Lead Codices Followup

More and more folks are commenting on these purportedly ‘discovered’ lead codices which have all sorts of theological implications. In addition to the coverage and the comments in our initial post on the subject, folks might be interested in checking out some more commentary from assorted Bibliobloggers. What is increasingly interesting (to me, at least) is how scholars of various levels are all focussing on the same points of contention. See, e.g.:

… to name but three. Tip o’ the pileus as well to Jim West, who pointed us to Tom Verenna’s ’round up’ post which includes some comments by yours truly and some very useful links to other blogs and photos (which, to me, show that the ‘codices’ are actually cast lead, as opposed to incised … casting would, in my opinion, be a method to hide tool marks which might be used to, er, cast aspersions on the veracity of the claims). Even better, however, Tom Verenna updated his post this a.m. with a link to Daniel McLellan’s blog which has a very important post on this:

… which includes a couple of photos and gives a currently-in-a-museum-source for at least one of the ‘incantations’ (for want of a better word).

I think we can pretty much stick a fork in this one …



One thought on “Lead Codices Followup

  1. The images on the plates (on Daniel McLellan’s blog: http://danielomcclellan.wordpress.com/2011/03/31/peter-thonemann-on-the-lead-codices/ ) are rather interesting. There are three heads, all in profile, as they would appear on coins.

    The large central figure in the first photograph looks to me like Alexander-as-Ammon: large, curling horns are clearly visible, and the angle of the head matches that of one of several variants of this well-known coin type.

    There are two more heads, visible below the crocodile in the third photograph.
    The figure on the left doesn’t have any outstanding features, but that fact alone suggests a Roman origin, to me anyway. Its features are still quite distinct, and reminds me of certain coins of Vespasian unadorned with any symbols of rank.

    The image on the right looks to be Alexander wearing the lion skin of Herakles: in coins of this type, the lion’s lower jaw juts out below the ear, above the line of Alexander’s jaw, and the same is visible on the figure on the codex.

    I have little doubt that a forger with access to the inscription from the museum in Amman would have no trouble accessing and replicating the images from two very well-known and common Alexander coins, and probably the coins of various Roman emperors too, in order to embellish his forgery.

    Now, I’m not a numismatist, nor am I particularly familiar with Jewish or Christian iconography from the early Empire. These are just my amateur observations; I’m not in a position to assess the authenticity of these images. But it wouldn’t be at all difficult to find a dozen or so people who are capable of doing so. Surely this is something the proponents of authenticity would consider before they go about making spectacular claims?

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