Typology of Forged Manuscripts
The typology of forged manuscripts adopted by the project separates forgeries into four categories based on their script, text, or physical characteristics.
This category is a spectrum running between two types of script:
- Simulated Alphabet: Fabricated alphabetic forms: the majority of forms are not identifiable, even if some resemble real forms.
- Adapted Alphabet: letters from an identifiable alphabet(s), but forming incomprehensible words.
Pieces of papyrus from separate original manuscripts, attached together to form a single sheet, thus creating a new artefact and a new text is generated, which is almost always nonsensical. Sometimes nonsensical scripts are written on these composites.
A text substantially composed by the forger. This category can be subdivided as follows.
- Adaptation from real text: A new text is generated by modifying an existing text; traces of the original text are recognisable.
- Composite text: Selections from either one or multiple existing texts have been combined and reproduced as a single, new text.
- Inspired text: The texts is inspired by ancient traditions, whether by genre or by mention of a lost work or author, but a specific model was not used.
Copies of existing texts
While such forgeries all reproduce, at least in aspiration, an existing ancient text, sub-categories can be recognised. As separating the first two categories depends to some extent on divining the intent of the forger, they cannot always be distinguished.
- Accidental Variation: A text which attempts to faithfully reproduce a model, but which contains unintentional variants.
- Deliberate Variation: A text which has exactly copied an existing model, but in which variations from the existing text have been deliberately introduced.
- Exact text: A forgery which reproduces the exact text of an existing model, but may have an independent or modified format.