Paragraph 1. Tacitus and Pojo Brachcholeeni.
Compositions of the famous Tacitus, who gave us his expanded picture of The Emperors' Rome from Tiberius to Vespasian (see I. M. Troysky's article «Cornelius Tacitus» in ref 48 for example) in his masterly dramatic exposition appear to be one of our primary sources on the history of The Ancient Rome.
Personality and compositions of Tacitus.
PUBLIUS CORNELIUS TACITUS considered being born in Nero's reign around 55AD (this date was calculated according to cloudy designations of other authors, Pliny the Younger for example) and dying in Adrian's reign around 120AD. Feather of Tacitus owns «Biography of Agricola,» «On origins, residence, and mores of German people» etc. But the main studies of Tacitus appear to be the following.
1) «Chronicles» («Annuals»), describing the history of The Roman Empire in the reign of Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero.
2) «History,» describing «The Time of Troubles» of Galba, Otto, Vitellius till Vespasian's rise to power.
Loads of strange obscurities and anachronisms in «Chronicles» and «History» were directing historical criticism into doubt on the reliability of the legends of Tacitus for a long time already. In this text, we will perform just a short exposition of criticism regarding Tacitus. We will follow A. Amfiteyatro (see ref 8) for the most part. A. Amfiteyatro's book provides an objective exposition of the history of criticism on Tacitus, exposition for studies by Ross and Hoshar namely, and this exposition is even more valuable for us because Amfiteyatro himself doesn't want to reject the idea of the reliability of Tacitus, nevertheless. In our citing of ref 8, we will allow ourselves to replace transcription «Pojio Brachchioleeni» that Amfiteyatro is using with modern «Pojo Brachcholeeni.» We keep the rest of the features of Amfiteyatro's text unaltered.
Criticism on Tacitus.
It looks like the beginning of a critical wave was set by Walter in his «The Philosophical Vocabulary.» A polemical study by lawyer Lange, whom Mirabo has called «The Nero's Advocate» is less popular. Pushkin in Russia was one of the first people who doubted not very facts of Tacitus maybe but his assessment of these facts at least. Serious historical studies completely rejecting an authenticity for books of Tacitus began to appear since the late 19th century only. Walter's criticism was rather political than factual though. The heyday of negative treatment for Tacitus was still ahead. In Germany Tacitus has undergone thorough criticism by Mommsen, Shtare, Lehmann, but Sivers and German Schiller especially. Schiller wrote two capital studies («History of The Roman Empire in Nero's reign» and «History of The Epoch of The Roman Emperors»). He came close to treating Tacitus just like tendentious pamphleteer, very talented and abundant in his material but unscrupulous with it. In France, Amedee Thierry called for careful treatment of data given by Tacitus and warned against his aristocratically-nationalistic viewpoints. In England, Charles Merivale had a similar opinion and based on his studies a book by M. A. Dragomano «On the matter of the historical meaning of The Roman Empire and Tacitus» appeared in Russia in the 18 60s. An alarming fact that we're interested in more than we do in anything else about this criticism is how Tacitus in his political views appear to be a supporter of Italian type aristocratic republic of 13th-14th centuries.
«A new skeptical inflow has begun in the late 18 70s, and it continued in 18 80s and 18 90s. But this time it denied not facts or visions of Tacitus, but Tacitus himself along with authenticity and ancientry of his compositions. What's interesting is how a hypothesis about the forgery of manuscripts of Tacitus appeared in England and France at the same time. Englishman John Wilson Ross started it with his book of «Tacitus and Brachcholeeni» published in 18 78. In France P. Hoshar, also known as G. Dakber, took the same route. He released three main studies, «Etudes on Seneca's life» (18 82 - 18 85), «Etudes on the matter of persecution of Christians in Nero's reign» (18 85) and «On the authenticity of «Annuals» and «History» by Tacitus» (18 90). In these studies Hoshar reveals a completely new vision of facts, putting faithful confidence in the authority of Tacitus into hopeless deadlocks.
Hoshar's system of evidence for a forgery of imaginary historical compositions of Tacitus (and their attribution to Pojo Brachcholeeni's feather, Note by Author) is combined out of several basic statements.
1. Doubtfulness of manuscripts in the form of that composition of Tacitus has come to us and doubtfulness of circumstance in which these manuscripts were discovered with the mediation of Pojo Brachcholeeni.
2. Complete or relative impossibility for Tacitus to write many things included in «Annuals» and «Stories» according to the conditions of his era.
3. Signs of The Renaissance in the text of pseudo-Tacitus.
4. Exaggerated opinion about the dignity of Tacitus as a Latin classicist.
(By the way, 15th century's typical addiction to secular pornography, combined with other circumstance makes similar suspicions also arise immediately in regards to Petronius (also found by Pojo) and in regards to Juvenalis, Martialis and many other classicists, Note by Author)
5. Latest (according to commonly accepted chronology of literature) primary historians and witnesses of Rome (Joseph Flavius, Plutarch, Suetonius, Dio Cassius, Tertullianus, Paulus Orosius, Sulpicius Severus, etc.) didn't borrow their data from Tacitus, but on the opposite, imaginary Tacitus is just a distributor and an amplifier of an intelligence that he drew from ones named above. He had them all at his disposal and assorted them as he pleased.
6. Literature talent, classical education and fraudful personality of Pojo Brachcholeeni worked exactly on the benefit of taste and demands of his era that demanded the revival of dead ancient gods, artists, and authors.
7. Pojo Brachcholeeni was interested and capable of committing this great forgery, and he has committed it.
Let's begin with a biography of suggested pseudo-Tacitus, Pojo Brachcholeeni".
(ref 8, p 356 - 358)
«Pojo Brachcholeeni was born in 13 80 in Terra Nuova, a small town nearby Florentia and at an early age, he has already become known as a young man of outstanding education and sharp mind. He has begun his serving career in cardinal Barrie's times, and quite soon we can see him at the court of pope Bonifatius 9th in a rank of the copier.
Little by little he rose to the rank of a secretary, one of the editor officials whose duty was to correct official documents (correspondence, charters, resolutions) sent from the pope's name.
He remained in this rank during popes Innoсentius 7th and Gregorius 7th. The apostolic throne was moved to Bologna temporarily. Pojo was there with Alexander 5th when this pope have died from poisoning. A poisoner was Baldassarre Cossa, or that's what everyone's voice of rumor was saying at least. Cossa was a former pirate, archdeacon in Diocese of Rolone later and finally a successor of Alexander 5th as a Roman pope with the name Giovanni 23rd. Pojo was a person of complaisant conscience and a typical representative of his unscrupulous age, so he has remained secretary in a new pope's reign too. He followed Giovanni to a congress in Konstanz in 14 14. But then Giovanni was dethroned by this congress. (14 15) Pojo lost his position, and as one would say, he lost a solid ground under his feet.
Sometime later he had entered the service of Henry Beaufort, who was the brother of king Henri 4th, a bishop and, later, a cardinal of Winchester. Pojo met this rich and powerful prelate in Konstanz. Beaufort played a vital role in the affairs of The Church back then as an Authorized Representative of English people. In September 14 18 Pojo arrived in England as a part of the entourage of his new patron. But then he realized how he has mistaken in his expectations of coming rich profits so in 14 22 he's already in Florentia again and then in Rome. Giovanni 23rd's successor, the pope Martinus 5th has returned Pojo into his old position of secretary at the Holy Throne.
15th century Italy is rich with educated minds and Brachcholeeni is one of the brightest and the most remarkable among them.
He learned Latin from Giovanni Malpagini of Ravenna who was a friend of Petrarch. He learned Greek from Chrysolorus. He also knew Hebrew. He studied ancientry with an ardent passion. He could almost never be seen in another way than reading Latin or Greek book or writing down his notes about it. He was a real swallower of libraries. When he was young, he had the richest collection of Coluccio Salutati's library at his disposal. Salutati was the chancellor of The Republic Of The Florentia and his books «rather belonged to any hunter for sciences than himself.» In London, he used Beaufort's magnificent book storage, who's «wandering eternally like a Scythian while I'm digging myself in books in my spare time.» Library of the Pope's palace of Rome can't satisfy Pojo, so he's writing letters to his friends now and then, send me this and this composition. A list of antique writers he has researched, both Pagan and Christian ones, is truly grandiose. He's an antiquary and numismatist who's parsing and interpreting inscriptions and medals. At his villa at Val d'Arno, he has collected beautiful museum of antiquities that he either purchased by himself personally or ones purchased in Italy, Greece and The East according to his instructions.
He's a first-class Latinist. «Chiropody» by Xenophon and first five books by Diodorus Siculus were translated from Greek into Latin by his feather. In his original studies, he's a writer of the first-class talent, and he's shining not only with his almost impossible erudition but also with his talent's flexibility of the same scale. His philosophical and ethical tractates («On miserliness,» «On nobleness,» «On misfortune of sovereigns,» «On wretchedness of human existence») are worthy of Cicero and Seneca. He can discuss theological topics and Christian virtues with a language that anyone would mistake for the language of one of The Fathers Of The Church without Brachcholeeni's signature. In his chase after Plinius who left Brachcholeeni enraptured, Pojo wrote a book «On mores of The Indians.» He made an extremely interesting archeological guide for research of Roman monuments.
(«De varietate fortunae») He told a story of Venice man Niccolo de Conti's journey to Persia. He translated «Astronomicon» by Manilius into Italian. Does good sir want satire in the style of Petronius? Pojo offers his extremely acrimonious «Historia convivales.» («The Tableful History») In this book, he's scourging charlatans, lawyers, and medics who have become lords of their era and who are cashing in both huge power and huge capital on human stupidity. Does good sir want a historical study like «Chronicles» by Tacitus? It is what «Historia Florentina» is like. («History Of The Florentia») It is the story of great, clear and accurate tone, solid picture, and bright coloring. It is full of artistic images and personalities, and also deeply insightful in its judgment and foresight. And on top of that, Pojo's great glory was strengthened and supported continuously with his witty and sage letters. He was exchanging letters with the greats of this world (Nikolas, Laurentius and Cosmos Medici, Herzogs Sforza, Visconti and Leonello D'Este, king Alfonso d'Aragona), with the majority of modern cardinals and with almost all the remarkable doers of his era. Splendid letters of Pojo Brachcholeeni were going through many hands to be reread and rewritten. They replaced newspapers and magazines for an Italian intelligentsia of the 15th century. In a word, this resplendent imitator was a ruler of the minds of his era in a full sense of these words. Criticism placed him on the same level with the greatest authors of The Renaissance.
His honorariums prove how high he was valued. For the dedication of «The Chiropody» to Alfonso d'Aragona, Pojo was given 600 in gold, 72 00 franks. With a value of money back then this was a huge capital. Literature has elevated him to a rank of a statesman, and he has ended his life at the height of an important and powerful rank, as a chancellor of The Republic Of The Florentia. He was a center of his modern literature to such an extent that many people considered it possible to define the first half of the Italian 15th century as «The Pojo Age.» Even in France, his name has disappeared in «Le Pogge,» a surname's abbreviation for history's common knowledge. In his lifetime Florentia has erected a statue for him, cut by a chisel of Donatello. This statue stood under a portico of a cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore at first, but it's moved into the church itself now.
These were light sides of this remarkable person. Let's observe his shadowy sides now.
The great writer had a disgusting personality which made him quarrel all the literary celebrities of his era.
(Aurispa, Guarino, Bessarion, but Filelfo and Valla especially) In their polemics, all these big people aren't a bit better persons than their poisonous and ferocious opponent though. Polician has called Pojo «the most vile-speeched person in the world. He's always either cannon into the sovereigns or attacks any human customs indiscriminately or rankle scriptures of some scientist. There is no peace for anyone while he's around! ». Seems like he was quite voluptuary person and he has grown this little passion to the size of a fair shamelessness by his old age. When he was an old man already, he had married a young woman. In his tractate «Should old men marry? » dedicated to Cosmos Medici, Pojo explained his marriage cynically with an aphorism how it's never too late for a man to find his way into a decent lifestyle.
In a city of Konstanz, he's living a grand life of reveler and womanizer everywhere. He's a big connoisseur of an indecent art, stories, and rhymes, and in old age, he is also its diligent and unbridled composer himself which Valla is reproaching him harshly with. In a word, in this scientist, we can see as a great talent to live for his pleasure as great his creative talent is. He's a typical baron of Florentia, aesthete, and bourgeois, 15th century epicurean with a beautiful dream and baser life, the volcano man either splashing with living flame or flowing stinky mud out.»
(ref 8 p 358 - 363)
Pojo's activity of search and publishing of antique compositions.
The «Grand style of his life cost Pojo Brachcholeeni much. It was surpassing his income since his young age and was making him live in an eternal need for money. His source of additional income was his search, preparation, and editing of copies from antique authors according to their authentic manuscripts. Back in the 15th century, which rushed to a resurrecting ancientry greedily, this was a very profitable budget item. With the help of Niccolo Niccoli, (13 63 - 14 37) a scientist from the town of Florentia, book publisher, bookseller and a king of the literature market at the time, Pojo Brachcholeeni set up something like a permanent studio for processing of antique literature. He has attracted a whole series of employees and contractors in this business. Every one of them had very good education and abilities, but there also were dark spots on repetitions of every single one of them as if they were a solid bunch. We can see Cinco The Roman, Bartolomeo d'Montepulciano, Piero Lamberteski here. Niccolo Niccoli was lending Pojo his working capitals and served him as his agent for selling his manuscripts. He basically was his publisher and very jealous and commanding publisher. He was very imperious and irascible person. Even such aces of literature as Leonardo Aretino, Manuel Chrysolor, Guarino, and Arispa he could twist like a ram's horn and when he quarreled them for once, he literally forced them to leave Florentia.
Pojo Brachcholeeni and Bartolomeo d'Montepulciano made their first discoveries in the times of the Konstanz congress when deposition of Giovanni 23rd had put them in quite a critical position as abolished secretaries of The Pope. In a forgotten and damp tower of The Monastery Of Saint Gallen, «a tower in which a prisoner wouldn't survive for three days», they were lucky to find a bunch of ancient manuscripts. Compositions by Quintilianus, Valerius Flaссus, Asconius Pedianus, Nonius Marcellus, Probus etc. (we would like to emphasize how for all these authors this was a place and time of their initial discovery, Note by Author) This discovery made not just a sensation but it also made an actual, entire literary epoch. No doubt how Niccoli who had a lion's share of this treasure, has amassed nicely and was dreaming about amassing even more. Pojo who was encouraged by such a huge success was digging diligently (from his own words, Note by Author) through monastery libraries of England and Germany but he couldn't find anything or could only find little. From his words, though he could still deliver «Bucolics» by Calpurnius and several units of Petronius to Niccoli.
(These are fragments of his previous compositions, most likely. Nobody and never explained the circumstance of these and all the latest findings, Note by Author)
But even if no new and original manuscripts could be found yet, copy trade was still going strong. A manuscript that was coming out of the Pojo's workshop was valued very high. Meanwhile, he's demanding paper, parchment, bookbindery Buttstock in his letters to Niccoli now and then. If a publisher is late with his delivery Pojo begins crying how he has to feed his artisan for free because of an untidy workflow. One has to think how these artisans were not people of a pleasant kind. Scribes had a poor reputation in a society of the 15th century. In a letter from the late 14th century, some notoriety is writing to his friend and exclaim with a triumph of a kind that would look surprising for us, «I found an excellent scribe and, believe you or not!, he was not in a hard labor prison».
Scribes were mostly working on high demand, secondary product, of course, and Pojo's editing was the only valuable thing about it. Amateur exemplars were made by the master himself. The following example can help us understand how cruel his pricing was. After selling to Alfonso d'Aragona a copy of Titus Livy that Pojo made by himself, Pojo spent his earned money to buy a villa in Florentia. He took a hundred of ducats (12 00 franks) from Herzog D'Este for letters of St. Hieronymus. He did that with great displeasure, probably because he was in need or because this product was laying around for far too long. In an age of The Renaissance Fathers of the Church didn't sell as strongly as Pagan philosophers did. Pojo had Medici, Sforza, D'Este, as his clients along with aristocratic families of England, Herzog house of Burgundy, Orsini cardinals, Cologne, just rich people like Bartolommeo d'Bardio. Universities were Pojo's clients too. It was a time for them to either begin having libraries or time of widening their old book storages intensively with the help of enlightened rulers and their generosity. Pojo was earning very big money, so he provided his children with an excellent capital, and they wasted it with extreme rapidity. But there is no any doubt that for a very long time until he was 40 at least, he was spending more than his constant income was so he needed some emergency snatch frequently to get himself out of debt, and he had to get it with equally emergent means. And when he had to choose these means, he could never choose wisely.
This is what a person who found Tacitus was like. Now let's see what did he found exactly and how he did this.»
(ref 8 p 363 - 386)
Manuscripts of Tacitus.
«Primary manuscripts of «Chronicles» and «History» written by Tacitus and known as The First Medicean Copy and The Second Medicean Copy are stored in Florentia in book storage of «Bibliotheca Laurentiana.» This book storage was found by Cosmos Medici, who donated his library along with Niccoli's library which Herzog has purchased on the death of this famous publisher.
(14 37) Pojo Brachcholeeni and Buondelmonti, his father-in-law, were among organizing directors of this book storage.
The Second Medicean Copy is 80 years older than The First one, if not by its origin then by its publishing at least. Its first page says clearly,
"Cornelius Tacitus et Opera Apuleii.
Conventus sancti Marci de Florentia, ord.
Praedic. De heriditate Nicolai Nicoli
Florentissimi, viri Doctissimi"
(Cornelius Tacitus and compositions of Apulei from books of the monastery of St. Mark in Florentia, Preacher rank. As a heritage of Niccolo Niccoli, valiant Florentine citizen and extremely educated man)
In regards to Tacitus, this copy contains 6 final books of «Chronicles» and 5 first books of «History.» These parts of this copy appear to be a prototype for the rest of the copies with ambition for ancientry like Farnesian copy in Vatican, Budapest copy, Wolfenbuttel copy, etc. First printed publication of Tacitus was released in Venice by Giovanni Spirra or his brother Vandelline around 14 70. It was printed from The Second Medicean Copy, or, according to a legend, from its precise copy that was stored in Venice in a library of the cathedral of St. Mark. But that copy disappeared. Or maybe it never even been there and legend just combined two similarly named libraries into one. Usual and commonly accepted opinion on this copy is how it's a product of work of monk scribes from the famous Benedictine desert of Monte-Cassino in Italy, located halfway between Rome and Neapol.
The First Medicean Copy was purchased by pope Lion 10th and published immediately (15 15) in Rome, under the supervision of Philippe Beroalde The Younger.
"Cornelii Taciti historiarum libri quinque nuper in Germania inventi."
(5 books of «History» by Cornelius Tacitus recently found in Germany)
These 5 books appear to be initial «Chronicles» and cover the reign of Tiberius. So it turned out how according to Beroalde's picturesque expression, «Cornelius never lost his head through the ages but was just hiding it instead.» They think (there's no proof of any kind, Note by Author) how this copy was found in the monastery of Corvei. Some monk has carried it to Rome, where it was purchased by someone named Archimboldi, not for himself but a pope. This Archimboldi has become a bishop of Milano later. Corvei is a small town in Westphalia, 65 kilometers to the South-East from Minden. Its Benedictine monastery founded in the 9th century by Ludovic The Good Soul and it played a vital role in The Middle Ages as very important religious and political center.
Two Medicean Copies combined give us a complete set of everything that has come to us out of historical compositions of Tacitus. Language, the manner of presentation, tone, all the Literary advantages, and disadvantages demonstrate the undoubted unity of both copies and prove how in both copies we've got a study by the same author on our hands. Before Justus Lipsius (15 47 - 16 06) all material of Tacitus contained in both collections was considered to be one solid composition. Justus Lipsius was the first who could see that «Annuals» and «History» are two different studies actually, despite the visionary succession of their content and their belonging to the same author. Lipsius established its division, and it was approved ever since.
Style of handwriting appears to be an essential difference between two Medicean Copies. The Second Copy is performed with so-called Lombardian handwriting, but The First one is done with Carolin handwriting.
(See figure in ref 5, Note by Author)
In a broad sense, these are the most important features of two primary copies of Tacitus. Science acknowledged them as authentic in the course of more than 3 centuries before Ross and Hoshar have touched their virgin reputation with their daring hands.
(And it also revived suspicions of Pojo's contemporaries themselves, in particular, Note by Author) So how do they run their attack? » (ref 8 p 366 - 368).
Legends about manuscripts of Tacitus.
«Hoshar acknowledges an origin of The Second Medicean Copy from Niccolo Niccoli's library as doubtless. But this attachment is the exact thing in which Hoshar can see a key to the exposition of Pojo Brachcholeeni's forgery.
How he (Tacitus, Note by Author) was known and read we know from his contemporaries (Pliny The Younger), from Christianity's apologist Tertullian, who was an enemy of Tacitus in 3rd century AD, from Flavius Vopisqus and blissful Hieronymus of the 4th century, from Paulus Orosius and Apollinaris Sidonius of the 5th century and Cassiodorus of the 6th century.
(Let's make a remark how manuscripts of all these authors were also «discovered» in the same era with books of Tacitus listed above, so these manuscripts cannot be used to prove the authenticity of Tacitus actually, Note by Author)
Then the name of Tacitus disappeared from the memory of the civilized world for many centuries. But the beginning of this disappearance occurred much earlier actually. Even though F. Vopisqus tells us quite a flattering story of Tacitus, how Emperor Tacitus was proud to be his descendant and how he has commanded for all the public libraries of the empire to have copies of works of his great predecessor, but literature didn't keep even the smallest signs of authority of Tacitus for us. Servius, Priscionus, Nonius Marcell, diligent citers and numeraires of names of their literature who were The Latin Grammars at the end of The Roman Empire don't recall Tacitus and obviously know nothing about him».
(ref 8 p 368 - 369) So there's no way we can believe the statement of the apologists of Tacitus how «Tacitus was not there but his memory lived on.»
M. Troysky (ref 48) begins his article about Tacitus, saying,
«Unlike his predecessors who was writing about the republic, Tacitus, when he was describing his activity as a historian of The Roman Empire, makes a notion how his study is limited by narrow confines and will not bring him the glory of any kind.
(«Annuals,» IV, 32) These words have turned out to be prophetic to a certain extent». Not a single historian of Emperors' Rome, including Tacitus, has become «classic» of Roman literature. Tacitus was never taught in the Roman schools. Philologists (so-called grammars), the keepers of scholarly tradition, were not interested in his works. An effect of this lack of attention appeared in the complete absence of information about the life of this historian in studies of late Roman scientists».
(ref 48 v2 p203) By the way, it means how the rest of Roman historians from the period of The Emperors didn't get any better treatment than Tacitus himself.
«In 9th century (five hundred years later!) name of Tacitus surfaced strangely in a chronicle of Frechulf who was a bishop of Leuxoviensis. In the 11th century, it also surfaced in John of Salisbury's «Polycraticon,» a pamphlet against royalty. But Hoshar makes a remark how in both these cases Tacitus is mentioned in such a general way that is not saying anything notable or anything its own about him that there's no need to think how libraries of Frechulf or John of Salusbury could have compositions of Tacitus.
(We have to remember a general consideration, if any source mentions the name of Tacitus, but doesn't have any details, it doesn't mean in any way how it is talking about this exact Tacitus found by Pojo, Note by Author)
There are monk legends about manuscripts of Tacitus preserved in monastery libraries allegedly, in the famous Benedictine desert of Monte-Cassino and the similar monastery of Fulda (in Germany nearby Cassel) in particular.
The former legend has grown out of an excerpt from «Chronicle» by Desiderius. Desiderius has become pope Victor The 3rd later. (10 86) Back in the day when he was hegumen of Monte-Cassino desert his monks with his supervision made copies of 61 volumes of creations written by both Clerical and Pagan writers and including «History of Cornelius with Homer.» (Historiam Comelii cum Omero) According to the monastery's chronicle, the majority of these books was stolen when thieves and soldiers of fortune robbed the desert.
Hoshar is puzzled. What was the reason for these respected businessmen to rob monastery's library at all? And even if they did anyway, why would they carry away not something else but Tacitus exactly? A chronicle of Desiderius doesn't even mention Tacitus exactly though. «History by Cornelius» could be Cornelius Nepot for example or any other of all these numerous Roman writers named Cornelius. Hoshar is quite skeptical generally about all these legends of treasures in monastery libraries of The Middle Ages. He considers the very legend of Desiderius unnatural. Desiderius was a friend of Peter Damian, and both of them were worst enemies of secular education. Why would they make any effort to preserve Pagan scriptures? Both charter and personal antipathy were commanding them to destroy it. This legend is a late artifice and a concession for The Age Of Humanism. Abbot Rappe (Abbe de la Trappe, 16 26 - 17 00, reformer of Trappist order and author of «Life of St. Benedict») considered legends of written works of Benedictine monks to be a guess that is not worthy of inspection. Nevertheless, the majority of historians considers (without any documental reason, Note by Author) how The Second Medicean Copy originated from Monte-Cassino. They also consider how it was copied in the middle of the 9th century or in the 11th century allegedly, from some manuscript of the 4th or the 5th century acquired from Germany or France.
The latter legend, the legend of Fulda, is based on a citation in local monastery chronicle. «So in a city named Mimida on a river that Cornelius Tacitus, the historian of feats that Romans have committed to these people, has called Visurgis (Veser) and that modern historians call Visaraka.» Based on this excerpt people made a conclusion how the chronicler had an authentic text of «Annuals» of Tacitus in front of him.
Another legendary copy of Tacitus was written by the hand of Giovanni Bocachcho for his library allegedly. This library is intact, but Tacitus, looks like this is just a fate of this writer, disappeared from it and nobody knows where it went and when did this happen.
Hoshar is puzzled. If Bocachcho's copy existed then where did Bocachcho found an original to write from? People assume how he took one from Monte-Cassino during his stay in Neapol. But since Hoshar rejects a legend of the manuscript of Tacitus in the library of Monte-Cassino then, naturally, he can't approve a reference to it in a legend of Bocachcho. And Bocachcho himself says how his stay at Monte-Cassino was extremely short and how he was met in a very poor manner. So how and when could he possibly copy a manuscript? Copying even with the quickest writing style, require not less than a month of sitting at the table and working. And the main thing is, if Bocachcho were familiar with studies of Tacitus, this historian would leave at least some kind of mark in Bocachcho's works, whereas none can be noticed. This effect looks even more vivid in his historically-anecdotic work of «De casibus virorum et ferminarum illustrum.» («On adventures of the famous men and women») In this Bocachcho speak of Tiberius, Nero, Galba, Ottone, Vitellius among other things. But he's citing Suetonius exclusively, with certain borrowings from Juvenal though. He also speaks of Christians based on clerical legend. If Bocachcho would be familiar with the works of Tacitus, then, considering what a great artist he was, how would he speak of Agrippina's death and not mention a great marine drama written by Tacitus? Or how would he speak of the death of apostles Peter and Paulus and not say a single word about the persecution of The Christians in connection with the great fire of Rome? In a word, the most striking pages of Tacitus stayed colorless and mute for Bocachcho. It is clear how he just didn't read them». (ref 8 p 369 - 373)
These above were all the mentions of Tacitus before his discovery by Pojo Brachcholeeni. So no information of any kind about the existence of manuscripts of Tacitus was preserved anywhere along the entire Middle Ages. We have «to agree with Ross and Hoshar in their statement how in late 14th and early 15th centuries, nobody among educated people had the smallest idea of Tacitus. He was a great and a cloudy myth of the ancientry, stored in the hints of antique books. The greats believed in its obscurity, but of course, they were dreaming nevertheless, if only I could find it! Idealistically-minded scientists were dreaming about it, and skeptically-minded scientists were dreaming about it too. Rennaisance was a time when palace pantries, monastery basements and trash of rag pickers gave out many Literaturical treasures of The Ancient World and brought many antique deads back to the life of The Renaissance. There was a demand to conclude a series of findings of The Roman Literature with Tacitus. Every bookseller knew how finding Tacitus meant amassing a capital. And then the demand made the supply. Tacitus was found». (ref 8 p 373 - 374).
«In November 14 25 Pojo was in Rome. He wrote a letter to Niccoli in Florentia how «certain monk, a friend of mine» offers a party of ancient manuscripts to be taken in Nurnberg and there are «several works of Tacitus that are unknown to us» among them. Niccoli got interested lively and expressed his approval for a deal immediately. But a purchase of an offered rarity is delayed for two months at first, then eight, etc., all to surprise and concern of Niccoli. Pojo is playing for his time with various pretexts and excuses. In May 14 27 Niccoli found out suddenly how his friend is negotiating manuscript of Tacitus with Cosmos Medici. Pojo's answer to Niccoli's inquiry was quite entangled. The only clear thing in it was how Pojo hasn't had a book of Tacitus yet at that moment. He only had a catalog of a German monastery in Herzfeld (that's when he named a monastery for the first time), and in this catalog a volume of Cornelius Tacitus was present. There were other important manuscripts though like Ammienn Marcelline, Titus Livy's first decade of books and speeches of Cicero. (Herzfeld is a small town in Gessen, at Fulda river. It seems like the local abbey, and an abbey of Fulda town were both united with shared management) This also was the first time for Pojo to say how «monk» needs money, whereas an earlier agreement for this deal was about exchanging old manuscripts with Niccoli's new religious publications. Pojo muddle and lie something about a monk unmercifully. The monk is his friend, but when a monk was in Rome, he didn't visit Pojo for some reason, so Pojo had to put an effort to find him in a detour way. Books are in Herzfeld, but one has to collect them in Nurnberg, etc. It concluded when at first Pojo forgot to send Niccoli a Herzfeld catalog he promised him. And then, when an irritated publisher has demanded it successfully, there was no any Tacitus in this catalog. Following years 14 27 and 14 28 have also passed in this strange kind of red tape and misunderstanding looking completely artificial. Finally, February 26, 14 29, so, three and half years since this correspondence have begun. Pojo informed Niccoli how a mysterious «Herzfeld monk» arrived in Rome again. But he hasn't had a book! Pojo assured how he set a brutal scandal with a monk and how the monk was scared and has departed after Tacitus to Germany immediately. «That's why I'm sure how we'll get this manuscript soon because a monk can't do without my protection in the business of his monastery.»
Pojo and Niccoli's correspondence about Herzfeld's Tacitus was over because their actual meeting was coming. Pojo spent the summer of 14 29 in Toscana. A circumstance of him really getting Tacitus at this time, from Germany as he was saying hollowly, is indubitable. An honor of discovering Tacitus with insistence for search from Niccoli's side and with the mediation of some unknown monk was ascribed to Pojo once more in the 18th century by both abbot Mehus, an expert in 15th-century literature and also by Tiraboski. (17 31 - 17 94)
Pojo's discovery was protracted for almost 5 years. It resounded even before it was committed and strange rumors were circulating it already. Niccoli was very nervous, but Pojo was answering, «I know all the songs sung about this and where do they come from. So listen, when Cornelius Tacitus will arrive I will take it, and then I will intentionally and nicely hide it away from strangers."
Hoshar makes his fair remark here, how «It would seem how the most natural way to protect manuscript from bad rumors would be to show it to the entire scientific world and explain all the paths, ways and secrets of its origin. But Pojo, on the opposite, is promising to be cunning and play dark once again."
It is unknown if Pojo and Niccoli immediately published their copies of Tacitus that this mysterious monk has blessed them with, or if they did not. (If there was a monk at all, of course) One can think they didn't. They kept their treasure, filling its price up. Copies of the authors were as expensive as rare they were. So exemplars of Tacitus artistically reproduced by the firm were floating away to such highly ranked buyers as Petro Medici, Matthew Corsin, etc. They weren't in common circulation. This exclusivity is a possible explanation for scientific criticism's long silence about Tacitus. Polician for example (14 54 - 14 94) either haven't seen new Tacitus at all or he considered Pojo's manuscript suspicious. Just like Bocachcho above, Polician in his etude about Suetonius and Caesars doesn't use Tacitus at all. He does talk about Tacitus with great honor, though, but only based on the words of Pliny and Vopisqus. It's even more interesting because Policiano should've known the printed publication of Tacitus already. (14 70, at Spirra's publishment in Venice)
But there's more. Machiavelli was a person who was compared to Tacitus so often later. He was an early 16th-century first-class historian and politician who was intentionally discussing imperialistic topics which were such a burning reminder for analogies of Tacitus. And he indicates graphically and strikingly how a person like him could still pass Tacitus by like this historian didn't even exist. This circumstance contradicts a statement of Gaston Boissier completely. He said how after the second half of 14th century Tacitus has allegedly become a desk book for Italian nobility and has become like a handbook in court politics.
It is interesting that much later when Pojo was publishing his and Niccoli's letters, he lost a sight of dates for his 14 25 to 14 29 correspondence about Tacitus. In his two newly published letters he was falsifying dates of December 28, 14 27, and June 5, 14 28, with some retroactive intention. «You have sent me a volume of Seneca and Cornelius Tacitus. Thank you. But the latter is performed with The Lombard Handwriting, and the majority of letters is worn off. But I saw another exemplar written in ancient handwriting (The Carolin one) at your place in Florentia. It's hard to find a scribe who can correctly read this copy that you sent me. Please find me one. You'll be able to do this if you'll want to" he's asking. In the second letter, Pojo assures Niccoli how Pojo sent him a decade of Titus Livy and Cornelius Tacitus with the mediation of Bartolommeo de Bardis. «Your Tacitus lacks several pages in different places of the manuscript» etc.
With a series of quite comprehensive evidence and the principle of the exception of the third, Hoshar determines a fact how a manuscript that was written with The Lombardian Handwriting and had missing pages couldn't be anything but that very The Second Medicean Copy which is considered the most ancient exemplar of Tacitus. But Pojo also makes it clear how there is some other ancient Tacitus at his and Niccoli's disposal that is written with The Antique (The Carolin) handwriting. Dates on Pojo's letters, it looks like one can't doubt this, are forged, and composed post factum after Tacitus with Niccoli's name saw the world. They are composed to strengthen the reputation of The First Medicean (The Lombardian) copy that was put to use in various princely libraries and also to prepare the way for The Second Medicean Copy. (written with The Carolin Handwriting) Hoshar thinks and proves to be believable in many ways how the history made them switch places. Pojo's first Tacitus has become The Second Medicean Copy and vice versa, Pojo's second Tacitus have become The First Medicean Copy.
Inspecting a history of the origin of The First Medicean Copy (written with Carolin Handwriting), it is impossible not to notice how a legend which surrounded Niccolo Niccoli's copy, The Second Medicean Copy, repeats itself 80 years later. There is a northern monastery on stage again, and there are some mysterious unnamed monks again. Some German enoch brings first five units of «The Annuals» to Pope Leo 10th. Enraptured pope puts this enoch in for a publisher of this composition allegedly. Enoch refuses, saying how he's barely literate. In a word, a legend of a Herzfeld monk, a provider of The Second Medicean Copy, rises from the dead, but it was moved to Corvei this time. As we mentioned already, this legend calls Archimboldi a bargaining mediator. Archimboldi was a tax collector for The Holy Throne back then and become an archbishop of Milano later. But Archimboldi didn't say a single word about the circumstance of this mediation while Leo 10th, with Archimboldi's mediation allegedly, paid 500 sequins for this manuscript, which is 60 00 franks, an entire capital considering the price of money back then. For Hoshar these eternally mysterious monks without name, origin, and residence are continuators of falsification system brought into play by Pojo Brachcholeeni. Nobody and never sees or knows them, but today one of them brought a lost decade of Titus Livy from Switzerland or Denmark, tomorrow another one brought Tacitus from Corvei or Fulda, etc. For some reason, they always come from a distant and hard to reach North and always with a product one wants, and the book market of the era lacks.
On the matter of Corvei monastery itself in particular where The First Medicean Copy allegedly originates from, we've got quite a negative testimony in a letter written by Pojo Brachcholeeni himself when he was in England and sent to Niccolo Niccoli. This letter says how he does know this German monastery like a palm of his hand and, «don't believe these fools, there are no any rarities in it! ». Among chronologically nearest scientists (preceding and including its first publisher Bersfeld) nobody knows nothing definitely about Tacitus found in a monastery of Corvei. Everyone speaks about Germany vaguely just like it also was in Niccolo Niccoli's times. Archimboldi's contemporaries and friends, Alcati, Ugelli, speak nothing about his role in such an important and the glorious discovery of the century. But there's more, and Ugelli recommends Archimboldi as an individual of such a noble descent that it becomes difficult to even imagine him in a sting role of provincial alm and tax collector. In the 18th century, abbot Mehus didn't pay attention to a legend that said how Tacitus originated from Corvei. Bail just reported it verbally like a rumor, an anecdote which «deceased Mr. Fore, Doctor of Theology in Paris Faculty» reported to him. Fore also told him how Pope Leo 10th wanted to find lacking units of Tacitus so much that he has not just promised money and glory but also absolution. Why be surprised how people hurried to find it?
So both parts of the codex of Tacitus are equally mysterious in its origin. Judging by the unity of darknesses and legends surrounding them Hoshar assumes how they are both of the very same origin and common family and how they both came out of The Rome's workshop of Florentia man Pojo Brachcholeeni». (ref 8 p 374 - 382)
Analyzing manuscripts of Tacitus.
«Hoshar took a position of a prosecutor who's accusing one of the greatest humanists in deliberate forgery so he shall be ready naturally to answer all of the objections of defenders of Tacitus as an opposite side.
The first objection about the inimitable Latin of Tacitus, the most important and convincing objection from our modern viewpoint actually, shatters in the face of consideration about the nature of 15th-century education in general and Pojo Brachcholeeni as a king of Literature of that century in particular. Classic Latin is a native Literaturical language of this writer. He's not writing in another way, but Latin, and what writing this is! In his flexibility of imitation, he's a 15th century's Prosper Merimes but even more educated, much deeper, more thoughtful and more subtle. He knows how he will not have to deal with the general public, semi-educated classically if not downright ignorant, but with criticism of dedicated classic education. When he's going to an exam set up by experts, he's fully armed with his extremely varying styles. Depending on what his reader pleases Pojo becomes Seneca, Petronius, Titus Livy. Like a chameleon of word and spirit, he is writing like whoever please and his «walnut style» is just as beautiful as an actual walnut. (More so because nobody saw walnut itself with his own eyes, Note by Author)
On top of it, as the centuries have passed, a prejudice of inimitable language of Tacitus grew along with a growth of general authority of Tacitus. His dark and unclear places, intricate figures of speech, excessive laconism devouring the narrative in some places, syntactic mistakes and inaccuracies were confusing even the first commentators severely". (ref 8 p 382 - 383)
Hoshar and Ross bring up a detailed analysis of the study of Tacitus from the purely Literaturical viewpoint and demonstrate how a belief in a pure language of Tacitus appears to have absolutely no foundation. In this statement, they are close to many researchers of Tacitus though.
Then Hoshar goes from defensive to offensive and brings up a number of considerations, according to which all these compositions can't belong to a feather of an ancient author. We will not observe these in detail (see ref 8 p 385 - 393) and will make a brief summary only.
Knowledge of Tacitus about the history of The Roman Laws is weak. He speaks about an expansion of The Roman Pomeroy and makes a comment how Sulla and August were the only ones to do this previously, but he's forgetting, Julius Caesar. Back in a day, even Montesquieu made a remark how Tacitus can be lost in the very basics of The Roman Laws.
He has a very bad knowledge of the geography of The Ancient Roman State (the adventure of Germanicus, theater of Corbulon's war, etc.) and even knowledge of its border which he in his times pushed back no further than The Red Sea.
Tacitus can be lost in his own Rome where he lives and writes. He's reshuffling its historical monuments, and he's confused with its emperors. The weakness of geographical knowledge of Tacitus was analyzed by G. Peter for example and also by Justus Lipsius.
Traditional historians have dated a time of appearance of «Chronicles» to be about 115AD based on reference to completely dark and greatly contradicting place in the text of Tacitus, where he mentioned Trojan's campaign and made several blunders in its description.
Description of an episode of Agrippina's death appears one of the brightest dissonances of Tacitus. This episode makes it look obvious how Tacitus doesn't know naval affairs. «He's just as weak in military affairs as well. This ignorance is very strange for a statesman of The Ancient Rome because it was parenting his citizen as a soldier first and foremost. But for a 15th-century scientist, this is quite natural. Pojo Brachcholeeni was a closet person and the least of a warrior. He hasn't studied military affairs, even in theory, so he learned about war from the imagination of the civilian bourgeois writer and by hearsay. This is how Hoshar explained obscurity and vagueness in a majority of military scenes of Tacitus. This military story is written by a civilian. A huge list of contradictions of Tacitus was also brought up by Gaston Bossier, but these contradictions didn't confuse him on the matter of reliability of these compositions.
The reputation of the authenticity of Tacitus was supported greatly by a town of Lion. (15 28) Bronze plaques were discovered here that contained fragments of speech of Claudius in his defense of equality of Galls in The Senate. The contents of these plaques were selfsame with the same speech of the same sovereign in «Annuals.» On the matter of texts of Tacitus and Lion's monument Hoshar points out how the only selfsame thing is their general idea, but not a development of speech, not to mention wording and tone. Hoshar proves earnestly how the author of Tacitus never saw bronze plaques of Lion. (If they really are an authentic monument for an official act, Note by Author) But maybe the author of Lion plaques knew Tacitus already? In this case text on these plaques is the same kind of artificial and free amplification of a corresponding fragment of «Annuals» like «Annuals» itself are a free amplification of Suetonius, Dio Cassius, Plutarch, etc. According to Hoshar's opinion, bronze plaques of Lion are a cunning forgery of the 15th century.
After he has listed many mistakes which citizen of Rome in the 1st century couldn't make, Hoshar points out the ones that expose author as a person with a 15th-century worldview and traditions». (ref 8 p 387 - 390) Hoshar is listing numerous political, economic, religious, scientific and literary bloomers of pseudo-Tacitus, one can find them all in ref 8. But even Amfiteyatro himself refused to engage in detailed tracking for those shared and similar fragments found in the text of Tacitus that are touching texts of other antique authors known by Pojo Brachcholeeni's times already. «They have known for a very long time already and can be found easily in any research about Tacitus. The only difference in Ross and Hoshar's assessment for these touching fragments which puts them in opposition to the majority of other researchers is the following. Whereas the rest see this coincidence as evidence for precise facts and succession of historical knowledge, these two stand their ground firmly. Pseudo-Tacitus is a talented person who studied Suetonius, Dio Cassius (especially), etc to excellence. Then, on top of their data and with an amplifying, he wrote his own story and he either wasn't afraid of turning it into the historical novel sometimes or he was doing this unwillingly while being in the addicted mood. It's clear how Dio Cassius influenced pseudo-Tacitus the most. Books of Cassius, which were describing a period corresponding «Annuals» and «History» didn't come to us in their original form. They only did after a reduction, as fragments in compositions of Xiphilinus and Zonara. This text gave pseudo-Tacitus his canvas and a synopsis of his story. Pseudo-Tacitus is a Dio Cassius grown in his talent hugely if you please". (ref 8 p 393)
Сauses and story of the fraud.
«All the preceding considerations were directing Hoshar to his goal. He had to prove how our Tacitus is a forged Tacitus and how Pojo Brachcholeeni, say, does it as a forged Tacitus.
Now let's inspect where Pojo's desire and motivation for this strange forgery could come from.
He lived in London, greatly tricked with his expectation for the generosity of Beaufort and extremely displeased with him. He was very much looking for a new occupation that would let him quit his services for an English prelate. And then in 14 22 Pier Lamberteski, one of his friends from Florentia, offers him a project of some historical work. This work should be performed according to Greek sources and with strict confidence in a period of three years during which Pojo will be provided with an honorarium of 500 golden ducats.
«Let him give me 600, and that'll be a deal! » Pojo writes, entrusting Niccoli to seal this deal. «I like an occupation he's offering very much, and I hope to produce a little thing worthy of reading».
A month later he wrote, «If I will see how the promises of our friend Piero move from words to deeds, then I'll be glad to get not even to Sarmaths but even to Skiths for the sake of this work. Keep in secret all the projects I inform you about. If I travel to Hungary, this should remain a mystery for everyone except a few friends». In June he's still in England and writes to Niccoli, «I'm just waiting for Piero's reply. Rest assured that if I am given time and leisure to write his deeds (gesta), I will compose a thing you will be satisfied by. I'm in a very peppy mood. I don't know if I'm strong enough for such a task, but, labor omnia vincit improbus. (A labor, when a person does not spare himself, overcome anything)
«When I compare myself to ancient historians, I'm scared. But when I compare myself to modern ones I believe in myself again. If I engage nicely, I won't lose my face in anyone's eyes».
Several days later he informed Niccoli again how he's ready to depart and only waiting for Lamberteski's letter.
After sailing from England, Pojo appeared in Keln while passing through. It is unknown where he went later. According to Korniani he really lived in Hungary for some reason. According to Tonelli, he went straight to Florentia. Did his mysterious deal with Lamberteski happen, we don't know either. Lamberteski's name disappeared from Pojo's correspondence which Hoshar explained with a condition of Pojo himself being redactor for the publishing of his own letters and how he was releasing them after a very provident selection. But even if a deal didn't happen and a job dissolved over time, what kind of precipitate was left on the bottom of this episode?
The thing is, Lamberteski was offering Pojo a job of performing some secret historical study. This secret was meant to be so strict that Pojo had to work in Hungary, whereas people would still assume him to be in England. He had to study Greek authors (Dio Cassius?) for this job. In this job, he was going to challenge The Antique Historians and he wanted but was also afraid to do it. And finally the entire secret these people demanded from him and that he accepted shows how this assumed deed, even if it was literature and academic, was not one of a decent kind nevertheless.
If Lamberteski really offered Pojo to engage in a forgery of Tacitus then not only he has chosen an artisan wisely, but he also had a moral right to approach him with a doubtful offer like this because he was just asking Pojo to continue a thing Pojo has begun his career with. Several years ago at Niccoli's publishment young Pojo released a book titled «Commentary of K. Asconius Pedianus on certain speeches of M. Tullius Cicero.» K. Asconius Pedianus is an orator mentioned by Quintilian. (Also found by Pojo, Note by Author) Nobody and never saw an origin from which they published this «Commentary» from. All the copies were written by Niccoli based on another copy which Pojo sent him from Konstanz. The success was huge even if blushing Pojo sang his first song already and scientific world understood quickly how things just didn't look right. It looks like Pojo couldn't be bothered much to hide his forgery though. In 14 22 when he was discussing Lamberteski's offer with Niccoli, he hinted frankly among the rest of his concerns,
«I didn't practice Latin eloquence for four years already, but in the shortest time I hope to make this up leeway so much that I'll be able to write no worse than I did before.» If he wanted then in the condition of his era, he had his rights to be so, as we would say, cynical. The success of forged Asconius Pedianus has caused an entire series of other forgeries on behalf of the name of the same fantastical author. But all of them were too rough and were exposed immediately. Pojo Brachcholeeni just turned out to be more skillful than others. But Francois Homan, who was a scientist and a publisher of printed Asconius in 16 44, still spoke out justly about a study by Pojo,
«If it weren't studies of modern scientists who have calculated mistakes and infelicities of Asconius, he wouldn't deserve any attention and his study wouldn't be useful in any way.»
One has to think how that deal with Lamberteski never happened, but its idea stuck in a Pojo's mind. This idea began to develop in several ways, different, but of the same kind. Before starting his swindle with Tacitus, he tries to sell some magnificent exemplar of Titus Livy to Cosmos Medici and Leonello D'Este. He's doing it in a mysterious atmosphere again, onstage is a distant monastery on an island in The Northern Sea, Swedish monks, etc. The case here wasn't likely about a forgery of a composition (why not though?, Note by Author) but could quite possibly be about a forgery of an exemplar. We know how Pojo has mastered The Lombardian Handwriting to perfection. He was tempting these princes with this exact kind of manuscript. But his business has failed here, and then this precious exemplar went somewhere without a trace, and there wasn't any sound or smell of it. Why? Maybe because it didn't exist at all. Pojo was just trying a soil for an order. Maybe because at the court of Florentia and Ferrara people could figure out a genuine value for a thing. Leonello D'Este was not easy to trick. This educated prince almost was the first to claim apocryphal for an alleged correspondence of an apostle Paulus and Seneca, known so widely and causing such a noise during The Middle Ages.
It is noticeable how Pojo, so prolific usually, doesn't write anything his own and original in this period of his life. All his philosophical works, except his «On stinginess» tractate, are of later origin just like «The History of The Florentia» which is a study of his old age that he had performed when he was on top of his greatness already as a chancellor of The Republic of Florentia. He's educating himself infinitely much instead, systematically and unilaterally, like if he was taming himself for some responsible job on the Roman history of the Emperors' period. Niccoli can barely send him Ammianus Marceline, Plutarch and Ptolemy's «Geography» etc. in time.
In 14 25, variously armed by these preparations he throws the bait about Tacitus. How it was just a try becomes clear out of a red tape that began when Niccoli grabbed the bait and how it all has protracted for four years. Pojo promised a study that he in his warm blood planned to finish quickly. But this work turned out to be more complex, more serious and more painstaking than he expected. So he had to be cunning, wriggle out, come up with delays month after month, and at the very end, he possibly had to confess to Niccoli anyway. This one could see right through his cunning-minded friend and also devoted to Lamberteski's mysterious deal. That's why Hoshar thinks how Pojo, even though he has begun his forgery alone, could never trick Niccoli nevertheless and this book publisher was his accomplice undoubtedly.
The slowness of Pojo was simply caused by him being not some vulgar Literaturical fraudster but a great scientist and an artist. He could understand immenseness of a pretension he took responsibility for better than anybody else. Many times when the book was ready for release, he would stop in indecision if he can release it, and then he was re-reading, redacting, correcting again.
With a multiplicity of proofs, even if all of them are indirect, and with exegesis, Hoshar manages to shake our confidence in the authenticity of Tacitus, for one of two copies at least. But there are two of them. They are sharply different in handwriting and format, and they are also found in the course of an entire 60 years. Both copies keep the tone and language of the same author undoubtedly. So as long as we tolerate Pojo Brachcholeeni's authorship for The Second Copy, of course, this hypothesis opens the door to The First Copy as well. But why didn't Brachcholeeni consider it necessary to falsify Tacitus as a whole, with a solid exemplar of a uniformed kind, if he was falsifying it anyway?
-Because by «finding» two manuscripts of different format and handwriting as if they were excerpts from two manuscripts from different centuries, Pojo tried to cover up the tracks of his forgery and confuse scientific criticism.
And also because (and this may be the main thing, Note by Author) separation of his forgery into two «findings» allowed him to kill two birds with one stone. Imagine how late units of «Chronicle» and early units of «History» appeared. There are a huge interest and excitation in a scientific world. Pojo and Niccoli earn huge money, and this is a first bird killed with a stone. Then there is everyone's regret how this find lacks its head. If only the head was found! When this scientific appetite for a lost head of Tacitus (Berwald's expression) will grow, Pojo and Niccoli will find it and will kill a bird number two.
So how Pojo haven't released first books of «Chronicle» during his life?
-Because in his 30s his life went uphill. He has become rich and lost his need for a business of such a doubtful kind. Compositions signed with his own name made him famous and rich already. He has become a greatly respected person.
It fits with other considerations. When penury awaits a writer at his young age, and he's thrusting his way through, scientific mystification goes easier for a person, of course, and it is less disturbing for his still small voice. But an old and respected scientist who was calmed down by his life is unlikely to get his hands into such thing.
(On the other hand, a list of studies «found» by Pojo is quite vast even without Tacitus. Besides authors already listed above Pojo has found the following classics in his youth, complete Quintilian, two tractates by Cicero and his seven speeches, compositions by Lucretius, Petronius, Plaut, Tertullian, some works by Ammian Marcelline, by Calpurneus Seculus etc. A complete list of authors that came out of the Pojo's workshop is unknown. Also, there is no complete information about other similar workshops of that time, Note by Author)
But besides purely moral considerations, there are also practical ones. If Tacitus is a Brachcholeeni's forgery, then its first half, the second finding, The First Medicean Copy, is clearly an unfinished work. Creative tension by which Pojo Brachcholeeni has created his gigantic study could leave an author as soon as he exhausted his strength significantly when he was writing his tale about the reign of Tiberius. This tale is the best and the most complex part of «Chronicle» undoubtedly. Pojo could temporarily put his difficult work aside, more so how he wasn't in a hurry. Finding second half of Tacitus just recently and then discovering the first one after a much too short period of time would be much too suspicious luck after all. The manuscript was laying on a shelf while its author was enthralled with other works that were more exciting than this tiring Literaturical masquerade. Pojo has grown up. He has become a celebrity, a statesman. Why would a chancellor of The Republic of Florentia return to a work of his stormy youth? Would it even be a decent thing for him to do, considering nature of this work? Niccolo Niccoli, who could insist for the continuation of this forgery possibly and could encourage Pojo, have died in 14 37. Unfinished work was left to lay in an archive because its author didn't need it. It wasn't sold, and it wasn't destroyed. What kind of master can easily destroy his mastery?
There could've been one more cause, fear of competition. (and exposure, Note by Author) In 14 55 jew Enoch d'Ascoli has found several manuscripts of Tacitus in some Danish monastery. (monastery again, and it's at the north again) These manuscripts were «Dialogue about orators», «Agricola's biography» and «Germany». (see ref 48 for example, Note by Author) Language and nature of these compositions are known to differ from «History» and «Annuals» significantly as they bear strong features of Ciceronianism. (By the way, a detailed investigation of all the circumstances of this «finding» wasn't performed till this day, Note by Author) «Facetiae» ascribed to Tacitus appeared on the market, and a long time has passed till this forgery was exposed. Searching for manuscripts was becoming more and more doubtful thing. Experts were multiplying day by day. Even at their own market educated crooks or mystificators like Pojo himself had to deal with big educated barons. And these barons could teach them a lesson themselves about his own product, both real and a shady one. Thomas The Sarzanian. (pope Nicolas the 5th, 14 47 - 14 55) Perotti, an archbishop of Sipont who discovered (14 50) Feder's concoction. (Or falsified it, Note by Author) Pomponia Leth (14 25 - 14 97) who discovered (or falsified) a famous will by Lucius Cuspidus etc. The market got corrupted.
If Pojo didn't want to publish first books of «Chronicle» in his life, how come his descendants didn't publish it? How come these books remained unknown for so long after a death of an old scientist? (14 59)
-Because there was nobody among Pojo's descendants to do this. After his late marriage (55 years old) Pojo was fast enough to produce five sons. Among them, a junior one, Giacomo, has quite inherited the talents of his father but died early. In 14 80 he was executed as a participant of Pazzi's conspiracy. The rest of them have entered holy orders. Three of them died at a relatively young age. Giovanni Francesco was the only one living until his old age. This way he united all the remains of the parental capital in his hands again. This capital was in decline. As long as there was something to squander, Pojo's descendants weren't interested in chests with his manuscripts. When the wealth has dried up, and the last descendant was checking his inventory, he stumbled upon this elder resource too. Its price has decreased very much after 60 years. Development of typography killed a manuscript. Price of anything rewritten, even with a hand of the great Pojo, decreased next to rapidly growing competition of printed books. Only originals were truly valuable. And then Giovanni Francesco finds an original of Tacitus, a genuinely precious one. It was that very original that Pojo wrote about in his letter to Niccoli with a forged date of December 28, 14 27, «In Florentia, at your people's place, I've read an exemplar with antique letters, why don't you send it to me!".
It seemed like Giovanni Francesco's the most natural further behavior was to carry his find to Leo the 10th, a patron of sciences and arts, and receive those 500 sequins that pope later paid either to Archimboldi or some mysterious seller with his mediation. But Hoshar considers that Giovani Francesco could not do this. Snide «songs» that Niccolo Niccoli used to complain about and that Pojo was afraid of and because of which he was hiding his Tacitus for so long, these songs weren't forgotten in a scientific world. Everyone knew a story about Asconius Pedianus. So the reputation of manuscripts coming out of the house of Brachcholeeni was stained. Leo 10th (he was a Florentia man mind you, and he also was Medici, so he knew for sure what kind of people he's dealing with) could possibly refuse to take Tacitus from the hands of the Pojo's son in exactly the same way as Leonello D'Este refused to take Titus Livy from Pojo himself, Giovanni's father.
We have to remark by the way. It looks like this accursed Titus Livy have also surfaced from some depths into a market again around that time. This time it was allegedly found on an island of Giene. (One of The Hebrides) This island was put on the map in the first half of The Middle Ages by an influential and educated monastery of St. Columban where Scottish kings were entombed. Fergus, The King of Scotland, carried a copy of Livy out of Rome during Alaric's rout and then hid it in Giene out of fear for raids of Danes! Familiar furnishing again, the north, the island, the monastery, the Danes. This exemplar was offered to the French king Francisco 1st, but even this passionate purchaser of rarities has suspected a forgery and refused. So it really was more convenient for Giovanni Francesco to prefer a detour, bypassing way instead of straight one even if he didn't suspect his parent's forgery and was selling his Tacitus «bona fide». And if he did suspect a forgery, then he was even more likely to choose this way. However, a story behind a Corvei find resembles a story of a find of Herzfeld strikingly. And this is giving me an idea how Giovanni Francesco didn't know how was selling a forged document. Otherwise, he would bother to come up with newer and more complex environment. It's not a good recommendation for a product to sell it in the same suspicious circumstances in which a poor quality product was sold already. Giovanni Francesco was rescuing his father's product from a bad name of «songs sung about Tacitus», but he himself still believed in both new Tacitus and the old one anyway, so he considered a repetition of the situation in which the first Tacitus was found to be the most convenient proof of an authenticity and value of the new one». (ref 8, p 393 - 406)
Novel or history?
Hoshar and Ross also examined a question, is this history or a novel lying before us and named «Tacitus». Numerous references how this is a novel indeed were shown by Walter long ago. "He has put out an entire series of common sense considerations, undermining our trust in a story of Tacitus about the death of Agrippina. If a legend could harmlessly stand (this was even before Hoshar and Ross, Note by Author) blows of such a skillful and apt hand, the fault is not in the weakness of accusatory logic in Walter's evidence at all, the fault is in the might of talent in a story of Tacitus. In tragic pages of his chronicle, he usually fascinates reader so much that this reader almost stops caring about what actually happened and he wants what Tacitus has commanded him to believe, to happen instead. Tacitus is pressing you with an impression like a Shakespeare, like Lev Tolstoy, like Balzac. One has to find not just a big courage of «my own opinion» within himself but also a significant portion of sensible dryness to walk through an enchanted forest of his charms without succumbing to its beauty but armed variously with doubt and analysis instead». (ref 8 p 324) And as soon as we push this enchantment into the background, countless strange things surface from the depths of the text instantly, and they insist how a composition that lies in front of us is a historical novel anyway.
Hoshar and Ross list a huge number of these strange things. We will not focus on it intently and will direct an interested reader to studies of these professional historians instead. (Also see ref 8 p 325 - 350) We will only bring up a summary for one of its fragments. By the way, this fragment which is the death of Agrippina was described not only by Tacitus but also by Suetonius and Dio Cassius, so a suspicion how we are dealing with a novel can be expanded to these studies as well.
«So a series of doubtful and sometimes downright inconsistent details surrounding Agrippina's death in stories of three basic historians, but mostly in Tacitus, this series of details is giving us a right to agree, as convinced, with the opinions of these scepticists who attribute these legendary pages not into a genre of documental history but into a genre of a historical novel. Tacitus likes his artificial linkage of facts as if they weren't far from irreproachable already even as an artistic concept. And this linkage was overshadowed from an aesthetical mind and from minds of ethical didactics' adherents and adherents of parables masked as facts. This linkage was overshadowed by public fascination with an artistic scenery and intense language of Tacitus. After all, the only thing a historian can precisely and definitely state on Agrippina's death is a very thing that Walter said an entire 150 years ago. «I am horrified. I acknowledge how Nero has agreed for the murder of his own mother, but I don't believe a single word in that story about a galley.» In our era of the telegraph, telephone, quick publishing and wide publicity, we still do appear to be witnesses or readers for a swarm of legends surrounding the death of every major political figure. Quite frequently they become so lasting that the most indubitable, documental and historical evidence cannot refute it later on. The legend gets absorbed by public opinion. Where no documents and intuitive facts present, but only an instinct of public opinion is whispering something to you, history becomes a neighbor to a Philistine gossip inevitably. Imagine how stronger and more influential this process of «legend creation» should have been in the course of centuries when public opinion hasn't had any other instrument for shaping itself other than a rumor and gossip.» (ref 8 p 350 - 351)
Hoshar has mentioned an extremely strong similarity in a language and tone of Latin compositions by Pojo Brachcholeeni and compositions of Tacitus which also interesting. Pojo's apologetic characteristic (see ref 8 p 407) as a historian written by Lanfan (16 61 - 17 28) becomes quite interesting in this connection. «When you are reading him you can't but recognize Titus Livy, Sallustius, and the best Roman historians in him». One can't say it any better!
Treatment of conclusions of Ross and Hoshar by other historians.
The first time when Hoshar suspected how the text of Tacitus was amplified was after he has proven how a famous fragment 15,44 in «Annuals» by Tacitus appears to be a forgery. But only several years later Hoshar has finally understood how things are much more serious here and how this is not a matter of a single fragment but a matter of the entire study.
Conclusions of Hoshar and Ross have caused a storm of resentment in a camp of historians naturally but they found a support too. Arthur Drews was among people who researched this topic for a long time. Not entirely sharing a basic statement how an entire composition was forged, he supported Hoshar on the matter of forgery of 15,44 completely. (As a reminder, this fragment is about Christians and their mutual relations with Nero) But on the matter of Pojo Brachcholeeni's authorship, Drews took a cautious position. He did not reject such possibility, but he also did not reject (is this typo, note by the translator) how Brachcholeeni could create this remarkable amplification.
The Amfiteyatro's reaction is quite characteristic. Whereas he's unable to counter Hoshar's arguments with anything weighty, he wrote,
«But more than anything and as more powerful than anything, five-century-old habit for the authority of Tacitus arise between us and Hoshar's theory like a shield along with our love and respect for the strict and almost fearsome figure of Roman artist historian». (ref 8 p 409) Amfiteyatro understands a handicap for this kind of declamation nevertheless, so he offered his own theory for the origin of the manuscripts of Tacitus, which considered basic points of Hoshar's criticism at least if not all of them. According to Amfiteyatro's opinion (see ref 8 p 413 - 423) that is clearly coming purely from his desire to «save» Tacitus no matter what, both Medicean Copies appear to be a Pojo's forgery indeed but he still based his work on some poorly preserved exemplar of «genuine» Tacitus. Pojo has just (Just!) amplified it, enlarged it and added many things of his own composition. Amfiteyatro can't see how his attempt to reconcile two extreme viewpoints doesn't actually solve anything, just like it happen always. If Amfiteyatro is right then how to determine what exactly was additionally written by Pojo and what is a criterion for the reliability of information that «proto-Tacitus» contain? How to guarantee that this «proto-Tacitus» assumed by Amfiteyatro wasn't composed by some other dashing craftsman, say, «proto-Pojo»?
This contradiction shows why Amfiteyatro's viewpoint didn't become widespread. Historians preferred to ignore the study of Hoshar and Ross even though, we would like to emphasize this, nobody has interposed any serious objections to Hoshar and Ross.
Drews described a situation that formed after a study by these authors appeared as follows. "We can see how a majority of theologists swear about the authenticity of evidence of Tacitus and that's why they also branded my suspicion in this authenticity as a trespass of «historical science» and as a peak of «unscientific». (ref 36 p 27)
Professor Weise was irritated especially. Drews report how "at the meeting of protest in Mannheim he stated how that Frenchman Hoshar that I referred to, has «made his position in science impossible» by the way because he has acknowledged an entire «excellent» composition of Tacitus to be a forgery of 15th and 16th centuries. Weise exclaimed pathetically after this, «All of you can see what kind of authorities Drews is following!". (ref 36 p 29) We can see how all these «protests» boil down to bare statements like «this is impossible» which is the first and natural psychological reaction of course. But a priori negative treatment of Hoshar's vast and the minutely argumented theory is still surprising. Drews writes justly,
«I'm unable to comprehend how can they still have the courage to express such kind of judgment about Hoshar without reading his study. Even if I were aware of Hoshar's sharply critical treatment of Tacitus, I still wouldn't consider myself to have my right to write his research off on the matter of explored fragment, as his educated German critics do. If Hoshar expressed such an extreme consideration about Tacitus, then I would consider him to have his ground to do this obviously. Talking about German critics of Hoshar who don't know him but look down on this foreign scientist with such arrogance, I can only give them the advice to engage in studying his compositions immediately because they can learn many useful things for themselves in them». (ref 36 p 30)
"Anyway, those German scientists whose suspicion about the authenticity of this place in Tacitus (fragment 15,44, Note by Author) didn't arise yet doesn't have the slightest right to shrug with a look of regret and compassion to this «frivolous» Frenchman. In a fight around a book «The Myth of Christ» select and possibly controversial statements of Hoshar were taken out of context, arranged with discrediting notes and then sent to the press to put a public to sleep and illustrate negligibility and low value of Hoshar's argumentation. It was not a «Fair play» at all. Such combat technique is straight indecent. What kind of scientific study's value can't possibly be diminished this way in the eyes of human mass that is unable to judge independently? And who knows if «the science» wasn't in a state of habit-imposed hypnosis until now in this case just like it happened several times already if this science considered the story of Tacitus to be authentic without any critical review? Let's also not forget how tightly this story intertwines with an entire Christian understanding of history and how much both religious education and The Church first and foremost were interested in any doubt not to appear about it. The passionate temper of called and uncalled people standing up for Tacitus during last year wasn't about their purely historical interest anyway, but it rather was about their belief». (ref 36 p 45)
Analysis of Drews is interesting with its demonstration of reasons that led to a priori hostile perception of all the statements similar to statements of Hoshar and Ross. Religious education of the majority of the scientists of that period caused a situation in which anything contradicting a tradition of The Church was causing an instinctive aversion to any argumentation. Because even Herman Schiller was pointing out strange contradictions in the text of Tacitus long ago.
"It looks like in the course of an entire The Middle Ages nobody was interested in this fragment by the Roman historiographer. Meanwhile, it was a fragment of highest importance for the history and glory of The Church. And people weren't just «not interested», but they just guessed about its existence until they could finally read it in the only exemplar of Tacitus that have become available back then. It was so called The Second Medicean Codex. It was printed in Venice around 14 70 by brothers Johannes and Wendeline Speyer, and all the rest of manuscripts appear its plain copies». (ref 36 p 45 - 46)
«The Chronicle» by Sulpicius Sever (died in 408 AD allegedly) also tells about the persecution of Christians in Nero's reign. So it's interesting to ask a question when did this «chronicle» get into a view of historical attention. It turns out how there is only one existing manuscript of this «chronicle». Historians attribute it to 11th century AD, and it is stored in the Vatican currently.
«So this composition was almost unknown in the course of an entire The Middle Ages, and nobody suspected Roman persecution of the Christians mentioned in it. But a manuscript speaking of this persecution was the exact manuscript to get in Pojo's hands, looks like it happened just because of some good fortune thankfully, and he could read it». (ref 36 p 261)
Drews remarked further on «how Tacitus is absolutely not an «excellent» historiographer in the sense of an objective reporter. With his extremely pronounced personality that is gravitating to a gloomy vision of life, he appears as a storyteller who is subjective to the highest degree and who is trying to achieve strong, vivid effects and gloomy mood. His depiction, in a case of The Roman Emperors especially, can only be taken with great caution. All the historians agree with this and theologists also know it. But when Tacitus is reporting something in their favor, they sing praising hymns to an «excellence» of this Roman historiographer». (ref 36 p 258)
When Hoshar has published his works, historians have risen in their arms against him and accused him in ignorance. They called it the cause of him being the first person to doubt the authenticity of books of Tacitus. Drews has commented on this as follows,
«So when everyone keeps stating triumphantly how no philologist have ever challenged an authenticity of this excerpt of Tacitus, they are just not right. I pity German philologists though, because American mathematician Smith, for example, has brought up an entire series of purely philological considerations against the authenticity of this excerpt in his «Esse Deus» book». (ref 36 p 258)
Conclusions of Ross and Hoshar don't have and can't possibly have, say, an indisputability of a degree of mathematical evidence of course. But a circumstance, how subsequent historians completely ignored it actually and didn't interpose, we repeat this once more, even a single worthy objection, is still strange.
However, considerations of Ross and Hoshar lay a heavy shadow of suspicion on the authenticity of Tacitus and the authenticity of ancient authors connected to him with reciprocal references anyway. Doubts of authenticity for other ancient authors «found» by Pojo appear too.
How did it happen that Pojo's forgery was not exposed immediately?
To understand this, it wouldn't be excessive for us to learn in advance, at least in short, about a history of all the Literatura forgery in its entirety. (And forgeries of «historical documents» while we're at it)