The Museum of Hoaxes
hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive
 
Cat that walked 3000 miles to find its owners, 1951
Did Poe say 'The best things in life make you sweaty'?
Fake Photos of Very Large Animals
The Crown Prince Regent of Thulia, 1954
Swiss peasants harvest spaghetti from trees, 1957
Adolf Hitler Baby Photo Hoax, 1933
Can a bar of soap between your sheets ease muscle cramps?
The Diaphote, a television hoax, 1880
The Cottingley Fairies, 1917
Female thieves hide money in their bras, 1950
Cicero’s Consolatio
Carlo Sigonio was a highly respected Italian scholar who specialized in the history of Rome. Around 1583 he claimed that he had discovered a new complete work by the great Roman orator Cicero. It was titled De Consolatione or the Consolation. In it Cicero grieved for his daughter's death. Only small fragments of this work had ever been found before.

The discovery of this manuscript caused great excitement. But when other scholars read it, the general consensus was that it had to be a fake. It contained numerous anachronistic phrases and Italian mannerisms that Cicero would never have used.

Sigonio stubbornly defended the work, but today it is still regarded as being a forgery. Sigonio might have written the book himself, perhaps to display his mastery of Ciceronian scholarship.

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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.