the Russians hire Simonides to prepare historical documents after the 1867 fake obituary

Steven Avery

the Russians hire Simonides to prepare historical documents after the 1867 fake obituary in Alexandria

("reports of his death were greatly exaggerated")

This is referenced en passant by Tregelles in 1869, in:

Notes and Queries (1869)
Codex Mayerianus and Simonides

And picked up, again en passant, by Scrivener in the 1875 Six Lectures.

The announcement of the death of Simonides in “ N. & Q.” was supposed to set all questions about him, in one sense, at rest; but only a few months had passed when he turned up in Russia, where the Rev. Donald Owen found him preparing for publication “Historical Documents of Great Importance in Connection with Claims of the Russian Government.”
Six Lectures on the Text of the New Testament and the Ancient Manuscripts which Contain it: Chiefly Addressed to Those who Do Not Read Greek (1875)
"Those of us who had pressed him the hardest were rather shocked to learn in 1867 that Constantine Simonides had just perished at Alexandria of the cruel disease of leprosy:—he had- died and given no sign! Proportionably great was our relief about two years after to be told on the authority of the Rev. Donald Owens of St Petersburg that he had turned up again under a feigned name in that capital ..."

And it is also covered in some German literature.

Kleine philologische Schriften (1879)
Friedrich Wilhelm Ritschl

(Simonides apparently passed away in 1890, that is another story.)

Now, the last country and city you would expect, per the traditional understanding, to welcome Simonides in the late 1860s would be St. Petersburg, Russia. Unless, as conjectured by a Russian writer in 2008, Tischendorf and Simonides has an .. arrangement. Tischendorf was beginning to gather $ and laurels by the late 1860s, and his reputation was bolstered by the 1869 arm-twising agreement with St. Catherine's Monastery in Sinai.

Was it now time for Simonides to receive a payoff and go into quiet mode?

And preparing .. historical documents? Avraam Norov (1795-1869), close friend of Tischendorf, who had first answered the heresy accusations of Uspensky on Sinaiticus, had even been Minister of Public Information in Russia in the 1850s. Everybody knew the Simonides reputation was not exactly that of a stellar, reliable historian. Nor was he known for special Russian linguistic skills, although his travels had taken him to Odessa and Moscow in earlier years. (Correction: his Russian was likely quite strong.)

So how in the world would Simonides get a position, in Russia (!), in St. Petersburg, preparing historical documents? After being, supposedly, the false accuser of the great Tischendorf.



At the risk of saying the perplexing:

And remember, the Russians have found a number of historical documents about the Sinai loan and agreement in their archives. If their historical documentarian with superb Greek skills in that period was Constantine Simonides, their authenticity is clearly not to be assumed without double and triple verification.
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Steven Avery

Aretemidorus and later years - Medvedev and Canfora

Also discussed here:

Medvedev and Canfora

And in the thread with the Lilia bibliography information.

A resource to be checked:

Rukopisnoe nasledie russkich vizantinistov v archivach Sankt-Peterburg
Medvedev, Igor
Saint-Petersburg. Bulanin. 1999. 630 S. : Ill..
ISBN 5-86007-146-9

This large book is not in American or English libraries, it was suggested that Canfora translates a lot of the important info into Italian. The Libraries listed included Netherlands, France, Germany, presumably Russia as well.

Medvedev translates a long autobiography of Simonides (is it Charles Stewart? Dunno.)

This might have more about Simonides in Russia. Simonides material from Medvedev translated in Canfora. The question is whether this is new material or simply a rehash of the Stewart biography and the book list that is in a Simonides publication of 1864, Periplus of Hannon. ... Pasquale Pinto references Canfora bibliographies of 2008 and 2010. He also gives references for Simonides in Alexandria in his later years. If Medvedev has a Simonides biography, and list of books, translated in Italian by Canfora, the big question is whether this is new material from archives in Russia, or simply the Periplus and Stewart material crossing languages.

Canfora, Luciano (2012), Constantinos Simonides: Opere greche I, Bari.
The autobiography, maybe much more, is translated from Russian to Italian.

( Federico Condello also has an Italian paper.)

Lilia Diamantopoulou has a paper coming out shortly on Simonides, written in German. This will include a chronology and study of the Symais, the History of Kefallonia and the Painters manual.

The information above is covered to a degree in her chronology paper.
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Steven Avery

Kevin McGrane has gone over some of this material. When the work with his own theory comes out, there could be some referencing about the later years.
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Steven Avery

In Sachen Simonides
L. Müller
Rheinisches Museum für Philologie, Neue Folge, Vol. 27 (1872), pp. 471-472 (2 pages)

From cjab on CARM!

In Sachen Simonides

Author(s): L. Müller
Source: Rheinisches Museum für Philologie, Neue Folge, Vol. 27 (1872), pp. 471-472
Published by: J.D. Sauerländers Verlag
Stable URL:

"Mit Rücksicht auf die oben S.124 an Petersburger Gelehrte ergangene Aufforderung, nachzuforschen ob Hr. Simonides noch trotz der bekannten Todesnachricht in Russland verweile, bezüglich dort 'historische Documente für die Russische Regierung vorbereite', wie ein Englischer Clergyman, Hr. Donald Owen berichtet, hat der Unterzeichnete alsbald alle Erkundigungen, die in seiner Macht standen, eingezogen. Aber weder in den competenten Kreisen des kaiserlich Ministeriums für Volksaufklärung, welches zunächst bei dor Sache intercssirt war, noch unter den hiesigen Akademikern und Universitäts-Docenten, von denen besonders der Wirklicher Staatsrath Stephani und Professor Lugebil die Güte hatten weitere Informationen einzuziehen, war etwas bekannt von dem Aufenthalte des besagten Herrn in Russland, geschweige von einer Thätigkeit des selben, wie die oben bezeichnete. Die Sache hat auch wenig Wahr scheinlichkeit, da lange bevor die Berliner Akademie der WissenSchäften ihr bekanntes Abentheuer mit Simonides erlebte, von der K. Russischen Regierung dieses Herrn fabelhafte, damals auch in Deutschland erwähnte Offerten aller möglichen handschriftlichen Schätze als Schwindeleien zurückgewiesen sind.Sollen übrigens auf Grund des immerhin merkwürdigen Zeugnisses jenes Englischen Gelehrten, der ja wie es scheint Hrn. S. mit eigenen Augen gesehen zu haben glaubt, noch weitere Erkundigungen eingezogen werden, so ist es vor allem nöthig, den bekanntlich etwas weiten geographischen Begriff 'Russland' genauer zu detailliren."

"In view of the above p.124 request to scholars in St. Petersburg to find out whether Mr. Simonides was still in Russia despite the known news of his death, and whether he was there 'preparing historical documents for the Russian government', as reported by an English clergyman, Mr. Donald Owen, the undersigned immediately made all enquiries in his power. But neither in the competent circles of the Imperial Ministry for the Enlightenment of the People, which was initially involved in the matter, nor among the local academics and university lecturers, of whom especially the Real State Counsellor Stephani and Professor Lugebil were kind enough to obtain further information, was anything known of the stay of the said gentleman in Russia, let alone of any activity on his part such as that mentioned above. The matter is also not very likely, since long before the Berlin Academy of Sciences experienced its famous adventure with Simonides, the fabulous offers of all kinds of manuscript treasures, which were also mentioned in Germany at the time, were rejected by this gentleman's Imperial Russian Government as fraudulent. If, by the way, further enquiries are to be made on the basis of the nevertheless strange testimony of that English scholar, who, as it seems, believes to have seen Mr. S. with his own eyes, then it is above all necessary to detail the well-known somewhat broad geographical term 'Russia'."

Translated with (free version)

Steven Avery

Friderici Ritschelii Opuscula philologica: Varia (1879)
Friedrich Wilhelm Ritschl

Warum, das wird den Lesern dieser Blatter nachstehender, von W. Dindorf freundlich mitgetbeilter Passus eines Briefes sagen, den derselbe unter dem 25. October 1868 von Dr. Tregelles, dem bekannten Herausgeber des Neuen Testaments, aus Plymouth empfing:

Why, the readers of these pages will be told by the following passage of a letter, which W. Dindorf kindly shared, and which he received from Dr. Tregelles, the well-known editor of the New Testament, from Plymouth on October 25, 1868:

'Some time ago an account was published in England of the death of Simonides at Alexandria; but since then the Rev. Donald Owen, an English clergyman, has found him in Russia occupied with the preparation of Historical Documents for the Russian Government.’

Man sieht, wenn diese Nachricht, wie es doch den Anschein hat, richtig ist, so hat 6 xupioc (greek condtantine simonides) das kalligraphische Geschäft in recht analoger Weise fortgesetzt. St. Petersburg ist es also jetzt, von wo Aufklärung darüber zu erwarten steht, ob wir es mit einer Person von Fleisch und Blut, oder mit einem mythischen Wesen zu thun haben. Jedenfalls sind wir hiernach der Nöthigung enthoben, den Zusatz der Ueberschrift dieses Artikels 'ein neues Simonideunr im Sinne eines blossen Gattungsbegriffs zu intorpretiren; denn die Vermuthung liegt wohl nicht fern,dass die Todesnachricht der öffentlichen Blätter vom leibhaftigen 'Verstorbenen’ selbst in sehr errathbarer Absicht veranlasst worden ist. — Die einzige Notiz, die sonst über die Herkunft des Perser-Codex hieher gelangt ist, dass er nämlich von einem 'griechischen Geistlichen’9) produciet worden sei, ist begreiflicherweise nicht geeignet, den Glauben an bona fides zu begünstigen.
Leipzig, August 1871.

One sees, if this news is correct, as it appears, then 6 xupioc (greek condtantine simonides) continued the calligraphic business in a very analogous manner. St. Petersburg is now the place from which we can expect enlightenment as to whether we are dealing with a flesh-and-blood person or with a mythical being. In any case, we are hereafter relieved of the necessity of interpreting the addition to the title of this article 'a new simoniideun' in the sense of a mere generic concept; for the suspicion is not far off that the news of the death in the public papers was caused by the physical 'deceased' himself with a very understandable intention. — The only note that has otherwise reached here about the origin of the Persian codex, namely that it was produced by a 'Greek clergyman'9), is understandably not suitable for promoting belief in bona fides. Leipzig, August 1871.



Continues with Urianios
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Steven Avery

Ritschl in Genius

Lilia - p. 105 - Biography
Simonides selbst strebte danach, Bischof von Abessinien zu werden. Er starb im Jahre 1867 55 an Lepra.


55 Es sei vermerkt, dass es nicht mit Sicherheit bestatigt ist, ob Simonides 1867 an Lepra starb, eine etwas romanhafte Todesursache, die in ihrer Tragik zu seinem romanhaften Leben passen wiirde. Auch nach seinem Tod waren von ihm gefalschte Urkunden in Umlauf. Eine Pergamentrolle mit den Persem des Aischylos, offensichdich in Agypten gefertigt, tauchte im Jahre 1871 in Italien auf. Urspriinglich im Besitz Friedrich Ritschls wurde sie von Alfred Spranger dem British Museum geschenkt, siehe Jones 1990, 172, und Elliott 1982, 120, Anm. 33. Siehe auch das Nachwort des letzteren Werkes uber eine weitere Handschrift, die in den letzten Jahren auftauchte.

55 It should be noted that it has not been confirmed with certainty whether Simonides died of leprosy in 1867, a somewhat fictional cause of death which would be tragic in keeping with his fictional life. Even after his death, documents forged by him were still in circulation. A scroll of parchment containing the Persems of Aeschylus, apparently made in Egypt, turned up in Italy in 1871. Originally in the possession of Friedrich Ritschl, it was donated to the British Museum by Alfred Spranger, see Jones 1990, 172, and Elliott 1982, 120, n. 33. See also the latter work's afterword for another manuscript that has emerged in recent years.

Jones, Mark (Hg.) (1990), Fake? The Art of Deception. Ausstellungskatalog British Museum London, London.


p. 266 - Jurgen Hammenstadt - Artemidor

All das hatte allenfalls Konstantinos Simonides gekonnt, der nicht nur mittelalterliche Codexblatter, sondem auch antike Papyri mit seinen gefalschten Texten beschrieben hat.18 Am 19.10.1867 starb Simonides in Alexandrien an Lepra.19 Nach seinem Tod wurde er allerdings im Herbst 1868 in Russland angetroffen,20 eine jetzt in der Sackler Library in Oxford aufbewahrte Edition tragt seine Widmung vom August 1869,21 und im Juni 1872 wurde die Abzeichnung von Fragmenten einer gefalschten Unzialhandschrift der Perser des Aeschylus nach Europa lanciert, die Friedrich Ritschl umgehend als „ein neues Simonideion“ entlarvte.22 Ein Nachruf in der London Times vom 18.10.1890 scheint dann auf sein endgiiltiges Ableben hinzuweisen.23

At best, Konstantinos Simonides was able to do all this, who not only described medieval codex sheets but also antique papyri with his forged texts.18 Simonides died of leprosy in Alexandria on October 19, 1867.19 After his death, however, he was found in Russia in the autumn of 1868 ,20 an edition now kept in the Sackler Library in Oxford bears his dedication of August 1869,21 and in June 1872 the copying of fragments of a forged uncial manuscript of the Persians of Aeschylus was launched to Europe, which Friedrich Ritschl promptly described as “a new Simonideion” unmasked.22 An obituary in the London Times of October 18, 1890 seems to point to his final demise.23

21 Canfora 2008a, 62 mit Anm. 170, der folgende Signatur angibt: ..Papyrol. 303.1 L. 58 fol.“


p. 278
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Steven Avery

Medvedev INFO on WRITING:

This was also in June 2023 on another thread.

All fine.

Footnote 14 is important:

Steven Avery




This was also in June 2023 on another thread.е-Обозрение-1863-Х-p-362ff.15124/post-1190355

All fine.

Footnote 14 is important:


14 I. Medvedev, Neizvestnyi katalog greceskich rukopisej iz kollekcii Konstantina Simonidisa. Grandioznaja paleograficeskaja mistifikacija?, in Id. (ed.), Rukopisnoe nasledie russkich vizantinistov v archivach Sankt-Peterburga, Sankt-Peterburg 1999, 537-567. Parte del materiale, sempre nella traduzione dal russo di Ca., era stata anticipata in «QS» XXXVII/73 (2011) 210-216.

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