The PRAENESTE FIBULA (the "brooch of
Palestrina ") is a golden fibula
or brooch , today housed in the Museo Preistorico Etnografico Luigi
* 1 Discovery * 2 Date and inscription * 3 Hoax theory * 4 Claimed authenticity * 5 References * 6 Further reading * 7 External links
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
In 1980 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 stolen from Palestrina 's Tomba Bernardini.
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 (SEM) and detailed physical and chemical analyses on the surface of small areas within the track of the incision showed the existence of micro-crystallization of the gold surface: a natural phenomenon that could have taken place only in the course of centuries after the fusion. The study reported that a 19th-century forger could not have realized such a forgery.
* ^ 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. JSTOR 294308 . doi :10.2307/294308 . * Gordon, Arthur E. (1983). Illustrated Introduction to Latin Epigraphy. Berkeley/Los Angeles/London. ISBN 0520038983 . * Bonfante, Larissa (1986). Etruscan Life and Afterlife: A Handbook of Etruscan Studies. Detroit: Wayne State University Press.
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).