replica or forgery? draft or final copy?

Steven Avery

One of the main accusations against Simonides can be seen here:

Journal of Sacred Literature

Now, we can well understand and acquiesce in the appropriateness of such a gift, made by a body of religious men, to one whom they regard as the head of the Church to which they belong. And, that Church being the Greek Church, we can appreciate their good taste in having the MS. written in the Greek language, and in Greek characters. Moreover that the oldest style of character should be used; that the writing should be on vellum or parchment, according to the ancient practice of the church. All such particulars legitimately attach themselves to a perfect renaissance, which it would seem it was intended this MS. should be. But when we are told that the colour of the ink (a faded one doubtless) on the most ancient MSS. was carefully matched; that bone pens were made, and the hue of the skins imitated ; and of course every little peculiarity of letter affected, so that the minutest evidence of antiquity might not be wanting;—I say, on all these accounts, and many others of a like kind, there does appear to be prima facie evidence of an intention to deceive, to cozen, to trick into a belief in the existence of something which had none.

This shifted the question away from who actually wrote the manuscript to the question of whether the motives of Simonides and crew were crystal clean.

This is an absurd shift, and ends up trying to avoid the actual question.


From the point of view of Simonides and Kalliinikos, at some point the manuscript was rejected as a final version, and thought of more as a draft copy. That would explain anomalies like small letters in margin writings, accent scrawls, Arabic scribbles and more.
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Steven Avery

And on BVDB:

The Journal of Sacred Literature and Biblical Record, Volume 3

Extract from n letter dated Smyrna, 5 (17) Aug., 1858:—

. . These also send thee greeting: the Deacon Hilarion, and thy friends Nicander and Niphon, who lent thee the Books of Esdras at the time when thou wast preparing in Athos, at the exhortation of my uncle, the present (of the Holy Scriptures) to the glorious Emperor Nicholas. They also wished to know whether the work was finished, and given to the Emperor, and whether thou wert suitably requited for it: because they had no certain knowledge about these matters. I told them all about it, and how the manuscript in question is now in Mount Sinai, and how thy indifference (forgive me, my son, for this true statement of mine) frustrated the original intention. . 223

... the Codex which thou wrotest at Athos, some twenty-two years ago, as a present to the deceased Emperor of Russia, Nicholas I., at the request of thy wise and distinguished uncle Benedict, and subsequently, going to Constantinople after his death, gavest unfinished to the blessed patriarch Constantius, who sent it to Mount Sinai by the Monk Germanus of Sinai, whom thou knowest, and which was afterwards given to the Hieromonachus Callistratus to be compared with the three old Codices of the sacred Scriptures (which thou knowest, and which are kept in the treasury), and was then disregarded because thou didst not make thy appearance at the proper time in Mount Sinai to transcribe it, according to the earnest wish of the patriarch ; he has proclaimed it as genuine, and as the oldest of all the known Codices in Europe of the Old and New Testaments. p. 224
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