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The thrills of inauthentic literature

June 9, 2017

An excerpt from an OUPblog article by Vayos Liapis, editor of A Commentary on the Rhesus Attributed to Euripides.

‘Sylvester I and Constantine’, San Silvestro Chapel at Santi Quattro Coronati, Rome (1247), Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.
"How much would you be prepared to pay for a library of forged books? In 2011, the Sheridan Libraries of Johns Hopkins University acquired (at an undisclosed price) the so-called ‘Bibliotheca Fictiva’, one of the largest collections of forged books and documents, which includes, among other gems (such as a ‘Letter from Heaven’ supposedly penned by Jesus Christ), ‘eyewitness’ accounts of the Fall of Troy.

Such fictitious accounts were very popular in the Middle Ages, and two fabricated histories in particular —the Chronicle of the Trojan War by ‘Dictys of Crete’ and the History of the Fall of Troy by ‘Dares of Phrygia’— are ultimately at the root of the retellings of the Trojan War one finds in, among others, Chaucer’s and Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida ..."

Read the rest of this article on the OUPblog >

Image Credit: ‘Sylvester I and Constantine’, San Silvestro Chapel at Santi Quattro Coronati, Rome (1247), Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.


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