The PRAENESTE FIBULA (the "brooch of
* 1 Discovery
* 2 Date and inscription
The fibula was presented to the public in 1887 by Wolfgang Helbig , an archaeologist. At the time, Helbig did not explain how he had come to acquire the artifact.
DATE AND INSCRIPTION
The inscription on the Praeneste Fibula. The writing runs from right to left.
The fibula was thought to originate from the 7th century BC. It is inscribed with a text that appears to be written in Old Latin, here transcribed to Roman letters: MANIOS MED FHEFHAKED NVMASIOI
translated as: Manius made me for Numerius
Margherita Guarducci , a leading epigraphist , published a
book claiming that the inscription had been forged by Francesco
Martinetti , an art dealer, and Helbig, who were known to have
collaborated in shady dealings. Its presentation in 1887, she claimed,
was in fact a hoax perpetrated to advance the careers of both men.
This was the most formal but not the first accusation of its kind:
Georg Karo had said that Helbig told him that the fibula had been
Evidence in favor of the genuineness of the text came from a new
Etruscan inscription of the
In 2011, new scientific evidence was presented by the research team
of Edilberto Formigli and Daniela Ferro , whose optical, physical and
chemical analyses allowed them to take into consideration smaller
scrapes on the surface of the object than was possible in the 1980s.
Observation by means of
Scanning Electron Microscope
* ^ Conway, Robert Seymour (1897). The Italic Dialects: edited with
a grammar and glossary. I. Cambridge (England): University Press. pp.
* ^ A B C Maras, Daniele F. (Winter 2012). "Scientists declare the
Fibula Praenestina and its inscription to be genuine \'beyond any
reasonable doubt\'" (PDF). Etruscan News. 14.
* ^ A B Momigliano, A. (1989). "The Origin of Rome: III Settlement,
Society and Culture in Latium and at Rome". In Edwards, I. E. S. The
Cambridge Ancient History. VII. Part 2: The Rise of
Authors who argue that the Fibula is a forgery :
* Hamp, Eric P. (1981). "Is the Fibula a Fake?". American Journal of
Philology. 102 (2): 151–3.
Authors who argue that the Fibula is authentic:
* Lehmann, Winfred P. (1993). Historical Linguistics (3rd ed.). Routledge. * Wachter, R. (1987). Altlateinische Inschriften. Sprachliche und epigraphische Untersuchungen zu den Dokumenten bis 150 v. Chr. Bern etc. * Formigli, E. (1992). "Indagini archeometriche sull'autenticità della Fibula Praenestina". MDAI(R). 99: 329–43, Taf. 88–96. * Hartmann, Markus (2005). Die frühlateinischen Inschriften und ihre Datierung: Eine linguistisch-archäologisch-paläographische Untersuchung (in German). Bremen: Hempen. ISBN 978-3-934106-47-5 .