Fragments and Fakes: The Arbor consanguinitatis of the Fondation Martin Bodmer and a Contemporary Forgery
Abstract: A tree of consanguinity (arbor consanguinitatis) contained in a manuscript published on e-codices (Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, Cod. Bodmer 28), served as the model for a new class of forgery. An analysis of the Bodmer leaf in the context of other arbores consanguinitatis shows how the leaf relates to tradition; an examination of the leaf’s history and provenance reveals that the leaf was mutilated, probably in the mid-twentieth century. The forgery is proven to be such through a paleographical and content analysis of the script, and through an examination of the leaf’s method of composition. A second forgery is examined, a fragment of Jerome’s Epistle 53, fabricated from the first folio of another e-codices manuscript, Aarau, Aargauer Kantonsbibliothek MsWettF 11. The forgeries and their circulation provides the opportunity for an assessment of the changing role of manuscript fragments and fakes in the twenty-first century.
Keywords: arbor consanguinitatis, forgery, Bodmer, e-codices, Digital Humanities, manuscript culture