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[cybalist] Praenestine fibula

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  • Gregory L. Eyink
    Hi, gang! I have been reading this list with enjoyment for awhile now. I am a theoretical physicist by trade, with just an amateur interest in historical
    Message 1 of 3 , Mar 14, 2000
      Hi, gang! I have been reading this list with enjoyment for awhile now.
      I am a theoretical physicist by trade, with just an amateur interest
      in historical Indo-European linguistics. I thought that I would break
      my silence to ask the experts a few questions. Here is a simple one:

      I was reading recently Andrew L. Sihler's "New Comparative Grammar
      of Greek and Latin" (Oxford, 1995). However, I was surprised by his
      assertion, made several times, that the famous archaic Latin inscription

      Manios med fhefhaked Numasioi

      on the Praenestine fibula is a 19th century forgery! This example is
      always given as the earliest extant Latin, e.g. in Cyril's recent
      on-line comparative Latin grammar. I was thus even more surprised
      that Sihler did not give a published reference to support his assertion.
      Does anyone have any information on this?
    • Gregory L. Eyink
      Hello, everyone! I have been a silent reader on the list for awhile, since first joining this spring. In fact, I ve been on sabbatical from my university and
      Message 2 of 3 , Dec 20, 2000
        Hello, everyone!

        I have been a silent reader on the list for awhile, since first
        joining this spring. In fact, I've been on sabbatical from my
        university and busy with research in my own field (physics and
        mathematics). However, I have continued to read daily the many
        very interesting postings here.

        Recently, I found some information about a matter I first raised
        on the list when I wrote this spring: the apparent forgery of the
        Praenestine fibula, with its inscription "Manios med fhefhaked
        Numasioi". Two postings on other groups addressed this matter.
        I'll quote here from two messages I read.

        First:

        > There are significant grounds for thinking that it is fraudulent.
        > The first suspicions were philological, but microscopic examination
        > showed that the letters had been incised far more recently than the
        > age of the fibula itself. (I think it involved amount of corrosion
        > and patina and such.)
        >
        > There's a summary in Gordon's "Introduction to Latin Epigraphy",
        > with references to the primary literature (Eric Hamp made a major
        > contribution to the discussion).

        Second:

        > The Praenestine fibula has, in fact, been shown to be a 19th
        > century forgery. I once heard the late Arthur Gordon give a talk
        > to that effect. Cf. Larissa Bonfante in her introduction to
        > _Etruscan Life and Afterlife: A Handbook of Etruscan Studies_
        > (ed. Larissa Bonfante, Detroit, 1986), p 4:
        >
        > The famous Praenestine fibula, which has for a century been
        > honored as bearing the earliest Latin inscription and the best
        > example of archaic Latin, "Manios med vhevhaked" ("Manius made
        > me"), is now supposed by many to have been forged in collusion
        > with learned scholars who conspired to pass it off as genuine.
        >
        > Citations: A.E. Gordon, _The Inscribed Fibula Praenestina:
        > Problems of Authenticity_ (Berkeley and Los Angeles 1975);
        > D. Ridgway, "Manios Faked?" _BICS_ 24 (1977) 17-30; M. Guarducci,
        > _MemLinc_ 24 (1980) 415-574.

        I hope people find this useful. I am leaving for my family Xmas
        celebration in the midwest of the US. I hope that all the list
        members will have happy holidays (Yuletide, Hannukah, pagan
        winterfest, etc.)!

        Best - Gregory
      • Mark Odegard
        Yes, so I understand: it s a forgery.
        Message 3 of 3 , Dec 20, 2000
          Yes, so I understand: it's a forgery.
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