The Poet and the Forger: On Nonnus’ False Biography by Constantine Simonides. In: J. Martínez (ed.), Fakes and Forgers of Classical Literature. Ergo decipiatur! Leiden, Brill 2013, 59-72. ISBN 9789004266414

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The Poet and the Forger: On Nonnus’ False Biography by Constantine Simonides. In: J. Martínez (ed.), Fakes and Forgers of Classical Literature. Ergo decipiatur! Leiden, Brill 2013, 59-72. ISBN 9789004266414

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  © 􀀲􀀰􀀱􀀴 Koninklijke Brill NV ISBN 􀀹􀀷􀀸-􀀹􀀰-􀀰􀀴-􀀲􀀶􀀶􀀴􀀱-􀀴 Fakes and Forgers of Classical Literature Ergo decipiatur!  Edited by  Javier Martínez LEIDEN •  BOSTON􀀲􀀰􀀱􀀴  © 􀀲􀀰􀀱􀀴 Koninklijke Brill NV ISBN 􀀹􀀷􀀸-􀀹􀀰-􀀰􀀴-􀀲􀀶􀀶􀀴􀀱-􀀴 CONTENTSForeword ........................................................................................................... vii  Javier Martínez Prologue / Volume Retrospect: Ergo decipiatur .................................... xv   John Henderson Libertine Erudition: José Marchena’s  Fragmentum Petronii and the  Power of the False ....................................................................................... 󰀱  Joaquín Álvarez Barrientos Lucretius auctus?   The Question of Interpolation in  De rerum natura  .......................................................................................... 󰀱󰀵  David Butterij󰁩eld   Authorless Authority in Plato’s Theaetetus  ............................................. 󰀴􀀳  Zina Giannopoulou The Poet and the Forger: On Nonnus’ False Biography by Constantine Simonides ............................................................................ 󰀵󰀹  David Hernández de la Fuente “Genuine” and “Bastard” Dialogues in the Platonic Corpus:  An Inquiry into the Origins and Meaning of a Concept ............... 󰀷􀀳  Mark Joyal  Female Voice, Authorship, and Authority in Eudocia’s Homeric Centos .......................................................................................... 󰀹󰀵  Andromache Karanika The Surgical Treatises of the Corpus Hippocraticum : Statistical Linguistics and Authorship ................................................. 󰀱󰀰󰀹  Mikel Labiano True Plautus, False Plautus.  Pellio restitutus – uxor excisa.  Annotations to Plautus’  Bacchides  ....................................................... 󰀱󰀲󰀵  Klaus Lennartz  © 􀀲􀀰􀀱􀀴 Koninklijke Brill NV ISBN 􀀹􀀷􀀸-􀀹􀀰-􀀰􀀴-􀀲􀀶􀀶􀀴􀀱-􀀴  vi 󰁣󰁯󰁮󰁴󰁥󰁮󰁴󰁳 Athena and Pallas, Image, Copies, Fakes, and Doubles ...................... 󰀱󰀴􀀳  Françoise Létoublon Hippias of Elis: Lessons from One Master Forger ................................. 󰀱󰀶􀀳  Javier Martínez Reading the Fraudulent Text: Thessalus of Tralles and the Book of Nechepso ...................................................................................................... 󰀱󰀷󰀹  Karen Ní Mheallaigh Hapax Legomena in the “Speeches of Apollodoros” and their Relation to the Corpus Demosthenicum   ............................................ 󰀱󰀸󰀷  Felipe G. Hernández Muñoz Language and (in-)Authenticity: The Case of the (Ps.-)Lucianic Onos  .................................................................................... 󰀱󰀹󰀵  Heinz-Günther NesselrathSH   􀀹􀀰􀀶 and the Apollo of Simias of Rhodes: Some Issues of (mis-)Attribution ........................................................................................ 󰀲󰀰󰀷  Marco Perale Order, Ambiguity, and Authority in Venantius Fortunatus, Carm . 󰀳.􀀲􀀶 .................................................................................................... 󰀲󰀱󰀹  Joseph Pucci   Authors Pseudonyms in the Seventeenth Century: The Case of Gaspar Scioppio .......................................................................................... 󰀲􀀳󰀱  Eustaquio Sánchez Salor  Pseudepigraphy and Magic .......................................................................... 󰀲󰀴􀀳  Emilio Suárez de la Torre The Sophists’ Place in the Greek Wisdom Tradition ........................... 󰀲󰀶􀀳  Håkan Tell  Forging Ancient Greek Words in Modern Times ................................. 󰀲󰀸􀀳  Onofrio Vox Index: Names and Subjects .......................................................................... 󰀲󰀹󰀱  © 􀀲󰀰􀀱􀀴 Koninklijke Brill NV ISBN 􀀹􀀷􀀸-􀀹󰀰-󰀰􀀴-􀀲􀀶􀀶􀀴􀀱-􀀴 THE POET AND THE FORGER: ON NONNUS’ FALSE BIOGRAPHY BY CONSTANTINE SIMONIDESDavid Hernández de la FuenteTwo characters converge in the present article:* a poet and a forger. Non-nus of Panopolis, a Late Antiquity epic poet to whom the  Dionysiaca and the  Paraphrase of the Gospel of John  are attributed, is hardly anything but a name for most of us.󰀱 His works are extensive and controversial: the great epic poem about Dionysus – the largest extant poem in Ancient Greek – and a complex epic version of the life of Christ, su󐁦fused with theological subtleties. Nevertheless, and despite recent attempts at shedding light on it, his life is still shrouded in mystery. Only a genial forger of the nine-teenth century, Constantine Simonides, palaeographer and trader of icons and manuscripts, was able to come up with apocryphal data on the life of this poet, certainly in his most peculiar manner. This forger, about whom detailed studies have recently been published,󰀲 tricked erudite Germany (even the well-known philologist K.W. Dindorf fell into his clutches) and  was on the brink of enticing Nonnus’ nineteenth-century editor Count Marcellus, aristocratic philologist and retriever of Greek antiquities, with a false biography of Nonnus. In view of the exasperating and obstinate silence of the sources, the life of Nonnus could have only been recreated by a forger, and, shortly afterwards, by some historical ij􀁩ctions that will be brie󰁦􀁬y reviewed hereafter, namely, a short story by Richard Garnett and a novel by Margarete Riemschneider.Constantine Simonides left a deep imprint in Greek studies at the beginning of the nineteenth century, at the time of European philhel-lenism, enthusiastic manuscript-purchasing campaigns, and heated competition for the editions of Greek Classics in Germany and France between publishing houses such as Tauchnitz-Teubner and Firmin-Didot and between academics from both countries. The long shadow of this * This paper is based on research funded by project FFI􀀲󰀰󰀰􀀹–󰀰􀀹􀀴􀀶􀀵 of the Spanish Min istry of Science and Innovation.󰀱 Cf., in general, Hernández de la Fuente 􀀲󰀰󰀰􀀸.󰀲 E.g., Schaper 􀀲󰀰􀀱􀀱.  60 󰁤󰁡󰁶󰁩󰁤 󰁨󰁥󰁲󰁮󰃡󰁮󰁤󰁥󰁺 󰁤󰁥 󰁬󰁡 􀁦󰁵󰁥󰁮󰁴󰁥 © 􀀲󰀰􀀱􀀴 Koninklijke Brill NV ISBN 􀀹􀀷􀀸-􀀹󰀰-󰀰􀀴-􀀲􀀶􀀶􀀴􀀱-􀀴 rivalry still reaches us today, and is deeply felt, as the case of the Artemi-dorus papyrus attests.􀀳 Simonides was born in the Aegean island of Syme, and from a very  young age he was on good terms with members of the Greek Orthodox Church. He spent several years of his youth, from his ninteeth to his twenty-second year, in monasteries of Mount Athos, where he did his best to acquire knowledge and expertise in the Greek manuscripts held in the sacred Chalcidice peninsula.󰀴 Maybe his ij􀁩rst forgeries, possibly practical exercises of palaeography at the very beginning, are also to be dated to this time, and also his ij􀁩rst purchases of Byzantine manuscripts, with which he  would start trading upon leaving the  Hagion Oros . His privileged access to ancient parchments, which he could reuse imitating Byzantine palaeog-raphy, took him to Athens around 􀀱􀀸􀀴􀀶–􀀴􀀹, where he would try to sell his false manuscripts as if they were authentic: among other treasures, he  would o󐁦fer fragments of the Gospels and Homeric poems, some of which he even tried to sell the new king of independent Greece. Putting forward as evidence his repeated stays in Mount Athos, Simonides claimed that he had found a large number of manuscripts in a secret store, contain-ing, for example, works by Anacreon, Hesiod, and Homer, which he tried pass o󐁦f as authentic in Athens. There was, however, no agreement about their authenticity, and he left the country. He arrived ij􀁩rst to Istanbul, around 􀀱􀀸􀀵󰀰, where he continued with his counterfeiting activity, trying to sell manuscripts to local antiquarians. Simonides then traveled to Eng-land in 􀀱􀀸􀀵󰀳, where he sold some manuscripts to Sir Thomas Phillips (as reported by the journal of the time,  Athenaeum , on 􀀹 February 􀀱􀀸􀀵􀀷) and edited facsimiles of the Gospels whose srcinals he purported to date to a few years after the death of Christ. He then moved into France and Ger-many, o󐁦fering to European dealers, libraries, and scholars manuscripts in a purportedly archaic handwriting; works by Sanchouniaton – an almost legendary Phoenician author of three lost works – and Homer, Aristotle’s poetry and a purported history by Uranius, among others. Simonides  was regarded as an expert in Greek literature and palaeography and had his say in all the scholarly polemics of the time such as, for example, the dating of Irenaeus of Lyon.Simonides was denounced several times. The ij􀁩rst time, in Istanbul, he was denounced by the German scholar A.D. Mordtmann, an expert 􀀳 Canfora 􀀲󰀰􀀱󰀰 and 􀀲󰀰􀀱􀀱. Canfora and Bossina 􀀲󰀰󰀰􀀸.󰀴 On his life and deeds, Farrer 􀀱􀀹󰀰􀀷, 󰀳􀀹 󐁦f.
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