Ademar, the nimble fingered monk
I now turn to Ademar of Chabannes, France, eminent historian, scribe and forger in the Year of our Lord, 1029.
This year marked the peak of his production of letters from popes, bishops, dukes and sermons all supporting the apolisticity of Saint Martial. Martial was the one who locally brought Christianity and Ademar wanted, with the collusion of his bishop to declare that this man was one of the original apostles.
He was thwarted in this plan when he was publicly denounced by Benedict of Chiusa on the premise that Saint-Martial would turn against this lie, and condemn all on Judgment Day.
After all Ademar’s plans for a new liturgy were destroyed, he retreated to the scriptorium and produced more forgeries in order to re-write the scenario.
In order to have his revenge for the blocking of his plans, Ademar forged letters and attached them to the end of the Easter tables, which would not be read or needed for fifty years. This would lend authenticity to the forged work, in which his version of events were put forth, and prevent any more criticism from his contemporaries.
In order to produce a corpus of works, he stole parchment from the ongoing works by writing smaller script. In this manner he obtained materials for his own use without having his superiors noticing. It was the equivalent of about two dozen sheep hides, a small fortune for the time.
His forgeries and fictions were brought to light and used by the church years after his death, but were not critically examined until about 1920. Not until the 1990’s was the church able to admit to his misdeeds.
Wikipedia gives a more full account of this little monk who monkeyed around seriously.
One of my sources for those who like to have these things was-
Landes, R.A. (1995) Relics, Apocalypse and Deceits of History: Ademar of Chabannes 989-1043. Cambridge Massachusetts, London England, Harvard University Press.