<HTML> <HEAD> <TITLE>The Tacitus Reference (Annals 15:44) as a Church Industry Forgery</TITLE> <META Name="Origin of Christianity" Content=""> <META Name="keywords" Content=""> </HEAD> <BODY BACKGROUND="http://www.mountainman.com.au/GIF/beige.gif"> <CENTER><TABLE BORDER=5 cellpadding=5 cellspacing=10><TR><TH COLSPAN=2> <IMG ALIGN=bottom SRC="http://www.mountainman.com.au/GIF/mmg_logo.gif" ALT= LogoforMountainManGraphics,Australia></TH> <tr><th><a href="index.htm"><IMG ALIGN=center SRC="http://www.mountainman.com.au/GIF/sunlight.gif" ALT=SunLight><th> <h1>Tacitus 115 CE <br> <tr><th colspan=2><h3><i>Tetrarchy of Church Forgeries<br><font size=2> <a href="author_Pliny_Trajan.htm">Pliny</a> | <a href="author_Pliny_Trajan.htm">Trajan</a> | Tacitus | <a href="author_suetonius.htm">Suetonius</a> | <a href="imperial persecution of christians.htm">Persecutions? <tr><th colspan=2><h5>Web Publication by <A HREF="http://www.mountainman.com.au/welcome.html">Mountain Man Graphics, Australia</A> <tr><td ALIGN=CENTER colspan=2><IMG ALIGN=middle SRC="http://www.mountainman.com.au/GIF/sunonsea.gif" ALT=An_Evolving_Project></td> </TABLE></center><p> <center><i> <font size=2> How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, <br> whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth? </i><p> ~ Sherlock Holmes </font> <br> <br> </center> <TABLE align="left" BORDER=5 colspan=2 cellpadding=5 cellspacing=10> <TR><TH bgcolor = "#CCCCCC"> <img src="Tetrarchy of Church Forgeries.jpg" border="0" height="300" width="200"><p> 111 CE Pliny "Letter"<p> 111 CE Trajan "Letter"<p> 115 CE Tacitus "Annals" <p> 122 CE Suetonius "Lives"<p> <td><h1>Tetrarchy of Church Forgeries</h1> The term "tetrarchy" (from the Greek  "<i>leadership of four</i> [people]") describes any form of government where power is divided among four individuals. The earliest and most prestigious references to the persecution of "Early Christians" by Roman Emperors are divided among the manuscripts attributed to these four individual authors. This tetrarchy of authors binds together strongly, supporting each other in their testimony of Christian persecution in the rule of the Roman Emperor Nero. Collectively this "leadership of four" sources represents a tetrarchy of government directly related to authenticity of historical events in Rome in the later 1st century of the common era. One of the core principles for determining reliability using the historical method is that "<i>If a number of independent sources contain the same message, the credibility of the message is strongly increased"</i>. As a result the references to the Christians in this tetrarchy of Roman writers are generally accepted as authentic. With only a few exceptions, the consensus of opinion among modern historians is that the persecution of Christians under Nero is an actual historical event. This may be stated in another form: the hypothesis that Nero persecuted the Christians is generally accepted as being true.<p> However in this article, the exceptions to this consensus are gathered, and the counter-arguments to authenticity are outlined in their basic form. Another of the core principles for determining reliability using the historical method is that "<i>Any given source may be forged or corrupted. Strong indications of the originality of the source increase its reliability.</i>" Many of the academics who have argued against the authenticity of some or all of these references have done so on the basis that they suspect them of being forged, or corrupted in some manner. Many of the manuscripts containing these references were "<i>suddenly and unexpectedly discovered</i>" in the manuscript archives of the church, which will here not be treated as a "Divine Institute" but rather as a "Church Organisation" or "Church [Belief] Industry", and associated with political, financial and business agendas. The manuscripts of four individual Roman authors - Pliny, Trajan, Tacitus and Suetonius - have certainly not been <i>"miraculously and immaculately transmitted</i> from antiquity. It needs to be stated quite clearly that history has demonstrated that the church organisation slash industries (and their CEO's) have perpetuated themselves (business as usual) from antiquity by means of .... atrocities, exiles, tortures, executions, inquisitions, book burning and prohibition of books, censorship, and (one of the most vital instruments of deceit) literary forgery. Accordingly it needs to be stressed that the organisation that was responsible for the <i>"miraculous and immaculate transmission</i> of these manuscripts from antiquity was itself utterly corrupt, at least from the 4th century when it became a political instrument of the Roman Emperor Constantine. It will be argued that this literary evidence currently attributed to this tetrarchy of Roman authors was probably forged by the church organisation during the Middle Ages, and that, as a result, the hypothesis that Nero persecuted the Christians is probably false. </table> <br><br><a name="index">* <ul> <h1>Timeline</h1> <u><b>Ancient Sources____________________________________</u></b><p> <a href="#1">115</a> - <b>Tacitus</b>, <i>"Annals"</i> 15:44<br> <a href="#2">122</a> - <b>Suetonius</b>, <i>"Lives"</i>, Nero, 16: <br> <a href="#3">192</a> - <b>Tertullian</b>, <i>"Apology"</i> 5:<BR> <a href="#4">324</a> - <b>Eusebius of Caesarea</b>, <i>"Historia Ecclesiastica"</i> 2.25<BR> <a href="#5">325</a> - <b>Lactantius</b>, <i>"On the Manner in which the Persecutors Died"</i>", Chapter 2 <BR> <a href="#6">4th</a> - <b>Seneca to Paul</b>, Letter 12:<i> "Dear Paul, How goeth the church industry? Your good buddy, Seneca"</i><br> <a href="#7">403</a> - <b>Sulpicius Severus</b>, <i>"Chronicle"</i> 2.29.1-4a: "phrases and even sentences from many classical authors are interwoven here and there"<BR> <a href="#8">???</a> - <b>Jerome, Orosius, Sidonius Apollinaris, and Cassiodorus.</b><p> <u><b>Middle Age Sources____________________________________</u></b><p> <a href="#101">1071</a> - Oldest manuscript (Annals 15:44) dated <i>palaeographically</i>: Second <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Medici">Medicean</a> manuscript, Benedictine abbey, Monte Cassino, using the Beneventan script<br> 1513 - John de Medici (Pope Leo X) increases the price of rewards to persons who procured new MS. copies of ancient Greek and Roman works<br> 1514 - Angelo Arcomboldi, Pope Leo X's <i>"Thesaurum Quaestor Pontificius"</i> ("steward", "receiver", or "collector") discovers the manuscripts of Annals 1-6<br> 1515 - Publication of Annals 1-6 by Beroaldus in Rome<br> 1559 - Index Librorum Prohibitorum<br> 16th - Last known exemplars authored using the <i>Beneventan</i> script <p> <u><b>Modern Sources____________________________________</u></b><p> <a href="#1001">1878</a> - John Wilson Ross, <i>"Tacitus and Bracciolini: The Annals Forged in the 15th Century"</i> (Ross disputes the Annals in its entirety but accepts the History)<BR> <a href="#1002">1885</a> - Polydore Hochart <i>"tudes au sujet de la perscution des Chrtiens sous Nron"</i> <BR> <a href="#1003">1890</a> - Polydore Hochart <i>"De l'authenticite des Annales et des Histoires de Tacite"</i> (Hochart questions both the Annals and the History)<br> <a href="#1004">1902</a> - Georg Andresen commented on the "Chrestians"<br> <a href="#1009">1910</a> - W.B. Smith's <i>"The Silence of Josephus and Tacitus"</i>, largely duplicated in <i>"Ecce Deus"</i><br> <a href="#1005">1912</a> - Arthur Drews, <i>"The Witnesses to the Historicity of Jesus</i>" summarising Hochart: middle age forgery<br> <a href="#1006">1913</a> - W.B. Smith's <i>"Ecce Deus"</i> (Smith questions only the genuineness of the passage in the Annals about "Christus" and "Christians")<br> <a href="#1007">1947</a> - Arnaldo Momigliano, "The First Political Commentary on Tacitus"<br> <a href="#1008">2014</a> - Richard Carrier <i>"The Prospect of a Christian Interpolation in Tacitus, Annals 15.44"</i> <p> <br> <a href="#LINKS">Links</a> - Further references<p> </ul></ul></ul><a name="1"><h6><a href="#index">[index]</a><hr>Ancient Source</h6><ul> 1.1 <a href="https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Annals_(Tacitus)/Book_15#44">Tacitus' Annals XV.44</a>:<p> <ul> "<i>Such indeed were the precautions of human wisdom. The next thing was to seek means of propitiating the gods, and recourse was had to the Sibylline books, by the direction of which prayers were offered to Vulcanus, Ceres, and Proserpina. Juno, too, was entreated by the matrons, first, in the Capitol, then on the nearest part of the coast, whence water was procured to sprinkle the fane and image of the goddess. And there were sacred banquets and nightly vigils celebrated by married women. But all human efforts, all the lavish gifts of the emperor, and the propitiations of the gods, did not banish the sinister belief that the conflagration was the result of an order. <p> Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. <p> Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired. Nero offered his gardens for the spectacle, and was exhibiting a show in the circus, while he mingled with the people in the dress of a charioteer or stood aloft on a car. Hence, even for criminals who deserved extreme and exemplary punishment, there arose a feeling of compassion; for it was not, as it seemed, for the public good, but to glut one man's cruelty, that they were being destroyed."</i>. See the details of the oldest Tacitus manuscript (11th century) which when subject to <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tacitus_on_Christ#Christians_and_Chrestians">ultra-violet examination</a> an alteration was conclusively shown to have been made, from "Chrestians" to "Christians".<p> </ul></ul> </ul></ul></ul><a name="2"><h6><a href="#index">[index]</a><hr>Ancient Source</h6><ul> 1.2 <a href="http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Suetonius/12Caesars/Nero*.html">Suetonius, Lives, Nero, 16</a>: <p> <ul>16. He devised a new form for the buildings of the city and in front of the houses and apartments he erected porches, from the flat roofs of which fires could be fought; and these he put up at his own cost. He had also planned to extend the walls as far as Ostia and to bring the sea from there to Rome by a canal. During his reign many abuses were severely punished and put down, and no fewer new laws were made: a limit was set to expenditures; the public banquets were confined to a distribution of food; the sale of any kind of cooked viands in the taverns was forbidden, with the exception of pulse and vegetables, whereas before every sort of dainty was exposed for sale. <i><u>Punishment was inflicted on the Christians, a class of men given to a new and mischievous superstition.</i></u> He put an end to the diversions of the chariot drivers, who from immunity of long standing claimed the right of ranging at large and amusing themselves by cheating and robbing the people. The pantomimic actors and their partisans were banished from the city. <p></ul> </ul></ul></ul><a name="3"><h6><a href="#index">[index]</a><hr>Ancient Source</h6><ul> 1.3 <a href="http://www.tertullian.org/articles/bindley_apol/bindley_apol.htm">Tertullian, Apology 5</a>:<p> <ul> Now, to consider somewhat concerning the origin of laws of this kind. There was an old decree 11 that no god should be consecrated by the emperor without the approval of the senate. Marcus Aemilius is a witness of this in the case of his god Alburnus. And this makes in our favour, that amongst you divinity is weighed out at human caprice. Unless a god shall have pleased man, he shall not be a god; man must now be propitious to a god. Tiberius, then, in whose time the Christian name entered into the world, laid before the senate 12 tidings from Palestine which had revealed to him the truth of that Divine Power there manifested, and supported the motion with his own first vote. The senate, because it did not itself approve, rejected the proposal. Caesar maintained his own opinion, and threatened danger to those who accused the Christians. <p> Consult your own records : there you will find that Nero was the first to furiously attack with the imperial sword this sect then rising into notice especially at Rome 13. But in such an originator of our condemnation we |18 indeed glory. For whoever knows him can understand that nothing but what was sublimely good was condemned by Nero. Domitian also, somewhat of a Nero in cruelty, attempted the same, but inasmuch as he had some human feelings, he soon stopped the proceedings, and those whom he had banished were recalled 14. Such have ever been our persecutors, the unjust, the impious, the base, whom you yourselves have been accustomed to condemn, and to restore those condemned by them. <p></ul> </ul></ul></ul><a name="4"><h6><a href="#index">[index]</a><hr>Ancient Source</h6><ul> 1.4 <a href="http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf201.iii.vii.xxvi.html">Eusebius of Caesarea, <i>Historia Ecclesiastica</a></i> 2.25:<p> <ul><b>The Persecution under Nero in which Paul and Peter were honored at Rome with Martyrdom in Behalf of Religion.</b>: When the government of Nero was now firmly established, he began to plunge into unholy pursuits, and armed himself even against the religion of the God of the universe. To describe the greatness of his depravity does not lie within the plan of the present work. As there are many indeed that have recorded his history in most accurate narratives, every one may at his pleasure learn from them the coarseness of the man s extraordinary madness, under the influence of which, after he had accomplished the destruction of so many myriads without any reason, he ran into such blood-guiltiness that he did not spare even his nearest relatives and dearest friends, but destroyed his mother and his brothers and his wife, with very many others of his own family as he would private and public enemies, with various kinds of deaths. But with all these things this particular in the catalogue of his crimes was still wanting, that he was the first of the emperors who showed himself an enemy of the divine religion. <p> The Roman Tertullian is likewise a witness of this. He writes [Tertullian, Apol. V.] as follows:<p> <ul><i>  Examine your records. There you will find that Nero was the first that persecuted this doctrine, particularly then when after subduing all the east, he exercised his cruelty against all at Rome. We glory in having such a man the leader in our punishment. For whoever knows him can understand that nothing was condemned by Nero unless it was something of great excellence. </i><p></ul> Thus publicly announcing himself as the first among God s chief enemies, he was led on to the slaughter of the apostles. It is, therefore, recorded that Paul was beheaded in Rome itself, and that Peter likewise was crucified under Nero. <u>This account of Peter and Paul is substantiated by the fact that their names are preserved in the cemeteries of that place even to the present day.</u> It is confirmed likewise by Caius, a member of the Church, who arose under Zephyrinus, bishop of Rome. He, in a published disputation with Proclus, the leader of the Phrygian heresy, speaks as follows concerning the places where the sacred corpses of the aforesaid apostles are laid:  But I can show the trophies of the apostles. For if you will go to the Vatican or to the Ostian way, you will find the trophies of those who laid the foundations of this church. And that they both suffered martyrdom at the same time is stated by Dionysius, bishop of Corinth, in his epistle to the Romans, in the following words:  You have thus by such an admonition bound together the planting of Peter and of Paul at Rome and Corinth. For both of them planted and likewise taught us in our Corinth. And they taught together in like manner in Italy, and suffered martyrdom at the same time. I have quoted these things in order that <u>the truth of the history</u> might be still more confirmed. <p></ul> </ul></ul></ul><a name="5"><h6><a href="#index">[index]</a><hr>Ancient Source</h6><ul> 1.5 <a href="http://people.ucalgary.ca/~vandersp/Courses/texts/lactant/lactpers.html">Lactantius</a> <i>"On the Manner in which the Persecutors Died"</i>, Chapter 2: <p><ul> In the latter days of the Emperor Tiberius, in the consulship of Ruberius Geminus and Fufius Geminus, and on the tenth of the kalends of April, as I find it written, Jesus Christ was crucified by the Jews. After He bad risen again on the third day, He gathered together His apostles, whom fear, at the time of His being laid hold on, had put to flight; and while He sojourned with them forty days, He opened their hearts, interpreted to them the Scripture, which hitherto had been wrapped up in obscurity, ordained and fitted them for the preaching of His word and doctrine, and regulated all things concerning the institutions of the New Testament; and this having been accomplished, a cloud and whirlwind enveloped Him, and caught Him up from the sight of men unto heaven. His apostles were at that time eleven in number, to whom were added Matthias, in the room of the traitor Judas, and afterwards Paul. Then were they dispersed throughout all the earth to preach the Gospel, as the Lord their Master had commanded them; and during twenty-five years, and until the beginning of the reign of the Emperor Nero, they occupied themselves in laying the foundations of the Church in every province and city.<p> And while Nero reigned, the Apostle Peter came to Rome, and, through the power of God committed unto him, wrought certain miracles, and, by turning many to the true religion, built up a faithful and stedfast temple unto the Lord. When Nero heard of those things, and observed that not only in Rome, but in every other place, a great multitude revolted daily from the worship of idols, and, condemning their old ways, went over to the new religion, he, an execrable and pernicious tyrant, sprung forward to raze the heavenly temple and destroy the true faith. <u>He it was who first persecuted the servants of God; he crucified Peter, and slew Paul:</u> nor did he escape with impunity; for God looked on the affliction of His people; and therefore the tyrant, bereaved of authority, and precipitated from the height of empire, suddenly disappeared, and even the burial-place of that noxious wild beast was nowhere to be seen. This has led some persons of extravagant imagination to suppose that, having been conveyed to a distant region, he is still reserved alive; and to him they apply the Sibylline verses concerning <i> The fugitive, who slew his own mother, being to come from the uttermostboundaries of the earth;</i> as if he who was the first should also be the last persecutor, and thus prove the forerunner of Antichrist! But we ought not to believe those who, affirming that the two prophets Enoch and Elias have been translated into some remote place that they might attend our Lord when He shall come to judgment, also fancy that Nero is to appear hereafter as the forerunner of the devil, when he shall come to lay waste the earth and overthrow mankind. <p></ul> </ul></ul></ul><a name="6"><h6><a href="#index">[index]</a><hr>Ancient Source</h6><ul> 1.6 <a href="http://wesley.nnu.edu/sermons-essays-books/noncanonical-literature/noncanonical-literature-writings/the-correspondence-of-paul-and-seneca/">Seneca to Paul; Letter 12</a>:<p><ul> 12. SENECA TO PAUL, greeting. Hail, my dearest Paul. Think you that I am not in sadness and grief, that your innocent people are so often condemned to suffer And next, that the whole people thinks you so callous and so prone to crime, that you are supposed to be the authors of every misfortune in the city Yet let us bear it patiently and content ourselves with what fortune brings, until supreme happiness puts an end to our troubles. Former ages had to bear the Macedonian, Philip's son, and, after Darius, Dionysius, and our own times endured Gaius Caesar: to all of whom their will was law. The source of the many fires which Rome suffers plain. But if humble men could speak out what the reason is, and if it were possible to speak without risk in this dark time, all would be plain to all. <p> <u>Christians and Jews are commonly executed as contrivers of the fire</u>. Whoever the criminal is whose pleasure is that of a butcher, and who veils himself with a lie, he is reserved for his due season: and as the best of men is sacrificed, the one for the many, so he, vowed to death for all, will be burned with fire. A hundred and thirty-two houses and four blocks have been burnt in six days, the seventh brought a pause. I pray you may be well, brother. Given the 5th of the kalends of April; Frugi and Bassus consuls (64). <p> </ul> </ul></ul></ul><a name="7"><h6><a href="#index">[index]</a><hr>Ancient Source</h6><ul> 1.7 <a href="http://www.textexcavation.com/tacitustestimonium.html">Sulpicius Severus, Chronicle 2.29.1-4a</a>:<p> <ul> In the meantime, the number of the Christians being now very large, it happened that Rome was destroyed by fire while Nero was stationed at Antium. But the opinion of all cast the odium of causing the fire upon the emperor, and the emperor was believed in this way to have sought for the glory of building a new city. And in fact, Nero could not by any means that he tried escape from the charge that the fire had been caused by his orders. He therefore turned the accusation against the Christians, and the most cruel tortures were accordingly inflicted upon the innocent. Nay, even new kinds of death were invented, so that, being covered in the skins of wild beasts, they perished by being devoured by dogs, while many were crucified or slain by fire, and not a few were set apart for this purpose, that, when the day came to a close, they should be consumed to serve for light during the night. It was in this way that cruelty first began to be manifested against the Christians. Afterward, too, their religion was prohibited by laws which were given, and by edicts openly set forth it was proclaimed unlawful to be a Christian. At that time Paul and Peter were condemned to capital punishment, of whom the one was beheaded with a sword, while Peter suffered crucifixion.<p></ul> </ul></ul></ul><a name="8"><h6><a href="#index">[index]</a><hr>Ancient Source</h6><ul> 1.8 <b>Other sources</b>: Jerome, Orosius, Sidonius Apollinaris, and Cassiodorus. (Not yet located)<p> </ul></ul></ul><a name="101"><h6><a href="#index">[index]</a><hr>Middle Ages Source</h6><ul> <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beneventan_script">Beneventan script</a>:<p> <ul> The beneventan script was a medieval script which originated in the Duchy of Benevento in southern Italy. It was also called Langobarda, Longobarda, Longobardisca (signifying its origins with the Lombards), or sometimes Gothica; it was first called Beneventan by palaeographer E. A. Lowe.<p> It is mostly associated with Italy south of Rome, but it was also used in Beneventan-influenced centres across the Adriatic Sea in Dalmatia. The script was used from approximately the mid-8th century until the 13th century, <b><u>although there are examples from as late as the 16th century.</u></b> <p> There were two major centres of Beneventan usage: the monastery on Monte Cassino, and Bari. The Bari type developed in the 10th century from the Monte Cassino type; both were based on Roman cursive as written by the Langobards. In general the script is very angular. According to Lowe, the perfected form of the script was used in the 11th century, while Desiderius was abbot of Monte Cassino, declining thereafter.<p> </ul> </ul></ul></ul><a name="1001"><h6><a href="#index">[index]</a><hr>Modern Source</h6><ul> <img align="left" src="https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a9/Gianfrancesco_Poggio_Bracciolini_-_Imagines_philologorum.jpg/220px-Gianfrancesco_Poggio_Bracciolini_-_Imagines_philologorum.jpg"> <a href="https://archive.org/details/tacitusandbracci09098gut">John Wilson Ross, "Tacitus and Bracciolini: The Annals Forged in the 15th Century"</a><p> <ul> The text of this work is also available <a href="http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/9098">here</a> at the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation. <p> <ul><a href="http://www.tertullian.org/rpearse/tacitus/">Source</a>: <p> <i>John de Medici, that magnificent Pope, had been scarcely elected to the Pontifical chair by the title of Leo X. in the spring of 1513, when he caused it to be publicly made known that he would increase the price of rewards given by his predecessors to persons who procured new MS. copies of ancient Greek and Roman works. More than a year, nearly two years elapsed; then his own "Thesaurum Quaestor Pontificius"--"steward," "receiver," or "collector",-- Angelo Arcomboldi, brought to him a new MS. of the works of Tacitus, with a most startling novelty--THE FIRST SIX (or, as then divided, FIVE) BOOKS OF THE ANNALS! Everybody was amazed; and everybody was extremely anxious to know where and how it had been obtained. The story of Arcomboldi was that he had found the stranger among the treasures on the well-stored shelves in the Library of the Benedictine monastery on the banks of the Weser, at Corvey, in Westphalia, long famed for the high culture of its learned inmates. The MS. was given out as being of great antiquity, traceable to, at the very least, the commencement of the ninth century; for it was said to have belonged to one of the most distinguished and accomplished scholars of the abbey, Anschaire, whom Gregory IV. in the year 835 appointed his Legate Apostolic in Denmark and Sweden, and who Christianized the whole northern parts of Europe.</i><p> <A HREF="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poggio_Bracciolini">Poggio Bracciolini</A> "served under four successive popes (1404 1415); first as scriptor (writer of official documents), soon moving up to abbreviator, then scriptor penitentiarius, and scriptor apostolicus. Under Martin V he reached the top rank of his office, as Apostolicus Secretarius, papal secretary. As such, he functioned as a personal attendant (amanuensis) of the Pope, writing letters at his behest and dictation, with no formal registration of the briefs, but merely 'preserving' copies." <p> </ul> Here is a brief sketch by way of a reproduction of the claims made at the index to the book:<p> <pre> BOOK ONE - TACITUS CHAPTER I - TACITUS COULD BARELY HAVE WRITTEN THE ANNALS. 1. From the chronological point of view. 2. The silence preserved about that work by all writers till the fifteenth century. 3. The age of the MSS. containing the Annals. CHAPTER II - A FEW REASONS FOR BELIEVING THE ANNALS TO BE A FORGERY. 1. The fifteenth century an age of imposture, shown in the invention of printing. 2. The curious discovery of the first six books of the Annals. 3. The blunders it has in common with all forged documents. 4. The Twelve Tables. 5. The Speech of Claudius in the Eleventh Book of the Annals. 6. Brutus creating the second class of nobility. 7. Camillus and his grandson. 8. The Marching of Germanicus. 9. Description of London in the time of Nero. 10. Labeo Antistius and Capito Ateius; the number of people executed for their attachment to Sejanus; and the marriage of Drusus, the brother of Tiberius, to the Elder Antonia. CHAPTER III - SUSPICIOUS CHARACTER OF THE ANNALS FROM THE POINT OF TREATMENT. 1. Nature of the history. 2. Arrangement of the narrative. 3. Completeness in form. 4. Incongruities, contradictions and disagreements from the History of Tacitus. 5. Craftiness of the writer. 6. Subordination of history to biography. 7. The author of the Annals and Tacitus differently illustrate Roman history. 8. Characters and events corresponding to characters and events in the XVth century. 9. Greatness of the Author of the Annals. CHAPTER IV - HOW THE ANNALS DIFFERS FROM THE HISTORY. 1. In the qualities of the writers; and why that difference. 2. In the narrative, and in what respect. 3. In style and language. 4. The reputation Tacitus has of writing bad Latin due to the mistakes of his imitator. CHAPTER V - THE LATIN AND THE ALLITERATIONS IN THE ANNALS. 1. Errors in Latin, (_a_) on the part of the transcriber; (_b_) on the part of the writer. 2. Diction and Alliterations: Wherein they differ from those of Tacitus. BOOK TWO - BRACCIOLINI. CHAPTER I - BRACCIOLINI IN ROME. 1. His genius and the greatness of his age. 2. His qualifications. 3. His early career. 4. The character of Niccolo Niccoli, who abetted him in the forgery 5. Bracciolini's descriptive writing of the Burning of Jerome of Prague compared with the descriptive writing of the sham sea fight in the Twelfth Book of the Annals. CHAPTER II - BRACCIOLINI IN LONDON. 1. Gaining insight into the darkest passions from associating with Cardinal Beaufort. 2. His passage about London in the Fourteenth Book of the Annals examined. 3. About the Parliament of England in the Fourth Book. CHAPTER III - BRACCIOLINI SETTING ABOUT THE FORGERY OF THE ANNALS 1. The Proposal made in February, 1422, by a Florentine, named Lamberteschi, and backed by Niccoli. 2. Correspondence on the matter, and Mr. Shepherd's view that it referred to a Professorship refuted. 3. Professional disappointments in England determine Bracciolini to persevere in his intention of forging the Annals. 4. He returns to the Papal Secretaryship, and begins the forgery in Rome in October, 1423. CHAPTER IV - BRACCIOLINI AS A BOOKFINDER 1. Doubts on the authenticity of the Latin, but not the Greek Classics. 2. At the revival of letters Popes and Princes offered large rewards for the recovery of the ancient classics. 3. The labours of Bracciolini as a bookfinder. 4. Belief put about by the professional bookfinders that MSS. were soonest found in obscure convents in barbarous lands. 5. How this reasoning throws the door open to fraud and forgery. 6. The bands of bookfinders consisted of men of genius in every department of literature and science. 7. Bracciolini endeavours to escape from forging the Annals by forging the whole lost History of Livy. 8. His Letter on the subject to Niccoli quoted, and examined. 9. Failure of his attempt, and he proceeds with the forgery of the Annals. BOOK THREE - THE LAST SIX BOOKS OF THE ANNALS. CHAPTER I - THE CHARACTER OF BRACCIOLINI. 1. The audacity of the forgery accounted for by the mean opinion Bracciolini had of the intelligence of men. 2. The character and tone of the last Six Books of the Annals exemplified by what is said of Sabina Poppaea, Sagitta, Pontia and Messalina. 3. A few errors that must have proceeded from Bracciolini about the Colophonian Oracle of Apollo Clarius, the Household Gods of the Germans, Gotarzes, Bardanes and, above all, Nineveh. 4. The estimate taken of human nature by the writer of the Annals the same as that taken by Bracciolini. 5. The general depravity of mankind as shown in the Annals insisted upon in Bracciolini's Dialogue "De Infelicitate Principum". CHAPTER II - THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY. 1. The intellect and depravity of the age. 2. Bracciolini as its exponent. 3. Hunter's accurate description of him. 4. Bracciolini gave way to the impulses of his age. 5. The Claudius, Nero and Tiberius of the Annals personifications of the Church of Rome in the fifteenth century. 6. Schildius and his doubts. 7. Bracciolini not covetous of martyrdom: communicates his fears to Niccoli. 8. The princes and great men in the Annals the princes and great men of the XVth century, not of the opening period of the Christian aera. 9. Bracciolini, and not Tacitus, a disparager of persons in high places. CHAPTER III - FURTHER PROOFS OF FORGERY. 1. "Octavianus" as the name of Augustus Caesar. 2. Cumanus and Felix as joint governors of Judaea. 3. The blood relationship of Italians and Romans. 4. Fatal error in the _oratio obliqua_. 5. Mistake made about "locus". 6. Objections of some critics to the language of Tacitus examined. 7. Some improprieties that occur in the Annals found also in Bracciolini's works. 8. Instanced in (_a_) "nec--aut". (_b_) rhyming and the peculiar use of "pariter". 9. The harmony of Tacitus and the ruggedness of Bracciolini illustrated. 10. Other peculiarities of Bracciolini's not shared by Tacitus: Two words terminating alike following two others with like terminations; prefixes that have no meaning; and playing on a single letter for alliterative purposes. CHAPTER IV - THE TERMINATION OF THE FORGERY. 1. The literary merit and avaricious humour of Bracciolini. 2. He is aided in his scheme by a monk of the Abbey of Fulda. 3. Expressions indicating forgery. 4. Efforts to obtain a very old copy of Tacitus. 5. The forgery transcribed in the Abbey of Fulda. 6. First saw the light in the spring of 1429. CHAPTER V - THE FORGED MANUSCRIPT. 1. Recapitulation, showing the certainty of forgery. 2. The Second Florence MS. the forged MS. 3. Cosmo de' Medici the man imposed upon. 4. Digressions about Cosmo de' Medici's position, and fondness for books, especially Tacitus. 5. The many suspicious marks of forgery about the Second Florence MS.; the Lombard characters; the attestation of Salustius. 6. The headings, and Tacitus being bound up with Apuleius, seem to connect Bracciolini with the forged MS. 7. The first authentic mention of the Annals. 8. Nothing invalidates the theory in this book. 9. Brief recapitulation of the whole argument. BOOK FOUR - THE FIRST SIX BOOKS OF THE ANNALS. CHAPTER I - REASONS FOR BELIEVING THAT BRACCIOLINI WROTE BOTH PARTS OF THE ANNALS. 1. Improvement in Bracciolini's means after the completion of the forgery of the last part of the Annals. 2. Discovery of the first six books, and theory about their forgery. 3. Internal evidence the only proof of their being forged. 4. Superiority of workmanship a strong proof. 5. Further departure than in the last six books from Tacitus's method another proof. 6. The symmetry of the framework a third proof. 7. Fourth evidence, the close resemblance in the openings of the two parts. 8. The same tone and colouring prove the same authorship. 9. False statements made about Sejanus and Antonius Natalis for the purpose of blackening Tiberius and Nero. 10. This spirit of detraction runs through Bracciolini's works. 11. Other resemblances denoting the same author. 12. Policy given to every subject another cause to believe both parts composed by a single writer. 13. An absence of the power to depict differences in persons and things. CHAPTER II - LANGUAGE, ALLITERATION, ACCENT AND WORDS. 1. The poetic diction of Tacitus, and its fabrication in the Annals. 2. Florid passages in the Annals. 3. Metrical composition of Bracciolini. 4. Figurative words: (_a_) "pessum dare" (_b_) "voluntas" 5. The verb "foedare" and the Ciceronian use of "foedus". 6. The language of other Roman writers,--Livy, Quintus Curtius and Sallust. 7. The phrase "non modo--sed", and other anomalous expressions, not Tacitus's. 8. Words not used by Tacitus, "distinctus" and "codicillus" 9. Peculiar alliterations in the Annals and works of Bracciolini. 10. Monotonous repetition of accent on penultimate syllables. 11. Peculiar use of words: (_a_) "properus" (_b_) "annales" and "scriptura" (_c_) "totiens" 12. Words not used by Tacitus: (_a_) "addubitare" (_b_) "extitere" 13. Polysyllabic words ending consecutive sentences. 14. Omissions of prepositions: (_a_) in. (_b_) with names of nations. CHAPTER III - MISTAKES THAT PROVE FORGERY 1. The gift for the recovery of Livia. 2. Julius Caesar and the Pomoerium. 3. Julia, the wife of Tiberius. 4. The statement about her proved false by a coin. 5. Value of coins in detecting historical errors. 6. Another coin shows an error about Cornatus. 7. Suspicion of spuriousness from mention of the Quinquennale Ludicrum. 8. Account of cities destroyed by earthquake contradicted by a monument. 9. Bracciolini's hand shown by reference to the Plague. 10. Fawning of Roman senators more like conduct of Italians in the fifteenth century. 11. Same exaggeration with respect to Pomponia Graecina. 12. Wrong statement of the images borne at the funeral of Drusus. 13. Similar kind of error committed by Bracciolini in his "Varietate Fortunae". 14. Errors about the Red Sea. 15. About the Caspian Sea. 16. Accounted for. 17. A passage clearly written by Bracciolini. CHAPTER THE LAST - FURTHER PROOFS OF BRACCIOLINI BEING THE AUTHOR OF THE FIRST SIX BOOKS OF THE ANNALS. 1. The descriptive powers of Bracciolini and Tacitus. 2. The different mode of writing of both. 3. Their different manners of digressing. 4. Two statements in the Fourth Book of the Annals that could not have been made by Tacitus. 5. The spirit of the Renaissance shown in both parts of the Annals. 6. That both parts proceeded from the same hand shown in the writer pretending to know the feelings of the characters in the narrative. 7. The contradictions in the two parts of the Annals and in the works of Bracciolini. 8. The Second Florence MS. a forgery. 9. Conclusion. </pre> </ul><p> </ul></ul></ul><a name="1002"><h6><a href="#index">[index]</a><hr>Modern Source</h6><ul> <a href="https://archive.org/details/tudesausujetde00hoch">Polydore Hochart</a> <i>"tudes au sujet de la perscution des Chrtiens sous Nron"</i> <p> <ul>Summary by <a href="https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Witnesses_to_the_Historicity_of_Jesus/Part_2/Section_2">Arthur Drews</a> in <i>"The Witnesses to the Historicity of Jesus"</i> re: the Criticisms of Hochart.<p> No one has more decisively attacked the belief in the persecution of the Christians than Hochart, and it is therefore advisable to give a summary here of the critic's arguments. In the first place, he regards it as wholly improbable that the charge against Nero, of setting fire to the city himself, was made at all. The whole conduct of the emperor during and after the fire, as it is described by Tacitus, could not possibly have led to such a feeling among the people. Even Suetonius, who is so bent on throwing the blame of the fire on Nero, knows nothing of such a rumour, and, according to the account of Tacitus, the emperor suffered no loss of popularity with the people. Then the aristocrats, who were in conspiracy against him, did not venture to take any step against him, and the people were very far from disposed to take the part of the conspirators when they were tried. Hence the persecution of the Christians has no adequate motive, and cannot in any case have been due to the cause alleged in Tacitus. In this Schiller agrees with Hochart. In agreement also with Adolph Stahr, he regards the rumour that Nero was the author of the fire as utterly incredible. If any rumour of the kind arose, it -would, he believes, have been confined to the members of the aristocratic party, with whom Tacitus was in sympathy, and would not be found among the people, who considered him innocent. 1 There was, therefore, according to Schiller, with whom even Arnold agrees on this point,2 no reason why Nero should accuse the Christians of causing the fire. 3 In any case there can be no question of a Neronian " persecution of the Christians," even if Tacitus has discovered a statement handed down that, on the occasion of the fire, a number of Jewish sectaries, possibly including some Christians, were put to death on the charge of causing it. <p> The expression " Christians," which Tacitus applies to the followers of Jesus, was by no means common in the time of Nero. Not a single Greek or Roman writer of the first century mentions the name : neither Juvenal nor Persius, Lucian or Martial, the older Pliny or Seneca. Even Dio Cassius never uses it, and his abbreviator, the monk Xiphilinus, sees no reason to break his silence, but speaks of the Christians who were persecuted under Domitian as followers of the Jewish religion. 5 The Christians, who called themselves Jessreans, or Nazoraeans, the Elect, the Saints, the Faithful, etc., were universally regarded as Jews. They observed the Mosaic law, and the people could not distinguish them from the other Jews. That Tacitus applied the name, common in his time, to the Jewish sectaries under Nero, as Voltaire and Gibbon believe, is very improbable. The Greek word Christus (" the anointed ") for Messiah, and the derivative word Christian, first came into use under Trajan, in the time of Tacitus. Even then, however, the word Christus could not mean Jesus of Nazareth. All the Jews without exception looked forward to a Christus or Messiah, and believed that his coming was near at hand. It is, therefore, not clear how the fact of being a "Christian" could, in the time of Nero or of Tacitus, distinguish the followers of Jesus from other believers in a Christus or Messiah. This could only be at a time when the memory was lost of the many other persons who had claimed the dignity of Messiah, and the belief in the Messiah had become a belief in Jesus, not as one, but the Messiah, and Christ and Jesus had become equivalent terms. Not one of the evangelists applies the name Christians to the followers of Jesus. It is never used in the New Testament as a description of themselves by the believers in Jesus, and the relevant passage in Acts (xi, 26), according to which the name was first used at Antioch, has the appearance of a later interpolation, belonging to a time when the term had become a name of honour in the eyes of some and a name of reproach in the eyes of others. <p> With this is also connected the peculiar way in which Tacitus speaks of the execution of Christ under the procurator Pontius Pilate. He does not know the name Jesus which, we may note incidentally, would be impossible if he had had before his eyes the acta of the trial or the protocols of the Senate takes Christ to be a personal name, and speaks of Pilate as a person known to the reader, not as an historian would who seeks to inform his readers, but as a Christian to Christians, to whom the circumstances of the death of Christ were familiar. The Jews at Rome had gone there voluntarily in order to make their fortune in the metropolis of the empire, and on the whole they prospered. They may have been held of little account, or even despised, but no more so than the other oriental foreigners who endeavoured to make money at Rome by fortune-telling, domestic service, or trade. In any case there is so little question of a general "hatred" of the people for them that the Jewish historians, especially Josephus, do not make much complaint of the treatment accorded to their countrymen at Rome.2 It is incredible that the Jessaeans or Nazoraeans amongst them, who must in any case have been few in number at the time of the fire, were the object of an especial hatred, and so would be likely to bear the blame of the fire in the eyes of the people. <p> Death by fire was not a form of punishment inflicted at Rome in the time of Nero. It is opposed to the moderate principles on which the accused were then dealt with by the State. The use of the Christians as " living torches," as Tacitus describes, and all the other atrocities that were committed against them, have little title to credence, and suggest an imagination exalted by reading stories of the later Christian martyrs. The often quoted statements of Juvenal and Seneca have no bearing on this ; they are not connected with the Christians, and need not in the least be regarded as references to the members of the new sect sacrificed by Nero. The victims cannot possibly have been given to the flames in the gardens of Nero, as Tacitus says. According to his own account, these gardens were the refuge of those whose homes had been burned, and were full of tents and wooden sheds. It is hardly probable that Nero would incur the risk of a second fire by his "living torches," and still less probable that he mingled with the crowd and feasted his eyes on the ghastly spectacle. Tacitus tells us in his life of Agricola that Nero had crimes committed, but kept his own eyes off them. The gardens of Nero (on the present Vatican) seem to have been chosen as the theatre of the deed merely to strengthen the legend that the holy of holies of Christianity, the Church of St. Peter, was built on the spot on which the first Christian martyrs had shed their blood. <p> Finally, there is the complete silence of profane writers and the vagueness of the Christian writers on the matter ; the latter only gradually come to make a definite statement of a general persecution of the Christians under Nero, whereas at first they make Nero put to death only Peter and Paul. The first unequivocal mention of the Neronian persecution in connection with the burning of Rome is found in the forged correspondence of Seneca and the apostle Paul, which belongs to the fourth century. A fuller account is then given in the Chronicle of Sulpicius Severus (died 403 A.D.), but it is mixed with the most transparent Christian legends, such as the story of the death of Simon Magus, the bishopric and sojourn of Peter at Eome, etc. The expressions of Sulpicius agree, in part, almost word for word with those of Tacitus. It is, however, very doubtful, in view of the silence of the other Christian authors who used Tacitus, if the manuscript of Tacitus which Sulpicius used contained the passage in question. We are therefore strongly disposed to suspect that the passage (Annals, xv, 44) was transferred from Sulpicius to the text of Tacitus by the hand of a monastic copyist or forger, for the greater glory of God and in order to strengthen the truth of the Christian tradition by a pagan witness. <p> </ul> </ul></ul></ul><a name="1003"><h6><a href="#index">[index]</a><hr>Modern Source</h6><ul> <a href="https://archive.org/details/delauthenticitde00hoch">Polydore Hochart</a> <i>"De l'authenticite des Annales et des Histoires de Tacite"</i> (Hochart questions both the Annals and the History)<p> </ul> </ul></ul></ul><a name="1004"><h6><a href="#index">[index]</a><hr>Modern Source</h6><ul> <IMG align="left" SRC="https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/0c/Highlight_of_MII.png/180px-Highlight_of_MII.png"><p> In 1902 Georg Andresen commented on the appearance of the first 'i' and subsequent gap in the earliest extant, 11th century, copy of the Annals in Florence, suggesting that the text had been altered, and an 'e' had originally been in the text, rather than this 'i'.[17] "With ultra-violet examination of the MS the alteration was conclusively shown. It is impossible today to say who altered the letter e into an i. In Suetonius Nero 16.2, "christiani", however, seems to be the original reading".[18] Since the alteration became known it has given rise to debates among scholars as to whether Tacitus deliberately used the term "Chrestians", or if a scribe made an error during the Middle Ages.<p> </ul></ul></ul><a name="1009"><h6><a href="#index">[index]</a><hr>Modern Source</h6><ul> THE SILENCE OF JOSEPHUS AND TACITUS <br> Author(s): William Benjamin Smith <br> Source: The Monist, Vol. 20, No. 4 (OCTOBER, 1910), pp. 515-550 <br> Published by: Hegeler Institute <br> Stable URL: <a href="http://www.jstor.org/stable/27900278">http://www.jstor.org/stable/27900278</a> <p> <ul> By three entirely independent lines of inquiry we are led to precisely the same result. Look at it as you will, the chapter wears the appearance of being interpolated. Indeed, it must be, not unless one of these signs fail, but unless they all fail, unless all are simultaneously and in the same sense misleading. Even if the doubt raised by each one of these separate inquiries were not very strong, even if it still left the chances two to one in favor of the genuineness, yet the chance that all three would thus simultaneously deceive would be only eight in twenty-seven, the chances would be nineteen to eight in favor of interpolation. <p> <b>We have no choice then. Coerced by this consilience of results, we must regard the passage as probably interpolated, unless there be some strong antecedent reason in favor of genuineness and against interpolation.<p></b> </ul></ul></ul><a name="1005"><h6><a href="#index">[index]</a><hr>Modern Source</h6><ul> <a href="https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Witnesses_to_the_Historicity_of_Jesus/Part_2/Section_2">Arthur Drews</a> in <i>"The Witnesses to the Historicity of Jesus"</i> summarising Hochart's position</a>: <p> <ul> Finally, there is the complete silence of profane writers and the vagueness of the Christian writers on the matter; the latter only gradually come to make a definite statement of a general persecution of the Christians under Nero, whereas at first they make Nero put to death only Peter and Paul. The first unequivocal mention of the Neronian persecution in connection with the burning of Rome is found in the forged correspondence of Seneca and the apostle Paul, which belongs to the fourth century. A fuller account is then given in the Chronicle of Sulpicius Severus (died 403 A.D.), but it is mixed with the most transparent Christian legends, such as the story of the death of Simon Magus, the bishopric and sojourn of Peter at Rome, etc. The expressions of Sulpicius agree, in part, almost word for word with those of Tacitus. It is, however, very doubtful, in view of the silence of the other Christian authors who used Tacitus, if the manuscript of Tacitus which Sulpicius used contained the passage in question. We are therefore strongly disposed to suspect that the passage (Annals, xv, 44) was transferred from Sulpicius to the text of Tacitus by the hand of a monastic copyist or forger, for the greater glory of God and in order to strengthen the truth of the Christian tradition by a pagan witness.[67]<p> But how could the legend arise that Nero was the first to persecute the Christians? It arose, says Hochart, under a threefold influence. The first is the apocalyptic idea, which saw in Nero the Antichrist, the embodiment of all evil, the terrible adversary of the Messiah and his followers. As such he was bound, by a kind of natural enmity, to have been the first to persecute the Christians; as Sulpicius puts it,  because vice is always the enemy of the good. [68] The second is the political interest of the Christians in representing themselves as Nero's victims, in order to win the favour and protection of his successors on that account. The third is the special interest of the Roman Church in the death of the two chief apostles, Peter and Paul, at Rome. Then the author of the letters of Seneca to Paul enlarged the legend in its primitive form, brought it into agreement with the ideas of this time, and gave it a political turn. The vague charges of incendiarism assumed a more definite form, and were associated with the character of Antichrist, which the Church was accustomed to ascribe to Nero on account of his supposed diabolical cruelty. He was accused of inflicting horrible martyrdoms on the Christians, and thus the legend in its latest form reached the Chronicle of Sulpicius. Finally a clever forger (Poggio?) smuggled the dramatic account of this persecution into the Annals of Tacitus, and thus secured the acceptance as historical fact of a purely imaginary story.<p> We need not recognise all Hochart's arguments as equally sound, yet we must admit that in their entirety and agreement they are worthy of consideration, and are well calculated to disturb the ingenuous belief in the authenticity of the passage of Tacitus.<p> </ul> </ul></ul></ul><a name="1006"><h6><a href="#index">[index]</a><hr>Modern Source</h6><ul> <a href="https://archive.org/details/eccedeusstudieso00smitrich">W.B. Smith's <i>"Ecce Deus": STUDIES OF PRIMITIVE CHRISTIANITY</i></a> (Smith questions only the genuineness of the passage in the Annals about "Christus" and "Christians")<p> <ul> THE SILENCE OF TACITUS p.243<p> But even Tertullian reveals no notion of such a Neronian persecution as we read of in Tacitus. Yet he was acquainted with this historian, whose Histories he cites at length, on whose name he puns, whom he cordially hates for defaming the Jews. Had he read of Nero's burning the Christians alive, would he have used such vague and commonplace imagery as "raged with Caesarean sword" and "through Nero's cruelty they sowed Christian blood"? Remember that Tertullian was a rhetorician to his fingertips. Would he have neglected such an exceptional opportunity for the display of his thrice-favourite art? It seems needless to discuss still later testimony, as that of Lactantius (De mort, persec, 2), of Origen (Eus., H. E,, ni, i), of Eusebius {H. E., H, 25), and of Jerome. <p> <b>These late writers have at last learned, after two centuries or more of ignorance, that Peter and Paul fell victims to Neronian fury ; but they still have no idea that Nero falsely accused the Christians of setting the city on fire, nor do they hint that a "vast multitude" lit up the Roman night with the flames of their burning bodies. Not until the fourth century, in Ep. 12 of the forged correspondence of Paul and Seneca, do we read that " Christians and Jews, as if contrivers of (a) conflagration, when put to death are wont to be burned." But even here the allusion, if there be any, to the Neronian persecution is extremely vague. </b><p> ...///...<p> Here, then, we stand in presence of the unbroken and \ universal silence of over two hundred years concerning an alleged event of capital importance, transacted in the very centre of knowledge and information and rumour, yet never once mentioned by any one among many whose especial interest it was to tell of it often and to dwell on it at length. Nor can any one suggest the slightest reason for this silence, for this studied suppression of a highly momentous and dramatic incident in a reign that was a favourite subject of historic delineation, and that lent itself especially to high colouring and picturesque exaggeration. Such considerations seem ample to weight the scale heavily against the genuineness of the passage in question. <p> .... We conclude, then, that this famous chapter, as it now stands, is with compelling probability to be ascribed to another hand than that of Cornelius Tacitus. <p> </ul></ul></ul><a name="1007"><h6><a href="#index">[index]</a><hr>Modern Source</h6><ul> The First Political Commentary on Tacitus <br> Author(s): Arnaldo Momigliano <br> Source: The Journal of Roman Studies, Vol. 37, Parts 1 and 2 (1947), pp. 91-101 z<br> Published by: Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies <br> Stable URL: <a href=http://www.jstor.org/stable/298459:>http://www.jstor.org/stable/298459</a><p> <ul> It is a fact that the whole of the literature specifically illustrating Tacitus' political thought is later than 1580 and somewhat influenced by Lipsius. The intrinsic value of Lipsius' contribution to the interpretation of Tacitus is a matter of opinion, but his contribution to the reputation and popularity of Tacitus cannot be exaggerated.<p> </ul></ul></ul><a name="1008"><h6><a href="#index">[index]</a><hr>Modern Source</h6><ul> <a href="http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/10.1163/15700720-12341171">Richard Carrier</a>, <i>"The Prospect of a Christian Interpolation in Tacitus, Annals 15.44"</i>, Vigiliae Christianae, Volume 68, Issue 3, pages 264  283<p> <ul><b>Abstract</b>: (Brill) Some scholars have argued that Tacitus reference to Christ in connection with the burning of Rome under Nero is a 4th century (or later) interpolation. It is here argued that their arguments can be met with no strong rebuttal, and therefore the key sentence in Tacitus referring to Christ should be considered suspect.<p> (Academia.edu) Advances the argument of Roug to find that in all probability Tacitus never actually referred to Christ at all, and the famous passage now in the manuscripts originally referenced a Jewish rebel group formed by Chrestus a decade later, unconnected to Christianity, and Christian scribes subsequently "improved" the passage by inserting a line about Christ.<p> <b>Conclusion</b>:<p> In the final analysis, given the immensity of the persecution Tacitus describes, its scale in terms of the number of victims, its barbarity, and the injustice of it being based on a false accusation of arson to cover up Nero s own crimes, what are the odds that no Christian would ever have heard of it or made use of it or any reference to it for over three hundred years? By any reasonable estimate, quite low. Not even prolific and erudite professors of Latin like Tertullian or Lactantius? Lower still. That for nearly three centuries no Christian martyr tradition would develop from either the event or Tacitus account of it? Lower still. That no known legends, martyrologies, or tales would adapt or employ it as a motif in any way, not even in the various stories and legends of the persecutions and martyrdoms under Nero that we know did develop and circulate? Lower still. And on top of all that is the additional unlikelihood that all other pagan critics of Christianity (like Suetonius and Pliny the Younger, but even such critics as Celsus) would also somehow not have heard of the event or never make any mention of it.<p> Lowering the probability further is the way Tacitus describes the event. Tacitus treats the persecuted group as unusually large, and no longer existing, and at the time widely and inexplicably regarded as composed of the most vile criminals, who could credibly have committed arson three features that do not fit  Christians that well, but would have fit followers of the instigator Chrestus. It is certainly less likely that Tacitus would say these three things about the Christians in Rome in the year 64 than that he would say them of the Chrestians.<p> For all these reasons in combination I believe we should conclude the suspect line was probably not written by Tacitus, and was most likely interpolated into its present position sometime after the middle of the 4th century A.D. More likely Tacitus was originally speaking of the Chrestians, a violent group of Jews first suppressed under Claudius, and not the Christians, and accordingly did not mention Christ. We should so conclude because alternative explanations of the evidence require embracing a long series of increasingly improbable assumptions. So the line should be rejected as spurious, or at least held in reasonable suspicion. And this conclusion should now be taken into account when assessing the evidence for Christ and Christianity, and also when translating and interpreting Tacitus and the events following the burning of Rome under Nero. The whole passage in Annals 15.44 should instead be considered as possible evidence supplementing Suetonius on the matter of  Chrestus the instigator and Jewish unrest at Rome.<p> </ul> Carrier also argues (2014) that there is a strange gap in the Annals of Tacitus for the period of middle 29 to middle 31 and cites Robert Drews' suggestion that the period was cut because it provided no information regarding Jesus. (On the Historicity of Jesus, pg 343-346)<p> <ul> </ul></ul></ul><a name="LINKS"><h6><a href="#index">[index]</a><hr>Modern Source</h6><ul> <h2>LINKS</h2> <ul> <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tacitus_on_Christ">WIKI: Tacitus on Christ</a><p> <ul> Although most modern scholars consider the passage to be authentic, and therefore "that there was a sizable number of Christians in Rome around 60 CE, Tacitus was born 25 years after Jesus' death. Tacitus does not reveal the source of his information. If Tacitus had been copying from an official source, some scholars would expect him to have labeled Pilate correctly as a prefect rather than a procurator. Michael Martin (The Case Against Christianity, By Michael Martin, pg 50-51) notes that the authenticity of this passage of the Annals has also been disputed on the grounds that Tacitus would not have used the word  messiah in an authentic Roman document. Weaver (The Historical Jesus in the Twentieth Century: 1900-1950, By Walter P. Weaver, pg 53, pg 57) notes that Tacitus spoke of the persecution of Christians, but no other Christian author wrote of this persecution for a hundred years. Hotema (Secret of Regeneration, By Hilton Hotema, pg 100) notes that this passage was not quoted by any Church father up to the 15th century, although the passage would have been very useful to them in their work. Also, that the passage refers to the Christians in Rome being a multitude, while at that time the Christian congregation in Rome would actually have been very small.<p> Since the 18th century at least five attempts have been made to challenge the authenticity of the Annals as having been written by someone other than Tacitus, Voltaire's criticism being perhaps the first. Voltaire was generally critical of Tacitus and said that Tacitus did not comply with the standards for providing a historical background to civilization. In 1878 John Wilson Ross and in 1890 Polydore Hochart suggested that the whole of the Annals had been forged by the Italian scholar Poggio Bracciolini (1380 1459). According to Robert Van Voorst this was an "extreme hypothesis" which never gained a following among modern scholars.<p> The provenance of the manuscripts containing the Annals goes back to the Renaissance. While Bracciolini had discovered three minor works at Hersfeld Abbey in Germany in 1425, Zanobi da Strada (who died in 1361) had likely earlier discovered Annals 11-16 at Monte Cassino where he lived for some time. The copies of Annals at Monte Cassino were likely moved to Florence by Giovanni Boccaccio (1313  1375), a friend of da Strada, who is also credited with their discovery at Monte Cassino. Regardless of whether the Monte Cassino manuscripts were moved to Florence by Boccaccio or dal Strada, Boccaccio made use of the Annals when he wrote Commento di Dante c. 1374 (before the birth of Poggio Bracciolini), giving an account of Seneca's death directly based on the Tacitean account in Annals book 15. Francis Newton states that it is likely that Annals 11-16 were in Monte Cassino during the first half of the rule of Abbot Desiderius (1058 1087) who later became Pope Victor III. Annals 1-6 were then independently discovered at Corvey Abbey in Germany in 1508 and were first published in Rome in 1515. <P> </ul> <a href="https://jayraskin.wordpress.com/2011/04/04/294/">Jay Raskin</a>: the Governor and the executioner in Tacitus's Annals 15.44 have both been edited/redacted (from Nero to Tiberius, and from <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porcius_Festus">Porcius Festus</a> to Pontius Pilate:<p> <ul>Nero fits better, rather than Tiberius, in all of Annals 15.44 - Annals 15.44 starts off referring to Nero (Roman Emperor from 54 to 68 AD)2, then refers to Tiberius (Roman Emperor from 14 AD to 37 AD)3, then refers to Nero again. The reference to Tiberius is out of sync with the time frame, and suggests editing by inserting Tiberius for Nero.<p> <ul><b>Annals 15.44</b>:<p> "But all human efforts, all the lavish gifts of the emperor, and the propitiations of the gods, did not banish the sinister belief that the conflagration was the result of an order. Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius/<b>[Nero]</b> at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus/<b>[Porcius Festus]</b>, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, but as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired. Nero offered his gardens for the spectacle, and was exhibiting a show in the circus, while he mingled with the people in the dress of a charioteer or stood aloft on a car. "</ul> Raskins notes that Antiquities of the Jews - 20.8.10 refers to Festus (as does 20.8.9, & 20.8.11; & 20.9.1):<p> <ul> 9. Now when Porcius Festus was sent as successor to Felix by Nero ... 10 Upon Festus s coming into Judea, it happened that Judea was afflicted by the robbers, while all the villages were set on fire, and plundered by them. And then it was that the sicarii, as they were called, who were robbers, grew numerous. They made use of small swords, not much different in length from the Persian acinacae, but somewhat crooked, and like the Roman sicae, [or sickles,] as they were called; and from these weapons these robbers got their denomination; and with these weapons they slew a great many; for they mingled themselves among the multitude at their festivals, when they were come up in crowds from all parts to the city to worship God, as we said before, and easily slew those that they had a mind to slay. They also came frequently upon the villages belonging to their enemies, with their weapons, and plundered them, and set them on fire. So Festus sent forces, both horsemen and footmen, to fall upon those that had been seduced by a certain impostor, who promised them deliverance and freedom from the miseries they were under, if they would but follow him as far as the wilderness. Accordingly, those forces that were sent destroyed both him that had deluded them, and those that were his followers also.<p> </ul> </ul> <a href="http://michael-sympson.blogspot.com.au/2011/06/when-words-lost-their-real-meaning.html">A Hoax or History? Tacitus & Annals</a> - Michael Sympson (2012)<p><UL> In 1422 a  restored manuscript of Tacitus Annals changed hands for 500 sequins in gold. In today s money this would buy you a decent piece of real estate. The man doing the  restoration and the sale was the Italian humanist Gian Francesco Poggio Bracciolini (1380  1459). A man of genius, who also made a living from  discovering to order medieval manuscripts, long lost in the scriptoria of the monasteries. He was a great admirer of Livy (BC 59  17 AD); Bracciolini s avowed History of Florence is an imitation of the Roman historian. Today Bracciolini is more widely known for his Facetiae, a collection of humorous and lewd tales, an unsparing satire on the monastic orders and the secular clergy, still made available in expensive editions for the discerning book collector. <P> ...<p> Does this mean the Annals is a pseudo epigraph, a forgery end to end and not just in the passages traditionally suspected of interpolation? I am a latinist and I admire Tacitus; but I also know palaeography. I mentioned Fulgentius note on a now lost  Book of pleasing Anecdotes, the Facetiae. Instead of wholesale forgery we should consider the possible condition of a medieval manuscript rediscovered after half a millennium of obscurity on the mouldy shelves of a draughty monastery. The size and amount of lacunae in such manuscript could easily have given Bracciolini the licence he needed to improvise his  restoration without actually violating the overall format. I see an unrelenting defamation, digging out every scandal and every rumor that could make the men in the purple look bad  certainly something down the lane of the conservative senator Tacitus  I see the biographical focus and the overall anecdotal structure  the palimpsest underlying Braciolini s  restoration could easily be the book Fulgentius was mentioning, just not recognised for what it was when Bracciolini laid his hands on it, while Sulpicius paraphrase is nothing of the kind but an original quote from his own work, rephrased by the restorer to be grafted into the manuscript of the Annals, filling another of numerous gaps. As far as I know nobody has considered this possibility yet. <p></ul> <a href="https://rogerviklund.wordpress.com/2010/10/02/">Tacitus as a Witness to Jesus  An Illustration of what the Original Might have looked Like</a><p> <ul> As a proposal, I have suggested that the sentence  Auctor nominis eius Christus Tiberio imperitante per procuratorem Pontium Pilatum supplicio adfectus erat ( Christ, from whom the name had its origin, was in the reign of Tiberius executed by procurator Pontius Pilatus ) could have been a later addition. I would not say that this is what I believe, yet I would like to show how it could have been done.<p> ...///...<p> I would also like to present Erik Zara s arguments in favour of the Christ-passage being a forgery; that  the sentence about Christus was a marginal gloss, later inserted to the text . This list he published at Jesus Mysteries Discussion board. However, one needs to be a member in order to access the files. Over to Erik Zara:<p> <ul> 1) The  repressaque in praesens (repressed for the moment) in the passage makes more sense if the Christus sentence was not a part of the original text, since traditional Christianity cannot have said to be repressed by the killing of Christ  quite the opposite!<p> 2) Also, traditional Christianity cannot be said to have had its origin in Judaea. Probably the Chrestiani referred to some other, now unknown, Jewish messianic group, which would explain Tacitus use of the past tense ( chrestianos appellabat , they WERE called chrestians) instead of the present form ( chrestianos appellat , they ARE called chrestians).<p> 3) If (and I mean only _if_) the Sulpicius Severus passage about the Christiani being involved in the first Jewish War, is from Tacitus, this would also indicate that some other group than the rather peaceful Pauline Christians, described by Pliny, are meant.<p> 4) If the Christus sentence was a marginal gloss, this would also explain the discrepancy in the text  chrEstianos but chrIstus; the words would then have different sources   chrestianos Tacitus and  Christus the marginal gloss.<p> 5) It would also explain why Christians until (or for centuries after) Sulpicius Severus did not refer to the passage  it was not about them!<p> 6) Pontius Pilate is in the Christus sentence mentioned as a procurator. No other Roman historian deemed it necessary to even mention Pilate, and therefore it is perhaps not plausible that Tacitus readers would know who he was. Christians of course did, and they called him procurator and not prefect ( Pontio Pilato, Syriam tunc ex parte Romana procuranti  Tertullian, Apology XXI.18,  Pontius Pilatus procurator Judaeae a Tiberio mittitur  Eusebius Chronicle in Jerome s translation).<p> </ul> The only  convincing argument which I can see, for this sentence to have been authentic, except the fact that it is written in simple latin as were Tacitus texts, is that it is evident in the second Medicean manuscript (M.II). There would apparently though have been plenty of time for Christian scribes to insert the sentence until this MS was written in the 11th century.<p> </ul> <br> </ul></ul></ul> <center> <IMG SRC="http://www.mountainman.com.au/GIF/treeline.gif" ALT= Tree_Line><br> <font size=2> <a href="index.htm">Index</a> | <a href="author_Pliny_Trajan.htm">Pliny-Trajan</a> | <a href="author_suetonius.htm">Suetonius</a> | <a href="imperial persecution of christians.htm">Persecutions?</a> | <a href="Arnaldo Momigliano.htm">Momigliano</a> | <a href="http://www.mountainman.com.au">Mountain Man dot com</a> </center> </body> <html>