BMCR 2004.03.22

Response: Canali De Rossi on Fezzi on Canali De Rossi on Fezzi

Response to 2004.03.02

Response by

Dr. Luca Fezzi has brilliantly pointed out some weaknesses in my review to his book. It is not my intention to insist that he is wrong in other cases, as this is not a contention between me and him, and the final judgment belongs to the reader. I must disagree, on the other hand, when he affirms that “(his) supposed reader is a scholar, able to find the ancient sources in his library and not frightened by the abundance of references”. This is, in my utterly modest opinion, just what makes his book a rather heavy reading: as it has been published by an Italian household editor at a a quite reasonable price, I can assume that it would be destined for students, rather than for professional scholars.

Finally, F. invites me to explain more clearly what I meant by the words “Modern technology allows, in this author’s modest opinion, an heretofore unprecedented material falsification of ancient documents (especially inscriptions)”. Provided the possibility of digitally programming a stone engraving machine, as probably exist for engraving modern texts on stone, and provided the considerable investments of money in archaeological excavations and campaigns, it is not out of the question that some epigraphical texts of great historical content might have been forged by unknown people to be sold as genuine to archaeological enterprises. I have some serious doubts, for instance, about the Greek that is found in some recently published inscriptions from Asia Minor. But this would be the matter for essay of its own.