This article deals with fake ancient inscriptions and aims at introducing the work of an ongoing collaborative research project, sponsored by the Italian Ministry of Education and titled "False testimonianze" ("Forged evidence"). The research focuses on a group of inscribed bronze tablets, which belong to the collections of different European museums. These artefacts have similar features: they are all inscribed on both sides, one of which usually carries the text of a plausible Latin inscription, while the other bears abbreviations that are often difficult to expand. Some of these objects have long been considered to be forgeries, while others are still displayed as genuine. Through a thorough analysis of intrinsic and extrinsic elements, I challenge the authenticity of these objects and trace their history from the moment when they were first attested. A number of unpublished and little investigated documents suggest that several inscribed bronze tablets already circulated in 18th-century Florence, where a celebrated Academy of Literati, named La Colombaria (literally, the pigeon-house), was created in 1735 for the sake of scientific and antiquarian curiosity. As a result, the forged tablets are not just to be dismissed as non-authentic documents, but should be considered the multifaceted product of a specific cultural context, which had developed a complex relationship with the ancient world.

Le piastrine dei Colombi. Su alcuni falsi epigrafici in circolazione nella Firenze del Settecento

calvelli
2019

Abstract

This article deals with fake ancient inscriptions and aims at introducing the work of an ongoing collaborative research project, sponsored by the Italian Ministry of Education and titled "False testimonianze" ("Forged evidence"). The research focuses on a group of inscribed bronze tablets, which belong to the collections of different European museums. These artefacts have similar features: they are all inscribed on both sides, one of which usually carries the text of a plausible Latin inscription, while the other bears abbreviations that are often difficult to expand. Some of these objects have long been considered to be forgeries, while others are still displayed as genuine. Through a thorough analysis of intrinsic and extrinsic elements, I challenge the authenticity of these objects and trace their history from the moment when they were first attested. A number of unpublished and little investigated documents suggest that several inscribed bronze tablets already circulated in 18th-century Florence, where a celebrated Academy of Literati, named La Colombaria (literally, the pigeon-house), was created in 1735 for the sake of scientific and antiquarian curiosity. As a result, the forged tablets are not just to be dismissed as non-authentic documents, but should be considered the multifaceted product of a specific cultural context, which had developed a complex relationship with the ancient world.
Epigrafia tra erudizione antiquaria e scienza storica. Ad honorem Detlef Heikamp
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3708063
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