FREDA BEDI CONT'D (#4)

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Re: FREDA BEDI CONT'D (#4)

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King Solomon's Tablet Of Stone
directed by Sean Smith
Producer: Lara Acaster
Narrator: Jack Fortune
Horizon wishes to thank Israel Antiquities Authority, Tel Aviv University, Ma ariv Newspaper, Haaretz Daily Newspaper, English Edition, The City of David Visitors Center
by BBC Science & Nature
February 5, 2015

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

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Transcript

NARRATOR (JACK FORTUNE): In July 2001 a unique inscribed tablet of stone mysteriously appeared in Israel. It was an archaeological marvel that seemed to solve one of the Bible's great riddles.

Tested by some of Israel's top scientists, it revealed that in the heart of Jerusalem, 3,000 years ago, one of the legends of the ancient world had really existed -- the magnificent temple of Solomon.

But that was just the beginning, for there was another mystery hidden within the stone -- one that would have shattering consequences around the world.

Tonight Horizon tells the extraordinary story of "King Solomon's Tablet of Stone".

In Jerusalem during the summer of 2001 a secret meeting took place that would shake the world of archaeology.

BOAZ GAON: The story starts when this very renowned professor receives a mysterious phone call from a person by the name of Izak Tsu. He's asked to meet him with another renowned professor. This person appears with a briefcase. He opens up the briefcase and very dramatically takes out this beautiful black stone with an inscription on it. They look at the stone and it's beautiful, it's important, they're amazed.

NARRATOR: The mysterious stranger was a private investigator. And the inscription on his black stone was in ancient Hebrew. What it revealed was a wonder.

For the inscription seemed to offer proof of something long searched for but never found -- that nearly 3,000 years ago, in the centre of Jerusalem, there really had existed the place the Bible calls "The House of the Lord", the magnificent temple of Solomon.

PROFESSOR VICTOR HUROWITZ: The biblical tradition tells that when Solomon built the temple and dedicated it, the first thing he did was he brought into the temple the Ark of the Covenant.

NARRATOR: The temple was built to house the Ark of the Covenant -- the shrine containing the Ten Commandments -- the word of God written in stone.

PROFESSOR VICTOR HUROWITZ: So the temple symbolised God's personal residence on earth among his people in his chosen city.

NARRATOR: The Bible describes the Temple of Solomon in awe-struck terms. The main room was panelled with cedar and overlaid with fine gold. The King also ordered his workers to make two winged cherubim and cover them with gold.

PROFESSOR VICTOR HUROWITZ: According to the biblical story, the Temple in Jerusalem lasted from the time of Solomon in the 10th century until it was destroyed in 586 BCE by the armies of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.

NARRATOR: And that has been the source of the mystery ever since. For even though the Bible describes Solomon as the grandest of the Old Testament kings with a mighty empire, no trace of him, his empire or his temple has survived.

The bible said Solomon's Temple stood on the temple mount, in the heart of Jerusalem. Today one of Islam's holiest mosques stands there. At its edge is the Western Wall, where Jews from around the world come to offer their prayers. But this wall was never part of the Temple of Solomon. It was actually built almost a thousand years after Solomon. With this lack of evidence, some archaeologists began to doubt much of the Solomon story.

PROFESSOR FINKELSTEIN: There are a few pottery shells from the 10th century on the ground, a wall here and there maybe, but nothing monumental. We are left with no archaeological evidence for the great kingdom of Solomon. We are left only with the text, and the text was put in writing relatively late.

NARRATOR: But all that was before the discovery of the stone. A few months after the private investigator revealed the stone in the Jerusalem hotel, he took it to one of the country's leading scientific establishments -- the Geological Survey of Israel.

Here, experts were asked to determine the stone's authenticity on behalf of its anonymous owner. One of the first things scholars noticed was that the stone was black, like Israel's only other royal inscription from the same period. Then they looked at the wording of the inscription. This described detailed building repairs to a temple -- carried out by a King Jehoash -- who had lived a century after the time of Solomon, while his temple still stood. The bible describes similar repairs to the Temple of Solomon, carried out by King Jehoash. The passage in Kings 2, chapter 12 begins by describing King Jehoash raising money for the repairs.

PROFESSOR VICTOR HUROWITZ: "Jehoash said to the priests, 'All the money, current money brought into the House of the Lord as a sacred donations, have it donated for the repair of the House.'"

NARRATOR: Similarly, the inscription showed Jehoash raising money for repairs.

PROFESSOR VICTOR HUROWITZ: "I Jehoash son of Ahaziah King of the land of Judah, when the vow of each person in the land and in the desert was fulfilled to give silver of the holy offerings aplenty."

NARRATOR: Then, when the money was raised, the Bible continues...

PROFESSOR VICTOR HUROWITZ: "'They in turn shall strengthen the damage in the house wherever damage may be found.'"

NARRATOR: And the stone said...

PROFESSOR VICTOR HUROWITZ: "I repaired the construction and I made the repairs in the temple and the walls all around."

NARRATOR: Professor Hurowitz was sure the stone and the bible were describing the same events.

PROFESSOR VICTOR HUROWITZ: I think that we're speaking about the same Royal act of repairs in the temple and the language is also rather similar.


NARRATOR: So, according to both the bible and the stone, King Jehoash first raised the funds and then repaired the Temple of Solomon, one hundred years after it was built. But the scientists at the geological survey still needed to be absolutely sure that the stone really could have come from the Temple of Solomon. So the geologists subjected it to rigorous tests. Using a scanning electron microscope, they set out to determine its authenticity. First they looked at the patina -- a thin surface layer that forms over time on the outside of a rock or stone.

DOCTOR AYALON: If we see in this sample we have a very thin brown layer, about 1mm thick, that covers the sample.

NARRATOR: The formation of a patina is caused by the interaction of chemicals in air, water or soil, with minerals in the stone itself.

DOCTOR AYALON: In this one, we see the brown and we can see that it may be thicker or thinner, but it covers all around and goes all around the sample.

NARRATOR: A patina develops slowly and may take thousands of years to form. The geologists studying the stone found that the patina was continuous across the front of the stone and crucially within the inscribed letters. This meant the inscription must have been carved in the distant past.

Next, the geologists analysed the chemical make-up of the patina. They were looking for calcium carbonate and other chemicals, which would tell them if it had formed in the Jerusalem area.

DOCTOR AYALON: They found that the trace elements like strontium, iron, magnesium, and other elements that are in the calcium carbonate, they were exactly the same proportions as in the patina in the Jerusalem area.

NARRATOR: The patina confirmed that the stone came from Jerusalem and that the inscription really was very old. The big question now was, how old?

Although it was impossible to date the stone itself, luckily within the patina there were minute particles of charcoal -- and these could be carbon dated.

The results were conclusive: they were 2,300 years old, so the carving beneath the patina had to be even older. There was no doubt the stone came from the Jerusalem area, and the inscription was thousands of years old.

And there was one last discovery that helped clinch the case that it came from the Temple of Solomon. The patina contained tiny flecks of gold -- just what you'd expect from a stone that had been through a fire in a temple lined with gold.

In January 2003 the Geological Survey officially pronounced the stone to be genuine.

Finally, the existence of Solomon's magnificent Temple had been confirmed. And the implications were staggering. If the temple existed, the legend of King Solomon was true.

And that meant an extraordinary section of the bible could be verified as history.

For millions of people of different faiths the authentification of the Stone Tablet was a fantastic affirmation of their belief. Here was a genuine archaeological find that correlated almost word for word with a biblical episode that happened nearly 3,000 years ago.


[Asher Eldman, CEO, Eldman Arts, New York City] It's just like your mother told you. If it's too good to be true, it's probably not true.

-- Real Fake: The Art, Life and Crimes of Elmyr De Hory: Illustrated Screenplay and Screencap Gallery, directed by Jeff Oppenheim


But for the stone itself, the next stage was to find a fitting home. And one place seemed ideal: the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. This remarkable museum is home to a stunning collection of biblical antiquities. They have the Dead Sea Scrolls, the most important biblical manuscripts in existence. They also have Israel's only other royal inscription from close to the time of Solomon -- The 'House of David' Stele. This is the only reference to Solomon's father, David, that exists outside the bible. The Stone would be a fitting companion for these priceless artefacts.

JAMES SNYDER: We would of course be interested in acquiring something if we felt that it would help to amplify the story which our museum is meant to tell, and our story is the story of biblical archaeology in the ancient Holy Land, so if something were to surface of great significance for the full telling of that story we would be interested.

NARRATOR: With its authenticity confirmed the stone was offered for sale to the Israel Museum. The price was rumoured to be high.

BOAZ GAON: There was a series of meetings with the Israel Museum, initial negotiations going on between the two parties, all sorts of sums are thrown around. It's difficult to know exactly what the sum was at that point -- some people say three million, some people say four million, some people say ten million.

NARRATOR: But before the museum would part with several million dollars, it wanted to know just one more thing -- where exactly had the stone been found? The Bible said that Solomon's temple had been situated on Jerusalem's temple mount. So the stone must have come from there originally.

JAMES SNYDER: If an object is excavated then you have a much simpler time verifying its authenticity because you are taking it from its source of excavation.

NARRATOR: However, there are no official excavations on the Temple Mount -- because it is home to one of Islam's holiest shrines, the Dome of the Rock. The whole area is politically far too sensitive for archaeology. Still, rumours said the stone had been found in rubble left from recent illegal building projects being carried out on the Temple Mount. But James Snyder needed more than rumour. He wanted the full story of the stone after it had been found.

JAMES SNYDER: You want to be able to track the history of the object from the time of its excavation, if it is possible to do so, through its history of ownership until it comes to you.

NARRATOR: It was then that the saga of the stone became very mysterious indeed. Just when the museum wanted to do their own checks, both the private investigator who had first revealed it -- and the stone -- disappeared.

So Amir Ganor an investigator with the Israeli Antiquities Authority was called in. For nine months he searched for the man who had first taken the stone to the Jerusalem hotel.

AMIR GANOR: (VO translation): We travelled all over Israel from the north to the south. That detective was a very wily person, he left us very few clues. In the end we found him in an office in Ramat Gan and he told us that he'd been hired by Oded Golan.

NARRATOR: Oded Golan is a businessman and renowned collector, owner of Israel's largest private collection of antiquities. He explained that he wasn't the owner of the stone and that he didn't know where it was. He had just been involved as a middleman.


[Tzaki Tzuriel, Private Investigator hired by antiquities collector Oded Golan.] This man comes to me one day, he's an antiquities dealer. And this guy tells me he's got this find. His story was that he got it from a Palestinian antiquities dealer in East Jerusalem. He tells me, "It's one of the most important finds for the State of Israel." It's a stone, inscribed with specifications for renovating the Holy Temple. And if that's true, if it's authentic, it could be one of the greatest archaeological finds ever.

Image

He asked me to take the stone, and my mission was to go around and show it to whoever it needed to be shown to, and then disappear with it immediately so no one would know it existed until it got some sort of seal of authenticity. One day, I'm sitting in my office, I hear a knock on my door, "Hello, we're from the Israel Antiquities Authority." And they ask me, "Do you know Oded Golan?" I said yes. They took out a camera like this one, and started questioning me.

-- Into the Land: The Forgery Scandal, Created by Eiv Kristal and Natan Odenheier


ODED GOLAN: Sometime during 1999 I was called by a very reliable Palestinian dealer that I knew for many many years who ask me to assist him in selling an inscription. It seemed to be very interesting and I was ready to assist him only under one condition, that it will be offered only within Israel and to a museum in Israel after they will authentisize it.

NARRATOR: Golan said that the owner hadn't wanted to be identified, which was why he'd hired a private detective. However, the owner had since died and his widow had the stone. But she was somewhere in the occupied territories and Golan didn't know how to contact her. But Oded Golan did reveal one vital piece of information -- where the stone had been discovered.

ODED GOLAN: It was found very near to the Eastern Wall in the Muslim cemetery in Old Jerusalem outside the Temple Mount.

NARRATOR: It was stunning news. Here was confirmation that the stone had been unearthed just yards from where the Bible said that Solomon's Temple had once stood.


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[Narrator] When you first saw this item, were you excited?

[Oded Golan, Private Collector] Very much. Very much. The stone itself had been in an antiquities dealer's shop for a very long time. I asked to see the antiquities dealer's inventory report, and it turned out that in his inventory report, he noted that he had an inscribed stone, that's what he wrote, [Arabic] hajar maktub. And the IAA wasn't even interested! It didn't set off a warning bell, let alone an alarm, or anything like that. So it was in his inventory.

[Narrator] How much did you pay for it? Are you free to say?

[Oded Golan, Private Collector] First of all, I'm not at liberty to say.


-- Into the Land: The Forgery Scandal, Created by Eiv Kristal and Natan Odenheier


But then, the story of the stone took another remarkable turn. The reason -- another, ancient biblical artefact. Something called an ossuary or bone box. Jewish families once used ossuaries to store the bones of the dead in caves and burial chambers. They were commonly used in Jerusalem, and can still be found in caves today.

In 2002, one very special ossuary appeared. Inscribed on the side were the words 'James, Son of Joseph, Brother of Jesus'. It was heralded as the first physical evidence of the existence of Jesus Christ and caused a worldwide sensation. It was displayed for the general public in Canada in the Royal Ontario Museum, and the exhibit received almost 100,000 visitors. And strangely, the owner was Oded Golan.

[Oded Golan, Private Collector] I bought the ossuary when I was a university student at the Technion from an antiquities dealer in Silwan. It's a very simple ossuary. What intrigued me was that it had a Hebrew inscription.

-- Into the Land: The Forgery Scandal, Created by Eiv Kristal and Natan Odenheier


Journalist Boaz Gaon found Golan's connection to both the stone and the ossuary just too good to be true.

BOAZ GAON: As soon as we made the link we knew that something is sort of very strange here because the same collector seemed to be linked to these two incredibly dramatic artefacts. It either was an extremely wonderful stroke of luck or something very suspicious.

NARRATOR: The Israeli authorities were also suspicious -- they raided Golan's apartment and storehouses. There they found the ossuary -- perched on a toilet. And they also unearthed the elusive stone.

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HANDLING HISTORIC ARTIFACTS

In general, you should handle artifacts as little as possible. The oils, acids and salts in human skin will damage most all types of materials over time. Whenever it is necessary to touch an artifact — for example, when setting up or taking down an exhibit or when re-housing the artifact for storage — use clean, dry, lotion-free hands. Or more preferably, wear clean cotton or latex gloves. Follow common sense, though, and do not wear gloves if the object could easily slip from gloved hands. Remove watches, rings and other jewelry that might snag, scratch or chip the surface of the artifact. Also be aware of belt buckles, buttons and other accessories that may come in contact with the artifact.

All artifacts should be treated as if they are extremely fragile, even if they do not appear so. It is also important to know the history of the artifact so that you’re aware of any previous damage, repairs, loose parts or weak spots. Avoid picking up objects by handles, straps or other protruding components. If an item breaks, make every effort to collect all detached or broken pieces. A well-trained conservator may be able to repair it.

Ideally, artifacts should be handled and/or moved one at a time. Do not stack items in order to move them. In the case of very small, light artifacts, you may place them in a well-padded basket or tray, but do not allow the artifacts to touch. Do not try to carry large, bulky or heavy objects alone. Always pick up an artifact — never push, pull or slide it. Use both hands and provide full support to the entire object, especially the base.

-- Basic Guidelines for the Preservation of Historic Artifacts, by Texas Historical Commission


With the artefacts now in their possession, the authorities set up a committee of linguists and scientists, to determine once and for all the authenticity of the ossuary and the stone. Victor Hurowitz, Israel's leading expert on royal building inscriptions, was asked to examine the writing on the stone.

PROFESSOR VICTOR HUROWITZ: The language and therefore the style of the inscription is Biblical Hebrew. It's eloquent, it's elegant, it's charming. I enjoy reading it.

NARRATOR: But as he examined it more closely he found something that didn't quite make sense. It was all to do with the key phrase "I made repairs to the temple" or in Hebrew -- "bedek a baied".

PROFESSOR VICTOR HUROWITZ: The main problem in this inscription is this expression "bedek a baied". In one word, this is an anachronism.

NARRATOR: According to professor Hurowitz, "bedek a baied" had a different meaning in the time of the Temple of Solomon to the meaning it has today. In modern Hebrew it means to repair, but in ancient Hebrew it meant the exact opposite -- to damage. So its use in this inscription made no sense at all.


PROFESSOR VICTOR HUROWITZ: "Bedek a baied", which means, if I translate, "I made damages to the temple". Now this in a Royal building inscription, where the king is taking pride in what he's done in the temple repairs, to say that he damaged the temple is absolutely ridiculous.

NARRATOR: Victor Hurowitz now had real doubts that the stone had been inscribed in the time of Solomon's Temple, almost 3,000 years ago.

PROFESSOR VICTOR HUROWITZ: Unfortunately for the author, where it gets to the main part of the inscription and says I made the bedek a baied, he fouled up and he put in modern Hebrew.

NARRATOR: But not everyone agreed with Hurowitz's interpretation. Professor Chaim Cohen is another expert in ancient Hebrew. He believes that there are so few texts discovered from the time of Solomon that no one can be sure how the language was used 3,000 years ago. It was simply the way the stone had been found that made everyone suspicious.

PROFESSOR CHAIM COHEN: Had the inscription been found in controlled archaeological excavations it would have prompted scholars to say that now we must re-look at the way we've been seeing the vocalization in our Hebrew bibles to date.

NARRATOR: Professor Cohen believes that if the stone had been found in a formal archaeological dig, no one would have questioned it. They simply would have seen the inscription as clarifying the use of ancient Hebrew words. Beyond that, he was convinced that the stone could not have been the work of someone who made clumsy mistakes.

PROFESSOR CHAIM COHEN: If it is a forgery, then the forger must have been a near genius as far as the level of sophistication that we find in this inscription.

NARRATOR: The linguistic evidence was inconclusive. There was still no hard reason to doubt that the stone had come from the Temple of Solomon. Everything now hung on the investigations of the scientists on the committee. The focus of their attention was the patina -- the weathered layer on the outside of the stone. It was this, especially the charcoal particles that were dated to 2,300 years ago, that had convinced the scientists who had carried out the original analysis. Elisabetta Boaretto was asked to re-date those particles.

DR ELISABETTA BOARETTO: The radiocarbon age was 2,250 plus/minus 40 years. This is a very nice precise age, and calibrated this corresponded to an interval in time that goes from 200 BC, before Christ, to 390 BC.

NARRATOR: Her results seemed to confirm the original research -- the charcoal in the patina was very old. But, it was theoretically possible for someone to have to taken charcoal from another source and added it to the patina.
For Dr Boaretto, the only way to be absolutely sure of the stone was to look again at the patina in which the charcoal was embedded.

The man charged with this task was one of Israel's top archaeological investigators. Yuval Goren is a professor of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University and a geologist. He has a detailed knowledge of both Biblical archaeology and the rocks of the Jerusalem area.

He began by looking at the patina on the back of the stone. An authentic patina would be firmly attached to the underlying stone.

PROFESSOR YUVAL GOREN: This patina on the back of the stone is, actually it was very tightly connected to the stone. We needed a little chisel and a hammer to peel off small samples of the patina.

NARRATOR: This was clearly a natural patina. But then professor Goren examined it under the microscope. He expected it to be made of calcium carbonate, which is local to the Temple Mount. But what he saw was this -- a patina made only of silica. This could not have formed in Jerusalem. In other words -- the patina on the back of the stone could not have come from the Temple Mount.

Puzzled, Professor Goren turned his attention to the patina covering the inscription on the front of the stone. Here, he did find calcium carbonate, just as one would expect of a patina formed in Jerusalem. But now there was a new mystery -- how could the patina on the front of the stone be different from that on the back?

The answer began to emerge as Professor Goren sampled the patina from within the carved letters. Strangely -- it didn't seem to be bonded to the stone in any natural way at all.

PROFESSOR YUVAL GOREN: The patina is very loosely connected to the stone. Here we can see how it reacts to me scraping it with a matchstick and you can see that it easily peels off the letters as opposed again to the patina on the back side.

NARRATOR: And when he studied the patina on the front of the stone in detail he found something else even stranger -- tiny marine fossils, called forams.

PROFESSOR YUVAL GOREN: Within the patina they are quite common, here we can see one, and here we can see another two.

NARRATOR: These fossils could only be found if the patina formed beneath the sea. And the Temple of Solomon was nowhere near the sea.


PROFESSOR YUVAL GOREN: Of course one can't expect to find such fossils of plankton, of marine organisms, in patina that is created in the land environment.

NARRATOR: This was a complete mystery. It seemed impossible for a patina from a temple built in Jerusalem to contain the fossils of sea creatures.

Then came the most telling detail of all.

PROFESSOR YUVAL GOREN: When the letters are cleared, the inner part of the letter is exposed and as you can see here it is very freshly cut, you can see even the little lines, the little parallel lines of the chisel, or even maybe some drill, some electric bit or drill with which the letters were engraved, which is of course very unusual for ancient inscriptions.

NARRATOR: So he put it all together -- the inscription had been recently carved. There were two different patinas. And the one on the front contained marine fossils -- impossible if it had formed in Jerusalem. He concluded the patina on the front of the stone was artificial -- a mixture to which gold and iron age charcoal had been added by hand.


PROFESSOR YUVAL GOREN: And therefore I believe that the stone, or not the stone of course, but the inscription is not genuine.

NARRATOR: Alarmed by what he'd found with the stone, Professor Goren turned his attention to the James Ossuary. Again he found a similar story -- a freshly cut inscription with an artificial patina applied over the top.

On the 18th of June 2003, the Israeli Authorities delivered their conclusion.

DR DAHARI: Good day to you, to all of us. The patina in the letters in both items is a modern forgery covering the letters. The conclusion is that the two inscriptions are modern inscriptions. This is a forgery, totally, without any doubt about it.

NARRATOR: The two most important biblical finds in a generation were proven to be fakes. There was no archaeological proof for the existence of Jesus Christ. There was no evidence for the existence of The Temple of Solomon.


There was now outrage in the world of Israeli archaeology. How had the forgers succeeded in fooling some of the country's top scholars? How had they managed to pull it off? Yuval Goren, whose work had helped expose the forgery, was determined to find the answers.

PROFESSOR YUVAL GOREN: Forgeries are a contamination of science, of archaeology as a science. Science is being biased, history is being biased, archaeology is being biased, and there is, the more sources like that appeal, forged, fake sources like that appeal, of course science is more distorted.

NARRATOR: He began his investigations with the black stone itself. His analysis showed the stone was of a rock type that was not indigenous to Israel. He knew that for the inscription the forgers had needed an old black rock already cut to a rectangular shape -- and he thought he'd worked out how they had acquired it. Just up the coast from Tel Aviv is an old crusader fortress. The stones in its walls have already been cut to shape. Some of them are black. And many are not local -- the crusaders brought them here.

PROFESSOR YUVAL GOREN: Ships that used to come to this place were loaded sometimes with ballast stones, to hold them balanced, and then they used to unload them, and so these stones were in many cases reused for buildings. This stone is a dark stone, it's obviously not a local stone to this area, which is already carved, it was probably carved to its rectangular shape in order to place it as the dressing of this wall, and so somebody coming to such a place could find dark stones like that, that are already made up to a rectangular flat shape.

NARRATOR: Professor Goren was now certain: the stone used for the inscription must have come from this, or a similar, Crusader Fort. But for the forgers getting hold of an old stone of the right shape was just the first step in making an inscribed tablet capable of fooling the experts. The team of forgers must have included a scholar of ancient Hebrew, to write the elegant inscription. Then they would have needed a master stone carver who could inscribe it. But above all else, the thing they had to get right, was the patina.

Just how had it been possible to concoct a mixture that had convinced Israel's top geologists that it was an ancient patina from Jerusalem's Temple Mount? To solve this puzzle the investigating authorities brought in geochemist Avner Ayalon. He dissolved samples of the patina in acid to produce a gas containing different types of oxygen atoms called isotopes. Each isotope has its own unique atomic weight -- and the quantity of each isotope in the gas can be determined using a mass spectrometer. Measuring the ratio of these different isotopes tells Doctor Ayalon the temperature at which a patina has formed. His results were revealing. The patina on both the inscription and the ossuary had formed at temperatures far too hot for them to have occurred naturally.

DOCTOR AYALON: The temperature which I calculated, 40 to 50 centigrade, for sure, it is much higher than natural temperatures that prevailed in the Jerusalem area in the last 3,000 years.


NARRATOR: This high temperature gave Dr Ayalon a clue as to how the patina had been formed. He believes the ingredients of the patina must have been ground up, with hot water being added to help them dissolve.

DOCTOR AYALON: Someone grinded calcium carbonate. You grind it and mix it with hot water. If you use hot water then you get a much better cementation of the artificial patina which had been cemented to the artefacts.

NARRATOR: One of the crucial ingredients was chalk. It was this that had provided the calcium carbonate for the patina. It also explained why forams had been found. They are very common fossils in chalk. The patina mix also included a little bit of soil from the Jerusalem area, some gold and some iron age charcoal. These were masterly touches introduced by someone who knew exactly what would convince the experts.


In the summer of 2003, after the biggest archaeological investigation in Israeli police history, Oded Golan was taken into custody. It was then that investigators realised they could be dealing with more than just the stone and the ossuary. When police searched Golan's apartment they found a hidden workshop filled with tools and half made artefacts.

There was this large dark stone -- very like the stone used for the Temple of Solomon Inscription. Then there were these tools, including a drill and drill bits. And there were also boxes of soil that could be used in a fake patina. But what was most suspicious were the artefacts. Some were in the early stages of preparation, like this casting for a bronze statue. And some appeared finished, like these royal seals, or bullae.


BOAZ GAON: What happened was that the Jehoash inscription revealed this Pandora's box filled with antiques and artefacts that have been sold to various museums and various collectors for various very large sums of money during the past 10 or 15 years.

NARRATOR: The implications of this were immense. Collectors around the world have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for supposedly ancient seals, painted pottery shards and other artefacts that came through Oded Golan's associates. Dozens of these items have now been examined by Professor Goren, and all have been revealed to be forgeries. Police now suspect that artefacts made by the same team of forgers have found their way into leading museums around the world.

BOAZ GAON: The interesting question is now, from the list of artefacts that are currently shown in various museums in Israel, in London, in New York, in Paris, are they fake? Are they authentic? If Oded Golan was linked to any of them does that mean that they are forged?
And this is going to be dramatic.

PROFESSOR FINKELSTEIN: Everything which came to the market in the last 20 years or so, things which did not come from an excavation, should probably be considered a fake unless otherwise proven.

NARRATOR: It is a deeply shocking revelation.

And beyond that, there is something even more disturbing. The forgers were playing on the desire of millions of people to see the bible confirmed as history.

It is an immensely cruel and cynical thing to have done.
And for those in search of Solomon and his great temple, it means their goal is as far away as ever.
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Re: FREDA BEDI CONT'D (#4)

Postby admin » Wed Nov 23, 2022 4:28 am

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
Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures
Tel-Aviv University, Israel
January 2004

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

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Introduction

The Jerusalem Syndrome is a clinical psychiatric diagnosis first identified in the 1930s by Dr. Heinz Herman, one of the founders of modern psychiatric research in Israel. Subsequent research was made by Dr. Yair Bar El, former director of the Kfar Shaul Psychiatric Hospital in Jerusalem, involving 470 tourists who had been declared temporarily insane.[1] The Jerusalem Syndrome is a temporary state of sudden and intense religious delusions brought on while visiting or living in Jerusalem. Most of the hospitalized visitors were Jews, but many others were Christians. The clinical symptoms usually begin with a vague and extremely intense excitement. The patients often adopt "biblical" or otherwise eccentric clothing, sometimes merging their identity with that of a character from the Bible or having a strong feeling of mission. They typically adopt a lifestyle of religious observance and attach unusual significance to religious relics. The most interesting feature, considering the extreme behaviors associated with the Jerusalem Syndrome, is that the subjects sometimes have no prior history of psychiatric difficulty and exhibit none afterward. These patients, if they recover, are typically embarrassed by behavior they cannot explain.

"Do you think John the Baptist was an Essene?" he asked Sherri.

Never at any time did Sherri Solvig admit she didn't know the answer to a theological question; the closest she came surfaced in the form of responding, "I'll ask Larry." To Fat she now said calmly. " John the Baptist was Elijah who returns before Christ comes. They asked Christ about that and he said John the Baptist was Elijah who had been promised."

"But was he an Essene."

Pausing momentarily in her ironing, Sherri said, "Didn't the Essenes live in the Dead Sea?"

"Well, at the Qumran Wadi."

"Didn't your friend Bishop Pike die in the Dead Sea?"

Fat had known Jim Pike, a fact he always proudly narrated to people given a pretext. "Yes," he said. "Jim and his wife had driven out onto the Dead Sea Desert in a Ford Cortina. They had two bottles of Coca-Cola with them; that's all."

"You told me," Sherri said, resuming her ironing.

"What I could never figure out," Fat said, "is why they didn't drink the water in the car radiator. That's what you do when your car breaks down in the desert and you're stranded." For years Fat had brooded about Jim Pike's death. He imagined that it was somehow tied in with the murders of the Kennedys and Dr. King, but he had no evidence whatsoever for it.

"Maybe they had anti-freeze in their radiator," Sherri said.

"In the Dead Sea Desert?"

Sherri said, "My car has been giving me trouble. The man at the Exxon station on Seventeenth says that the motor mounts are loose. Is that serious?"

Not wanting to talk about Sherri's beat-up old car but wanting instead to rattle on about Jim Pike, Fat said, "I don't know." He tried to think how to get the topic back to his friend's perplexing death but could not.

***

On the drive back to Fat's lonely apartment, where he and Sherri had lived together for such a short time, Fat said to Kevin, "I'm going crazy. I can't take it."

"That's a normal reaction," Kevin said, showing nothing of his cynical pose, these days.

"Tell me," Fat said, "why God doesn't help her." He kept Kevin up on the progress of his exegesis; his encounter with God in 1974 was known to Kevin, so Fat could talk openly.

Kevin said, "It's the mysterious ways of the Great Punta."

"What the fuck is that?" Fat said.

"I don't believe in God," Kevin said. "I believe in the Great Punta. And the ways of the Great Punta are mysterious. No one knows why he does what he does, or doesn't do."

"Are you kidding me?"

"No," Kevin said.

"Where did the Great Punta come from?"

"Only the Great Punta knows."

"Is he benign?"

"Some say he is; some say he isn't."

"He could help Sherri if he wanted to."

Kevin said, "Only the Great Punta knows that."

They started laughing.

Obsessed with death, and going crazy from grief and worry about Sherri, Fat wrote entry 15 in his tractate.

15. The Sibyl of Cumae protected the Roman Republic and gave timely warnings. In the first century C.E. she foresaw the murders of the two Kennedy brothers, Dr. King and Bishop Pike. She saw the two common denominators in the four murdered men: first, they stood in defense of the liberties of the Republic; and second, each man was a religious leader. For this they were killed. The Republic had once again become an empire with a Caesar. "The Empire never ended."

-- Valis, by Philip K. Dick


During the last decade and especially towards the end of the second millennium AD, a number of archaeological artifacts of unknown origin have surfaced on the local antiquities market. A common feature of these artifacts is their reference to Jerusalem through attributions to major biblical landmarks or personalities such as the Jerusalem Temple, Judahite kings and other officials, or Jesus Christ. This attribution is made both on the item, through a dedication text, and about it, through opinions by persons who are sources of authority in various scholarly fields. Methodologically, it seems that their peculiar treatment by the scientific community may be interpreted as a milder symptom of the Jerusalem Syndrome. In what follows, I would like to present in short the narratives of some of these items as they relate to the hazardous role of the Jerusalem Syndrome in biblical archaeology.

The Moussaieff Ostraca

A pair of Late Iron Age ostraca, written by the same hand on different matters, will be the first subject of this discussion. Oded Golan, an antiquities collector from Tel-Aviv, sold these items to Shlomo Moussaieff, the well-known antique collector from London.[2] The first and most remarkable ostracon is an order by king Josiah of Judah to bring three shekels of Tarshish silver to the House of God. The second is a plea by a widow to an official for preservation of the rights over her property. After first being published in two scientific journals,[3] Hershel Shanks, the editor of the Biblical Archaeology Review (BAR), published them in a series of articles in his journal under bold headlines and with particular reference to the first ostracon as one of the only material evidences of the Solomonic Temple in Jerusalem, its text having been authenticated by the renowned Semitic epigrapher André Lemaire of the Sorbonne.[4]
Now we have a flashback to Andre Lemaire early in November 2002. Lemaire, who as a seminary student, completed the equivalent of a Ph.D. in the history of the church ministry in the late 1960's -- a specialist in James-era Christianity. Lemaire, who overnight became an "expert" epigrapher by virtue of his find of the fake pomegranate in 1979, the first of the fakes heavily promoted in the Biblical Archaeological Review -- the BAR. Lemaire whose claim in 1979 to being an expert with many years of experience as an epigrapher was based on the publication of his thesis, a small volume published in 1977 (Hebraic inscriptions, introduction, traduction, commentary) in a field he conceived a sudden "passion" for in 1972. (A field your reviewer entered in 1954.) Here we see and hear Andre Lemaire babbling on about how he suddenly made the connection between the forged names on the bone box and James of the church. As if he would not know all about his own seminarist specialty.

-- Israeli Documentary: Antiquities Market Flooded with Forgeries Reviewed. The History of Merchants, Reviewed by Rochelle Altman


The famous Ivory Pomegranate Inscription: Is it a forgery or authentic? You decide. And let us know your decision.
Get ready to experience the excitement of Ripley’s Believe It or Not!—where the unbelievable comes alive right before your eyes! Visit any one of Ripley’s 29 museums around the world to marvel at hundreds of unusual artifacts and get hands on with amazing interactives.

-- Ripley's Believe It or Not! Aquariums, Attractions, and Weird ..., by ripleys.com

A Hebrew inscription is engraved around the shoulder of the thumb-size pomegranate that reads, “Holy to the priests, (belonging) to the Temple of [Yahwe]h.”

For decades the tiny object occupied a special place in Jerusalem’s prestigious Israel Museum—the only surviving relic from Solomon’s Temple.

The pomegranate was first seen in 1979 in a Jerusalem antiquities shop by one of the world’s leading Semitic epigraphers, André Lemaire of the Sorbonne. Based on a lifetime of experience and a careful examination, he pronounced the inscription authentic. It was also examined by Professor Nahman Avigad of The Hebrew University, then Israel’s most respected epigrapher, who wrote that “I am fully convinced of ... the authenticity of its inscription ... [T]he epigraphic evidence alone, in my opinion, is absolutely convincing.”

With these assurances, in 1989 the Israel Museum acquired the pomegranate for $550,000.
All Israel was excited. On the day the pomegranate went on display in a special room of the museum with a narrow light beaming on it from the ceiling, the exhibit was the first item on the evening news in Israel.

In 2004, after two widely publicized inscriptions had been declared forgeries by the Israel Antiquities Authority, the museum decided to revisit the question of the authenticity of the Pomegranate Inscription. A special committee was appointed to reexamine the inscription, using the latest scientific technologies. The committee concluded that the inscription was a forgery!

-- Is This Inscription Fake? You Decide, by Hershel Shanks


The BAR articles also referred to the results of scientific examinations that were conducted on the patina covering the letters by the Microfocus Oy laboratory in Helsinki.[5] The examinations of the patina revealed that it had two phases – the first carbonatic and the other siliceous -- indicating its sequential deposition over the inscription. The researcher concluded that this sequential deposition was evidently slow and natural, hence proving the antiquity of the inscription below. Therefore, the patina and the deposits on the surface seem to have developed naturally during burial. No modern elements or materials including adhesives were detected.[6]

However, shortly after the first publication in BAR, there were some skeptical voices. Several scholars referred to the ostraca as being "too good to be true".[7] Moreover, in a review article in the Israel Exploration Journal, the epigraphers Israel Eph'al and Yosef Naveh of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem suggested that by their text and style the inscriptions may be modern forgeries, including a puzzle of syntax and letter styles from various published epigraphic sources.[8] As a result of these uncertainties, the owner decided to submit the ostraca for more detailed laboratory examinations. This time, the sherds, the ink, and the patina of the two ostraca were examined in the laboratories of Aventis Research and Technologies, a biotechnological corporation based in Frankfurt, Germany, with branches in the United States. A detailed report by the head of the laboratory and a fellow researcher suggests that the two ostraca are modern fakes.[9] The analytical results clearly demonstrate that prior to the process of patina deposition a sharp tool was used to modify the letters.
The simulated patina that was then applied over the inscription contained modern paraffin, lime, and some ash. From this data, it is evident that the results of Microfocus were somewhat out of focus.[10] It is of interest to note that in the recent discussion on the authenticity of the ostraca in the last May-June volume of BAR, the Aventis results are completely overlooked by the editor.[11]

The Jerusalem Lamp

A first-century-AD oil lamp with seven nozzles made of Senonian chalk and decorated with Jewish motifs is the next subject of this discussion. The same antiquities collector from Tel-Aviv [Oded Golan] shared this item with another Israeli antiquities collector.[12] Extremely well preserved, the lamp is remarkable in its unique combination of seven nozzles, the depiction of the temple menorah and a set of icons representing the seven species of crops with which the Holy Land was blessed. The lamp was brought for study to Varda Sussman, an expert in ancient oil lamps, prior to a proposed publication in BAR, under bold headlines, as the only tangible evidence from the Herodian Temple in Jerusalem.[13] The proposed article also referred to the results of scientific examinations that were conducted on the patina covering the lamp by the two co-authors, Drs. Shimon Ilani and Amnon Rosenfeld from the Geological Survey of Israel. Samples of the patina were studied using a scanning electron microscope equipped with an energy dispersive spectrometer to investigate the element content and analyzed under ultraviolet light. A special examination was made to check whether modern contamination or adhesives are involved in the patina. The examinations of the patina revealed that it had two phases – the first carbonatic and the other siliceous -- indicating its sequential deposition over the lamp. In their report, Ilani and Rosenfeld indicated that the patina and the deposits on the artifact’s surface seem to have developed naturally during burial. No modern elements or materials including adhesives were detected.[14]

However, shortly after the submission of the article for publication in BAR, there was a skeptical voice. Varda Sussman referred to the lamp as being "too good to be true."[15] In her part of the article, she hinted that by its style the lamp might be a modern forgery, including a puzzle of motifs from various published sources. As a result of this uncertainty, Hershel Shanks, the editor of BAR, decided to reject the paper from publication
. In his letter to the authors, the editor explained as follows: “For authenticity Mrs. Sussman says she relies mostly on the geologists. Oddly, they do not confront the issue of authenticity directly. They seem to assume it. All they can say is that the authenticity must be made on the basis of stylistic interpretation. And Mrs. Sussman has already told us she cannot do this.”[16]

The James Ossuary

It is of interest to note that despite these harsh words, it was Mr. Shanks who accepted only a few months later and without any questioning the authenticity evaluation made by Ilani and Rosenfeld to another first-century-AD artifact made of Senonian chalk.[17] This time it was a modest stone ossuary bearing the Aramaic inscription Yaakov bar Yoseph, Achui de Yeshua, namely "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus." The same antiquities collector from Tel-Aviv [Oded Golan] owned this item. After its first presentation in a dramatic press conference, Mr. Shanks published the item in a series of articles in his journal under bold headlines and with reference to the ossuary as one of the only material evidences of Jesus Christ, its text having been authenticated by Prof. André Lemaire of the Sorbonne.[18] These publications also referred to the results of the scientific examinations that were conducted by Ilani and Rosenfeld, with subsequent tests by scientists from the Royal Ontario Museum.[19] The samples were studied using a scanning electron microscope equipped with an energy dispersive spectrometer to investigate the element content and analyzed under ultraviolet light. A special examination was made to check whether modern contamination or adhesives were involved in the patina. In their report, Ilani and Rosenfeld indicated that the patina and the deposits on the artifact's surface and the inscription seem to have developed naturally during burial. No modern elements or materials including adhesives were detected.

However, shortly after the first publication in BAR, there were some skeptical voices. Several scholars referred to the ossuary as being "too good to be true." Moreover, in a review article in the Bible and Interpretation website, epigrapher Rochelle Altman [claimed] forgery, including a puzzle of syntax and letter styles from various published epigraphic sources.[20] Such view was later suggested also by Prof. Frank Moore Cross of Harvard University.[21] As a result of these uncertainties, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) decided to submit the ossuary for more detailed examinations. This time the inscription and the patina of the ossuary were examined by a group of independent epigraphers and geoarchaeologists from various institutions and universities in Israel. In a detailed report by Avner Ayalon from the Geological Survey of Israel and by me, the inscription on the otherwise authentic ossuary is suggested as being a modern fake.

The analytical results clearly demonstrate that after the natural patination process a sharp tool was used to create or modify the letters. Fake patina was then applied, containing chalk powder that was dissolved in hot water and then used to cover the freshly cut inscription. By this method, the fake patina could not be distinguished from the authentic one by the use of the rather unsophisticated method of ultraviolet light nor by simple chemical analyses that only yielded the presence of calcium carbonate at both the authentic and fake patinas. However, with the combination of micromorphologic study and the examination of the isotopic ratios of oxygen and carbon within the calcite, it became clear that the patina covering the freshly cut letters was artificial and completely different from the patina covering the rest of the surface of the ossuary.[22] Evidently, as had been noted in an earlier case, the previous scientists who examined the inscription did not confront the issue of authenticity directly. They seemed to assume it.
Still, it is of interest to note that in the discussions on the authenticity of the ossuary in the subsequent issues of BAR and on the Internet, the IAA results were challenged by various extremely intellectual [sophistic] arguments.

For example, it was said that the ossuary was placed by the collector's mother on her balcony where it was constantly washed with tap water which somehow changed the isotopic composition of the calcite but only inside the inscription, not around it. It was claimed that someone used a sharp tool in modern times for vigorously cleaning the letters prior to their cover by the patina, which was still considered authentic and naturally developed over a long period of time. Another defender of the authenticity of the inscription suggested that the inscription was cleaned by acid which changed the isotopic composition of the oxygen in the patina covering the script.[23] The last comment is especially remarkable for its lack of understanding of even basic chemistry. Shanks' co-author of the book "James, Brother of Jesus" even implied that the IAA committee, composed only of Jewish scholars, had a hidden theological agenda against the Christian world.
[24] All these arguments, expressing more than anything else the depth of scientific integrity of their presenters, are not worth any further comment.[25]

The Jehoash Inscription

A black stone tablet bearing an engraved Hebrew inscription in Phoenician script is the next subject of our discussion. An attempt was made to sell this item to the Israel Museum by a representative of the same antiquities collector from Tel-Aviv [Oded Golan].[26] This remarkable tablet bears an inscription commemorating the repairs made by King Jehoash of Judah to the House of God. After first being published in the Israeli daily newspaper Ha'aretz,[27] the editor of BAR published it in a series of articles in his journal under bold headlines and with the remark that if authentic, it is one of the only material evidences of the Solomonic Temple in Jerusalem.[28] The articles also referred to the results of the scientific examinations that were conducted by Drs. Shimon Ilani and Amnon Rosenfeld of the Geological Survey of Israel. The latter studied samples of the patina and the rock.

He used a scanning electron microscope equipped with an energy dispersive spectrometer to investigate the element content and X-ray diffraction and inductively coupled plasma spectrometry to study the mineral and element composition. A special examination was made to check whether modern contamination or adhesives could be detected within the patina. The examinations of the patina revealed that it had two phases -- carbonatic and siliceous -- indicating its sequential deposition over the inscription. In their report, Ilani and Rosenfeld indicated that the patina and the deposits on the artifact's surface and the inscription seem to have developed naturally during burial. No modern elements or materials including adhesives were detected.[29] These observations led Ilani and Rosenfeld to sweeping, even fantastic, conclusions[30] that were later omitted from the published report, most likely by the editorial board.

However, shortly after publication in Ha'aretz and elsewhere, there were some skeptical voices. Several scholars referred to the tablet as being "too good to be true".[31] Moreover, epigraphers Israel Eph'al of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and Frank Moore Cross of Harvard University suggested that by its text and style the inscription is a modern forgery, including a puzzle of syntax and letter styles from various published epigraphic sources.[32] At the same time, I criticized the conclusions reached by Ilani and Rosenfeld regarding the authenticity of the patina over the inscription.[33] As a result of these uncertainties, the IAA decided to submit the inscription for more detailed examinations. This time the inscription and the patina coating were examined by the same group of unrelated epigraphers and geoarchaeologists from various institutions and universities in Israel. In a detailed report by Avner Ayalon from the Geological Survey of Israel and by me, the Jehoash inscription is suggested as being a modern fake.

The analytical results clearly demonstrate that prior to the artificial patina process a sharp tool was used to create the letters. Fake patina was then applied, containing a mixture of iron-rich clay, some ancient charcoal, and chalk powder that was dissolved in hot water and then poured over the freshly cut inscription. By using this method, the fake patina could not be distinguished from an authentic one by simple chemical analyses that only yielded the presence of alumina, silica, and calcium carbonate. However, with the combination of micromorphologic study and the examination of the isotopic ratios of oxygen and carbon within the calcite, it became clear that the patina covering the freshly cut letters was artificial.[34] Evidently, as had been noted in an earlier case, the previous scientists who examined the inscription did not confront the issue of authenticity directly. They seemed to assume it.


Discussion

It is only due to the limits of space that I do not go on and on with similar narratives. A hundred and thirty years after the exposure of the naïve and crude biblical forgeries of Moses Wilhelm Shapira, it seems that biblical archaeology did not learn the lesson and has completely forgotten its implications. Recently, I had the dubious pleasure of examining a seemingly endless line of fake biblical texts of various kinds. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of such forgeries referring especially to the time of the First Temple. It will not be an exaggeration to say that the disciplines of biblical history and archaeology have been contaminated to such an extent that no unprovenanced written source seems to be reliable anymore. To put it even more 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?

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? As we all still hope that most of the scientists involved in this saga were motivated only by true scientific purposes, we must ask how could some of them be so naïve, ignore any sense of objectivity and be trapped in the crude pitfalls set by the forgers? Considering the nature of the fakes in question, the answer to this question may lie in the domain of psychology. The forgeries discussed here are not merely fakes of ancient artifacts. They are relics, intended to manipulate the emotions of scientists and the public alike by using the attribution to biblical events.[35] These forgeries were intended to infect collectors, museums, scientists, and scholars with the Jerusalem Syndrome in order to boost their market price and attract public attention.

We biblical archaeologists must now decide whether we are ready to remain in a fool's paradise or fight back in order to bring back science into our discipline.
For my grandfather, who was a very orthodox Jew, the question whether there was a temple in Jerusalem or not was completely irrelevant to the depth and sincerity of his faith. He never needed a dubious ostracon, written in dodgy biblical Hebrew and coated by a layer of modern lime and wax, to make his belief stronger. I am confident that the discovery of the James Ossuary has not served to bring more people into the belief in the historicity of the Gospels. Perhaps the opposite is true. But for those of us who care about the future and integrity of biblical archaeology and history, the Jerusalem Syndrome in archaeology is a question of life and death -- either we fight against it, or we lose any trace of scientific dignity.

Addendum: Final blow or just a blow?

Avner Ayalon* and Yuval Goren**

* Geological Survey of Israel, Jerusalem, Israel.
** Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures, Tel-Aviv University, Israel

Recently, geologist James A. Harrell reviewed (in the non-peer reviewed BAR) our analytical results concerning the James Ossuary under the flaunting heading: "Final blow to IAA report: flawed geochemistry used to condemn James inscription."[36] Despite this dramatic heading that was presumably put there by the editors, Harrell's "final blow" to our conclusions is that the patina covering the inscription on the James Ossuary was either faked or recreated by cleaning. Harrell's arguments for the "flawed geochemistry" seem to be as strong as the final conclusion of his commentary. In what follows, we address them in short:

1. "Both scientists specifically point out that their statements are not final reports and that they will publish their complete findings later in a professional journal."

Harrell referrs in his article to the abstract published by the IAA in the June 2003 press conference. Harrell never bothered to contact any of us for the data nor for clarifying some misunderstandings that he seemingly had. We assume that Harrell knows that it takes some time for a scientific article to be refereed and accepted for publication in a prestigious peer-reviewed journal. Still, between the press conference (June 2003) and now, our scientific paper was accepted for publication in the Journal of Archaeological Science.[37] Harrell could easily have asked for a pre-print of the article and received it (as did the BAR managing editor per his request).

2. "Ayalon assumed (but did not demonstrate) that calcite is the primary, if not the only, mineral on both the ancient patina and the inscription coating."

Based on EDS analyses, the "letters' patina" as well as the "non-inscriptional parts" are composed of CaCO3.

3. "For Ayalon's hot-water scheme to work, the limestone would have to be dissolved in a hot acid-water solution and then the calcite crystallized by evaporating the solution. However, a coating made this way would have an acid residue and so give away its origin. To test for this possibility, the inscription coating needs to be chemically analyzed, but this has not yet been done."

(a) The calcite could have precipitated directly from the hot water itself (the same as the "cattle-stone" precipitates). There is no need to dissolve ground calcite.

(b) The acid involved in patina formation in nature is carbonic acid (H2CO3) formed as rainwater passes through the coil and dissolves soil-CO2. Once this acid is used, heating the water will result in CO2-degassing and CaCO3 precipitation with no acid residue. This could have been done artificially by using the same acid and without leaving any trace for it.

4. "…the ancient patina is clearly not pure calcite — its brownish color must be due to either iron oxides, clay minerals, and/or organic matter, all of which contain oxygen. The inscription coating also may not be pure calcit."

Harrell is completely wrong. The ancient patina is made of CaCO3, the same as the inscription coating. Moreover, to liberate CO2 gas from the CaCO3 for mass-spectrometric analysis, we use dry phosphoric acid (H3PO4). In this reaction, iron oxides, clay minerals, and other silicate minerals, which may be present in very small amounts, do not react with the acid. Harrell, as a stable-isotope geochemist, should also know that in the mass-spectrometer we analyzed the isotopic composition of CO2 gas liberated in the reaction and NOT the isotopic composition of oxygen (O2) gas.

5. "Ayalon dismisses out of hand the one sample of inscription coating whose δ18O value fell within the range of the ancient patina…. Ayalon is showing his bias by not allowing for the other possibility: that the word Jesus (where the samples came from) is truly ancient. This, plus the fact that one member of the IAA committee observed traces of ancient patina in the "brother of Jesus" part of the inscription, provide two solid pieces of evidence supporting the inscription is antiquity."

Carried away with his arguments, Harrell forgot to mention that luckily we have analyzed three letters from the word "Yeshua" (Jesus). The δ18O of the patina sampled from the other letters was very negative, -10.2 permil (for the letter "Shin" of "Yeshua") and -7.7 permil (for the letter "Vav"). Only the last letter ("Ain") had a normal value; hence, our interpretation for this phenomenon is not the result of bias but the only logical possibility.

6. "For the moment, all we can say is that the oxygen isotope results are equally consistent with two possible interpretations:

1. The inscription is a modern forgery that was coated with faked patina; OR

2. The inscription is ancient but was cleaned in modern times with the coating produced either inadvertently as a result of cleaning or intentionally to disguise the cleaning."

Both options suggested by Harrell agree with our conclusion that the "letters' patina" was not formed under natural conditions that prevailed in the Jerusalem area in the last 2000 years. Therefore, the title of his article "flawed geochemistry used to condemn James inscription" is strange/puzzling, to say the least.


_______________

Notes:

[1] Bar-El,Y., Durst, R., Katz, G., Zislin, J., and Knobler, H.Y. “Jerusalem syndrome.” The British Journal of Psychiatry 176 (2000): 86-90.

[2] Gaon, B. “Blazing stones.” Ma’ariv daily newspaper, 6 Mar. 2003 (Hebrew).

[3] Bordreuil, P., Israel, F., and Pardee, D. “Deux ostraca paléo-hébreux de la Collection Sh. Moussaieff.” Semitica 46 (1996): 49-76. Bordreuil, P., Israel, F., and Pardee, D. “King’s command and Widow’s Plea. Two new Hebrew ostraca of the Biblical Period.” Near Eastern Archaeology 61 (1998): 2-13.

[4] Shanks, H. “Three Shekels for the Lord, ancient inscription records gift to Solomon’s Temple.” Biblical Archaeology Review Nov./Dec. 1997:28-32. Shanks, H. “The ‘Three Shekels’ and ‘Widow’s Plea’ ostraca: real or fake?” Biblical Archaeology Review May/June 2003:40-45.

[5] Hornytzkyj, S. “Preliminary analysis report on six terracotta artefacts.” (1997) Unpublished report submitted by Microfocus Oy laboratory, Helsinki. (6 text pages + 8 figures and graphs).

[6] Shanks, 1997 (above, note 4).

[7] Gaon, 2003 (above, note 2).

[8] Ephal, I., and Naveh, J. “Remarks on the recently published Moussaieff ostraca.” Israel Exploration Journal 48/3-4 (1998): 269-273.

[9] Land, H-T., and Feucht, G. “Expertise, Sample No. PE 257-1, Sample No. PE 257-5.” Undated and unpublished report submitted by Aventis Research & Technologies, Frankfurt (15 text pages including figures and graphs).

[10] From reading the original report (above, note 5), it becomes evident that although modern materials were detected and the crystalline features of the calcite in the patina of the two ostraca differed from those of the reference group, the researcher still suggested that the patina of the former might be original. This was based on the presence of amorphous silica (actually from the opalline phytoliths within the grassy ash) and a siliceous layer coating, the otherwise calcitic patina. However, such composition and microstructure may be created artificially by mixing commercial burnt lime with grass ash (made mostly of opalline phytoliths) because of the pozzuolanic reaction and the formation of calcium-silica gel. The micron-sized bipyramidal structure of the calcite crystals in the ostraca patina, as observed by SEM, indicates their crystallization from burnt lime. For a detailed discussion on these features in plaster products and further references, see: Goren, Y., Goring-Morris, A.N., and Segal, I. “The technology of skull modeling in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB): Regional variability, the relation of technology and iconography and their archaeological implications.” Journal of Archaeological Science 28/7 (2001):671-690.

[11] Shanks, 2003 (above, note 4).

[12] Gaon, 2003 (above, note 2).

[13] Gaon, 2003 (above, note 2).

[14] V. Sussman, personal communication.

[15] Gaon, 2003 (above, note 2).

[16] V. Sussman, personal communication.

[17] Shanks, H., and Witherington III, B. The Brother of Jesus, the Dramatic Story & Meaning of the First Archaeological Link to Jesus & His Family. (2003). HarperCollins Publishers, New York, pp. 16-21.

[18] Lemair, A. “Burial box of James the brother of Jesus, earliest archaeological avidence of Jesus found in Jerusalem.” Biblical Archaeology Review Nov./Dec. 2002: 24-33, 70.

[19] Shanks and Witherington III, 2003 (above, note 17), pp. 16-21.

[20] Altman, R. “Official report on the James ossuary.” Bible and Interpretation (2003).

[21] Cross, F.M. “Discussion Between Frank Moore Cross, Andre Lemaire And Hershel Shanks” Biblical Archaeology Society (2003).

[22] Ayalon, A., Bar-Matthews, M., and Goren, Y. “Authenticity examination of the inscription on the ossuary attributed to James, brother of Jesus.” Journal of Archaeological Science (in press).

[23] Lemaire, A. “Israel Antiquities Authority report deeply flawed.” Biblical Archaeology Society (2003). Keall, E.J. “New tests bloster case for authenticity.” Biblical Archaeology Society (2003).

[24] Witherington III, B. “Bones of contention, why I still think the bone box is likely to be authentic.” Christianity Today (2003).

[25] For a full and relatively updated review of the James Ossuary affair, see: Ransom, I. Mary and the Ossuary, Beneath the “Brother of Jesus Forgery” (2003). USA: Xlibris Corporation (city of publication unmentioned).

[26] Gaon, 2003 (above, note 2).

[27] Shragai, N. “The Geological Survey: ‘The Jehoash Inscription’ is not a forgery.” Haaretz daily newspaper, 14 Jan. 2003 (Hebrew).

[28] Shanks, H. “Assessing the Jehoash inscription.” Biblical Archaeology Review May/June 2003: 26-31.

[29] Ilani, S., Rosenfeld, A., and Dvorachek, M. “Archaeometry of a stone tablet with Hebrew inscription referring to repair of The House.” Israel Geological Survey Current Research 13 (2002): 109-116.

[30] Shragai, 2003 (above, note 27) quotes some of these fantastic conclusions regarding the gilded temple’s walls burning over the Jehoash inscription (after being set in fire by Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard of Nabuchadnezzar, the King of Babylonia).

[31] Shragai, 2003 (above, note 27).

[32] Cross, F.M. “Notes on the forged plaque recording repairs to the temple.” Israel Exploration Journal 53/1(2003): 119-122. Ephal, I. “The ‘Jehoash Inscription’: a forgery.” Israel Exploration Journal 53/1 (2003): 124-128.

[33] Goren, Y. “The authenticity of the Jehoash inscription: an alternative interpretation.” Bible and Interpretation 2003. Goren, Y. “An alternative interpretation of the stone tablet with ancient Hebrew inscription attributed to Jehoash, King of Judah.” Bible and Interpretation 2003.

[34] Goren, Y., Ayalon, A., Bar-Matthews, M., and Schilman, B. “Authenticity Examination of the Jehoash Inscription.” Tel Aviv (2004, in press).

[35] Silberman, N, and Goren, Y. “Faking biblical history, how wishful thinking and technology fooled some scholars – and made fools of others.” Archaeology Sept./Oct. 2003: 20-29.

[36] Harrell, J.A. “Final blow to IAA Report: Flawed geochemistry used to condemn James inscription.” Biblical Archaeology Review Jan./Feb. 2004.

[37]Ayalon, et al. in press (above, note 22).
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Re: FREDA BEDI CONT'D (#4)

Postby admin » Wed Nov 23, 2022 4:35 am

Israeli Documentary: Antiquities Market Flooded with Forgeries Reviewed
The History of Merchants

Reviewed by Rochelle Altman
February 18, 2004

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By the time the documentary ends, the viewer is convinced that for at least 15 years Oded Golan (and some others) has flooded the antiquities market with forgeries.

Channel 2 (Israel)
Oded Golan: Another Type of Trustworthy (na'aman ocher)
Uvda Documentary Special
Moderator, Ilana Dayan

This documentary is both factual and worth viewing, yet all the same, it is disappointing. The fuller story is buried in snippets lasting for one or two seconds each. As presented, the film turns a monster "forgery machine" involving media "gods," historians, biblical scholars, archaeologists, epigraphers, stupid or even corrupt laboratory scientists, and others who helped to make this monster into the dull story of just another "forger."

Make no mistake: the documentary succeeds in one very important respect. Viewers are left with no doubt that what the "star" of the show can be trusted to do is to deliver forgeries. The insincerity that Mr. Golan himself displays in his many extended "sound-bites" reinforces the hard evidence displayed for us to see.

The forged products are not unique in type; they are unique in extent. While this is a money machine on a magnitude that Wilhelm Shapira could never imagine in his wildest dreams, this is also a forgery machine geared to rewrite the history books on an equally vast scale. It is the enormous scale of the operation that is unique.


When kings and emperors and governments rewrote their histories (as the winners always do), their primary purpose was to whitewash themselves. This is not the case here. Helena started the relics-machine rolling back in the fourth century, but she did not think in terms of money.

Augusta (also known as Saint Helena and Helena of Constantinople, c. AD 246/248– c. 330) was an Augusta and Empress of the Roman Empire and mother of Emperor Constantine the Great....

Helena ranks as an important figure in the history of Christianity. In her final years, she made a religious tour of Syria Palaestina and Jerusalem, during which ancient tradition claims that she discovered the True Cross....

Constantine appointed his mother Helena as Augusta Imperatrix, and gave her unlimited access to the imperial treasury in order to locate the relics of the Christian tradition. In AD 326–28 Helena undertook a trip to Palestine. According to Eusebius of Caesarea (260/265 – 339/340), who records the details of her pilgrimage to Palestine and other eastern provinces, she was responsible for the construction or beautification of two churches, the Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem, and the Church of Eleona on the Mount of Olives, sites of Christ's birth and ascension, respectively. Local founding legend attributes to Helena's orders the construction of a church in Egypt to identify the Burning Bush of Sinai. The chapel at Saint Catherine's Monastery—often referred to as the Chapel of Saint Helen—is dated to the year 330.

Jerusalem was still being rebuilt following the destruction caused by Titus in AD 70. Emperor Hadrian had built during the 130s a temple to Venus over the supposed site of Jesus' tomb near Calvary, and renamed the city Aelia Capitolina. Accounts differ concerning whether the temple was dedicated to Venus or Jupiter. According to Eusebius, "[t]here was a temple of Venus on the spot. This the queen (Helena) had destroyed." According to tradition, Helena ordered the temple torn down and, according to the legend that arose at the end of the 4th century, chose a site to begin excavating, which led to the recovery of three different crosses. The legend is recounted in Ambrose, On the Death of Theodosius (died 395) and at length in Rufinus' chapters appended to his translation into Latin of Eusebius's Ecclesiastical History, the main body of which does not mention the event. Then, Rufinus relates, the empress refused to be swayed by anything short of solid proof and performed a test. Possibly through Bishop Macarius of Jerusalem, she had a woman who was near death brought from the city. When the woman touched the first and second crosses, her condition did not change, but when she touched the third and final cross she suddenly recovered, and Helena declared the cross with which the woman had been touched to be the True Cross.

On the site of discovery, Constantine ordered the building of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Churches were also built on other sites detected by Helena....

Sozomen and Theodoret claim that Helena also found the nails of the crucifixion. To use their miraculous power to aid her son, Helena allegedly had one placed in Constantine's helmet, and another in the bridle of his horse. According to one tradition, Helena acquired the Holy Tunic on her trip to Jerusalem and sent it to Trier.

Several relics purportedly discovered by Helena are now in Cyprus, where she spent some time. Among them are items believed to be part of Jesus Christ's tunic, pieces of the holy cross, and pieces of the rope with which Jesus was tied on the Cross.
The rope, considered to be the only relic of its kind, has been held at the Stavrovouni Monastery, which was also said to have been founded by Helena. According to tradition, Helena is responsible for the large population of cats in Cyprus. Local tradition holds that she imported hundreds of cats from Egypt or Palestine in the fourth century to rid a monastery of snakes. The monastery is today known as "St. Nicholas of the Cats" and is located near Limassol.

Helena left Jerusalem and the eastern provinces in 327 to return to Rome, bringing with her large parts of the True Cross and other relics, which were then stored in her palace's private chapel, where they can be still seen today. Her palace was later converted into the Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem. This has been maintained by Cistercian monks in the monastery which has been attached to the church for centuries.

-- Helena, mother of Constantine I, by Wikipedia


Shapira, the best known of the 19th-century forgers, thought in terms of money. This time money, yes, but with an agenda aimed at the "creation" of biblical history; a fake history that lets the forgers turn legitimate scientists and scholars into whispering voices trying to be heard above the roar stimulated by the sensational finds and the agenda behind the "finds." And what an ugly agenda it is!

In a snippet, a take lasting perhaps 4 seconds, Major Jonathan Pagis of the police states the ugly "hidden" agenda: "Antiquities looters tear pages from the book of our history, but this man [Golan] adds to them pages that read what he wants them to read."

By the time the documentary ends, the viewer is convinced that for at least 15 years Oded Golan (and some others) has flooded the antiquities market with forgeries. These are not just any forgeries, mind you, but primarily Iron Age through Roman Period inscriptions in Hebrew – preferably inscribed in Paleo-Hebraic. And these forgeries are designer items. Each fake is carefully thought out and aimed at a precise target before being manufactured. Each item is designated for a specific "audience," for an audience he has.

Shots of a procession of Roman monks carrying a cross on the route of the Via Dolorosa and Hassidic Jews praying at the Western Wall appear several times during the program to point to the target audience. Even in this, the producers fail to distinguish religious sects and fall into a trap that can be expected of people who, through lack of contact, are not knowledgeable about the differences among Christian sects. And this lack of knowledge was known to, and used by, the merchants of forged history.

The target is the religious market. This is a market that Dr. Yuval Goren refers to as "The Jerusalem Syndrome" in his paper presented at the SBL in Atlanta in November of 2003; that paper is available for all to read right here on bibleinterp.com. And there are also most specific markets, one of which Ian Ransom exposed in his book Mary and the Ossuary: Beneath the "Brother of Jesus" Forgery. This market is the key to the entire series of sensational "finds."

Golan, of course, did not do it all alone; he had help. A forgery ring needs a manufacturer, an authenticator, and a publicity machine. The viewer is treated to a revealing display of how the forgery machine worked. We are taken from when the items were invented and planned through the final production by an artist. One artist in particular is heard on tape discussing the manufacture of bullae with our "star," Oded Golan. The artist learned his trade in Egypt and knows no other. He is an artist who produced some of the bullae for Golan. He might be the "mysterious" Egyptian that Golan claimed made use of the roof above his luxurious apartment in a private apartment building located in an affluent, yet crowded, city neighborhood. We are treated to a demonstration by Amir Ganor of the IAA of how small fakes, such as bullae, are delivered -- hidden inside packs of cigarettes.

Only glancing attention is paid to gullible or corrupt scholars who lead others to believe in the authenticity of this parade of items for religious, political, and personal reasons. We see only glimpses of publications in pseudo-scientific magazines. We find superficial mention of the fakes appearing in an authenticating and price-elevating process through exhibitions at museums and in catalogues published by home-grown vanity presses -- distributed by gullible respectable houses. Although the international aspects were already clear by November of 2002, we are informed, once again by Major Pagis, that what was at first thought to be only a few items has turned into the opening of "Pandora's Box." These fakes, numbering in many hundreds of pieces, as Eric Meyers has noted, are spread throughout the world in museums and private collections. Epigraphically, they are a disaster area which will entail years of work to clean out the fakes from among the real entries in the data base. Yet such points are totally ignored.

If, as the saga of Oded Golan unfolds, the story appears to be reduced to black and white, it is because this is a story of extremes. There are white hats and black hats -- with the fools and the gullible in the middle.

The contrast between the good guys, who risk their lives to protect the sites of antiquities from thieves, and the bad guys, who have made millions of dollars from the fools and the gullible who buy or believe in these doctored stolen artifacts, is the motif. The movement between the extremes, with the gullible and fools as a middle stop, is repeated throughout the documentary.

The program opens with members of the field force of the IAA doing their dangerous duty of arresting antiquities thieves by night. The scene shifts to where Mr. Shlomo Moussaieff, the gullible collector of unprovenanced items, such as innumerable fake seals and bullae (bought at $10,000 per bulla) and the forged ostracon purporting to be a receipt from the First Temple, is celebrating his 80th birthday -- surrounded by 50 archaeologists and other "friends" -- in his apartment on the top two stories of a hotel. Moussaieff is said to be the largest collector in Israel; but, is he? Although this is precisely what Moussaieff wants to be known as, no, he is not. Contrary to the statements made by Mr. Hershel Shanks, Oded Golan is by far and away the largest collector of these artifacts in Israel, possibly in the world -- if we include the massive number of large cartons filled with artifacts of questionable origin and the shelves lined with larger items in his warehouses and in what had been stored in the rooftop workshop.

Mr. Oded Golan enters, seated at his blonde grand piano set in the middle of a spacious room and surrounded with tiers of glass shelves, packed with artifacts, set against the distant walls. Golan's apartment, with its rooms running back the length of the building and spanning roughly 25 meters across the frontage, is an apartment with a price tag of at least $800,000 in US currency. Wait! What happened to Golan's "tiny" apartment in Tel-Aviv where he was visited by the reporters from Time magazine?

Gone is the "handsome" Oded Golan of the media frenzy with his "soft doe-eyes" and his "trustworthy gaze" and his "sincere" demeanor. Here is the real Oded Golan with his beady-brown eyes, bat-wing ears, fleshy nose, and flabby lower lip. Lines of discontent and avarice make grooves in his face. Sincerity is singularly lacking in his demeanor now; this film is shown in Israel, not in the United States or Canada. Here is Oded Golan, who probably would have been better cast as a piano teacher of beginning and intermediate students – at least he displays that he is competent on the instrument for the camera, though he is by no means on a par with a professional concert pianist. Certainly as a piano teacher he would have done less harm to Biblical studies, archaeology, epigraphy, and a history that affects hundreds of millions of believers around the world.

We now return to the white hats where Ganor of the IAA displays a collection of stolen antiquities, forgers’ tools, and boxes of earth found at one of the warehouses used by Oded Golan. (Golan's claim, which he reiterates in the program, that all antiquities collectors have such tools may be correct; no collector, however, also has boxes of earth from different parts of Israel -- which boxes we are shown -- with which to make fake patinas.) Ganor picks up another item found among the collection – a figurine on which an assortment of heads can be fitted, and he wonders how many of these have been sold. Flashbacks are shown; in one we see and hear the breathless announcement of the bone box given on CNN on October 22, 2002. There is another flashback: this time we go to the SBL and the museum display in Toronto -- where more than 100,000 people saw the box at $20 Canadian a head.

"Nobody has made any money on this James Box," to quote Ben Witherington III's statement in the Lexington Herald-Leader of Friday, June 27, 2003. "Nobody has made money on it," to quote Mr. Hershel Shanks in his part of the book co-authored with Witherington -- which book sold 76,000 copies in hardcover. "I have not made any money on it," to quote Oded Golan himself in this documentary. "No, he hasn't made any money on it; just millions of dollars," said Major Jonathan Pagis in charge of this investigation.

Now we have a flashback to Andre Lemaire early in November 2002. Lemaire, who as a seminary student, completed the equivalent of a Ph.D. in the history of the church ministry in the late 1960's -- a specialist in James-era Christianity. Lemaire, who overnight became an "expert" epigrapher by virtue of his find of the fake pomegranate in 1979, the first of the fakes heavily promoted in the Biblical Archaeological Review -- the BAR. Lemaire whose claim in 1979 to being an expert with many years of experience as an epigrapher was based on the publication of his thesis, a small volume published in 1977 (Hebraic inscriptions, introduction, traduction, commentary) in a field he conceived a sudden "passion" for in 1972. (A field your reviewer entered in 1954.) Here we see and hear Andre Lemaire babbling on about how he suddenly made the connection between the forged names on the bone box and James of the church. As if he would not know all about his own seminarist specialty.

Next comes the "Joash" Tablet offered to the Israel museum for $4,500,000 U.S. -- an offer written on letterhead (shown) through the same law firm that had offered the "Temple Receipt" ostracon, also publicized in the BAR. The "Joash" Tablet was such a poor forgery that it was denounced the same day a photograph of the artifact appeared. (Your reviewer was informed that the tablet was owned by Golan the day after the photograph appeared.) This is the same tablet that we see shown on the cover of the BAR. This is the same magazine whose publisher announced a "Make a Fake" contest; this announcement also flashes by. Perhaps the only amusing scene in the entire documentary is of the real experts looking at the tablet, touching it, and laughing at the obvious fakery.

It is not, however, amusing that many people knew about the forgeries yet simply laughed at anyone gullible enough to buy them -- or into them. Next we move to the workshop on top of Golan's apartment building, a building that nobody familiar with this type of structure, or Tel-Aviv, will believe could have been used by a mysterious Egyptian without Golan's active participation. This scenario is the equivalent of some mysterious person entering and making use on his own of a private rooftop in an expensive apartment building in mid-town Manhattan. We are treated to a passing view of the dirty, unused toilet chamber in which the "most spectacular find in Biblical archaeological history," insured (after Golan said he would not insure it) for $1,000,000 U.S., was found "enthroned."

We return to Moussaieff and a fake for which he paid $800,000 U.S. (the approximate cost of Golan's "tiny" apartment). We move back to one artifact, a really beautiful oil lamp shown at intervals for good reason -- a reason we learn when we finally see and hear Mr. George Weill, the duped collector talk about his purchase of the item. The scene flashes to Officer Pagis, who blandly announces that the owner paid cash, $100,000, without a receipt or supporting documentation. We return to the unveiling of the artifact where we watch the owner carefully unwrap the item after taking it from its specially made carrying case. And, along with the owner, we are shown where the patina is fake.

It is a fitting epithet on the entire business when Mr. Weill vehemently states: "I have collected for 40 years in many fields and I have never seen such monkeys and cowboys and swindlers and liars and money-hungry bums as I find in this field!"

[Tzaki Tzuriel, Private Investigator hired by antiquities collector Oded Golan.] Over time, I learned that this world of archaeological excavations and findings is a world full of what we like to call "monkey business."

-- Into the Land: The Forgery Scandal, Created by Eiv Kristal and Natan Odenheier


The final scene is the ossuary being wheeled into a huge storage shed -- if a place can be found for it among the masses of artifacts -- all fakes.

Will this documentary stop the frauds? Perhaps from this other "type of trustworthy" who can be trusted to deliver fakes; but if the pattern typical of announcing new "sensational" finds in the BAR is any indication, we are in for another media frenzy.

After milking the question of who conquered Meggido for an artifact stolen all it was worth, the BAR and its publisher went silent for a long time. The public knows from Boaz Gaon's fact-based article in the Ma'ariv of March 28, 2003 that a so-called Shishak-Megiddo bowl was sold, according to Gaon, by Oded Golan to a collector. The bowl now has a forged inscription on it: a dedication written in hieroglyphics purportedly from Pharoah Shishak to the general who "conquered" Megiddo.

Suddenly, after this long silence on the "Megiddo" question, Mr. Shanks published an article in a very recent BAR entitled, "Who conquered Megiddo of the 10th century BC?" Was it David or Shishak? Should we be amazed and surprised if the question of who conquered Megiddo be "settled" by the fortuitous appearance of this bowl in the BAR?


The hovering danger of the Megiddo bowl must not permit serious scholars to be deflected. This is not what archaeology, epigraphy, and biblical history are about. These forgeries are peripheral; they are not the core and heart of our disciplines. Because of the publicity the forgery machine can engender, we can no longer afford to laugh at human magpie tendencies and obvious fakes. We cannot tolerate this deliberate destruction any longer. We have to stand together and show that we can be trusted to fight for the truth and the integrity of our work.
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Re: FREDA BEDI CONT'D (#4)

Postby admin » Wed Nov 23, 2022 9:48 am

Part 1 of 2

Part 2: Authorship
Theognis the Author, Traditional Wisdom, and Some Side Effects of Authority
by Sara De Martin

From Defining Authorship, Debating Authenticity: Problems of Authority from Classical Antiquity to the Renaissance
Edited by Roberta Berardi, Martina Filosa, and Davide Massimo
© 2021 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


The Theognidea are a riddle.1 They a re the only surviving collection of Archaic elegies which boasts a direct textual tradition, but it is not clear what in them is actually by an individual called Theognis, what is Archaic, and what is later. Nor is it clear when the collection was arranged as it currently is, what stages it has been through, or how it circulated in the Classical period.2 These are necessary introductory remarks if one is to speak of the poetry contained in the Sylloge Theognidea. Still, in this paper I would like to shift the attention away from these core problems of the 'Theognidean question' and put the spotlight instead on some matters of reception. The first part will be dedicated to retracing Theognis' place in the literary culture of the 4th century BC, to which date the first mentions of Theognis' name, as well as the first quotations ascribed to him.3 Secondly, I will examine the Imperial and Byzantine reception of two passages of the Sylloge (II. 425- 8 and 215- 6): this trial analysis will show how pre-existing traditional topoi were taken up in Theognis' text and consequently underwent further crystallization, with the lines eventually losing their attachment to an individual author's name. The two-fold examination will allow me to contrast the 4th-century BC notion of Theognis as a well-known author of circulating written texts and as an established ethical authority with some highly gnomical late reuses of certain Theognidean lines. On the basis of these observations, I will propose that the late anonymous circulation of some gnomai is a side effect of the renown of Theognis' name in earlier times. Overall, with this essay, my aim is to put to the test the diachronic reception-based approach to Theognis and his poetry, giving some samples of its benefits, and secondly, to contribute to the (limited to date) conversation on the Theognidean text as a repository for traditional wisdom.

1 Theognis Between 5th and 4th Century BC

1.1 Theognis and the Athenian Elite


Theognidean echoes or references have been recognized already in some 5th- century BC comic passages,4 and, notoriously, in Critias' seal elegy,5 but the name of Theognis appears for the first time in extant Greek literature from the 4th century BC. There are 11 such mentions in total in Isocrates, Plato, Xenophon, and Aristotle.6 These authors, however, do not only mention Theognis or quote passages that they ascribe to him by name. In their works, they also cite several unattributed lines that are later found in the Mediaeval manuscripts of the Theognidean Sylloge.7 As we shall see, these instances show that Theognis was a standard poetic 'reference point' for these authors in relation to certain preferred themes, the predominant one being the teachability or transmissibility of virtue. This was a pressing philosophical topic from the time of the Sophists to the Hellenistic philosophers,8 and is often connected, in 4th-century BC discussions, to reflections on the nature of kalokagathia.9 Theognis is also mentioned twice in contexts dealing with trustworthiness, which, as a key value of the Archaic hetaireia, features prominently in the Theognidea.10

Lines 35- 36 and 434 of the Sylloge recur multiple times (sometimes attributed to Theognis, sometimes anonymously quoted) in 4th-century BC contexts focusing on the teachability of virtue and on the moral benefits of the company of noble men.11 The first occurrence calling for an analysis is in Plato's Meno. The whole dialogue, as is well known, deals with the nature and the origin of virtue.12 To ascertain whether virtue is teachable or not, Socrates leads Meno to investigate whether 'teachers' of virtue actually exist. Various figures fail the exam: elite Athenians, who are unable to teach or pass virtue on to their sons (92e-94e); Thessalian aristocrats, who are undecided about virtue being teachable (95a-b); and the Sophists, who are commonly credited with teaching virtue but, as Gorgias does (95c), deny this. Finally, Socrates mentions Theognis and quotes two passages by him:

[x] [scil. [x]) [x]; MEN. [x] (Thgn. 33-36) [x] Men. [x] (Thgn. 435) [x] (Thgn. 434) [x] (Thgn. 436-8) [x];13

Pl. Men. 95c-96a


The text presents various issues, and has been accordingly analyzed from a variety of perspectives.14 Its most evident trait is the way Plato bends the text and rhetoric of the Theognidean lines to his own purpose.15 The Socrates of the Meno openly reproaches the contradiction between the two quoted sets of Theognidean couplets. The inconsistency, though, is only apparent; the speaker's advice in II. 33- 36 is addressed to someone who 'has good sense' ([x], 36), while II. 434-8 dwell on the inefficacy of every attempt to straighten out a bad nature ([x], 438) when a man is naturally devoid of [x] (l. 435).16

It has been argued that Plato's out-of-context reuse of these Theognidean words is deliberate, that his misinterpretation is consciously forced, and that his reproach of Theognis is fallacious. To convince Meno, a pupil of Gorgias, that the matter cannot be resolved through an appeal to authorities, Plato's Socrates may be using the weapons the youth is most sensitive to, and imitating the Sophists' abuse of poetic texts.17 What can be said with confidence is that Plato is clearly using Theognis to stress the inevitable confusion that exists about the nature of virtue.18 The quotations are a means to extend and deepen Socrates' exposition of this ambiguity, and to take it to its conclusion (possibly also while making fun of contemporary intellectual manners). Theognis, the noble Thessalians, and Meno himself are all undecided about the teachability of virtue, meaning that they do not know exactly what virtue is, and therefore cannot teach it. Not even those who are themselves kaloi kai agathoi (e.g. the well-known Athenian political figures), insists Plato, are teachers ([x]) of virtue (96b). Theognis is thus lumped together, criticized, and dismissed with other figures commonly regarded as conventional sources of wisdom in the matter of virtue: nobles, socially and politically prominent figures, and sophists.19

Lines 35-36 [20] are quoted also by Xenophon's Socrates in the Symposium:

[x] (Thgn. 35-36) [x].21

Xen. Symp. 2.4


The 'bodily odours which come from the efforts and undertakings of free men' ([x]), Socrates argues, presuppose noble aspirations and take time to be achieved. The metaphor is soon clarified; Socrates is referring to kalokagathia, a status which can be established only associating oneself with 'good men' ([x]). After the quotation of Theognis, the exchange goes on briefly on the topic of keeping company with skilled men and their teachings (2.5), and then the teachability of kalokagathia is questioned by the guests (2.6). By stating that the question is controversial, Socrates then dismisses the debate (2.7).

Xenophon quotes the same lines again in the Memorabilia, but this time without naming Theognis:

[x].23

Xen. Mem. 1.2.20


Xenophon (from 1.2.12 onwards) is considering the moral corruption of Alcibiades and Critias. Once they left Socrates, these two men started leading a debased life, but not, argues Xenophon, because they had been corrupted by Socrates (who showed himself to be an exemplary kalos kai agathos to those who associated with him, 1.1.18).24 Their debasement was rather a consequence of the fact that, by leaving his company, Alcibiades and Critias interrupted their training in virtue.25 Xenophon is therefore relieving Socrates of responsibility (cf. 1.2.28), but he is also making his own point about the achievement of virtue; association with good people is askesis (practice) of arete, and arete, like any discipline which needs training, can be forgotten if not practiced enough, or can deteriorate through association with the bad. The two elegiac quotations aim at iterating and vindicating Xenophon's stance -- and Xenophon is using the poetic lines in exactly the sort of 'appeal to authority' that Plato critiques: a confirmation that Theognis was, indeed, a common authority on virtue.

Theognis is mentioned also by Aristotle in the Nicomachean Ethics, again in a context that focuses on the role of practice in establishing and maintaining virtue: [x], 1170a11-13. [26] This is the first of three such Theognidean appearances in the Nicomachean Ethics in contexts that touch on moral excellence. We find 1. 35 of the Sylloge again partially quoted and unattributed at the end of book 9, where Aristotle deals with friendship and associations. Once again, we find the usual pronouncements; social relations impact on a person's mental formation, with bad people corrupting one another, and good people making each other better.

[x]. 27

Arist. Eth. Nic. 1172a3-5, 10-15


Finally, another Theognidean line, quoted already in the Meno, appears further on in the Nicomachean Ethics. Aristotle argues that theoretical discourse is ineffective in transmitting virtue, as it cannot lead the many to kalokagathia. 'Theoretical ethics' can guide to arete only those young people who are naturally prone to love what is 'noble' (those who have an [x]):

[x].28

Arist. Eth. Nic. 1179b2-10


To validate this pronouncement, Aristotle resorts to Theognis' l. 434, adjusting it to his own rhetorical need, and making almost 'proverbialized' use of it. Yet, despite the adjustment, there is an evident thematic consistency between the original Theognidean context and the Aristotelian one. Aristotle is maintaining exactly that 'you will never make the bad man noble through teaching', as is staled in ll. 437-8 of the Sylloge, in the near context of 434.

The persistent presence of Theognis' name and verses in 4th-century BC discourses on virtue should be evident by now. Excerpts from his elegies are quoted in contexts which explicitly refer to the ideal of kalokagathia, and which are concerned with the way kalokagathia and arete are transmitted, acquired and developed. In the case of Plato, Theognis is presented as a commonly-acknowledged authoritative source, which provides -- according to Plato's Socrates -- a skewed and contradictory (though widely accepted) perspective on virtue, in Xenophon and Aristotle, ll. 35-36 and 434 are used as a rhetorical tool to establish these authors' views on the matter of kalokagathia. These lines seem to be a favourite commonplace to which 4th-century writers resort in these contexts filled with the entangled ideas of virtue, moral excellence and nobility.29

The involvement of the Socratics with Theognis requires us to interrogate the ideological connotations of their reuse of Theognis' verses. canfora (1995) 122-3 argues that the ideal of 'aristocratic prevalence', pervasive in the Theognidea, must have struck a chord in the Socratic milieu of traditional Athenian aristocracy.30 The association of Theognis with the theme of 'good birth' is indeed frequent, and not confined to the passages analysed above. We know of a treatise On Theognis ([x]) said to be by Xenophon (Stob. 4.29c.53), and the Theognidean collection ([x]) known to the writer of this treatise 'began with the theme of good birth' ([x]). Another On Theognis is mentioned by Diogenes Laertius (Diog. Laert. 6.16 = Antisth. V A 41.15 Giannantoni) as the work of Antisthenes, a Socratic who equated virtuous men with the well-born ([x], Antisth. V A 134.2-3 Giannantoni).31 Theognis was mentioned also in an Aristotelian fragment (fr. 69 Gigon = 92 Rose, in Stob. 4.29a.25) from the treatise On good birth ([x]). Was Theognis in this period held up as an advocate for selective 'aristocratic breeding', and for the need to close access to the 'best' social circles in the city?

We ought to bring out in evidence an important common theme in all the passages examined above. Plato, Xenophon, and Aristotle discuss arete and kalokagathia only in reference to social elites, and some of the passages analyzed also show terms typical of the rhetoric of the 'elite-masses' opposition.32 The kaloi kai agathoi of whom Plato's Socrates talks are the Athenian and Thessalian ruling classes ([x], 95c), whose socio-political prominence thus seems to serve as one mark of 'virtue', at least as conventionally intended.33 Xenophon, too (Symp. 2.4), dwells on a concept of kalokagathia which is clearly not devoid of socio-political connotations. A contrast between 'the public' or 'the masses', on the one hand, and 'the private' or the 'few' on the other, thus takes shape in the passage, While perfumes fudge the distinction between free and slave, kalokagathia pertains only to nobles. Kalokagathia cannot be acquired or exercised in places of popular sociability, like the 'perfume market', but only in elite contexts, familiar from the poetry of the Archaic aristocratic tradition. The symposium is likely to be one of these contexts, given the fictional setting of Xenophon's work itself.34 Finally, Aristotle (Eth. Nic. 1179b) mentions the few (those 'naturally prone to virtue') as opposed to 'the many' ([x],1179b10) who have no hope of attaining kalokagathia, and lingers on the 'noble' character [x], 1179b8) of those who can more easily reach it.35

All things considered, Theognis' lines were particularly renowned in the political groups Socrates moved in, as the critique has already established.36 But the examined reuses allow us to clarify the political reasons of such an interest, and the tenrms of these literary appropriations.

Firstly, we need to stress that, in 4th-century BC Athens, Theognis was reused by elitist authors: members of a political and intellectual elite that defined itself in opposition to the 'masses', these authors addressed not the wider public, but an elite of 'like-minded aristocrats'.37 Among these, Xenophon and Aristotle make Theognis speak for them as 4th-century BC Athenians. while Plato dismisses him as a spokesperson for (at that time) widespread misconceptions about the teachability of virtue. Therefore, in all cases, this repurposing of Theognis' lines set the Archaic ideology originally expressed in them against the contemporary political context -- that of 4th-century BC democratic Athens -- and show how Theognis' was a poetical voice to whom well-born Athenians could relate. These reuses, indeed, demonstrate how the Theognidean, Archaic political terminology of 'good' and 'bad', 'noble' and 'base' was transferred into the contemporary socio-political clash: that of the traditional Athenian elite striving for a recognition of its own superior political status within the horizons of the democratic polis, where the only legal distinction was that of citizens and non-citizens.38 All in all, Theognis was (already) an authoritative voice through which Athenians could establish their elitist ideals and validate them rhetorically. To complete this picture of Theognis in the 4th century BC, I will focus on Aristotle again. The analysis will bring us to consider Aristotle's engagement with a circulating written text of Theognis.

1.2 Aristotle

The scope of mentions and quotations of Theognis is broader in Aristotle than in other 4th-century BC authors. We count eight quotations (both ascribed and anonymous) in the Aristotelian Ethics, as well as two more mentions (with no text quoted), one in the Nichomachean Ethics and one in a fragment. With no exception, the references to Theognis are meant as gnomic validations of Aristotle's statements on ethics. Still, to him Theognis is not simply a source of gnomai. Two examples will illustrate this.

Passage 1179b2-10 of the Nicomachean Ethics is an example of how a line from the Theognidea can be 'conventionalized' in the process of citation. The quoted phrase (Thgn. 434) is wedged into Aristotle's prose and the original subject of the main verb is altered. These are signs that the sentence had probably become a commonplace with which to express incisively a specific concept -- the unfeasibility of some action. The flow of thought is seamless: no interruption precedes the quotation and the period goes on after it. What is more, the pentameter is broken into two segments by the insertion of the adverb [x]. Aristotle is here expressing his own point with Theognis' words. and thus is at the same time validating his own stance, which of course coincides with the utterance of an acknowledged poetical authority. Aristotle, like Plato, neglects to mention the Asclepiads who are cited in l. 432 of the Sylloge and are the 'original' subject of [x]. In Theognis, the sense is: 'if the Asclepiads could heal human wretchedness, they would obtain many high rewards'. Aristotle chooses the term [x] as subject of the verb [x]: the line thus undergoes a metaphorical shift. The word [x] ('reward') refers to the (imaginary) achievements  that discourse would accomplish if it could 'convert' people to virtue. Independently from the source from which Aristotle draws the line, we see that he is using it as a commonplace: 'if they could do x, they would do a roaring trade' is a way to express the unfeasibility of x. Aristotle's casual use of it shows the conventionality of this expression. He utilizes the line as he sees fit; nevertheless, the context remains strictly related to that of the Theognidean elegy this line belongs to, as already noticed above. Though Aristotle appropriates the expression nonchalantly by changing the referent, he is still well aware of its original context. The broader Theognidean frame of the elegy 429-38, especially its second section, is verbally echoed (and thus presupposed) in the Aristotelian context. Beside the general claim that without a good natural disposition virtue cannot be put into practice, the reference is made to the inefficacy of discourse (cf. Thgn. 436-7 [x]) and teaching (cf. Arist. Eth. Nic. 1179b21 and 23 [x], Thgn. 437-8 [x]). This is crucial evidence for the fact that l. 434 was circulating together with the following lines, and that therefore 429-38 likely existed as an elegy in Aristotle's time.39

Another case of Theognidean echoes punctuating Aristotle's prose text is to be found in the Eudemian Ethics:

[x] (Thgn. 125-126) [x]. 40

Arist Eth. Eud, 1237b8-16


In West's edition of the Sylloge, the lines Aristotle quotes here (12 -6) belong to the elegy 119-28, where the necessity of testing friends' good intentions is the central theme. In the Aristotelian passage, we can identify some Theognidean traces from outside the verbatim quotation. Aristotle says that, in matter of friendship, judging correctly is 'not easy' ([x], 1237b11), and understanding if a friend is reliable takes time. These ideas are present in II. 119-24 of the Sylloge: [x].41 The difficulty of uncovering a friend's insincerity is stated also in the couplet which precedes this elegy in the Sylloge: [x], Thgn. 117-8.42 In this case as well, the echoes in Aristotle's text suggests that Thgn. 117-28 (in the current editions identified as two poems, 117-8 and 119-28) might have been circulating together during his time, in a not much different sequence than the one transmitted in the Mediaeval manuscripts.

Overall, we must also notice that Theognis' name is referred to by Aristotle as that of a renowned authority, with no further detail. It is a name Aristotle can cite to validate his statements. He quotes Theognis, as he does other authors, for a rhetorical purpose. Theognis appears as bearer of well- cknowledged ethics on which Aristotle can base himself, or with which he can back up his own arguments. Yet Theognis was more than a source of validating maxims for Aristotie. He does not know only the lines he quotes but shows awareness also of the context they come from. The quoted lines might have been circulating orally as sayings; but Aristotle also knew that they came from a broader context, from longer elegies -- which suggests that he might have accessed them as such in an entextualized version.43

We have thus explored the presence of Theognis in the texts of Plato and Xenophon, products of the 5th century BC and its tensions, and in Aristotle. We have recognized the role of Theognis as an 'authoritative voice' in the 4th-century BC cultural landscape, and also ascertained the ideological load of several reuses of his poems. There is a sense, in the period, that Theognis is the poet to resort to for quotable lines on friendship and virtue, a sort of 'teacher of wisdom'44 in these matters. The sample examination of some Aristotelian reuses of Theognis' poetry allows us to add further elements to the picture. The 'undeclared' Theognidean presence, these scattered echoes traceable in the prose nearby the quotations, disclose a deep familiarity on the part of Aristotle with Theognis' text, This familiarity goes beyond the verbatim quotations of isolated gnomai: Aristotle knew the elegiac frame he was drawing the lines from. The examined Aristotelian cases are not dissimilar to that of Xen. Symp. 2.4, where, in the reuse of Thgn. 35-36, we might sense awareness of the broader sympotic context the distich comes from. Even though we cannot exclude that the authors knew the broader elegiac contexts mnemonically, I think that these cases likely imply engagement with the Theognidean text in written form. Both passages confirm a further detail of these authors' notion of Theognis in the 4th century BC: teacher of wisdom and authority in matter of some ethical themes, whose texts are ideologically loaded; but also recognized author of some circulating written texts.

With this picture in mind, we shall now turn to the later afterlife of Theognis. Examining the fortunes of two other passages will allow us some glimpses of the destiny of Theognidean poetry in Imperial and Byzantine times. This will, eventually, lead us to elaborate some core ideas about the trajectory of the history of Theognis' text from the 5th century BC onwards.

2 Two Cases of Later Reception

[x].45
Thgn. 425-8


The hexameters are almost identical to two lines of a 3rd-century BC papyrus which preserves some remains of what has been recognized as the Mouseion of the 4th-century BC sophist Alcidamas:46

[x].47
P. Petr. 1.25.10-15 (TM 59083 = MP3 77, 3rd BC) (ed. Bassino)48


Alcidamas' Mouseion was probably the main source of the Certamen Homeri et Hesiodi, handed down to us in a 2nd-century BC version in a manuscript (Laur. Plut. 56.01). 49 The lines found in the papyrus are also in the version of the Certamen preserved in the manuscript: [x] (Cert. Hom. et Hes. 77-79, ed. Bassino).

The motif of [x] ('best not to be born') is only one instance of the wider Greek pessimistic conception of human life, which is detectable, in different forms, from Homer onwards.30 This particular topos is found widely in literary texts from the 5th and 4th century BC.51 Passages from Bacchylides and Sophocles, as well as one Euripidean and one Aristotelian fragment, exemplify its pervasiveness and standardized form: 52

[x].53

Bacchyl. 5.160-2


[x].54

Soph. OC 1224- 7


[x].55

Eur. Beller. fr. 285.1-2 K.


[x].56

Alexis fr. 145.14-16 K.-A.


p. 294.43-5.3 Gigon (= p. 48.18-23 Rose) [x]. p. 295.15-20 Gigon (= p. 49.5-9 Rose) [x].57

Arist. fr. 65 Gigon (= fr. 44 Rose)


Lines 425- 8 of the Sylloge thus elaborate on a pessimistic notion deeply rooted in the Greek mindset, and more specifically on an apparently widely circulating saying, as it is explicitly said in Euripides', Aristotle's, and Alexis' fragments. As LeVen (2013) 32 warns. 'studying the relationship between texts relying on the same gnome [ ... ] would not tell us much about the mutual relationship of the two "texts" but does help us map individual passages' connections to a textual collective', which is the 'endless, and endlessly fluid, repertoire of intertextual connections with oral narratives'.58 Indeed, we do not know if the motif of [x] was already established as a saying in hexameters when Alcidamas utilized it, if he borrowed it from some previous tradition of the Certamen, or if the two lines were the sophist's creation.59 In any case, we must consider the possibility that the Sylloge's lines might not only be taking up a wide-spread motif, but also a pre-existing hexameter form in which the topos had already crystallized. Scholars have even spoken of the hexameters as a proverb;60 they maintained that the composer of Il. 425-8 fitted such proverb into an elegiac version, and that the pentameters are redundant, adding nothing to the concepts in the hexameters. Nonetheless, I believe that something can be said in defense of their poetic quality. The pentameters do indeed draw from very common motifs, As for 426, both the metaphor of life as the faculty of 'seeing the sunlight' and the attribute [x] used for the sun and sunlight, are found already in epic.61 In 428, we find another well-established image, that of 'lying under a tall heap of earth'.62 So, the hexameters take over a pre-existing saying and the pentameters comment on it. Still, they do this by elaborating on mixed literary motifs: the result is a poignant chain of shared images linked to the broader sphere of life and death -- a sequence which results in sounding proverbial on its own. Its later fortune confirms that it was perceived as such.

The many indirect attestations show that both the hexameters and the elegiac version had a successful afterlife.63 As for the elegiacs, II. 425-7 are quoted and ascribed to Theognis by Clement of Alexandria (Strom. 3.3.15.1), while the entire elegy is quoted anonymously in Sextus Empiricus (Pyr. 3.231). It is then found in Stobaeus (4.52b.30), who separately reports Alcidamas' hexameter version as well (4.52b.22), confirming that the two were still circulating in parallel.64 Finally, 425-7 are transmitted unattributed in Sudu [x] 4099 and, with ascription to Theognis, by the paroemiographer Macarius (2.45), Out of five such occurrences in later ancient authors, three cases report the elegiac lines in a lemma without any contextualization: Stobaeus, the Suda, and Macarius. Such treatment is intrinsic to the nature of these works, which are arranged as series of entries: they are, respectively, an anthology of extracts from Greek writers, an encyclopaedia and a paroemiographical collection.65 By contrast, in the works of Clement and Sextus, the quotations are inserted in a broader argumentative context and help to build the author's case. Neither author, however, engages with the lines, and instead both quote them without introduction or further comment, simply as an authoritative rhetorical aid to their arguments:

[x] (Thgn. 425-7) [x] (Eur. fr. 449.3- 6 K.) [x].66

Clem. Strom. 3.3.15.1-2 (II 202.8-16 Stahlin)


[x] (Eur. fr. 449.3-6K.) [x] (Thgn. 425-8) [x].67

Sext. Emp. Pyr. 3.230-1


Thus, the elegiac, Theognidean version, despite appropriating an established motif, had its own success, and contributed to the further canonization of this pessimistic imagery in later ancient sources. To deepen our understanding of this process of transmission and reception, let us consider the similar fate of another passage in the Theognidea.

Lines 213- 8 of the Sylloge include the famous exhortation to be 'socially flexible', by imitating the octopus:68

[x].69

Thgn. 213-8 (213-4 + 215-8 W.[2])70


The Theognidean variant of this motif may be the most popular one, but this same topos can be found in other Archaic and Classical passages, often in similarly hortatory contexts. There are striking commonalities between these lines of the Sylloge, an epic fragment, and a Pindaric fragment:71

[x].72

Thebais fr. *8 W. (= Thebais fr. 4 Bernabe = Nosti fr. 14 Allen = 'Hom.' fr. 3 Davies)73


[x].74

Pind. fr. 43 S.-M.


The motif returns also in a Sophoclean fragment (Soph. fr. 307 R.2) and in two fragments of Old Comedy (Eup. fr. 117 and Alc. com. fr. 1 K.-A.). 75 As with the topos 'better not to be born', the imagery of the octopus' colour-changing skin as a metaphor for the human mind was well-established at the latest by the early Classical period. To the question of the relations between these passages (complicated by the doublets at Thgn. 1071-4) there is, again, no straightforward answer. One may wish to recognize conscious textual allusions, but what the texts share is primarily what I would call a 'common imagery'; the articulation of a topos in its details, rather than the actual wording.76

Theognis' ll. 215-6 and these five other passages are all quoted by Athenaeus. The two comic fragments, the fragment from the Thebaid, and Theognis' II. 215- 6 are to be found in book 7 of the Deipnosophists (7.316b-c, 317a-b), in a section focused on descriptions of the octopus. In book 12, instead, Athenaeus quotes in a row Pindar, Sophocles, and part of Theognis' l. 215 (12.51)c- d). lines 215- 6 are also quoted earlier, in Plutarch, on a number of occasions. In one case (De amie. mulrif. 960 they are presented as laughable because, says Plutarch, nobody can follow Theognis' advice and tirelessly adjust to many people, thus acquiring many friends. Plutarch quotes the lines twice more, in discussions of natural philosophy, in both cases together with Pindar's fragment 43 (Aet. phys. 916c. De soll. an. 978e). Part of l. 215 ends up, although rearranged and unattributed, in an entry of Diogenianus' collection of proverbs (1.23 cod. Mazarinco - Apostol. 2.39), where it is to be found together with l. 3 of Thebais fr. *8.77 A parody of ll. 215-6 is also to be found in Philostratus. He does not mention Theognis but these elegiacs (which mock his namesake, the sophist Philostratus of Egypt) follow exactly the syntax of ll. 215-6:

[x].78

Philostr. V.S. 486 (II.6.23-26 Kayser)
 

76 Adrados (1958) 4-5 proposed that Pind. fr. 43 S.-M. was the model for the elegiac lines, and that Pindar's antecedent was the Thebaid -- which the scholar does not exclude may have been known also to Theognis. 77 Diogenianus probably drew it from Plutarch: his reading[x] is in Plut. De amic. multit. 96f(cod. D), Aet. phys. 916c, De soll. an. 978e. 78 '1 am aware that Philostralus the Egyptian also, though he studied philosophy with Queen Cleopatra, was called a sophist. This was because he adopted the panegyrical and highly-coloured type of eloquence; which came of associating with a woman who regarded even the love of letters as a sensuous pleasure. Hence the following elegiac couplet was composed as a parody aimed at him: acquire the temperament of that very wise man, Philostratus, who, fresh from his intimacy with Cleopatra, has taken on colours like hers' (transl. Wright [1921] 17.

Finally, a non- literal reference to l. 215 with a mention of Theognis is to be found in Julian's Misopogon, where the emperor mockingly reports the accusations of the Antiochenes against him. He is described as in flexible (thus contravening the teaching of Theognis) and unable to adapt to the Antiochenes' mindset (a defect described by means of another topos: the proverbial 'roughness of Mykonos'):

[x].79

Jul. Mis. 349d (pp. 189.20-90.2 Nesselrath)


Philostratus' parody and Julian's hint at Theognis' line, although they contrast sharply in their treatment of the text (Philostratus does not mention Theognis, Julian does), are both witnesses to the renown of these lines. Philostratus' parody, to be effective, needs to be based on a well-known passage (see the indefinite [x]). Julian instead only mentions Theognis and subsumes the core idea of l. 215 in his own prose: there is no need to quote the actual line fully. Just below, he uses another proverbial image with the same illustrative purpose for which he resorts to Theognis. Line 215 and the saying on the roughness of Mykonos are both well known and analogously rhetorically functional. So, all in all, in some cases ll. 215-6 are quoted without ascription, and even end up in a repertory of proverbs; in other cases, the ascription is maintained and stands as a testament to the enduring popularity of those lines as authored by Theognis.

In sum, both the examined sets of lines develop well-established imageries, and their postclassical fortune is livelier than that of the other poetical instances of the same motifs. Having thus gained perspective on the fortunes of their ancient reception, we can now move to some conclusions.

3 Conclusions

This essay has started with an investigation of the Theognidean presence in 4th-century BC prose writings, where we can trace a well-defined author named Theognis. Not only is he unanimously recognized as the composer of specific lines (35-36 and 434), but an 'authority status' on specific themes also seems unanimously accorded to him, even though different authors referred to him with different aims.80 Besides, we have seen that the Archaic ideals expressed in the Theognidea and their characteristic terminology were transferred from the Archaic civic confrontation to the mass-elite opposition in democratic Athens. Plato's critique further suggests that Theognis was a canonical authority in matter of virtue, co-opted as spokesperson for the conventional notion of kalokagathia popular among the Athenian elite.

We then considered the later reception of ll. 425-8 and 215-6. In the light of this examination, we can make two sets of observations. Firstly, in both cases, stereotypical imageries occur, which have several famous 5th-century BC parallels. In these two examined cases, the Theognidean lines are either the first or one of the first extant attestations of images and motifs which will go on to be successful in other Classical literary texts. We lack evidence to clear up the relations among the ancient passages, given the pervasiveness of both imageries. However, it is likely that the two Theognidean loci drew on already established topoi and contributed to popularizing them in their own elegiac version. Theognis' variations on such topoi (consider the case of the octopus trope) had a longer afterlife than others, for their gnomicity and intrinsic 'quotability', namely, the self-standing nature of many of the Theognidean couplets,81 which makes them 'reusable' in any context. The study of other elaborations of the same topoi and that of the transmission of Theognis' versions allow us to recognize Theognis' poetry as both a recipient of 'traditional wisdom' (if we agree to apply this label to the complexes of imagery examined), and a means of perpetuating it.

Secondly, in these later uses, we observed a progressive anonymization of Theognis' lines. In Clement and Sextus, ll. 425-7 (or 425-8) are a given, a quote to be used with an argumentative purpose, alongside similar quotations, and they need not to be commented on. For the purposes of these texts, the authorship of the lines is unimportant: their validating strength is what counts. The case of the octopus lines also exemplifies a second, parallel aspect of the late destiny of the Theognidean text, i.e. its popularity. Julian's allusion to Theognis' lines and Philostratus' parody reveal the renown of that text: it could be referred to both as Theognis' and without ascription, being in either case rhetorically effective. This, to use an imagery which is familiar to us by now, reflects Theognis' own octopus-like flexibility, the flexibility of his ever-applicable, universal, timeless lines, which are authoritative when mentioned, but still rhetorically effective when left anonymous. This is also due to intrinsic features: the seriality and 'fragmentability', the gnomic, universal character of many of the Theognidean statements, their availability 'to the later crystallisation in proverbial saying', and thus ever 'reenactable', in any context, as Condello wrote.82

It could be pointed out that, as ll. 425-8 and 215-6 are not ascribed to Theognis any earlier than the 1st or 2nd century AD, they might have been included among the Theognidea quite late. This does not invalidate the 'parabola of authority' of Theognis' name I have just considered. On the contrary, ll. 425-8 and 215-6 might have been included in the Theognidea precisely because they were as gnomic and proverbial sounding as those known as Theognis', who was by now an established wisdom authority.

To make some comprehensive considerations: Theognis achieved renown in the 4th century BC; at that time, he was already a 'validating' authority and his lines were already used gnomically. Nonetheless, such a status was one aspect of a much more rounded notion of Theognis, which entailed authorship, authority status, as well as an ideological position. This early establishment as an authority influenced the way his poetry was later used. With time, some Theognidean lines (such as the two case studies here examined), being gnomic and reenactable, became commonplaces, acquiring what we could call a proverbial veneer. They circulated autonomously, and were probably being taken up in anthologies;83 finally, in some cases they ended up losing the ascription to Theognis.84 But the necessary condition for their anonymization was their wide circulation -- and other sources attest that they were, at least partly, or up to a certain time, circulating as Theognis'. In other words, their anonymization is a side effect, or better still the end result, of the authority once accorded to Theognis, of his profile of teacher of ethical wisdom which underlies his 4th-century BC reuses. This leads us to the core argument of this paper. We saw that the motifs of 'better not to be born' and the 'adaptability of the octopus' are well attested in Greek literary texts, and it is therefore safe to assume that they were rooted in the Greek imaginary prior to Theognis' own elaboration on them. Hence, already circulating topoi were taken up in Theognis' lines and fitted to the elegiac meter. The metrical arrangement, the renowned authority and gnomic versatility of Theognis' lines had these motifs further established in 'Theognidean versions'. Over the centuries, authors resorted to them more often than to other literary instances of the same imageries, and the lines eventually ended up, with no ascription, in Imperial and Byzantine compilations (425-7 in Suda a 4099; 215-6 in Diogenian. 1.23 cod. Mazarinco = Apostol. 2.39). Seen from this perspective, Theognis' fame and recognized auctoritas, therefore, develop almost as a middle episode in a longer story, which begins with the anonymous wisdom repertory these lines drew from and ends with the anonymous wisdom repertory they eventually became part of.

One last question concerns the significance of acknowledging the arc of the Theognidean reception through time. This essay has offered a sample analysis of some chosen Theognidea and of the ways they are quoted in different times, proposing a shift in our perspective on and our approach to the corpus. The survey aimed to show, through selected examples, how much can be discovered by studying how Theognis' lines were appropriated and adjusted over time, by considering what happened, in the reuses, to the ideology the Theognidea first voiced, what later authors thought of the poet, and how Theognis became the 'grumpy aristocrat' of our collective imagination -- or if perhaps this notion developed earlier and actually played a role in the arrangement of the Sylloge itself. Although there might be much we do not know about the Theognidean corpus, there is also a lot that we can say about the journey in time of Theognis' poetry: it is embedded in later authors' texts, and we should keep an eye out for this, shifting the focus onto the indirect tradition and onto the dynamics of reception and quotation.

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Re: FREDA BEDI CONT'D (#4)

Postby admin » Wed Nov 23, 2022 9:48 am

Part 2 of 2

________

Notes:

1 I have presented early versions of this essay at Prolepsis' Second International Conference  Auctor est aequivocum in Bari in October 2017 and at the Lyric Beyond Lyric Conference at  King's College London in May 2018. I am grateful to the organizers of both events for the opportunity.  as well as to the audiences for the stimulating questions. I owe a debt of gratitude to P.  Agocs. P. Avlamis. F. Benuzzi, F. Condello. K. Frank, M. Trapp. and the anonymous review-er  for reading this piece and providing precious suggestions. All remaining infelicities are, of  course, mine. Moreover, unless otherwise stated, translations are to be considered mine.
 
2 Comprehensive surveys of the scholarship on the 'Theognidean question' can be found in  Selle (2008) 4-16 and Colesanti (2011[2]) 1-33. Albeit dated, Carriere (1948) 19-37 is also useful  for contributions up to 1936. A concise overview of the main topics of debate about Theognis  and the Theognidea is Gelber (1997) 117-28.
 
3 In this paper, when using expressions such as 'Theognis', 'Theognis' poetry' or 'Theognis'  lines', I am adopting the perspective of the ancient sources. and thereby referring to their  notion of Theognis, or to lines known by them as Theognis'. Such expressions do not necessarily imply an acknowledgement on my part of these lines as genuinely composed by one Megarian  poet named Theognis. By 'Theognidea' (or 'Sylloge', or 'Theognidean corpus') I refer to the  collection of elegiac poetry handed down to us by the manuscript tradition under the name of  Theognis.  https://doi.org/10.1515/9793110684629-008
 
4 Two Theognidean lines (Thgn. 467 and 469 part.) can be found in Pherecr. fr. 162.11-12 K.-A.  (on which see Kugelmeier [1996] 121- 3: Ercolani [2017] 39-42). Elegy 467-96 has, however,  long been thought to be Evenus' (given that Aristoteles assigns I. 472 to Evenus in Metaph.  1015a29-30 and Eth. Eud. 1223a31). See already Camerarius (1551) 130; recent supporters of the  ascription to Evenus are Bowie (2012) 123-4 and Catenacci (2017), while openly contrary are  Vetta (2000) 129, Condello (2009-10) 208 n. 54, Condello (2015) 205-6, and Colesanti (2011[2])  102-7. For further references see Colesanti (2011[2]) 103 n. 143. Further Theognidean echoes have  been recognized by Kugelmeier (1996) 125-6 in Ar. Av. 1362-3 (Thgn. 27-8) and by Canfora  (2017) 372- 3 in Ar. Ra. 1423-5 (Thgn. 1081-2 and 1091-4). For further possible echoes in  Aristophanes see Kugelmeier (1996) 126-30; see also Bartol (2019) 141.
 
5 Cf. Thgn. 19-20 [x], Critias fr. 5.3  W.[2] [x] For scholarly comparisons of the two  passages see the survey of Condello (2009-10).
 
6 I include in this count all mentions of Theognis found both in entirely preserved works by  these authors and in fragments ascribed to them.
 
7 The ascribed quotations: Pl. Men. 95d-96a (Thgn. 33-36. - 434-8). Leg. 630a (77-78): Xen.  Symp. 2.4 (35- 36), [x] (ap. Stob. 4.29c.53) (22-23 part., 183- 90); Arist. Eth. Nic.  1179b5-6 (-434), Eth. Eud. 1230a12 (177 part.), Eth. Eud. 1237b15-16 (125-6), Eth. Eud. 1243a18 (14). Quotations not ascribed explicitly to Theognis; Xen. Mem. 1.2.20 (35-36); Arist. Eth. Nic. 1099a27-28 (255-6), Eth. Nic. 1129b29-30 (147). Eth. Nic. 1172a13-14 (35 part.), Eth. Eud. 1214a5- 6 (255-6). Mentions: Isoc. 2.43; Arist. Eth. Nic. 1170a12, fr. 69 p. 297.40-41 Gigon (=fr. 92 p. 92.19-20 Rose). In addition, Pl. Ly. 212e quotes with no ascription 11. 1253-4, which are elsewhere (Herm. in Phdr. 231e) attributed to Solon (fr. 23 W. [2]). Finally, some lines of the Sylloge are ascribed to Solon and Evenus by Aristotle; Pol. 1256b.33-34 ascribes 1. 227 to Solon (= Sol. fr. 13.71 W.[2]); Ath. 11.2-12.2 quotes (as Solon's) Sol. fr. 6 W.[2] , of which II. 3-4 are very close to Thgn. 153-4 (but part of l. 153. [x], is echoed also in Arist. fr. 76.3 p. 318.10- 11 Gigon (=fr. 57 p. 67.19-20 Rose) and introduced as a proverb); instead, Metaph. 1015a29-30 and Eth. Eud. 1223a31 quote Thgn. 472 as Evenus' (the line is then anonymously quoted in Rh. 1370a10). These passages and all other indirect sources of the Theognidean text quoted and referred to in this article (except for Procop. Gaz.. Ep. 164 cited below which I identified) have been collected comparing the testimonia sections of the apparati critici in the editions of Young (1971[2]) and West (1989[2], and the dedicated appendix in Selle (2008) 394-423. The Theognidean text is quoted in the edition of West (1989[2]) (except where differently specified).
 
8 See the excursus of Muller (1975) 220-49.
 
9 The widest study on the word remains Bourriot (1995) (a summary about Athens is in vol. I, 619-29). See also Roscalla (2004) 115-6 on the political implications of the expression in late 5th and 4th-century BC Athens.
 
10 Pl. Leg. 630a, Arist. Eth. Eud. 1237b15-16. On pistis in the Theognidean corpus see Donlan (1985).
 
11 For an in-depth analysis of the debate on the teachabillty of virtue see the chapter by Bertocchini in this volume ('Can Virtue Be Taught? A Socratic Motif in Some Spurious and Dubious Platonic Dialogues').
 
12 Cf. the straightforward question of young Meno to Socrates. which opens the dialogue: Pl. Mem. 70a [x]; ('Can you tell me, Socrates, whether virtue can be taught, or is acquired by practice, not teaching? Or if neither by practice nor by learning, whether it comes to mankind by nature or in  some other way?' transl. Lamb [1914] 265).
 
13 'SOC. And are you aware that not only you and other political folk are in two minds as to  whether virtue is to be taught, but Theognis the poet also says, you remember, the very same  thing? MEN. In which part of his poems? SOC. In those elegiac lines where he says (Thgn. 33-  36) "eat and drink with these men; sit with them, and be pleasing unto them, who wield great  power; for from the good wilt thou win thee lessons in the good; but mingle with the bad, aon  thou wilt lose even the sense that thou hast." Do you observe how in these words he implies  that virtue is to be taught? MEN. He does, evidently. SOC. But in some other lines he shifts his  ground a little, saying (Thgn. 435) "could understanding be created and put into a man" (I  think it runs thus). (Thgn. 434) "many high rewards would they obtain" (that is, the men who  were able to do such a thing), and again (Thgn. 436-8) "never would a bad son have sprung  from a good father, for he would have followed the precepts of wisdom: but not by teaching  wilt thou ever make the bad man good." You notice how in the second passage he contradicts  himself on the same point?' (transl. Lamb [1924] 353-5).
 
14 The passage raises two main interpretative questions concerning the arrangement of Theognis' text in Plato's time. First, given Meno's question [x]; to which Socrates answers [x] (95d), some have inferred that non-elegiac Theognidean poems were also in circulation, or that the Theognidean writings were then organized in different works with different titles, as Suda [x] 136 witnesses (see Selle [2008] 63-64 with references). The second issue concerns the phrase [x]. According to many, it means 'just after' and implies that the Theognidean corpus known to Plato was arranged very differently from ours, as II. 434-8 must have followed II. 33-36 closely; for others, [x] refers to a change of theme (exhaustive references in Selle [2008] 87- 88; see also Colesanti [2011[2] 301-4).
 
15 Plato makes 1. 435 precede 434, so the order here is different than in the Sylloge. The same order is found in the 3rd/2nd-century BC ostrakon P. Berol. 12310 (TM 62823 = MP[3] 01498), which preserves Thgn. 435+434=436-8 and thus stands as a testament to the later fortunes of Plato's Meno (Viereck [1925] 254, 257. Selle [2008] 105). In the Sylloge, the subject of the verb [x] (434) is 'the Asclepiads'. They were a guild or family of physicians who claimed to be descendants of Asclepius, who are mentioned in I. 432. As even they, physicians par excellence, cannot heal human wretchedness, there is no possibility to 'heal' (to make sensible) an unsound man [x], 431). Plato omits any reference to the Asclepiads and supplies (in prose) [x] as the subject of [x]. The reference is thus to 'the teachers of virtue', the very category the existence of which Plato's Socrates is problematizing.
 
16 See Woodbury (1951) 9-10; Woodbury (1953) 137-8: Verdenius (1957) 298; Bluck (196l) 28- 30, 395; Ionescu (2007) 133-4. On the innate nature of Theognidean virtue see also Carriere (1948) 224-31.
 
17 Bluck (1961) 29, 391 compares the discussion of extracts from Sim. fr. 260 Poltera (= PMG 542) in Pl. Prt. 339a-347a (for which see e.g. Frede [1986]; Scodel [1986]; Most [1994]; Baltussen [2008]). Another controversial poetic quotation in Plato is Pind. fr. 169a.1-8 S.-M. in Grg. 485b. quoted by Callicles. This latter case is all the more interesting as it concerns Pindar, another poet whom, together with Theognis and others, Libanius says Socrates was accused of abusing, drawing the accusation from Polycrates. See Wilamowitz-Moellendorff (1920[2] II 95-100),  Humbert (1930) 32-38, Dodds (1959) 270-1.
 
18 On sections 95a- 96d see Scott (2006) 173-5.
 
19 According to some scholars, Theognis is treated here as representative of the whole category  of poets, who were conventional repositories for supposed wisdom; Socrates would be questioning t  he authority of all poets on 'virtue' issues (Bluck [1961] 28-29, 391, Ionescu [2007] 133-  4. Giannantoni [1990] IV 287). This would be in harmony with the common Platonic depiction  of poets as 'unaware' of the topics they are handling (cf. Pl. Ap. 22c, Men. 99c-d . Prt. 347e, Ion  536c) and with the philosopher's view that neither poetry in general nor sophistic strategies of  interpretation can teach anything in the matter of ethics, but only lead to contradictions (cf.  Most [1994] 130-1, Baltussen [2008] 215).
 
20 On which see also Condello (2010) 73.
 
21 '"In fact, as far as perfume is concerned, as soon as a man puts it on, the scent is the same  whether he's a slave or free; but the scents that come from the exertions of free men demand  primarily noble pursuits and plenty of time if they are to have the sweet smell of freedom."  "That may do for youngsters," observed Lycon, "but what about those of us who no longer  exercise in the gymnasia? What should we smell like? "Gentlemanliness, surely!" replied  Socrates. "And where might a person get this particular scent?" "Certainly not from the perfume  market," said Socrates. "But where, then?" "Theognis has said: (Thgn. 35-36) good men  will teach you good: society with bad will but corrupt the good mind that you had"' (transl.  Todd in Marchant/Todd [2013] 573-5).
 
22 The variant reading [x], is found in Plato's Meno and in Xenophon's Memorabilia and  Symposium, while [x] is to be read in the manuscript tradition of the Sylloge. For the  variant reading see Carriere (1948) 77 n. 2. van Groningen (1966) 24, Peretti (1953) 50, Verdenius  (1957) 298. Bluck (1961) 396, Colesanti (2011[2]) 314 n. 233. Bluck (1961) 393, Mitscherling (1982)  and Bandini/Dorion (2000) 91-92 n. 99 argued that Xenophon drew the quote from Plato's  Meno. Von Geyso (1892) 14-19 rather claimed that both Plato and Xenophon drew it from  another Socratic, Antisthenes (see Giannantoni [1990] IV 287-9; see also Huss [1999] 130-1).

23 'That is why fathers try to keep their sons, even if they are well behaved, out of bad company:  for the society of honest men is a training in virtue, but the society of the bad is virtue's  undoing. As one of the poets says: (Thgn. 35-36) from the good shall you learn good things;  but if you mingle with the bad you shall lose even what wisdom you have. And another says:  (Eleg. adesp. fr. 2 W.[2]) ah, but a good man is at one time base, at another noble. My testimony  agrees with theirs' (transl. adapted from Marchant in Marchan/Trodd [2013] 27-29).
 
24 On the insistent characterization of Socrates as kalos kai agathos in the Memorabilia see  Roscalla (2004) 119.

25 A second reason was that, from the outset, they were not interested in Socrates' moral  example but rather in the political potentialities of his rhetorical skills (Xen. Mem. 1.2.16). For  considerations on the weaknesses of Socrates' defense by Xenophon see Canfora (2011) 72-73.
 
26 'Some training in virtue may derive also from the society of the good, as also Theognis  says'.
 
27 'Hence some friends drink or dice together, others practise athletic sports and hunt, or  study philosophy, in each other's company [ ... ] But the friendship of the good is good and  grows with their intercourse. And they seem actually to become better by putting their friendship  into practice, and because they correct each other's faults, for each takes the impress from  the other of those traits in him that give him pleasure -- whence the saying: (Thgn. 35 part.)  noble deeds from noble men. So much for our treatment of friendship. Our next business will  be to discuss Pleasure' (transl. Rackham [1934[2]] 575).
 
28 'If so, to know what virtue is, is not enough: we must endeavour to possess and to practise  it, or in some other manner actually ourselves to become good. Now if discourses on ethics  were sufficient in themselves to make men virtuous, (Thgn. 434) "large fees and many", quite  rightly, "would they win", as Theognis says, and to provide such discourses would be all that is  wanted. But as it is, we see that although theories have power to stimulate and encourage  generous youths, and, given an inborn nobility of character and a genuine love of what is  noble, can make them susceptible to the influence of virtue, yet they are powerless to stimulate  the mass of mankind to moral nobility' (transl. adapted from Rackham [1934[2]] 629).
 
29 Socrates possibly played a role in establishing the 'canonicity' of Theognis for the theme of  'learning virtue' by referring to the poet in his teachings. In Libanius' Apology of Socrates (Decl.  1.62, 72, 88-91) we read that Socrates was accused of attacking ([x], Decl. 1.62)  Homer, Hesiod, Theognis, and Pindar, which he did (as the speaking persona says in Socrates'  defense) for the moral benefit of the young and of his audience. Such information possibly  came to Libanius through an early source, the Accusation of Socrates by the 4th-century BC  sophist Polycrates (Humbert [1930] 11-14; Russell [1996] 17 is more cautious:  contrary Livingstone [2001] 32- 35; for Polycrates' extant fragments see Radermacher [1951] 128- 32).
 
30 Vetta (2000) 140-1 also hypothesized about the crucial role of Athenian aristocratic families  (especially the affiliated Dropids and Alcmeonids) in the 'progressive compilation' of the  Sylloge (see also Ferreri [2011] 273- 5 and Ferreri [2013] 62- 63). On the interest of the Socratics  for Theognis see Colesanti (2011[2]) 320, 336 and Ferreri (2013) 95- 96.
 
31 The relation between these two works On Theognis has long been discussed, together with the possibility that other 4th-century BC authors who cite Theognidean lines drew the lines from Antisthenes. For a survey of the question and references see Selle (2008) 57-62.
 
32 The term 'elite' is used to refer to 'those members of society who are (1) much more highly educated than the norm (the educated elite), (2) much wealthier than the norm (the upper class or the wealth elite), or (3) recognized by other members of society as deserving privileges based on their birth right and/or by their performance (or avoidance) of certain occupations (the nobles, aristocrats, or status elite)' (Ober [1989] 11).
 
33 However, Plato is here aiming at this conventional conception: for him true virtue is a moral quality, and not kalokagathia as political success. See Bluck (1961) 30. Bourriot (1995) 1248- 51, and Roscalla (2004) 117-8 who sees in the Meno's Socrates a new, 'moral' kalos kagathos figure opposed to the contemporary 'historical' Athenian kaloi kai agathoi.
 
34 As Thgn. 33-34 refer to a sympotic situation, we might also argue that Xenophon chose to quote the distich Thgn. 35- 36 knowing that its context of reference was consonant with the setting of his Symposium. This hypothesis would then invite several questions about the actual boundaries of the poem the couplet was known to be part of (the division of Thgn. 19-38 is a vexed question, see references in Selle [2008] 315 n. 338, Colesanti [2011[2]] 242 n. 65- 66) and about its (oral and written) circulation in Xenophon's time.
 
35 In two other non virtue-related 4th-century BC passages, references to Theognis appear in  contexts where the mob is reproached or negatively represented. Isocrates (2.42-44) is sceptical  about 'the many' engaging with writings useful for their moral development, such as those  of Hesiod, Theognis and Phocylides. In the Laws (627a), some paragraphs before quoting Thgn.  77-78 (630a), Plato talks of civic conflict in Archaic terms as a clash between 'the better' and  'the mass' or 'the worse' ([x]).
 
36 On the Socratic circles see also Meiksins Wood/Wood (1978) 85-87.
 
37 Pownall (2007) 246 thus defines the readership of 4th-century BC prose works (such as  Xenophon's and Isocrates') that were aimed at giving pragmatic definitions of aristocratic  virtue. See also Ober (1989) 13: '(the educated elite of Athens) included the writers of virtually  all surviving Athenian texts'. The written circulation of texts in the late 5th and in the 4th  century BC was also restricted, probably to the part of population who had the means to acquire  books (see e.g. Harris [1989] 84- 87).
 
38 For considerations about the mass-elite clash in Greek city-state politics, see Ober (1989)  (especially 11-17, and 249-61 on elite status). See also Johnstone (2010) 141- 6 on class tensions  in 4th-century BC Athens (especially as a context for Xenophon's writings), and Canfora (2017)  350-9 (mainly building on Ar. Ra. 718-37).
 
39 As for the first three couplets of the elegy, they are syntactically linked: 434 is the apodosis  of the protasis at ll. 432-3: 432, being a pentameter, must necessarily follow a hexameter:  ll. 429-31 are a syntactical continuum as well.
 
40 'This then is the primary friendship, which all people recognize. It is on account of it that  the other sorts are considered to be friendship, and also that their claim is disputed -- for  friendship seems to be something stable, and only this friendship is stable: for a formed  judgement is stable, and not doing things quickly or easily makes the judgement right. And  there is no stable friendship without confidence, and confidence only comes with time; for it is  necessary to make trial, as Theognis says (Thgn. 125-6): because you cannot know a man's or a  woman's mind, until you put it to the test like a beast of burden' (transl. adapted from Rackham  [1952[2]] 381).
 
41 The ruin that results from counterfeit gold and silver is endurable, Cyrnus, and it is easy  for an expert to find out. But if a friend's intent is false and lies undetected in his breast and if  he has a treacherous heart, this is the most counterfeit thing that the god has made for mortals  and to recognize it costs the greatest pain of all' (transl. Gerber [1999] 191).
 
42 'Nothing, Cyrnus, is more difficult to recognize than a counterfeit man and nothing is of  more importance than being on one's guard against him' (transl. Gelber [1991).
 
43 For the written circulation of a Theognidean text in the 4th century BC see e.g. West (1974)  55-57; Colesanti (2011[2]) 329-34 argues for the circulation of a sympotic hypomnema in Athens  in the 5th and 4th century BC.
 
44 'Maestro di saggezza', Colesanti (2011[2]) 333.
 
45 'It is best of all for mortals not to be born and not to look upon the rays of the piercing sun,  but once born it is best to pass the gates of Hades as quickly as possible and to lie under a large  heap of earth' (transl. Gerber [1999] 235).
 
46 On the attribution to Alcidamas see Bassino (2012) 40 n.13, with references.
 
47 'Homer answered with these words: "not to be born at all is the best thing for mortals: and  if one is born, to pass through Hades' gates as quickly as possible"'.
 
48 For P. Petrie 1.25 see Bassino (2019) 60-67. The first edition is in Mahaffy (1891) 70.
 
49 For the manuscript tradition of the Certamen see Bassino (2019) 48-60. For the other fragmentary  sources on papyri see Bassino (2012) 38 and Bassino (2019) 67-82.
 
50 See Easterling (2013) 193-4 See for example Hom. Il. 17.446-7 [x], or the conception of men as  [x] (e.g. Hom. Il. 6.146- 8. Mimn. fr. 2.1- 2 W.[2]), or again the idea that human life is ephemeral  (Pind. Pyth. 8.95-96 [x]) and the notion  that dying young is a blessing (Hdt. 1.31.4 [x]). In particular, the motif  of the men 'just as the leaves' offers a good comparison to our case when it comes to the  consideration of its interaction with the Homeric text, its possible antecedent. On this matter,  consider the scepticism of Kelly, who recognizes that in the Archaic context themes must have  existed independently of their few surviving attestations, and concludes that scholars are 'right  to be sceptical hat Mimnermus is doing anything more than using a typical theme' (Kelly  [2015] 23).
 
51 The echoes of the motif in the Ecclesiastes exemplifies also its trans-cultural appeal:  [x]. See Ranston (1925) 30-31.
 
52 The verb with negative particle, [x], is to be found in all passages except for Aristotle's  and Alexis' fragments, when [x] is replaced by [x]. A superlative adjective is used  in most passages to indicate that death is preferable to any other condition ([x] in Alcidamas  and Bacchylides, [x] in Theognis, [x] and [x] in Aristotle, [x] in  Euripides and Alexis). In Sophocles, the concept is instead conveyed with a  periphrasis ([x], 1224-5). Superlative adverbial expressions ([x]), underlining  the necessity of dying as soon as possible, are found in Theognis, Sophocles, Aristotle  and Alexis. One commonality shared only by Theognis (426) and Bacchylides is worth noticing:  namely the reference to 'not seeing the sunlight anymore'. Such intertextuality, though  unique, does not necessarily point to the interdependence of the two texts: the metaphor of life  as 'seeing the sunlight' was indeed well established (see below).  

53 'Best for mortals never to be born, never to set eyes on the sun's light' (transl. Campbell  [1992] 151).
 
54 'Not to be born comes first by every reckoning; and once one has appeared, to go back to  where one came from as soon as possible is the next best thing' (transl. Lloyd-Jones [1994]  547).
 
55 'I myself affirm what is of course a common word everywhere, that it is best for a man not to  be born' (transl. Collard/Cropp [2008] 297).
 
56 'Surely, as it is said by many wise men, not to be born is always the best thing, and when  one is born, to reach the end of life as quickly as possible'.
 
57 '"And in addition, you see that the saying that is on the lips of all men circulates since  many years as a common word." "What is this?" said he. And the other said in answer: "That  not to be born is the best of all things, and that to be dead is better than to live, and that this is  so has been proved to many by the deity." [ ... ] "But for men it is utterly impossible that they  should obtain the best thing of all, or even have any share in its nature (for the best thing for all  men and women is not to be born); however, the next best thing to this, and the first of those to  which man can attain, but nevertheless only the second best, is, after being born, to die as  quickly as possible"' (transl. adapted from Babbitt [1928] 179). The second portion of the  fragment here reported comes from Silenus' discourse to Midas.
 
58 LeVen is here reflecting on the same tropes and witticism recurring in different chreiai.
 
59 Easterling (2013) regards the Aristotelian passage as the key witness and therefore treats  the [x] motif as 'Silenus' wisdom'. However, Aristotle's fragment is the only  source for Silenus' discourse to Midas (on which Davies [2015] 457-8). A reference to Midas'  capture of Silenus is already found in Hdt. 8.138.2-3. but nothing is said there about Silenus'  words. See also van Groningen (1966) 170.
 
60 Peretti (1953) 66 with n. 1, van Groningen (1966) 170, Condello (2010) 76, and Colesanti  (2011[2]) 56-58.
 
61 E.g. Hom. Il, 14.345 [x], 17.371-2. [x]  Hom. ad. 10.498 [x], Hes. Op. 414 [x] (see also h.Ap.  374) and 155 [x]. See also Thgn. 569 [x].  See Peretti (1953) 66 n. 1, van Groningen (1966) 169, West (1997) 235.
 
62 Cf. Hom. Il. 6.464 [x], Eur. Supp. 53 [x]; Eur. Rh. 414-5 [x].
 
63 The hexameters (Il. 425+427 of the Sylloge) are quoted as Alcidamas' in Stob. 4.52b.22, with  no ascription in Epicurus Ep. 3.126 (p. 46.14-15 von der Muhll), in Diogenian. 3.4 (= Apostol.  3.85), and in Procop. Gaz. Ep. 164.16-17 (p. 79 Garzya-Loenertz). Line 425 is also quoted  anonymously in schol. Soph. OC 1224 Xenis. The variant reading [x] (425) is to be found in all  these instances except Procoplus, where we read [x] ([x] is found only in the manuscript  tradition of the Theognidea and in Clement's quotation of Theognis).
 
64 Pererti (1953) 62 noticed that four passages that are quoted in Clem. Al. Strom. 3.3.14-16  (vol. II pp. 201.23-3.11 Stahlin) are to be found also in Sext. Emp. Pyr. 3.229-31 (namely,  Eur. frr. 638 and 449 K., Thgn. 425- 7, Hdt. 1.31), and that three of these are quoted or referred to  in Stob. 4.52h (Thgn. 425-8 in Stob. 4.52b30. Eur. fr. 449 K. in Stob. 452b.42, Hdt. 1.31 in Stob.  4.52b.43). Peretti concluded that Clement, Sextus, and Stobaeus drew these passages from the  same source, a gnomology [x].
 
65 In the Suda and Macarius we find the same exegetical note ([x]), which  suggests that either the Suda was Macarius' source for this lemma, or both drew it  from the same source.
 
66 'And surely, Theognis too shows that birth is evil, when he says as follows (Thgn. 425-7):  "it is best of all for mortals not to be born and not to look towards the rays of the piercing sun,  but once born it is best to pass the gates of Hades as quickly as possible." The tragic poet Euripides  too writes words which are in accordance with these: (Eur. fr. 449.3-6 K.) "We ought to get  together and lament the new-born for the many evils he comes to; while the man who died and  has been given rest from hardships, we ought to escort him from his house rejoicing and shouting  in triumph"'.

67 'And some even suppose that dying is better for us than living. Thus Euripides says (Eur. fr.  449.3-6 K.) "we ought to get together and lament the new-born for the many evils he comes to;  while the man who died and has been given rest from evils, we ought to escort him from his  house rejoicing and shouting in triumph". These lines, too, spring from the same sentiment  (Thgn. 425-8): "not to be born at all is the best thing for mortals and not to look towards the  rays of the piercing sun, but once born it is best to pass the gates of Hades as quickly as possible  and to lie under a large heap of earth." We know, too, the facts about Cleobis and Biton  which Herodotus relates in his history of the Argive priestess (cf. Hdt. 1.31)' (transl. adapted  from Bury [1933] 479-81.  
 
68 On the octopus' metis, see Detienne/Vernant (1974) 45-52. For the octopus as a metaphor of  the versatility of the poet, especially in the relationship with his clients: Gentili (2006[4]) 186-  236), LeVen (2013) 34 and LeVen (2014) 137-44.
 
69 'My heart, keep turning a versatile disposition in accordance with all your friends, mingling  with it the mood which each one has. Adopt the mood of the cunning octopus which seems to  resemble the rock to which it clings. Now follow along in this direction, now take on a different  complexion. Cleverness is in truth superior to inflexibility' (transl. Gerber [1999] 205).
 
70 Thgn. 1071-2 [x] are a doublet of 213-4, and 1073-4 [x] are a doublet of 217-8. Discussions can be found in Peretti (1953) 93-104, Adrados (1958), van Groningen (1966) 396-7, and Colesanti  (2011[2]) 138- 42.
 
71 Words of command and apostrophes ([x] Thgn. 213, [x] Thebais fr. *8.1 and Pind. fr.  43.1) are present in all passages. In Thebais fr. *8.1 it is recommended to have the mind of the  octopus ([x]). while Pindar's advice is to let one's mind be like the octopus'  skin (see Pind. fr. 43.1-3), and in Thgn. 215 the reference is to the octopus' [x] (but the variant  reading [x] is in all the quotations of the line in Plutarch, in De amic. multit. 96f, Aet. phys.  916c, De soll. an. 978e). Pind. fr. 43.1 and Thgn. 215 allude to the rocky lair of the octopus (cf.  also Soph. fr. 307.1 R.2). In both Thebais fr. *8.2 [x] and in Pind. fr. 43.3  [x] the idea of travelling or moving is expressed (see also Bernabe's reading  [x] for West's [x] at Thebais fr. *8.3). A call to flexibility of mind is expressed with [x] in Thebais fr. *8.3, [x] in Thgn. 216 and [x] in Pind. fr. 43.5.  Finally, the word [x] is found in Thgn. 217 and in Pind. fr. 43.2 (see West 2003b 152-3 about  [x] at Thebais fr. *8.3).
 
72 'Pray hold to the octopus' outlook, Amphilochus my son, and adapt it to whatever people  you come among; be changeable, and go along with the color' (transl. West [2003a] 51).
 
73 Different scholars have attributed this fragment to different epic poems, see Debiasi (2013). Interestingly, II. 1-2 are transmitted by Antigonus of Carystus, who thus introduces the quotation:  [x], Antig. 25a (p. 46 Giannini). We already encountered the expression [x]  twice, referred to the 'best notto be born'  topos, cf. Eur. fr. 285.1 K. and Arist. fr. 65 p. 294.46 Gigon (= fr. 44 p. 48.20 Rose), meaning that  this is a traditional, well- known motif.
 
74 'O son, make your mind most like the skin of the rocky sea creature in all the cities you  visit; readily praise the person who is present, but think differently at other times' (transl. Race  [2012] 245).
 
75 Its fortune would continue in later writings: cf. e.g. Sib. Or. 2.120-1(= ps.-Phoc.48-49),  Greg. Naz. Carm. 1.2.2.460, 9.44, 29.54 (PG 37 614.10, 670.13, 888.6 respectively), Cyr. Contra  Jul. 3.46.7- 8 (1.1237 Riedweg) (= Jul. Gal. 177 Neumann)
 
76 Adrados (1958) 4-5 proposed that Pind. fr. 43 S.-M. was the model for the elegiac lines, and  that Pindar's antecedent was the Thebaid -- which the scholar does not exclude may have been  known also to Theognis.
 
77 Diogenianus probably drew it from Plutarch: his reading[x] is in  Plut. De amic. multit. 96f(cod. D), Aet. phys. 916c, De soll. an. 978e.
 
78 'I am aware that Philostratus the Egyptian also, though he studied philosophy with Queen  Cleopatra, was called a sophist. This was because he adopted the panegyrical and highly-coloured  type of eloquence; which came of associating with a woman who regarded even the  love of letters as a sensuous pleasure. Hence the following elegiac couplet was composed as a  parody aimed at him: acquire the temperament of that very wise man, Philostratus, who, fresh  from his intimacy with Cleopatra, has taken on colours like hers' (transl. Wright [1921] 17.
 
79 '"You do not know," you answer, "how to mix with people, and you cannot approve of the maxim of Theognis, for you do not imitate the polypus which takes on the colours of the rocks. Nay rather you behave to all men with the proverbial Myconian boorishness and ignorance and stupidity"' (transl. Wright [1913] 453-5).

80 Condello (2010) 62 makes wary remarks about the tenuous distinction between auctoritas and authorship when talking about gnomai and 'common wisdom' ('sapienza comune'). Vet, I think that the 4th-century BC occurrences of Theognis' name show that those quoting authors shared a notion of Theognis as auctoritas qua auctor of some precise lines.

81 see Hunter (2014) 77-78 on the 'quotability' of Hesiod's Works And Days.

82 Condello (2010) 62: see also 63-66, 68-69.

83 With the anthological transmission going side by side with a continuous direct transmission (see Condello [2010] 72-73).

84 See above the cases of Sextus and Philostratus. Condello (2010) 61-62, 84-85 stresses how this process implies a popularization of the Theognidean lines, which from point of reference of the Athenian 5th and 4th-century BC elite became an inter-class domain.
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Re: FREDA BEDI CONT'D (#4)

Postby admin » Thu Nov 24, 2022 10:48 am

Moses Wilhelm Shapira
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 11/24/22

[Tzaki Tzuriel, Private Investigator hired by antiquities collector Oded Golan.] Over time, I learned that this world of archaeological excavations and findings is a world full of what we like to call "monkey business."

[Dr. Gideon Avni, Head of the Archaeological Division, Israeli Antiquities Authority, Head of the IAA's Content & Writing Committee] Look, beyond that, there's always the danger that an authentic object won't be recognized as such and will get lost. 150 years ago, one of the greatest forgers in the history of forgery in the Land of Israel, Moses Wilhelm Shapira, a serial creator of antiquities, also uncovered pieces that looked like scrolls and metal plates that were inscribed with ancient Hebrew. A long and complicated affair ended up with nobody believing him, he eventually committed suicide, and these objects were lost. 70 years later, the Judean Desert scrolls were discovered, and today, a new debate has arisen between scientists and paleographers as to WHETHER HE MIGHT HAVE HAD something authentic. If that ends up happening, then some scientists will eat their hats, and some will say, "I told you so." I'm still very skeptical about this possibility, but who knows, we can't predict the future.

-- Into the Land: The Forgery Scandal, Created by Eiv Kristal and Natan Odenheier

It is only due to the limits of space that I do not go on and on with similar narratives. A hundred and thirty years after the exposure of the naïve and crude biblical forgeries of Moses Wilhelm Shapira, it seems that biblical archaeology did not learn the lesson and has completely forgotten its implications. Recently, I had the dubious pleasure of examining a seemingly endless line of fake biblical texts of various kinds. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of such forgeries referring especially to the time of the First Temple. It will not be an exaggeration to say that the disciplines of biblical history and archaeology have been contaminated to such an extent that no unprovenanced written source seems to be reliable anymore. To put it even more 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?

Is it possible that over a century after Sir William Matthew Flinders-Petrie established the scientific methodology of biblical archaeology, the discipline is still controlled by dilatants [dilettantes] and charlatans? As we all still hope that most of the scientists involved in this saga were motivated only by true scientific purposes, we must ask how could some of them be so naïve, ignore any sense of objectivity and be trapped in the crude pitfalls set by the forgers? Considering the nature of the fakes in question, the answer to this question may lie in the domain of psychology. The forgeries discussed here are not merely fakes of ancient artifacts. They are relics, intended to manipulate the emotions of scientists and the public alike by using the attribution to biblical events. These forgeries were intended to infect collectors, museums, scientists, and scholars with the Jerusalem Syndrome in order to boost their market price and attract public attention.

-- 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

The forged products are not unique in type; they are unique in extent. While this is a money machine on a magnitude that Wilhelm Shapira could never imagine in his wildest dreams, this is also a forgery machine geared to rewrite the history books on an equally vast scale. It is the enormous scale of the operation that is unique.

When kings and emperors and governments rewrote their histories (as the winners always do), their primary purpose was to whitewash themselves. This is not the case here. Helena started the relics-machine rolling back in the fourth century, but she did not think in terms of money. Shapira, the best known of the 19th-century forgers, thought in terms of money. This time money, yes, but with an agenda aimed at the "creation" of biblical history; a fake history that lets the forgers turn legitimate scientists and scholars into whispering voices trying to be heard above the roar stimulated by the sensational finds and the agenda behind the "finds." And what an ugly agenda it is!...

It is a fitting epithet on the entire business when Mr. Weill vehemently states: "I have collected for 40 years in many fields and I have never seen such monkeys and cowboys and swindlers and liars and money-hungry bums as I find in this field!"

-- Israeli Documentary: Antiquities Market Flooded with Forgeries Reviewed, The History of Merchants, Reviewed by Rochelle Altman


Image
Moses Wilhelm Shapira
Born: 1830, Kamenets-Podolski, Russian Empire (now Ukraine)
Died: March 9, 1884 (aged 53–54), Hotel Willemsbrug in Rotterdam, Netherlands
Citizenship: Russian; Prussian
Occupation: Antiquities dealer
Known for: His role in the possibly forged or authentic manuscripts of the biblical book of Deuteronomy known as Shapira Scroll
Children: 2, including Myriam Harry

Moses Wilhelm Shapira (Hebrew: מוזס וילהלם שפירא; 1830 – March 9, 1884) was a Jerusalem antiquities dealer and purveyor of allegedly forged Semitic artifacts – the most high profile of which was the Shapira Scroll.[1][2] The shame brought about by accusations that he was involved in the forging of ancient biblical texts drove him to suicide in 1884.

Early life and career

Moses Shapira was born in 1830 to Polish-Jewish parents in Kamenets-Podolski, which at the time was part of Russian-annexed Poland (in modern-day Ukraine). Shapira's father emigrated to Ottoman Palestine without Moses. Later, in 1856, at the age of 25, Moses Shapira followed his father to the Holy Land.[3] His grandfather, who accompanied him, died en route.

On the way, while in Bucharest, Moses Shapira converted to Christianity[4] and applied for Prussian citizenship, adding Wilhelm to his name. Once in Jerusalem, he joined the community of Protestant missionaries and converts[5] who met at Christ Church,[4] and in 1869 opened a store[citation needed] in the Street of the Christians, today's Christian Quarter Road. He sold the usual religious souvenirs enjoyed by pilgrims, as well as ancient pots he acquired from Arab farmers. While a patient in the German Lutheran congregation of Deaconess sisters, Shapira met a nurse, Deaconess Rosette Jöckel, who became his wife.[3][6]

Antiquities dealer and alleged forger

In addition to selling souvenirs to tourists, Shapira also sold a variety of antiquities, some of it legitimate, and some of it fake, becoming the pre-eminent antiquities dealer for European collectors.[4]

Shapira attempted to sell a fake "coffin of Samson" in London, but it was exposed by Adolf Neubauer after he realized the epitaph had misspelled the name "Sampson."[7][8]

After one lucrative deal in which he sold 1,700 fake figurines to a Berlin museum, Shapira was able to move outside the old city walls of Jerusalem with his family into an elegant villa on what is today Rav Kook Street, today known as Beit Ticho (Ticho House).[3]

Moabite forgeries

Shapira became interested in biblical artifacts after the appearance of the so-called Moabite Stone, also known as the Mesha Stele. He witnessed the huge interest around it and may have had a hand in negotiating on behalf of the German representatives. France eventually got the fragments of the original stone, leaving the British and the Germans rather frustrated.

The squeeze which helped reconstruct the shattered Mesha Stele was taken on behalf of the French scholar and diplomat Charles Clermont-Ganneau by a Christian Arab painter and dragoman (tour-guide), Salim al-Khouri, better known as Salim al-Kari, "the reader", a nickname apparently given to him by the Bedouin due to his work with ancient alphabets. Salim soon became Shapira's associate and provided connections to Arab craftsmen who, along with Salim himself, produced for Shapira's shop large amounts of fake Moabite artifacts – large stone-made human heads, but mainly clay objects: vessels, figurines and erotic pieces, generously covered with inscriptions based chiefly on the signs Salim had copied from the Mesha Stele. To modern scholars, the products seem clumsy – inscriptions do not translate to anything legible, for one – but at the time there was little with which to compare them. Shapira even organized an expedition to Moab for potential buyers, to sites where he had Salim's Bedouin associates bury more forgeries. Some scholars began to base theories on these pieces, and the term Moabitica was coined for this entirely new category of "Moabite" artifacts.

Since German archaeologists had not gained possession of the Moabite Stone, they rushed to buy the Shapira Collection ahead of their rivals. Berlin's Altes Museum bought 1700 artifacts for the cost of 22,000 thalers in 1873. Other private collectors followed suit. One of them was Horatio Kitchener, a not yet famous British lieutenant, who bought eight pieces for the Palestine Exploration Fund. Shapira was able to move to the luxurious Aga Rashid property (modern-day Ticho House), outside Jerusalem's squalid Old City, with his wife and two daughters.

Still various people, including Charles Clermont-Ganneau, had their doubts. Clermont-Ganneau suspected Salim al-Kari, questioned him and in time found the man who supplied him with clay, a stonemason who worked for him, and other accomplices. He published his findings in the Athenaeum newspaper in London and declared all "Moabitica" to be forgeries, a conclusion with which even the German scholars eventually concurred (cf. Emil Friedrich Kautzsch and Albert Socin, Die Echtheit der moabitischen Altertümer geprüft, 1876).[citation needed] Shapira defended his collection vigorously until his rivals presented more evidence against them. He placed the entire blame on Salim al-Kari, convinced almost everyone that he was just an innocent victim, and continued to do a considerable trade especially in genuine old Hebrew manuscripts from Yemen.[9]

Manuscript affair

Main article: Shapira Scroll

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1883 Punch magazine cartoon of Shapira and Ginsburg

In 1870 Shapira sold five scrolls written on leather to Edward Yorke McCauley; these were discovered in 1884 to have been artificially aged.[10][11]

In 1883 Shapira presented what is now known as the Shapira Strips, a supposedly ancient scroll written on leather strips which he claimed had been found near the Dead Sea. The Hebrew text hinted at a different version of Deuteronomy, including a surprising alternate commandment ("Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy heart: I am God, thy God"). Shapira sought to sell them to the British Museum for a million pounds, and allowed them to exhibit two of the 15 strips. The exhibition was attended by thousands.

However, Clermont-Ganneau also attended the exhibition; Shapira had denied him access to the other 13 strips. After close examination, Clermont-Ganneau declared them to be forgeries. Soon afterward British biblical scholar Christian David Ginsburg came to the same conclusion. Later Clermont-Ganneau showed that the leather of the Deuteronomy scroll was quite possibly cut from the margin of a genuine Yemenite scroll that Shapira had previously sold to the Museum.

Following the rejection of the scroll by a large range of scholars, Punch ridiculed Shapira with a cartoon using anti-Semitic stereotypes.[12][13][14]

Shapira fled London in despair, his name ruined and all of his hopes crushed. Having spent some time in a hotel in Bloemendaal (Netherlands), in hotel Adler in Rotterdam, he shot himself in Hotel Willemsbrug in Rotterdam on March 9, 1884.[15] He was buried in the poor men's part of the Crooswijk cemetery.

The Shapira Strips disappeared and then reappeared a couple of years later in a Sotheby's auction, where they were sold for 10 guineas. Although it is now known that the strips were not destroyed by fire in 1899 as had previously been suggested, the fact that their current whereabouts is unknown leaves room for speculation.[16]

In light of the discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls in 1947, numerous scholars have called for a re-examination of the forgery charges.[17][18][19][20][21][22][2][23][24]

Heritage

Shapira "Moabitica" fakes still exist in museums and private collections around the world but are rarely displayed. By now they have become desirable collectibles in their own right.

The exact location of Shapira's shop on Christian Quarter Road in Jerusalem has now been identified.[25]

Personal life

Shapira was married to Rosette Jöckel and had two daughters with her; Maria Rosette Shapira (pen name: Myriam Harry) and Augusta Louisa Wilhelmina Shapira.[6]

In literature

Shapira's life is the subject of the novel Ke-heres Ha-nishbar (As a Broken Vessel - Keter, Jerusalem, 1984) by Shulamit Lapid, translated into German as Er begab sich in die Hand des Herrn.

References

1. Allegro, John Marco (1965). The Shapira affair. Doubleday.
2. Vermès, Géza (2010). The story of the scrolls: the miraculous discovery and true significance of the Dead Sea scrolls. Penguin. ISBN 978-0-14-104615-0.
3. Aviva and Shmuel Bar-Am. "In the footsteps of a master forger". Times of Israel. Retrieved 2019-11-10.
4. "Chanan Tigay's Search for Answers About an Ancient Set of (Possibly Fake) Scrolls". Tablet Magazine. 2016-04-11. Retrieved 2019-11-10.
5. Singer, Isidore; Jacobs, Joseph (1901–1906). "SHAPIRA, M. W.". In Singer, Isidore; et al. (eds.). The Jewish Encyclopedia. Vol. 11. New York: Funk & Wagnalls. pp. 232–233.
6. "Harry, Myriam (1869–1958) | Encyclopedia.com". http://www.encyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2019-11-17.
7. "Sacramento Daily Union 10 October 1883 — California Digital Newspaper Collection". cdnc.ucr.edu. Retrieved 2021-03-11.
8. "FRIDAY EVENING". Berrows Worcester Journal. September 1, 1883.
9. Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Shapira, M. W." . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 24 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 803.
10. Adler, Cyrus (1969). I have considered the days. Burning Bush Press. OCLC 7969.
11. Macdowell, Mississippi Fred (2010-02-23). "A 19th century Protestant Semitics professor's Goral ha-gra (bibliomancy); also, uncovering a Shapira fraudulent Hebrew manuscript". On the Main Line. Archived from the original on 2011-10-18. Retrieved 2021-03-12.
12. Oskar K. Rabinowicz (July 1965). "The Shapira Scroll: An nineteenth-century forgery". The Jewish Quarterly Review. New Series. 56 (1): 1–21. doi:10.2307/1453329. JSTOR 1453329.
13. "Mr. Sharp-Eye-Ra (cartoon)". Punch. September 1883. Archived from the original on 2014-12-19. Retrieved 2014-12-06.
14. Press, Michael (July 1214). ""The Lying Pen of the Scribes": A Nineteenth-Century Dead Sea Scroll". The Appendix. 2 (3). Retrieved 2014-12-08.
15. Newspaper "Het Vaderland", March 12, 1884.
16. James R. Davila, PhD, Professor of Early Jewish Studies (2013-11-03). "The Shapira forgeries raise their moldering heads again". Retrieved 2014-12-06.
17. "Dead Sea Scroll Traced to Jew Who Committed Suicide 70 Years Ago - Jewish Telegraphic Agency". http://www.jta.org. 1956-08-14. Archived from the original on 19 March 2021. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
18. ייבין, שמואל (1956-04-20). "המגילות הגנוזות". הארץ (in Hebrew). p. 9.
19. J. L. Teicher "The Genuineness of the Shapira Manuscripts," Times Literary Supplement, 22 March 1957.
20. Allegro, John Marco (1965). The Shapira affair. Doubleday. ISBN 9789120009094. OCLC 543413.
21. Jefferson, Helen (1968). "The Shapira Manuscript and the Qumran Scrolls". Revue de Qumrân. 6 (3): 391–399.
22. Guil, Shlomo (2017). "The Shapira Scroll was an Authentic Dead Sea Scroll". Palestine Exploration Quarterly. 149 (1): 6–27. doi:10.1080/00310328.2016.1185895. S2CID 165114970.
23. Dershowitz, Idan (March 10, 2021). "The Valediction of Moses: New Evidence on the Shapira Deuteronomy Fragments". Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft. 133 (1): 1–22. doi:10.1515/zaw-2021-0001. S2CID 232162477.
24. Dershowitz, Idan (2021). The Valediction of Moses A Proto-Biblical Book (PDF). Mohr Siebeck Tübingen. ISBN 978-3-16-160644-1.
25. Guil, Shlomo (June 2012). "In the Footsteps of the Concealed Shop". Et Mol. 223.

Online reference

https://www.academia.edu/2127379/In_Sea ... cal_Enigma
• Guil, Shlomo (March 2017) ."The Shapira Scroll was an Authentic Dead Sea Scroll". Palestine Exploration Quarterly. Vol.149, No.1, pp. 6–27.

Further reading

• E. F. Kautzsch and A. Socin, Die Echtheit der moabitischen Altertümer geprüft (1876)
• "Faking it" - Radio piece on Shapira produced by Israel story podcast for Tablet Magazine , 18 August 2014.
• Nichols, Ross K. (2021). The Moses Scroll: Reopening the Most Controversial Case in the History of Biblical Scholarship, Horeb Press, St. Francisville, LA. ISBN 978-1-7366134-0-5.
• Tigay, Chanan, The Lost Book of Moses (2016) ISBN 0062206419
• Sabo, Yoram (2014). Shapira & I. A documentary film. In the footsteps of Shapira and his scroll.
• Sabo, Yoram (2018). The Scroll Merchant, In Search Of Moses Wilhelm Shapira's Lost Jewish Treasure. (Hebrew) Hakibbutz Hameuchad.

External links

• Sutro Library, San Francisco, CA finding aid for Hebraica collection which once belonged to Shapira.
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Re: FREDA BEDI CONT'D (#4)

Postby admin » Fri Nov 25, 2022 3:06 am

Israel Faking it: The discovery that ancient artefacts sacred to Jewish history are forgeries has sent shockwaves through the museum world. But was the gang behind the scam only interested in cash, or did they have other motives?
Rachel Shabi @rachshabi
The Guardian
Thu 20 Jan 2005 07.09 EST

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It started with the pomegranate and ended with a stash of fake Bible-era artefacts. Photo: AP. [A Hebrew inscription is engraved around the shoulder of the thumb-[thumbnail-]size pomegranate that reads, “Holy to the priests, (belonging) to the Temple of [Yahwe]h.”]

Surendra Kumar Apharya Who Can Write 1,749 Characters on Just a Single Grain of Rice!
by Mayuraxee Barman
September 10, 2019



There are many students who are expert in miniature writing and they showcase this talent while cheating in their exams by writing as many answers as possible on a small chit of paper. Maybe some of them are even reading this article right now. So what do you think how many characters can you write on a small piece of paper – 300? 500? or maybe if you really have some talent somehow 800?

There is a man named Surendra Kumar Apharya who can write 1,749 characters on just a single grain of rice! Yes, you have read it right.

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"OMG! Ye Mera India."

If you think that it is the most shocking thing you have ever heard then hold your breath because the next fact will just blow your mind, he has also made a world record of writing 249 characters on a human hair.

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"Yes! Human hair!"

This man did not just stop there, he has even written Nehru Ji’s three speeches on a 19.6mm x 17.8mm postage stamp.

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"Mr. Nehru's three lectures and his thoughts"

Mr. Surendra Kumar Apharya, who belongs from Jaipur, Rajasthan has written the names of 168 countries and regions on a single grain of rice. He has made all Indians proud of his very unique talent for which he holds a world record in the Guinness Book for more than 25 years now.

Such a talent comes with a lot of patience and hard work. He does regular yoga to make his hands more stable. He can also hold his breath for 2mins straight. These two qualities are very important to write on a small surface.

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"That's the reason he learnt Yoga as well."

Surendra Kumar Apharya’s dream is to write The Bhagabhat Gita or The Bible on a 1mm surface or less.

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Geeta or Quran or Bible.

What this man does is even unimaginable for us. Doing something so unique which requires so much patience proves how passionate he is about miniature writings. Let us all salute this man who has made a mark in the history of the world in a unique way.


It all started with the pomegranate. On Christmas Eve, the Israel museum in West Jerusalem made an announcement about a tiny ivory pomegranate that had been on display at the museum since 1988, believed to have come from the First Temple of Israel. The pomegranate, the museum sheepishly revealed, was actually a fake. It was still a very old and beautiful carving, but the inscription denoting its First Temple origins had been forged.

Five days later, the Israeli Antiquities Authority (IAA) declared that it had uncovered a sophisticated forgery ring, based in Israel, which had produced a stash of fake Bible-era artefacts.


At the end of 2004, antiquities collector Oded Golan was put on trial. He was accused, along with others, of forging the inscription, as well as fabricating and attempting to sell many other fake antiquities. These included the James Ossuary (supposedly the bone box of Jesus' brother); ancient pottery with inscriptions; a stone menorah attributed by some to the high priest in the Second Temple; a tiny ivory pomegranate, with an inscription, that was thought to be the only existing artifact that had been used in the First Temple, and which was displayed for many years at the Israel Museum. Also determined to be a forgery was a quartz platter with an inscription in an ancient Egyptian language, which ostensibly showed that the ancient city of Megiddo was conquered by a commander of King Shishak. The inscription presumed to solve the question occupying many scholars regarding the identity of the destroyer of Megiddo.

-- The art of authentic forgery, by Nadav Shragai

The famous Ivory Pomegranate Inscription: Is it a forgery or authentic? You decide. And let us know your decision.
Get ready to experience the excitement of Ripley’s Believe It or Not!—where the unbelievable comes alive right before your eyes! Visit any one of Ripley’s 29 museums around the world to marvel at hundreds of unusual artifacts and get hands on with amazing interactives.

-- Ripley's Believe It or Not! Aquariums, Attractions, and Weird ..., by ripleys.com

A Hebrew inscription is engraved around the shoulder of the thumb-size pomegranate that reads, “Holy to the priests, (belonging) to the Temple of [Yahwe]h.”

For decades the tiny object occupied a special place in Jerusalem’s prestigious Israel Museum—the only surviving relic from Solomon’s Temple.

The pomegranate was first seen in 1979 in a Jerusalem antiquities shop by one of the world’s leading Semitic epigraphers, André Lemaire of the Sorbonne. Based on a lifetime of experience and a careful examination, he pronounced the inscription authentic. It was also examined by Professor Nahman Avigad of The Hebrew University, then Israel’s most respected epigrapher, who wrote that “I am fully convinced of ... the authenticity of its inscription ... [T]he epigraphic evidence alone, in my opinion, is absolutely convincing.”

With these assurances, in 1989 the Israel Museum acquired the pomegranate for $550,000.
All Israel was excited. On the day the pomegranate went on display in a special room of the museum with a narrow light beaming on it from the ceiling, the exhibit was the first item on the evening news in Israel.

In 2004, after two widely publicized inscriptions had been declared forgeries by the Israel Antiquities Authority, the museum decided to revisit the question of the authenticity of the Pomegranate Inscription. A special committee was appointed to reexamine the inscription, using the latest scientific technologies. The committee concluded that the inscription was a forgery!

-- Is This Inscription Fake? You Decide, by Hershel Shanks


In addition to the pomegranate, it revealed that two other objects, both similarly revered, had also been rumbled as bogus. One was a limestone ossuary box said to have held the bones of James, the brother of Jesus, and supposedly the oldest physical link to the New Testament. The other was a stone tablet, from the ninth century BC, inscribed in ancient Hebrew with instructions by King Joash for maintaining Solomon's Temple.

The revelation sent shockwaves around the world of antiquities, as museums were warned to expect more precious relics to be revealed as fakes. "We only discovered the tip of the iceberg. This spans the globe. It generated millions of dollars," warned Shuka Dorfman, director of the IAA. Museums were urged to examine all objects of suspicious origin; the forgery ring, the IAA cautioned, spanned 20 years.

So what tipped off the investigators? "We got some information in September 2002 about a stone with an inscription about the third temple of Joash in Jerusalem," says Amir Ganor, head of investigations at the IAA. "This stone would be very important to the Jewish people and to the antiquities community." At that point the investigators were looking for a rumoured relic, not a forgery. Informers said that it had been offered to several institutions, including the Israel museum. "We heard that some guy, ex-Shin Bet [the Israeli security service], had been showing the stone, but we didn't know anything more," says Ganor.

The IAA eventually discovered the identity of the former security service man (How? "Using our methods," says Ganor), who in turn led them to Oded Golan, a leading Israeli collector and one of the five men alleged by the IAA to be part of the forgery ring.
Israel's Ha'aretz newspaper describes Golan as a 51-year-old production engineer, based in Tel Aviv, who has worked in engineering, tourism, real estate, and who now describes himself as the "head of a of a hi-tech company". He told the IAA that he collects antiquities as a hobby, and has been doing so since the age of 14. A search of Golan's home took place in February 2003. "We found a lot of documents about the stone, and pictures, but not the stone itself," says Ganor. "Oded said that he was not the owner, but was representing some Arab guy." One month later, threatened with another search warrant for another of his premises, Golan handed over the stone.

It was not the first time he had come in contact with the IAA. Back in October 2002, the authority had issued Golan with a licence to take an ossuary ("just an ossuary, not an important ossuary," says Ganor) to the Montreal museum in Canada. Soon after giving him approval, the IAA got a phone call from CNN asking about the remarkable inscription on top of the stone, apparently reading: "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus."

The IAA, realising that it had granted an approval licence for a potentially very special artefact, requested that Golan hand over the relic upon its return from Canada, which he did in March 2003. Now the authority had the stone and the ossuary, both of which were checked and found to be fakes. What's more, the method of forgery in both cases was the same -- the patina on each object had been artificially contrived. At this point, the authority launched its fraud investigation with the police, having for some time heard rumours of more fakes on the market.

The IAA paid another visit to Golan, who had been given back his ossuary. This time, says Ganor, the IAA "found all the evidence for the fraud process, all the materials, all the patinas, some artefacts in the process of being forged". The ossuary was found on the flat rooftop of Golan's rented apartment, in the toilet. "He said it was the safest place to put it," says Ganor. "This is the ossuary that millions of Christians have been speaking about ... and that was insured for $1m when it was sent to Canada."

The investigation has so far named four men, in addition to Golan, whom it alleges were involved, among them Robert Deutsch, an inscriptions expert who teaches at Haifa University, and Rafael Braun, former head of the antiquities laboratories at the Israel museum. "We have found a key witness who told us that [he was asked] to prepare thousands of artefacts," says Ganor. He adds that witnesses have mentioned possible fakes at British, American and German institutions.
Golan, meanwhile, has insisted: "There is not one grain of truth in the fantastic allegations related to me," while Deutsch has pronounced the indictment "ridiculous".

The story gets cloudy where the pomegranate enters. The Israel museum bought this relic in 1988, paying $550,000 (£287,000) into a numbered Swiss bank account. For more than 20 years, it has been hailed as the only surviving physical evidence of the First Temple. This temple is the holiest of holies in Jewish tradition; it is said to be where Abraham, the father of the Hebrew people, prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac to God. (The Wailing Wall in Jerusalem is the western wall of the Second Temple, built on the site of the first in the sixth century BC). Scholars thought that the thumbnail-sized fruit, which has a hole in the bottom, was used as the top of a temple priest's sceptre.

The pomegranate is a high-profile example of a relic acquired "through the market", meaning that it was not uncovered during a licensed excavation. Such objects carry no official documentation denoting their origin. The theory is that they come from looted sites.
"The pomegranate surfaced a number of years before it was acquired and displayed here," says James Snyder, director at the Israel museum. "It was examined by a lot of scholars, and it wasn't accepted into our collection until it had the consensus of all available experts that it was authentic." Snyder says that there is always a question mark over the authenticity of an object acquired through the market, but nonetheless, some 10% of the museum's 70,000 antiquities come from this channel. Why? "Because the objects are very special, and so they can be placed in a museum setting and benefit the public. You wouldn't want to miss that opportunity."

Unless, of course, the object is a fake. The museum insists that the pomegranate was found to be a forgery through its own investigation, independent of the IAA. However, one source, speaking on condition of anonymity, says that this is rubbish. "The authority heard about the pomegranate from a witness in the investigation," he says, adding that the museum was asked to take the relic to the IAA but refused, negotiating instead to conduct its own analysis. Such analysis revealed that the pomegranate dates from the Bronze period - 3,400 years ago and long before the First Temple period. The temple-specific inscription was added to the fruit recently but it was the relic's patina - older than the first temple period - that gave the game away.

Commentators have suggested that the museum might not have been sufficiently scrupulous with the fruit relic over the years but Snyder insists that analysis methods have recently developed in one significant direction: "Until a few years ago, we would have had to remove a piece of the pomegranate in order to scan it," he says. "We did not want to do that."

What this episode shows is the extent to which the antiquities community has laid itself open to abuse. According to Israel Finkelstein, archaeology professor at Tel Aviv university, most biblical land has been officially and rigorously excavated and produced few relics. "Do you want me to believe that robbers are then going with a flashlight at night and managing to find 50 inscriptions? Of course I don't believe it."

Still, the sale of marketplace antiquities is booming. Aren Maeir, archaeology professor at Bar Ilan university in Ramat Gan, describes it as "an astounding market, particularly among private collectors with millions of dollars at their disposal". Objects can sell for $1m apiece, and academics say that top forgers hunt academic journals for the objects that would be considered significant if unearthed, and then sneak fake finds into the market -- giving the antiquity community exactly what it wants. "There is an eagerness all over the world, in museums, to display antiquities of great value," says Finkelstein, "and there is no question that some of them were not careful enough in their [evaluation] methods. It was some sort of naivety, something about wanting to believe."

The discovery of a Temple-era pomegranate, in particular, was always going to provoke excitement. The pomegranate is a deeply resonant fruit in Judaism that, according to the Bible, was used as a decorative motif in Solomon's temple. There is a Rabbinic reference to its seeds, which in legend always number 613 -- one for each of the commandments of the Bible. One Israel museum press officer explains the effect of seeing such relics: "It is very exciting, very emotional, very Jewish feelings," she says. "Any time you see something like this, it feels very special because you can see your roots."

It underlines the intense political significance that antiquities, particularly Biblical-era artefacts, attain in Israel, where discoveries of ancient sites or relics can be claimed by particular groups as proof of their historic claim to a particular piece of land. Early Zionism was enthusiastic in promoting Bible-era relics -- they cemented the Jewish connection to the land, and were seen to give credence to the new state of Israel: ancient facts on the ground, if you like. It is telling, suggests Dr Shimon Gibson, archaeology professor at the Albright Institute, Jerusalem, that the Joash stone emerged at around the same time -- early 2003 -- that Palestinian leaders were becoming more vociferous over the "alleged" Jewish connection to the Temple Mount. The stone's inscription describes repair works to the Jewish temple at Jerusalem. "Those who forged, if that is what they did, would be trying to identify key spots of interest to Israel at that moment," he says. "One of those is, of course, the Temple Mount, because in any deal made with the Palestinians, the status of Jerusalem and who controls the holy places is one of the key things that will be on the table."


Some have argued that the only way to stop antiquity fraud is to properly ban the sale of objects with unknown provenance. Others, such as Snyder, counter that this would serve only to bury precious artefacts in the hands of private collectors, not evaluated by experts and not appreciated by the public.

Meanwhile, no one can say how many more relics from the world's great museums will be rumbled as fakes. Snyder says that the Israel museum is alert to the investigation, but it clearly wants to move on, celebrate its 40th birthday and show off its other collections -- including the Dead Sea scrolls. The museum plans to turn its misfortune with the pomegranate into an opportunity to mount a display on antiquity dating methods. On my way out of his office, Snyder hands me a lemon, from a basket on his desk. He tells me that they come from his own garden; he also grows pomegranates.
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Re: FREDA BEDI CONT'D (#4)

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Beyond the Scribal Error: Clues on the History of Philodemus' On Rhetoric, Book 1
by Federica Nicolardi

From Defining Authorship, Debating Authenticity: Problems of Authority from Classical Antiquity to the Renaissance
Edited by Roberta Berardi, Martina Filosa, and Davide Massimo
© 2021 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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The particular composition of the library in the Villa dei Papiri at Herculaneum led scholars in the past to believe in the existence of autographs among the carbonized scrolls.1 In particular, the presence of copies reflecting different editorial stages of Philodemus' works suggested the identification of his personal library in that in the Villa, as well as the identification of the manus Philodemi in some provisional editions of his works.2 Although these theories have been gradually put aside, modern scholars still question the differences between provisional and fair copies in the collection. Double copies of the same work in the library in the Villa usually differ in their subscriptio: Philodemus' On Rhetoric Book 2, for example, has been preserved in two different rolls, whose final parts -- the so-called midolli -- can be found in P. Herc. 1672 and 1674; in the end title of P. Herc. 1674, after the genitive [x] we simply find the title of the work, [x], whereas in the subscriptio to P. Herc. 1672 after the author's name we can read the expression [x]. The meaning of the term [x] in the end titles of the Herculaneum papyri is still debated.3 A milestone in this question is represented by the palaeographical survey conducted on the Herculaneum papyri by G. Cavallo. Following the analysis of formal features of the rolls, especially handwriting and text layout, he concluded that the term [x], which we find in rolls where he detected inelegant handwriting and irregular layout, can only refer to a provisional copy, intended for a limited circulation.4

The greatest difficulty in the interpretation of this term arises from the re-reading of the subscriptio to P. Herc. 1427, which preserves the last ten columns of the only surviving copy of Philodemus' On Rhetoric Book I. The end title of this papyrus had been long read as follows: [x]. In line with the absence of the term [x] and in the light of the 'tecniche librarie e grafiche accurate' which can be observed in P. Herc. 1427, Cavallo did not spot any substantial differences between this papyrus and those who preserve definitive editions.' In 1995 D. Delattre, by rereading the subscriptio in the original papyrus, correctly identified the term [x] instead of the genitive [x]; the correct reading of the end title of this roll being [x].6 Nevertheless, the non-inelegant handwriting and the regular layout of the text in this papyrus would seem to be in conflict with the identification of a provisional copy. From this difficulty some new interpretations of the term [x] have arisen. To mention just one of the most interesting views, T. Dorandi, partially in line with Cavallo, has claimed that the previous editions of On Rhetoric Books 2 and 3 (and presumably also the previous edition of Book 1) were intended for limited circulation in the school, whereas the definitive editions were intended for publication. Furthermore, according to Dorandi, the provisional copies would already have in themselves a definitive text and they would exclusively differ from the fair copies with respect to the formal characteristics of the rolls.7

Throughout the study of the text in On Rhetoric Book 1, the analysis of the corrective interventions has turned out to be particularly interesting in order to shed some light on the editorial stage of the surviving copy. It is well worth making some clarifications about this roll; every remark regarding formal features such as handwriting, text layout, corrective interventions, must necessarily derive from the observation of the final part of the roll, the midollo, P. Herc. 1427, that is the only extant part obtained by continuous unrolling by means of Piaggio's machine. By the time of this mechanical opening, in 1786, most of the original volumen, i.e. circa 95% of the total extent, had already been removed by the so-called scorzatura. This opening method, when used as a preliminary step to prepare a roll for Piaggio's machine, consisted of making cuts along the length of the volumen, in order to free the so-called midollo from its external parts, which were the most damaged and difficult to open. The scorze were then put aside: this caused the loss of connection between the midollo and the corresponding scorze, which were inventoried separately and later opened by scraping off the layers.8 Moreover, this scraping led to the complete loss of each layer, except for the ultimo foglio, that is to say the last leaf: once the 'unrollers' (svolgitori) had transcribed the text they could see, by drawing it they scraped it off in order to reveal the layer below. As a consequence, most of the roll has been lost or only preserved in drawings, with the only exception of the midollo P. Herc. 1427 which, in spite of its small extent (just over 80 cm), allows for some interesting remarks. In the midollo I have identified more than 40 corrective interventions. This number is particularly relevant if we take into account the small amount of text preserved in this papyrus (8 entire and 2 partial columns).

Corrections have been mostly made by the main scribe, sometimes by an editor of the text, whom I identified due to his different -- sloping and sometimes more cursive -- handwriting.9 The most frequent errors are mechanical ones; the scribe has often skipped some text portions, which have been restored -- by him or by the editor -- supra lineam, in the upper or lower margin, or in the intercolumnium; we can also find numerous incorrect word endings, since adjectives, participles, and nouns often erroneously agree with the preceding word. Most of the time the scribe has immediately noticed these oversights and corrected them in scribendo: it is clear from the fact that the correct sequence appears within the line, immediately after the mistaken one, which is deleted.10 Just to mention an evident example of correction in scribendo, in col. 3 ll. 11-13 Sudhaus11 (Fig.

1) the scribe, instead of writing the adverb [x] with which a new sentence begins, has written the participle [x], probably because of the presence of the accusative [x] right before it:12

[x]


As soon as he realized the error, he did not just replace the wrong sequence [x] with [x], but he decided to delete the entire word (by means of dots above the letters and a horizontal stroke) and to leave a vacuum before writing the correct word, in order to mark the end of the sentence before the adverb. This shows that the scribe is very interested in clarity, even if making comprehensible corrections may represent an uneconomic use of space.

As for the editorial history of the text, some interventions, which can hardly be recognized as corrections of non-mechanical errors, have turned out to be the most interesting.

1. In the penultimate column of the text (col. 6 1. 13 Sudhaus, Fig. 2),13 it is possible to read the infinitive [x], in which the sigma is added supra lineam and the theta is written over a pre-existing tau: the text ante correctionem must have been [x]. The correction is required by the presence of a verbum dicendi at 1. 10, which governs [x]. Because of the form of the letters and the corrective modalities used, the intervention seems attributable to the main scribe and so it was probably made not long after the first copying of the text. In this particular case, we may perhaps think of a mechanical error; however -- unless we imagine that the scribe controlled the text on the antigraph, possibility which obviously cannot be excluded for this case and for the following ones -- the correction would have required significant attention to the syntax, which seems hardly attributable to the awareness of the scribe, although he is materially responsible for the intervention. 

2. Another -- albeit more complex -- syntactic modification is in coll. 21. 39-2 l. 2 Sudhaus (Fig. 3),14 where the expression [x] occurs. By the observation both of the papyrus and of the Oxonian drawing (disegno) in which the column is reproduced, the presence of many deleted letters is immediately evident. While the text post correctionem is easily readable, the text ante correctionem is harder to recognize, since the traces of ink by means of which the letters are deleted cover them up almost totally. The first deleted letter is easily readable: it is an epsilon, clearly due to diplography ([x] instead of [x]); this mechanical error is not relevant to the present analysis. By comparing the papyrus to the disegno it is possible to notice that in the former we can partly glimpse the form of the deleted letters and that the disegnatore was not always able to distinguish the ink used by the scribe to trace the pre-existing letters from the ink used to delete them. After the eta two other letters are deleted, which in the disegno may seem [x]. By looking at the papyrus under the microscope it is possible to identify the lower parts of these two letters, which do not coincide with those drawn with uncertainty by the disegnatore: a vertical trace followed by an oblique descending rightwards from mid-height; a round outline at the bottom left of the following letter. These traces are compatible with [x]. After alpha, an ascending trace slightly oblique is what is left from another deleted letter; this trace is covered up with an ink circle, that the disegnatore confused with the body of a phi (which would be too small and high, though). It is possible, therefore, that the text ante correctionem was [x] and that the scribe was actually writing [x]. The my, only partially traced, would be the last letter written by him before he stopped and made the correction ([x]). In this section of Book 1 Philodemus is talking about the possibility, claimed by some, to consider as a perfect expert of rhetorical art ([x]) the one who has practised all the rhetorical [x], i.e. all the rhetorical genres. If my hypothesis on the intervention is correct, it will be remarkable that the expression ante correctionem, with the active verb [x] governing an object ([x]), does not substantially differ in meaning from the middle form [x] taking the dative [x]. The transition from one form to the other seems to represent a stylistic improvement rather than a mere correction and this does not enable to consider this intervention as conceived by the scribe.

Other interventions reveal lexical modifications, of which I offer here two examples.

I. In fr. 4 ll. 3-5 Sudhaus (Fig, 4), Philodemus is introducing a distinction between [x] based on their different need for natural ability, practice and method: [x] ... 15 The sequence [x] is written supra lineam and replaces some letters deleted by means of a horizontal stroke. By observing the disegno, the deleted sequence may seem [x], but if we look at the papyrus it is possible to understand that the disegnatore was not able to detect the horizontal stroke and that he reproduced only its final part, which looks like the middle stroke of eta: the correct deleted sequence is [x] ([x]). Therefore, the text ante correctionem was [x], which is unlikely to be considered as a mechanical error, unless we imagine a confusing state of this passage in the antigraph, perhaps with variants or unclear corrections. The term [x] is attested in Phld. Poem. I. P. Herc. 460 col. 125 l. 3 Janko, and here it would not be out of context, since it refers to a 'division', 'classification'.

2. In col. 61. 34 Sudhaus (Fig. 5),16 the multispectral images and the observation of the papyrus under modern microscopes make it possible to read more than what is reproduced in the disegno and published in the previous editions. As for the text resulting from the correction, in 1872 Gomperz had already correctly identified the genitive [x].17 Part of this word, the sequence [x] is written supra lineam above deleted letters. Philodemus is talking about weak argumentations and, before leaving this theme in order to conclude the book, he claims that many other defects spread out through deductive argumentations ([x]), but then adds that there is no point in insisting on their weaknesses, since they are immediately evident. As for the text ante correctionem, the first deleted letter is certainly a my; looking at the second one, only its right part survives, an oblique trace descending from left to right, compatible with a my: after this incomplete letter the sequence ov is deleted. Therefore, the text ante correctionem was probably a form of the term [x], with the meaning of 'coherence', 'permanence' ([x]) . As in the previous cases, neither the error (the term [x] instead of [x]) nor the emendation can be easily attributed to the scribe's full awareness. Plural forms of [x] are not usual and it is not possible to immediately clarify what the text ante correctionem could have meant. The reference, which I have mentioned, to 'insistence', 'perseverance' in the sequent line may be of interest, although the term used there is [x].

The corrective interventions presented above have a relevant common characteristic, which I have already underlined: although the scribe actually and concretely made the corrections, the conceptual responsibility for the interventions cannot be attributed to him. We find syntactic modifications as well as stylistic improvements, which were carried out during the drafting of the copy or not much later and which reveal in some ways the intention of the author of the text.18

As a result, I believe it is possible to conclude that the first book of Philodemus' rhetorical treatise is preserved in a provisional copy, whose text has not been fixed yet and which might have been at least partially written under Philodemus' supervision.19 In this scroll, some changes and the way these changes have been made by the scribe reveal the intention to facilitate the preparation of the future definitive copy. From this perspective, also the scribe's care to make clear corrections rather than save space and intervene discreetly and 'noninvasively' makes more sense.20

Another element related to the stichometric total recorded in the subscriptio of P. Herc. 1427 leads back to the same conclusion. After the name of the author, the title of the work and the indication of the book number, we can read the total of stichoi copied in the roll: [z] XXXX, 'Total number (scil. of stichoi) 4000'. As we know, the stichos is the unit of measurement for ancient works and it usually corresponds to a Homeric hexameter (circa 15-16 syllables). However, the equivalence between stichos and real line is actually not mathematically certain and can vary from roll to roll.21 Determining the actual ratio between stichos and real line in the roll of On Rhetoric Book 1 is the key to understanding stichometric annotations. In this book, besides total stichometry which we find in the end title, there are annotations referring to partial stichometry too: in addition to numerals written in the margins for every 100th stichos,22 in P. Herc. 1427 I have also detected dots traced to the left of the columns every 20 (real) lines. They are certainly stichometric dots which were used in order to facilitate the final counting of the lines on the part of the scribe and which were always written every 10 sichoi.23) The presence of these points in every 20th line is a very relevant element, allowing to precisely determine that in the roll of On Rhetoric Book 1 a stichos corresponds to two real lines (approximately 12 to 15 syllables).24 However, the total number of stichoi registered in the subscriptio and the ratio 1:2 between stichos and real line seem to be in contradiction with some objective data. In particular, 50 lines (= 25 stichoi) before the end of the text which is marked by a coronis, there is a stichometric ny in the intercolumnium, which indicates the 3700th stichos (= the 7400th real line): if the stichoi were really 4000, we would expect to count 300 more stichoi (= 600 real lines) after the ny, instead of the actual 25 stichoi. This probably suggests that the total number indicated in the end title was rounded up. The approximation from 3725 to 4000 might have been meant to compensate for the presence of insertions outside the columns (which were probably not included in the line counting), and perhaps also to allow for the possibility of future interventions by the author.25 This might turn out to be particularly relevant with reference to a provisional copy and to the necessity of subsequently recopying the text into a fair copy.

In light of these considerations, it can be concluded that the provisional nature of Philodemus' On Rhetoric Book 1 is not to be understood with regard to the material and external state of the book, but rather to the state of its text. Whether Philodemus was actually and constantly present in the Villa dei Papiri during the constitution of most of the library or not, his authoriality emerges -- occasionally and yet clearly -- from the editorial activity in full swing in those texts which have not yet progressed to their definitive editorial state.

Image
Fig. 1: P. Herc. 1427, col. 3 ll. 11-13 © Biblioteca Nazionale. Napoli -- Brigham Young University. Provo. USA; duplication by any means is forbidden).

Image
Fig. 2: P. Herc. 1427, col. 6 l. 13 (© Biblioteca Nazionale, Napoli -- Brigham Young University, Provo, USA: duplication by any means is forbidden).

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Fig. 3: P. Herc. 1427. col1. 3 ll. 1-2 (lBiblioteca Nazionale, Napoli -- Brigham Young University, Provo, USA; duplication by any means is forbidden).

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Fig. 4: P. Herc. 1427, fr. 4 ll. 3-5 (© Biblioteca Nazionale, Napoli -- Brigham Young University, Provo, USA; duplication by any means is forbidden).

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Fig. 5: P. Herc. 1427, col. 6 l. 34 (© Biblioteca Nazionale, Napoli -- Brigham Young University, Provo, USA; duplication by any means is forbidden).

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Notes:

1 The images of P. Herc. 1427 (MSI) and of its disegni are reproduced by courtesy of the Ministero dei Beni e delle Attivita Culturali e del Turismo © Biblioteca Nationale. Napoli-Brigham Young University. Provo. USA; duplication by any means is forbidden. I am very thankful to  Prof. G. Abbamonte. Prof. P. Fioretti. and Prof. A. Stramaglia for the useful advice and the stimulating discussion on the topic of this paper.
 
2 The idea of the manus Philodemi is already in Comparetti (1880) 162. See Cavallo (1983) 26-27, who refused this idea, with reference to previous literature.
 
3 See Del Mastro (2014) 30-33, who has recently taken stock of the question; for an exhaustive  overview see now D'Angelo (2018) 128-9. At the present stage of our knowledge, the term  occurs in the end titles of P. Herc. 168 (Phld. Op. inc.). 1427 (Phld. Rh. I), 1674 (Phld. Rh. II),  1506 (Phld. Rh. III) and, according to a recent study by D' Angelo (2018), in the subscriptio to the theological work preserved in P. Herc. 89/1383. Regarding the presence of the term in Philodemus' rhetorical works, Sudhaus ([1892] xv, Sudhaus [1895a) 44, Sudhaus [1895b] 70-85, and Sudhaus [1896]) viii- xi), who published almost all the Herculaneum rhetorical papyri, claimed  that the two different titles referred to two different works, since Philodemus would have written a first work, [x], and then the proper [x]. Starting from Comparetti's reflections (Comparetti [1910] 124), scholars have come to consider the necessity to identify different copies of the same work instead of different works.  https:// doi.org/10.1515/9783110684629-009
 
4 Cavallo (1983) 63-64.
 
5 Cavallo (1984) 19. He ascribed the handwriting of the roll of On Rhetoric Book 1 to the first Philodemean age (75-50 BC) and placed its scribe (whom he named 'Anonimo XX') in a group ('Gruppo N') characterized by the peculiar bending of certain strokes ('contorsione o almeno curvatura di certi tratti'. Cavallo [1983] 38-39). One of the most representative examples of this group is P. Herc. 1426, which preserves the fair copy of Philodemus' On Rhetoric Book 3.
 
6 Delattre (1995). As for the different readings of the subscriptio and its complete transcription, see Del Mastro (2014) 87-88.
 
7 Dorandi (2007b) 70-77.
 
8 For the reconstruction of the roll, see Nicolardi (2018) 125-62.
 
9 See Nicolardi (2017) for a detailed analysis of all the corrective interventions in P. Herc. 1427.
 
10 Several corrections in scribendo of mechanical errors in P. Herc. 1427 are described in Nicolardi (2017), now also in Nicolardi (2018) 102-21.
 
11 I hereinafter refer to the numbering of the fragments and the columns as provided by the indications written on the 19th-century cardboard, on which the papyrus is glued, and as reproduced in Sudhaus (1892).
 
12 The reading of the adverb post correctionem is mine: for the previous editions, see the critical apparatus in Nicolardi (2018) col. 234 ll. 11-13.
 
13 See col. 237 l. 13, in Nicolardi (2018).
 
14 See col. 233 l. 37-234 l. 2, in Nicolardi (2018).
 
15 See col. 230 ll. 27-29, in Nicolardi (2018), with comment ad loc., and the introduction to this edition on Philodemus' classification of arts.
 
16 See col. 237 l. 34. in Nicolardi (2018).
 
17 See Gomperz (1872) 29 (= Dorandi [1993] 74).
 
18 This is both true if the changes occur for the first time in this papyrus and if they derive from a previous provisional copy used as antigraph, whose only trace we would thus find in our papyrus. As a matter of fact, it is not possible to completely exclude that a misleading and confused state of the passages in question in the antigraph caused the text ante correctionem and then led the scribe to pay more attention, to verify and to correct. Essler (2017) 71-75 has recently identified in P. Herc. 152/157 (Phld. De dis.) and in other Herculaneum papyri interventions which he has firmly attributed to Philodemus' intention.
 
19 If this hypothesis is correct and the changes are made for the first time in this copy, this book could be considered to be, as P. Fioretti usefully suggested to me, an author's idiograph.
 
20 Another possibility, for which I am thankful to the anonymous reader of this paper, might be that this roll had been firstly conceived as a definitive copy. The uneconomic intervention in col. 3 ll. 11-13. Sudhaus might thus be explained with the intention not to ruin the formality of the copy. Then, only as a result of the first revision by the main scribe and of the multiple interventions made by him, the book might have been 'downgraded' to provisional copy, with consequences on the subscriptio and on the final stichometric counting (on these two aspects see below), which were written at the end of the roll after this first revision.
 
21 In Herculaneum papyri 100 stichoi usually correspond to circa 180-200 real lines. See Bassi (1909) 326-32.
 
22 With this aim the alphabetical series of 24 letters (not enriched with stigma, coppa and  sampi) is generally used; a new series can begin after omega (alpha = 100; beta = 200; gamma = 300; ... omega = 2400: alpha = 2500: beta = 2600). On the use and the importance of stichometric numerals see Del Mastro (2011) 38; Del Mastro (2012) 41-43; Essler (2008) 299-305, with reference to previous literature.
 
23 Stichometric dots also occur in other Herrulaneum papyri: see Bassi (1909) 70-71; Philippson (1920) 235, 364-5: Ohly (1924) 191; Obbink (1996) 63-64; Del Mastro (2012) 41-42.
 
24 The lack of precise correspondence between standard stichos and the actual number of  syllables and letters per stichos is also attested in other Herculaneum rolls: in the roll of Philodemus' De pietate, e.g., one stichos corresponds to two lines with just 12 syllables: see Ohly  (1928) 56.
 
25 The rounding up to 4000 is particularly interesting, since this number, as Del Mastro (2012) 35-38 showed on the basis of Gal., De indolentia 28 Brodersen, might have been a limit beyond which it could have been necessary to divide the work into two rolls.
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Re: FREDA BEDI CONT'D (#4)

Postby admin » Sun Nov 27, 2022 4:30 am

Buried by the Ash of Vesuvius, These Scrolls Are Being Read for the First Time in Millennia: A revolutionary American scientist is using subatomic physics to decipher 2,000-year-old texts from the early days of Western civilization
by Jo Marchant, Photographs by Henrik Knudsen
Smithsonian Magazine
July 2018
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/ ... 180969358/

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The charred papyrus scroll recovered from Herculaneum is preserved in 12 trays mounted under glass. Here is PHerc.118 in tray 8. The scroll was physically unrolled in 1883-84, causing irreparable damage. Henrik Knudsen

It’s July 12, 2017, and Jens Dopke walks into a windowless room in Oxfordshire, England, all of his attention trained on a small, white frame that he carries with both hands. The space, which looks like a futuristic engine room, is crowded with sleek metal tables, switches and platforms topped with tubes and boxes. A tangle of pipes and wires covers the walls and floor like vines.

In the middle of the room, Dopke, a physicist, eases the frame into a holder mounted on a metal turntable, a red laser playing on the back of his hand. Then he uses his cellphone to call his colleague Michael Drakopoulos, who is sitting in a control room a few yards away. “Give it another half a millimeter,” Dopke says. Working together, they adjust the turntable so that the laser aligns perfectly with a dark, charred speck at the center of the frame.

Dozens of similar rooms, or “hutches,” are arrayed around this huge, doughnut-shaped building, a type of particle accelerator called a synchrotron. It propels electrons to near light speed around its 500-meter-long ring, bending them with magnets so they emit light. The resulting radiation is focused into intense beams, in this case high-energy X-rays, which travel through each hutch. That red laser shows the path the beam will take. A thick lead shutter, attached to the wall, is all that stands between Dopke and a blast of photons ten billion times brighter than the Sun.

The facility, called Diamond Light Source, is one of the most powerful and sophisticated X-ray facilities in the world, used to probe everything from viruses to jet engines. On this summer afternoon, though, its epic beam will focus on a tiny crumb of papyrus that has already survived one of the most destructive forces on the planet—and 2,000 years of history. It comes from a scroll found in Herculaneum, an ancient Roman resort on the Bay of Naples, Italy, that was buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79. In the 18th century, workmen employed by King Charles III of Spain, then in charge of much of southern Italy, discovered the remains of a magnificent villa, thought to have belonged to Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus (known as Piso), a wealthy statesman and the father-in-law of Julius Caesar. The luxurious residence had elaborate gardens surrounded by colonnaded walkways and was filled with beautiful mosaics, frescoes and sculptures. And, in what was to become one of the most frustrating archaeological discoveries ever, the workmen also found approximately 2,000 papyrus scrolls.

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Among the many thousands killed by Vesuvius’ eruption was Pliny the Elder, the ancient world’s greatest naturalist, whose death is depicted in an 1813 painting by Pierre Henri de Valenciennes. Deagostini / Getty Images

The scrolls represent the only intact library known from the classical world, an unprecedented cache of ancient knowledge. Most classical texts we know today were copied, and were therefore filtered and distorted, by scribes over centuries, but these works came straight from the hands of the Greek and Roman scholars themselves. Yet the tremendous volcanic heat and gases spewed by Vesuvius carbonized the scrolls, turning them black and hard like lumps of coal. Over the years, various attempts to open some of them created a mess of fragile flakes that yielded only brief snippets of text. Hundreds of the papyri were therefore left unopened, with no realistic prospect that their contents would ever be revealed. And it probably would have remained that way except for an American computer scientist named Brent Seales, director of the Center for Visualization & Virtual Environments at the University of Kentucky.

Seales is in the control room now, watching intently: frowning, hands in pockets, legs wide.

The papyrus scrap in the white frame, held between two layers of transparent orange film, is just three millimeters across, and sports one barely visible letter: an old-fashioned Greek character called a lunate sigma, which looks like a lowercase “c.” Next to the turntable, shielded inside a tungsten tube, is a high-resolution X-ray detector, called HEXITEC, that has taken engineers ten years to develop. Seales believes that it will pick up the desperately faint signal he’s looking for and, in doing so, “read” the tiny Greek letter. “When I started thinking about this, this technology didn’t exist,” he says. “I don’t think there’s another detector in the world right now that could do this kind of measurement.” If it works, imaging the single letter on this charred crumb could help to unlock the secrets of the entire library.

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A section of an ancient Torah Scroll found in the Byzantine-era [330-1453 A.D.] synagogue in Ein Gedi. It includes verses from the beginning of Leviticus. Courtesy of the Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library, IAA. Photo: S. Halevi

A wailing alarm sounds as Dopke exits the hutch before Drakopoulos swings shut the 1,500-pound, lead-lined door. Back in the control room, computer screens show a live feed of the papyrus from multiple angles as Drakopoulos clicks his mouse to raise the shutter and flood the hutch with radiation. Sitting next to him, an engineer prepares to capture data from the detector. “Ready?” he asks. “I’m going to press Play.”

**********

Seales, who is 54, has wide-set eyes beneath a prominent brow, and an air of sincere and abiding optimism. He’s an unlikely pioneer in papyrus studies. Brought up near Buffalo, New York, he has no training in the classics. While European curators and textual scholars yearn to discover lost works of classical literature in the Herculaneum scrolls, Seales, an evangelical Christian, dreams of finding letters written by the apostle Paul, who was said to have traveled around Naples in the years before Vesuvius erupted.

Seales came of age in the 1970s and ’80s—the era of early video games, when big-dreaming Californians were building computers in their garages—and he was a techie from a young age. With no money for college, but with a brain for complex mathematics and music (he played violin at his local church), Seales won a double scholarship from the University of Southwestern Louisiana to study computer science and music. Later, while earning his doctorate, at the University of Wisconsin, he became fascinated with “computer vision,” and began writing algorithms to convert two-dimensional photographs into 3-D models—a technique that later enabled vehicles such as Mars rovers, for example, to navigate terrain on their own. Seales went to work at the University of Kentucky in 1991, and when a colleague took him along to the British Library to photograph fragile manuscripts, Seales, captivated by the idea of seeing the unseeable, found the challenge thrilling.

The British Library project was part of a “digital renaissance” in which millions of books and hundreds of thousands of manuscripts were photographed for posterity and stored online. Seales helped make a digital version of the only surviving copy of the Old English epic poem Beowulf, using ultraviolet light to enhance the surviving text. But working with the warped, cockled pages made him realize the inadequacy of two-dimensional photographs, in which words can be distorted or hidden in creases and folds.

So in 2000, he created three-dimensional computer models of the pages of a damaged manuscript, Otho B.x (an 11th-century collection of saints’ lives), then developed an algorithm to stretch them, producing an artificial “flat” version that didn’t exist in reality. When that worked, he wondered if he could go even further, and use digital imaging not just to flatten crinkled pages but to “virtually unwrap” unopened scrolls—and reveal texts that hadn’t been read since antiquity. “I realized that no one else was doing this,” he says.

He began to experiment with a medical-grade computed tomography (or CT) scanner, which uses X-rays to create a three-dimensional image of an object’s internal structure. First, he tried imaging the paint on a modern rolled-up canvas. Then he scanned his first authentic object—a 15th-century bookbinding thought to contain a fragment of Ecclesiastes hidden inside. It worked.

Buoyed by his success, Seales imagined reading fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which include the oldest biblical writings ever found, dating to as far back as the third century B.C., sections of which remain unopened today. Then, in 2005, a classicist colleague took him to Naples, where many of the excavated Herculaneum scrolls are displayed at the National Library, a few steps from a window with a view across the bay to Vesuvius itself. Seared by gases at hundreds of degrees centigrade and superheated volcanic materials that in time hardened into 60 feet of rock, the distorted, crumbling rolls were believed by most scholars to be the very definition of a lost cause.

For Seales, viewing them was an “almost otherworldly” experience, he says. “I realized that there were many dozens, probably hundreds, of these intact scrolls, and nobody had the first idea about what the text might be. We were looking at manuscripts that represent the biggest mysteries that I can imagine.”

**********

He isn’t the first to try to solve these mysteries. In 1752, when Charles III’s workmen found the carbonized lumps inside what’s now known as the Villa dei Papiri, they assumed they were pieces of coal and burned them or threw them in the sea. But once they were identified as scrolls, Camillo Paderni, an artist in charge of the recovered antiquities, set about opening the remaining ones. His method involved slicing the rolls in half, copying any visible text, then scraping away each layer in turn to reveal what was beneath. Hundreds of rolls were transcribed that way—and destroyed in the process.

In 1754, a Vatican priest and conservator named Antonio Piaggio dreamed up a new scheme: He glued goldbeater’s skin (a calf’s extremely thin yet tough intestinal membrane) to a scroll’s surface, then used a contraption involving weights on strings to ease it open. Artists watched this excruciatingly slow process and copied any exposed writing in pencil sketches known as disegni. Many of the flaky outer layers of the scrolls were removed before the inner portion could be unwound, and the papyrus often tore off in narrow strips, leaving layers stuck together. Hundreds of scrolls were pulled apart using Piaggio’s machine, but they revealed only limited text.

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In the 18th century, scrolls were unwrapped at the rate of a centimeter an hour, using a machine designed by Vatican conservator Antonio Piaggio. Tesoro Letterario Di Ercolano, Tavola IV (1858)

Scholars searching the transcribed fragments for lost works of literature have largely been disappointed. A few pieces of Latin works were discovered, including parts of the Annales, by Quintus Ennius, a second-century B.C. epic poem about the early history of Rome, and Carmen de bello Actiaco, which tells of the final hours of Antony and Cleopatra. The vast majority of the opened scrolls contained Greek philosophical texts, relating to the ideas of Epicurus, an Athenian philosopher in the late fourth and early third centuries B.C., who believed that everything in nature is made up of atoms too small to see. Some are by Epicurus himself, such as a piece of On Nature, a huge work that was previously known but lost. But most are by Philodemus, an Epicurean employed by Piso in the first century B.C., and cover Epicurus’ views on ethics, poetry and music.

None of the Herculaneum scrolls has been opened since the 19th century, and scholars have instead focused on squeezing information out of the already-revealed texts. A step forward came in the 1980s, when Dirk Obbink of Oxford University and Daniel Delattre of France’s National Center for Scientific Research independently worked out how to reassemble fragments dissected under Paderni. In the 1990s, Brigham Young University researchers photographed the surviving opened papyri using multispectral imaging, which deploys a range of wavelengths of light to illuminate the text. Infrared light, in particular, increased the contrast between the black ink and dark background. That was a “huge breakthrough,” says Obbink. “It enabled us to read vastly more of the unrolled rolls.”

The new images triggered a wave of scholarship into Epicurean philosophy, which had been poorly understood compared with the rival ideas of Plato, Aristotle or the Stoics. But the texts were still incomplete. The beginnings of all the manuscripts remain missing. And the prose is often scrambled, because letters and words from different layers of a scroll wound up next to one another in two-dimensional renderings. “What we’d really like to do,” says Obbink, “is to read a text from beginning to end.”

That was thought impossible, until Seales saw the scrolls in Naples and realized that his research had been leading to exactly this grand challenge. “I thought, I’m a year away,” Seales says. “All I have to do is get access to the scrolls, and we can solve this.”

That was 13 years ago.

**********

Seales vastly underestimated, among other things, the difficulty of getting permission even to study the scrolls. Conservators are understandably reluctant to hand out these terribly fragile objects, and the library in Naples refused Seales’ requests to scan one. But a handful of Herculaneum papyri ended up in England and France, as gifts from Ferdinand, son of Charles III and King of Naples and Sicily. Seales collaborated with Delattre and the Institut de France, which has six scrolls in its possession. Two of the scrolls are in hundreds of pieces after past attempts to open them, and Seales eventually received permission to study three small fragments.

The first problem he hoped to solve was how to detect ink hidden inside rolled-up scrolls. From the late third century A.D. onward, ink tended to include iron, which is dense and easy to spot in X-ray images. But the papyri found at Herculaneum, created before A.D. 79, were written with ink made primarily of charcoal mixed with water, which is extremely difficult to distinguish from the carbonized papyrus it sits on.

Iron gall ink (also known as common ink, standard ink, oak gall ink or iron gall nut ink) is a purple-black or brown-black ink made from iron salts and tannic acids from vegetable sources. It was the standard ink formulation used in Europe for the 1400-year period between the 5th and 19th centuries, remained in widespread use well into the 20th century, and is still sold today.

-- Iron gall ink, by Wikipedia

Until about 300 CE, ink was usually made of a fine carbon powder such as lampblack, mixed with gum arabic and water, which even today retains its black lustre. Carbon inks were then replaced by iron-gall inks made from a mixture of tannic acid (made from oak galls soaked in water), ferrous sulphate, and gum arabic. There seem to have been several reasons for the changeover to iron-gall inks: they were easier and more economical to make, they could be made in quantity, and they did not flake off the surface of vellum (which was becoming the preferred writing surface of the time) as carbon inks did. Iron-gall ink does have certain drawbacks: it has a tendency to fade and oxidize over time, turning from a dark grayish-black when freshly written to a characteristic brown (which today is often associated with early manuscripts), and it sometimes has a corrosive effect on vellum, causing the writing from one side of a page to bleed through to the other. On paper, some iron-gall inks have actually eaten through the writing surface. Erasures, which could be made on wax with the blunt end of a stylus and on papyrus by wiping with a wet sponge, were more difficult on vellum written with iron-gall inks. Corrections were made by scraping the faulty text off with the edge of a knife, rubbing the surface with an abrasive, and then burnishing it to make it smooth enough to receive ink again. Sometimes when vellum was not easily available or was relatively expensive, an outdated text might be erased and written over. Since the ink actually dyes the vellum, traces of the original text often remain and appear faintly under newly written text. Such doubly written manuscripts are called palimpsests.

-- Greek handwriting: Origins to the 8th century CE, by Britannica.com

At his lab in Kentucky, Seales subjected the papyrus scraps to a battery of noninvasive tests. He looked for trace elements in the ink—anything that might show up in CT—and discovered tiny amounts of lead, perhaps contamination from a lead inkwell or water pipe. It was enough for the Institut de France to give him access to two intact papyri: blackened sausage-shaped artifacts that Seales nicknamed “Banana Boy” and “Fat Bastard.” Seales arranged for a 600-pound high-resolution CT scanner to be sent by truck from Belgium, and he made intricately detailed scans of the scrolls. But after months of analyzing the data, Seales was disheartened to find that the ink inside the scrolls, despite the traces of lead, was invisible.

What was worse, the scans showed the layers inside the scrolls to be so carbonized that in many places there was no detectable separation between them. “It was just too complicated for our algorithms,” Seales admits. He played me a video of the CT scan data, showing one of the scrolls in cross-section. The whorls of papyrus glowed white against a dark background, like closely wound strands of silk. “Just take a look at that,” said Seales. “This is when we knew we were doomed for the present time.”

What makes virtual unwrapping such a complex challenge is that, even if you imaged the inside of a rolled-up scroll written in ink that glowed brightly in scans, you would still only see a dizzying mess of tightly packed letters floating in space, like a three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle—but without a final picture to use as a guide. To decipher that jumble of letters, Seales’ key innovation was to develop software to locate and model the surface layer within a wound-up scroll, which analyzes each point in as many as 12,000 cross-sections. Then he looks for density changes that correspond to the ink, and applies filters or other techniques to increase the contrast of the letters as much as possible. The final step is to figuratively “unroll” the image for reading.

Seales spent 2012 and 2013 as a visiting scientist at the Google Cultural Institute in Paris, amping up his algorithms to cope with the complex structures the CT scans had revealed. He got the chance to try his new approach soon afterward, when Pnina Shor, at the Israel Antiquities Authority, or IAA, in Jerusalem, contacted him about a carbonized roll of parchment found in the ancient town of Ein Gedi, on the western shore of the Dead Sea. The scroll was excavated from the remains of a synagogue, which was destroyed by fire in the sixth century A.D. The charred, cigar-shaped lump was far too fragile to open, but Israeli researchers had recently CT-scanned it. Would Seales take a look at the data? Shor handed over a hard drive, and Seales and his colleagues went to work.

In the meantime, Seales was chasing a new idea for reading carbon-based ink: X-ray phase-contrast tomography, a highly sensitive form of imaging that can detect subtle density changes in a material—the kind that might result from applying ink to papyrus—by measuring the changing intensity of the beam as it passes through an object. Only a large particle accelerator, though, can produce such a beam. One of the nearest was Synchrotron Soleil, outside Paris. Seales’ request for “beam time” there was rejected, but he and Delattre were subsequently approached by an Italian physicist named Vito Mocella, who had close ties to another synchrotron in Grenoble, in southeastern France. Seales provided custom-designed cases for the scrolls, built using data from his CT scans, but his schedule didn’t allow him to travel. So in December 2013, Delattre took Banana Boy and another scroll to Grenoble without him.*

Seales waited eagerly for the promised data, but the files did not arrive. Then, in January 2015, Mocella’s group published the results without him. It was, Seales says, an “excruciatingly frustrating” experience. “I believed we were collaborating, until I realized that the feeling was not mutual.”

News stories around the world reported that Herculaneum scrolls had been deciphered at last. But, in fact, Mocella had claimed to read only letters, and some scholars are cautious about even those, not least because the group did not publish enough information for others to replicate the analysis. Mocella finally shared his data with Seales and others after publication. After reviewing it, Seales concluded that the findings were a bust. “The dataset did not produce any contrast at the ink,” he told me. Seales thinks the researchers, who were without software to model the surfaces within the scrolls, were seeing “ghosts”—random patterns in the papyrus’ fiber structure that just happen to look like letters. He is now convinced that phase-contrast tomography alone is not sufficient to read the Herculaneum scrolls in any meaningful way. (Mocella insists the letters he saw were real, and he took issue with Seales’ version of the incident. “From my point of view, I and my team are still working with Brent, since we’ve given him, as with other specialists like him, most of the scans,” Mocella said.)

By that point Seales had finished a preliminary analysis of the Ein Gedi scroll, and in July 2015 he and the IAA announced their results. “We absolutely hit a home run,” Seales says.

Unlike the authors of the Herculaneum scrolls, the Hebrew scribes had mixed metals into their ink. Seales’ software correctly mapped the letters to the rolled-up parchment, then virtually unfurled it, revealing all of the surviving text, in perfect sequence, on each of the five wraps of the scroll. There were 35 lines of text in two columns, composed of Hebrew letters just two millimeters tall. Israeli researchers identified the text as the first two chapters of the Book of Leviticus, dating to the third or fourth century A.D. It was a hugely significant find for biblical scholars: the oldest extant copy of the Hebrew Bible outside of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and a glimpse into the history of the Bible during a period from which hardly any texts survive.


And it was proof that Seales’ method worked. Following Mocella’s publication, however, the Institut de France refused further access to its Herculaneum scrolls. Which is why Seales turned his attention to Oxford.

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Seales and colleague Seth Parker use an Artec Space Spider 3-D scanner to model a Herculaneum scroll at the Bodleian Libraries, at Oxford University. Henrik Knudsen

The Bodleian Libraries, at Oxford University, possess four Herculaneum scrolls, which arrived in 1810, after they were presented to the Prince of Wales. They are kept deep inside the building, in a location so secret that even David Howell, the Bodleian’s head of heritage science, says he doesn’t know where it is.

Seales wasn’t permitted to see the intact papyri, never mind scan them. But one of the four, known as “P.Herc. 118,” was sent to Naples in 1883, to be unrolled using Piaggio’s machine. It came back as a mosaic of crumbs, which were glued onto tissue paper and mounted behind glass in 12 wood frames. The text appears to be a history of Epicurean philosophy, probably by Philodemus, but it has been particularly challenging for scholars to interpret. A fragment might seem covered with continuous lines of writing, says Obbink, “but really every inch you’re jumping up or down a layer.”

To prove the value of his approach, Seales asked the Bodleian to let him analyze P.Herc. 118. If all went well, he hoped, he might get a shot at scanning the intact scrolls later. “We wouldn’t necessarily have chosen to get involved, except for Brent’s enthusiasm,” says Howell. So in July 2017, the 12 frames were removed from storage and taken to Howell’s third-floor office—something of a coup for Seales, given their invaluable nature. Cheerful and ruddy-faced, Howell has worked in conservation for close to 35 years, and even he felt daunted as the protective glass frames were removed, exposing the fragile papyrus beneath. “These are the most terrifying objects I’ve ever handled,” he says. “If you sneeze, they’d blow away.”

Seales and another colleague scanned these scroll fragments using a hand-held 3-D scanner called an Artec Space Spider. Meanwhile, Howell carried out hyperspectral imaging, which uses hundreds of wavelengths of light. Howell listened to Pink Floyd through noise-canceling headphones to escape the grinding noise of the scanner, he says, plus the knowledge that if anything went wrong, “I might as well pack my bags and go home and not come back.”

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The 3-D template can be combined with high-resolution images and infrared photography to reveal otherwise nearly “invisible” ink. Seth Parker / University of Kentucky

After Seales returned to Kentucky, he and his colleagues spent months mapping all of the available 2-D images onto the 3-D template produced by the Artec Space Spider. This past March, they returned to Oxford to present the results on a big screen to a packed conference room. At such a high resolution, the charred papyrus resembled a dark-brown mountain range as seen from above, with lines of text snaking over the ridges and peaks. There was a gasp from the audience as Seales’ student Hannah Hatch rotated the image, then zoomed into creases and peeked over folds, flipping seamlessly between high-resolution photographs, infrared images and even the disegni drawings—all matched up to the 3-D template.

Shortly afterward, James Brusuelas, an Oxford papyrologist working with Seales, revealed several new details visible in the scans, such as the name Pythocles, who was a young follower of Epicurus. More important, Brusuelas was able to decipher the column structure of the text—17 characters per line—which will be crucial for reading the rest of the roll, particularly when trying to join different fragments together. “We have the basic information we need to put Humpty Dumpty back together again,” he said.

The audience buzzed with questions and applause. It was the reaction Seales was hoping for, and a step toward his real goal—gaining access to intact scrolls.

He’d saved his own presentation until last. It wasn’t about P.Herc. 118, but rather one tiny letter: the lunate sigma.

**********

Driving south from the stone archways and quadrangles of Oxford, the road soon cuts through flat green fields reaching to the horizon. On the day I visited, fork-tailed red kites hovered high in the blue July sky. After 15 or so miles a sprawling campus of low gray buildings came into view. At first, it resembled an ordinary industrial park, until I noticed the names of the roads: Fermi, Rutherford, Becquerel, all giants of 19th- and 20th-century physics. Behind a wire fence a huge, silver dome, more than a quarter-mile in circumference, rose from the grass like a giant flying saucer. This was Diamond Light Source, and Seales was waiting inside.

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Brent Seales at the particle accelerator Diamond Light Source, where electrons are propelled at such speeds they could circle Earth 7.5 times per second. Henrik Knudsen

He’d brought a speck of charred papyrus from one of the Herculaneum scrolls he studied a decade earlier. The ink on it, he had found, contained a trace of lead. In Grenoble, direct X-ray imaging of the scrolls had not been enough to detect the ink. But when you fire hugely powerful X-rays through lead, the metal emits electromagnetic radiation, or “fluoresces,” at a characteristic frequency. Seales hoped to pick up that signal with a detector placed beside the fragment, which was specially calibrated to capture photons at lead’s characteristic frequency.

It was a long shot. The minuscule fluorescence of the letter would be swamped by radiation from the protective lead lining the room—like looking for a flickering candle from miles away on a rainy night, Seales said, as we stood in the crowded hutch. But after several days of intense work—optimizing the angle of the detector, shielding the main X-ray beam with tungsten “flight tubes”—the team finally got what it was looking for: a grainy, but clearly recognizable, “c.”

“We’ve proven it,” Seales said in triumph as he displayed the legible image to the Oxford audience in March. It is, Seales hopes, the last piece of the puzzle he needs to read the ink inside a Herculaneum scroll.

The results have scholars excitedly re-evaluating what they might now be able to achieve. “I think it’s actually very close to being cracked,” says Obbink, the Oxford papyrologist. He estimates that at least 500 Herculaneum scrolls haven’t been opened. Moreover, excavations at Herculaneum in the 1990s revealed two unexplored layers of the villa, which some scholars believe may contain hundreds or even thousands more scrolls.

Many scholars are convinced that Piso’s great library must have contained a range of literature far wider than what has been documented so far. Obbink says he wouldn’t be surprised to find more Latin literature, or a once-unimaginable treasure of lost poems by Sappho, the revered seventh-century B.C. poet known today only through the briefest of fragments.

Michael Phelps, of the Early Manuscripts Electronic Library, in California, who recently used multispectral imaging to reveal dozens of hidden texts on reused parchment at St. Catherine’s Monastery, in Egypt, calls Seales’ methods “revolutionary.” Scholars have long faced a choice between attempting to read concealed texts (and potentially destroying them in the process) or conserving them unread. “Brent Seales’ technology is removing that dilemma,” Phelps says.

Successfully reading Herculaneum scrolls could trigger a new “renaissance of classical antiquity,” says Gregory Heyworth, a medievalist at the University of Rochester in New York. He points out that virtual unwrapping could be applied to countless other texts. In Western Europe alone, he estimates, there are tens of thousands of manuscripts dating from before A.D. 1500—from carbonized scrolls to book covers made from older, glued-together pages—that could benefit from such imaging.

“We’d change the canon,” Heyworth says. “I think the next generation is going to have a very different picture of antiquity.”

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Michael Drakopoulos (red polo), Brent Seales (jacket), Seth Parker (white shirt) at the Diamond Experimental Hutch, surrounded by detectors, setting up the fragment in preparation for the X-ray. Henrik Knudsen

**********

Seales has lately been enhancing his technique, by using artificial intelligence to train his software to recognize subtle differences in texture between papyrus and ink. He plans to combine such machine learning and X-ray fluorescence to produce the clearest possible text. In the future, “it’ll all be automated,” he predicts. “Put it in the scanner and it will all just unfurl.”

Seales is still negotiating with curators in Oxford, Naples and Paris for access to intact scrolls. He has surmounted huge technical hurdles, but the complex political challenge of navigating the gatekeepers, winning beam time at particle accelerators and lining up funding can, very occasionally, puncture his optimism. “How does a guy like me make all that stuff happen all at once?” he said in one such moment. He shrugged and looked around him. “It’s more than a computer scientist is really capable of doing.”

Then belief returned to his wide, hazel eyes. “I refuse to accept that it’s not possible,” he said. “At every turn, there has been something that opened up.” Reading a complete intact scroll at last, he went on, would be “like returning home to your family, who have been waiting all along for you to do the thing you started.”

*Editor's Note: This article was updated to correct the name of the French research facility that declined Seales' proposal to scan a Herculaneum scroll, and to clarify how the scrolls were ultimately scanned at Grenoble.

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The Scroll from En-Gedi
by UK College of Engineering
Accessed: 11/27/22

Image



In 2015, Dr. William Brent Seales and his team digitally unfurled the scroll from En-Gedi, revealing it to be the book of Leviticus. It is the oldest Hebrew Bible ever found after the Dead Sea scrolls and the only one ever uncovered in an ancient Jewish synagogue.

En-Gedi, Israel is the desert oasis where David hid from King Saul in the biblical account of 1 Samuel.[???!!!]

Question: What is the historical/anthropological evidence of King Saul's existence?
by Daniel Metivier
Quora
Accessed: 11/27/22

Answer: To date there is no evidence outside the Tanakh and OT to conclude that King Saul was a historical figure. There is some evidence suggesting that King David was a historical figure, namely a tablet from the Tel Dan which is thought to be celebrating the defeat of both the “king of Israel” and the “king of the House of David” by an Aramean king.

The inscription does not name the kings but it does coincide with a known battle in which Hazael of Damascus defeated both Jehoram of Israel and Ahaziah of Judah (Judah being the land of David).

If we can ever definitely prove that David existed that would be a step towards proving Saul. Now to be clear, just because David might have been an actual historical King, it does not mean that the various stories recorded centuries after his time are real.

There is some evidence to support the existence of a historical King Arthur and a historical Robin Hood but the stories that evolved from these figures are greatly exaggerated and have grown over the years to fit the needs of the storytellers. The Deuteronomist were trying to show how obedience to god resulted in the Israelites being rewarded and disobedience resulted in punishment and expanding upon the lore of an early King served this purpose exceedingly well.

We may one day find out that a Historical David succeeded a Historical Saul. This would be a fascinating archaeological and historical achievement. We discover that the city of Troy actually existed but that does not mean that any of the stories surrounding Troy, namely the stories of the Olympian gods, are automatically true.

[Jacques Briend, Catholic University of Paris] On the basis of these geographical sites [Samaria, Jerusalem, Hebron, & Beersheba] it is understandable that an attempt was made to link them to each other. As history developed, an understanding was sought of how these groups of humans related to each other. This led to a sort of Patriarchal genealogy with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

[Thomas Romer, University of Lausanne] It was quite obvious that there were originally three quite separate traditions. The patriarchs were, in fact, not related. In the North, the story of Jacob was told. In Hebron, the story of Abraham, and in Beersheba, the story of Isaac. The idea that these three Patriarchs were from one and the same family was, in fact, an invention after the fact by those who wrote the Bible. They wanted to show that there was a link between these three Patriarchs, whereas in fact there was none.

[Israel Finkelstein, Tel Aviv University] So there are three different traditions set in the background of three different geographical zones. And the question is, "Why Abraham at the center?" Why Abraham is put first? The answer is clear. We are in Jerusalem, and Judah in the 7th century, in the period of the Judaic kingdom. So regardless of whether the Patriarchs are historical or mythical, the most important fact is the background of the story shows us that we are in the 7th century, in Judah, in Jerusalem. The people who wrote this decided to put Abraham first, as the founder of the family, as the center of the story, and by that also, Judah as the center of the universe.

[Narrator] The Bible contains many long genealogies, lists of generations and family alliances that define territories and structure time.

[Thomas Romer, University of Lausanne] The history of the Patriarchs in the Bible is also a family history. Abraham was not only Isaac's father, he was also Ishmael's father, who is the origin of all Arab tribes. And Isaac is not only Jacob's father, he's also Esau's father. And then Abraham is also Lot's uncle. This means that all the different peoples, clans, and tribes that live in Canaan, and in Cis in trans-Jordan, are linked by being descendants of Abraham. So all these people are presented as being part of one great family, with the problems faced by all families, but also the idea of a profound link between all these different peoples.

[Neil Asher Silberman, Center for Archaeological Research -- ENAME Belgium] What we see in the figure of Abraham is a symbolic representation of the birth of the nation. Because at the time of the writing of the Bible, the history of the people of Israel was not considered to be history in the sense that we understand it: of years, of periods, of particular historical events. It was seen more as the history of the family, and of course, the father of the family, the founder of the family, is a person of great significance. And throughout all the stories of Abraham, we see symbolic representations of the places of importance in Judah, of the kinds of relationships with other people that made Judean history.



[Narrator] The story of the Patriarchs is the first pillar of what would later become Judaism, and that is common roots. According to Jewish tradition, the group known as the people of Israel is made up of the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In their eyes, belonging to a people and to a religion is one and the same thing.

[Israel Finkelstein] The first verses of the Book of Joshua say the following: "After the death of Moses, the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua, the son of Nun, Moses' minister, 'Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you, and all this people, unto the land which I am giving to them, to the people of Israel, every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you as I promised to Moses.'"

This is the beginning of the great saga, the great epic, of the conquest of Canaan in the Book of Joshua. And the Bible tells the story, step-by-step: from here to Jericho, from Jericho to Ai, from Ai to the war with the kings of the south, and then to Hazor and the kings of the north. And it's a wonderful story, a great saga of war and conquest and bravery.

[Thomas Romer] The Biblical version presents this conquest as a sort of blitzkrieg. In all, it took two weeks, and practically the whole of the population was exterminated. No mercy was shown for the people of Canaan. But we're not told why. We're not told that it was because they worshipped false gods, or because they were particularly evil. On the contrary, no reasons are given. What is important is that they were all devoted to destruction according to the Biblical text. The word used is "Hem," which means that everything must be destroyed in order to be given back to Yahweh.

[Narrator] The archaeologist, Kathleen Kenyon, was the first to conclude that at the time suggested by the Bible, there were no walls in Jericho that needed tumbling down. At the time of the conquest of Canaan, Jericho was unoccupied.

[Israel Finkelstein, Tel Aviv University] So this is not history in the simple sense in the case of Jericho. It applies also for other places mentioned in the tradition of the conquest in the book of Joshua. Many of the cities mentioned were not inhabited at all in the late Bronze Age. There was nothing there. So the Book of Joshua is not history. It's a mythical description. And like the case of the Patriarchs, and the case of Exodus, it tells the story of the formative stage in the life of the nation. And as such, it is full of divine interventions, bravery and miracles.

[Thomas Romer, University of Lausanne] The Joshua epic is the start of a great story that ends up in a story of kingship. The Book of Joshua is in fact the Bible's first installment of a story that would ultimately show why Israel chose a king in the same way that other peoples had done. But it didn't happen overnight. Joshua already prefigures in the Bible as being slightly royal as he is treated somewhat like a king. But after the story of Joshua, we find a book called The Book of Judges. They were charismatic leaders who arose during a period that was chaotic and anarchical, a period in which nothing was determined. There was no central power, and "every man did that which was right in his own eyes," according to the formula used in the book. So the book of Judges is used to show it is not possible to organize a nation in the absence of a king or a central power. The Book of Judges ends on that final note. It is followed by the story of Samuel, which is the introduction to the history of kingship. Samuel will be the one to choose first Saul and then David as the king of Israel.

[Narrator] What about David's city?

[Ronny Reich, University of Haifa] In the late Bronze Age and in the early Iron Age, there is human activity here; there's human occupation here, on a very small scale.

[Israel Finkelstein] The way I see it, there was a village here in the 10th century, but it was a small one, mainly on this part of the ridge of the city of David, not all along the ridge, and with a very limited population, not fortified and with no monuments.

[Ronny Reich, University of Haifa] Well, I agree that it was a very small place. Iron Age Jerusalem was a very small place. And this does not agree -- archaeology and text describe two different natures of sites.
Not the existence, but the natures of sites.

[Narrator] Unlike the great city of the 7th Century, David's Jerusalem was a simple mountain village covering 3-4 hectares. We can agree that David did not build a prestigious capital. In the Bible, he's above-all described as a conqueror. But what about his son -- the illustrious Solomon -- whom the Bible tells us is a great builder?

[Thomas Romer, University of Lausanne] The Biblical story of Solomon reads a bit like a story from the Arabian Nights. Solomon is the wise king par excellence. He of the famous judgment of Solomon. But he is also someone who is so famous that even the Queen of Sheba came to visit him, to meet with the man whose wisdom was talked about even in far-flung Africa. Solomon's empire was said to have been so enormous that no other empire could compete! And Solomon was also the builder of the temple which allowed the God of Israel to find a resting place within Israel.

[Narrator] Like David's Jerusalem, Solomon's capital was an insignificant village.

[Israel Finkelstein] There's no evidence for a great Solomonic capital, ruling over a great state, rich state and so on. And here at Megiddo, the buildings, the monumental buildings which had been described as the symbol of Solomonic greatness, in fact date a bit later. They don't date to the time of Solomon. They don't date to the 10th century. So we are in a situation of complete negative picture, negative evidence from coast to coast.


-- The Bible Unearthed, directed by Thierry Ragobert

But in 1970, it became the site of an exciting discovery. Right there on the shore of the Dead Sea, an Israeli archeologist pulled a blackened, 3-inch, cigar-shaped stick out of the ground. He was excavating the ruins of an 8th century BCE synagogue, and the ground where he was standing was actually the site of the ancient temple’s holy ark.

This piece of charcoal, therefore, represented a dramatic discovery, as it was almost certainly a sacred scroll. But, burned and charred from a fire in the 6th century AD, then further damaged by 1500 ensuing years of deterioration, it was impossible to unroll and verify the crumbling scroll’s contents without completely destroying it. So, despite the archaeologist’s hunch that he had found something incredibly significant, the artifact was shelved and then eventually locked away in a vault at the Israel Antiquities Authority. There it remained untouched and unread for almost half a century.

In 2014, Pnina Shor, curator and director of the Dead Sea Scrolls Project at the Israel Antiquities Authority, contacted us and wanted to know if we could take a look at some data she had acquired from a volumetric scan of the scroll. We agreed, she gave us a hard drive containing the CT scan data, and in a few short months we achieved the impossible. Using our process of virtual unwrapping that we had worked for 15 years to develop, we revealed the scroll to be part of the Bible, the first chapter of Leviticus to be exact, and we did it without ever touching, opening, or even seeing the scroll.

When we sent Shor our preliminary results, she immediately called a press conference for the following week. She told the press, “When we saw the results we almost fainted. We had been certain it was just a shot in the dark.”

Shor’s shot in the dark — when pushed through our virtual unwrapping software pipeline — turned out to be the oldest Hebrew Bible ever found other than the Dead Sea scrolls and the only one ever uncovered in a Jewish synagogue. As such, it is one of the most significant biblical findings of the 21st century.


Using our pipeline, we restored and revealed the Hebrew text on five complete wraps of the En-Gedi scroll and made possible a complete textual critique of the writing. Thanks in part to the remarkable spatial resolution now possible with micro-CT, our resulting master image equals the best photographic images available in the 21st century, with an effective resolution of 1500 dots per inch. The high quality of our final result enabled Hebrew and biblical scholars to arrive at dramatic conclusions regarding the scroll’s significance.

One can clearly see in the master view the remains of two distinct columns of Hebrew writing. These columns contain legible and countable lines, words, letters, and spacing. Clearly restored is part of one sheet of a scripture scroll that contains 35 lines, of which 18 have been preserved and another 17 have been reconstructed. The lines contain 33- to 34 letters and spaces between letters; spaces between the words are indicated, but are sometimes minimal. The two columns extracted also exhibit an intercolumnar blank space, as well as a large blank space before the first column that is larger than the column of text. This large blank space leaves no doubt that what is preserved is the beginning of a scroll.

Armed with the extraction of this readable text and its historical context discerned from carbon dating and other related archeological evidence, the scholars were able to accurately place the En-Gedi writings in the canonical timeline of biblical text. The dating of the En-Gedi scroll to the third or fourth century CE falls soon after the period of the biblical Dead Sea Scrolls (third century BCE to second century CE)and several centuries before the medieval biblical fragments found in the Cairo Genizah, which date from the ninth century CE onwards. As such, the En-Gedi scroll provides an important extension to the evidence of the Dead Sea Scrolls and offers a glimpse into the almost 800 years of near silence in the history of the biblical text.

Scholars also noted that, based on their knowledge of the development of the Hebrew text, the En-Gedi Hebrew text is not vocalized, there are no indications of verses, and the script resembles other documents from the late Dead Sea Scrolls. The text deciphered is completely identical with the consonantal framework of the medieval text of the Hebrew Bible, traditionally named the Masoretic Text and which is the text presented in most printed editions of the Hebrew Bible. On the other hand, one to two centuries earlier, the so-called proto-Masoretic text, as reflected in the Judean Desert texts from the first centuries of the Common Eraera, still witnesses some textual fluidity. In addition, the En-Gedi scan revealed columns similar in length to those evidenced among the Dead Sea Scrolls.
[/i][/b]

For more information on the En-Gedi unwrapping process and results, please refer to the following publications:

W. B. Seales, C. S. Parker, M. Segal, E. Tov, P. Shor, Y. Porath, “From damage to discovery via virtual unwrapping: Reading the scroll from En-Gedi.” Sci. Adv. 2, e1601247 (2016).
A. Yardeni in M. Segal, E. Tov, W. B. Seales, C. S. Parker, P. Shor, Y. Porat, “An Early Leviticus Scroll from En Gedi: Preliminary Publication,” Textus 26, 2016.

Funding for this project provided by the NSF (awards IIS-0535003 and IIS-1422039). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF. Additional funding from Google and support from S. Crossan (Founding Director of the Google Cultural Institute).

Original microCT and segmentation data is available to download from the Internet Archive.

The significant process we are making with fragments from the Dead Sea Scroll collection inspires us to keep working toward a comprehensive set of tools for revealing every manuscript in the invisible library. -- Brent Seales


When we saw Dr. Seales' results on the scroll from En-Gedi, we almost fainted. Never in our wildest dreams did we think anything would come of it. We had been certain it was just a shot in the dark. -- Pnina Shor - Director and Curator of the Dead Sea Scrolls Project at the Israel Antiquities Authority in Jerusalem


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

Charred manuscript is one of oldest known copies of Torah ever found
by Traci Watson
Special for USA TODAY
September 21, 2016

Image
The completed virtual unwrapping for the En-Gedi scroll. A small, seemingly unremarkable burned parchment fragment found 45 years ago during excavations on the western shore of the Dead Sea has emerged after hi-tech sequencing as part of the Book of Leviticus from a 1,500-year-old Torah scroll. B. Seales

For decades, an object much like a burnt stick sat in storage in Israel, awaiting the day when its secrets could be divined. Now researchers have revealed that the blackened object is the one of the oldest known copies of a text fundamental to both Jews and Christians.

Hidden within the charred manuscript are verses from the sacred text called the Five Books of Moses. Also known collectively as the Torah, they are the foundation of Judaism and also integral to Christianity’s Old Testament. To scholars’ astonishment, the newly divulged text is exactly the same, in both letters and format, as text in modern Torah scrolls read by most Jews now.

The burnt manuscript dates to the 3rd or 4th century, according to chemical dating. The only older known Torah passages are found in the famed Dead Sea Scrolls. They date from the 2nd century and earlier and deviate slightly from the version of the Torah read today, indicating they were written before the Torah was completely standardized.

Image
The scroll from En-Gedi. The seemingly unremarkable burned parchment fragment found 45 years ago during excavations on the western shore of the Dead Sea has emerged after hi-tech sequencing as part of the Book of Leviticus from a 1,500-year-old Torah scroll.

Researchers considered analysis of the charred scroll “a shot in the dark,” Pnina Shor of the Israel Antiquities Authority said at a news conference. “And so when this came back as a … flattened piece of material (that) looked like a scroll, you can’t imagine the joy in the lab.” Shor and her colleagues report their findings in a study published Wednesday in Science Advances.

The scroll was discovered in 1970 in a Jewish village called En-Gedi, which was destroyed by fire around 600. Inside the community’s synagogue, archaeologists discovered a Holy Ark, the cabinet where Torahs are stored. The En-Gedi ark held charred debris that had once been sacred scrolls.

One of those chunks of debris, now known as the En-Gedi scroll, was given a high-resolution version of a CT scan. Researchers created a digital 3D model of the scroll and looked on every surface for bright spots indicating inked letters. The images were digitally flattened and then pieced together, unveiling the text of five complete wraps of the scroll.

“Sometimes you can absolutely pull a text back from the brink of loss,” said Brent Seales of the University of Kentucky, another author of the new study.

The text, from the first and second chapters of Leviticus, includes 20 verses in all, says study co-author Michael Segal of Israel’s Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The verses describe the proper procedure for making sacrifices, reading in part, “The Lord summoned Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting, saying: Speak to the people of Israel.”

The En-Gedi scroll is the oldest known Torah text to be found in an ark, the study’s authors say.

Image
5 your offering. 3if his offering is a burnt offering from the herd, a male
6 without blemish he shall offer; to the entrance of the tent of meeting, he shall bring
7 it for acceptance on his behalf before the Lord. 4He shall lay his hand upon the head ...

Partial transcription and translation of recovered text. Lines 5 to 7 from the En-Gedi scroll.

The researchers’ method for peering inside the scroll should be useful for other old texts as well, such as the many fragile old manuscripts in the Vatican Library, says Vito Mocella of Italy’s National Research Council, who was not involved with the study.

“Finding a Biblical text from this particular period is very, very rare,” says Marc Brettler of Duke University says. Though the scroll “offers good and welcome confirmation” that the text of the Hebrew Bible “stabilized” by the 3rd or 4th century, it doesn’t significantly change scholars’ understanding of the text’s development, he added.

The study’s authors say they hope to see more of the verses from the scroll. But what they have so far are “just like modern paragraphs,” study co-author Emanuel Tov of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem said. “This is quite amazing for us, that in 2,000 years, this text has not changed.”
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Re: FREDA BEDI CONT'D (#4)

Postby admin » Sun Nov 27, 2022 11:45 pm

The Discovery of the Oldest Human Footprints in North America Thrilled Researchers. It Turns Out They May Not Be So Old: New research dates the footprints to a thousand years later than previously claimed.
by Vittoria Benzine
Artnet News
November 24, 2022

Image
North America's oldest human footprints, found in White Sands National Park in New Mexico. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service/U.S. Geological Survey/Bournemouth University, U.K.

A joint team of American researchers has contradicted previous claims that fossilized footprints found in 2009 in the Lake Otero Basin at New Mexico’s White Sands National Park are the oldest in North America—allegedly from the last Ice Age. The group’s latest work appeared in a recent edition of Quaternary Research.

Last September, researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey radiocarbon dated Ruppia cirrhosa seeds lodged throughout the footprints. Their results implied the footprints were left between 22,800 to 21,130 years ago. Previously, the earliest-known human beings in North America were dated between 14,000 and 16,000 years ago. If true, the conclusion would upend all manner of assumptions in the field.

The team published its findings in Science last year. “This is a bombshell,” Ruth Gruhn, an academic archaeologist not involved in the study, observed. “It’s very hard to disprove.”

Charles Oviatt, a Kansas State University geologist who helped refute those claims, told Heritage Daily this week that he read the original Science article, “and was initially struck, not only by how tremendous the footprints were on their own, but how important accurate dating would be.


Image
Radiocarbon dating on ancient ditch grass seeds found in the footprints determined that they were made up to 23,000 years ago. Photo by David Bustos, courtesy of White Sands National Park, New Mexico.

Last year, researchers acknowledged potential interference due to the “reservoir effect.” Underwater plants like Ruppia cirrhosa, an underwater ditch grass, can appear much older since they photosynthesize from the water, which often holds ancient carbon, rather than in the atmosphere, which would create a more contemporary picture.

Oviatt joined three colleagues from DRI, University of Nevada, and Oregon State University in arranging to test Ruppia cirrhosa samples archived at the University of New Mexico herbarium. They had originally been collected while alive from a spring-fed pond close by during 1947.

Leading commercial radiocarbon lab Beta Analytic conducted dating on those archived samples. Results dated the plants as 7,400 years old, “an offset resulting from the use of ancient groundwater by the plant,” Heritage Daily noted. If those results were skewed by 7,400 years, then there’s a chance that footprints at White Sands actually align with existing records.

“While the researchers recognize the problem, they underestimate the basic biology of the plant,” said Rhode. “For the most part, it’s using the carbon it finds in the lake waters. And in most cases, that means it’s taking in carbon from sources other than the contemporary atmosphere—sources which are usually pretty old.”


It’s all just the scientific method at work. “The original investigators went to some lengths to corroborate their claims and I am told they are still working on it,” Rhode told Artnet News. “They have publicly recognized the need for such corroborative evidence to convince the community at large. There is now and will continue to be much more work on this one.”
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