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Splendide Mendax

Rethinking Fakes and Forgeries in Classical, Late Antique, and Early Christian Literature

Edmund P. Cueva and Javier Martínez (Eds.)

ISBN-13: 9789491431982

Publication year: 2016

Publication type: Book

Pages: IX, 369

Cover: Hardcover

Format: 170 x 240 x 25 mm; 800 g; b & w ill.

Price excl. VAT: €95.00

Price incl. VAT: €103.55

Scholars for centuries have regarded fakes and forgeries chiefly as an opportunity for exposing and denouncing deceit, rather than appreciating the creative activity necessary for such textual imposture. But should we not be more curious about what is spurious? Many of these long-neglected texts merit serious reappraisal, when considered as artifacts with a value beyond mere authenticity. We do not have to be fooled by a forgery to find it fascinating, when even the intention to deceive can remind us how easy it is to form beliefs about texts. The greater difficulty is that once beliefs have been formed by one text, it is impossible to approach the next without preconceptions potentially disastrous for scholarship.

The exposure of fraud and the pursuit of truth may still be valid scholarly goals, but they implicitly demand that we confront the status of any text as a focal point for matters of belief and conviction.

Many new and fruitful avenues of investigation open up when scholars consider forgery as a creative act rather than a crime. We invited authors to contribute work without imposing any restrictions beyond a willingness to consider new approaches to the subject of ancient fakes and forgeries. The result is this volume, in which our aim is to display some of the many possibilities available to scholarship when the forger is regarded as "splendide mendax" - splendidly untruthful.

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- Colin Whiting in the Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2017.02.23,
- Raphael Brendel in Latomus 77.1 (2018), 235-237
- Kathryn Chew in The Classical Review 67.2, 552–555
- Jean-Jacques Aubert in Museum Helveticum 74.2 (2017), 239-240


Acknowledgments ix

I. Introduction 1

Javier Martínez
Cheap Fictions and Gospel Truths 3

II.  Classical Works 21

Brian R. Doak 
Remembering the Future, Predicting the Past:  Vaticinia ex eventu in the Historiographic Traditions of the Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East 23

Gaius C. Stern
Imposters in Ancient Persia, Greece, and Rome 55

III.  Greek Literature 73

Reyes Bertolín
The Search for Truth in Odyssey 3 and 4 75

Valentina Prosperi
The Trojan War: Between History and Myth 93

Emilia Ruiz Yamuza 
Protagoras's Myth: Between Pastiche and Falsification  113

Jakub Filonik 
Impiety Avenged: Rewriting Athenian History 125

Mikel Labiano 
Dramas or Niobus: Aristophanic Comedy or Spurious Play? 141

Edmund P. Cueva 
ὃ γὰρ βούλεται τοῦθ̓ ἕκαστος καὶ οἴεται:  Dissembling in the Ancient Greek Novel 157

IV. Latin Literature 175

Andrew Sillett 
Quintus Cicero's Commentariolum:  A Philosophical Approach to Roman Elections 177

Klaus Lennartz 
Not Without My Mother:  The Obligate Rhetoric of Daphne's Transformation 193

Michael Meckler 
Comparative Approaches to the Historia Augusta 205

V.  Late Antique Works 217

Anne-Catherine Baudoin
Truth in the Details:  The Report of Pilate to Tiberius as an Authentic Forgery 219

Kristi Eastin 
Virgilius Accuratissimus:  The "Authentic" Illustrations of William Sandby's 1750 Virgil 239

Luigi Pedroni
The Salii at the Nonae of October:  Reading Lyd. Mens. 4.138 W 273

Cristian Tolsa 
Evidence and Speculation  about Ptolemy's Career in Olympiodorus  287 

VI. Early Christian Works 301

Scott Brown 
Mar Saba 65: Twelve Enduring Misconceptions  303

Argyri Karanasiou
A Euripidised Clement of Alexandria  or a Christianised Euripides? The Interplay  of Authority between Quoting Author and Cited Author 331

Markus Mülke
Heretic Falsification in Cyprian's Epistulae? 347

Contributors 355

Indices 361
Index locorum 361
General Index 363