Examples of Pseudo-Isidore forged letters from Ante Nicene epoch?

All other informal historical discussion, ancient or modern, falls here. This includes the topics of Islam, Buddhism, and other religious traditions.
User avatar
Leucius Charinus
Posts: 2834
Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2013 4:23 pm
Location: memoriae damnatio

Re: Examples of Pseudo-Isidore forged letters from Ante Nicene epoch?

Post by Leucius Charinus »


This has a number of remarkable affinities with the fragments from the history of Philip of Side:

(1) The Nicene Council featured arguments between Christians and philosophers
* For there were present [at the Nicene Council] very many philosophers
* Certain philosophers who were indeed very good with words
* they dared to say that the Son of God, the creator of the universe and the craftsman of both visible and invisible created natures, is something created and something made.

(2) An Arian Philosopher is converted to Christianity by "a Simple Old Man"
* Reads like a homily

For details see: https://www.tertullian.org/fathers/phil ... gments.htm


To the blessed Sylvester in the city of Rome apostolic 1 of the see, Constantine Augustus and Licinius Caesar, consulship of Paulinus and Julian of the most illustrious men, in the year 2 3 from Alexander the thousand and thirty-sixth in the month 4 of June, 13 Cal. July because of the insurgent heretics, the Catholic faith 5 was exposed at Nicaea in Bithynia, which the holy and most reverent Roman church embraces and venerates 6 , since the three hundred and eighteen fathers mediating with Victor 7 and Vincentius, the most pious priests of the Roman see, inspired the god to obstruct Arius and uttered poisons. For there are also certain rules supported by 8 which the church confirmed by receiving them.

It must be known 10 of course by all Catholics, since 11 the holy 12 Roman church was preferred by no synodical decrees, but it obtained primacy by the evangelical voice of our Lord and Savior 13 , where he said to the blessed Peter the apostle: You are Peter and on this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell 14 they shall not prevail against her. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will also be loosed in heaven. The association was also used in the same Roman city of the blessed apostle Paul, the vessel 16 of the election, who was crowned in one day and at the same time in a glorious death with Peter under the prince Nero in agony 17 , and both together consecrated the holy 18 church of Rome to Christ the Lord and to all other cities in the 19 whole world they prevailed with their presence and venerable triumph. And it is permissible for all to be constant with the God of all saints <E97, f. 85va> the prayer is founded, yet with these words Paul the most blessed apostle promises Romans 20 in his own handwriting, saying: God is my witness 21 whom I serve 22 with my spirit in the gospel of his son 23 that without ceasing I always remember you 24 in my prayers.

The first 25 therefore is the seat of heavenly favor <V630, f. 76vb> of the Roman church, which the most blessed apostles Peter and Paul dedicated to their martyrdom. And the second 26 seat at Alexandria was consecrated in the name of the blessed Peter by Mark, his disciple and evangelist, <O93, f. 35vb> because he himself 27 in Egypt first 28 preached the word of truth directly from Peter and accepted a glorious martyrdom. The venerable Abilius succeeded him. But the third 29 seat at Antioch, the same 30 of the blessed Peter the Apostle, is considered honorable, because there, before he came to Rome 31 , he dwelt and made Ignatius bishop 32 and there the first name of the Christian nation arose. For 33 and the Jerusalemite bishop is considered honorable by all because of such reverence for the place, especially since there the first blessed James, who was called Justus, who was also called the Lord's brother according to the flesh, was ordained bishop by the apostles Peter, James, and John .

<P9629, f. 50va> And so 35 according to the definition of the ancient fathers, the first seat is not at all said to be in Jerusalem, lest perhaps by unbelievers or idiots the seat of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is in heaven, should be thought to be on earth. For his seat is heaven 36 , but the earth is his footstool 37 , because he is, by whom all things were made and without whom nothing was made, since from him and through him and in him are all things, to him be the glory forever and ever. At Ephesus, however, the most blessed John 38 the apostle and evangelist, long after 39 his resurrection and ascension into heaven 40 , wrote and rested by inspiration 41 . And for this reason the bishop of Ephesus, in memory of such an apostle and evangelist, occupies a more honorable seat than the other metropolitan bishops in the synod.
But 43 since we must discuss 44 the Nicene council, what caused this, so that after that most glorious preaching of the apostles, which spread marvelously over the whole earth, the bishops gathered together under Constantine Augustus? The tenth book of Rufinus nobis, which is joined to the nine books of ecclesiastical history, <E97, f. 85vb> which the most erudite man 46 Eusebius 47 of Caesarea published, is necessarily brought to the middle, so that we may remember his small ones, which were written among the beginnings about the perversity of Arius 48 , because there is no doubt, therefore three hundred and eighteen most holy 49 fathers from the entire eastern world in They assembled at Nicaea in Bithynia, that the impious 51 dogma of Arius might be thoroughly condemned with the help of Christ, and that a healthy providence might establish what ought to be observed in the holy Catholic Church 52 .

Also to the passage from the tenth book of Rufinus: Therefore, when at Alexandria after Achillan 53 , who had succeeded the martyrdom of Peter 54 , Alexander had accepted the priesthood, because there was peace for us and rest from persecutions, and the glory of the churches <V630, f. 77ra> rejoiced in the merits of the confessors, the prosperity of our affairs is disturbed by domestic strife .

Indeed, a certain presbyter at Alexandria, Arius by name, a man more religious in appearance and form than in virtue, but wickedly fond of glory and praise and novelty 56 , began to utter certain false things about the faith of Christ 57 , and which had never before 58 come into question 59 . He tried to cut off and separate the Son from that eternal and ineffable substance or nature of God the Father.

This event troubled many in the church. But when Alexander the bishop, of a mild and quiet nature, <P9629, f. 50 vb> he wished to recall Arius from his false 60 beginning 61 and impious assertions 62 by constant warnings, and yet things did not proceed according to his opinion, and 63 because he had already infected most of them 64 with the contagion of the pestilent assertion, not only at Alexandria, but indeed and scattered throughout other cities and provinces, which would be pernicious believing that if he concealed himself from 65 such, he reveals the matter to most of his fellow-priests. The question is more widely known. The word even reached the ears of the religious prince, since he was taking care of our 66 things with all diligence and diligence . Then he convenes an episcopal council 67 at the city of Nicaea by the opinion of the priests , and there he bids Arius the three hundred and eighteen resident bishops to be present and to judge his propositions and questions 68 .

But I do not think that the admirable deed of the 69th prince in that council should be withheld. For when the bishops from almost all places had come together, and, as usually happens, they had quarreled among themselves for various reasons, they were frequently interrupted by individuals, pamphlets were offered, accusations were made, and they gave their minds more to these things than to that for which they had come 70 . But he, <O93, f. 36ra> seeing that by such quarrels the cause of the supreme business would be frustrated 71 , he fixed a certain day on which each of the bishops, if he seemed to have any complaint, should bring it. When he was 72 , he received letters from each. Containing them all together in his bosom, and opening what was contained in them, he said to the bishops: God has appointed you priests and has given you the power to judge us also. And therefore we are rightly judged by you, but you cannot be judged by men. Because of this , wait for God's judgment between you alone, and your quarrels, whatever they may be, will be reserved for that divine examination. You have indeed been given to us by God as gods. It is not fitting 74 for man to judge the gods, but he alone 75 , of whom it is written: God stood in the assembly of the gods 76 , but in the midst he discerns the gods 77 . And therefore, leaving aside those things which pertain to the faith of God, without any contention of the minds 78 <P9629, f. 51ra> tear off 79 .
When he had said these things, we all complained<V630, f. He ordered the books of the 77rb>nians to be burned, lest 80 he should become known to any 81 men 82 impersonating 83 priests.

It is true that for days the question of faith was turning upon many in the council of bishops, and some felt differently, and were greatly afraid of the 84 initiatives of Arius, yet there were many who cursed the impious initiative. And when there was in the same council a great number of priests who had confessed, all were opposed to the innovations of Arius.

In fact, clever men favored him in questions, and because of this simplicity 85 opposed to faith 86 . 87 But what a virtue the simplicity of faith has, we also recognize from what happened there.

In fact, when the priests of the god from all over the country gathered for the sake of the emperor's religious interests, the philosophers and dialecticians, 88 very noble and highly opinionated, were also moved by the opinion. In which a certain man distinguished 89 in the art of dialectics was daily engaged in a conflict 90 of the highest degree with our bishops, men who were probably not equally learned in dialectics 91 . And it was done <E97, f. 86rb> a great spectacle assembled 92 to hear learned and learned men. And yet the philosopher could not be confined or constrained by anything of any kind. Indeed, with such eloquence 93 he met with objected questions, that, where he was most thought to be bound, he slipped out like a slippery snake.

But in order that God might show that the kingdom of God does not consist in speech, but in power, one of the confessors, a man of the simplest nature and knowing nothing else but Jesus Christ and him crucified, was present among the rest of the audience, a bishop 94 . When he saw a philosopher insulting our people and boasting of his clever art of debate, he asked everyone to give him room to talk with the philosopher for a few moments. But then those of us 97 who knew the simplicity of the man and his incompetence in speech were afraid and, as it were, suffered a certain shame, lest perhaps the holy simplicity should be brought into laughter among clever men. The elder persisted, however, and from here he began the conversation. In the name<P9629, f. 51rb> Do not, says Jesus Christ, philosopher, hear what are true. God is one, who made the heavens and the earth, and who gave spirit to man, whom he had formed from the dust of the earth 98 , all things that are seen and 99 that are not seen, he created by the power of his word and by the sanctification of his spirit he established, this word and 100 wisdom, which we son we say, <V630, f. 77va> having compassion on human errors, he is born of a virgin, and through the passion of death he delivered us from eternal death and by his resurrection brought us eternal life, whom we expect to be the judge of all that we do 101 . Do you believe that these things are so, philosopher? But he, as if he had never uttered any 102 word of contradiction 103 , was so astonished at the power of what he had said, and mute to everything, he could only answer this, as it seemed to him that nothing else 104 was true than what he had said. Then 105 the elder: If you have believed these things to be so, rise up and follow me and receive the Lord's and the seal of this faith. And so the Christian philosopher finally congratulated himself on his victory.

In that council also was Pamnutius 106 the man of God, bishop of Egypt, in whom grace was inherent in such virtue 107 that the signs <E97, f. 86va> by him 108 would be done no less than a long time ago by the apostles. At that time also Spyridon 109 Cyprius was considered a distinguished bishop. Therefore, in those times, many men were still shining in the churches of the Lord 110 , of whom <O93, f. 36rb> there were many in that council. In the meantime the assembly was agitated day by day, and they did not dare to decide so easily or at random, and

Arius was frequently called into the council, and his assertions were discussed by constant negotiation, and what they ought to hold against these 112 and decrees, was sought with the utmost deliberation. But after a long and much discussion it was agreed upon by all, and as if by one mouth and heart it was decided that omoysyon 113 should be written 114 , that is to confess the son of the same substance as the father, and this is the most firm opinion of all pronounced.

There are said to have been only seventeen at that time, with whom the faith of Arius was more pleasing, affirming that the son of God had been created externally from no substance, and had not descended from the divinity of the father himself. The decision of the priestly council is conveyed to Constantine. He as 116 from God <P9629, f. 51va> should be venerated. 117 . _

https://www-pseudoisidor-mgh-de.transla ... r_pto=wapp

User avatar
Leucius Charinus
Posts: 2834
Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2013 4:23 pm
Location: memoriae damnatio

Re: Examples of Pseudo-Isidore forged letters from Ante Nicene epoch?

Post by Leucius Charinus »

It looks like the blog of Eric Knibbs, Assistant Professor of History at Williams College in Williamstown, MA., may be back online:

http://pseudoisidore.blogspot.com/2013/ ... art-i.html
"I work on the Pseudo-Isidorian Forgeries"
From the blog:

Now that we've started on Viginius we might as well finish him off.

Ages ago, I said that Pseudo-Isidore likes to assign his letters discrete tasks: He'll often let one letter in the name of a given pope handle the historical hook, and another letter carry the meat. The Viginius letters are a textbook example of this recurring phenomenon. The first brings out all the key arguments; the second has the Liber Pontificalis tie-in (anemic though it may be).

According to his LP bio, Viginius was a Greek and an Athenian philosopher, so here we have Ps. Viginius popping off a letter to the Athenians. It consists almost enitrely of snippets from 2 Corinthians and 1 and 2 Peter, though Ps. Viginius adds the odd sentence of his own. In the opening lines he says that he's quite joyful and happy on the Athenians' behalf, because (his own words now) he's heard that they're doing things that befit good Christians. Sometimes I think our forgers could do with a good freshman writing course: Show, don't tell. That sort of thing.

The letter goes on to say a lot of stuff we've heard before. Mainly, the Athenians should avoid the company of the impious. Most of these exhortations come out of scripture, but Ps. Viginius does crop up about two-thirds of the way through to demand obedience to the apostolic see and emphasize that "great distance has to be kept between the faithful and the unfaithful." Then it's more scriptural citations to warn against impurity of the flesh (2 Cor. 7:1: "and the body!" Viginius adds, puzzlingly), and to advise that the day of the Lord will come like a thief.


Viginius Letter 1


P102; BII13 : 1 Of the faith that the Son was not sent by the Father according to divinity alone, but according to the flesh, and that the same Son also sent himself

<VD38, f. 60rb> [H. 1]

Viginus 5 in the name of Christ the soul 6 bishop of the city of Rome to all 7 in 8 the apostolic faith and doctrine 9 10 greetings.

Beloved, God sent his Son in the likeness 11 of sinful flesh and condemned sin 12 of sin in the flesh, so that 13 the justice of the law might be fulfilled.

V630 : the son was not sent by the father according to divinity alone, but according to the flesh

The son did not <SG670, p. 113a> according to his divinity alone he was sent by the father, but according to the flesh, which he graciously and piously did not condescend to assume for us. For because he emptied himself 14 15 of the power of his majesty, the same 16 himself 17 son <BII13, f. 56rb> sent, the Apostle is challenged and says 18 : He emptied himself by taking the form of a servant 19 , <I83, f. 67rb> he humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death, and the death of the cross.

And 20 Isaiah: Not a messenger 21 nor an angel 22 , but the Lord himself will come and save them 23 . Also there: I appeared openly to those who did not seek me. And Jeremiah: I left my house, I left my inheritance, I came and became 24 them <O93, f. 12rb> in reproach. <S105, f. 44v> And in Micah: Behold, the Lord will come, and the mountains will be shaken under him.

And in Zechariah: Rejoice and rejoice 25 daughter of Zion, for behold, I am coming 26 and I will dwell 27 28 in your midst, says the Lord. And the Apostle 29 to Timothy: Human 30 31 speech and worthy of all acceptance 32 , <SG670, p. 113b> since Christ Jesus 33 came into this world <VD38, f. 60va> to save sinners.

And Malachi: Behold, suddenly 34 his master 36 will come into the temple 36 , whom 37 you seek, and an angel 38 <E97, f. 34vb> of the testament, which you will. And in the gospel: I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance 39 . Also there: What 40 to us and what 41 to you 42 , Jesus, son of God, have you come before the time to destroy us? Again 43 there: The son of man came 44 to save and to seek that which had perished 45 . Also there: I came 46 that they may have life, and may have it more abundantly. Also there: No one ascends<I83, f. 67 He went into heaven, except he who came down from heaven, the Son of Man, who is in heaven.

In these so many and such testimonies, by which the Son of God testified that he came from himself, can anyone say that he came from another 47 and not from himself, while it is manifest that he 48 who took our flesh with dignity, willingly <BII13, f. 56va> and has he not been sent by another 49 ? For he who 50 remains in the father 51 has power everywhere <V630, f. 32vb> consists of his own 52 , where 53 was sent by the father, he did not have at all, since there was no <SG670, p. 114a> part of the heavens and the earth is received from the sight of the father, where, according to you, the son would be sent by the father.

And Paul: Be renewed, says he, in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new man 54 who was created according to God in righteousness 55 and truth 56 of holiness. <VD38, f. 60vb>

And to the Hebrews: For in that, in that which he suffered, he was tempted 58 , for he is powerful to them 59 , who <N442, f. 32va> are tried 60 , auxiliary 61 Therefore, as partakers of the holy vocation 62 always consider the apostle and pontiff of our confession, the faithful existing Jesus 63 who created him.

to 64 Colossians: Nunc au<I83, f. 67 vb>tem 65 and let not all anger , indignation, malice, blasphemy, and baseness 67 or 68 proceed from your mouth. Do not lie to each other. Stripping off the old man with his deeds 69 and putting on the new 70 with him who is renewed in recognition 71 according to the image of him who created him. Is he who owns the whole creation, visible and 72 invisible 73 <SG670, p. 114b> by virtue of power he procreated and made himself before 74 or after 75 , what to say <Bcan4, f. 59v> is it wrong, did he create it or could it do it?

And the Lord said in the Gospel: I and the Father are one 76 . And 77 again: He that seeth me seeth also the father. And again: <BII13, f. 56vb> He who hates me, and hates my father. And again: That all 78 honor 79 the son, as they honor the father. <E97, f. 35ra> <S105, f. 45r> And again: That they may be in us 80 one, as we also are 81 one, you in me and I in them. And again: <VD38, f. 61ra> All that is mine is yours. And again: I in the father 82 , and the father in me 83 .

And again: My father is doing these things while I am 84 years old. And John the evangelist says: In the beginning was the word, and ver<I83, f. 68ra>bum was with God, and God was the Word. And again he himself to 85 Parthos:

There are three, he says, who bear witness on earth:
water, blood, and flesh,
there are three in us; and
there are three who bear witness in heaven:
the father, the word, and the spirit, and
these three are one.

We, therefore, in the nature of the deity, because the father and the son are one , and neither do we believe the father to be anything <SG670, p. 115a> to have preceded 93 , so that 94 he may be greater than his son, nor should a son 95 be born afterwards 96 , so that the deity 97 of the father may be inferior 98 .

O93 : Of the metropolitan


Bcan4 : II

P102; BII13 : 2

That no metropolitan should hear their causes without the presence of some of the provincial bishops

[H. 2] Furthermore 99 , brethren, save in all the privileges of the Roman 100 church 101 no metropolitan should hear their causes 102 without the insistence of all the other conprovincial bishops , because they will be void 103 if they are acted otherwise than they are aired in the presence of all of them, and if he does, let him be checked 104 from the brothers 105

I83 : What should be the accusers?

Bcan4 : III

P102; BII13 : III On the accusations of the ancestors

S105 : On accusations

[H. 3] <BII13, f. 57ra> The crimes 106 of the elders 107 of the born should not be committed by others, except by those who 108 intend the crimes 109 , if they themselves appear worthy and irreproachable and teach 111 112 to everyone by public acts 111 112 <VD38, f. 61rb> suspect himself <I83, f. 68rb> to be free from enmity and to lead irreproachable faith and conduct.

Bcan4 : IIII

P102; BII13 : IIII On foreign affairs and judgments

[H. 4] We also forbid foreign 113 business 114 and judgments, because it is unworthy 115 for them to be judged by foreigners, who ought to have judges 116 who are provincial and elected by themselves .

Indeed, we take from every 117 part 118 119 opportunities <V630, f. 33ra> we cut off 120 <SG670, p. 115b> We, 121 mindful of the divine discipline, 122 123 extend our right hand to those who are falling, and from the precipice of ruin 124 , whom we can 125 126 , we relieve 127 , and of defense 128 admin<N442, f. 32 vb> culum 129 we wish to provide with all our strength 130 131 Certainly 132 or 133 if the mind is 134 conscious of the right, revenge is worthy, who 135 others exist for the cause of danger.

Bcan4 : V

P102; BII13 : 5

So that he who persecutes an innocent person or a brother may himself take the throat of death

[H. 5] But whoever persecutes an innocent person or a brother with whatever means, <O93, f. 12va> he himself 137 strikes the throat 138 of death, as the divine and blessed herald says 140 : Do not 141 pull down 142 , lest you be eradicated 143 , do not accuse, do not be accused, do not judge, do not be judged, because 144 , in what judgment you judge, you will be judged 145 of you

No one 146 is believed not to have hated, whose relation 147 148 not <BII13, f. 57rb> is injured. For the Lord says in 149 : Everything <I83, f. 68va> kingdom <E97, f. 35rb> 150 will not stand divided within itself , and 151 all 152 knowledge and rule will not stand divided against itself. And therefore it is necessary that 153 you receive healthy 154 concordantly, encouraged, acting nothing through contention, <SG670, p. 116a> but for every 155 study of devotion to the divine <VD38, f. 61va> and apostolic constitutions 156 prepared 157 .

Dated 17 158 Cal. October 159 to the consuls of Magno and Camerino 160 .

O93, f. 12 V630, f. 33 N442, f. 32vb; I83, f. 68 VD38, f. 61ra ; SG670, p. 116a; Bcan4, f. 59v; E97, f. 35 rb; P102 ; BII13, f. 57 rb; S105, f. 45 r


https://www-pseudoisidor-mgh-de.transla ... r_pto=wapp

Post Reply