Tacitus and Bracciolini The Annals Forged in the XVth Century

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  4. Tacitus and Bracciolini. The Annals Forged in the XVth Century by John Wilson Ross

Du kanske gillar. Ross] av John Wilson Ross. Spara som favorit. Skickas inom vardagar. Skickas inom vardagar specialorder. This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations.

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Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity individual or corporate has a copyright on the body of the work. Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. Codex Laurentianus Mediceus 68 I. Codices Graeci et Latini phototypice editi , etc. Leiden, The complete Aesinas manuscript is online here.

The three minor works of Tacitus - the Dialogus , the Agricola , and the Germania - were little known before the renaissance. However a number of manuscripts did survive at that time, and were copied. Unfortunately most of the originals were then lost, and the details are disputed.

The monasteries were very reluctant to part with their treasures even if they didn't look bother after them and so the process whereby the MSS were 'liberated' is usually very unclear. However in it was sold to the Biblioteca Nazionale in Rome, where it is now Cod. Mussolini agreed, but changed his mind on finding how unpopular the promise was in Italy.

Hitler had not been serious, it seems, thinking that the text only showed what barbarians the Germans were compared to the Romans at that time. But his ideologist Alfred Rosenberg was seriously interested, as was Heinrich Himmler. On finding the house empty, they broke in, searched for the Ms. They then searched, somewhat less roughly, two further properties of the Balleani family; a house in Osimo, where the family remained undetected in a cellar, and the Palazzo on the Piazza in Jesi.

The Ms. In November Poggio wrote to Niccolo of the discovery in a German Abbey of some volumes, including Julius Frontinus and some works of Tacitus unknown to them ignota nobis. The information had been brought to him by a monk of Hersfeld, Heinrich von Grebenstein, who had visited the Papal Curia where Poggio worked in search of money.

Poggio specified that the book should be brought to Nuremburg, where it would be exchanged for some other contemporary works that the monk wanted. In May Poggio writes to Niccolo that the monk had let him down, "many words, but nothing". It seemed that Poggio would not meet his price; and Poggio seems to have become discouraged on learning that the MS did not contain any more of the Annals.

By , Niccolo knew that a volume at the abbey of Hersfeld contained the Germania, Agricola, Dialogus and the fragments of Suetonius' De grammaticis et rhetoribus , and lists it in a sheet of 'things to get' his Commentarium , which is online he handed to two Cardinals travelling in Germany.

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The Commentarium has a note in the margin that the book was actually found. Decembrio describes the MS in detail. It seems to be in columns, and to contain the Germania , the Agricola , the Dialogus , and the Suetonius fragments. Associated with it - perhaps bound together - is a copy of Frontinus, De aquaeductibus , with the two volumes of that work reversed. Enoch had worked for Pope Nicholas V, but as he was dead Enoch was allowing no copies to be made and standing out for a large price.

The four good finds included Apicius, Porphyrio, Suetonius de viris illustribus and the Itinerarium Augusti. It does not contain the Agricola , which suggests that the Enoch MS did not contain it either. It is usually accepted that this now lost MS is the original of all the later copies of these works, which include the Codex Toletanus 49,2 T ; codex Vaticanus A ; codex Vaticanus lat.

The standard view is that the Aesinas is part of the lost MS from Hersfeld. However a case has been made that in fact the Aesinas is independant of the Hersfeld MS 1. It has also been suggested that it in fact came from Monte Cassino, and was assembled for the Jesi library by Guarini. Further refinements are added by Murgia , n. Till , uses H Hersfeld for the Caroline section and E for the fifteenth century transcriptions.

Delz assumed that the Hersfeld and Aesinas were the same. That they were different was proposed by Mendell , ; , and Schaps , and supported by Winterbottom , This was challenged by Murgia and Rodgers , , cf. Magnaldi , For the fate of the codex, cf. Schama , and Niutta , Marginal notes in E are contemporary and often superior where proper names are concerned: cf.

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Perret , ; Koestermann , xii; Murgia , Delz, J. Cornelii Taciti libri qui supersunt, tom ii. Is Tacitus a forgery? The following account is summarised from Mendell 4 , who gives the same data at more length. If anyone has more data or more recent bibliographic references on this, so that this story can be put to bed, I would be grateful to receive it. According to Mendell, since there have been at least 6 attempts to discredit the works of Tacitus as either forgeries or fiction: The allegation originated with Voltaire, and his claims were elaborated by a lawyer named Linguet.


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The French Revolutionaries had found "tremendous comfort in Tacitus' republicanism. The modern successor to the Caesars" had therefore a strong political motive to discredit him. But these efforts ceased with the collapse of the First Empire. This work has now been added to Project Gutenberg and is online. In P. Apparently neither Ross or Hochart was able to convince scholarly opinion at the time.

In Leo W IENER , Tacitus' Germania and other forgeries , "attempted in vain to prove by a bewildering display of linguistic fireworks that the Germania and, by implication, other works of Tacitus were forgeries made after Arabic influence had extended into Europe". Bacha's book does have some value for his comments on stylistic matters.

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Jerome, Aspects of the Study of History , , presented Tacitus as "a consistent liar by nature and deliberate choice. The book has no value because of its overall inaccuracy, the confusion of narratio in a legal speech with narratio in history, and its wholly unconvincing method". According to Mendell, none of these writers have won general acceptance of their estimates of Tacitus, the extreme positions have been abandoned, and the general integrity of Tacitus vindicated. However as with all history, the personal element of selection and interpretation means that scholars do not necessarily accept Tacitus' view as the final and just interpretation of first-century Roman history.

It would seem that the arguments for forgery have failed to find acceptance. Mendell also gives an extensive list of people who mention Tacitus or any of his works from the 1st century onwards.

Tacitus and Bracciolini. The Annals Forged in the XVth Century by John Wilson Ross

From this we can see that Tacitus is mentioned or quoted in every century down to and including the Sixth. The Seventh and Eighth centuries are the only ones that have left no trace of knowledge of our author 4. The Dialogus is not mentioned at all, however. Around Ammianus Marcellinus publishes his history, starting where Tacitus left off.

I should add I don't know exactly what ties to what. Sulpicii Severi libri qui supersunt. CSEL 1, Wien See also E. Cornelius quoque Tacitus, qui post Augustum usque ad mortem Domitiani Vitas Caesarum triginta voluminibus exaravit. Also Cornelius Tacitus, who wrote the lives of the Caesars in 30 volumes from Augustus down to the death of Domitian. Since an English version of his letters to Niccolo Niccoli on this subject is readily available, 10 I thought perhaps it might be of interest to reproduce portions of them. As for the monastery of Corvey, which is in Germany, you have no grounds for hope.

There are supposed to be a lot of books there; I do not believe the tales of fools but even if what they say were true, the whole country is a den of thieves. Even those natives who stay in the Curia do not go back safely to their own country. So give up that idea.


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The twenty-ninth day of October []. Poggio had been persuaded to come to England when the Papal curia was in particular danger, but had been deceived by his new patron, Cardinal Beaufort, who kept him very short of money. All his letters from this period are very depressed, and he was pining to go home. In the end he managed to get enough money to escape and promptly felt much happier.

You have almost all the news, but I am keeping the honey for the last.

He writes that he has found several volumes of the kind you and I like which he wants to exchange for the Novella of Joannes Andreae or for both the Speculum and its supplements, and he sends the names of the books enclosed in the letter. The Speculum and the supplements are volumes of great value; so see if you think the exchange should be made.

Among these volumes are Julius Frontinus and several works of Cornelius Tacitus still unknown to us. You will see the inventory and find out whether these law books can be bought for a decent price. The books will be deposited in Nuremberg where the Speculum and supplements ought also to be taken; it is easy to bring books from there as you will see in the inventory. This is a selection; there are many other books.