarian sources -- meaning that they could be used for better understanding ancient history, and integrating the narrative of ancient historians, such as Livi.

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Jan Gruter, Inscriptiones antiquae totius orbis Romani in corpus absolutissimum redactae cum indicibus XXV, Heidelberg 1603 [Google translate: The ancient inscriptions of the whole Roman world reduced to an absolute corpus with 25 indexes, Heidelberg 1603]

The Flemish scholar Jan Gruter first attempted to publish a universal corpus of all the Greek and Latin inscriptions which were known in his days. This volume included approximately twelve thousand texts. So it was an amazing and pioneering enterprise. Yet it was also rather faulty, since Gruter never personally checked the inscribed monuments that he published. On the contrary, he reproduced earlier editions of epigraphic tests, or new transcriptions, which he received by mail, thanks to a huge network of correspondents all over Europe.

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Final section devoted to Inscriptiones spuriae, adulterinae, supposititiae, fictitiae, etc. [Google translate: Spurious, counterfeit, suppositional, fictitious, etc.]

Opere jam absolotu nihil restabat, quam petere Lectoris plausum ac fauentiam: nisi viderem pluribus eam judicij essemodum, vt percursis Inscriptionisbus superioribus, statim exclamaturi essent, praeteritas nobis sereretect asve Epigraphas bonitatis edecumatae, & notatantumnon, si vinum essent, Pimianae. Talibus labris vt etiam sua essent lactucae, ensarraginemistam: quam ego tamen, vnag, mecum non pauct, hoc est Senatus Criticus sententiae melioris, merito suspicantur spurias, adulterinas, suppositias, fictitias, & quid non? [Google translate: The work was now completely finished, and nothing remained but to ask for the applause and favor of the Reader: if I had not seen that it was in the way of many judges, as having gone through the previous Inscriptions, they would immediately exclaim, the past will be restored to us as well as the Epigraphs of the well-decorated goodness, and not only noted, if they were wine, of Pimiana. With such lips, as if they were even their own lettuce, enragingism: which I, however, not a little with myself, this is the Senate Critic of the better opinion, are rightly suspected of spuriousness, forgery, suppositions, forgeries, and what not? ]

Gruter was also the first to devote a specific section of his Corpus to forgeries. At the end of this massive volume, he collected a group of about two hundred : spurious inscriptions. Yet there are many more false texts throughout his work, which he did not recognize as such.

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Scipione Maffei (1675-1755)

Around the mid-18th century, Scipione Maffei, a learned nobleman from Verona, was the first to draw a set of rules for recognizing forged inscriptions.

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Scipione Maffei's decalogue
Caput I. Canones traduntur ad fictitias inscriptiones Graece loquentes dignoscendas.
1. Inscriptionum Graece loquentium commentitiae paucae deprehenduntur.
2. Marmorum inspectio admodum conducit ad eorumdem veritatem explorandam.
3. Inscritionum verba ac continentia examinanda.
4. Inscriptiones recte describendae, cum ex literarum omissione vel permutatione errores non pauci oriantur.
5. Inscriptiones summa diligentia resolvendae.
6. Inscriptiones summa circumspectione emendandae vel supplendae.
7. Graecorum epigrammatum versio ardua ideoque saepissime in eorumdem translatione peccatum.
Caput II. Canones traduntur ad fictitias inscriptiones Latine loquentes internoscendas.
1. Antiquitatis indubitatum ferme argumentum est, cum inscriptiones in aeneis tabulis incisae repraesentantur.
2. Ad lapidearum inscriptionum explorandam fidem, marmoris genus, faciem coloremque inspicere oportet.
3. Ad scripturae observationem atque iudicium literarum transeundum est.

[Google translate: Chapter 1. Canons are given for identifying the fictitious inscriptions speaking in Greek.
1. Few of the inscriptions of Greek-speaking authors have been discovered.
2. The inspection of the marbles is very conducive to exploring their truth.
3. The words and contents of the inscriptions to be examined.
4. To copy the inscriptions correctly, since not a few errors arise from the omission or interchange of letters.
5. Addresses to be analyzed with utmost care.
6. Addresses to be amended or supplemented by the general survey.
7. A difficult version of the Greek epigrams, and therefore very often a sin in their translation.
Chapter II Canons are handed over to fictional English-speaking interns.
1. There is almost an undoubted proof of antiquity, when inscriptions are represented incised on bronze plates.
2. In order to investigate the reliability of stone inscriptions, it is necessary to examine the type of marble, the face and the color.
3. We must pass to the observation of scripture and the judgment of letters.

Maffei had developed a compulsive passion for Greek and Latin epigraphy. And his Decalogue strikes us for being incredibly modern: First of all, as an indispensable rule, Maffei clearly states that a good epigraphist must carry out autopsy of all inscribed monuments, what he calls a marmorum inspectio. He then calls for a close examination of the contents of inscriptions, verba ac continentia, for an impeccable transcription of each sign, and inscription is erected, describendae, for extreme carefulness in expanding abbreviations, summa diligentia resolvendae, as well as in proposing emendations and integrations, summa circumspectione emendandae vel supplendae.

So he also reminded us of the difficulty of translating inscriptions, especially those written in Greek: the versio. And he finally maintains the importance of petrographic and paleographic analysis, what he calls marmoris genus, facium coloremque, and scripturae observationem and judicium literaratum.

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Verona, Museo Lapidario Maffeiano [Google translate: Verona, Maffeiano Lapidary Museum]

Maffei even displayed some fake inscription in his private museum in Verona, so that they could serve as a sort of teaching aid. Yet despite his attempts to isolate forgeries, their number kept increasing well into the 19th century.

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Olaus Kellermann (1805-1837)
Bartolomeo Borghesi (1781-1860)

In a letter written to the young Danish scholar Olaus Kellerman, in 1835, the great Italian Epigraphist Bartolomeo Borghesi, complimented on the former's intention of setting up a corpus of Latin inscriptions. In the first place, because such a work would eventually help scholars to get rid of thousands of impostures and forged texts, which were still circulating in their days.

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Th. Mommsen, CIL Denkschrift (1847): epigraphic criticism.
Ueber Plan und Ausfuhrung elses Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum
by Theodor Mommsen, Doctor der...

Kellerman died young, and his project was revived by Theodor Mommsen, who gave way to a new science, namely "Epigraphic Criticism." Mummson fully described this method in his proposal for a Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, which he addressed to the Berlin Academy of Sciences in 1847.

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Th. Mommsen, CIL Denkschrift (1847)
III. Kritik der Inschriften.
A. Kritik der Achtheit.
Die Falschungen sind dreierlei Art.
1) Erstens geschehen sie von den Kunsthandlern [...]
2) Die zweite Klasse der Falsare sind die Municipal- und Provinzialschriftsteller, die zu mehrerer Ehre der Heimath Inschriften schmieden, gewohnlich auf dem Papiere. [...]
3) Die dritte Klasse endlich bilden die Falsare vom Handwerk, die es sich zum Specialgeschaft machten.

[Google translate: III. criticism of the inscriptions.
A. Criticism of Eighthness.
The falsifications are of three kinds.
1) First, they happen from the art dealers [...]
2) The second class of falsars are the municipal and provincial writers, who make inscriptions, usually on paper, in several honors of their homeland. [...]
3) Finally, the third class is formed by the falsars of handicrafts, who have made it their special business. ]

A full paragraph of his text was devoted to the critique of authenticity. In Mommsen's view, there were three different kinds of epigraphic forgeries. 1) Those deceitfully produced by antique dealers, 2) those created by local scholars, usually just on paper, to celebrate their homeland, and 3) those fabricated by professional forgers, which were also the most difficult to detect. And this was the case of Ligorio, towards whom both Borghesi and Mommsen had developed a real aversion.

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Inscriptiones Regni Neapolitani Latinae
by Theodorus Mommsen
Inscriptiones Falsae Vel Suspectae.
Pars Prima.

[Google translate: Inscriptions of the Latin Kingdom of Neapolitan
by Theodore Mommsen
Fake or Suspicious Emails
First part.]

Mommsen put in place his principles in the addition of the Latin Inscriptions from the Kingdom of Naples, published in 1852. In his introduction to the work, which was dedicated to Borghesi, he developed his own set of rules for dealing with untrustworthy epigraphic documents. Mommsen's assumption was that inscriptions are, in the first place, fundamental documents for the study of the past. In his positivist view, history had to be an exact science. But in order to be so, it had to be written using objective and reliable primary sources. The latter included the text of Greek and Latin authors, but also, and perhaps above all, the text of ancient inscriptions which have come to us directly without the mediation of medieval copyists.

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Mommsen's principles (leges) towards forged inscriptions
1) recepi inscriptiones omnes visas mihi et non visas, ineditas et ante qualicumque ratione editas, sinceras et suspectas et falsas.
2) in disponendis titulis primum falsos a veris secrevi.
3) legem secutus quae in foro obtinet, dolum non praesumi, sed probato dolo totum testem infirmari.
4) non tam inscriptiones singulas in iudicium vocavi, quam singulos auctores.
semel fur, semper fur!

[Google translate: 1) I received all the letters seen to me and not seen, unpublished and published before for any reason, sincere and suspicious and false.
2) in arranging the titles I first separated the false from the true.
3) Following the law which prevails in the market, fraud is not presumed, but when fraud is proved, the whole evidence is invalidated.
4) I did not so much call individual letters into judgment as individual authors.
once a thief, always a thief!]
it is better if a genuine inscription is edited among the forgeries, than the other way round.

It is well worth reading the rules which Mommsen set in treating epigraphic forgeries, because after over 150 years, they're still very, very influential. So I will perhaps read them in English translation, but you have the original text in front of you.

The first I included in my corpus -- all the inscriptions -- the ones that I saw, and the ones that I did not see: the unpublished ones, and the ones that were previously published, no matter in what way. The genuine ones, the suspect ones, and the fake ones.

Second Rule: the very first goal of the volume was to separate genuine inscriptions from forgeries.

In the third rule, uh, Mommsen, who was a jurist, recognized the principle of the so-called presumption of innocence, dolum nom praesumi. But he also stated that once the deceitful intent of an author had been proven, his entire credibility as a source, was invalidated, and his whole production must be labeled as forged. This is really a crucial point, which comes in also in the following point.

In point number four, he says, "I did not prosecute single inscriptions, but single authors." Meaning, that he challenged the trustworthiness of the whole production of those who had transcribed inscriptions. We can call it the principle of the "unreliability of the first witness." If the earliest transcription of an inscription comes from an author who had been identified as a forger, then no matter its contents, such an inscription must be false. So, in other words, Mommsen discarded the whole production of certain authors, like Ligorio, because he simply had no time for checking that all the inscriptions that these authors had copied, were genuine, or or false. He states that very clearly. And his conclusion is semel fur, semper ful: once a thief, always a thief. And also that it is better to to keep a genuine inscription among the forgeries, than the other way around. This is also very important. Because many inscriptions have been re-evaluated recently.

It is important to bear in mind that Mommsen decided to devote a specific section of his corpus to fake inscriptions. And in doing so, some fundamental help was offered by the decision on following a geographical order in presenting inscriptions.

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Apparently -- yes, you can see it here - "Inscriptiones Falsae Vel Suspectae", Mommsen initially designed a sort of double degree of jurisdiction: Falsae and Suspectae. And this description also appears in a letter written in 1881 where these two categories are called "hell" and "purgatory" of inscriptions.

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Forged inscriptions in the CIL: (1) falsae are mixed with the alienae (i.e. non-local), (2) the asterisk that makes the difference!; (3) CIL VI 1 vs. CIL VI 1*

As a matter of fact, in the CIL, this section was simply labeled as "falsae." So he got rid of the suspectae, and was paired with another category, that of the alienae, meaning those inscriptions which are kept in a place different from that for which they were originally conceived. The fact that both of these categories, falsae and alienae are marked by an asterisk, may often generate confusion among the non-specialists. Yet, it is quite clear why Mommsen decided to pair them. Because in his view, both of these categories could not be used as sources for historical reconstruction.

So I hope that this overview of the history of scholarship on epigraphic forgeries was useful to make you understand how diversified and capricious the section of the falsae in the CIL is.

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The figures of the falsae vel alienae in the CIL (source: Antonella Ferraro, PhD dissertation, Pauda, 2015)
Falsae vel alienae (False or foreign) / / Totale (Total )
Roma / 3642 / 45076
Ostia / 460 / 5871
Regio I / 918 / 7220
Regio II / 258 / 2622
Regio III / 120 / 627
Regio IV / 247 / 3134
Regio V / 267 / 1216
Regio VI / 371 / 2905
Regio VII / 307 / 3082
Regio VIII / 175 / 1489
Regio IX / 243 / 716
Regio X / 619 / 6476
Regio XI / 169 / 2338
Sicilia / 48 / 584
Sardinia / 383 / 873
Germania Superior / 295 / 3529
Germania Inferior / 57 / 1555
Provincia Belgica / 295 / 1960
Provincia Lugdunensis / 96 / 1841
Aquitania / 273 / 2063
Gallia Narbonensis / 337 / 6014
Spagna / 488 / 5448
Illyricum / 254 / 5785
Europae provinciae grecae / 11 / 460
Aegyptus et Asia / 20 / 576

It should be stressed that it is a huge section. You can see some figures here taken from a recent doctoral dissertation. And like I said, Mommsen's approach was very influential, also for later corpora like the inscription ____.
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Re: FREDA BEDI CONT'D (#4)

Postby admin » Fri Oct 21, 2022 2:16 am

Part 2 of 3

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What about today?
A recent proposal for classifying epigraphic forgeries
(A. Buonopane in L'iscrizione e il suo doppio, 2014):
1) fakes: consciously counterfeited inscription made for profit or fraud (material or intellectual): falsum est quidquid in veritate non est, sed pro vero adseveratur (Paul. sent. V 25): ("A fake is whatever is not true, but purports to be true.")
2) replicas: more or less faithful reproductions, made for studying, collecting, exhibiting or conservation purposes, but not for deceiving.
3) re-elaborations: modern inscriptions produced by altering the text of one or more ancient inscriptions or by taking inspiration from an ancient inscribed text, without any claim of genuineness.

So what about today? Do we still believe in Mummsen's inflexible attitude? In a recent study, an Italian colleague, Afredo Buonopane, suggested a more thorough distinction within the undiversified marimonium of Mommsen's Falsae. And you can see it here in the slide. According to Buonopane, we can recognize fakes, meaning consciously counterfeited inscriptions made for profit or fraud; replicas, meaning more or less faithful reproductions made for studying, collecting, exhibiting, or conservation purposes, but not for deceiving; and re-elaborations: so modern inscriptions which were produced by altering the text of one or more ancient inscriptions. So Buonopane's idea is that we should try to understand the intent of the forger. But this is not always easy to do.

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MIUR
PRIN
Italian National Research Project 2017-2021
Forged evidence. Copies, counterfeits, manipulations, and misuses of ancient inscribed documents.
Principal Investigator: Lorenzo Calvelli
Total budget: € 178.000.

So to conclude this first part of my talk, I would like to give you just some : information on the research project that I coordinate [Italian National Research Project, 2017-2021. Forged evidence. Copies, counterfeits, manipulations, and misuses of ancient inscribed documents. Principal Investigator: Lorenzo Calvelli. Total Budget: One-Hundred-Seventy-Eight-Thousand Euros]. Just some figures here. It started about four years ago. It involves about fifty scholars from twelve public universities located all over Italy.

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These are its key points.

"Forged evidence" research project: keypoints
1) first systematic survey of epigraphic forgeries in central and northern Italy
2) creation of an online database of epigraphic forgeries: Epigraphic Database Falsae (EDF)
3) five post-doctoral positions
4) three midterm conferences in Venice and Lake Garda (Open Access online proceedings)
5) final dissemination event

And I would like to stress especially point number two: the creation of a digital resource for epigraphic forgeries, which is accessible online.

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Epigraphic Database Falsae
http://edf.unive.it

We have already recorded about fifteen-hundred forged texts, and I hope that within a month or so we should have an English version of the database available, too. So it's now in Italian, but we have an English version already that should be online very, very soon.

And these are also some conferences and publications that stem from the project. They're all available in Open Access, so the pdfs of the volumes are downloadable for free.

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La falsificazione epigrafica in Italia
Questioni di metodo e casi di studio
10-11 ottobre 2018
Aula Mario Baratto, Ca' Foscari
Dorsodure 3246, Venezia

[Google translate: Epigraphic falsification in Italy
Matters of method and case studies
10-11 October 2018
Mario Baratto classroom, Ca 'Foscari
Dorsodure 3246, Venice

***

Antichistica 25
Storia ed epigrafia 8
La falsificazione epigrafica
Questioni de metodo e casi di studio
a cura di
Lorenzo Calvelli

[Google translate: Antiquistics 25
History and epigraphy 8
The epigraphic falsification
Questions of method and case studies
edited by
Lorenzo Calvelli]

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XXIII RENCONTRE FRANCO ITALIENNE SUR L'EPIGRAPHIE DU MONDE ROMAIN
Epigrafi di carta, epigrafi di pietra.
Il ruolo della tradizione manoscritta nello studio delle iscrizioni genuine e spurie

[Google translate: XXIII RENCONTRE FRANCO ITALIENNE SUR L'EPIGRAPHIE DU MONDE ROMAIN
Epigraphs of paper, epigraphs of stone.
The role of the manuscript tradition in the study of genuine and spurious inscriptions]

***

Antichistica 24
Storia ed epigrafia 7
Altera pars laboris
Studi sulla tradizione
manoscritta
delle iscrizioni antiche
a cura di
Lorenzo Calvelli
Giovannella Cresci Marrone,
Alfredo Buonopane

[Google translate: Antiquistics 24
History and epigraphy 7
Altera pars laboris
Studies on tradition
handwritten
of ancient inscriptions
edited by
Lorenzo Calvelli
Giovannella Cresci Brown,
Alfredo Buonopane]

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False notizie ... fake news
e storia romana

***

False notizie ...
fake news
e storia romana
Falsificazioni antiche,
falsificazioni moderne
a cura di Simonetta Segenni

[Google translate: False news ...
fake news
and Roman history
Ancient forgery,
modern forgeries
curated by Simonetta Segenni]

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Bronze tablet with dedication to Drusus the Younger
Venice, Museo di Torcello, inv. 1910a-b


All right, let's get to the second part of the talk, which is going to be about a case study from a small archaeological museum in the northern Venetian lagoon, in the island of Torcello. There one can still see a small rectangular bronze tablet, displayed inside a glass case, where it is labeled as a genuine inscription, with a dedication to Drusus the Younger, the son of Emperor Tiberius, who died in Twenty-Three C.E., causing much grief to his father. The front part of the tablet bears the text of the dedication, while the back, as you can see, carries some single or double letters, which are not easy to expand or understand actually.

Image

This is the record of the inscription, just to show you how it is like. I hope you can see it. It's quite rich. It's quite rich a description.
Evidence for suspect authenticity:
1) peculiarity of the object
2) punctuations at beginning/end of lines and at various heights
3) abbreviations not elsewhere attested
4) dimensions not corresponding to ancient units of measurement
5) seriality

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Evidence for suspect authenticity:
1) peculiarity of the object
2) punctuations at beginning/end of lines and at various heights
3) abbreviations not elsewhere attested
4) dimensions not corresponding to ancient units of measurement
5) seriality

The genuineness of the object is, in my view, challenged by at least four elements -- or rather five -- which I was able to detect after an accurate inspection. First, its peculiarity. In fact, this tablet does not belong to any of the well-known categories of the so-called instrumentum inscription. It is not a Tabla Lusoria -- a game board. It is not a Tessera hospitalis -- a hospitality token, nor a Tessera Nummularia -- a bronze tag for money changers. It is not a Signaculum, a stamp, because it is not written in reverse order, and it has no handle. Likewise, it is not a label to be attached to an object, because it is written on both sides. And it was not tied to an object, since it has no hole. And so it is quite impossible to define the typology of this artifact, which for the sake of simplicity, we shall simply call a "tablet." The Second point: its punctuation. Punctuation marks are located at the beginning and at the end of the lines at various heights, and this is not how the Romans usually punctuate their texts. Third, the sequence of single letters on the back cannot identify with any of the abbreviations commonly used for Latin epigraphy in the early Imperial times. And Fourth, the dimensions and the weight of the object do not correspond to ancient Roman units. And this is quite a strong argument, in my view, in favor of the falseness of these objects.

Indeed, to these four considerations one might add one final point, that of seriality. Seriality and repetitiveness can often be identified as markers of forgery. Forgers often fabricated more than one sample of their counterfeit products, which may now be inadvertently considered to be genuine artifacts in different parts of the world. For instance, in archaeological museums. So, of course, there are inscriptions which were produced in more than one copy in ancient times, but generally speaking, one should always be cautious when identical, or even slightly different texts, can be found on different physical objects.

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Bronze tablet with dedication to Drusus the Younger
Paris, antiquarian market, 1990s
cast impressions on aluminum, property of Prof. Antonio Sartori, Milan

And this final aspect was already remarked in the 1990s when a similar tablet was detected by a colleague, Antonio Sartori, who saw it on sale in a shop in Paris. This second tablet was sold on the antiquarian market, so we don't know where it is today. And we only have a cast of it on kitchen foil, which was made for my colleague by the art dealer. Actually, a long investigation carried out both in libraries and in museums across Europe, has led me to discover that the copies of this inscribed tablet are not only two, but several. Some of them are still existing, while others are known only through manuscript tradition.

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Bronze tablet with dedication to Drusus the Younger
Arezzo, Museo Archeologico Nazionale Gaio Cilnio Mecenate, inv. 12229

So far, aside from the Tortello Tablet, and the lost Paris Tablet, I was able to locate three more copies of the same inscription. One in Arezzo,

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Bronze tablet with dedication to Drusus the Younger
Madrid, Museo Arqueologico Nacional, inv. 10104

one in Madrid,

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Bronze tablet with dedication to Drusus the Younger
Basel, Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig, Alter Bestand o.n. 26

and one more in Basel. To these three objects, one may add some others, which were published in different parts of the CIL of the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, where they were unanimously judged as forged.

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Inscriptiones
Aemiliae Etrvriae Vmbriae
Latinae
by
Evgenivs Bormann
Eugen Bormann
CIL XI, pars prior (1888)

In particular, the Eleventh volume of the Corpus, published by Eugen Bormann, and devoted two inscriptions from Aemilius
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The Pons Aemilius (Italian: Ponte Emilio), today called Ponte Rotto, is the oldest Roman stone bridge in Rome, Italy. Preceded by a wooden version, it was rebuilt in stone in the 2nd century BC. It once spanned the Tiber, connecting the Forum Boarium with Trastevere; a single arch in mid-river is all that remains today, lending the bridge its name Ponte Rotto ("Broken bridge").

Pons Aemilius, by Wikipedia

... and Etruria -- so from central and northern Italy -- is very rich with information.

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105* Item fuerunt ante in museo universitatis nunc in publico complures tabellae aereae inscriptae exemplis falsis titulorum genuinorum his:
1. Deo Invito / Mithir cet. / expressa est Lugudunensis Grut. 33, 1
2. Veneri caelesti / Augustae / expressa est Bovianensis vol. IX, 4985
3. L. Plancus / L. f. cos / expressa est diverse urbana VI, 1316=Grut. 26, 1
4. L. Plancus L. f. / cos. / expressa est diverse urbana VI, 1316=Grut. 26, 1
5. Druso Caisari / Ti. Aug. f. divi / Aug. n. / s.c.
6. Imp. Tito Caesari / divi Vespasiani f / Vespasiano
7. NOS-FEII-C-L-AIATORES / dedi cenam / expressa est diverse Auximas IX, 5855
8. NES-FEII-GL / AIATORES dedi / cenam / expressa est diverse Auximas IX, 5855
9. Ti. Iulio / Aug. l / Mnestori / expressa est urbana Grut. 615, 1.

[Google translate:
105* Again there were formerly in the museum of the university, now in the public domain, a number of air tablets inscribed with examples of these false genuine titles:
1. Uninvited God / Mithir cet. / was expressed by the Grut of Lugano. 33, 1
2. Celestial Venus / Augusta / is expressed in Bovianensis vol. 9, 4985
3. L. Plancus / L. f. cos / expressed est diverse urbana VI, 1316=Grut. 26, 1
4. L. Plancus L. f. / cos. / is expressed differently urban 6, 1316=Grut. 26, 1
5. Drusus Caisari / Ti. Aug. f. divine / Aug. no. / s.c.
6. Imp. To Tito Caesar / the divine Vespasian f / Vespasian
7. NOS-FEII-C-L-AIATORES / I gave dinner / is expressed differently Auximas 9, 5855
8. NES-FEII-GL / I gave the AIATORES / dinner / is expressed differently Auximas 9, 5855
9. You July / Aug. l / Mnestori / is expressed by the urban Grut. 615, 1.]
CIL XI 105*

Bormann had spotted a group of nine small bronze tablets inscribed with different texts in Bologna. That's the entry that you're looking at now. And he defined them -- and I'm translating from the Latin -- several bronze tablets inscribed with false copies of genuine inscriptions: the tabellae aereae inscriptae exemplis falsis titulorum genuinorum. Well, he mentioned that he had personally : seen them in the archaeological museum in Bologna, while formerly they belonged to the university collection of the same city. And you can see among these inscriptions -- in the fifth position -- a copy of the dedication to Druso. Unfortunately, despite numerous attempts, it has been impossible to locate this group of tablets.

Which brings up another point for discussion, in my view. What happens to forgeries once they are recognized as such? Even if they're kept in a public museum, unfortunately, until not long ago, it was quite frequent to get rid of objects which were labeled as forged. And in this specific case, it is quite possible that Bormann's judgment, served as a death sentence for those nine inscriptions.

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209* laminae aereae in agro Pistorieusi a. 1763 repertae MERLINI
1. .. ermanico neroni druso / caesari germanici / geamanici / caesaris f. casaris / e / aus ob. non. august // imp
2. druso caisari / ti. aug. f. diui / aug. n / s. c // me / p. 4. d
3. imp. tito caesari / diui uespasiani f / uespasiano // f e. r / p
4. tito iulio / aug. 1 / m. nestori // s. p. q. r / d. 1
Fr. Ignatius Merlini Calderini, qui coemerat, imagines in folio exprimendas curavat, cuius unum exemplum est in ms. societ columbariae annal. XIX; inde edidit Cantini iscr. colomb. 1 p. 92 n. 9 adversam n. 2, p. 94 n. 10 aversam n. 4.

Qui has et similes tabellas fecit falsarius expressit fere inscriptiones genuinas, complura autem fecit exemplaria. Ut inscriptionum n. 2. 3. 4 similia exemplaria in actis columbar. esse dicuntur, quorum ectypa gypsea proposita sunt columbariis d. 17 Apr. 1763 (annal. XXVIII p. 40, ubi verba non referuntur), ipsa antem dicebantur esse reperta Faventiae et coempta erant a socio columbario; sunt fortasse quae nunc extant Bononiae (supra n. 105*, 5. 6. 9). Inscriptionis 2 aliud vel idem exemplum servatur nunc in museo Arretino.

[Google translate: 09* air plates in the field of Pistorieus a. 1763 discovered by Merlin
1. .. ermanico neroni druso / caesari germanici / gemamanici / caesaris f. casaris / e / aus ob. no august // imp
2. Drusus caisari / ti Aug. f. long / Aug. n / s. c // me / p. 4. d
3. imp. titus caesari / diui vespasian f / vespasiano // f e. r / p
4. Titus July / Aug. 1 / m. nestor // s. p. Q. r / d. 1

Fr. Ignatius Merlini Calderini, who had bought it, took care to print the images on the folio, one example of which is in ms. societ dovecorium annal 19; from there he published Cantini's iscr. dove 1 p. 92 n. 9 contrary to n. 2, p. 94 n. 10 reversed n. 4.
He who made these and similar letters has forged almost all the genuine inscriptions, but he has made several copies. As the number of addresses 2. 3. 4 similar patterns in the records of the dove. they are said to be, whose plaster casts were proposed for dovecotes d. 17 April 1763 (annal. 28 p. 40, where the words are not mentioned), they were previously said to have been found in Favente and had been bought by a fellow dovecote; they are perhaps those which now exist in Bononia (above n. 105*, 5. 6. 9). Another or the same copy of inscription 2 is now preserved in the museum of Arretino.]
CIL XI 209*

Further information comes from another chapter of CIL XI, devoted to the city of Pistoia, in northern Tuscany. We can find an entry CIL XI Two-Hundred-Nine, with an asterisk, of course, because it's among the falsae, where Bormann registered a group of forged inscriptions, which had once belonged to a learned local man, Francesco Ignazio Merlini Calderini, who claimed to have found them in the countryside near Pistoia in 1763.
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Re: FREDA BEDI CONT'D (#4)

Postby admin » Fri Oct 21, 2022 9:31 am

Part 3 of 3

2. The flails of the Pigeons

A new bibliographic investigation has now been made the starting point for a further advancement of research. The first volume of the eleventh volume of the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, published in 1888, in fact contains an entry dedicated to a group of four epigraphs engraved on objects in bronze, which Eugen Bormann, curator of this section of the CIL, relegated, without hesitation, to the category of falsae (Fig. 3) (14). Between these artifacts, defined as "laminae aeriale in agro Pistoriensi a.1763 repertae" (15), first of all there is an example of the dedication to Germanicus, and his children, mentioned above. Perhaps just the same reappeared in recent times on the Paris antiques market (16).

However, it is the second of the epigraphic documents transcribed by Bormann that most draws our attention (17):

Druso Caisari,
Ti (beri) Aug (usti) f (ilio), divi
Aug (usti) n (epoti),
s (enatus) c (onsulto) .//
Myself(- - -)
p (- - -) l (- - -) d (- - -).

209 laminae aereae in agro Pistoriensi a. 1763 repertae MERLINI.
1. ..germanico neroni druso / caesar germanici / geamanici / caesaris f. casaris / e / aus ob. non. august // imp
2. druso caisari / ti. aug. f. diui / aug. n / s.c. // me / p. l. d
3. imp. tito caesari / diui uespasiani f / uespasiano // f. e. r / p
4. tito iulio / aug. / m. nestori // s. p. q. r / d. l

Fr. Ignatius Merlini Calderini, qui coemerat, imagines in folio exprimendas curavit, cuius unum exemplum est in ms. societ. columbariae annal. XIX; inde edidit Cantini inscr. colomb. 1 p. 92 n. 9 adversam n. 2, p. 95 n. 10 aversam n. 4.

Qui has et similes tabellas fecit falsarius expressit fere inscriptiones genuinas, complura autem fecit exemplaria. Ut inscriptionum n. 2. 3. 4 similia exemplaria in actis columbar. esse dicuntur, quorum ectypa gypsea proposita sunt colunbariis d. 17 Apr. 1763 (annal. XXVIII p. 40, ubi verba non referuntur), ipsa autem dicebantur esse reperta Faventiae et coempta erant a socio columbario; sunt fortasse quae nunc extant Bononiae (supra n. 105*, 5. 6. 9). Inscriptionis 2 aliud vel idem exemplum servatur nunc in museo Arretino.

[Google translate: 209 air plates in the field of Pistorius a. 1763, discovered by Merlini.
1. ..germanico neroni druso / caesar germanici / gemamanici / caesaris f. casaris / e / aus ob. no august // imp
2. Drusus caisari / ti Aug. f. long / Aug. n / s.c. // me / p. l. d
3. imp. titus caesari / diui vespasian f / vespasiano // f. e. r / p
4. Titus July / Aug. 1 / m. nestor // s. p. Q. r / d. l

Fr. Ignatius Merlini Calderini, who had bought it, took care to print the images on the folio, one example of which is in Ms. Associates Dovecot Annals 19. From there he published Cantini's Inscr. Dove 1 p. 92 n. 9 opposite n. 2, p.95 n. 10 reversed n. 4.

He who made these, and similar letters, in a more falsified manner, printed almost genuine inscriptions, but made several copies. As the number of addresses 2. 3. 4 [show] similar patterns in the records of the dove, they are said to be, whose plaster casts were proposed for colonnades d. 17 April1763 (annal. 28 p. 40, where the words are not mentioned), but they were said to have been found in Favente, and had been bought by a dovecote associate. They are perhaps those which now exist in Bononia (above n. 105*, 5. 6. 9). Another, or the same copy of inscription 2, is now kept in the Museum of Arretino.]

Fig. 3. CIL XI, 209*.


Already, at first sight, it can be seen that the text is substantially identical to that which can be read on the bronze sheet preserved in the Provincial Museum of Torcello. The only significant difference in it consists of the presence of only one "D" in the final line of the verse of the epigraphic document transcribed by Bormann. The object on which this inscription was engraved, as well as the other three reviewed in the voice of the CIL, had belonged in the eighteenth century to Abbot Francesco Ignazio Merlini Calderini, a scholar from Pistoia, and a member of the Accademia Colombaria in Florence (18).

As can be seen from the bibliographic indications cited in the apparatus, Bormann had learned this information by consulting the Annals Manuscripts of the Florentine Cultural institution (19 ). Yes[?] transcribes in full the original of the document consulted by the scholar, who fortunately escaped the destruction that the ancient headquarters of the Academy suffered during the Second World War (20):

On 11 September [1763]. Gather to the usual lair. The Verecondo has brought a printed copy of some inscriptions that can be read in relief on four copper plates, recently found in the Pistoia area, and purchased by Francesco Ignazio Merlini Calderini, our foreign partner. It has been observed that the last three laminae are quite similar to three others of those that our Wanderer communicated to us, as in the Year prior to c. 40 (21).


The text summarizes the topics addressed by the members of Colombaria during a session held on Sunday, 11 September, 1763 . On this occasion, the Florentine patrician scholar, Giuseppe Pelli Bencivenni, known by the academic name of "Verecondo" (22), had provided the others present with a printed reproduction of some bronze artefacts purchased from their Pistoian partner Merlini Calderini. Unfortunately, this documentation and graphics, initially attached to the Annual, and viewed by Bormann, is no longer available today (23).

During the meeting in question, the Pigeons remarked on the close affinities that existed between three of the tablets possessed by Merlini Calderini, and other similar finds, mentioned in a passage of the previous volume of the Annals, which is transcribed below:

On April 17, 1763. Gathered at the usual den etc. They were donated to our company six plaster tablets, which are placed in a small picture, with very ancient Roman inscriptions. They were formed on the bronze tablets, purchased by the Vagante, who came from Faenza, where they had been found underground by a worker making some graves on his farm (24).


The document shows that another Columbarium shareholder, Giovanni Baldovinetti, known as the "Vagante" (25), was in possession of six bronze plates, which a marginal annotation places in relation to those subsequently reported by Merlini Calderini (26). The plaster casts of these finds had been donated to the Academy itself, but even today they are no longer available.

Summarizing. Therefore, on two separate occasions, during the course of 1763, two members of the Colombarian Academy, communicated to their own associates, to have come into possession of two different groups of bronze laminette: the first, coming from the Faenza countryside, and bought by Giovanni Baldovinetti, included six inscribed finds; the second, found in the Pistoia countryside, and acquired by Francesco Ignazio Merlini Calderini, counted only four. Of the latter, there was a printed reproduction, currently dispersed, from which Bormann obtained the transcriptions which he re-proposed in the eleventh volume of the CIL (27). As the Colombi had already remarked, three of the laminas purchased by Merlini Calderini were identical to as many in the possession of Baldovinetti. In the first place, therefore, it was the existence of several examples of these artifacts that led the publisher of the Corpus to include them in the falsae section, while acknowledging the expertise with which they had been made (28).

In addition to Bormann's considerations, the generality of the information relating to the discovery of the two nuclei of alleged antiquities is suspicious (note above all the topos of the discovery made "by a worker in making some graves on his farm"):

In this perspective, a further investigation of archival documentation could prove to be a harbinger of new information. It is noted, in particular, the existence in the State Archives of Florence, of the correspondence between Francesco Ignazio Merlini Calderini, and Giuseppe Pelli Bencivenni, which includes as many as 29 letters sent by the Pistoian abbot, to the Florentine scholar, during1763 (29). Similarly, an investigation could be profitable on the relations between Giovanni Baldovinetti, and his relative Margherita Baldovinetti Gambereschi, wife of Count Vincenzo Gabellotti of Faenza (30).
_______________

Notes:

(14) CIL XI, 209 *. On the work done by Eugen Bormann (1842-1917) for the CIL, with particular attention to the sites of Bononia and Sarsina, see WEBER 1989; WEBER 1991.

(15) The indication appears to derive from CANTINI 1800, p. 92. On the author of the work, the scholar Florentine Lorenzo Cantini (1765-1839), see D'ORAZI FLAVONI 1975; elsewhere Bormann defined the character "impudentissimus falsarius" (CIL XI, p. 305).

(16) CIL XI, 209 *,1 : ".. Germanic Nero Drusus | Germanic caesari | geamanici | caesaris f. casaris | and | aus ob. Not. august || imp ". The transcript of the finding coincides exactly with that inferable from the cast on aluminum sheet reproduced by SARTORI 2008, p. 582 fig. 2.

(17) CIL XI, 209*, 2.

(18) On Merlini Calderini (1718-1767), see Novelle 1768, coll. 786-787; CAPPONI 1883, p. 274; the Pistoiese was elected external member of the Colombarian Academy on 6 February, 1749, with the academic name "Arguto": cf. SORBI 2001, p. 29 n. 100. For a history of the early years of Colombaria, refer to Colombaria 1735-1985; ERMINI 2003, with previous bibliographers.

(19) Cf. CIL XI, 209 *: "Br. Ignatius Merlini Calderini, here co-emerat, imagines in folio exprimendas curavit, cuius unum exemplum est in ms. company. columbariae annal. XIX." For the documents consulted by Bormann at the Accademia Colombaria, see CIL XI, p. 305 n.VI.

(20) Almost all of the archive, and a large part of the Colombaria library, were destroyed when they were in the headquarters in Via de Bardi 32, demolished by mines that the army fleeing the Germans blew up in the night between 3 and 4 August, 1944, to block access to the Old bridge: cf. SPANISH 1993 , p. 79; ERMINI 2003, pp. 78-79. Fortunately, the bibliographic reference provided by Bormann (see previous note) contains a providential typo: the the volume of the Annals to which the scholar intended to allude was not the nineteenth, perished during the Second World War, but the XXIX, which escaped destruction. On the Annals of Colombaria, see ERMINI 2003, pp.75-87.

(21) Florence, Tuscan Academy of Sciences and Letters "La Colombaria", Archive, Annals, vol. XXIX, f. 5v; cf. DORINI 1913-1914, pp. 20-2 , in part. p. 22. I would like to thank you warmly, Dr. Vaima Gelli, for facilitating my research at the Accademia Colombaria Library, with great competence and extraordinary availability.

(22) On Giuseppe Pelli Bencivenni (1729-1808) see ZAPPERI 1966; TIMPANARO MORELLI 1976, pp. VII-XIV. Pelli Bencivenni, like Merlini Calderini, was also elected a member of the Academy Colombaria on February 6, 1749: cf. SORBI 2001, p. 29 n. 99.

(23) It is likely that the reproduction was inside the Hopper (collection of drawings and other documents which were discussed in the Colombaria gatherings) relating to vol. XXIX of the Annals, destroyed in 1944.

(24) Florence, Tuscan Academy of Sciences and Letters, "La Colombaria", Archive, Annals, vol. XXVIII, p. 40.

(25) Giovanni di Poggio Baldovinetti (1695-1772), a prominent figure in the Florentine culture eighteenth century, it had constituted a private collection of considerable importance; although mainly focused on numismatics and sphragistics, it also included some Etruscan and Roman bronzes: see BRUNI 2004, pp. 9-18, in part. p. 17; cf. also ROMANELLI 2000, pp. XVII-XVIII, 150. For the election of Baldovinetti as external partner of the Colombarian Academy, which took place on January 28, 1759, see SORBI 2001, p. 32 n. 216.

(26) Florence, Tuscan Academy of Sciences and Letters "La Colombaria", Archive, Annals, vol. XXVIII, p. 40: "See Annual XXIX at 5v".

(27) CIL XI, 209 *, 1-4.

(28) Cf. CIL XI, 209 *: "Qui has et similes tabellas fecit falsarius expressit fere inscriptiones genuinas, complura autem fecit exemplaria." [Google translate: He who made these and similar letters has forged almost all the genuine inscriptions, but he has made several copies.]

-- The Bronze Laminette of Druso Minore Kept at the Provincial Museum Di Torcello: An Exposed Fake (*), by Lorenzo Calvelli


Now, in Bormann's view, the element that condemned these objects as false, was, once again, their repetitiveness, "Qui has et similes tabellas fecit falsarius expressit fere inscriptiones genuinas, complura autem fecit exemplaria." [Google translate: He who made these and similar letters, in a more falsified manner, printed almost genuine inscriptions, but made several copies.]

So, according to Bormann -- you can see in the slide -- a number of these bronze tablets circulated among the members of the Academia Columbaria -- a learned society established in Florence since the 1730s. Bormann also reminded the readers of the CIL that Merlini Calderini had produced a print reproduction of the four tablets. This document was long thought to be lost. But I was recently able to identify a unique copy of it in the State Archives in Florence.

Image
Florence, Accademia Toscana di Scienze e Lettere "La Colombaria"
[Google translate: Florence, Tuscan Academy of Sciences and Letters "La Colombaria"]


Yes, in the State Archive in Florence, this document was attached to a set of letters sent by Merlini Calderini. Well, you can read these texts in this slide, where you can find a rich account of the way in which Merlini got hold of his tablets.

Image
Letter by Francesco Ignazio Merlini Calderini to Giuseppe Pelli Bencivenni

Pistoia, 22 August 1763

Concerning inscriptions, some days ago I make a purchase, which I deem most remarkable. Four ancient copper tablets, with a most beautiful patina, containing eight inscriptions, one for each side of the tablets, were discovered. I have acquired them. The least ancient dates to the age of Titus. Everything suggests that they are valuable and, if I find out the inscriptions are unpublished, I shall consider them even more precious. After the feast of St. Bartholomeu; [...] I will send you an exact copy of them and I will appreciate your opinion on these objects.

And from this text, it is quite clear, that Merlini was convinced of the genuineness of these objects, and that he used them to demonstrate the importance of his hometown Pistoia, in Roman times.

Merlini also mentions that he had acquired the tablets from a young foreigner. He calls it the "knickknacks ambulance vendor who used to travel between Tuscany and the kingdom of Naples." And it would be very interesting to know more about this character who entered around Italy selling inscribed forgeries in the mid seventeen-hundreds.

Now, according to Bormann, the bronze objects that we're dealing with, carried nothing but the transcription of genuine inscriptions.

Image
Florence, State Archives, Pelli Bencivenni Giuseppe, Letters, filza 8, letter nr. 1534
Pistoia, 4 September 1763

That's the printed sheet that I was able to find in the same archive -- a unique copy.

Image
31274 fragmentum tabulae marm. candidissimae SMET., oblongum ped. 3 TORE. In vinea card. Carpensis OMNES. Exemplum novicium in lamina ahenea litteris anaglyphis neglegenter exaratum nescio ubi vidit MAR.

GERMANICO / NERONI / DRVSO
CAESARI / GERMANICI / GERMANICI
-- / CAESARIS - F / CAESARIS - F
AVS-OB-HON-AVGVST-D-D

Exemplus genuinum Smetius Neap. p. 115, ed. 49, 9 (inde Grut. 236, 10), qui vidit; Ligorius Neap. lib. 39, et lib. 34 p. 127; Panvinius Vat. 6035 f. 7 bis; Knibbius Berol. p. 25; Manutius Vat. 5253 f. 359 manu ignota; Torrentius Bruz. 4347 f. 1 missam a Nic. Florentio. Exemplus novicium solus Marini sched. Vat.

[Google translate: 31274 fragment of marble table. of the whitest SMET., oblong ped. 3 TORE. In the vineyard card. Carpensis ALL. I don't know where MAR saw an example of a novice carelessly engraved on a brass plate.

GERMANICO / NERO / DRVSO
CAESAR / GERMANIC / GERMANIC
-- / CAESARIS - F / CAESARIS - F
AVS-OB-HON-AVGVST-D-D

A genuine example is Smetius Neap. p. 115, ed. 49, 9 (hence Grut. 236, 10), who saw; Ligius Neap book 39, and lib. 34 p. 127; Panvinius Vat. 6035 f. 7 times; Knibbius Berol. p. 25; Manutius Vat. 5253 f. 359 by an unknown hand; Torrentius Bruz 4347 f. 1 mass from Nic. Florence An example of a novice only Marini sched. Vat.]


So what were the models of these four inscriptions? Some of them are easy to identify. For instance, the first inscription reproduced a copy of a genuine dedication to Germanicus, and two of his sons, which was carved on a marble slab, and was already known in Rome in the 16th century. And you can see that the forger did not understand that the original text was organized on three columns. So he simply transcribed them as if the lines were written continuously.

Image
Lamina Seconda
Lamina Terza

[Google translate: Second Lamina
Lamina Terza]

The models for the second and the third tablets are more difficult to identify. In fact, there are several dedications dedications to Drusus the Younger and to Titus, and their text was already known in the mid eighteenth century. So the prototype -- the model -- is not easy to identify.

Image
Lamina Quarta
20139 ara magna marmorea eodm

[Google translate: Plate Four
20139 a large marble altar]

Finally, the model for the fourth tablet, is, on the contrary, clearly recognizable,

Image
Funerary altar with dedication to Ti. Iulius Mnester
Florence, Boboli Gardens

with the text inscribed on a massive marble funerary altar, with a dedication to freedman, Tiberius Julius Mnester. And this altar comes from Rome, but it then belonged to the collection of the Medici family, so it was later brought to Florence, where it is still kept in the Boboli Gardens by the Palazzo Pitti.

Image
The Five W's: What; Who; When; Where; Why?

So the story that I told you, somehow reminded me of a detective novel. And therefore, in order to conclude,  I have decided to draw my conclusions in the form of the classical "Five W" questions.

First, What? What are we dealing with? Certainly the text of the dedication to Drusus, as well as those inscribed on the other tablets, were not invented from scratch. But actually reproduced -- sometimes with major mistakes -- the texts of genuine Latin inscriptions which were already known by the mid seventeen-hundreds.

Who? Currently the identity of the forger who produced the tablets is unknown. Could he be the same person who sold them to Merlini Calderini in Pistoia? This "knick-knack dealer" who was going back and forth from the kingdom of Naples?

When? In the absence of further evidence, it is only possible to trace back the history of these tablets to the moment when they were first attested. So this leads us to 1763, when the tablets were first sold to Merlini Calderini. And it should be stressed that in the same year, six more tablets were sold to another member of the Academia Colombaria in Florence.

Where? Similarly, we can only go backwards in time, and acknowledge that the first ten tablets -- so four in Pistoia, and six in Florence -- were bought by two different persons in Tuscany, but however, it should be stressed that the man who sold the tablets to Merlini in Pistoia allegedly went back and forth from Tuscany to the kingdom of Naples. So an origin from southern Italy is also possible. And you must bear in mind that this is a time when the first excavations in Pompeii and Herculaneum took place, and also when forgeries began to appear in the local antiquarian market in Naples.

Finally, the most important and difficult question: Why? What was the purpose of the person who produced the tablets? Were they actual forgeries, whose intent was to deceive their purchasers, or were they a sort of souvenir, which were made for the grand tourers, for instance, with no pretension of being ancient. Perhaps the back of the tablets, which is always inscribed with those unusual abbreviations, carries a specific message which may offer a solution to some of these doubts. Unfortunately, so far, it was impossible to decipher those abbreviated letters. And I really look forward to any suggestion.

So a more complete answer is likely to come only from further interdisciplinary investigation. In fact, I believe that the time has come to stop considering forgeries simply as spurious documents, which scholars should isolate, and expunge. In my view, forgeries should rather be treated as the cultural products of the time when they were produced, and as objects which interact with the different contexts where they circulate. We may even go as far as to say that when properly identified as such, forgeries also get the right to be labeled as primary sources. Of course, primary sources for the time when they were produced. In fact, their value as documentary evidence for cultural history, and for the study of the uses of the past, cannot be underestimated. This is why it is absolutely worthwhile to keep chasing and investigating them.

Thank you for your attention.
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Re: FREDA BEDI CONT'D (#4)

Postby admin » Fri Oct 21, 2022 9:31 am

Part 1 of 2

Renaissance monuments to favourite sons
by Sarah Blake McHam
Renaissance Studies Vol. 19 No. 4, pp. 458-486
September, 2005
© 2005 The Society for Renaissance Studies, Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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The critical role played by patron saints in the spiritual and CIVlC life of Italian cities during the Medieval and Renaissance periods is well known. A city's saints not only intervened on its behalf in heaven and protected it on earth, but they informed friend or foe of the city's privileged position. In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries the power vacuum in the peninsula occasioned by the defeat of the Hohenstaufen and the Papacy's transfer to Avignon led to many newly autonomous Italian cities. Some of these new communes began to look beyond Christianity by claiming links to notable pagan figures that they could celebrate as forbears. These cities strove to create illustrious local histories that would define a unifying cultural heritage, nurture a sense of collective identity, and conjure up an aura of legitimacy to validate their fledgling existence. The most popular tactic involved claiming the oldest possible date for the city's origins and enlisting the most venerable founders, in a one-upmanship where antiquity was trump. The city of Rome, unsurprisingly, cultivated the tale of Romulus and Remus and proudly displayed an ancient bronze of the she-wolf suckling them as proof of its august origins. Most cities lacked artefacts that substantiated their claims, but their historians invented prestigious pedigrees. Sienese writers propagated a story that paralleled the foundation myth of Rome, about Remus' sons, twins also mothered by a wolf. Venice enlisted Hercules, Genoa, Janus, and Padua, the Trojan Antenor.1 A less common strategy was to recruit renowned literary figures of the Roman era to play a role in these campaigns to foster a sense of group identity and patriotism.

This essay will focus on a previously unnoticed large group of public monuments that was erected at civic expense to honour Roman literary notables in fifteenth-century Italy. All the memorials to Roman authors were civic commissions, prominently located in the public spaces of Italian Renaissance cities, either as freestanding statues in the main square, or installed on the exterior of the town hall, or even on the cathedral.

Almost all discussion of these projects is isolated in regional publications that consider an individual monument apart from its broader cultural context. As a result they are largely unknown to literary historians interested in the reputation of Roman authors in later periods. Most of the sculptures were not of high artistic quality, or by famous sculptors, or in major centres of artistic production like Florence or Venice. Some never made it past the design stage. For all these reasons, they have not been integrated into the study of Renaissance art history. Consequently, art historians have not realised that some of these parochial monuments introduce important features associated with the Renaissance revival of ancient art that are usually ascribed to later, more famous sculptures. Accordingly, the history of public sculptures commemorating cultural heroes has been interpreted as a nineteenth-century revival of Greek and Roman precedents, skipping over this phase in late medieval and Renaissance Italy.2

The allure of the Roman writers derived from their status in the long-gone ancient world. In the late medieval period, that civilization gained an increasing hold on the imagination of Italians, who were excited by the learning of contemporary intellectuals. Attention turned to the authors of the primary texts of antiquity in an effort to give a face to that culture. Determined efforts to find the gravesites and authentic likenesses of respected ancient writers proved largely futile. Energy refocused on a different sort of physical expression for the enthusiasm for ancient texts - the creation of suitable, durable public memorials to their authors. Scholars recognised that the Roman writers could be made immediately recognizable by identifying inscriptions and conventional symbols -- books, professorial robes, writing desks, or gestures of composing or of contemplation - and that the repertory of visual cues had already become familiar to readers of the manuscripts and early printed editions of the Roman authors' writings. The texts often began with miniature painted author portraits that could be appropriated and converted into monumental public images of local pride.

The long gap between the Roman era and the twelfth or thirteenth century when the writers were first commemorated as civic patrons presented a major stumbling block to this type of campaign for prestige. Often no indisputable information survived about the writers' place of birth or death. In other cases, the authors died far from home, or even outside Italy. These variables opened the possibility of rival cities manoeuvring to gain the sponsorship of literary notables, and even to vociferous disputes, and the commissioning of monuments to the same native son by two different cities.

Most memorials to Roman authors were erected in the fifteenth century, although sometimes they replaced earlier destroyed monuments. The humanists instrumental in recovering and editing the manuscripts of ancient authors were key advisers, motivated by their own zeal for the texts and the goal of defending the value of classical literature in a Christian culture. The introduction of printing, and consequent wider readership of Roman texts, further enhanced the prestige of identification with their authors. The enthusiasm for Roman writers spilled over into other sorts of commissions, and some were included in the painted cycles of famous men that decorated town halls and palaces. However, as they were part of larger series celebrating other types of notables such as political leaders and military heroes, and local son status was not usually a criterion, such cycles are omitted here.3

In creating sculpted memorials to ancient authors, Italian cities self-consciously emulated the precedent of ancient Greece and Rome. Well-known authors like Cicero and Pliny the Elder provided numerous allusions to the practice of erecting public monuments in commemoration of notable citizens.4 Pliny the Elder (23/24-79 A.D.), whose Natural History, an encyclopaedia of science, was highly regarded throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance, offered specific information about sculptures of notable intellectuals like Gorgias (c. 483-376 BC), the sophist and rhetorician honoured by the first gilded statue ever dedicated to a human.5

The decision to erect public monuments to literary figures from antiquity had a prelude in the late Middle Ages. Not surprisingly, it was connected to Virgil and Ovid. Virgil's writings were greatly admired throughout the Roman and medieval periods. The interpretation of his Fourth Eclogue as a prophecy of Christ further ensured his reputation. Ovid was held in low esteem until his Metamorphoses came to be read as moralizing Christian allegories. Legends abounded about these authors as prophets, saints, magicians, or Christian converts.6 As neither Virgil nor Ovid died in the city of his birth, and their burial sites were uncertain, the claim to both was open to dispute. An authoritative biography recorded Virgil's death in Brindisi and his dying wish that his remains be carried to Naples, not to his native Mantua.7 By the thirteenth century, legends embellished this tale by locating his tomb on a mountain overlooking the Bay of Naples.8 Late antique and medieval sources asserted that Ovid was buried in the place to which he was exiled, on the shores of the Black Sea, very far from his place of birth in Sulmona in southern Italy. Ovid's death in such a distant and foreign location led to many fanciful legends about his supposed gravesite.9

Both Mantua and Sulmona early on tried to compensate for the lack of physical evidence of the authors' bodies and graves. They asserted their claim to their most famous native sons by placing images of them on city seals, coins and buildings. In the 1220s Mantuan authorities had a relief of Virgil seated at his writing desk, an open book before him, carved onto the facade of the Palazzo Comunale (also called the Palazzo del Podesta). Although the lower edge is inscribed, 'Virgilius Mantuanus Poetarum Clarissimus,' the figure of Virgil wears a professor's cap, and is positioned within an aedicule, facing the spectator. This formula, which suggests a teacher before an unseen class of students, was often adopted on professors' tombs in Bologna and Padua, and confirms that Virgil has been anachronistically and inappropriately made into a thirteenthcentury Italian professor (Fig. 1).10 By mid-century a version of the figure replaced Christ on Mantuan coins. At about the same time (1230-40) a second version of a figure in cattedra, usually identified as Virgil, was commissioned for the Palazzo della Ragione. It was later installed on the Palazzo Ducale's exterior, and is now preserved in the museum at the Palazzo San Sebastiano (Fig, 2). In its transplanted location, the relief lacks any architectural frame but it probably had one originally. In this characterization the figure traditionally called Virgil is carved in red Veronese marble and dressed in black painted robes. Although he faces frontally, Virgil is identified as an author. The representation follows late antique and medieval renditions of author portraits in depicting Virgil looking down at the book in which he is writing and holding an inkpot. 11

Image
Fig. 1. Virgil, r. 1220, Mantua, facade of the Palazzo del Podesta (Comune di Mantova)

Image
Fig.2 Virgil, r. 1230-40, Mantua, Museo della Citta, Palazzo San Sebastiano (Comune di Mantova)

Local histories of Sulmona refer to what may be late medieval sculptures -- a bust of Ovid on a city gate and one or more statues of the poet in prominent public places, but none of the sculptures survives and their dates are unspecified.12 An official city seal including Ovid and the inscription SMPE, the initials of his famous lament in exile for his birthplace, 'Sulmo mihi patria est,' was sanctioned in 1410 by King Ladislao of Anjou-Durazzo. It is said to have copied a city .emblem in use for at least a century, and probably much longer.13

In the 1220s, Padua first secured a major new Christian patron saint by commandeering the body of the Portuguese Franciscan Anthony (1195- 1231), who by happenstance died nearby. Anthony was a close associate of St Francis, and a brilliant, persuasive preacher. He had already compiled an impressive record of miracles, and his relics quickly became one of Padua's major attractions. Next, Paduan civic officials moved to establish Padua's title to secular heroes. They launched a different strategy to consolidate the city's illustrious pre-Roman and Roman past into its coalescing identity as a flourishing independent commune. Untroubled by the problems of Mantua and Sulmona, whose heroes were known to have died elsewhere, Paduans turned to excavation to uncover theirs.

In the late thirteenth century, there were two timely discoveries. The remains of Antenor, the Trojan elder who had supposedly escaped when the Greeks burned his native city and fled to north Italy, were unearthed. Legend held that Antenor arrived in Italy around 1183 B.C., even earlier than his compatriot Aeneas. This precedence incited several north Italian cities to claim him as their founder in order to gain for their site the prestige of the first settlement in the peninsula.14 For the commune in Padua, proof of its origins in the ancient past substantiated its legitimacy.

At about the same time that Antenor's bones were uncovered, an inscription thought to be from the tomb of Livy (64 or 59 BC-17 AD), the renowned Paduan-born historian of ancient Rome, was fortuitously unearthed. Lovato Lovati (1241-1309), the Paduan founder of Italian humanism, was involved in both discoveries. He orchestrated the celebrations that accompanied the finds and arranged for a prominent tomb to be erected to Antenor in the centre of Padua. It stands there today alongside a smaller sarcophagus that holds the remains of Lovati, who requested burial alongside Antenor (Fig. 3).15 By this strategy, the scholar created a physical monument that attested in permanent and public form that Antenor had died in Padua, the city he founded, and that he, Lovati, had validated the identity of the Trojan's remains. This double assertion was intended to quash rival claims to Antenor made by the chroniclers of other cities like Venice who called Antenor their own.16


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Fig. 3 Tombs of Antenor and Lovato Lovati, late thirteenth century, Padua (with permission of the Comune di Padova - Assessorato ai Musei, Politiche Culturali e Spettacolo - Musei Civici)

Just as the bones of Antenor attested to the primacy of Padua's foundation, the inscription from Livy's tomb validated the status the city held during the Roman period, when it was the major city in north-eastern Italy and the birthplace of famous Romans like the great historian Livy.17 To advertise Livy's connections to Padua, the inscription tablet was set into the wall of the cloister of Padua's major early Christian church, Santa Giustina, near where it was found. It became a notable Paduan landmark and was accepted as authentic by Boccaccio and Petrarch. The latter may well have supervised the restoration and installation of the inscription. As part of this process, the inscription was gilded in an attempt to recreate its appearance in antiquity.18 Petrarch's series of letters addressed to favourite ancient figures includes a letter to Livy that closes with Petrarch's testimony that he wrote it standing before Livy's gravestone in the vestibule of Santa Giustina on 22 February 1351 (Fam. XXIV.8).19

Petrarch depended largely on the surviving sections of Livy's history of Rome for his De viris illustribus. When Francesco I da Carrara, whose family had taken over rule of Padua in 1318, commissioned him to devise a fresco cycle of famous Romans for his family palace, Petrarch drew on Livy's exemplary biographical material, and so the connection to its native son became indirectly still more part of the civic identity of Padua.20

During the fifteenth century, the practice of erecting civic monuments to famous local Roman authors accelerated. In 1413, less than a decade after Venice conquered Padua, human bones were uncovered near the site where the inscription had come to light and definitively identified as Livy's by eager Paduans predisposed to no other conclusion. The timing of the discovery leads one to suspect it was motivated to fan local campanilismo in the recently conquered city. Sicco Polentone (1376-1447), a notary in the city's chancery who later became chancellor, rushed to the site and validated the discovery. Sicco rescued Livy's remains from the monks at Santa Giustina, who began to crush them, fearing that the crowds of Paduans who congregated at the church would return to paganism. Sicco then arranged for the bones to be carried in a ceremonial procession through the streets of Padua to the town hall, the Palazzo della Ragione, and to be stored there safely until the city could build a suitable mausoleum to Livy. Sicco's letters to other scholars like the Florentines Niccolo Niccoli (c. 1364-1437) and Leonardo Bruni (c. 1370-1444) publicised the sensational news and made his reputation throughout Italy.21

A committee of six Paduan aristocrats and common citizens was appointed to decide the details of the monument on behalf of the city. The capitano of Padua, the Venetian patrician Zaccaria Trevisan, proposed that it be erected in the public space outside the Palazzo della Ragione, once the seat of government of the independent city of Padua, but as of 1405, the seat of the Venetian administrators of the city. A dispute quickly emerged when two prominent families associated with the recently deposed Carrara rulers of Padua offered to pay all costs of the monument to Livy as long as it was located in front of their palaces. The brothers Enrico and Pietro Scrovegni and Ludovico Buzzacarini made the competing bids. The locally prominent Scrovegni family, who in the fourteenth century had been Giotto's patron, had usually supported the Carrara dynasty, and the aristocratic Buzzacarini clan had married into it.22 Trevisan recognised the potential dangers to the unstable Venetian rule over the city if the remains of Livy, which were already a flashpoint of Paduan patriotism, became closely identified with the Carrara (and thus, Padua's independent past). In a deft move, he adjudicated the argument in a way that delayed the plans for a monument to Livy. When local attention refocused on other issues, he arranged for Livy's remains to be preserved inside the Palazzo della Ragione, and commemorated by a bust of Livy and an inscription.23

Although the committee never succeeded in erecting the monument to Livy, Polentone carefully recorded its plans in his letter to Niccoli (Fig. 4). Polentone's description indicates that the mausoleum was to be a column monument composed of alternating zones of red and white marble, reflecting Padua's colours. Even the sculpture of the historian was comprised in this patriotic colour scheme: his head, hands, and book were in white marble and his scholar's hood and robes in red marble.24 The column, installed on a stepped base, led to a platform that supported the sarcophagus holding Livy's remains, which was elevated on four smaller columns. The format of the raised sarcophagus and the red and white colour scheme were intended to recall the monuments to the other Paduan secular heroes, Antenor and Lovato Lovati. An inscription on the sarcophagus was to be in Roman lettering. 25 Above the sarcophagus, the vertical shaft narrowed into a pyramidal shape, which was surmounted by a figure of the contemplative seated Livy. The statue betrayed its Renaissance origins. Livy was dressed anachronistically in a fifteenth-century scholar's hood. Several other features of the monument, such as its several stages, the elevation of the sarcophagus on multiple columns, and the presence of a live effigy of the deceased surmounting the ensemble, reflected nearby fourteenth-century models, the Scaliger tombs in Verona.26


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Fig.4 Reconstruction (after Frey), 1410s, Padua, planned monument to Livy

But Paduan officials made a concerted attempt to make the memorial suitably antique. Unlike the depictions of Virgil that portrayed him as a seated thirteenth-century university professor looking straight out over his book as though confronting a group of students or writing in the formula long established for author portraits, the statue of Livy was more archaeologically correct. His pose of holding a book on his lap with one hand, while his other rested against his cheek, was employed in ancient Greece and Rome to indicate intellectuals deep in thought. Understanding of the gesture's meaning was transmitted into later periods, as demonstrated by the example of intensely listening students stroking their chins or cheeks and leaning their heads on their hands in the classroom scenes on fourteenth- and fifteenth-century Bolognese and Paduan professors' tombs. It aptly characterised the historian Livy.27 Although spurred by somewhat garish patriotic tastes, the use of polychrome marbles, like Livy's gesture, the column monument type, and the prescribed lettering style are all self-consciously derived from Roman precedents and pay archeologically suitable homage to Livy.28

Had Livy's memorial been built, it would have initiated the Renaissance revival of Roman lettering style for an inscription. More important, it would have been the first example of the Renaissance revival of an ancient type of monument in which Roman format was accurately matched to Roman subject matter. In the medieval period, the column monument had continued in use, but always harnessed to Christian meaning, as for example, in the column of the Lion of St Mark, which towers over what was the official entrance into Venice. Because the Livy monument was never executed and remains little known, historians usually name Donatello's Dovizia in Florence as the first example in which antique format is matched to an antique subject. The figure atop the Florentine column, which is now destroyed, represented a pagan personification of abundance.29 The plans for the Livy monument in Padua precede Donatello's sculpture by about a decade; given Sicco's elaborate description of the Paduan project in his correspondence with the Florentine humanist Niccolo Niccoli, the Livy monument's design may well have influenced the Dovizia's construction and appearance.30

The ambitious Paduan project came to naught, but two more modest reliefs of Livy were installed on the exterior of the Palazzo della Ragione by the mid-fifteenth century. Their dates are not securely documented. Livy's bones were moved and enshrined behind the first relief, which depicts a half-length image of Livy, posed with his forefinger resting against his cheek and dressed in professorial garb in deliberate reflection of the unexecuted statue (Fig. 5).31 Like that project it continued the combination of anachronistic dress and archaeologically correct thoughtful pose, here refined so that Livy's forefinger is isolated against his cheek. Wolfgang Wolters convincingly associated the relief with the style of Andriolo de Sanctis, who was active in Padua in the mid-fourteenth century, but as there is no record of the sculpture before the mid-fifteenth century, it is likely to have been done then in conscious imitation of the earlier style.32 A disastrous fire at the palace in 1420 complicates understanding of the chronology of the sculpture.


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Fig. 5. Relief of Livy, mid-fifteenth century, Padua, Porta delle Debite, Palazzo della Ragione (with permission of the Comune di Padova - Assessorato ai Musei, Politiche Culturali e Spettacolo - Musei Civici)

By 1435-6, a second relief of Livy (Fig. 6) was commissioned for the Palazzo della Ragione's exterior as part of a series of four Paduan notables installed at the exterior corners of the upper floor of the palace. Inscriptions identify the members of the group. They include Julius Paulus, a prominent local jurist from the second century, and two highly regarded local intellectuals, Pietro d'Abano (1250-1316), the professor and author who is credited with devising the pictorial program of the Palazzo della Ragione, and Alberto Eremitano, a thirteenth-century theologian from the Augustinian convent in Padua (whose birth and death dates are unknown).33 Like the other members of the group, Livy was situated in a scholar's study, just as professors were portrayed on their tomb monuments in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, or writers were in the author portraits that prefaced manuscripts of their texts.34 Once again, Livy's telltale gesture in the earlier portraits is recalled, although somewhat modified: he strokes his chin pensively.35

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Fig.6 Relief of Livy, 1435-6, Palazzo della Ragione, exterior corner (with permission of the Comune di Padova - Assessorato ai Musei, Politiche Culturali e Spettacolo - Musei Civici)

Prompted by the excitement surrounding the discovery of Livy's bones and their transfer to the Palazzo, the Sicilian poet and humanist Antonio Beccadelli, called Panormita (1394-1471), the ambassador of Alfonso V of Aragon (also known as Alfonso I of Naples) to the Venetian government, seized the occasion to ask for the gift of a bone to bring to his ruler.36 Apparently Panormita, aware that Alfonso had earlier hired Niccolo Niccoli to report to him about Livy's bones, hoped that the present would win the king's favour.37 Alfonso's court had been a centre of efforts to reconstruct Livy's text of the history of Rome, and Panormita realised the cachet of such a trophy.38 When the king died in 1458, he bequeathed the relic to Giovanni Pontano (1429-1503), another humanist who had served as the chancellor of Naples, and subsequently as the king's secretary.39

The Piprahwa Discoveries

In January 1898, W. C. Peppe, manager of the Birdpur Estate in north-eastern Basti District, U. P., announced the discovery of soapstone caskets and jewellery inside a stupa near Piprahwa (see map) a small village on this estate. An inscription on one of these caskets appeared to indicate that bone relics, supposedly found with these items, were those of the Buddha. Since this inscription also referred to the Buddha’s Sakyan kinsmen, these relics were thus generally considered to be those which were accorded to the Sakyas of Kapilavastu, following the Buddha’s cremation. The following year, these bone relics were ceremonially presented by the (British) Government of India to the King of Siam, who in turn accorded portions to the Sanghas of Burma and Ceylon. Concerning this discovery, however, the following points should be noted:

• Peppe had been in contact with Fuhrer just before announcing the Piprahwa discovery (Fuhrer was then excavating nearby, at the Nepalese site of Sagarwa: see map). Immediately following Peppe's announcement, it was discovered that Fuhrer had been conducting a steady trade in bogus relics of the Buddha with a Burmese monk, U Ma. Among these items -– and a year before the alleged Piprahwa finds -- Fuhrer had sent U Ma a soapstone relic-casket containing fraudulent Buddha-relics of the Sakyas of Kapilavastu, together with a bogus Asokan inscription, these deceptions thus duplicating, at an earlier date, Peppe’s supposedly unique finds. Fuhrer was also found to have falsely laid claim to the discovery of seventeen inscribed, pre-Asokan Sakyan caskets at Sagarwa, his report even listing the names of seventeen ‘Sakya heroes’ which were allegedly inscribed upon these caskets. The inscribed Piprahwa casket was also considered to be both Sakyan and pre-Asokan at this time -- though its characters have since been shown to be typically Asokan -- and no other Sakyan caskets have been discovered either before or since this date.

• The bone relics themselves, purportedly 2500 years old, ‘might have been picked up a few days ago’ according to Peppe, whilst a molar tooth found among these items (and retained by Peppe) has recently been found to be that of a pig. The eminent archaeologist, Theodor Bloch, declared of the Piprahwa stupa that ‘one may be permitted to maintain some doubts in regard to the theory that the latter monument contained the relic share of the Buddha received by the Sakyas. The bones found at that place, which have been presented to the King of Siam, and which I saw in Calcutta, according to my opinion were not human bones at all’. Bloch was then Superintendent both of the ASI [Archaeological Survey of India] Bengal Circle and the Archaeological Section of the Indian Museum, and would presumably have drawn not only upon his own expertise in making this assertion, but also that of the zoologists in the Indian Museum itself. This museum -– formerly the Imperial Museum -- was then considered to be the greatest in Asia.

• The caskets appear to be identical to caskets found in Cunningham’s book ‘Bhilsa Topes’ (see Figs. 7-12) a source also used by Fuhrer for his Nigliva deceptions. A photograph of the ‘rear’ of the inscribed Piprahwa casket, taken in situ at Piprahwa in 1898 (and never published thereafter) discloses that a large sherd was missing from the base of the vessel at this time (see Fig. 8). Having closely examined this casket in 1994, I noted that a piece had since been inserted into this broken base, and that this had been ‘nibbled’ in a clumsy attempt to get this piece to fit. The photograph also reveals a curious feature on the upper aspect of the casket; this, I discovered, was a piece of sealing-wax (since transferred to the inside) which had been applied to prevent a large crack from running further. From all this, it is evident that this casket had been badly damaged from the start, a fact not mentioned in any published report. But is it likely, one is prompted to ask, that this damaged casket, supposedly containing the Buddha’s relics, would have been deposited inside the stupa anyway? Or is this the broken casket, ‘similar in shape to those found below’, which was reportedly found near the summit of the stupa, and which had vanished without trace thereafter? This casket -– also damaged -- was the first of the alleged Piprahwa finds; so did Peppe take it to Fuhrer, and did Fuhrer then forge the inscription on it? Is the Piprahwa inscription simply another Fuhrer forgery? As Assistant Editor on the Epigraphia Indica, Fuhrer would certainly have had the necessary expertise to do this, quite apart from his close association with the great epigraphist, Georg Buhler (who may have unwittingly provided Fuhrer with the necessary details, according to the existing accounts).

• On his return to the U.K., Peppe was contacted by the London Buddhist Society, and agreed to answer readers’ questions on his finds. Shortly afterwards however, the Society was notified that Peppe had suddenly been taken seriously ill, and was therefore unable to answer any questions as proposed. The Society declared the matter to be ‘in abeyance’ in consequence; but Peppe died six years later, leaving all such questions still unanswered.

The declassified ‘Secret’ political files of the period reveal the disquiet felt by the Government of India over French and Russian influence at the Siamese royal court at this time. Hence, no doubt, this bequest!

-- Lumbini On Trial: The Untold Story. Lumbini Is An Astonishing Fraud Begun in 1896, by T. A. Phelps

If Alfonso's interest in Livy's remains was solely an expression of the literary enthusiasm deemed appropriate for an enlightened ruler, his subsequent participation in another ancient author's cult was not. The king, Panormita, and Pontano provided the impetus to a monument to Ovid, which was eventually erected on the Palazzo Pretorio in Sulmona, in 1474 (Fig. 7).40 Sulmona had attested her loyalty to the Kingdom of Naples by surrendering to Alfonso I during his struggle with the Angevins for control of southern Italy. The king's entourage included Panormita and other humanists, who provided eyewitness accounts of Alfonso's excitement at entering the city of Ovid and his daily visits to Ovid's house.41 Their words were later summarised in Pontano's history of the reign of Alfonso I of Naples.42 The commissioner of the statue of Ovid was an official sent by Alfonso's grandson to Sulmona to strengthen its ties to the Kingdom of Naples through a programme of public works, such as reinforcing city walls, repaving streets, restoring city gates, and building a new public fountain. As the capstone of these goodwill projects, this magistrate commissioned a new statue of Ovid for the civic palace, which was by then no longer the administrative centre of an independent commune, but of a city ruled by Naples.43 The statue repeats the conventions of the earlier image of Ovid on the city's seals, specifically the figure holds a book with the letters SMPE, referring to Ovid's lament for his birthplace. The rendition of Ovid as a standing figure crowned with laurel and holding a book recalls a Roman mode of commemorating poets.44 By celebrating Sulmona's favourite son and reiterating the city's cherished emblem, the Neapolitan overlords paid their respect to the noted author. At the same time, they subsumed into the visual repertory of the Kingdom of Naples the imagery of Ovid, the erstwhile privileged symbol of Sulmona.45

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Fig. 7 Statue of Ovid, 1474, Sulmona, Palazzo Pretorio (Alinari/Art Resource, New York) 

Pontano, the humanist involved with the monuments to Livy and to Ovid, was the primary consultant on the late fifteenth-century memorial to Virgil that Isabella d'Este planned to erect in Mantua. Pontano's intellectual credentials and previous association with monuments to other Roman authors commended him. So did his specific knowledge of Virgil's supposed gravesite outside of Naples, which he had visited numerous times.46

The new memorial was to be far grander than the two thirteenth-century reliefs of Virgil on Mantuan public buildings. It was intended to replace a statue of Virgil supposedly toppled and thrown into a river near Mantua in 1397 by Carlo Malatesta. According to a contemporary source, Malatesta denounced Virgil as a pagan and expressed outrage that a statue had been erected to anyone other than a saint.47 The event may be apocryphal, but it launched a controversy that reached far beyond local circles. Many intellectuals, including the prominent Florentine humanist Coluccio Salutati (1331-1406), interpreted Malatesta's words as an attack on the classical poets and on the study of ancient literature in general. In response Salutati wrote a defence of poetry that for centuries shaped contemporary views on the nature of humanist learning and education.48 Pius II visited Virgil's birthplace in Mantua, decried Malatesta's infamy, and endorsed Virgil's valued role in Christian culture.49 Bartolomeo Sacchi, known as Platina (1421-81), the papal librarian who began his career as a tutor for Ludovico Gonzaga's sons, recommended to the marchese that he commission a new monument to Virgil.50 In the 1490s, Isabella d'Este, Lodovico's daughter-in-law, took up Platina's suggestion, and sought Pontano's advice on the design of the memorial.

Pontano's plans are described in an exchange of letters between Isabella and another adviser, and are also reflected in a drawing in the Louvre (Fig. 8).51 The drawing is sometimes attributed to Mantegna, who was to be the artistic consultant, but is more likely a record of Mantegna's project by an anonymous associate. Pontano advised that the sculpture should be in marble so that it could not be melted down. He recognised bronze as the more noble material but was wary of its use, given the history of the deliberate destruction of the earlier monument to Virgil. He stipulated that Virgil's portrait be based on a bust, considered an authentic likeness of the poet, then in the hands of Battista Fiera, a Mantuan doctor and poet who was Mantegna's close friend.52 Pontano further specified that Virgil should be depicted in a simple but archeologically correct manner with antique sandals, toga, mantle, and laurel wreath. He recommended that the monument's base have a suitable brief inscription, 'Po Virgilius Mantuanus Isabella Marchionissa Mantuae restituit,' and follow ancient models.53 The inscription accurately imitates the lettering style of ancient Roman monuments and reflects Mantegna's important role in reviving the Roman Imperial majuscule.54 It has been argued that the base of the monument derives from that supporting Trajan's Column. This would have made it the first accurate reconstruction of an ancient pedestal in the Renaissance, although the winsome relaxing putti alongside the garland that replace their more mature, energetically flying ancient counterparts are typical inventions of Mantegna.55 More significantly, had the Virgil memorial been built, it would have been the first freestanding full-length sculpture of a specific historical individual in the Renaissance, antedating by decades Baccio Bandinelli's design for a portrait statue in Carrara commemorating Andrea Doria, the Genoese admiral of the fleets of Francis I, and then Charles V.56

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Fig. 8 (attrib.) Mantegna, Monument to Virgil, Co 1500, drawing (Reunion des Musees Nationaux/Art Resource, New York)

The next two monuments date from the last twenty years of the fifteenth century and result from a case of contested identity. They physically proclaim the rival claims of Verona and Como to be the birthplace of Pliny the Elder. The popularity of Pliny's Natural History throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance is attested by the number of surviving manuscripts of the encyclopaedia, by the various Renaissance commentaries on it and by the early date of its first printing (1469).57 There is some question about which monument came first, but no doubt that their commissions were spurred by the competition for prestigious favourite sons.

Como's claim to be Pliny's birthplace originated in the fragmentary biography of the encyclopaedist written by the historian Suetonius, the only surviving near-contemporary source. Suetonius' friendship with Pliny's nephew, Pliny the Younger (c. 61-112 A. D.) lent credibility to his information.58 Manuscript copies of Pliny the Younger's letters were known throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance in several different versions, and so scholars were well aware of his connections with Suetonius.59 The trustworthiness of Suetonius' biography was further strengthened in the minds of Renaissance intellectuals by its inclusion in many manuscripts of the Natural History. When this practice was repeated in the first edition of that encyclopaedia printed by Johannes de Spira in Venice in 1469, Suetonius' text became identified with Pliny in the minds of its readers. But the Roman historian's biography of Pliny was fragmentary and very short, so it offered no details to corroborate his assertion that Pliny the Elder had been born in Como.60

Verona countered with evidence that apparently trumped Suetonius: Pliny's own words. In his encyclopaedia, Pliny seemed to refer to the poet Catullus, who was definitely from Verona, as his compatriot.61 The question of Pliny the Elder's origins became further confused during the Middle Ages by the gradual merging of his identity with that of Pliny the Younger, his nephew and adopted son. Finally, in the early fourteenth century, the Veronese priest and scholar Giovanni de Matociis (d. 1337) distinguished the two and paired this scholarly rediscovery with an assertion that was music to his compatriots' ears: both Plinys were born in Verona.62 Petrarch reiterated that conclusion, and persuaded many other fourteenth- and fifteenth-century intellectuals that Verona spawned both Plinys.63

In 1480, Como's civic officials mounted a counter-attack by commissioning statues of Pliny the Elder and Pliny the Younger for their cathedral's facade (Figs. 9 and 10).64 They were motivated by pride in their city's Roman heritage and in its later history as an independent commune from the eleventh to early fourteenth century. Como had defended itself successfully against Milanese domination for centuries, but in the 1330s, Azzo Visconti conquered it. In 1447, when the last Visconti ruler of Milan died, Como declared herself an independent republic. The Sforza soon seized control, and quickly subjugated Como again. The murder of Galeazzo Maria Sforza in 1476, and the tumult over the succession between his brother Ludovico and his young son, Gian Galeazzo, seems to have spurred aspirations in Como to create at least a symbolic visual language that alluded to the city's illustrious prior periods of independent history. Its civic officials recognised the power of that past history in rallying a sense of local identity.

In addition to a roster of religious themes appropriate to the Virgin Mary, dedicatee of the cathedral, they commissioned for its exterior small mythological scenes interpreted in Christian terms, a statue on the cathedral's side of Cecilius Statius, a little known Roman poet from Como, and statues of the two Plinys.65 Just to the left of Pliny the Elder is a small portrait of Cicco Simonetta (1410-80), the longtime close adviser of Francesco Sforza, and of his successor, Galeazzo Maria Sforza. After Galeazzo Maria's assassination, Simonetta advised the former ruler's wife Bona, regent of her son Gian Galeazzo, and for several years was the virtual ruler of Milan. In 1479, Ludovico seized power, imprisoned Simonetta, and shortly thereafter had him killed. By putting Simonetta's portrait on the facade, the overseers of Como cathedral boldly asserted their loyalty to their losing side in the dynastic struggle.66

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Fig. 9 Pliny the Elder, 1480s, Como, Cathedral (Alinari/Art. Resource, New York)

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Fig. 10 Pliny the Younger, 1480s, Como, Cathedral (Alinari/Art Resource, New York)

The statues of Pliny the Elder and Pliny the Younger dominate the Cathedral's facade. They are over-life-size and flank the main portal. Scale and pride of place make the Roman authors by far the most dominant elements of the facade's iconography. Both are seated within niches elaborately ornamented with classicising decoration like small genii, garlands, mythological creatures, and masks appropriate to the era of the authors. They hold books and wear scholars' robes and laurel wreaths, indicative of their status as acclaimed writers. Small reliefs below each figure depict narratives from their lives: Pliny the Elder's death while recording Vesuvius' emption, and both authors writing and conversing with fellow Roman officials and intellectuals.

Honouring Romans without any Christian connection whatsoever on a cathedral facade is unprecedented. The city authorities' decision to commission large, isolated sculptures in the most prominent possible position is even more radical. The elaboration of the images of Pliny the Elder and Pliny the Younger with small narrative reliefs of events from their lives in a predella arrangement below the figures follows a convention usually associated with altarpieces or with sculptures of saints. Several well-known examples of such sculptures of the patron saints of guilds by Donatello and Nanni di Banco are found at Orsanmichele in Florence. Anyone familiar with the conventions of church decoration immediately recognises that the two Plinys are treated as though they were Christian patron saints of Como. In 1587, at the height of the Catholic Reformation, the bishop of Vercelli made just that point. While conducting an official visitation, he demanded the removal of these heretical sculptures from the facade. The civic officials of Como dug in their heels and refused.67 The bishop's decree was never enforced, for reasons unspecified by contemporary sources.

In 1498, Benedetto Giovio devised new inscriptions for the sculptures. Benedetto was a logical choice for the privilege as he was famous for his erudition on Pliny the Elder, Vitruvius, inscriptions, and the history of Como. The local sculptors Tommaso and Giacomo Rodari signed the niche of Pliny the Younger.68 Historians debate whether this means that the brothers carved the statues of the two Plinys, or that they executed, or reworked, the elaborate classicising niches that surround them when the new inscriptions were added. Most scholars argue that the statues are closer to the style of their father, Giovanni Rodari, who probably carved them in the 1480s.69 If the current scholarly consensus is accurate, the statues of Pliny the Elder and Pliny the Younger were carved before the statue of Pliny the Elder in Verona. Nevertheless, the new inscriptions added in 1498 postdate the Veronese commission and respond to it vehemently. It is worded so that Pliny the Elder seems to say: 'Such a great honour pleases me, but even more it pleases me that my fellow citizens [italics added] have installed this memorial to me.'70

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Fig. 11 The Loggia del Consiglio, r. 14805, Piazza dei Signori, Verona (Soprintendenza per i beni architettonici e per it paesaggio di Verona)

There is no question that Pliny's words identifying the people of Como as compatriots were meant to answer the unwarranted decision of the Veronese to include him among the statues of notable native sons on the roofline of a newly constructed civic building.

The Loggia del Consiglio (Fig. 11) stands in the Piazza dei Signori, one of Verona's most important public spaces. Local officials had first requested approval of its construction from their Venetian overlords in the mid-fifteenth century, but permission was not granted until 1476, when the Veronese agreed to pay for it themselves. Erected over the next ten to fifteen years, the Loggia is considered the first Renaissance building in Verona and sometimes attributed to the local architect Fra Giocondo.71 In 1491, Veronese officials tried to commission the sculptor Antonio Rizzo, another famous native son, to carve the roofline statues, but Rizzo was too busy at the Palazzo Ducale in Venice. The following year they entrusted execution of the sculptures to a little-known carver called Alberto da Milano and his unidentified collaborators.72

The series of statues is witness to Verona's illustrious Roman past and intended as a rallying point for local pride. At the time the design was conceived, Verona had been ruled by Venice for almost eight decades. The line-up of famous Romans born in Verona gave durable public expression to a theme dear to Veronese humanists.73 Like the histories they wrote, the statues conveyed the patriotic message of pride in the distinguished pedigree of the city, which, unlike its overlord, Venice, had been a flourishing centre in Roman times. Pliny (Fig. 12a) stands amid other famous Romans from Verona, Catullus (Fig. 12b), the architect Vitruvius (Fig. 12c), the Augustan poet Aemilius Macer, who was an older contemporary of Ovid, and the biographer Cornelius Nepos (c. 99-c. 23 B.C.).74 They are all dressed in long flowing robes and, except for Vitruvius, carry a book. Inscriptions on the plinths below each statue identify the figure by name. They resemble each other and seem a unified cohort, a similarity that serves to underscore the message of their common Veronese origins.

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Fig. 12 Alberto da Milano, roofline statues of (a) Pliny, (b) Catullus, (c) Vitruvius, 1492, The Loggia del Consiglio, (Soprintendenza per i beni archtettonici e per il

In 1493 the statues were prominently installed on the Loggia to offset not only Como's earlier sculpture commission, but the most serious intellectual challenge to Verona's claim to Pliny the Elder up until that point. Poliziano (1454-94) and Ermolao Barbaro (c. 1410-93), the Venetian patriarch and humanist, were both highly recognised experts on the Natural History who had just published studies that included their conclusion that Pliny had been born in Como.75 Their erudition and objectivity -- neither Poliziano nor Barbaro was from Como or Verona -- made their results difficult to attack. Nevertheless Veronese civic officials erected the statue of Pliny and hired a local historian to draft still another round of Verona's claims in a verbal warfare that continued for centuries.76

The public commissions to commemorate favourite sons trail off at the end of the fifteenth century. The vogue for these monuments is mainly a late fifteenth-century phenomenon. They were the product of the zeal to impart a tangible reality to the greatly admired ancient Roman culture -- and a highly visible means to assert a connection to it. Prominent sculpted memorials to city founders or native sons became an effective way of demonstrating this prized pedigree. Only the city of Rome had an indisputably genuine extant symbol of its foundation, the She-Wolf. In 1471 the Etruscan bronze was displayed on the Campidoglio, along with newly cast bronzes of Romulus and Remus, as a public emblem of Christian Rome rebuilt by the popes after their return from Avignon.77 By contrast, Padua's tomb commemorating its founder must have seemed a poor substitute. Although Lovati tried to make it look antique by reusing pieces of old sarcophagi, the shrine betrayed its medieval origins, and could be identified as Antenor's only by the inscription. Furthermore Antenor, like other desirable mythological and legendary founders, was claimed by several Italian cities.

Civic authorities recognised that they had a better chance to make an exclusive stake to the prestige and legitimacy that antique origins provided through their famous native sons. Attention turned to the authors whose writings transmitted knowledge of ancient Rome in an effort to give that culture a tangible public presence in Renaissance Italy. The humanists instrumental in recovering and editing the manuscripts of ancient authors were key advisers, motivated by the goal of defending the value of classical literature in a Christian society. They recognised that public monuments honouring these writers could be created by adapting to large-scale and durable format the standard props already popularised through their illuminated portraits in manuscripts. Additional, immediately recognizable signs of academic authenticity to enhance the Roman authors' images could be appropriated from the scenes of late medieval classrooms depicted on the tombs commemorating professors at the universities of Bologna and Padua. Although some authors who were very popular in the fifteenth century like Cicero, Horace, or Sallust, were not memorialised, most of the authors commemorated in public monuments -- Virgil, Ovid, Livy, Pliny the Elder, Pliny the Younger, Vitruvius, and Catullus -- correlate with those whose writings were most influential, well known in manuscript form, and the earliest printed in Italy. The little known writers, like Caecilius Statius, commemorated on the facade of the Cathedral in Como, or Aemilus Macer and Cornelius Nepos, whose statues join the roster of authors claimed by Verona on the roofline of its Loggia del Consiglio, must be counted as expressions of exuberant local pride.

Cities competed for the honour of claiming prominent Roman authors as their own and of making public monuments commemorating them part of their civic identities. Regimes in power employed the status of these associations strategically to redound to their credit. Subject cities evoked the identification to kindle citizens' pride by conveying in symbolic terms the illustrious Roman past of their cities in the face of current loss of autonomy. For Verona and Padua, subjugated by Venice, a city with no Roman history, allusions to their own ancient pedigrees carried a special patriotic resonance.

Although many of the monuments were never executed or were sculpted by minor artists, integrating these overlooked commissions into the history of Italian Renaissance art modifies our conception of the period. The self-conscious goal of their Italian commissioners to honour prestigious ancient heroes in an archaeologically correct style that conveyed understanding of and connection to the revered Roman past, means that these idiosyncratic local monuments present a number of innovations that pioneer the integration of the visual language of antiquity into Italian Renaissance art.

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Re: FREDA BEDI CONT'D (#4)

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Part 2 of 2
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Notes:

1 There is a vast, but diffuse, bibliography on this subject. See Patricia Fortini Brown, Venice & Antiquity: The  Venetian Sense of the Past (New Haven, 1996), 8-9, for some of the most important references. Brown introduced  focus to the discussion by analyzing Venice's invention of its relations to a non-existent ancient past. Carrie Elizabeth Benes, Roman Foundations: Constructing Civic Identity in Late Medieval Italy (unpub. PhD diss., UCLA,  2004) continued this more specific investigation by comparing how an actual or invented Roman heritage became cultural capital and a tool of civic ideology in four Italian communes (Siena, Perugia, Padua, and  Genoa) between 1250-1350. This essay derives from a paper presented at Princeton University's interdisciplinary symposium on the Italian Renaissance City in September 2003; I thank participants and audience there, as well as the essay's readers, for their comments.
 
2 The point of departure for research on honorific statues remains Julius von Schlosser, 'Vom modernen  Denkmalkultus', Vortrage tier Bibliothek Warburg, 6 (1926-27), 1-21, which considers briefly the monuments to Ovid in Sulmona and to Virgil in Mantua, discussed below, as precedents to its focus, the nineteenth-century European vogue for memorials to major cultural heroes.
 
3 Maria Monica Donato has written several fundamental studies that explore the literary evidence about the destroyed pictorial cycles of figures from Roman history and legend in the Palazzo della Signoria, Florence, and those decorating other town halls in Tuscany. These include: 'Gli eroi romani tra storia ed exemplum: i primi cicli umanistici di Uomini Famosi', Memoria dell'antico nell'arte italiana, ed. Salvatore Settis, vol. 2: I Generi e i temi ritrovati (Turin, 1985), 97-152; 'Famosi Cives: testi, frammenti e cicli perduti a Firenze fra Tre e Quattrocento.' Ricerche di storia dell'arte, 30 (1986), 27-42; '''Cose morali, e anche appartenenti secondo e' luoghi": Per lo studio della pittura politica nel tardo medioevo toscano', Le forme della propaganda politica nel Due e nel Trecento, ed. Paolo Cammarosano (Rome, 1994),491-517; 'Immagini e iscrizioni nell'arte "politica" fra Tre e Quattrocento', 'Visibile parlare.' Le scritture esposte nei volgari italiani dal Medioevo al Rinascimento. Atti del Convegno Internazionale di Studi, Cassino-Montecassino, 26-28 ottobre 1992, ed. Claudio Ciociola (Naples, 1997), 341-96. See also Edna Carter Southard, The Frescoes in Siena's Palazzo Pubblico, 1289-1539: Studies in Imagery and Relations to Other Communal Palaces in Tuscany (New York, 1979); Nicolai Rubinstein's 'Classical Themes in the Decoration of the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence', Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 50 (1987), 29-43; and his The Palazzo Vecchio, 1298-1532; Government, Architecture, and Imagery in the Civic Palace of the Florentine Republic (Oxford, 1995); Theodor Mommsen, 'Petrarch and the Decoration of the Sala Virorum Illustrium in Padova', Art Bulletin, 34 (1952), 95-116, and Maria Monica Donato, 'Historie parens Patavium: Per una tradizione d'arte civica, dal medioevo all'ed moderna', Percorsi tra parole e immagini (1400-1600), ed. Angela Guidotti and Massimiliano Rossi (Lucca, 2000), 51-74.

[Google translate: Maria Monica Donato has written several fundamental studies that explore the literary evidence about the destroyed pictorial cycles of figures from Roman history and legend in the Palazzo della Signoria, Florence, and those decorating other town halls in Tuscany. These include: 'The Roman heroes between history and exemplum: the first humanistic cycles of Famous Men', Memory of the ancient in Italian art, ed. Salvatore Settis, vol. 2: Genres and rediscovered themes (Turin, 1985), 97-152; 'Famous Cives: texts, fragments and cycles lost in Florence between the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.' Research in the history of art, 30 (1986), 27-42; '' 'Moral things, and also belonging second and' places": For the study of political painting in the late Tuscan Middle Ages', The forms of political propaganda in the twelfth and fourteenth centuries, ed. Paolo Cammarosano (Rome, 1994), 491-517; 'Images and inscriptions in "political" art between the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries', 'Visible speak.' The writings exhibited in the Italian vernacular from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. Proceedings of the International Conference of Studies, Cassino-Montecassino, 26-28 October 1992, ed. Claudio Ciociola (Naples, 1997), 341-96. See also Edna Carter Southard, The Frescoes in Siena's Palazzo Pubblico, 1289-1539: Studies in Imagery and Relations to Other Communal Palaces in Tuscany (New York, 1979); Nicolai Rubinstein's 'Classical Themes in the Decoration of the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence', Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes , 50 (1987), 29-43; and his The Palazzo Vecchio, 1298-1532; Government, Architecture, and Imagery in the Civic Palace of the Florentine Republic (Oxford, 1995); Theodor Mommsen, 'Petrarch and the Decoration of the Sala Virorum Illustrium in Padova ', Art Bulletin, 34 (1952), 95-116, and Maria Monica Donato,' Historie parens Patavium: For a civic art tradition, from the Middle Ages to the Modern ', Paths between words and images (1400-1600), published by Angela Guidotti and Massimiliano Rossi (Lucca, 2000), 51-74. ]
 
4 Gotz Lahusen, Untersuchungen zur Ehrenstatue in Rom. Literarische und epigraphische Zeugnisse [Google translate: Gotz Lahusen, Investigations on the statue of honor in Rome. Literary and Epigraphic Testimonies] (Rome, 1983), 147-152, collected the citations about honorific statues in the writings of Greek and Roman authors.
 
5 Pliny the Elder, Natural History, 33.83. For monuments commemorating intellectuals in antiquity, see Gotz Lahusen, Investigations on the statue of honor in Rome. Literary and Epigraphic Testimonies (Rome, 1983) (Basel, 1997) and Paul Zanker, The Mask of Socrates. The Image of the Intellectual in Antiquity (Berkeley, 1995). 
 
6 For the legends about Ovid as a magus, monk, prophet, saint, and writer of a section of Virgil's Fourth Eclogue, see Giovanni Pansa, Ovidio nel medioevo e nella tradizione papolare [Google translate: Ovid in the Middle Ages and in the popular tradition] (Sulmona, 1924), 29-64. For the legends concerning Virgil, see Domenico Comparetti, Virgil in the Middle Ages, trans. E. F. M. Benecke (Princeton, 1997), 239-376.
 
7 J. B. Trapp, 'The Grave of Vergil', Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 47 (1984), 1. (Reprint: J. B. Trapp, Essays on the Renaissance and the Classical Tradition. Aldershot, 1990). Although the biography was attributed to Aelius Donatus (fl. 354 AD), an important late antique Latin grammarian who glossed Virgil's writing, it was likely written even earlier, by Suetonius (c. 69-after 122 AD), within about a century of Virgil's death.
 
8 According to a legend known to Petrarch, St. Paul was supposed to have visited the tomb. Petrarch probably did as well; Boccaccio certainly did. Both wrote about it a number of times. See J. B. Trapp, 'Virgil and the Monuments', Proceedings of the Virgil Society, 18 (1986), 4-5. (Reprint: Trapp, Essays). According to legend Virgil's bones were removed to a locked location in the Castel dell'Ovo, the major Angevin fortress in Naples.
 
9 J. B. Trapp, 'Ovid's Tomb. The Growth of a Legend from Eusebius to Laurence Sterne, Chateaubriand, and George Richmond', Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 36 (1973), 35-76 (Reprint, Trapp, Essays). I thank Patricia Fortini Brown for bringing Sulmona's cult of Ovid to my attention.
 
10 The characterization of a teacher as a seated figure holding a book goes back to the Roman Empire, where it was used for teachers of grammar and other disciplines. It was widely adopted in images of Christ and the apostles as teachers on sarcophagi and in other media; see Zanker, Mask, 232-33; 290-307. Renzo Grandi, 'Le Tombe dei dottori bolognesi', Atti e Memorie della Deputazione di Storia Patria per le Province di Romagna, [Google translate: Renzo Grandi, 'The Tombs of the Bolognese Doctors', Proceedings and Memoirs of the Deputation of Homeland History for the Provinces of Romagna] n.s. 29-30 (1978-79), 178-80, traces the transmission to a variety of sources, such as Roman funerary monuments in northern Italy commemorating teachers, and depictions of teachers in representations of the Liberal Arts. He cites the two reliefs honouring Virgil as further inspiration for the way in which professors were portrayed on Bolognese tomb monuments to professors. 
 
11 A Mantuan coin minted in 1257 depicted the seated Virgil surrounded by the inscription 'Virgilius  Mantue', with the image of St Peter and the Bishop on the reverse. See Wolfgang Liebenwein, 'Princeps  Poetarum. Die mittelalterlichen Vergil-Bilder in Mantua', [Google translate: The Medieval Virgil Images in Mantua] 2000 Jahre Vergil. Ein Symposium, ed. V. Poschl, Wolfenbutteler Forschungen, 24 (Weisbaden, 1983), 116 and Fig. 7. On the reliefs representing Virgil, see Trapp,  'Virgil', 10-11; Norberto Gramaccini, Mirabilia. Das Nachleben antiker Statuen vor der Renaissance [Google translate: The afterlife of ancient statues before the Renaissance] (Mainz, 1996),  218-20, Giovanni Paccagnini, Mantova. Le arti (Mantua, 1960), I, 224-30; Joachim Poeschke, Die Skulptur  des Mittelalters in Italien, [Google translate: The Sculpture of the Middle Ages in Italy] vol. 1: Romanik (Munich, 1998), 141 and Pl. 133. Paccagnini, Mantova, 224-29, argues that the identification of the figure as Virgil dates no earlier than the seventeenth century and that it symbolizes justice in complement to the earlier figure of Virgil who represents law. On the author portraits, see the classic studies by Kurt Weitzmann, Ancient Book Illustration (Cambridge, Mass., 1959), and A. M. Friend, Jr., 'The Portraits of the Evangelists in Greek and Latin Manuscripts', Art Studies 5 (1927), 115-47, and Art  Studies 7 (1929), 3-29. A recent review of the tradition is found in Joyce M. Kubiski, 'Uomini illustri: The  Revival of the Author Portrait in Renaissance Florence' (unpub. PhD diss., Univ. of Washington, 1993), 14-48. 

12 Augusto Campana, 'Le Statue quattrocentesche di Ovidio e il capitanato sulmonese di Polidoro Tiberti', Atti del Convegno Internazionale Ovidiano, Sulmona, [Google translate: 'The fifteenth-century statues of Ovid and the Sulmonese captaincy of Polidoro Tiberti', Proceedings of the Ovidian International Conference, Sulmona] May 1958 (Rome, 1959), I, 270-71 (with bibliography).
 
13 Giuseppe Papponetti and Adriano Ghisetti Giavarina, 'Un'effigie quattrocentesca di Ovidio', Italia medioevale e umanistica, [Google translate: 'A fifteenth-century effigy of Ovid', medieval and humanistic Italy] 29 (1986), 288, and Pansa, Ovidio, 12-13. The four initials of Ovid's lament for Sulmona were carved into the city's Romanesque Cathedral of S. Panfilo, and appeared on the city's coins by the late fourteenth century; see Campana, 'Statue', 279. 
 
14 On Antenor and his tomb, see Cesare Cimegotto, 'La figura di Antenore nella vita nella leggenda e nell'arte', Atti e memorie della Reale Accademia di Scienze, [Google translate: 'The figure of Antenore in life in legend and in art', Proceedings and memoirs of the Royal Academy of Sciences ] Lettere, ed Arte in Padova, n.s. 53 (1936-37), 19-32; Cesira Gasparotto, 'Alla origine del mito della tomba di Antenore', Medioevo e rinascimento veneto con altri studi in onore di Lino Lazzari. [Google translate: 'At the origin of the myth of the tomb of Antenore', the Middle Ages and the Venetian Renaissance with other studies in honor of Lino Lazzari.] I. Dal Duecento al Quattrocento [Google translate: From the thirteenth to the fifteenth century] (Padua, 1979), 3-12; Gramaccini, Mirabilia, 98-110; and Benes, 'Roman Foundations', 170-205.
 
15 On Lovato's role in these discoveries and his motives, see Roberto Weiss, 'Lovato dei Lovati (1241-1309)', Italian Studies, 6 (1951), 3-28. On Lovato as the progenitor of Italian humanism, see Ronald G. Witt, 'In the Footsteps of the Ancients.' The Origins of Humanism from Lovato to Bruni (Leiden, 2000), 95-116. A wide-ranging discussion of the Paduan tendency to manipulate its illustrious Roman past for contemporary prestige from the thirteenth through nineteenth centuries is found in Donato, 'Historie.'
 
A similar sort of reburial of an ancient author, this time in the tomb of a local intellectual, occurred in Parma. The bones of Macrobius, the fourth-century commentator on Cicero and Virgil, were supposedly transferred from his previous burial site in Parma and interred in the sarcophagus of Biagio Pelacani near the cathedral in the early fifteenth century; see Augusto Mancini, 'Macrobio parmense', Archivio Storico per le Province Parmensi, n.s. 28 (1928), 1-9.
 
16 The most serious of these rival claims to Antenor was made by Venice. See Brown, Venice & Antiquity, 13, 25, and 31, and Hugo Buchthal, Historia Troiana. Studies in the History of Medieval Secular Illustration (London, 1971), 59-67.
 
17 The most recent treatment of Livy's resurrection is found in J. B. Trapp, 'The Image of Livy in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance' ," Lecturas de Historia del Arte, 3 (1992), 211-38.
 
18 Maria Pia Billanovich,'Una miniera di epigrafi e di antichita. II Chiostro Maggiore di S. Giustina a Padova', Italia medioevale e umanistica, [Google translate: 'A mine of epigraphs and antiquities. The Major Cloister of S. Giustina in Padua ', medieval and humanistic Italy] 12 (1969), 225-27; 282-87. On the involvement of Lovato Lovati and Petrarch with the exhumation of Livy, the commemorative inscription, and the importance of Livy's history of Rome to Lovati and to Petrarch, see Giuseppe Billanovich, La Tradizione del testo di Livio e le origini dell'umanesimo [Google translate: The Tradition of Livy's text and the origins of humanism] (Padua, 1981), I, 1-33; 57-96; 314-31. 
 
19 See Petrarch's Letters on Familiar Matters, vol. 3: Rerum familiarum libri XVII-XXIV, trans. Aldo S. Bernardo (Baltimore and London, 1985), 332-33.
 
20 On the palace's decoration, see Mommsen, 'Petrarch', and John Richards, Altichiero. An Artist and his Patrons in the Italian Trecento (Cambridge, 2000), 105-34.
 
21 For the discovery and identification of Livy's body and the description of the monument, see the letters written by Sicco Polentone, published in Arnaldo Segarizzi, La Catinia, le orazioni e le epistole di Sicco Polenton [Google translate: The Catinia, the prayers and epistles of Sicco Polenton] (Bergamo, 1899), 77-84 (letter I, to Niccolo Niccoli, 28 October 1414), 92-97 (letter VII, to Leonardo Bruni, 21 April 1419), and 97-9 (letter VIII, to Andrea Biglia, 15 July 1419). Andrea Biglia (c. 1395-1435) was a Milanese humanist and member of the Augustinian order then living at Santo Spirito in Florence.
 
A shorter account of the episode appears in Polentone's biography of Livy, Scriptorum illustrium Latinae linguae libri XVIII, ed. Berthold Louis Ullman (Rome, 1928), 183-84; Sicco finished that pioneering collection of biographies of Roman literary figures in 1433, after many years of work. Berthold Louis Ullman, 'The Post-Mortem Adventures of Livy', Studies in the Italian Renaissance, 2nd ed. (Rome, 1973), 53-57, first analyzed Sicco's letters and biography of Livy. 
 
22 Benjamin G. Kohl, Padua under the Carrara, 1318-1405 (Baltimore and London, 1998), 174-77, on the Scrovegni; and 152-54, on Fina Buzzacarini's marriage to Francesco il Vecchio, founder of the Carrara dynasty.
 
23 On the episode, see Segarizzi, Catinia, 77-84. Donato, 'Historie', 55-57, noted that Ludovico Buzzacarini was implicated in the later rebellion against Venetian rule in 1435, and argued that the decision to situate the monument in a public space (controlled by Venetian officials) was made to suppress any potential political associations with the Carrara.
 
24 Dagobert Frey, 'Apokryphe Liviusbildnisse der Renaissance', Wallraf-Richartz Jahrbuch 17 (1955), 150-51, first reconstructed the monument. See also Trapp, 'Image', 218-20.
 
25 The Tomb of Pope John XXIII in the Baptistry, Florence, by Donatello and Michelozzo, which dates from the early 1420s, is generally considered the first Renaissance monument whose inscription accurately renders Roman lettering; see Stanley Morison, Politics and Script. Aspects of Authority and Freedom in the Development of Graeco-Latin Script from the Sixth Century B.C. to the Twentieth Century A.D., ed. and completed by Nicolas Barker (Oxford, 1972), 269.
 
26 First noted by Frey, 'Apokryphe', 150
 
27 Zanker, Mask, 90-92; 102-8, traced the origins of the pose to statues of Stoic philosophers dating from the third century B.C.; in the Hellenistic world it was replicated in terracotta figures of intellectuals. Examples include the Tomb of Pietro Cerniti, dated by inscription to 1338, in the Museo Civico Medievale, Bologna, Figs. 57-61 in Renzo Grandi, I Monumenti dei dottori e la scultura a Bologna (1267-1348), (Bologna, 1982). 
 
28 On the history of the column monument, see Werner Haftmann, Das italienische Saulenmonument, Beitrage zur Kulturgeschichte des Mittelalters und der Renaissance, [Google translate: The Italian Column Monument, Contributions to the Cultural History of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance] vol. 55 (1935; reprint: Gerstenberg, 1972), and Martina Jordan-Ruwe, Das Saulenmonument: zur Geschichte der erhohten Aufstellung antiker Portratstatuen, Asia Minor Studien, [Google translate: The Column Monument: On the History of the Elevation of Ancient Portrait Statues, Asia Minor Studies] vol. 19 (Bonn, 1995). On the Roman use of colored marbles, see I Marmi colorati della Roma imperiale, ed. Marilda de Nuccio [Google translate: The colored marbles of imperial Rome, ed. Marilda de Nuccio ] and Lucrezia Ungaro (Venice, 2002).
 
29 See David G. Wilkins, 'Donatello's Lost Dovizia for the Mercato Vecchio: Wealth and Charity as Florentine Civic Virtues.' Art Bulletin, 65 (1983). 401-23 and Sarah Blake Wilk, 'Donatello's Dovizia as an Image of Florentine Political Propaganda', Artibus et historiae, 14 (1986), 9-28.
 
30 Sicco's letter to Niccoli is dated 28 October 1414. See note 2l.
 
31 A now-lost inscription recorded in the eighteenth century attested to the transfer of Livy's bones to that site; see Wolfgang Wolters, La Scultura veneziana gotica (1300-1460), 2 vols. (Venice, 1976), I, 170. 
 
32 Wolters, Scultura, I, 169-70, argues that the relief was carved as part of the response to the installation  of the discovered funerary inscription of Livy in the cloister of S. Giustina. If so, we lack information about  the sculpture for almost a century. Should Wolter's reconstruction of the chronology prove correct, then the relief inspired the characterization of Livy in the unexecuted column monument.
 
33 For the inscriptions and an analysis of the sculptures, see Wolters, Scultura, I, 237-3R In the mid-sixteenth century Paduan authorities erected a cenotaph to Livy inside the Palazzo della Ragione, incorporating his supposed grave inscription and a portrait bust modeled on what was considered an authentic Roman portrait of the historian. Alessandro Maggi da Bassano, whose family claimed descent from Livy and who owned the Roman bust, supervised the monument's design. See Giulio Bodon's 'Nuovi elementi per lo studio del busto di Tito Livio al Palazzo della Ragione di Padova', Bollettino del Museo Civico di Padova, 77 (1988), 81-95, and 'Studi antiquari fra xve xyii secolo. La famiglia Maggi da Bassano e la sua collezione di antichita', Bollettino del Museo Civico di Padova, 80 (1991), 23-172, the most pertinent of his several articles related to the subject.
 
34 On the professors' tombs, see Renzo, I Monumenti and Jill Emilee Carrington, 'Sculpted Tombs of the Professors of the University of Padua, c. 1358-c. 1557' (unpub. PhD diss., Syracuse University, 1996). On authors' portraits in fifteenth-century manuscripts and incunables, see Kubiski, 'Uomini illllstri', 144-206. 
 
35 Pietro Lombardo adapted the composition of this relief and the gesture of Livy to the portrait of Dante he created for the tomb constructed by the city of Ravenna to honour the Florentine poet, who died in exile in Ravenna. The tomb was located near the church of San Francesco. The portrait, inscribed with the date of 1483, is now displayed in a late eighteenth-century shrine to Dante close to its original location; see Corrado Riccio, L'Ultimo rifugio di Dante, 2nd ed. (Milan, 1921), 331-38.
 
36 The Venetian government's gift of a part of Livy's forearm is commemorated in an inscription placed underneath the relief of Livy in 1451.
 
37 Paolo Sambin, 'Il Panormita e il dono d'una reliquia di Livio', Italia medioevale e umanistica, 1 (1958), 276-81; Ullman, 'Post-Mortem', 57-58, and Trapp, 'Image', 223-24. When Livy's coffin was opened to procure the bone for Alfonso V of Aragon. the Roman's jawbone was also removed and preserved in a gilded ball that was hung in the chancery, presumably as inspiration to the scribes there. Ullman, 'Post-Mortem', 58-59, traces its history and describes the ball being opened so that he could see the bones of Livy in 1926.
 
38 Mariangela Religiosi, 'Lorenzo Valla, Antonio Panormita, Giacomo Curio e le emendazioni a Livio', Italia medioevale e umanistica, 25 (1981), 287-316.
 
39 Pontano enshrined the bone of Livy, along with other prized possessions, in a 'tempietto', or chapel, constructed in honour of his deceased wife, Adrianna Sassone, near S. Maria Maggiore in Naples. Other family members and Pontano himself were ultimately buried there. See Riccardo Filangieri di Candida, 'Il Tempietto di Gioviano Pontano in Napoli', Atti della Accademia Pontaniana, 56 (1926), 113-14.
 
40 The execution of the statue of Ovid was overseen by the King's grandson Alfonso, Duke of Calabria, who became King Alfonso II of Naples in 1494.
 
41 In 1438, Jacopo Caldora (1369-1439), an agent of Rene d'Anjou, controlled Sulmona. Lorenzo Valla described the King's triumphal entry into Sulmona, and the citizens' enthusiastic greetings of him with banners emblazoned 'SMPE.' According to letters written by both Valla and Panormita, the King supposedly expressed the wish that he could encounter Ovid alive and visited the ruins of what was thought to be the poet's house. See Mariangela Regoliosi, 'Due nuove lettere di Valla', Italia medioevale e umanistica, 25 (1982), 153-64.
 
42 Pontano's De Principe is cited in Regoliosi, 'Lettere', 160. According to Campana, 'Statue', 287-88, a rare treatise by Ercole Ciofani, published in Sulmona in 1584, records Pontano's visit to Sulmona to see the statue of Ovid. Ciofani, whose birth date is unknown, died in 1592.
 
43 Campana, 'Statue', 281-86.
 
44 Zanker, Mask, 216-7. 
 
45 On the likenesses of Ovid primarily in published books, see J. B. Trapp, 'Portraits of Ovid in the Middle Ages and Renaissance', Die Rezeption der Metamorphosen des Ovid in der Neuzeit: Der antike Mythos in Text und Bild, ed. Hermann Walter and Hans-Jurgen Horn (Berlin, 1995), which includes the Ovid statue in Sulmona, 266-67.
 
46 Mantova. Le Lettere, vol. I: Tradizione Virgiliana. La Cultura nel Medioevo, ed. Emilio Faccioli (Mantua, 1959), 27 and Trapp, 'The Grave', 10.
 
47 Mantova. Le Lettere, I, 22-31 (with bibliography).
 
48 See D. J. B. Robey, 'Virgil's Statue at Mantua', Rinascimento, ser. 2, 9 (1969), 183-203. On the attitudes of Petrarach, Boccaccio, and Salutati about the sacral character of ancient poetry, see Ronald G. Witt, 'Coluccio Salutati and the Conception of the Poeta Theologus in the Fourteenth Century', Renaissance Quarterly, 30 (1977), 538-63.
 
49 Trapp, 'Virgil', 11.
 
50 For Lodovico's and Platina's letters, see Mantova. Le Lettere, I, 54-55. 
 
51. Pontano's plans are described in letters written in 1499 by Isabella and the Count Jacopo Pianella d'Atri,  the Mantuan ambassador to Naples. They were transcribed by Armand Baschet, who published them, along  with the drawing, in 'Documents inedits concernant la personne et l'oeuvre d'Andrea Mantegna', Gaulte des  Beaux-Arts, 20 (1886), 486-90. The letters were put in the context of other correspondence related to the  Marchesa's artistic commissions by Alessandro Luzio and Rodolfo Renier, 'La Coltura e le relazioni letterarie  di Isabella d'Este Gonzaga', Giornale Storico della Letteratura Italiana, 40 (1902), 298-301. See also Paul Kristeller,  Andrea Mantegna, trans. Arthur Strong (London, 19(1), 402-3; Mantova, Le Lettere, I, 59-61 (with bibliography);  Splendours of the Gonzaga, ed. David Chambers and Jane Martineau (London, 1981), 152-53, cat. no. 92, and  R. W. Lightbown, Mantegna (Oxford, 1986), 463-64, cat. no. 85. 
 
52 Jacopo Pianella d'Atri provided this information. Battista Fiera (1465-1538) wrote a poem about Mantegna for their mutual patron, Francesco Gonzaga, and De iusticia pingendi, a dialogue between Mantegna and Momus. In 1514 Fiera installed the bust of Virgil, along with busts of Francesco Gonzaga and Battista Spagnoli or Mantovano (1448-1516), a Mantuan Carmelite who served as prior general of the order and whose poetry earned him the nickname of 'Virgilio cristiano', inside the arch of the Porta Nuova near his house. A terracotta bust, believed to be a copy of Fiera's sculpture of Virgil, is published in Splendours, 155- 56, cat. nos. 98-100.
 
53 The drawing follows Pantano's description except that Virgil holds a book, which Pontano advised against on the basis that such a detail would diminish the statue's monumentality and simplicity. The inscription also differs from his precise wording, and omits that credit was due to Isabella for erecting the monument, perhaps because her husband, Francesco, participated in the project as well. An epigram written by Battista Fiera dedicated to the Virgil statue suggests Francesco's involvement. See Mantova, Le Lettere, I, 60-61, and Splendours, 154-55, cat. 97.
  
54 Millard Meiss, 'Toward a More Comprehensive Renaissance Paleography', Art Bulletin, 42 (1960), 103-12. The same author in his Andrea Mantegna as Illuminator: An Episode in Renaissance Art, Humanism, and Diplomacy (New York, 1957), contends that Mantegna illuminated manuscripts in which Roman script was replicated.
 
55 The suggestion that the base imitates the pedestal under the Column of Trajan is attributed to Howard Bums in Splendours, 153. Both are simple rectangles topped by a wider cornice and atop a wider base, decorated by garlands with ribbons and winged genii supporting a tabula ansata with an inscription. The pedestal supporting Michelangelo's David, which dates more than ten years after Pontano's and Mantegna's project, is usually cited as the first truly classical base actually executed in the Renaissance; see Kathleen Weil-Garris, 'On Pedestals: Michelangelo's David, Bandinelli's Hercules and Cacus and the Sculpture of the Piazza della Signoria.' Romisches Jahrbuch fur Kunstgeschichte, 20 (1983), 381-93.
 
56 See Herbert Keutner, 'Uber die Entstehung und die Formen des Standbildes im Cinquecento', Munchner Jahrbuch der bildenden Kunst, 7 (1956), 138-46, who cites the Virgil monument as an important unexecuted precedent, but considers it as part of a broader category including Jacopo Bellini's drawings of imaginary monuments and statues to Old Testament heroes like Michelangelo's David. 
 
57 An analysis of the influence of the Natural History during the medieval and Renaissance periods is provided in Charles G. Nauert, Jr., 'Caius Plinius Secundus', Catalogus Translationum et Commentariorum. Mediaeval and Renaissance Latin Translations and Commentaries. Annotated Lists and Guides, 4 (Washington, 1980), 302-4. For a specific assessment of the reception of the Natural History in the writings of influential Christian figures like Jerome, Augustine, Cassiodorus, and Albertus Magnus, see Arno Borst, Das Buch der Naturgeschichte. Plinius und seine Leser im Zeitalter des Pergaments, Abhandlungen der Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften, Philosophisch-Historische Klasse 1 (Heidelberg: Winter, 1994), 57-299.
 
58 Pliny addressed four letters to Suetonius and discussed him in three others. Pliny's letters addressed to Suetonius are numbers I.xviii (Pliny the Younger, Letters, trans. Betty Radice, Loeb Classical Library, 4th ed. (Cambridge, Mass., 1997), I, 53-55); III.viii (ibid., I, 186-89); V.x (ibid., I, 366-67); and IX.xxxiv (ibid., II, 150-51). He refers to a military tribunate he procured for Suetonius in IIi.viii, consults with him about writing in V.x, and about his skills in reading poetry in IX.xxxiv. The three letters about Suetonius include one to a friend requesting that he help Suetonius in buying property (i.xxiv; ibid., I, 75) and an appeal to the Emperor Trajan on behalf of Suetonius (X.xciv; ibid., II, 282-85). For an analysis of their correspondence, see Stanley E. Hoffer, The Anxieties of Pliny the Younger (Atlanta, 1999), 211-25.
 
59 For an account of the three different compilations in which Pliny's Letters were known, see the essay on Pliny the Younger by L. D. Reynolds, 'The Younger Pliny', Texts and Transmissions: A Survey of the Latin Classics, ed. L. D. Reynolds (Oxford, 1983), 316-22. Manuscripts of two of the assemblages of the letters were well known in Italy by the fourteenth century.
 
60 Suetonius' fragmentary biography is published in Jean Beaujean, 'Introduction. I. Biographie de Pline L'Ancien', Pline l'Ancien. Histoire Naturelle, Livre I, ed. and annot. Jean Beaujean and Alfred Ernout (Paris, 1950), 13. St. Jerome, who read Suetonius, repeated and spread the information that Como was Pliny's place of birth; see Eusebius, Werke, vol. 7: Die Chronik des Hieronymus, ed. R. Helm, (Berlin, 1956), 195.
 
61 See the Natural History, prefatory letter to the Emperor Titus, 1, for Pliny's allusion to Catullus. In the Loeb Library edition of the Natural History, 6th ed., 10 vols. (Cambridge, Mass., 1991), I, 2-3, H. Rackham interprets the word as 'concerraneum', or boon companion, and gives 'conterraneum', which can be interpreted as fellow-citizen, as an alternate reading. This possible double reading sparked the controversy.

62 Giovanni de Matociis is also called Giovanni Mansionario or Johannes Mansionarius, a name derived from his position as canon at the cathedral of Verona. Best known for his Historia Imperialis, a vast history of the lives of the Roman emperors up to Louis the Pious, Mansionario also wrote a short treatise justifying his identification of Pliny the Elder and Pliny the Younger. His Brevis Adnotatio de duobus Pliniis was edited by E. Truesdell Merrill, Classical Philology, 5 (1910),186-88. See Joseph R. Berrigan, 'Riccobaldo and Giovanni Mansionario as Historians', Manuscripta, 30, no. 3 (l986) , 215-23, C. Adami, 'Per la biografia di Giovanni Mansionario', Italia medioevale e umanistica, 25 (1982),347-63, and Witt, In the Footsteps, 166-68.
 
63 Benedetto Giovio (1471-1545), the brother of Paolo Giovio and a member of a local noble family, summarises the historiography of the claim that Pliny was born in Verona in his Historiae Patriae. Libri Duo. Storia di Como dalle origini al 1532 (1887; reprint: Como, 1982),373-79. Giovio's text, the first comprehensive history of Como, was composed between 1532 and 1534, according to its unpaginated introduction by Matteo Gianoncelli. Pietro Donato Avogaro was hired by Veronese civic officials to demonstrate the validity of Verona's claim to Pliny the Elder. Paulus Fridenperger published Avogaro's treatise, De viris illustribus antiquissimis qui ex Verona claruere, in Verona sometime after 1490. It discusses the ancient, medieval and contemporary authorities who named Verona as Pliny's birthplace. A new edition based on the examination of the extant manuscripts is published in Rino Avesani and Bernard M. Peebles, 'Studies in Pietro Donato Avogaro of Verona', Italia medioevale e umanistica, 5 (1962), 68-84.
 
64 Venosto Lucati, 'Plinio il Vecchio nella storiografia comasca', Plinio, i suoi luoghi, il suo tempo (Como, 1984); 162.
 
65 Mario Longatti, 'L'Eco del mondo classico precristiano', La Cattedrale sullago. Forme, spazi e simboli di fede nel Duomo di Como, ed. Alessandro Maggiolini et al. (Milan, 1995), 165-77. Cecilius Statius was a contemporary of Catullus; his precise dates are unknown. 
 
66 See Federico Frigerio, Il Duomo di Como e il Broletto (Como, 1950), 46 and 330-31. The bust-length  portrait is inscribed 'Cichus Simonetta.' Frigerio interpreted the gesture on the part of the Cathedral's  overseers to include Cicco's portrait, as a bold political statement of opposition to Lodovico.
 
67 The story of the apostolic visitation of Giovanni Francesco Bonomi (1536-87), bishop of Vercelli and close associate of Carlo Borromeo, is recounted in Carlo Francesco Ciceri, Selva di notizie autentiche riguardanti la fabbrica della Cattedrale di Como (Como, 1811), 110, and in Lucati, 'Plinio', 163-65. 
 
68 The original inscriptions, written by the Milanese humanist Tommaso Piatti (also called Platone) were replaced and are only partially recorded by Benedetto Giovio. Giovio transcribes the beginning of Piatti's inscriptions in a letter to Nicolo Castiglione, a learned Milanese jurist and poet. In the letter, published by S. Monti, 'Lettere latine di Benedetto Giovio', Periodico, della Societa Storica Comense, 8 (1891), 194, Giovio calls the inscription unintelligible and attributes this to Piatti's youthful inexperience when he wrote it. Benedetto Giovio's inscriptions, which include the date of 1498, are recorded in the manuscript of his Veterum monumentorum quae, tum Comi tum ejus in agro reperta sunt. Collectanea, preserved in the Biblioteca Civica, Como, according to Longatti, 'L'Eco', 174, n. 10. I have not seen this manuscript.
 
Benedetto Giovio included an extensive discussion of the historiography about Pliny the Elder's birthplace in his biography of the author, in the second section of his Historia Palria, where he assembles a collection of biographies of famous figures from Como. See above, note 63. Giovio also devoted a separate study to the problem of Pliny's birthplace. The Enarratio praefationis Historiae Naturalis C. Plinii Secondi was never published and is found in the manuscript that assembles his writings, the Opera varia, in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, Milan, I.47.Inf. See Lucati, 'Plinio', 167. Benedetto Giovio also collaborated on the translation into Italian of Vitruvius, De Architectura, edited by Cesare Cesariano and first published in 1521.
 
69 Edoardo Arslan, 'La scultura nella seconda meta del quattrocento', Storia di Milano. VII (Milan, 1956), 705-06, and Luisa Cogliati Arano, 'La scultura', Duomo di Como (Milan, 1972), 124-26.
 
70 Longatti, 'L'Eco', 174, n. 10 who consulted Benedetto Giovio's unpublished manuscript Veterum monumentorum, translated them into Italian. The inscriptions are now difficult to read on the facade. His translation of the inscription under Pliny the Elder reads:
 
La citta di Como ha insignito di questo monumento Caio Plinio Secondo, suo compatriota impareggiabile, uomo onorato per l'ingegno, illustre per le cariche revestite, ammirevole per la scienza perche fu quello che a suo tempo merito l'amicizia degli imperatori Vespasiano e Tito, riveste ariche importantissime e superio tutti quanti gli scrittori per la quantita e la varieta della sua opera.
 
It is followed by:
 
Un cosi grande onore mi e gradito e questa fama piace a me Secondo; ma di piu che i miei concittadini abbiano collocate questa memoria. 

71 In 1477 Francesco Corna da Soncino, a local humanist and blacksmith whose dates are unknown, wrote a lengthy poem praising his native city, especially its monuments. In stanza 134, he refers to the new Loggia as not yet ready to build: 'la Loza Nova che ancora non e fornita a fabricare.' See his Fioretto de le antiche croniche de Verona e de tutti i suoi confini e de le reliquie che se trovano dentro in ditta citade, ed. Gian Paolo Marchi and Pierpaolo Brugnoli (reprint: Valdonega, 1980), 50.
 
72 In 'La Loggia del Consiglio veronese nel suo quadro documentario', Atti dell'Isitituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere, ed. Arti, 116 (1957-58), 290-307, Raffaelo Brenzoni summarises the history of the building and publishes the relevant documents. See also Maria Teresa Cuppini, 'L'Arte a Verona tra XV e XVI secolo', Verona e il suo territorio, 6 vols., vol. 4, part 1: Verona nel Quattrocento (Verona, 1981), 261-75.
 
73 See the treatises by Coma da Soncino and Avogaro cited in note 63 and note 71. Edward Olszewski drew my attention to these sources.
 
74 Aemilius Macer's dates are unknown, and only a few lines of his poems survive. See Geoffrey Newman, 'La Loggia del Consiglio', Palladia e Verona, ed. Paola Marini (Verona, 1980), 122-23. The statues are arranged from left to right: Vitruvius, Catullus, Pliny the Elder, Aemilius Macer, and Cornelius Nepos. I thank Adrienne de Angelis for this reference.
 
The famous architectural theorist Vitruvius Pollio is today distinguished from Vitruvius Cerdo whose name is inscribed twice on the Arco dei Gavi, an ancient Roman city gate in Verona. However, in the fifteenth century it was believed that they were the same person, Vitruvius Pollio, who was born in Verona. See Bernardino Barduzzi (died 1497), A Letter in Praise of Verona (1489), trans. Betty Radice, (Verona, 1974), 37; Coma da Soncino, Fioretto, 44, stanza 118; and Avesani and Peebles, 'Studies', 70, lines 53-65. In these lines Avogaro noted that the scholars Guarino da Verona and Domenico Calderini both accepted Verona as Vitruvius' birthplace.
 
On Catullus' fame in the Renaissance, see Julia Haig Glasser, Catullus and his Renaissance Readers (Oxford, 1993). 
 
75 Giovio. Historiae, 378, proudly records the opinions of these great scholars. See Vincenzo Fera, 'Poliziano, Ermolao Barbaro e Plinio', Una famiglia veneziana nella storia: i Barbaro. Atti del Convegno di Studi in Occasione del Quinto Centenario della Morte dell'Umanista Ermolao, ed. Michela Marangoni and Manlio Pastore Stocchi (Venice, 1996), 193-234, for their assessments of the Natural History. Angelo Poliziano, the Florentine poet, philologist, and humanist, wrote the Miscellaneorum centuria prima in 1489. Barbaro's commentary on Pliny, Hermolai Barbari Castigationes Plinianae et in Pomponium Melam, ed. Giovanni Pozzi, 4 vols. (Padua, 1973), was by far the most important in the fifteenth century because he corrected more than 5000 errors in the corrupt text of the Natural History. Published in 1492-93, it was begun several years earlier.
 
76 Avesani and Peebles, 'Studies', publish and analyze the treatise on famous Veronese citizens by Pietro Donato Avogaro (cited in note 63). Incensed by Barbaro's assertions that Pliny was from Como, Avogaro responded with a defence of Verona's claim. He dedicated his treatise to two local Veronese officials. Lucati, 'Plinio', 147-62, provides a historiography of seventeenth-, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century authors who argue that Pliny's birthplace was in Como. Avesani and Peebles, 'Studies', 48-51, trace the counterpart of supporting claims for Verona throughout the same period.
 
77 Claudio Parisi Presicce, La Lupa capitolina (Milan and Rome, 2000, 102-5).
 
 
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Re: FREDA BEDI CONT'D (#4)

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The Bronze Laminetta Of Drusus Minor Preserved At The Provincial Museum Of Torcello: A False Unmasked (* [In addition to the numerous people thanked in the individual footnotes, I am grateful to my colleagues Alfredo Buonopane, Giovannella Cresci and Franco Luciani for reading the final drafting of this contribution and helping me with their advice.])
by Lorenzo Calvelli
Epigraphic
LXXVII, 1-2, p. 133
2015

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Abstract

This article examines in detail a small bronze tablet belonging to the collection of the Museo Provinciale di Torcello, near Venice. The tablet is inscribed on both sides and bears a dedication to Drusus the Younger, emperor Tiberius’ son who died in AD 23, plus some abbreviations that are difficult to expand. The object has long been considered to be genuine, however in more recent times its authenticity has been questioned. Internal analysis, which reveals some anomalous characteristics, supports these doubts, but the most convincing arguments are offered by comparison with other artefacts. In fact, previous editors failed to remark that several objects bearing the same text had already been registered and considered false by the curators of the Corpus inscriptionum Latinarum. A vast survey conducted through a network of European museums demonstrates that nearly identical tablets are kept today in Arezzo, Madrid and Basel. It is likely that these counterfeit antiquities, whose inscribed words and letters reproduce with slight variations the texts that were readable on authentic inscriptions and coins, were actually created in Tuscany in the mid 18th century.

Key words: bronze inscriptions; epigraphic forgeries; Drusus the Younger; Museo Provinciale di Torcello; Museo Archeologico Nazionale Gaio Cilnio Mecenate di Arezzo; Museo Arqueológico Nacional de Madrid; Antikenmuseum Basel; Accademia Colombaria.

1. The laminetta of Torcello

In the archaeological collection of the Provincial Museum of Torcello there is a rectangular opistograph bronze sheet which has repeatedly attracted the attention of scholars (Figs. 1-2) (1). Its first mention is due to Luigi Conton, director of the museum collection in the early decades of the twentieth century: in an article published in 1909, the scholar presented a detailed analysis of the find, reporting that it had been found "recently near Torcello " (2); in another contemporary publication he specified: "This bronze plate was found a short distance from the cathedral at a depth of one meter, in the year 1908" (3).

Image
Fig. 1. TORCELLO (VE), Provincial Archaeological Museum, inv. 1910a-b, recto (Photo: Province of Venice).

Image
Fig. 2. TORCELLO (VE), Provincial Archaeological Museum, inv. 1910a-b, verso (Photo: Province of Venice).

The exhibit measures 2.9 × 6.5 × 0.3 cm, weighs 44.5 grams and is currently exhibited in a showcase on the upper floor of the ancient Palazzo dell'Archivio, together with other metal artifacts, mostly dating back to the Roman times. The edges of the object are intact and slightly rounded on the corners; in the central part of the upper margin there is a conspicuous trapezoidal chipping. The two faces of the blade are engraved with an inscription in relief, obtained by casting (and not typing) from a negative bivalve matrix. The text follows an approximate alignment and is spread over four lines in the recto and two lines in the back (4). The letters have a variable height that varies between 0.6 and 0.4 cm on the front and 1.3 and 1 cm on the reverse. The transcription proposed following an autopsy check (September 2014) is the following:

Drusus Caisari,
Aug(usti) to you, god
Aug(usti) n(epoti),
s(aged) c(raised).//
I(- - -)
p(- - -) l(- - -) d(- - -) d(- - -).
From Drusus Caesar, son of Tiberius Augustus, nephew of the divine Augustus, by decree of the senate. -).


Both sides of the inscription adopt a centered and symmetrically well-set layout. In the text there are several circular punctuation marks, arranged at variable heights, often out of height and at the foot of the letter, both between the individual words, as well as at the beginning and at the end of some lines. The groove of the letters is on the whole well marked. From the palaeographical point of view, the G with a very pronounced pillar can be seen in the rr. 2 and 3 of the recto and the P with open eyelet at the beginning of the r. 2 of the reverse. The autopsy of the artifact, carried out with the aid of grazing light and binocular glasses, made it possible to identify between the two terms of r 1 of the front a punctuation mark, placed just above the ideal guideline on which the inscription runs; it is followed by the remains of a semicircular letter with the curve turned to the left, identifiable with the lower half of a C: this has led to a preference for the CAISARI reading instead of KAISARI, for which all the previous publishers had opted instead.

The content analysis of the document, conducted by Ezio Buchi in a short essay published in 1994, identified without hesitation in the text engraved on the front of the flap a dedication to Drusus Caesar, also known as Drusus Minor, son of Tiberius and Vipsania Agrippina, born between 15 and 12 BC and died in 23 A.D., perhaps poisoned by his wife Livilla in complicity with the praetorian prefect Seiano (5). According to the Tacitian testimony, on the occasion of the untimely death of his son, the emperor bestowed even greater honors on him than those decreed four years earlier to the designated Germanic heir (6). As for the two lines on the reverse of the artefact, they are characterized by a sequence of abbreviated terms that are difficult to dissolve. The only exegetical proposals so far advanced are devoid of reliable comparisons and little or not at all convincing (7).

A careful autopsy examination of the find, however, raises serious doubts as to its authenticity. By resorting to diplomatic terminology, it can be observed in particular that among the intrinsic characters the punctuation marks placed at the beginning or at the end of a line and at variable height are unusual in Latin epigraphs on bronze of the high-imperial era (8 ), as well as the sequences of litterae singulares [GT: individual letters ] present on the reverse of the artefact. As regards extrinsic characters, the peculiarity of the support on which the text of the inscription is engraved stands out above all (9). Specifically, it does not find comparisons with other well-known categories of the so-called instrumentum inscriptum [GT: written instrument]: in fact it is neither a tabula lusoria [game board], nor a hospitalis [hospitality token] or nummularia card [a bronze tag for money changers], nor a label to affix (as an opisthographer) or from hang (as it has no hole or ring socket). The possible use of this type of artefact therefore remains to be explained. Finally, it should be noted that the dimensions of the find are in no way comparable to ancient units of measurement.


Some of the considerations set out here were already advanced a few years ago by Antonio Sartori, who was the first to suggest the possibility that the bronze plate was actually a fake of the modern era (10). The hypothesis expressed by the scholar followed the appearance on the Parisian antiques market of three small bronze opisthograph finds, similar in type to the one preserved in Torcello, on one of which a substantially identical text was engraved (11). The other two small plates also had inscriptions of dubious authenticity, one of which reproduced with gross errors the text of a genuine epigraph (12), containing a dedication to Germanicus and two of his sons, engraved on a marble slab of non-urban origin, but already attested in Rome in the sixteenth century (13).

2. The flails of the pigeons

A new bibliographic investigation has now been the starting point for a further advancement of the research. The first tome of the eleventh volume of the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum [GT: A body of Latin inscriptions], published in 1888, in fact contains an entry dedicated to a group of four epigraphs engraved on bronze objects, which Eugen Bormann, curator of this section of the CIL, relegated without hesitation to the category of falsae (Fig. 3) (14). Among these artifacts, defined as "laminae aeriale in agro Pistoriensi a. 1763 repertae" [GT: aerial plates in the field of Pistorius a. 1763 found](15), first of all shows an example of the dedication to Germanicus and his sons mentioned earlier, perhaps the very same one that has recently reappeared on the Paris antiques market (16). However, it is the second of the epigraphic documents transcribed to us by Bormann that most draws our attention (17):

Drusus Caisari,
Aug(usti) to you, god
Aug(usti) n(epoti),
s(aged) c(raised).//
I(- - -)
p(- - -) l(- - -) d(- - -).


Image

209* brass plates in the Pistorian field a. 1763 discovered by Merlin.
1. ..germanico neroni druso / caesar germanici / gemamanici / caesaris f. casaris / e / aus ob. no august // imp
2. Drusus caisari / ti Aug. f. long / Aug. n / s.c. // me / p. l. d
3. imp. titus caesari / diui vespasian f / vespasiano // f. e. r / p
4. Titus July / Aug. / m. nestor // s. p. Q. r / d. l
Fr. Ignatius Merlini Calderini, who had bought it, took care to print the images on the folio, one example of which is in ms. associates annals of pigeons 19; from there he published Cantini's inscr. dove 1 p. 92 n. 9 contrary to n. 2, p. 95 n. 10 reversed n. 4.
He who made these and similar letters has forged almost all the genuine inscriptions, but he has made several copies. As the number of addresses 2. 3. 4 similar patterns in the records of the dove. they are said to be, whose plaster casts were proposed for colonnades d. 17 April 1763 (annal. 28 p. 40, where the words are not mentioned), but they were said to have been found in Favente and had been bought by a dovecote associate; they are perhaps those which now exist in Bononia (above n. 105*, 5. 6. 9). Another or the same copy of inscription 2 is now preserved in the museum of Arretino.

Fig. 3. CIL XI, 209*.


Already at first sight it can be seen that the text is substantially identical to that which can be read on the bronze sheet preserved in the Provincial Museum of Torcello. The only significant difference is the presence of only one D in the final line of the reverse of the epigraphic document transcribed by Bormann. The object on which this inscription was engraved, as well as the other three reviewed in the same CIL entry, belonged in the eighteenth century to Abbot Francesco Ignazio Merlini Calderini, a Pistoian scholar and member of the Columbian Academy of Florence (18).

As can be seen from the bibliographic indications cited in the apparatus, Bormann had learned this news by consulting the manuscript Annals of the Florentine cultural institution (19). The original of the document consulted by the scholar is transcribed in full below, who fortunately escaped the destruction that the ancient headquarters of the Academy suffered during the Second World War (20):

On September 11 [1763]. Gather to the usual lair. Verecondo brought a printed copy of some inscriptions that can be read in relief on four copper sheets, recently found in the Pistoia area and purchased by Francesco Ignazio Merlini Calderini, our foreign partner. It has been observed that the last three laminae are quite similar to three others of those that our Wanderer communicated to us, as in the year preceding f. 40 (21).


The text summarizes the topics addressed by the members of Colombaria during a session held on Sunday 11 September 1763. On this occasion, the Florentine patrician scholar Giuseppe Pelli Bencivenni, known with the academic name of "Verecondo" (22), had provided others present a printed reproduction of some bronze artefacts purchased from their Pistoian partner Merlini Calderini. Unfortunately, this graphic documentation, initially attached to the Annual and viewed by Bormann, is no longer available today (23).

During the meeting in question, the Pigeons remarked on the close affinities that existed between three of the small plates owned by Merlini Calderini and other similar finds, mentioned in a passage from the previous volume of the Annals, which is transcribed below:


On April 17, 1763. Gathered at the usual den etc. Six plaster tablets were donated to our Society, which are placed in a small picture, with very ancient Roman inscriptions. They were formed on the bronze tablets, purchased by the Vagante, who came from Faenza, where they were found underground by a worker in making some pits on his farm (24).


From the document it is clear that another columbarium partner, Giovanni Baldovinetti known as the "Vagante" (25), was in possession of six bronze plates, which a marginal annotation places in relation to those subsequently reported by Merlini Calderini (26). The plaster casts of these finds were donated to the Academy itself, but even today they are no longer available.

Summarizing, therefore, on two separate occasions during 1763 two members of the Colombarian Academy communicated to their associates that they had come into possession of two different groups of bronze laminas: the first, coming from the Faenza countryside and bought by Giovanni Baldovinetti, included six inscribed finds; the second, found in the Pistoia countryside and acquired by Francesco Ignazio Merlini Calderini, numbered only four. Of the latter there was a printed reproduction, currently dispersed, from which Bormann obtained the transcripts he reproposed in the eleventh volume of the CIL (27). As the Colombi had already remarked, three of the laminas purchased by Merlini Calderini were identical to as many in the possession of Baldovinetti. In the first place, therefore, it was the existence of several examples of these artifacts that led the publisher of the Corpus to include them in the falsae section, while acknowledging the expertise with which they were made (28).

In addition to Bormann's considerations, the vagueness of the information relating to the discovery of the two allegedly antiquated nuclei is suspected (note above all the topos of the discovery made "by a worker in making some graves on his farm"):

in this perspective, a further investigation of archival documentation could prove to be a harbinger of new information. In particular, the existence, in the State Archives of Florence, of the correspondence between Francesco Ignazio Merlini Calderini and Giuseppe Pelli Bencivenni, which includes 29 letters sent by the Pistoian abbot to the Florentine scholar during the 1763 (29). Similarly, an investigation into the relations between Giovanni Baldovinetti and his relative Margherita Baldovinetti Gambereschi, wife of Count Vincenzo Gabellotti of Faenza (30) could be profitable.

3. Laminette and more laminette

In addition to the bronze finds known through the manuscript deeds of the Accademia Colombaria, Bormann was also able to see some of them in person. Among these, a group of nine small blades was distinguished, preserved in Bologna and described as "complures tablee ariae inscriptae exemplis falsis titulorum genuinorum" (31). One of them again reported the same text engraved on the front of the artefact kept in Torcello (32):

Druso Caisari,
Ti (beri) Aug (usti) f (ilio), divi
Aug (usti) n (epoti),
s (enatus) c (onsulto).


The transcription provided by Bormann does not indicate the presence of letters on the back of the laminetta. According to the German epigraph, this find, as well as all the others belonging to the same collection nucleus, was formerly kept in the University Museum of the city of Bologna and from here it passed into the public museum (33). A comparison made at the Archaeological Civic Museum of Bologna, however, gave a negative result: it is perhaps possible that, once recognized as fake, the bronze finds were discarded from the collection or that they were lost during the last war period or after the war. immediately following (34). In addition to the eleventh volume of the CIL, the Bolognese laminetta with a dedication to Drusus Minor is also registered in the section of the Corpus relating to falsae of urban origin, with the indication "aerial table in the Bononiensi museum. […] Descripsit et damnavit Bormann »(35).

Albeit incidentally, Bormann himself also indicated that he had seen another example of the same artifact, kept "in the Arretino museum" (36). After extensive research, it was possible to identify this find at the National Archaeological Museum Gaio Cilnio Mecenate in Arezzo (Figs. 4-5) (37). The affinities with the laminetta kept in Torcello appear compelling, both in relation to the support and to the text engraved on its two sides:

Druso Caisari,
Ti (beri) Aug (usti) f (ilio), divi
Aug (usti) n (epoti),
s (enatus) c (onsulto) .//
Myself(- - -)
p (- - -) l (- - -) d (- - -) d (- - -).


Image

Fig. 4. AREZZO, National Archaeological Museum Gaius Cilnio Mecenate, inv. 12229, recto (Photo: courtesy of the Superintendence for Archaeological Heritage of Tuscany, Florence).

Image
Fig. 5. AREZZO, National Archaeological Museum Gaius Cilnio Mecenate, inv. 12229, verso (Photo: courtesy of the Superintendence for Archaeological Heritage of Tuscany, Florence).

Towards the middle of the upper edge the artefact is crossed by a small circular through hole, which affects the first line of the text both in the recto and in the verso, without however compromising its reading. The laminetta appears to have belonged to the Museum of the Fraternity of the laity, the main welfare congregation in Arezzo, whose collections form the founding nucleus of the current Archaeological Museum (38). A file from the Fraternity archive, drawn up by Angelo Pasqui in 1882, indicates that the find was found in Arezzo in Piazza Guido Monaco in 1865 (39). The indication, followed by a question mark, seems to be aimed at accrediting the authenticity of the artifact thanks to the expedient of an evidently fictitious discovery. Although in the immediate post-unification period the works for the construction of Piazza Guido Monaco actually resulted in numerous important archaeological discoveries (40), it is unlikely that among them there were also false finds, already attested in the Tuscan collecting circuits over a century earlier. It seems much more plausible that the laminetta preserved in Arezzo is one of those previously belonging to the members of the Accademia Colombaria, but it cannot be excluded that it is a further copy, perhaps acquired through some local antiquarian collection (41). An investigation into the Arezzo archival collections may perhaps allow us to determine more precisely the collection vicissitudes of the artefact in the future.

The presence of the inscribed bronze plates dedicated to Drusus Minor is not limited to the Italian territory alone. In recent times a specimen of the same object has been reported by Helena Gimeno Pascual (42): it is located in the Museo Arqueológico Nacional in Madrid and where it entered in 1876, together with the collection of antiquities of Don Tomás de Asensi (Figs. 6-7 ) (43). Also in this case the dimensions of the find are in all similar to those of the porcelain laminetta, just as the text that is engraved on it is analogous (44):

Druso Caisari,
Ti (beri) Aug (usti) f (ilio), divi
Aug (usti) n (epoti),
s (enatus) c (onsulto) .//
Myself(- - -)
p (- - -) l (- - -) d (- - -) d (- - -).


Image
Fig. 6. MADRID, Museo Arqueológico Nacional, inv. 10104, recto. (Photo: Museo Arqueológico Nacional, Madrid).

Image

Fig. 7. MADRID, Museo Arqueológico Nacional, inv. 10104, verso. (Photo: Museo Arqueológico Nacional, Madrid).

Tomás de Asensi, a knight of the Royal Order of Isabella the Catholic, was vice consul of Spain in Nice and commercial director for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministerio de Estado) around the middle of the 19th century (45). It is possible that he had purchased the laminetta at the time of his residence in Nice or during the many trips he took to Italian territory. In the autograph catalog of his collection, the bronze artefact is described as follows:

Pieza n. 684 (sin fi cha). Tesera de bronce, ó sea permiso para asistir a las diversiones públicas, ó de la liberalidad, llamadas congiari, de los emperadores ú otros personajes del imperio; with inscripciones en el derecho y en el revés. The del derecho says: Druso - Caesari - Ti. - Aug. T. Divi - Aug. N. - S. C. (To Druso César, hijo de Tiberio Augusto, nieto of the divine Augustus - Senatus Consultum). La del revés says: ME - P.L.D.D. De this leyenda no es fácil la explicación. Las últimas cuatro letras pueden explicarse así: Publicus Ludus Dedit, ó sea dió juegos públicos; but no así las dos primeras letras ME, que no pudieron ser explicadas ni aún por el doctor profesor de Arquelogía Sr. Henzen, secretary of the Instituto de Correspondencia Arqueológica de Rome (46).


The entry in the catalog is distinguished by the attempt to classify the bronze sheet as an object of the Roman era, which would have been used on the occasion of games, holidays or public distributions organized by the emperors; according to its owner it would therefore fall into the category of metal artifacts known as tesserae spectaculis (47), well attested by the archaeological documentation and similar to those used for the collection of foodstuffs, which literary sources call tesserae nummariae or frumentariae (48) . The most common types of these objects, however, are made of lead and their features differ considerably from those of the laminette examined in this study. The tesserae are in fact almost always circular in shape and have the effigy of a prince or a member of the imperial domus on the front, while on the reverse their legend usually indicates the name of the magistrate in charge of setting up the shows or celebrations ( 49).

From the form drawn up by Asensi it is also clear that he had consulted Wilhelm Henzen, secretary of the Institute of Archaeological Correspondence in Rome, in an attempt to give meaning to the initials engraved on the reverse of the bronze artefact (50). In the correspondence of the German scholar, however, there is no trace of letters sent by the Spanish collector (51): it is therefore possible that Asensi had recourse to an intermediary or that, during a stay in Italy, he had contacted Henzen in person.

Henzen himself, on the other hand, got to know, albeit indirectly, another batch of finds similar to those examined so far. In fact, during a meeting of the Institute of Archaeological Correspondence held on 24 February 1860, he reported to his associates that he had received the "paper impressions of five bronze plates with letters detected, recently passed into the Basel Museum and recognized as false by mr. prof. Guglielmo Vischer, who had sent them to the Institute to find out, if this were possible, their provenance "(52). A check carried out at the Antikenmuseum in Basel made it possible to locate this nucleus of registered artifacts again (53). One of them (Figs. 8-9), as already pointed out by Henzen (54), once again reports the text of the now well-known dedication to Drusus Minor:

Druso Caisari,
Ti (beri) Aug (usti) f (ilio), divi
Aug (usti) n (epoti),
s (enatus) c (onsulto) .//
Myself(---)
p (---) l (---) d (---).


As in the case of the laminetta owned by Francesco Ignazio Merlini Calderini, the only difference between the text of the epigraph preserved in Torcello is the presence of only one D in the final line of the verso. The ways in which the Antikenmuseum of Basel acquired this find and the other four belonging to the same lot have yet to be precisely determined (55). The terminus ante quem consists precisely of the report sent by Vischer to Henzen (56).

Image
Fig. 8. BASEL, Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig, Alter Bestand o. n. 26, recto. (Photo: R. Habegger).

Image
Fig. 9. BASEL, Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig, Alter Bestand o. n. 26, verso. (Photo: R. Habegger).

In the aforementioned meeting of the Instituto Henzen he again reported that, in addition to the bronze artifacts preserved in Basel, others were also known, in the possession of Heinrich Schreiber, senior professor of History at the University of Freiburg in Breisgau (57). On his death, which occurred in 1872, he bequeathed his collections to the city where he had taught (58). Indeed, in a coeval handwritten inventory the presence of at least two inscribed laminas appears, one of which is undoubtedly identifiable as an example of CIL XI, 209 *, 1 (59). During the twentieth century, however, the collection was dispersed and divided between various Friborg institutions, such as the Augustinermuseum, the Prehistoric Museum (Museum für Urgeschichte, which was in turn suppressed and partially merged into the Archäologisches Museum Colombischlössle) and the City Archive (Stadtarchiv) (60). So far it has not been possible to identify the location of the flaps that belonged to Schreiber, given that they are still available.

4. Concluding remarks

The study of the bronze sheet preserved in the Provincial Museum of Torcello has brought to light an unexpected scenario. The doubts about the authenticity of the small inscribed artefact, already expressed in the past, were supported by a new autopsy examination and confirmed by the identification of numerous other laminates of similar manufacture. These findings have been unanimously judged false by epigraphic criticism, also due to the serial nature that distinguishes them. In fact, as has been found in the course of this essay, only eight or perhaps nine specimens of the small plate with a dedication to Drusus Minor are documented, of which a short summary list is provided for convenience, structured according to the order of presentation adopted in the previous pages:

1. laminetta belonging to the Provincial Museum of Torcello, apparently found in Torcello in 1908;

2. laminetta reported to a Parisian antiquarian in the nineties of the last century, of which Antonio Sartori has published the reproduction of a cast in relief in aluminum foil;

3. laminetta that belonged to Francesco Ignazio Merlini Calderini, of which he provided a printed reproduction to the colombari members in September 1763;

4. laminetta that belonged to Giovanni Baldovinetti, of whom he provided a plaster cast to the Colombarian Academy in April 1763;

5. laminetta reported by Eugen Bormann at the Archaeological Civic Museum of Bologna and formerly belonging to the University Museum of the same city;

6. laminetta kept at the National Archaeological Museum Gaio Cilnio Mecenate of Arezzo, already reported by Eugen Bormann and apparently found in Arezzo in 1865;

7. laminetta preserved in the Museo Arqueológico Nacional in Madrid, from which it was acquired in 1876 together with the collection of Don Tomás de Asensi;

8. flap kept at the Antikenmuseum in Basel, already reported by Wilhelm Vischer in February 1860;

9. flap owned by Heinrich Schreiber in Friborg, reported by Vischer himself in February 1860 (it is not certain, however, that it bore the same text engraved on the Torcello flap).

At the current state of research, only four of these laminas can be located with certainty: these are those preserved in the museums of Torcello, Arezzo, Madrid and Basel, of which photographic reproductions have been provided approx. It is possible that other specimens will be identified in the future, just as it is not excluded that some of those listed here actually correspond to the same find, which would be documented in different phases of its collecting history (61).

From this point of view, the results of the research conducted so far can only be considered partial. It remains to be determined, first of all, the identity of the character who produced the series of laminette, as well as the time and place in which he acted. With regard to this latter aspect, it seems plausible to attribute the genesis of the bronze finds to the Tuscan context and not to the Roman one, as instead implicitly suggested by the inclusion of the Bolognese specimen in the sixth volume of the CIL dedicated to the inscriptiones falsae ( 62). The presence of the first laminates known to us in the collections of the members of the Colombarian Academy shortly after the mid-eighteenth century suggests that their creation is due to a forger active at that time in the Medici city (63).

Also with regard to the aims of the creation of the flaps there are many points that remain to be clarified. Lately, the topic of epigraphic falsification has been dealt with several times by sector bibliographies, which not only examined numerous specific cases, but also focused on the various reasons underlying this phenomenon (64). In this regard, in a very recent contribution, Alfredo Buonopane has convincingly proposed to recognize the existence of three distinct categories: that of forgeries in the strict sense (i.e. of deliberately counterfeited inscriptions and for malicious purposes), that of copies and that of reworkings or pastiches (65). In our specific case, however, the intentions of the counterfeiter are not yet determinable with precision: if on the one hand the initial conviction that the flails flaunted by the colombari partners were authentic would lead to the presumption of the existence of a fraud devised against them (or with their involvement). possible trade, not antiques, but collectibles or tourism end of the eighteenth century "(66). In any case, the recognition of the non-authenticity of the laminetta kept in Torcello necessarily leads to reject the news of its alleged discovery near the cathedral of the island and to seek new information on its acquisition by the Provincial Museum.

In the future, therefore, a number of questions will have to be addressed which still remain unanswered. Specifically, it will be necessary to try to understand: whether all the foils attested together with those with a dedication to Drusus Minor are the result of a conscious counterfeiting; whether their mass production dates back to the same period or can be ascribed to different circumstances and locations; whether or not their various owners were aware of owning fake items; whether the epigraphic texts usually engraved on the recto of small bronze artifacts more or less faithfully reflect the content of authentic inscriptions and whether the initials on the reverse have a specific meaning that has not been deciphered up to now; whether other ancient sources can also be included among the models of inspiration, such as legends of coins or literary testimonies.

In relation to the single exhibit to which this essay is dedicated, the opinion of the editors of the sixth volume of the CIL is noted, according to which the text of the laminetta would have been reproduced starting from the central lines of a genuine honorary plate of the Tiberian era, found in Rome in 1665 and now kept in Palazzo del Drago in Via delle Quattro Fontane (67). The epigraph was actually already well known in the eighteenth century, as it was included in the printed syllogs of Spon and Fabretti, published respectively in 1685 and 1702 (68). Another written document that could have served as a model for the text engraved on the recto of the small bronze artifact is a dedication to Drusus Minor from Segobriga in Hispania Tarraconensis (69), already published in Gruter's Corpus absolutissimum, printed in Heidelberg at the beginning of the seventeenth century (70). This last collection enjoyed, as is well known, a very wide circulation in the following centuries and also served in other cases as a repertoire of archetypes which, for the most varied reasons, were then copied onto a stone support (71). Finally, it cannot be excluded that the flap was exemplified starting from the legends of some coins of the Tiberian or Fl avian era, which are distinguished not only by the same title attributed to the son of Tiberius, but also by the explicit dedication on a resolution of the Senate (an aspect that is absent in the epigraphic testimonies) (72). These coins were widely known in the eighteenth century, as evidenced by their presence in the main numismatic repertoires of the time (73). An examination of the archival documentation certifies, for example, that some specimens were also owned by the first members of the Accademia Colombaria (74).

In the face of a still very wide range of possibilities, the research work must temporarily stop. Only an investigation extended to all the other bronze inscribed plates reported from time to time together with the one with a dedication to Drusus Minor can perhaps provide a definitive clarification on the events relating to the creation and dissemination of these artifacts, which appear repeatedly in the volumes of the CIL and which often lie, as we have seen, hidden or set aside in various Italian and European museums. In other words, as Henzen already warned in 1860, of these finds, hitherto substantially neglected, "it would be important to bring together all the specimens known to exist, with exact information on their provenance" (75). This proposal certainly deserves to be the subject of future in-depth study.
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Re: FREDA BEDI CONT'D (#4)

Postby admin » Sat Oct 22, 2022 1:04 am

Part 2 of 3

_______________

Notes:

(1) Torcello (VE), Provincial Museum, inv. 1910a-b; see CONTON 1909a, pp. 9-12, 19; CONTON 1909b, p. 25; CALLEGARI 1930, p. 25 n. 57; BUCHI 1993, pp. 153-154 n. IR 3 (AEp 1993, 755); BUCHI 1994; SARTORI 2008 (AEp 2008, 264).

(2) CONTON 1909a, p. 9. On the figure of Luigi Conton (1866-1954), still little studied, see ZORZI 1981; FOGOLARI 1993, pp. 11-12.

(3) CONTON 1909b, p. 25; cf. CALLEGARI 1930, p. 25: "found at the Torcello cathedral in 1908".

(4) In reality it is difficult to determine which of the two faces of the inscription is to be considered the recto and which the back: cf. in this regard SARTORI 2008, p. 582. By convention, the same approach to the text adopted by the previous publishers has been accepted here.

(5) See BUCHI 1994, pp. 304-306. On Drusus Minor and on the funeral honors attributed to him and to Germanicus see most recently BUONOPANE 2010, with extensive bibliographers in the previous one.

(6) See TAC. ann. 4, 9: Memoriae Drusi eadem quae in Germanicum decernuntur, plerisque additis, ut ferme amat posterior adulatio.

(7) See CONTON 1909a, p. 10: "Me (renti) p (ublicas) l (audes) d (e) d (it)"; CALLEGARI 1930, p. 25 n. 57: "Me (renti) / p (ublicas) l (audes) d (e) d (it)"; cf. also BUCHI 1993, pp. 153-154 n. IR 3, which proposes the alternative dissolution Me (renti) or Me (moriae) p (ublicas) l (audes) d (are) d (ebeto) or Me (renti) or Me (moriae) p (ublicos) l ( udos) d (are) d (stupid).

(8) See DI STEFANO MANZELLA 1987, p. 155.

(9) See formerly CONTON 1909a, p. 9: "This small bronze is an archaeological rarity, not so much for its historical content as for its shape!"

(10) See SARTORI 2008, p. 585.

(11) See SARTORI 2008, p. 582: Druso Caesari / Ti (beri) Aug (usti) f (ilio) divi / Aug (usti) n (epoti) / (ex) s (enatus) c (onsulto). // ME / P. L • DD. The finds were seen "in the early nineties of the last century" at "an antiquarian in Paris", who released some "relief casts in aluminum foil, the one used in the kitchen to wrap, protected by layers of wadding inside a impromptu boxes "(SARTORI 2008, p. 581).

(12) For the identification of the model of this flap see formerly SARTORI 2008, p. 584.

(13) CIL VI, 31274, cf. pp. 4341, 4390, 4392. The critical apparatus of the CIL notes that the existence of an apocryphal copy on bronze of this epigraph had already been reported by Gaetano Marini in his manuscript cards kept at the Vatican Apostolic Library: "Exemplum novicium in lamina ahenea litteris anaglyphis neglegenter exaratum nescio ubi vidit Marini '.

(14) CIL XI, 209 *. On the work done by Eugen Bormann (1842-1917) for the CIL, with particular attention to the sites of Bononia and Sarsina, see WEBER 1989; WEBER 1991.

(15) The indication appears to derive from CANTINI 1800, p. 92. On the author of the work, the Florentine scholar Lorenzo Cantini (1765-1839), see D'ORAZI FLAVONI 1975; elsewhere Bormann defined the character "impudentissimus falsarius" (CIL XI, p. 305).

(16) CIL XI, 209 *, 1: «.. Germanic Nero Drusus | Germanic caesari | geamanici | caesaris f. casaris | and | aus ob. Not. august || imp ". The transcription of the find coincides exactly with that inferable from the cast on aluminum sheet reproduced by SARTORI 2008, p. 582 fi g. 2.

(17) CIL XI, 209 *, 2.

(18) On Merlini Calderini (1718-1767) see Novelle 1768, coll. 786-787; CAPPONI 1883, p. 274; the Pistoian was elected external member of the Colombarian Academy on 6 February 1749 with the academic name "Arguto": cf. SORBI 2001, p. 29 n. 100. For a history of the early years of Colombaria, see Colombaria 1735-1985; ERMINI 2003, with previous bibliographers.

(19) Cf. CIL XI, 209 *: "Br. Ignatius Merlini Calderini, qui coemerat, imagines in folio exprimendas curavit, cuius unum exemplum est in ms. company. columbariae annal. XIX ». For the documents consulted by Bormann at the Accademia Colombaria see CIL XI, p. 305 n. YOU.

(20) Almost the entire archive and a large part of the Colombaria library were destroyed when they were in the headquarters in Via de 'Bardi 32, demolished by the mines that the fleeing German army blew up on the night between 3 and 4 August 1944 to block access to the Ponte Vecchio: cf. SPANISH 1993, p. 79; ERMINI 2003, pp. 78-79. Fortunately, the bibliographic reference provided by Bormann (see previous note) contains a providential typo: the volume of the Annals to which the scholar intended to allude was not the nineteenth, perished during the Second World War, but the XXIX, which escaped destruction. On the Annals of Colombaria see ERMINI 2003, pp. 75-87.

(21) Florence, Tuscan Academy of Sciences and Letters «La Colombaria», Archive, Annals, vol. XXIX, f. 5v; cf. DORINI 1913-1914, pp. 20-26, in part. p. 22. I would like to warmly thank Dr. Vaima Gelli for having facilitated my research at the Library of the Colombarian Academy with great competence and extraordinary availability.

(22) On Giuseppe Pelli Bencivenni (1729-1808) see ZAPPERI 1966; TIMPANARO MORELLI 1976, pp. VII-XIV. Pelli Bencivenni, like Merlini Calderini, was also elected a member of the Accademia Colombaria on February 6, 1749: cf. SORBI 2001, p. 29 n. 99.

(23) It is likely that the reproduction was found inside the Hopper (collection of drawings and other documents that were discussed in the Colombaria gatherings) relating to vol. XXIX of the Annals, destroyed in 1944.

(24) Florence, Tuscan Academy of Sciences and Letters «La Colombaria», Archive, Annals, vol. XXVIII, p. 40.

(25) Giovanni di Poggio Baldovinetti (1695-1772), a prominent figure of 18th-century Florentine culture, had set up a private collection of considerable importance; although mainly focused on numismatics and sphragistics, it also included some Etruscan and Roman bronzes: see BRUNI 2004, pp. 9-18, in part. p. 17; cf. also ROMANELLI 2000, pp. XVII-XVIII, 150. For the election of Baldovinetti as external partner of the Colombarian Academy, which took place on January 28, 1759, see SORBI 2001, p. 32 n. 216.

(26) Florence, Tuscan Academy of Sciences and Letters «La Colombaria», Archive, Annals, vol. XXVIII, p. 40: "See Annual XXIX at 5v".

(27) CIL XI, 209 *, 1-4.

(28) Cf. CIL XI, 209 *: "Qui has et similes tabellas fecit falsarius expressit fere inscriptiones genuinas, complura autem fecit exemplaria".

(29) ASFi, Pelli Bencivenni Giuseppe letters, fi lza VIII 1763; cf. TIMPANARO MORELLI 1976, ad indicem.

(30) On Margherita by Luca Baldovinetti Gambereschi (1693-1767) see ROMANELLI 2000, p. XVII.

(31) CIL XI, 105 *.

(32) CIL XI, 105 *, 5.

(33) Cf. CIL XI, 105 *: "Fuerunt ante in museo universitatis, nunc in publico". Since the Archaeological Civic Museum of Bologna, in which the collections of the University Museum merged, was inaugurated in 1881, it should be deduced that Bormann had carried out the autopsy of the finds between 1881 and 1888, the year of publication of the first tome of the 'eleventh volume of the CIL. It is not excluded, however, that the German scholar had already been able to view the laminette in the course of his previous stays in Bologna, on which see WEBER 1989. On the history of the formation of the Civic Archaeological Museum, see the contributions collected in MORIGI GOVI - SASSATELLI 1984.

(34) I am grateful to Marinella Marchesi and Daniela Picchi for the checks carried out at my request in the collections of the Civic Archaeological Museum of Bologna.

(35) CIL VI, 3561 *.

(36) Cf. CIL XI, 209 *: "Inscriptionis 2 aliud vel idem exemplum servatur nunc in the Arretino Museum".

(37) Arezzo, National Archaeological Museum Gaius Cilnio Mecenate, inv. 12229. I am deeply grateful to Dr. Silvia Vilucchi, director of the Museum, and to Dr. Sara Faralli for the pertinacity with which they searched for and identified the laminetta.

(38) See ZAMARCHI GRASSI - BARTOLI 1987, pp. 16-17; FARALLI 2009.

(39) Arezzo, National Archaeological Museum Gaio Cilnio Mecenate, Archive of the Fraternity of the laity, Pasqui file.

(40) See FARALLI 2009, pp. 49-53.

(41) One of the main private collections acquired by the Archaeological Museum of Arezzo in the nineteenth century is that of the Bacci family: see DROANDI 2003; FARALLI 2005-2006.

(42) See GIMENO PASCUAL 2006, p. 382 note 72.

(43) Madrid, Museo Arqueológico Nacional, inv. 10104.

(44) I sincerely thank Helena Gimeno Pascual for sharing with me her sheet of the laminetta kept at the Museo Arqueológico Nacional in Madrid.

(45) On Tomás de Asensi and his collection, which the widow Rosario de Laiglesia sold to the Spanish state between 1876 and 1878, see GONZÁLEZ SÁNCHEZ 1993; PAZ YANES 1995. Remember that Nice belonged to the Kingdom of Sardinia until 1860.

(46) PAZ YANES 1995, p. 8.

(47) See most recently RUCINSKI 2011, with extensive bibliographers in the preceding.

(48) See for demonstration SUET. Aug. 41, 2; Ner. 11, 2. On the subject see VIRLOUVET 1995.

(49) The contributions that Michail Rostowzew published before his transfer to the United States (ROSTOWZEW 1903; ROSTOWZEW 1905) are still fundamental for a catalog of the different types of leaded tesserae and an interpretative synthesis.

(50) On Wilhelm Henzen (1816-1887) see BLANCK 2003; more recently see also BLANCK 2009.

(51) I am grateful to Dr. Thomas Fröhlich for allowing me to consult the Henzenian correspondence file kept at the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut Rom.

(52) HENZEN 1860, p. 37. On the work of Wilhelm Vischer (1808-1874) in Basel, see VISCHER 1958; WYSS 1962.

(53) Basel, Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig, Alter Bestand o. n. 26. I am grateful to the director dott. Andrea Bignasca and the curator dott. Esau Dozio for the invaluable help they provided me during my research.

(54) HENZEN 1860, p. 38 note 1 n. 4.

(55) The inventory card relating to one of the laminas (bearing a copy of CIL VI, 1316, of which false copies on bronze are also reported in CIL XI, 44a * and CIL XI, 105 *, 3) indicates as provenance "Antiquarin Wolf ".

(56) The original of the letter cannot be found in the Archives of the Germanic Archaeological Institute in Rome.

(57) HENZEN 1860, p. 38 note 1: «The very clear Vischer wrote to us at the same time possessing some similar tablets the prof. Schreiber of Freiburg ». For a brief biographers of Heinrich Schreiber (1793-1872) see GRAF 2007.

(58) At least initially, access to these collections had to be particularly difficult for scholars; cf. ECKER 1880, Vorwort, note *: «Schreiber hat seine Sammlungtestamentarisch der Stadt Freiburg vermacht; es steht daher dieselbe unter der Hut eines städtischen Archivars und es ist den Universitätslehrern, die sich mit diesen Gegenständen befassen, insbesusione also Prof. H. Fischer und mir, bisher nicht vergönnt gewesen, dieselbe ungehindert benutzen zu können ".

(59) «Bronzetafel mit gleicher Inschrift; dto. mit lateinischer Inschrift: Germanico Neroni Drusus (ob ächt) ». The inventory is kept at the Augustinermuseum in Freiburg. Thank you very much to Dr. Gerhard Dangel (Städtische Museen Freiburg - Augustinermuseum) for this report.

(60) I am grateful to Dr. Jens-Arne Dickmann (Archäologische Sammlung der Albert- Ludwigs-Universität) and Dr. Hans Oelze (Archäologisches Museum Colombischlössle) for the findings made on my behalf in Freiburg. I also thank Dr. Alessandra Gilibert (Freie Universität Berlin) for helping me to relate to German institutions.

(61) Think of the laminetta kept at the Antikenmuseum in Basel, distinguished, like the one previously owned by Francesco Ignazio Merlini Calderini, by the presence of only one D in the final line of the verso.

(62) CIL VI, 3561 *; cf. formerly HENZEN 1860, p. 38 note 1: "provenance that Vischer most likely brings back to Rome".

(63) On the presence of counterfeit, pseudo-ancient and 'old-fashioned' works in the Tuscan collections between the 17th and 18th centuries, see FARALLI 2007, with further bibliographers a. On the subject of falsification, the considerations of PAUL 1985 remain valid.

(64) To limit ourselves to the contributions of recent years, I would like to point out KORHONEN 2010; MAYER I OLIVÈ 2011; SOLIN 2012; BUONOPANE 2014; ORLANDI - CALDELLI - GREGORI 2014; SOLIN 2014. For the specifi c case of forgeries on bronze support see. BUBBLE 2014.

(65) BUONOPANE 2014, p. 293.

(66) SARTORI 2008, p. 585.

(67) CIL VI, 910, 31198, cf. p. 4304, rr. 3-4: Druso Caesari Ti (beri) Augusti f (ilio), / Dì vì Augusti n (epoti).

(68) See SPON 1685, p. 266; FABRETTI 1702, p. 395 n. 276, p. 683 n. 72.

(69) CIL II, 3103: Drusus Cae / sar (i) Ti (beri) f (ilio) Au / tastes n (epoti) divi / pron (epoti) / [L (ucius)] Turellius / L (uci) f (ilius) Geminus / aed (ilis) d (e) s (ua) p (ecunia); cf. ALMAGRO BASCH 1984, p. 24.

(70) See GRUTER 1603, p. 236 n. 6-7.

(71) See formerly BILLANOVICH 1967.

(72) See RIC 42 (sestertius of 22-23 AD with legend DRVSVS CAESAR TI AVG F DIVI AVG N PONT TR POT II around the central initials S C), RIC 45 (axis of 21-22 AD with legend DRVSVS CAESAR TI AVG F DIVI AVG N on the front and PONTIF TRIBVN POTEST ITER around the central code S C on the reverse); RIC II, 414-415 (axes minted during the principality of Titus, with the legend DRVSVS CAESAR TI AVG F DIVI AVG N on the front and IMP T CAES DIVI VESP F AVG REST around the central initials S C on the reverse).

(73) See by way of demonstration RASCHE 1785, coll. 463-468, with extensive bibliographers in the preceding. I am grateful to Tomaso Maria Lucchelli for this report.

(74) Some "medals" with a legend mentioning Drusus Minor that belonged to the colombari members are commented on in the so-called Sunti del Tarpato, a collection of fourteen manuscript volumes, written between 1735 and 1753 by Andrea Da Verrazzano (known with the academic name of " Tarpato ») and containing detailed descriptions of the objects presented during the meetings of the Colombaria: cf. ERMINI 2003, p. 79 note 16. By way of demonstration see Florence, Tuscan Academy of Sciences and Letters «La Colombaria», Archive, Sunti del Tarpato, vol. II, pp. 74, 85-86, 94; vol. VII, pp. 392-393. I am grateful to Vaima Gelli for this report.

(75) HENZEN 1860, p. 38 note 1.

ABBREVIATIONS

ASFi = State Archives of Florence.
DBI = Biographical Dictionary of Italians, Rome 1960-.
NDB = Neue deutsche Biographie, Berlin 1953-.
RIC = The Roman Imperial Coinage, London, 1923-.

The abbreviations of L’Année philologique have been adopted for periodical publications.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

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BILLANOVICH, 1967 M.P. BILLANOVICH, False epigraphs, «IMU», 10, 1967, pp. 25-110.

BLANCK, 2003 H. BLANCK, Henzen, Wilhelm, in DBI, LXI, Rome 2003, pp. 680-683.

BLANCK, 2009 H. BLANCK (edited by), The sciences of antiquity in the nineteenth century: the correspondence between Adolphe Noel des Vergers and the secretaries of the Institute of archaeological correspondence Wilhelm Henzen and Heinrich Brunn, Argelato (BO) 2009.

BOLLA, 2014 M. BOLLA, Hints on falsifications in bronzes, in Instrumenta inscripta V. Signacula ex Aer. Epigraphic, archaeological, juridical, prosopographical, collecting aspects, Proceedings of the International Conference, edited by A. Buonopane and S. Braito, Rome 2014.

BRUNI, 2004 S. BRUNI (edited by), The Majnoni-Baldovinetti Collection of the Civic Museum of Montopoli in Valdarno, Ospedaletto (PI) 2004.

BUONOPANE, 2010 A. BUONOPANE, Germanicus and Drusus in a new inscription by Vicetia (Regio X) ?, in The Roman tribes, Acts of the XVIe Rencontre sur l'épigraphie (Bari, 8-10 October 2009), edited by M. Silvestrini, Bari 2010, pp. 401-404.

BUONOPANE, 2014 A. BUONOPANE, The dark side of the epigraph collections - which: fakes, copies, imitations. A case study: the Lazise-Gazzola collection, in DONATI 2014, pp. 291-313.

BUCHI, 1993 E. BUCHI, Roman Inscriptions, in FOGOLARI 1993, pp. 152-157.

BUCHI, 1994 E. BUCHI, Drusus Kaisar Ti. Aug. f. in an opisthograph sheet of Torcello (VE), in Archeology studies of the X regio in memory of Michele Tombolani, edited by B.M. Scarfì, Rome 1994 (Studia archaeologica, 70), pp. 303- 309.

CALLEGARI, 1930 A. CALLEGARI, The Provincial Museum of Torcello, Venice 1930.

CANTINI, 1800 L. CANTINI, Inscriptions found in the records of the Colombian Academy of Florence, I, Florence 1800.

CAPPONI, 1883 V. CAPPONI, Biographers in Pistoiese, Pistoia 1883.

CARLSON, 1975 C.W.A. CARLSON, Congiaria and Liberalitates, «San», 6, 1975, pp. 59-63.

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CONTON, 1909a L. CONTON, Two recently discovered ancient inscriptions, "Ateneo Veneto", 32, 1909, pp. 5-12.

CONTON, 1909b L. CONTON, Rarity of the Torcello Museums, Venice 1909.

DI STEFANO MANZELLA, 1987 I. DI STEFANO MANZELLA, Profession of epigraphs. Guides for the filing of stone epigraphs, Rome 1987.

DONATI, 2014 A. DONATI (edited by), Enrollment and its double, Proceedings of the 2013 Borghesi Convention, Faenza 2014.

D’ORAZI FLAVONI, 1975 F. D’ORAZI FLAVONI, Cantini, Lorenzo, in DBI, 18, 1975, pp. 294-297.

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DROANDI, 2003 I. DROANDI, Nineteenth-century inventories of the Bacci Collection from the Borghini Baldovinetti private archive in Arezzo, "Annali Aretini", 11, 2003, pp. 117-162.

ECKER, 1880 A. ECKER, Freiburg i. B. Catalog der anthropologischen Sammlungen der Universität, Braunschweig 1880 (Die anthropologischen Sammlungen Deutschlands, 3).

ERMINI, 2003 M. ERMINI, Tuscan culture in the early eighteenth century and the origin of the Florentine Colombian Society, Florence 2003.

FABRETTI, 1702 R. FABRETTI, Inscriptionum antiquarum explicatio, Rome 1702.

FARALLI, 2005-2006 S. FARALLI, Bronze materials from the Bacci Collection of Arezzo in the Archaeological Museum of Arezzo, «AMAP», 67- 68, 2005-2006, pp. 65-95.

FARALLI, 2007 S. FARALLI, Antiques in Arezzo between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, "Bulletin of the Brigade of the Friends of the Monuments of Arezzo", June 2007, pp. 8-16.

FARALLI, 2009 S. FARALLI, For a history of discoveries and research on ancient Arezzo in the nineteenth century, in Arezzo in Antiquity, edited by G. Camporeale and G. Firpo, Rome 2009, pp. 26-32.

FOGOLARI, 1993 G. FOGOLARI (edited by), The Torcello Museum. Bronzes, ceramics, ancient marbles, Venice 1993.

GIMENO PASCUAL, 2006 H. GIMENO PASCUAL, Inscriptiones Italiae in Hispaniam advectae Museo Arqueológico Nacional servatae, in The Resistance of the Military, edited by L. Ceci, Rome 2006 (Annals of the Department of History. University of Rome "Tor Vergata" , 2), pp. 361-387.

GONZÁLEZ SÁNCHEZ, 1993 C. GONZÁLEZ SÁNCHEZ, Colección Asensi, in De Gabinete a Museo, tres siglos de historia, Museo Arqueológico Nacional, Madrid 1993, pp. 362-367.

GRAF, 2007 F.W. GRAF, Schreiber, Johann Nepomuk Heinrich, in NDB, 23, 2007, pp. 532-533.

GRUTER, 1603 J. GRUTER, Inscriptiones antiquae totius orbis Romani in corpus absolutissimum redactae, Heidelberg 1603.

KORHONEN, 2010 K. KORHONEN, Copied, not invented. The epigraph falsifications that of Capua, in The Mediterranean and the history. Epigraphs and archeology in Campania: historical readings, Proceedings of the International Study Meeting, edited by L. Chioffi, Naples 2010, pp. 131-143.

MAYER I OLIVÈ, 2011 M. MAYER I OLIVÈ, Creación, imitación and reutilización de epigrafes antiguos: a discrete huella de la historia de las mentalidades, in El monument epigráfi co en contextos secundarios. Procesos de reutilización, interpretación y falsificación, edited by J. Carbonell Manils, H. Gimeno Pascualflails and J.L. Moralejo Alvarez, Barcelona 2011, pp. 139-159.

MORIGI GOVI - SASSATELLI, C. MORIGI GOVI - G. SASSATELLI (edited by), From the 1984 Stan of Antiquities to the Civic Museum: history of the formation of the Civic Archaeological Museum of Bologna, Bologna 1984. Novellas 1768 Literary novels published in Florence the year MDCCLXVIII, vol. XXIX, Florence 1768.

ORLANDI - CALDELLI - GREGORI, 2014 S. ORLANDI - M.L. CALDELLI - G.L. GREGORI, Forgeries and Fakes, in The Oxford Handbook of Roman Epigraphy, edited by C. Bruun, J. Edmondson, Oxford - New York 2014, pp. 42-65.

PAUL, 1985 E. PAUL, Falsification of antiquities in Italy from the Renaissance to the end of the 18th century, in Memory of the Antiquity in Italian Art, edited by S. Settis, II, Turin 1985, pp. 415-439.

PAZ YANES, 1995 C. PAZ YANES, Don Tomás de Asensi: history of a life and a collection, "Boletín del Museo Arqueológico Nacional", 13, 1995, pp. 5-11.

RASCHE, 1785 J.C. RASCHE, Lexicon universae rei numariae veterum et praecipue Graecorum ac Romanorum, II / 1, Leipzig 1785.

ROMANELLI, 2000 R. ROMANELLI (edited by), Inventory of the Baldovinetti Tolomei archive, Rome 2000.

ROSTOWZEW, 1903 M. ROSTOWZEW (edited by), Tesserarum urbis Romae et suburbi plumbearum sylloge, St. Petersburg 1903 [reprint Leipzig 1975].

ROSTOWZEW, 1905 M. ROSTOWZEW, Römische Bleitesserae. Ein Beitrag zur Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte der römischen Kaiserzeit, Leipzig 1905.

RUCINSKI, 2011 S. RUCINSKI, Curatores ludorum à la base de tesserae spectaculis, in Studia Lesco Mrozewicz ab amicis et discipulis dedicated, edited by S. Rucinski, C. Balbuza, Ch. Królczyk, Poznan 2011, pp. 345-358.

SARTORI, 2008 A. SARTORI, Between Torcello and Paris ..., in the East enim ille fl os Italiae. Economic and social life in the Roman Cisalpina, Proceedings of the study days in honor of Ezio Buchi (Verona, 30 November - 1 December 2006), edited by A. Buonopane, P. Basso, A. Cavarzere and S. Pesavento Mattioli, Verona 2008, pp. 581-585.

SOLIN, 2012 H. SOLIN, False epigraphs, in The Roman epigraphy of china in memory of Giancarlo Susini, edited by A. Donati and G. Poma, Faenza 2012, pp. 139-151.

SOLIN, 2014 H. SOLIN, False epigraphs II, in DONATI 2014, pp. 227- 242.

SORBI, 2001 L. SORBI, The Tuscan Academy of Sciences and Letters "La Colombaria" 1735-2000, Florence 2001.

SPAGNESI, 1993 E. SPAGNESI, The collections of the «Colombaria», I, Incunabuli, Florence 1993.

SPON, 1685 J. SPON, Miscellanea eruditae antiquitatis, Lyon 1685.

TIMPANARO MORELLI, 1976 M.A. TIMPANARO MORELLI (edited by), Letters to Giuseppe Pelli Bencivenni: 1747-1808. Inventory and documents, Rome 1976.

TORELLI, 2004 M. TORELLI, Atrium Minervae. Symbology of a monument and ceremoniality of the congiarium, «ARG», 6, 2004, pp. 63-109.

VIRLOUVET, 1995 C. VIRLOUVET, Wheat card. Les procédures de distribution du blé public à Rome à la fi n de la République et au début de l'Empire, Rome 1995.

VISCHER, 1958 E. VISCHER (edited by), Wilhelm Vischer, Gelehrter und Ratsherr, 1808-1874, im Spiegel seiner Korrespondenz mit Rudolf Rauchenstein, Basel 1958.

WEBER, 1989 E. WEBER, L’impresa epigrafi ca di Eugen Bormann, in Il contributo dell’Università di Bologna alla storia della città: l’evo antico, Atti del convegno (Bologna, 11-12 marzo 1988), a cura di G.A. Mansuelli e G. Susini, Bologna 1989, pp. 333-342.

WEBER, 1991 E. WEBER, Eugen Bormann e le iscrizioni di Sarsina, «RSA», 21, 1991, pp. 87-95.

WYSS, 1962 B. WYSS, Wilhelm Vischer-Bilfi nger (1808-1874) und das philologische Seminar der Universität Basel, «MH», 19, 1962, pp. 225-231.

ZAMARCHI GRASSI - BARTOLI, 1987 P. ZAMARCHI GRASSI - D. BARTOLI, Il Museo Archeologico Nazionale G. C. Mecenate di Arezzo, Firenze 1987.

ZAPPERI, 1966 R. ZAPPERI, Bencivenni Pelli, Giuseppe, in DBI, 8, 1966, pp. 219-222.

ZORZI, 1981 E. ZORZI, Luigi Conton pescatore di ceramiche, in L. CONTON, Le antiche ceramiche veneziane scoperte nella laguna / Antique Venetian Ceramics Discovered in the Lagoon, Venezia 1981, pp. 7-18.

* * *

EPIGRAPHICA

ARISTIDE CALDERINI and GIANCARLO SUSINI

Management: Angela DONATI, Manager

Maria BOLLINI, Co-Director
Attilio MASTINO, Co-Director

Scientific Committee:

Alain BRESSON, Bordeaux
Francesca CENERINI, Bologna
Mare MAYER, Barcelona
Stephen MITCHELL, Exeter
Joan FISO, Cluj
Antonio SARTORI, Milan
Christian WITSCHEL, Heidelberg

The Management also avails itself of a large international reading committee to which it submits, according to specific skills and anonymously, the articles received.

Collaborate in the editing:
Alda CALBI, Valeria CICALA,
Piergiorgio FLORIS, Paola GIACOMINI,
Daniela RIGATO, Patrizia TABARONI,
Livio ZERBINI

Patronage:
Association Internationale d'Épigraphie
Grecque et Latine (A.I.E.G.L.)

http://www.epigraphica.org

© 2015 Fratelli Lega Editori, Faenza
EPIGRAPHIC

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL
OF EPIGRAPHY

LXXVII, 1-2
2015

FRATELLI LEGA EDITORI
FAENZA

Image

EPIGRAPHICA
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF EPIGRAPHY
LXXVII, 2015

INDEX


Francesca ROCCA, The liberation of the schiavi and the theater ................................ p. 9

Alessia DIMARTINO, L'epistola di Ierone II e l'orkion boulas (IG XIV, 7): a new epigraphic dossier?............... ............................................ » 39

Noemí MONCUNILL MARTÍ, The Iberian lead plaque in the Víctor Català collection (Empúries, L’Escala). A new study and edition ...................... » 67

María LIMÓN BELÉN, Concepción FERNÁNDEZ MARTÍNEZ, On the authenticity of the Fibula of Preneste. The evidence of the text and its scientific confirmation ........................................... ........................................... » 85

Julián GONZÁLEZ FERNÁNDEZ, Tabella defixionis from the 1st century B.C. found in the portal (province of Cádiz) ......................................... ..... » 103

Carolina CORTÉS BÁRCENA, Riflessioni del cippo di confine di Bevke (AEp 2002, 532) alla luce di termini tra comunità appartenenti a province diverse....................... ........................................................... ........................... » 117

Lorenzo CALVELLI, La laminetta bronzea di Druso Minore preserved at the Museo Provinciale di Torcello: a false smascherato.............................. » 133

Michel CHRISTOL, Une inscription du «quotidien municipal» dans la colonie d'Antioche de Pisidie ​​.................................. ................................... » 159

Khaled MARMOURI, Ob liberalitatem annuam perpetuam epulativam. Une nouvelle souscription publique d’Afrique proconsulaire ........................ » 173

Ulrike Ehmig, Ausschlussverfahren: Eine Gruppe italischer Grabinschriften als Beispiel sozialer Überassimilierung in der römischen Kaiserzeit ...... » 193

Yann Le Bohec, Raid sur El-Agueneb.............................................. .................... » 207

John LEWIS. External evidence and the reconstruction of missing texts: CIL III, 256 as case study .................................. ........................................... » 221

Roberta DE VITA, A lottatore di Amastri sul Ponto in campania ............ » 229

Eleonora SALOMONE GAGGERO, Testimonianze di una nuova gens a Luni: gli Hortorii .................................... ........................................................... » 241

Bernard KAVANAGH, The cursus and possible origin of Sex. Appius Severus ................................................ ........................................................... ............. » 259

Marc MAYER I OLIVÉ, Concerning a new equestrian pedestal, AEp 2009, 652, recently found in Valencia. Considerations on the allii of Turris Libisonis ................................................ ............................. » 271

Ignazio TANTILLO, L. Amnivs …nivs Caesonivs Nicomachvs Anicivs Pavlinvs ...................................... ........................................................... ................... » 285

Claudia SQUINTU, The reason for accidental death in a poem from Lyon (CLE 1198 = CIL XIII, 2219) ............................. ..................................... »301

Maria Teresa SBLENDORIO CUGUSI, The Salonitan epigram longum CLE 1141 ...................................... .................................................. ........... "317

Filippo BOSCOLO, Roman Ateste: history and epigraphy in the last twenty years .................................... .................................................. ........................... "337

Manuel RAMÍREZ-SÁNCHEZ, Manel GARCÍA SÁNCHEZ, Sebastià GIRALT SOLER, Epigraphia 3D. A proyecto de innovación científica en the dissemination of the epigraphic heritage of Hispania ..................................... .................................................. .............. p. 371

* * *

Factsheets and news

Marco BUONOCORE, Epigraphic gleanings. IX ...................................... "397

Giulia TOZZI, A new Greek inscription from the 10th city hall of Rome ......... »423

Giorgio CRIMI, EDR's contribution to the CIL update: the dedicatory inscription of the Baths of Diocletian in the light of a new fragment ....................... .................................................. ....................................... "426

Angela DONATI, CIL VI, 12897 recovered .......................................... ........ "447

Antonino NASTASI, A "Numidian" epigraph on the Janiculum Hill. Giuseppe Gatti editor of a 1903 Latin inscription ....................................... ..... »448

Umberto SOLDOVIERI, Of a new funeral inscription from the Volcei estate (Regio III)) ................................. ................................................ "457

Gemma CORAZZA, New funerary inscriptions from Irpinia ......................... "459

Heikki SOLIN, Mika KAJAVA, Olli SALOMIES, Minturnian epigraphic stories ...................................... .................................................. ................ "466

Carlo MOLLE, An unpublished inscription and the Inside of Aquinum ....................... "483

Nice MONTANILE, On an unpublished inscription from Brundis ............................. "492

Silvia BRAITO, Attia Mulsula T. f. and "Tarquitia Mulsula": note on a ghost name of the instrumentum inscriptum ................................... ...................... »494

Agnes DI DONATO, The stele of C. Iulius Valens ....................................... . "497

Camilla CAMPEDELLI, Two unpublished 'Bauinschriften' from Thamugadi .............. "501

Mauro REALI, Stone and paper exhibition. Epigraphic books and epigraphs of the Ambrosiana, Pinacoteca Ambrosiana in Milan (from 27 May to 14 September 2014), edited by Antonio Sartori and Federico Gallo ........... "506

* * *

Bibliography

C. Fernández Martínez, M. Limón Belén, J. Gómez Pallarès, J. del Hoyo Calleja (ed.), Ex workshop. Literatura epigráfica en verso, Universidad de Sevilla, Sevilla 2013 (Mauro Reali) ............................. »513

Antonio Sartori, Loquentes lapides. The epigraphic collection of the Ambrosiana, Accademia Ambrosiana, Class of Greek and Latin Studies (Sources and studies 21), Milan, Bulzoni, 2014 (Alfredo Valv o) ................. ............................. "516

The statio. Archeology of a lieu de pouvoir dans l'empire romain, édité par Jérôme France, Jocel yne Nel is-Clément, Scripta Antiqua 66, Bordeaux 2014 (Angela Donati) ............... .......................................... »520

Riccardo Olivito, The forum in the atrium. Images of architecture, life and market scenes in the frieze from Praedia by Iulia Felix (Pompei, II, 4,3), Bari 2013 (Angela Donati) ................. .................................................. ....... »521

Bibliographic Announcements ................................................ ......................................... »523

* * *

Indices, edited by Angela DONATI ........................................... ........................ »525

I. Onomastic ............................................... ............................................ "527

II. Geographical ................................................. ......................................... »530

III. Notabiliora ................................................. .......................................... »532

IV. Balance tables ............................................... ............................ "535

List of collaborators ............................................... ...................................... »537


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Italian Original

La Laminetta Bronzea Di Druso Minore Conservata Al Museo Provinciale Di Torcello: Un Falso Smascherato (*[Oltre alle numerose persone ringraziate nelle singole note a piè di pagina sono riconoscente ai colleghi Alfredo Buonopane, Giovannella Cresci e Franco Luciani per aver letto la stesura fi nale di questo contributo e avermi aiutato con i loro consigli.])
by Lorenzo Calvelli
Epigraphica
LXXVII, 1-2, p. 133
2015

Riassunto

L’articolo esamina nel dettaglio una piccola laminetta bronzea appartenente alla collezione del Museo Provinciale di Torcello. Sulle due facce della laminetta si trova inciso un testo epigrafi co comprendente una dedica a Druso Minore, fi glio dell’imperatore Tiberio morto nel 23 d.C., e alcune abbreviazioni di diffi cile scioglimento. Sebbene per lungo tempo il reperto sia stato considerato autentico, studi recenti ne hanno invece messo in dubbio la genuinità. Tale sospetto è confermato dall’analisi dei caratteri intrinseci, che rivela caratteristiche anomale, nonché, soprattutto, dal confronto con altri manufatti. Ai precedenti editori era infatti sfuggito che diversi oggetti simili che trasmettono lo stesso testo furono censiti e considerati falsi dai curatori del Corpus inscriptionum Latinarum. Un’ampia ricognizione condotta su scala europea ha consentito di individuare laminette sostanzialmente identiche nei musei di Arezzo, Madrid e Basilea. Tali contraffazioni, prodotte probabilmente in Toscana attorno alla metà del XVIII secolo, recano iscritte parole e lettere che riproducono con leggere varianti i testi esistenti su epigrafi e monete autentiche.

Parole chiave: iscrizioni su bronzo; falsi epigrafi ci; Druso Minore; Museo Provinciale di Torcello; Museo Archeologico Nazionale Gaio Cilnio Mecenate di Arezzo; Museo Arqueológico Nacional de Madrid; Antikenmuseum Basel; Accademia Colombaria.

1. La laminetta di Torcello

Nella collezione archeologica del Museo Provinciale di Torcello si conserva una laminetta opistografa in bronzo di forma rettangolare che ha più volte richiamato l’attenzione degli studiosi (Figg. 1-2) (1). La sua prima segnalazione si deve a Luigi Conton, direttore della raccolta museale nei primi decenni del Novecento: in un articolo dato alle stampe nel 1909 lo studioso presentò una dettagliata analisi del reperto, riferendo che esso era stato rinvenuto «di recente nei pressi di Torcello» (2); in un’altra pubblicazione coeva egli precisava: «Questa piastrina di bronzo fu trovata a poca distanza dal duomo a un metro di profondità, l’anno 1908» (3).

Image
Fig. 1. TORCELLO (VE), Museo Archeologico Provinciale, inv. 1910a-b, recto (Foto: Provincia di Venezia).

Image
Fig. 2. TORCELLO (VE), Museo Archeologico Provinciale, inv. 1910a-b, verso (Foto: Provincia di Venezia).

Il reperto misura cm 2,9×6,5×0,3, pesa gr 44,5 e si trova attualmente esposto in una vetrina al piano superiore dell’antico Palazzo dell’Archivio, assieme ad altri manufatti metallici, perlopiù risalenti all’epoca romana. I bordi dell’oggetto sono integri e leggermente arrotondati sugli angoli; nella parte centrale del margine superiore è presente una vistosa scheggiatura di forma trapezoidale. Le due facce della laminetta recano incisa un’iscrizione a rilievo, ricavata mediante procedimento di fusione (e non di battitura) da una matrice negativa bivalve. Il testo segue un allineamento approssimativo e si sviluppa su quattro righe nel recto e su due righe nel verso (4). Le lettere hanno un’altezza variabile che oscilla fra cm 0,6 e 0,4 nel recto e cm 1,3 e 1 nel verso. La trascrizione che si propone a seguito di verifi ca autoptica (settembre 2014) è la seguente:

Druso Caisari,
Ti(beri) Aug(usti) f(ilio), divi
Aug(usti) n(epoti),
s(enatus) c(onsulto).//
Me(- - -)
p(- - -) l(- - -) d(- - -) d(- - -).
A Druso Cesare, fi glio di Tiberio Augusto, nipote del divino Augusto, per decreto del senato.//Me(- - -)p(- - -) l(- - -) d(- - -) d(- - -).


Entrambe le facce dell’iscrizione adottano un’impaginazione centrata e simmetricamente ben impostata. Nel testo sono presenti diversi segni di interpunzione di forma circolare, disposti ad altezza variabile, spesso fuori quota e a piè di lettera, tanto fra le singole parole, quanto al principio e alla fi ne di alcune righe. Il solco delle lettere è nel complesso ben marcato. Dal punto di vista paleografi co si rilevano la G con pilastrino assai pronunciato nelle rr. 2 e 3 del recto e la P con occhiello aperto all’inizio della r. 2 del verso. L’autopsia del manufatto, effettuata con l’ausilio di luce radente e di occhiali binoculari, ha consentito di individuare fra i due termini della r. 1 del recto un segno di interpunzione, posto poco al di sopra dell’ideale linea guida su cui corre l’iscrizione; ad esso seguono i resti di una lettera semicircolare con la curva rivolta a sinistra, identifi cabile con la metà inferiore di una C: ciò ha indotto a preferire la lettura CAISARI in luogo di KAISARI, per la quale avevano invece optato tutti i precedenti editori.

L’analisi contenutistica del documento, condotta da Ezio Buchi in un breve saggio pubblicato nel 1994, ha individuato senza esitazione nel testo inciso al recto della laminetta una dedica a Druso Cesare, noto anche come Druso Minore, fi glio di Tiberio e Vipsania Agrippina, nato fra il 15 e il 12 a.C. e morto nel 23 d.C., forse avvelenato dalla moglie Livilla in complicità con il prefetto del pretorio Seiano (5). Secondo la testimonianza tacitiana, in occasione della scomparsa prematura del fi glio, l’imperatore gli tributò onorifi cenze ancor maggiori di quelle decretate quattro anni prima all’erede designato Germanico (6). Per quanto attiene invece alle due righe presenti sul verso del manufatto, esse risultano contraddistinte da una sequenza di termini abbreviati di diffi cile scioglimento. Le uniche proposte esegetiche fi nora avanzate risultano prive di confronti attendibili e poco o per nulla convincenti (7).

Un accurato esame autoptico del reperto ingenera tuttavia seri dubbi sulla sua autenticità. Ricorrendo alla terminologia diplomatistica, si può osservare in particolare come fra i caratteri intrinseci risultino inconsueti nell’epigrafi a latina su bronzo di epoca alto-imperiale tanto i segni di interpunzione posti all’inizio o alla fi ne di riga e ad altezza variabile (8), quanto le sequenze di litterae singulares presenti al verso del manufatto. Per quanto attiene ai caratteri estrinseci si distingue soprattutto la peculiarità del supporto su cui è inciso il testo dell’iscrizione (9). Nello specifi co esso non trova confronti con altre categorie ben note del cosiddetto instrumentum inscriptum: non si tratta infatti né di una tabula lusoria, né di una tessera hospitalis o nummularia e nemmeno di un’etichetta da affi ggere (in quanto opistografa) o da appendere (in quanto priva di foro o presa anulare). Il possibile utilizzo di una tale tipologia di manufatto resta dunque ancora da spiegare. Si noti infi ne come le dimensioni del reperto non siano in alcun modo raffrontabili ad unità di misura antiche.

Alcune delle considerazioni qui esposte furono già avanzate alcuni anni fa da Antonio Sartori, che per primo prospettò la possibilità che la laminetta bronzea torcellana fosse in realtà un falso di epoca moderna (10). L’ipotesi espressa dallo studioso faceva seguito alla comparsa sul mercato antiquario parigino di tre piccoli reperti opistografi in bronzo, affi ni per tipologia a quello conservato a Torcello, su uno dei quali si trovava inciso un testo sostanzialmente identico (11). Anche le altre due laminette presentavano iscrizioni di dubbia autenticità, una delle quali riproduceva con grossolani errori il testo di un’epigrafe genuina (12), contenente una dedica a Germanico e a due dei suoi fi gli, incisa su una lastra marmorea di provenienza non urbana, ma già attestata a Roma nel XVI secolo (13).

2. Le laminette dei Colombi

Una nuova indagine bibliografi ca ha costituito ora il punto di partenza per un ulteriore avanzamento della ricerca. Il primo tomo dell’undicesimo volume del Corpus inscriptionum Latinarum, pubblicato nel 1888, contiene infatti una voce dedicata ad un gruppo di quattro epigrafi incise su oggetti in bronzo, che Eugen Bormann, curatore di questa sezione del CIL, relegò senza esitazione nel novero delle falsae (Fig. 3) (14). Fra tali manufatti, defi niti «laminae aereae in agro Pistoriensi a. 1763 repertae» (15), fi gura innanzitutto un esemplare della dedica a Germanico e ai suoi fi gli citata poc’anzi, forse proprio lo stesso ricomparso in tempi recenti sul mercato antiquario di Parigi (16). È però il secondo dei documenti epigrafi ci trascritti da Bormann che richiama maggiormente la nostra attenzione (17):

Druso Caisari,
Ti(beri) Aug(usti) f(ilio), divi
Aug(usti) n(epoti),
s(enatus) c(onsulto).//
Me(- - -)
p(- - -) l(- - -) d(- - -).


Image

209* laminae aereae in agro Pistoriensi a. 1763 repertae MERLINI.
1. ..germanico neroni druso / caesar germanici / geamanici / caesaris f. casaris / e / aus ob. non. august // imp
2. druso caisari / ti. aug. f. diui / aug. n / s.c. // me / p. l. d
3. imp. tito caesari / diui uespasiani f / uespasiano // f. e. r / p
4. tito iulio / aug. / m. nestori // s. p. q. r / d. l
Fr. Ignatius Merlini Calderini, qui coemerat, imagines in folio exprimendas curavit, cuius unum exemplum est in ms. societ. columbariae annal. XIX; inde edidit Cantini inscr. colomb. 1 p. 92 n. 9 adversam n. 2, p. 95 n. 10 aversam n. 4.
Qui has et similes tabellas fecit falsarius expressit fere inscriptiones genuinas, complura autem fecit exemplaria. Ut inscriptionum n. 2. 3. 4 similia exemplaria in actis columbar. esse dicuntur, quorum ectypa gypsea proposita sunt colunbariis d. 17 Apr. 1763 (annal. XXVIII p. 40, ubi verba non referuntur), ipsa autem dicebantur esse reperta Faventiae et coempta erant a socio columbario; sunt fortasse quae nunc extant Bononiae (supra n. 105*, 5. 6. 9). Inscriptionis 2 aliud vel idem exemplum servatur nunc in museo Arretino.

Fig. 3. CIL XI, 209*.


Già a prima vista si può rilevare come il testo sia sostanzialmente identico a quello leggibile sulla laminetta bronzea conservata al Museo Provinciale di Torcello. L’unica differenza di rilievo è costituita dalla presenza di una sola D nella riga fi nale del verso del documento epigrafi co trascritto da Bormann. L’oggetto su cui era incisa tale iscrizione, così come gli altri tre recensiti nella stessa voce del CIL, era appartenuto nel XVIII secolo all’abate Francesco Ignazio Merlini Calderini, letterato pistoiese e socio dell’Accademia Colombaria di Firenze (18).

Come si evince dalle indicazioni bibliografi che citate in apparato, Bormann aveva appreso tale notizia consultando gli Annali manoscritti dell’istituzione culturale fi orentina (19). Di seguito si trascrive integralmente l’originale del documento consultato dallo studioso, fortunatamente scampato alle distruzioni che l’antica sede dell’Accademia subì nel corso della Seconda Guerra Mondiale (20):

A dì 11 settembre [1763]. Adunati al solito covo. Il Verecondo ha portata una copia in stampa di alcune iscrizioni che si leggono in rilievo sopra quattro laminette di rame, trovate ultimamente nel territorio pistoiese ed acquistate da Francesco Ignazio Merlini Calderini, nostro socio estero. È stato osservato che le tre ultime lamine sono affatto simili a tre altre di quelle che ci communicò il nostro Vagante, come nell’Annale antecedente a c. 40 (21).


Nel testo si relazionano sommariamente gli argomenti affrontati dai soci della Colombaria durante una seduta svoltasi domenica 11 settembre 1763. In tale occasione l’erudito patrizio fi orentino Giuseppe Pelli Bencivenni, noto con il nome accademico di «Verecondo» (22), aveva fornito agli altri presenti una riproduzione a stampa di alcuni manufatti bronzei acquistati dal loro consocio pistoiese Merlini Calderini. Purtroppo tale documentazione grafi ca, inizialmente allegata all’Annale e visionata da Bormann, non è oggi più reperibile (23).

Nel corso dell’adunata in questione i Colombi rimarcarono le strette affi nità che intercorrevano fra tre delle laminette possedute da Merlini Calderini e altri reperti affi ni, menzionati in un passo del volume precedente degli Annali, che si trascrive qui di seguito:

A dì 17 aprile 1763. Adunati al solito covo etc. Furono donate alla nostra Società sei tavolette in gesso, che si ripongono in un quadretto, con inscrizioni romane assai antiche. Sono esse state formate sopra le tavolette di bronzo, acquistate dal Vagante, venute di Faenza, ove erano state ritrovate sotto terra da un lavoratore nel fare alcune fosse nel suo podere (24).


Dal documento si evince che un altro socio colombario, Giovanni Baldovinetti detto il «Vagante» (25), era in possesso di sei laminette in bronzo, che un’annotazione marginale pone appunto in relazione con quelle successivamente segnalate da Merlini Calderini (26). I calchi in gesso di tali reperti erano stati donati all’Accademia stessa, ma anch’essi oggi non sono più reperibili.

Riassumendo, dunque, in due distinte occasioni nel corso del 1763 due membri dell’Accademia Colombaria comunicarono ai propri consoci di essere entrati in possesso di due diversi gruppi di laminette bronzee: il primo, proveniente dalla campagna faentina e comperato da Giovanni Baldovinetti, comprendeva sei reperti iscritti; il secondo, rinvenuto nell’agro pistoiese e acquisito da Francesco Ignazio Merlini Calderini, ne annoverava solo quattro. Di questi ultimi esisteva una riproduzione a stampa, attualmente dispersa, dalla quale Bormann ricavò le trascrizioni da lui riproposte nell’undicesimo volume del CIL (27). Come già avevano rimarcato i Colombi, tre delle laminette acquistate da Merlini Calderini risultavano identiche ad altrettante in possesso di Baldovinetti. In primo luogo fu dunque l’esistenza di più esemplari di tali manufatti che indusse l’editore del Corpus ad includerli nella sezione delle falsae, pur riconoscendo la perizia con cui essi erano stati realizzati (28).

In aggiunta alle considerazioni di Bormann, risulta sospetta la genericità delle notizie relative al ritrovamento dei due nuclei di presunte antichità (si noti soprattutto il topos della scoperta effettuata «da un lavoratore nel fare alcune fosse nel suo podere»):

in tale ottica un’ulteriore indagine sulla documentazione archivistica potrebbe rivelarsi foriera di nuove informazioni. Si segnala in particolare l’esistenza, presso l’Archivio di Stato di Firenze, del carteggio intercorso tra Francesco Ignazio Merlini Calderini e Giuseppe Pelli Bencivenni, nel quale sono incluse ben 29 lettere inviate dall’abate pistoiese all’erudito fi orentino nel corso del 1763 (29). Analogamente potrebbe risultare profi cua un’indagine sui rapporti intercorsi fra Giovanni Baldovinetti e la sua parente Margherita Baldovinetti Gambereschi, moglie del conte Vincenzo Gabellotti di Faenza (30).
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Re: FREDA BEDI CONT'D (#4)

Postby admin » Sat Oct 22, 2022 1:21 am

Part 3 of 3

3. Laminette e ancora laminette

Oltre ai reperti bronzei noti tramite gli atti manoscritti dell’Accademia Colombaria, Bormann ne poté visionare alcuni anche di persona. Fra questi si distingueva un gruppo di nove laminette, conservate a Bologna e descritte come «complures tabellae aereae inscriptae exemplis falsis titulorum genuinorum» (31). Una di esse riportava nuovamente lo stesso testo inciso sul recto del manufatto custodito a Torcello (32):

Druso Caisari,
Ti(beri) Aug(usti) f(ilio), divi
Aug(usti) n(epoti),
s(enatus) c(onsulto).


La trascrizione fornita da Bormann non indica la presenza di lettere sul verso della laminetta. Secondo l’epigrafi sta tedesco, tale reperto, così come tutti gli altri appartenenti allo stesso nucleo collezionistico, era anticamente conservato nel Museo Universitario della città felsinea e da qui era transitato nel museo pubblico (33). Un riscontro effettuato presso il Museo Civico Archeologico di Bologna ha dato però esito negativo: è forse possibile che, una volta riconosciuti come falsi, i reperti bronzei siano stati scartati dalla collezione oppure che essi siano andati dispersi durante l’ultimo periodo bellico o nel dopoguerra immediatamente successivo (34). Oltre che nell’undicesimo volume del CIL, la laminetta bolognese con dedica a Druso Minore si trova censita anche nella sezione del Corpus relativa alle falsae di provenienza urbana, con l’indicazione «tabella aerea in museo Bononiensi. […] Descripsit et damnavit Bormann» (35).

Seppur incidentalmente, lo stesso Bormann indicò inoltre di aver visionato un altro esemplare dello stesso manufatto, conservato «in museo Arretino» (36). Dopo lunghe ricerche, è stato possibile individuare tale reperto presso il Museo Archeologico Nazionale Gaio Cilnio Mecenate di Arezzo (Figg. 4-5) (37). Le affi nità con la laminetta custodita a Torcello appaiono stringenti, in relazione tanto al supporto, quanto al testo inciso sulle sue due facce:

Druso Caisari,
Ti(beri) Aug(usti) f(ilio), divi
Aug(usti) n(epoti),
s(enatus) c(onsulto).//
Me(- - -)
p(- - -) l(- - -) d(- - -) d(- - -).


Image
Fig. 4. AREZZO, Museo Archeologico Nazionale Gaio Cilnio Mecenate, inv. 12229, recto (Foto: su concessione della Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della Toscana, Firenze).

Image
Fig. 5. AREZZO, Museo Archeologico Nazionale Gaio Cilnio Mecenate, inv. 12229, verso (Foto: su concessione della Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della Toscana, Firenze).

Verso la metà del bordo superiore il manufatto è attraversato da un piccolo foro passante circolare, che intacca la prima riga del testo sia nel recto che nel verso, senza tuttavia comprometterne la lettura. La laminetta risulta essere appartenuta al Museo della Fraternita dei laici, la principale congregazione assistenziale aretina, le cui raccolte costituiscono il nucleo fondativo dell’attuale Museo Archeologico (38). Una scheda dell’archivio della Fraternita, redatta da Angelo Pasqui nel 1882, segnala che il reperto sarebbe stato trovato ad Arezzo in Piazza Guido Monaco nel 1865 (39). L’indicazione, seguita da un punto interrogativo, sembra fi nalizzata ad accreditare l’autenticità del manufatto grazie all’espediente di un rinvenimento evidentemente fi ttizio. Anche se nell’immediato periodo post-unitario i lavori per la costruzione di Piazza Guido Monaco determinarono effettivamente numerose scoperte archeologiche importanti (40), risulta improbabile che fra di esse vi fossero anche reperti falsi, già attestati nei circuiti collezionistici toscani oltre un secolo prima. Sembra assai più plausibile che la laminetta conservata ad Arezzo sia una di quelle appartenute in precedenza ai soci dell’Accademia Colombaria, ma non si può escludere che si tratti di un’ulteriore copia, acquisita forse attraverso qualche raccolta antiquaria locale (41). Un’indagine nei fondi archivistici aretini potrà forse consentire in futuro di determinare con maggior precisione le vicissitudini collezionistiche del manufatto.

La presenza delle laminette bronzee iscritte dedicate a Druso Minore non si limita al solo territorio italiano. In tempi recenti un esemplare del medesimo oggetto è stato segnalato da Helena Gimeno Pascual (42): esso si trova al Museo Arqueológico Nacional di Madrid e dove entrò nel 1876, assieme alla collezione di antichità di don Tomás de Asensi (Figg. 6-7) (43). Anche in questo caso le dimensioni del reperto sono in tutto affi ni a quelle della laminetta torcellana, così come analogo è il testo che vi si trova inciso (44):

Druso Caisari,
Ti(beri) Aug(usti) f(ilio), divi
Aug(usti) n(epoti),
s(enatus) c(onsulto).//
Me(- - -)
p(- - -) l(- - -) d(- - -) d(- - -).


Image
Fig. 6. MADRID, Museo Arqueológico Nacional, inv. 10104, recto. (Foto: Museo Arqueológico Nacional, Madrid).

Image
Fig. 7. MADRID, Museo Arqueológico Nacional, inv. 10104, verso. (Foto: Museo Arqueológico Nacional, Madrid).

Tomás de Asensi, cavaliere del Real Ordine di Isabella la Cattolica, fu viceconsole di Spagna a Nizza e direttore commerciale per il Ministero degli Esteri (Ministerio de Estado) attorno alla metà del XIX secolo (45). È possibile che egli avesse acquistato la laminetta all’epoca della sua residenza nizzarda oppure nel corso dei numerosi viaggi da lui intrapresi in territorio italiano. Nel catalogo autografo della sua collezione il manufatto bronzeo è così descritto:

Pieza n. 684 (sin fi cha). Tesera de bronce, ó sea permiso para asistir a las diversiones públicas, ó de la liberalidad, llamadas congiari, de los emperadores ú otros personajes del imperio; con inscripciones en el derecho y en el revés. La del derecho dice: Druso - Caesari - Ti. - Aug. T. Divi - Aug. N. - S. C. (A Druso César, hijo de Tiberio Augusto, nieto del divino Augusto - Senatus Consultum). La del revés dice: ME - P.L.D.D. De esta leyenda no es fácil la explicación. Las últimas cuatro letras pueden explicarse así: Publicus Ludus Dedit, ó sea dió juegos públicos; pero no así las dos primeras letras ME, que no pudieron ser explicadas ni aún por el doctor profesor de Arquelogía Sr. Henzen, secretario del Instituto de Correspondencia Arqueológica de Roma (46).


La voce del catalogo si distingue per il tentativo di classifi care la laminetta bronzea come un oggetto di epoca romana, del quale ci si sarebbe avvalsi in occasione di giochi, festività o distribuzioni pubbliche organizzate dagli imperatori; secondo il suo proprietario essa sarebbe dunque rientrata nella categoria dei manufatti metallici noti come tesserae spectaculis (47), ben attestati dalla documentazione archeologica e assimilabili a quelli utilizzati per la riscossione di generi alimentari, che le fonti letterarie chiamano tesserae nummariae o frumentariae (48). Le tipologie più diffuse di tali oggetti sono però realizzate in piombo e le loro fattezze differiscono notevolmente da quelle delle laminette esaminate in questo studio. Le tesserae sono infatti quasi sempre di forma circolare e presentano al recto l’effi gie di un principe o di un membro della domus imperiale, mentre al verso la loro legenda indica solitamente il nome del magistrato incaricato dell’allestimento degli spettacoli o delle celebrazioni (49).

Dalla scheda redatta da Asensi si evince ancora che questi aveva consultato Wilhelm Henzen, segretario dell’Instituto di Corrispondenza Archeologica a Roma, nel tentativo di attribuire un senso alle sigle incise sul verso del manufatto bronzeo (50). Nel carteggio dello studioso tedesco non vi è però traccia di missive spedite dal collezionista spagnolo (51): è possibile, quindi, che Asensi fosse ricorso a un intermediario oppure che, durante un soggiorno in Italia, egli avesse contattato Henzen di persona.

Lo stesso Henzen, d’altro canto, ebbe modo di conoscere, seppure per via indiretta, un altro lotto di reperti affi ni a quelle esaminati fi nora. Nel corso di un’adunanza dell’Instituto di Corrispondenza Archeologica svoltasi il 24 febbraio 1860 egli segnalò infatti ai propri consoci di aver ricevuto le «impronte cartacee di cinque laminette di bronzo a lettere rilevate, passate di recente nel Museo di Basilea e riconosciute per false dal sig. prof. Guglielmo Vischer, il quale le avea mandate all’Instituto per conoscerne, se ciò fosse possibile, la provenienza» (52). Una verifi ca effettuata presso l’Antikenmuseum di Basilea ha consentito di localizzare nuovamente tale nucleo di manufatti iscritti (53). Uno di essi (Figg. 8-9), come già segnalava Henzen (54), riporta ancora una volta il testo dell’ormai ben nota dedica a Druso Minore:

Druso Caisari,
Ti(beri) Aug(usti) f(ilio), divi
Aug(usti) n(epoti),
s(enatus) c(onsulto).//
Me(---)
p(---) l(---) d(---).


Come nel caso della laminetta posseduta da Francesco Ignazio Merlini Calderini, l’unica differenza che intercorre con il testo dell’epigrafe conservata a Torcello è costituita dalla presenza di una sola D nella riga fi nale del verso. Le modalità con cui l’Antikenmuseum di Basilea acquisì tale reperto e gli altri quattro appartenenti allo stesso lotto devono essere ancora determinate con precisione (55). Il terminus ante quem è costituito proprio dalla segnalazione inviata da Vischer a Henzen (56).

Image
Fig. 8. BASEL, Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig, Alter Bestand o. n. 26, recto. (Foto: R. Habegger).

Image
Fig. 9. BASEL, Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig, Alter Bestand o. n. 26, verso. (Foto: R. Habegger).

Nella citata adunanza dell’Instituto Henzen riferì ancora che, oltre ai manufatti bronzei conservati a Basilea, ne erano noti anche altri, in possesso di Heinrich Schreiber, anziano docente di Storia dell’Università di Friburgo in Brisgovia (57). Alla sua morte, sopravvenuta nel 1872, questi lasciò in eredità le proprie collezioni alla città in cui aveva insegnato (58). Effettivamente in un inventario manoscritto coevo risulta la presenza di almeno due laminette iscritte, una delle quali è identifi cabile senza dubbio come un esemplare di CIL XI, 209*, 1 (59). Nel corso del XX secolo, però, la raccolta fu dispersa e suddivisa tra diverse istituzioni friburghesi, quali l’Augustinermuseum, il Museo Preistorico (Museum für Urgeschichte, poi a sua volta soppresso e parzialmente confl uito nell’Archäologisches Museum Colombischlössle) e l’Archivio cittadino (Stadtarchiv) (60). Fino ad ora non è stato pertanto possibile individuare la collocazione delle laminette appartenute a Schreiber, posto che esse siano ancora reperibili.

4. Considerazioni conclusive

Lo studio della laminetta bronzea conservata al Museo Provinciale di Torcello ha posto in luce uno scenario inaspettato. I dubbi sull’autenticità del piccolo manufatto iscritto, già espressi in passato, sono stati suffragati da un nuovo esame autoptico e confermati dall’individuazione di numerose altre laminette di analoga fattura. Tali reperti sono stati concordemente giudicati falsi dalla critica epigrafi ca, anche a causa del carattere di serialità che li contraddistingue. In effetti, come si è potuto riscontrare nel corso di questo saggio, della sola laminetta con dedica a Druso Minore risultano ad oggi documentati ben otto o forse nove esemplari, di cui si fornisce per praticità un breve elenco riassuntivo, strutturato secondo l’ordine di presentazione adottato nelle precedenti pagine:

1. laminetta appartenente al Museo Provinciale di Torcello, apparentemente rinvenuta a Torcello nel 1908;

2. laminetta segnalata presso un antiquario parigino negli anni Novanta del secolo scorso, della quale Antonio Sartori ha pubblicato la riproduzione di un calco a rilievo in foglio di alluminio;

3. laminetta appartenuta a Francesco Ignazio Merlini Calderini, di cui egli fornì una riproduzione a stampa ai soci colombari nel settembre 1763;

4. laminetta appartenuta a Giovanni Baldovinetti, della quale egli fornì un calco in gesso all’Accademia Colombaria nell’aprile 1763;

5. laminetta segnalata da Eugen Bormann presso il Museo Civico Archeologico di Bologna e già appartenuta al Museo Universitario della stessa città;

6. laminetta custodita presso il Museo Archeologico Nazionale Gaio Cilnio Mecenate di Arezzo, già segnalata da Eugen Bormann e apparentemente rinvenuta ad Arezzo nel 1865;

7. laminetta conservata al Museo Arqueológico Nacional di Madrid, da cui è stata acquisita nel 1876 assieme alla collezione di don Tomás de Asensi;

8. laminetta conservata all’Antikenmuseum di Basilea, già segnalata da Wilhelm Vischer nel febbraio 1860;

9. laminetta posseduta da Heinrich Schreiber a Friburgo, segnalata dallo stesso Vischer nel febbraio 1860 (non è certo, tuttavia, che essa recasse lo stesso testo inciso sulla laminetta di Torcello).

Allo stato attuale della ricerca solo quattro di tali laminette risultano localizzabili con certezza: si tratta di quelle conservate nei musei di Torcello, Arezzo, Madrid e Basilea, delle quali si è fornita la riproduzione fotografi ca. È possibile che altri esemplari vengano individuati in futuro, così come non è escluso che alcuni di quelli qui elencati corrispondano in realtà allo stesso reperto, che risulterebbe documentato in diverse fasi della sua storia collezionistica (61).

In tale ottica i risultati della ricerca fi n qui condotta non possono che considerarsi parziali. Rimane ancora da determinare innanzitutto l’identità del personaggio che produsse la serie di laminette, nonché l’epoca e il luogo in cui egli agì. In merito a quest’ultimo aspetto sembra plausibile attribuire la genesi dei reperti bronzei all’ambito toscano e non a quello romano, come invece suggerito in maniera implicita dall’inclusione dell’esemplare bolognese nel fascicolo del sesto volume del CIL dedicato alle inscriptiones falsae (62). La presenza delle prime laminette a noi note nelle raccolte dei soci dell’Accademia Colombaria poco dopo la metà del XVIII secolo lascia piuttosto supporre che la loro realizzazione sia da ricondurre a un falsario attivo in quell’epoca nella città medicea (63).

Anche per quanto attiene alle fi nalità della creazione delle laminette non pochi sono i punti che restano da chiarire. Ultimamente il tema della falsifi cazione epigrafi ca è stato affrontato a più riprese dalla bibliografi a di settore, che non solo ha esaminato numerosi casi specifi ci, ma si è anche concentrata sulle diverse motivazioni che soggiacciono a tale fenomeno (64). A tal proposito, in un contributo recentissimo, Alfredo Buonopane ha convincentemente proposto di riconoscere l’esistenza di tre distinte categorie: quella dei falsi in senso stretto (cioè delle iscrizioni contraffatte deliberatamente e a scopo doloso), quella delle copie e quella delle rielaborazioni o pastiches (65). Nel nostro caso specifi co, tuttavia, le intenzioni del falsario non risultano ancora determinabili con precisione: se da un lato l’iniziale convinzione che le laminette ostentate dai soci colombari fossero autentiche lascerebbe presumere l’esistenza di una frode escogitata ai loro danni (o con il loro coinvolgimento), dall’altro non si può escludere che si tratti semplicemente di reperti pseudo-antichi, ovvero, come già proposto da Antonio Sartori, di «riproduzioni minuscole […] e varie, a scopo quasi di souvenir, per un possibile commercio non antiquario, ma collezionistico o fi n turistico del XVIII secolo» (66). In ogni caso il riconoscimento della non autenticità della laminetta custodita a Torcello induce necessariamente a respingere la notizia del suo presunto rinvenimento nei pressi della cattedrale dell’isola e a ricercare nuove informazioni sulla sua acquisizione da parte del Museo Provinciale.

In futuro bisognerà dunque affrontare diverse questioni che rimangono ancora senza risposta. Nello specifi co si dovrà cercare di comprendere: se tutte le laminette attestate assieme a quelle con dedica a Druso Minore siano il frutto di una contraffazione consapevole; se la loro produzione in serie risalga alla stessa epoca o possa essere ascritta a diverse circostanze e località; se i loro diversi proprietari furono o meno consapevoli di possedere oggetti falsi; se i testi epigrafi ci solitamente incisi sul recto dei piccoli manufatti bronzei rispecchino più o meno fedelmente il contenuto di iscrizioni autentiche e se le sigle presenti sul verso abbiano un signifi cato specifi co che fi nora non è stato decifrato; se fra i modelli di ispirazione possano essere annoverate anche altre fonti antiche, quali ad esempio legende di monete o testimonianze letterarie.

In relazione al singolo reperto cui è dedicato questo saggio si segnala l’opinione degli editori del sesto volume del CIL, secondo i quali il testo della laminetta sarebbe stato riprodotto a partire dalle righe centrali di una lastra onoraria genuina di epoca tiberiana, rinvenuta a Roma nel 1665 e oggi conservata a Palazzo del Drago in Via delle Quattro Fontane (67). L’epigrafe risultava effettivamente già ben nota nel Settecento, in quanto inclusa nelle sillogi a stampa di Spon e Fabretti, pubblicate rispettivamente nel 1685 e nel 1702 (68). Un altro documento iscritto che avrebbe potuto servire da modello per il testo inciso sul recto del piccolo manufatto bronzeo è una dedica a Druso Minore da Segobriga nella Hispania Tarraconensis (69), già edita nel Corpus absolutissimum di Gruter, dato alle stampe a Heidelberg agli inizi del Seicento (70). Quest’ultima raccolta godette, come è noto, di amplissima circolazione nei secoli a seguire e funse anche in altri casi da repertorio di archetipi che, per motivi fra i più disparati, furono poi ricopiati su supporto lapideo (71). Non si può infi ne escludere che la laminetta sia stata esemplata a partire dalle legende di alcune monete di epoca tiberiana o fl avia, che si distinguono non solo per la medesima titolatura attribuita al fi glio di Tiberio, ma anche per l’esplicitazione della dedica su deliberazione del senato (aspetto invece assente nelle testimonianze epigrafi che) (72). Tali monete erano ampiamente note nel Settecento, come dimostra la loro presenza nei principali repertori numismatici dell’epoca (73). Uno spoglio della documentazione archivistica certifi ca ad esempio che alcuni esemplari ne erano posseduti anche dai primi soci dell’Accademia Colombaria (74).

A fronte di una gamma di possibilità ancora molto ampia, il lavoro di ricerca deve momentaneamente arrestarsi. Soltanto un’indagine estesa a tutte le altre laminette bronzee iscritte segnalate di volta in volta assieme a quella con dedica a Druso Minore potrà forse fornire un chiarimento defi nitivo sulle vicende relative alla creazione e alla diffusione di tali manufatti, che compaiono ripetutamente nei volumi del CIL e che giacciono spesso, come si è visto, nascosti o accantonati in diversi musei italiani ed europei. In altre parole, come già avvertiva Henzen nel 1860, di tali reperti, fi nora sostanzialmente negletti, «sarebbe importante di riunirne tutti gli esemplari di cui si conosce l’esistenza, con notizie esatte sulla loro provenienza» (75). Tale proposito merita sicuramente di essere l’oggetto di un futuro studio approfondito.

APPUNTI:

(1) Torcello (VE), Museo Provinciale, inv. 1910a-b; vd. CONTON 1909a, pp. 9-12, 19; CONTON 1909b, p. 25; CALLEGARI 1930, p. 25 n. 57; BUCHI 1993, pp. 153-154 n. IR 3 (AEp 1993, 755); BUCHI 1994; SARTORI 2008 (AEp 2008, 264).

(2) CONTON 1909a, p. 9. Sulla fi gura di Luigi Conton (1866-1954), ancora poco studiata, vd. ZORZI 1981; FOGOLARI 1993, pp. 11-12.

(3) CONTON 1909b, p. 25; cfr. CALLEGARI 1930, p. 25: «trovata presso il duomo di Torcello nel 1908».

(4) In realtà è diffi cile determinare quale delle due facce dell’iscrizione sia da considerare il recto e quale il verso: cfr. a tal proposito SARTORI 2008, p. 582. Per convenzione si è qui accolta la medesima impostazione del testo adottata dai precedenti editori.

(5) Cfr. BUCHI 1994, pp. 304-306. Su Druso Minore e sugli onori funebri attribuiti a lui e a Germanico vd. da ultimo BUONOPANE 2010, con ampia bibliografi a precedente.

(6) Cfr. TAC. ann. 4, 9: Memoriae Drusi eadem quae in Germanicum decernuntur, plerisque additis, ut ferme amat posterior adulatio.

(7) Vd. CONTON 1909a, p. 10: «Me(renti) p(ublicas) l(audes) d(e)d(it)»; CALLEGARI 1930, p. 25 n. 57: «Me(renti)/ p(ublicas) l(audes) d(e)d(it)»; cfr. anche BUCHI 1993, pp. 153-154 n. IR 3, che propone gli scioglimenti alternativi Me(renti) o Me(moriae) p(ublicas) l(audes) d(are) d(ebeto) oppure ancora Me(renti) o Me(moriae) p(ublicos) l(udos) d(are) d(ebeto).

(8) Cfr. DI STEFANO MANZELLA 1987, p. 155.

(9) Cfr. già CONTON 1909a, p. 9: «Questo piccolo bronzo è una rarità archeologica, non tanto pel suo contenuto storico, quanto per la sua forma!».

(10) Vd. SARTORI 2008, p. 585.

(11) Cfr. SARTORI 2008, p. 582: Druso Caesari / Ti(beri) Aug(usti) f(ilio) divi / Aug(usti) n(epoti) / (ex) s(enatus) c(onsulto). // ME / P. L•DD. I reperti furono visti «nei primi anni novanta del secolo scorso» presso «un antiquario di Parigi», che ne diffuse alcuni «calchi a rilievo in foglio di alluminio, quello che si usa in cucina per avvolgere, protetti da falde di ovatta dentro a scatoline estemporanee» (SARTORI 2008, p. 581).

(12) Per l’individuazione del modello di tale laminetta cfr. già SARTORI 2008, p. 584.

(13) CIL VI, 31274, cfr. pp. 4341, 4390, 4392. L’apparato critico del CIL rileva come l’esistenza di una copia apocrifa su bronzo di tale epigrafe fosse già stata segnalata da Gaetano Marini nelle sue schede manoscritte conservate alla Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana: «Exemplum novicium in lamina ahenea litteris anaglyphis neglegenter exaratum nescio ubi vidit Marini».

(14) CIL XI, 209*. Sul lavoro svolto da Eugen Bormann (1842-1917) per il CIL, con particolare attenzione ai siti di Bononia e Sarsina, vd. WEBER 1989; WEBER 1991.

(15) L’indicazione risulta derivare da CANTINI 1800, p. 92. Sull’autore dell’opera, l’erudito fi orentino Lorenzo Cantini (1765-1839), vd. D’ORAZI FLAVONI 1975; altrove Bormann defi nì il personaggio «impudentissimus falsarius» (CIL XI, p. 305).

(16) CIL XI, 209*, 1: «..ermanico neroni druso | caesari germanici | geamanici | caesaris f. casaris | e | aus ob. non. august || imp». La trascrizione del reperto coincide esattamente con quella desumibile dal calco su foglio di alluminio riprodotto da SARTORI 2008, p. 582 fi g. 2.

(17) CIL XI, 209*, 2.

(18) Su Merlini Calderini (1718-1767) vd. Novelle 1768, coll. 786-787; CAPPONI 1883, p. 274; il pistoiese fu eletto socio esterno dell’Accademia Colombaria il 6 febbraio 1749 con il nome accademico «l’Arguto»: cfr. SORBI 2001, p. 29 n. 100. Per una storia dei primi anni della Colombaria si rimanda a Colombaria 1735-1985; ERMINI 2003, con bibliografi a precedente.

(19) Cfr. CIL XI, 209*: «Fr. Ignatius Merlini Calderini, qui coemerat, imagines in folio exprimendas curavit, cuius unum exemplum est in ms. societ. columbariae annal. XIX». Per i documenti consultati da Bormann all’Accademia Colombaria vd. CIL XI, p. 305 n. VI.

(20) La quasi totalità dell’archivio e gran parte della biblioteca della Colombaria furono distrutte quando si trovavano nella sede di Via de’ Bardi 32, abbattuta dalle mine che l’esercito tedesco in fuga fece saltare nella notte tra il 3 e il 4 agosto 1944 per bloccare l’accesso al Ponte Vecchio: cfr. SPAGNESI 1993, p. 79; ERMINI 2003, pp. 78-79. Fortunatamente il riferimento bibliografi co fornito da Bormann (vd. nota precedente) contiene un provvidenziale refuso: il volume degli Annali cui intendeva alludere lo studioso non era il XIX, perito durante la Seconda Guerra Mondiale, ma il XXIX, scampato alla distruzione. Sugli Annali della Colombaria vd. ERMINI 2003, pp. 75-87.

(21) Firenze, Accademia Toscana di Scienze e Lettere «La Colombaria», Archivio, Annali, vol. XXIX, f. 5v; cfr. DORINI 1913-1914, pp. 20-26, in part. p. 22. Desidero ringraziare vivamente la dott.ssa Vaima Gelli per aver facilitato le mie ricerche alla Biblioteca dell’Accademia Colombaria con grande competenza e straordinaria disponibilità.

(22) Su Giuseppe Pelli Bencivenni (1729-1808) vd. ZAPPERI 1966; TIMPANARO MORELLI 1976, pp. VII-XIV. Anche Pelli Bencivenni, come Merlini Calderini, fu eletto socio dell’Accademia Colombaria il 6 febbraio 1749: cfr. SORBI 2001, p. 29 n. 99.  

(23) È probabile che la riproduzione si trovasse all’interno della Tramoggia (raccolta di disegni e altri documenti di cui si discuteva nelle adunate della Colombaria) relativa al vol. XXIX degli Annali, andata distrutta nel 1944.

(24) Firenze, Accademia Toscana di Scienze e Lettere «La Colombaria», Archivio, Annali, vol. XXVIII, p. 40.

(25) Giovanni di Poggio Baldovinetti (1695-1772), personaggio di spicco della cultura fi orentina settecentesca, aveva costituito una collezione privata di notevole importanza; pur essendo incentrata prevalentemente sulla numismatica e sulla sfragistica, essa comprendeva anche alcuni bronzetti etruschi e romani: vd. BRUNI 2004, pp. 9-18, in part. p. 17; cfr. anche ROMANELLI 2000, pp. XVII-XVIII, 150. Per l’elezione di Baldovinetti a socio esterno dell’Accademia Colombaria, avvenuta il 28 gennaio 1759, vd. SORBI 2001, p. 32 n. 216.

(26) Firenze, Accademia Toscana di Scienze e Lettere «La Colombaria», Archivio, Annali, vol. XXVIII, p. 40: «Vedi l’Annale XXIX a 5v».

(27) CIL XI, 209*, 1-4.

(28) Cfr. CIL XI, 209*: «Qui has et similes tabellas fecit falsarius expressit fere inscriptiones genuinas, complura autem fecit exemplaria».

(29) ASFi, Pelli Bencivenni Giuseppe lettere, fi lza VIII 1763; cfr. TIMPANARO MORELLI 1976, ad indicem.

(30) Su Margherita di Luca Baldovinetti Gambereschi (1693-1767) vd. ROMANELLI 2000, p. XVII.  

(31) CIL XI, 105*.

(32) CIL XI, 105*, 5.  

(33) Cfr. CIL XI, 105*: «Fuerunt ante in museo universitatis, nunc in publico». Poiché il Museo Civico Archeologico di Bologna, nel quale confl uirono le raccolte del Museo Universitario, fu inaugurato nel 1881, se ne dovrebbe dedurre che Bormann avesse effettuato l’autopsia dei reperti fra il 1881 e il 1888, anno di pubblicazione del primo tomo dell’undicesimo volume del CIL. Non è escluso, tuttavia, che lo studioso tedesco avesse già potuto visionare le laminette nel corso dei suoi precedenti soggiorni bolognesi, sui quali vd. WEBER 1989. Sulla storia della formazione del Museo Civico Archeologico si rimanda ai contributi raccolti in MORIGI GOVI - SASSATELLI 1984.

(34) Sono grato a Marinella Marchesi e Daniela Picchi per le verifi che eseguite su mia richiesta presso le collezioni del Museo Civico Archeologico di Bologna.

(35) CIL VI, 3561*.

(36) Cfr. CIL XI, 209*: «Inscriptionis 2 aliud vel idem exemplum servatur nunc in Museo Arretino».

(37) Arezzo, Museo Archeologico Nazionale Gaio Cilnio Mecenate, inv. 12229. Sono profondamente grato alla dott.ssa Silvia Vilucchi, direttrice del Museo, e alla dott.ssa Sara Faralli per la pertinacia con cui hanno cercato e identifi cato la laminetta.

(38) Cfr. ZAMARCHI GRASSI - BARTOLI 1987, pp. 16-17; FARALLI 2009.

(39) Arezzo, Museo Archeologico Nazionale Gaio Cilnio Mecenate, Archivio di Fraternita dei laici, Schedario Pasqui.

(40) Cfr. FARALLI 2009, pp. 49-53.

(41) Fra le principali collezioni private acquisite dal Museo Archeologico di Arezzo nell’Ottocento si segnala quella della famiglia Bacci: vd. DROANDI 2003; FARALLI 2005-2006.

(42) Vd. GIMENO PASCUAL 2006, p. 382 nota 72.

(43) Madrid, Museo Arqueológico Nacional, inv. 10104.

(44) Ringrazio di cuore Helena Gimeno Pascual per aver condiviso con me la sua scheda della laminetta conservata presso il Museo Arqueológico Nacional di Madrid.

(45) Su Tomás de Asensi e sulla sua collezione, che la vedova Rosario de Laiglesia vendette allo stato spagnolo fra 1876 e 1878, vd. GONZÁLEZ SÁNCHEZ 1993; PAZ YANES 1995. Si ricordi che Nizza appartenne al Regno di Sardegna fi no al 1860.

(46) PAZ YANES 1995, p. 8.

(47) Vd. da ultimo RUCINSKI 2011, con ampia bibliografi a precedente.

(48) Cfr. a titolo dimostrativo SUET. Aug. 41, 2; Ner. 11, 2. Sul tema vd. VIRLOUVET 1995.

(49) Per un catalogo delle diverse tipologie di tesserae plumbee e una sintesi interpretativa restano ancora fondamentali i contributi che Michail Rostowzew pubblicò prima del suo trasferimento negli Stati Uniti (ROSTOWZEW 1903; ROSTOWZEW 1905).

(50) Su Wilhelm Henzen (1816-1887) si rimanda a BLANCK 2003; più di recente vd. anche BLANCK 2009.

(51) Sono grato al dott. Thomas Fröhlich per avermi consentito di consultare lo schedario del carteggio henzeniano conservato al Deutsches Archäologisches Institut Rom.

(52) HENZEN 1860, p. 37. Sull’operato di Wilhelm Vischer (1808-1874) a Basilea si rimanda a VISCHER 1958; WYSS 1962.

(53) Basel, Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig, Alter Bestand o. n. 26. Sono grato al direttore dott. Andrea Bignasca e al curatore dott. Esaù Dozio per il prezioso aiuto che mi hanno fornito durante la mia ricerca.

(54) HENZEN 1860, p. 38 nota 1 n. 4.

(55) La scheda inventariale relativa a una delle laminette (recante una copia di CIL VI, 1316, di cui esemplari falsi su bronzo sono segnalati anche in CIL XI, 44a* e CIL XI, 105*, 3) indica come provenienza «Antiquarin Wolf».

(56) L’originale della missiva non è reperibile presso l’Archivio dell’Istituto Archeologico Germanico a Roma.

(57) HENZEN 1860, p. 38 nota 1: «Il chiarissimo Vischer ci scrisse nello stesso tempo possederne alcune simili tavolette il prof. Schreiber di Friburgo». Per una breve biografi a di Heinrich Schreiber (1793-1872) vd. GRAF 2007.

(58) Almeno inizialmente l’accesso a tali collezioni dovette risultare particolarmente diffi coltoso per gli studiosi; cfr. ECKER 1880, Vorwort, nota *: «Schreiber hat seine Sammlungtestamentarisch der Stadt Freiburg vermacht; es steht daher dieselbe unter der Hut eines städtischen Archivars und es ist den Universitätslehrern, die sich mit diesen Gegenständen befassen, insbesondere also Prof. H. Fischer und mir, bisher nicht vergönnt gewesen, dieselbe ungehindert benutzen zu können».

(59) «Bronzetafel mit gleicher Inschrift; dto. mit lateinischer Inschrift: Germanico Neroni Druso (ob ächt)». L’inventario è conservato presso l’Augustinermuseum di Friburgo. Ringrazio molto il dott. Gerhard Dangel (Städtische Museen Freiburg - Augustinermuseum) per questa segnalazione.

(60) Sono grato al dott. Jens-Arne Dickmann (Archäologische Sammlung der Albert- Ludwigs-Universität) e al dott. Hans Oelze (Archäologisches Museum Colombischlössle) per i riscontri effettuati per mio conto a Friburgo. Ringrazio inoltre la dott.ssa Alessandra Gilibert (Freie Universität Berlin) per avermi aiutato a relazionarmi con le istituzioni tedesche.

(61) Si pensi alla laminetta conservata all’Antikenmuseum di Basilea, contraddistinta, come quella precedentemente posseduta da Francesco Ignazio Merlini Calderini, dalla presenza di una sola D nella riga fi nale del verso.

(62) CIL VI, 3561*; cfr. già HENZEN 1860, p. 38 nota 1: «provenienza che il Vischer con ogni probabilità riporta a Roma».

(63) Sulla presenza di opere contraffatte, pseudo-antiche e ‘all’antica’ nelle collezioni toscane fra XVII e XVIII secolo vd. FARALLI 2007, con ulteriore bibliografi a. Sul tema della falsifi cazione rimangono valide le considerazioni di PAUL 1985.

(64) Per limitarsi ai contributi degli ultimi anni segnalo KORHONEN 2010; MAYER I OLIVÈ 2011; SOLIN 2012; BUONOPANE 2014; ORLANDI - CALDELLI - GREGORI 2014; SOLIN 2014. Per il caso specifi co dei falsi su supporto bronzeo vd. BOLLA 2014.

(65) BUONOPANE 2014, p. 293.

(66) SARTORI 2008, p. 585.

(67) CIL VI, 910, 31198, cfr. p. 4304, rr. 3-4: Druso Caesari Ti(beri) Augusti f(ilio),/ Dì vì Augusti n(epoti).

(68) Cfr. SPON 1685, p. 266; FABRETTI 1702, p. 395 n. 276, p. 683 n. 72.

(69) CIL II, 3103: Druso Cae/sar(i) Ti(beri) f(ilio) Au/gusti n(epoti) divi / pron(epoti) / [L(ucius)] Turellius / L(uci) f(ilius) Geminus / aed(ilis) d(e) s(ua) p(ecunia); cfr. ALMAGRO BASCH 1984, p. 24.

(70) Cfr. GRUTER 1603, p. 236 nn. 6-7.

(71) Cfr. già BILLANOVICH 1967.

(72) Cfr. RIC 42 (sesterzio del 22-23 d.C. con legenda DRVSVS CAESAR TI AVG F DIVI AVG N PONT TR POT II attorno alla sigla centrale S C), RIC 45 (asse del 21-22 d.C. con legenda DRVSVS CAESAR TI AVG F DIVI AVG N al recto e PONTIF TRIBVN POTEST ITER attorno alla sigla centrale S C al verso); RIC II, 414-415 (assi coniati durante il principato di Tito, con legenda DRVSVS CAESAR TI AVG F DIVI AVG N al recto e IMP T CAES DIVI VESP F AVG REST attorno a sigla centrale S C al verso).

(73) Cfr. a titolo dimostrativo RASCHE 1785, coll. 463-468, con ampia bibliografi a precedente. Sono grato a Tomaso Maria Lucchelli per questa segnalazione.

(74) Alcune «medaglie» con legenda menzionante Druso Minore appartenute ai soci colombari sono commentate nei cosiddetti Sunti del Tarpato, una raccolta di quattordici tomi manoscritti, redatti tra il 1735 e il 1753 da Andrea Da Verrazzano (noto con il nome accademico di «Tarpato») e contenenti descrizioni dettagliate degli oggetti presentati durante le adunate della Colombaria: cfr. ERMINI 2003, p. 79 nota 16. A titolo dimostrativo vd. Firenze, Accademia Toscana di Scienze e Lettere «La Colombaria», Archivio, Sunti del Tarpato, vol. II, pp. 74, 85-86, 94; vol. VII, pp. 392-393. Sono grato a Vaima Gelli per questa segnalazione.

(75) HENZEN 1860, p. 38 nota 1.

ABBREVIAZIONI

ASFi = Archivio di Stato di Firenze.
DBI = Dizionario biografi co degli Italiani, Roma 1960-.
NDB = Neue deutsche Biographie, Berlin 1953-.
RIC = The Roman Imperial Coinage, London, 1923-.

Per le pubblicazioni periodiche sono state adottate le sigle de L’Année philologique.

BIBLIOGRAFIA

ALMAGRO BASCH, 1984 M. ALMAGRO BASCH, Segobriga II. Inscripciones ibericas, latinas paganas y latinas cristianas, Madrid 1984.

BILLANOVICH, 1967 M.P. BILLANOVICH, Falsi epigrafi ci, «IMU», 10, 1967, pp. 25-110.

BLANCK, 2003 H. BLANCK, Henzen, Wilhelm, in DBI, LXI, Roma 2003, pp. 680-683.

BLANCK, 2009 H. BLANCK (a cura di), Le scienze dell’antichità nell’Ottocento: il carteggio fra Adolphe Noel des Vergers e i segretari dell’Instituto di corrispondenza archeologica Wilhelm Henzen e Heinrich Brunn, Argelato (BO) 2009.

BOLLA, 2014 M. BOLLA, Cenni sulle falsifi cazioni nella bronzistica, in Instrumenta inscripta V. Signacula ex aere. Aspetti epigrafi ci, archeologici, giuridici, prosopografi ci, collezionistici, Atti del Convegno internazionale, a cura di A. Buonopane e S. Braito, Roma 2014.

BRUNI, 2004 S. BRUNI (a cura di), La Collezione Majnoni-Baldovinetti del Museo Civico di Montopoli in Valdarno, Ospedaletto (PI) 2004.

BUONOPANE, 2010 A. BUONOPANE, Germanico e Druso in una nuova iscrizione di Vicetia (Regio X)?, in Le tribù romane, Atti della XVIe Rencontre sur l’épigraphie (Bari, 8-10 ottobre 2009), a cura di M. Silvestrini, Bari 2010, pp. 401-404.

BUONOPANE, 2014 A. BUONOPANE, Il lato oscuro delle collezioni epigrafi - che: falsi, copie, imitazioni. Un caso di studio: la raccolta Lazise-Gazzola, in DONATI 2014, pp. 291-313.

BUCHI, 1993 E. BUCHI, Iscrizioni romane, in FOGOLARI 1993, pp. 152-157.

BUCHI, 1994 E. BUCHI, Drusus Kaisar Ti. Aug. f. in una laminetta opistografa di Torcello (VE), in Studi di archeologia della X regio in ricordo di Michele Tombolani, a cura di B.M. Scarfì, Roma 1994 (Studia archaeologica, 70), pp. 303- 309.

CALLEGARI, 1930 A. CALLEGARI, Il Museo Provinciale di Torcello, Venezia 1930.

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FARALLI, 2009 S. FARALLI, Per una storia delle scoperte e delle ricerche su Arezzo antica nell’Ottocento, in Arezzo nell’Antichità, a cura di G. Camporeale e G. Firpo, Roma 2009, pp. 26-32.

FOGOLARI, 1993 G. FOGOLARI (a cura di), Il Museo di Torcello. Bronzi, ceramiche, marmi di età antica, Venezia 1993.

GIMENO PASCUAL, 2006 H. GIMENO PASCUAL, Inscriptiones Italiae in Hispaniam advectae Museo Arqueológico Nacional servatae, in La Resistenza dei militari, a cura di L. Ceci, Roma 2006 (Annali del Dipartimento di Storia. Università degli Studi di Roma «Tor Vergata», 2), pp. 361-387.

GONZÁLEZ SÁNCHEZ, 1993 C. GONZÁLEZ SÁNCHEZ, Colección Asensi, in De Gabinete a Museo, tres siglos de historia, Museo Arqueológico Nacional, Madrid 1993, pp. 362-367.

GRAF, 2007 F.W. GRAF, Schreiber, Johann Nepomuk Heinrich, in NDB, 23, 2007, pp. 532-533.

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KORHONEN, 2010 K. KORHONEN, Copiate, non inventate. Le falsifi cazioni epigrafi che di Capua, in Il Mediterraneo e la storia. Epigrafi a e archeologia in Campania: letture storiche, Atti dell’Incontro internazionale di studio, a cura di L. Chioffi , Napoli 2010, pp. 131-143.

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ZORZI, 1981 E. ZORZI, Luigi Conton pescatore di ceramiche, in L. CONTON, Le antiche ceramiche veneziane scoperte nella laguna / Antique Venetian Ceramics Discovered in the Lagoon, Venezia 1981, pp. 7-18.

* * *

EPIGRAPHICA

Fondata nel 1939, diretta da ARISTIDE CALDERINI e da GIANCARLO SUSINI

Direzione: Angela DONATI, Responsabile

Maria BOLLINI, Condirettore
Attilio MASTINO, Condirettore

Comitato scientifico:

Alain BRESSON, Bordeaux
Francesca CENERINI, Bologna
Mare MAYER, Barcelona
Stephen MITCHELL, Exeter
Joan FISO, Cluj
Antonio SARTORI, Milano
Christian WITSCHEL, Heidelberg

La Direzione si vale inoltre di un ampio Comitato internazionale di lettura al quale sottopone, a seconda delle specifiche competenze e in forma anonima, gli articoli pervenuti.

Collaborano alla redazione:
Alda CALBI, Valeria CICALA,
Piergiorgio FLORIS, Paola GIACOMINI,
Daniela RIGATO, Patrizia TABARONI,
Livio ZERBINI

Patrocinio:
Association Internationale d'Épigraphie
Grecque et Latine (A.I.E.G.L.)

http://www.epigraphica.org

© 2015 Fratelli Lega Editori, Faenza
EPIGRAPHICA

PERIODICO INTERNAZIONALE
DI EPIGRAFIA

LXXVII, 1-2
2015

FRATELLI LEGA EDITORI
FAENZA

Image

EPIGRAPHICA
PERIODICO INTERNAZIONALE DI EPIGRAFIA
LXXVII, 2015

INDICE


Francesca ROCCA, La liberazione degli schiavi e il teatro ........................... p. 9

Alessia DIMARTINO, L’epistola di Ierone II e l’orkion boulas (IG XIV, 7): un nuovo dossier epigrafico?..................................................................... » 39

Noemí MONCUNILL MARTÍ, The Iberian lead plaque in the Víctor Català collection (Empúries, L’Escala). A new study and edition ..................... » 67

María LIMÓN BELÉN, Concepción FERNÁNDEZ MARTÍNEZ, Sobre la autenticidad de la Fíbula de Preneste. Las evidencias del texto y su confirmación científica .............................................................................. » 85

Julián GONZÁLEZ FERNÁNDEZ, Tabella defixionis del siglo I a.C. encontrada en el portal (provincia de Cádiz) .............................................. » 103

Carolina CORTÉS BÁRCENA, Riflessioni del cippo di confine di Bevke (AEp 2002, 532) alla luce di termini tra comunità appartenenti a province diverse......................................................................................................... » 117

Lorenzo CALVELLI, La laminetta bronzea di Druso Minore conservata al Museo Provinciale di Torcello: un falso smascherato.............................. » 133

Michel CHRISTOL, Une inscription du «quotidien municipal» dans la colonie d’Antioche de Pisidie ................................................................... » 159

Khaled MARMOURI, Ob liberalitatem annuam perpetuam epu-lativam. Une nouvelle souscription publique d’Afrique proconsulaire ........................ » 173

Ulrike Ehmig, Ausschlussverfahren: Eine Gruppe italischer Grabinschriften als Beispiel sozialer Überassimilierung in der römischen Kaiserzeit ...... » 193

Yann Le Bohec, Raid sur El-Agueneb............................................................ » 207

Juan LEWIS. External evidence and the reconstruction of missing texts: CIL III, 256 as case study ......................................................................... » 221

Roberta DE VITA, Un lottatore di Amastri sul Ponto in campania ............ » 229

Eleonora SALOMONE GAGGERO, Testimonianze di una nuova gens a Luni: gli Hortorii ....................................................................................... » 241

Bernard KAVANAGH, The cursus and possible origo of Sex. Appius Severus ............................................................................................................... » 259

Marc MAYER I OLIVÉ, A propósito de un nuevo pedestal ecuestre, AEp 2009, 652, hallado recientemente en Valencia. Consideraciones sobre los allii de Turris Libisonis ........................................................................ » 271

Ignazio TANTILLO, L. Amnivs …nivs Caesonivs Nicomachvs Anicivs Pavlinvs .......................................................................................................... » 285

Claudia SQUINTU, Il motivo della morte accidentale in un carme lionnese (CLE 1198 = CIL XIII, 2219) .................................................................. » 301

Maria Teresa SBLENDORIO CUGUSI, L’epigramma longum salonitano CLE 1141 ................................................................................................... » 317

Filippo BOSCOLO, Ateste romana: storia ed epigrafia negli ultimi vent’anni ................................................................................................................. » 337

Manuel RAMÍREZ-SÁNCHEZ, Manel GARCÍA SÁNCHEZ, Sebastià GIRALT SOLER, Epigraphia 3D. Un proyecto de innovación científica en la divulgación del patrimonio epigráfico de Hispania ..................................................................................................... p. 371

* * *

Schede e notizie

Marco BUONOCORE, Spigolature epigrafiche. IX ...................................... » 397

Giulia TOZZI, Una nuova iscrizione greca dal X municipio di Roma ......... » 423

Giorgio CRIMI, Il contributo di EDR all’aggiornamento del CIL: l’iscrizione dedicatoria delle Terme di Diocleziano alla luce di un nuovo frammento ................................................................................................................ » 426

Angela DONATI, CIL VI, 12897 recuperata .................................................. » 447

Antonino NASTASI, Un’epigrafe «numidica» sul Gianicolo. Giuseppe Gatti redattore di un’iscrizione in latino del 1903 ............................................ » 448

Umberto SOLDOVIERI, Di una nuova iscrizione funeraria dal tenimento di Volcei (Regio III)) ................................................................................. » 457

Gemma CORAZZA, Nuove iscrizioni funerarie dall’Irpinia ......................... » 459

Heikki SOLIN, Mika KAJAVA, Olli SALOMIES, Storie epigrafiche minturnesi ........................................................................................................ » 466

Carlo MOLLE, Un’iscrizione inedita e i Dentrii di Aquinum ....................... » 483

Nice MONTANILE, Su un’iscrizione inedita brundisina ............................. » 492

Silvia BRAITO, Attia Mulsula T. f. e «Tarquitia Mulsula»: nota su un ghost name dell’instrumentum inscriptum ......................................................... » 494

Agnese DI DONATO, La stele di C. Iulius Valens ........................................ » 497

Camilla CAMPEDELLI, Due ‘Bauinschriften’ inedite da Thamugadi .............. » 501

Mauro REALI, Mostra La pietra e la carta. Libri epigrafici ed epigrafi dell’Ambrosiana, Pinacoteca Ambrosiana di Milano (dal 27 maggio al 14 settembre 2014), a cura di Antonio Sartori e Federico Gallo ........... » 506

* * *

Bibliografia

C. Fernández Martínez, M. Limón Belén, J. Gómez Pallarès, J. del Hoyo Calleja (edd.), Ex officina. Literatura epigráfica en verso, Universidad de Sevilla, Sevilla 2013 (Mauro Reali) ............................. » 513

Antonio Sartori, Loquentes lapides. La raccolta epigrafica dell’Ambrosiana, Accademia Ambrosiana, Classe di Studi greci e latini (Fonti e studi 21), Milano, Bulzoni, 2014 (Alfredo Valv o) .............................................. » 516

La statio. Archéologie d’un lieu de pouvoir dans l’empire romain, édité par Jérôme France, Jocel yne Nel is-Clément, Scripta Antiqua 66, Bordeaux 2014 (Angela Donati) ......................................................... » 520

Riccardo Olivito, Il foro nell’atrio. Immagini di architetture, scene di vita e di mercato nel fregio dai Praedia di Iulia Felix (Pompei, II, 4,3), Bari 2013 (Angela Donati) .......................................................................... » 521

Annunci Bibliografici ......................................................................................... » 523

* * *

Indici, a cura di Angela DONATI ................................................................... » 525

I. Onomastica ........................................................................................... » 527

II. Geographica .......................................................................................... » 530

III. Notabiliora ........................................................................................... » 532

IV. Tavole di conguaglio ........................................................................... » 535

Elenco dei collaboratori ..................................................................................... » 537
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Re: FREDA BEDI CONT'D (#4)

Postby admin » Sat Oct 22, 2022 11:42 pm

A treasured manuscript in a college library that was believed to have been written by Galileo is a forgery, university says
by Aya Elamroussi
Contributors Claudia Dominguez
CNN
Published 24th August 2022

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Among the heavenly bodies the ancients worshipped chiefly the sun not, thinks Herbert, 'in itself', but, like Plato, as the 'sensible simulachrum' of God.4 [Herbert, De Rel. Gent., p. 19: ' ... quamvis superius Sole numen sub hisce praesertim vocabulis coluerunt Hebraei, Solem, neque aliud numen, intellexerunt Gentiles, nisi fortasse in Sole, tanquam praeclaro Dei summi specimine, et sensibili ejus, ut Plato vocat, simulachro, Deum summum ab illis cultum fuisse censeas: quod non facile abnuerem, praesertim quum Symbolica fuerit omnis fere religio Veterum ...', (Google translate: ... although above the Sun the god under these particular terms The Hebrews worshiped the Sun, and no other god, the Gentiles understood, except perhaps in the Sun, as the glorious image of the supreme God, and his sensibility, as Plato calls in a pretense, you may think that God was the highest worship by them: which is not easy I would refuse, especially since almost all the religion of the Ancients was symbolic...') Plato, Republ., VI, 508 B-C.] This sunworship was then, in Herbert's terms, a cultus symbolicus [symbolic worship], not a cultus proprius [proper worship]; and throughout his treatise he insists that the pagan cult of natural objects, and of men, was of this symbolic nature, at least among educated people.5 [ ibid., pp. 183-4, 222.] 'That the cult of the sun was both very ancient and universal' is witnessed by all ancient historians; men received it 'from the very dictate of Nature'.6 [ibid., p. 20: 'Solis cultum tum antiquum maxime, tum universalem fuisse, testantur non solummodo S. S. sed Homerus, et Hesiodus, ipsi quoque veteres Historici ... Ad Coelos igitur, ex ipso Naturae dictamine, non maximis in periculis tantum, sed in rebus secundis, oculos supplicesque manus tendebant ...' (Google translate: The ancient worship of the sun especially, and that it was universal not only St. S., but Homer and Hesiod, themselves ancients, testify Historians ... To the Heavens therefore, from the dictates of Nature itself, not in the greatest perils so much, but in secondary matters, they stretched out their eyes and their supplicating hands.)] Herbert then proceeds to demonstrate, with a considerable show of erudition, that the names of most of the pagan gods originally referred to the sun, and that the Hebrew names for God were taken by the Gentiles to mean the sun, so that we have a series of equations, such as Jehovah = Iacchus or Bacchus = sun, or Adonai = Adonis = sun.1 [ibid., pp. 16-9, 20-31.] An Orphic hymn is quoted to show that Priapus was one of the names given to the sun;2 [ibid., p. 25; Orphei Hymni, ed. G. Quandt, Berolini, 1955, p. 7 ([x], 1. 8-9).] and a chapter is devoted to showing that the names of the planets originally referred to the sun.3 [ibid. pp. 29-31.]

In spite of the primacy given to the sun, the other planets and stars were not neglected in the ancient religion; for Plato, in the Cratylus, says that the most ancient Greeks 'believed, like many present-day barbarians, the only gods to be the sun and moon, earth, stars and sky', and, in the Timaeus and Laws, he states that the world, sky and stars are gods. Many other 'egregious philosophers', especially Stoics, were of this opinion.4 [ibid., pp. 39-40; Plato, Cratylus, 397 C- D, Timaeus, 39 E-40 C, Laws, 899 A-B.] Some modern philosophers believe the planets to be animated, and indeed 'the most approved Christian authors, among them Thomas Aquinas, consider that the stars are alive'. Herbert goes on:5 [ibid., p. 40: 'Et sane vivere astra, probatissimi Authores Christiani censent; et cum primis Thomas Aquinas, et alii, quorum catalogum in Vossio lib. 2 de Idol. videre est ... Verum enimvero si vivunt, coli posse aliquo cultu sacro et religioso, qualis hominibus sanctis convenit, doctissimus Jesuita in dissertatione sua de Caelo 4. putat: Majorem quippe honorem, et cultum supera, quam infera, aeterna quam caduca, mereri videntur, tum praesertim inter illos, qui post hanc vitam transactam, faelicitatem sempiternam in Caelo et Astris dari statuebant. Turpe et indecorum enim existimaverant, non advenerari ea, unde ortum ducere, et in quae redire animas suas (Deo summo ita volente) crederent antiquitus Philosophi Sacerdotesque Gentiles.' (Google translate: And of course the stars live, the most approved Christian authors consider; and with the first Thomas Aquinas, and others, whose catalog is in Vossio lib. 2 of Idol. it is to be seen ... It is indeed true that if they live, they can be worshiped with some sacred worship and religious, such as befits holy men, the most learned Jesuit in his dissertation 4. He thinks of his own from Heaven: For greater honor and worship is higher than hell, eternal rather than ephemeral, they seem to deserve, and especially among those who are after this they decided to give eternal happiness in heaven and the stars after the life was spent. For they had thought it shameful and unseemly not to arrive at the thing from which it arose to lead, and into which they would return their souls (so willing to the supreme God) of ancient times Gentile Philosophers and Priests.')]
Verily indeed, if they are alive, they can be worshipped with some sacred and religious cult, such as is fittingly given to holy men; which is the opinion of a most learned Jesuit in his 4th dissertation on the heavens; since those things that are higher seem to deserve greater honour and worship than those that are lower, the eternal than the corruptible, especially among people who considered that, after this life is over, sempiternal felicity is enjoyed in the heavens and stars.

Among the planets Jupiter is particularly important, since under this name the ancients worshipped a pantheistic God, witness Orpheus' Hymn of Jove and the Stoics.1 [ibid., p. 47: 'Altius tamen quiddam quam Stellam hanc, nedum numen animale ex Iove, intellexerunt olim Philosophi. Ideo Orpheus Iovem omnium primum atque postremum appellabat, eumque omnia tempora, quae unquam fuere, praecessisse, permansurumque post cuncta quae futura sint; illum supremam mundi partem colere, infimam quoque omnium attingere, totumque ubique esse dixit.' (Google translate: 'However, there is something deeper than this Star, let alone an animal god from Jupiter, as the Philosophers once understood. Therefore, Orpheus Jupiter first of all and he called it the last, and that all the times that ever were had preceded him, and will continue after all things that are to come; that supreme of the world He said to worship a part, to reach also the lowest of all, and to be the whole everywhere.') cf. supra, p. 86.] Moreover, as a planet, Jupiter's influence was believed to be especially benign, being intermediate between 'the fervour of Mars and the frigidity of Saturn'; and indeed, so efficacious was its influence, that in certain conjunctions it enabled men to obtain everything they prayed for -- 'of which Peter of Abano writes that he has found it to be most true'.2 [ibid., pp. 46- 8: 'Quum enim id temperamenti huic Stellae misti crederetur, ut medium quid inter Martis fervorem Saturnique frigiditatem obtineret, benigna prorsus Stella habebatur ... non solummodo salutaris ad omnia existimatus fuit Planeta hiC, sed ita efficax, ut si Luna ilLi jungeretur cum Capite Draconis omnia impetrari possent, quae a Deo postulantur; quod et Petrus Aponensis scribit se comperisse verissimum'; Petrus Aponensis, Liber Conciliator, Venetiis, 1521, Diff. 113, 156, fos 158 vo, 202 ro. (Google translate: For when it was believed that the temperament of this star was mixed, so as to obtain a medium between the heat of Mars and the coldness of Saturn, kind He was regarded as a total star ... not only was he considered a savior for all things This planet, but so efficacious, as if the Moon there were united with the Dragon's Head they could obtain what is required of God; which also Peter of Aponensis writes himself to have discovered the truest thing'; Peter Aponensis, Liber Conciliator, Venice, 1521, Diff. 113, 156, fos 158 vo, 202 ro.)] Immediately after this casual reference to dangerous mediaeval magic, Herbert, passing to Saturn, mentions Galilei's Medicean satellites3 [ibid., p. 48.] (he had already for Mars referred us to Kepler and Scheiner),4 [ ibid., p. 46.] and then discusses the poetic fables about Saturn. Some of these do conceal a solid truth, such as that of Saturn being bound by Jove, which means that the 'malignant power of Saturn may be corrected by the salutary star Jupiter'. Saturn, according to the Platonists, produces contemplative characters and melancholics; and according to 'our Roger Bacon', the Jews chose Saturday as the Sabbath, because Saturn, being 'idle and slow, is not fortunate or suitable for doing things'. Finally, to wind up the chapter on planets, we are told, for 'the harmonious proportion of the planets to consult, after Pythagoras, Kepler'.5 [ibid., p. 48: 'Ita ubi Saturnum a Iove in vincula conjectum, et in Tartara paecipitem datum, narrant Poetae, id ita intelligunt Mythologi, ut Saturni vis maligna a Iovis salutari sydere castigetur, et corrigatur, ingensque aeris altitudo, ubi primitus eorum operationes perficiantur, Tartarus hic sit. Saturnus quoque contemplationis author esse existimatur a Platonicis, tum quod Caelo supremo proximus, vim illam inderet animis, tum quod animas ita ad primordia sua revocet ... In anno quoque eum praefecere [sic] Autumno, in Hebdomade Diei Septimae, ut ideo noster Rogerus Bacon scribere non dubitaverit, Iudaeorum more tum temporis feriandum, quia segne et tardum sydus Saturni parum sit foelix, et idoneum rebus agendis . . . De harmonica Planetarum proportione consulatur post Pythagoram Keplerus.' (Google translate: Thus, when Saturn was thrown into chains by Jupiter, and into Tartarus the poets tell us that he was given a sword, and the mythologists understand it in this way, as the force of Saturn the wicked will be punished by Jupiter's salutary star, and he will be corrected, and the great height of the air, where at first their operations were accomplished, let Tartarus be here. Saturn too It is thought by the Platonists to be responsible for contemplation, as well as for the highest heaven next, he would impart that power to the souls, and that souls thus to their beginnings he will call back ... In the year also to preside over him [sic] in the Autumn, in the Week of the Day Seventh, as our Roger Bacon did not hesitate to write, of the Jews to be celebrated at the same time, because the slow and slow star of Saturn is small happy, and fit to do things. . . On the Harmonic Proportion of the Planets Kepler is consulted after Pythagoras.')]

-- The Ancient Theology: Studies in Christian Platonism from the Fifteenth to the Eighteen Century, by Daniel Pickering Walker (1914-1985)


[A]s I said before, since at that time no laws were yet administered, nor punishment suspended over evil deeds, they recorded as rightful and brave deeds, adulteries and sodomy, and incestuous and unlawful marriages, and bloodshed and parricides, and murders of children and brethren, and moreover, wars and seditions actually carried on by their own champions, whom they both accounted and called gods, and bequeathed the remembrance of them as worshipful and brave to later generations.

Such was the ancient theology which was transformed by certain moderns of yesterday's growth, who boasted of having a more reasonable philosophy, and introduced what they called the more physical view of the history of the gods, by devising more respectable and ingenious explanations for the legends: yet they neither escaped altogether the fault of their forefathers' impiety, nor, on the other hand, could endure the self-manifested wickedness of their so-called gods.

So, in their eagerness to palliate the fault of their fathers, they changed the legends into physical narratives and theories, and boasted, as the more mystical view, that the things which give nourishment and increase to the nature of the body are those which the legends set forth.

Going on from this point, these men also gave the title of gods to the elements of the world, not just merely to sun and moon and stars, but also to earth and water, and air and fire, and their combinations and resultants, and moreover to the seasonable fruits of the earth, and all other produce of food both dry and liquid: and these very things, regarded as causes of the life of the body, they called Demeter, and Kore, and Dionysus, and other like names, and, by making gods of them, introduced a forced and untrue embellishment of their legends.

But it was in a later age that these men, as if ashamed of the theologies of their forefathers, added respectable explanations, which each invented of himself, to the legends concerning their gods; for no one dared to disturb the customs of their ancestors, but paid great honour to antiquity, and to the familiar training which had grown with them from their boyhood.


Their elders, however, besides their deifications of men, gave equal rank to their consecrations of brute animals, because of the benefit derived from them also for the causes previously assigned; and they devoted equal religious worship to the brutes, and with libations, sacrifices, mystic rites, and hymns, and songs, exalted the honours paid to them, in the same manner as to the men who had been deified. And so they marched on to such a pitch of evil, that, through excess of unbridled lust, they consecrated with divine honours those parts of the body that lead to impurity, and the unrestrained passions of mankind, while their so-called theologians declared that in these things there is no need at all to use solemn phrases. We must, then, hold it to have been proved on the highest testimony, that the oldest generations knew nothing more at all than the history, but adhered to the legends only. Since, however, we have once begun to glance at the august and recondite doctrines of the noble philosophers, let us go on and examine these also more fully, that we may not seem to be ignorant of their wonderful physical theories.

But before we make our exposition of these doctrines, we must first indicate the mutual contradiction even here of these admirable philosophers themselves. For some of them make random statements, and set forth their opinions according to what comes into the mind of each individually: for they do not agree one with another even in their physical theories. While others more candidly sweep away the whole system, and banish from their own republic not only the indecent stories about the gods, but also the interpretations given of them; though sometimes they speak softly of the legends through fear of the punishment threatened by the laws.

Listen then to the Greeks themselves speaking by the mouth of the one noblest of them all, now banishing and now again adopting the legends. Thus their admirable Plato, when he lays bare his own preference, with great boldness forbids altogether the thinking or saying such things concerning the gods, as had been said by them of old, whether they contained anything latent indicated in allegorical meanings, or were spoken without any allegorical meaning at all. But at other times he speaks softly of the laws, and says that we ought to believe the legends about the gods, though there is nothing indicated by them in allegorical meanings.


But when at last he has dissociated his own theology from the ancient legends, and has stated his physical theories about the heaven, and sun, and moon, and stars, and moreover about the whole cosmos, and the parts of it severally, he again specially and separately goes through the ancient genealogical accounts of the gods just as follows word for word in the Timaeus....

Such, we see were the opinions entertained by the best philosophers, and by the ancient and most eminent men of the Roman empire concerning the theology of the Greeks----opinions which give no admission to physical theories in their legends concerning the gods, nor to their gorgeous and sophistical impostures...

Now much labour has been spent upon these subjects by numberless other professors of philosophy, who have made different subtle explanations of the same, and strongly insist that the opinion which occurred to each was the exact truth. But for my part I am content to bring forward my proofs from the most illustrious authors who are well known to all philosophers, and have carried off no small reputation for philosophy among the Greeks.

Of whom take first and read the words of Plutarch of Chaeroneia on the questions before us, wherein with solemn phrase he perverts the fables into what he asserts to be mysterious theologies....

But why need I thus anticipate, when we may hear the man himself, in the essay which he wrote On the Daedala at Plataea, expounding as follows what was hidden from the multitude in the secret physiological doctrines concerning the gods.

[PLUTARCH] 'THE physiology of the ancients both among Greeks and Barbarians was a physical doctrine concealed in legends, for the most part a secret and mysterious theology conveyed in enigmas and allegories, containing statements that were clearer to the multitude than the silent omissions, and its silent omissions more liable to suspicion than the open statements.
This is evident in the Orphic poems, and in the Egyptian and Phrygian stories: 'out the mind of the ancients is most clearly exhibited in the orgiastic rites connected with the initiations, and in what is symbolically acted in the religious services.

'For instance, not to digress far from our present subjects, they do not suppose nor admit any intercourse between Hera and Dionysus; and they guard against combining their worship; and their priestesses at Athens, they say, do not speak to each other when they meet, nor is ivy ever brought into the precincts of Hera, not because of their fabulous and nonsensical jealousies, but because the goddess presides over marriage and bridal processions, and drunkenness is unbecoming to bridegrooms, and most unbefitting to a marriage feast, as Plato says: for the drinking of strong wine causes disorder both in body and soul, whereby what is sown and conceived being shapeless and misplaced does not take root well. Again, those who sacrifice to Hera do not consecrate the gall, but bury it beside the altar, meaning that the wedded life of wife and husband ought to be free from anger and wrath, and undisturbed by rage and bitterness.

'This symbolical style is more common in the tales and legends. As for instance, they relate that Hera ...

'Such then is the legend: and the explanation of it is as follows. The variance and quarrel of Hera and Zeus is nothing else than the distemper and confusion of the elements, when they no longer bear a due proportion to each other in the cosmos, but disproportion and roughness arise, and they have a desperate fight and dissolve their connexion, and work the ruin of the universe.

If then Zeus, that is, the force of heat and fire, gives occasion to the variance, a drought overtakes the earth: but if it is on the part of Hera, that is, the element of rain and wind, that any outbreak or excess takes place, there comes a great flood, and deluges and overflows everything. And as something of this kind occurred about those times, and Boeotia especially had been deeply flooded, as soon as ever the plain emerged and the flood abated, the order which followed from the tranquillity of the atmosphere was called the agreement and reconciliation of the deities. The first of the plants that sprang up out of the earth was the oak; and men welcomed this, because it gave a permanent supply of food and safety....

THIS is what Plutarch says; and we learn from the statements which he sets before us, that even the wonderful and secret physiology of the Greek theology conveyed nothing divine, nor anything great and worthy of deity, and deserving of attention.

For you have heard Hera called at one time Gamelios, and a symbol of the joint life of husband and wife, and at another time the earth called Hera, and at another the element of water; and Dionysus translated into drunkenness, and Latona into night, and the sun into Apollo, and Zeus himself into the force of heat and fire.

So then the original indecency of the legends, and the physiological explanation, which is thought to be more respectable, led not up to any heavenly, intellectual, and divine powers, nor yet to rational and incorporeal essences, but the explanation itself led down again to drunkenness, and marriage feasts, and human passions, and reduced the parts of the cosmos to fire, and earth, and sun, and the other elements of matter, without introducing any other deity.

And Plato too knew this. In the Cratylus, at least, he expressly acknowledges that the first inhabitants of Greece knew nothing more than the visible parts of the cosmos, and supposed the luminaries in the heaven and the other phenomena to be the only gods.

So he speaks as follows word for word:

'It appears to me that the first inhabitants of Greece acknowledged no other gods than those whom many of the barbarians acknowledge now, namely, sun, and moon, and earth, and stars, and heaven.'...


Now we might reasonably ask, to which set of gods, will they say, do the forms belong which are engraven on their statues. Are they those of daemons? Or those of fire, and air, and earth, and water? Or likenesses of men and women, and shapes of brute animals and wild beasts?...

[S]urely true reason shouts and cries aloud, all but in actual speech, and testifies that they of whom we speak have been mortal men. And Plutarch with superabundant pains describes the particular character of their bodily shapes, in his work On Isis and the Gods of Egypt. Speaking as follows:

'The Egyptians narrate that in body Hermes was short-armed, and Typhon red in complexion, and Horus fair, and Osiris dark-skinned, as having been by nature men.'

Thus speaks Plutarch. So then their whole manufacture of gods consists of dead men; and their physical explanations are fictitious. For what need was there to model figures of men and women, when without them they could worship the sun and moon and the other elements of the cosmos?

To which of these two classes did they assign names of this kind, and with whom did they begin? I mean, for example, Hephaestus and Athena, and Zeus, and Poseidon, and Hera.

Were these in the first place names of the universal elements, which they have since ascribed to mortals, making them of the same name as the heavenly bodies? Or on the contrary, have they transferred the names in use among men to the natural substances?

But why should they address the natural elements of the universe by names of mortal men? And the mysteries belonging to each god, and the hymns, and songs, and the secrets of the initiatory rites,----do these introduce the symbols of the universal elements, or of the mortal men of old who had the same names with the gods?

Then as to wanderings, and drunken fits, and amours, and seduction of women, and plots against men, and countless things, which are in truth shameful and unseemly practices of mortal men, how could any one refer these to the universal elements, acts which bear upon their very face mortality and human passion?

So that from all these proofs this wonderful and noble physiology is convicted of having no connexion with truth, and containing nothing really divine, but possessing only a forced and counterfeit solemnity of external utterance...


After we have given so many proofs in confutation of their inconsistent theology, both the more mythical so-called, and that which is forsooth of a higher and more physical kind which the ancient Greeks and Egyptians were shown to magnify, it is time to survey also the refinements of the younger generations who make a profession of philosophy in our own time: for these have endeavoured to combine the doctrines concerning a creative mind of the universe, and those concerning incorporeal ideas and intelligent and rational powers,----doctrines invented long ages afterwards by Plato, and thought out with accurate reasonings,----with the theology of the ancients, exaggerating with yet greater conceit their promise concerning the legends. Listen then to their physiology also, and observe with what boastfulness it has been published by Porphyry.

-- Praeparatio Evangelica (Preparation for the Gospel), by Eusebius of Caesarea


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Annotations recording Galileo's discovery of the four moons of Jupiter, from the single leaf manuscript in our collection. (University of Michigan Library) Credit: University of Michigan Library

A prized manuscript in the University of Michigan library that was believed to have been written by the famed Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei is a forgery, the university said.

The one-page document known as the "Galileo manuscript" can't be traced to any earlier than 1930 and was likely written by the notorious Italian forger Tobia Nicotra, it said in a statement.


Tobia Nicotra was a prolific Italian forger who produced counterfeit works of artists in various disciplines. In 1937, he was described as "the most proficient forger of autographs".  He may have produced as many as 600 forgeries before he was caught.

During the 1920s, the works of Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini were popular in the United States and had "so important a role in the country's musical life" that during Nicotra's visit to the United States starting in the late 1920s, he capitalized on the popularity by writing a biography of the conductor. His 1929 manuscript was in Italian, but it was published only in English: chapter 22  by Alfred A. Knopf with translation provided by Irma Brandeis and H. D. Kahn.  It was rife with mistakes and has been described as "superficial" and containing "invented conversations". In 1932, he returned to the United States leading a salon orchestra impersonating Riccardo Drigo, an Italian composer who had died in 1930.

Nicotra produced forged manuscripts for various artists, including a poem by Torquato Tasso,  the four-page musical manuscript Baci amorosi e cari attributed to Mozart, and works by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi
. He attributed four of his forged manuscripts to Pergolesi, though his attempts to imitate the composer's handwriting were not entirely successful.  Two of these were described by music historian Barry S. Brooks as "awful" and written by a "totally unmusical" forger.  He forged at least two manuscripts he ascribed to Handel: an aria he stated was from Handel's Italian period; and an air from the 1741 oratorio Messiah. Other musical forgeries he created were attributed to Gluck, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, and Richard Wagner.

His forgeries of composer autographs were described as "convincingly executed" by Harry Haskell.  He achieved this by visiting libraries in Milan housing historical manuscripts, tearing out flyleaves (blank pages at the front or back of books) on which he would then add autographs.  He wrote on this laid paper with a quill using iron-gall ink, which imparted the forged documents with an air of legitimacy.  He brought the poem manuscript he forged and attributed to Tasso to an expert, stating he thought it might be a forgery; he was told it was authentic.

He also created forgeries of letters and other documents purportedly written by famous historical figures, including Christopher Columbus, Leonardo da Vinci, Abraham Lincoln, the Marquis de Lafayette, Martin Luther, Michelangelo, and George Washington.
Major institutions purchased some of his forgeries, including the Library of Congress which in 1928 bought several Mozart autographs for $60 (equivalent to $947 in 2021) that experts had "accepted as genuine".

With the income he earned from the sale of his forgeries, Nicotra rented seven apartments in Milan, each for a mistress.

Many of his forgeries were sold in the United States during his visits in the 1920s and early 1930s. Forged Pergolesi autographs were sold to the Library of Congress, the Metropolitan Opera, and even to the library in Pergolesi's hometown of Pergola. Walter Toscanini, son of Arturo and an authority in antiquarian manuscripts, bought a Mozart manuscript from Nicotra for 2,700 lire. Upon inspection, he suspected it to be a forgery and sent it to Mozarteum University Salzburg, where an historian verified it as authentic.  Toscanini later determined it was a forgery, and with Milanese detective Giorgio Florita was able to catch Nicotra selling forgeries to Milanese publishing house Hopeli.  Nicotra was eventually arrested for failing to provide an identity document upon request; a search yielded a forged identity document with his photograph and Drigo's name.

On 9 November 1934 he was sentenced to two years in prison and fined 2,400 lire (equivalent to £5,698,202 in 2020),  based on testimony by Walter Toscanini and librarians from Milan whose testimony described the ruined manuscripts in their libraries.  Police who had arrested him testified that at the time of his arrest he had autograph forgeries in progress at his workshop, including those for Christopher Columbus, Warren G. Harding, Tadeusz Kościuszko, Leonardo da Vinci, Abraham Lincoln, the Marquis de Lafayette, Martin Luther, Michelangelo, and George Washington. Nicotra was paroled early by the National Fascist Party that ruled the Kingdom of Italy to forge signatures for them.

In August 2022, a Galileo Galilei manuscript at the University of Michigan Library that had been described as "one of the great treasures" held in its collection was identified as a Nicotra forgery.

-- Tobia Nicotra, by Wikipedia


An investigation was launched after Nick Wilding, a professor of history at Georgia State University, contacted the university's curator, Pablo Alvarez. Wilding questioned the manuscript's watermark and provenance and shared serious doubts about its authenticity.

"Wilding concluded that our Galileo manuscript is a 20th-century fake executed by the well-known forger Tobia Nicotra," the university said. "After our own experts studied his most compelling evidence -- about the paper and provenance -- and reexamined the manuscript, we agreed with his conclusion."

Among the aspects Wilding questioned was the paper itself, particularly the monograms in the paper's watermark which date the paper to no earlier than the 18th century, the university said.


Nicotra was jailed for two years in 1934 for forgery, including Galileo documents, the statement noted.

The university is now reconsidering the manuscript's role in its collection.[!!!]

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A portrait of Galileo Galilei painted in 1636. Credit: Imagno/Getty Images

Before the forgery determination, the document was described by the university as "one of the great treasures of the University of Michigan Library."

It purported to show notes recording Galileo's discovery of Jupiter's four moons.

"This was the first observational data that showed objects orbiting a body other than the Earth," the university's description of the manuscript states. "It reflects a pivotal moment in Galileo's life that helped to change our understanding of the universe."


The astronomer, who died in 1642, invented the telescope -- among many other achievements -- which enabled him to discover that Jupiter has moons. He became the foremost advocate of Copernican astronomy, which denied that the earth was the fixed center of the universe.

The University of Michigan acquired the manuscript in 1938 after it was bequeathed to the library by a Detroit businessman, Tracy McGregor, who was a collector of books and manuscripts, it said.

When McGregor obtained it, the document had been authenticated by Cardinal Pietro Maffi, who was the Archbishop of Pisa and who "compared this leaf with a Galileo autograph letter in his collection," the university said.


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His Eminence Pietro Maffi, Archbishop of Pisa

Pietro Maffi (12 October 1858 – 17 March 1931) was an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Archbishop of Pisa from 1903 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1907.

Born in Corteolona, Pietro Maffi studied at the seminary in Pavia (from where he obtained his doctorate in theology) before being ordained to the priesthood in 1881. He was raised to the rank of Privy Chamberlain of His Holiness that same year, and taught philosophy and sciences at the Pavia seminary, of which he was also rector. Maffi founded the meteorological observatory and the Museum of Natural History of Pavia, as well as serving as editor and director of Rivista di scienze fisiche e matematiche. Maffi was later named Pro-Vicar General of Pavia and pro-synodal examiner, doctor honoris causa of theological college of Parma, and a supernumerary member of its scientific academy. In 1901, Maffi was made Vicar General of Ravenna and the prefect of its seminary's studies, becoming Apostolic Administrator of the archdiocese on 26 April 1902.

On 9 June 1902 Maffi was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Ravenna and Titular Bishop of Caesarea in Mauretania by Pope Leo XIII. He received his episcopal consecration on the following 11 June from Cardinal Lucido Parocchi, with Archbishops Felix-Marie de Neckere and Diomede Panici serving as co-consecrators, at the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls in Rome. Maffi was later advanced to Archbishop of Pisa on 22 June 1903. In addition to his pastoral duties, he was named director and administrator of the Vatican Observatory on 30 November 1904.

Pope Pius X created him Cardinal Priest of San Crisogono in the consistory of 15 April 1907. Maffi participated in and was a chief candidate in the 1914 papal conclave, which selected Pope Benedict XV.

During World War I, Maffi was known as the "War Cardinal" for his support of a fight-to-the-finish policy.

He also participated in the 1922 conclave, which selected Pope Pius XI. In a 1925 pastoral letter, the Archbishop issued a scathing attack on the Fascist government, which subsequently halted the letter's publication.

A close friend of the Royal Family, in 1930, he presided at the marriage of Crown Prince Umberto of Italy and Princess Marie-José of Belgium. The Cardinal continued to write numerous scientific and astronomical works, the best known of which is Nei cieli. His love for science once provoked Pisa's outrage, when Maffi proposed to erect a statue of Galileo Galilei, the scientist condemned by the Inquisition as a heretic.

Maffi died in Pisa, at age 72. He is buried at the Cathedral of Pisa.

-- Pietro Maffi, by Wikipedia

'Ptolemy too, the son of Agesarchus, in his first book concerning Philopator says that Cinyras and the descendants of Cinyras are buried in Paphos in the temple of Aphrodite.
'Were I, however, to go over all the tombs which are worshipped by you, "all time would not suffice for me to tell"; [Homer, Od. xx. 351] while you, if no shame for these audacities steals over you, may wander round with your faith in the dead, utterly dead yourselves:

"Ah! wretched men, what evil doom is this?"

A little further on he says:
'Another new god the Roman Emperor has deified with great solemnity in Egypt, and almost in Greece; his favourite Antinous, who was extremely beautiful, was deified by him, as Ganymede was by Zeus.

'For lust, when free from fear, is not easily restrained: and men now celebrate the sacred nights of Antinous, the shame of which was known to the lover who shared his vigils.'

He also adds:
'And now the favourite's tomb is the temple and city of Antinous: for just as temples are held in reverence, so, I suppose, are tombs, pyramids, mausoleums, and labyrinths----other temples these of the dead, as those before mentioned were tombs of the gods.'

And again, a little further on:
'Come then, let us also briefly make the round of your games, and put an end to these great sepulchral festivals, the Isthmian, Nemean, and Pythian, and besides these the Olympian. At Pytho the Pythian dragon is worshipped, and the festival of the serpent is proclaimed as the Pythia. At the Isthmus the sea cast up a miserable carcass, and the Isthmian games are a lamentation for Melicertes: at Nemea another child Archemorus is buried, and the boy's funeral games are called Nemea. Pisa is the tomb in your midst, O Panhellenes, of a Phrygian charioteer, and the Zeus of Phidias claims as his own the Olympian games, which are the funeral libations of Pelops.'

So speaks our author.

-- Praeparatio Evangelica (Preparation for the Gospel), by Eusebius of Caesarea
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