Exitus acta probat.  OVID Heroides, II, 85.    “the outcome justifies the means.”

This week I have been working on a fifteenth-century manuscript which satisfies most of the qualities of a Pious Fraud .

 “Pious fraud is used to describe fraud in religion. A pious fraud can be counterfeiting a miracle or falsely attributing a sacred text to a biblical figure due to the belief that the “end justifies the means”, in this case the end of increasing faith by whatever means available.”

Here we have a text that is worthy of Vladimir Nabokov or Umberto Eco.(Ex caelis IMG_1181oblatus).

This book is a compilation of  pious texts presented in various figurative, authorial disguises.   In order to add authority to what you or someone else  has written, who does not have the Status (or Piety) of a Saint.  Or perhaps it was just stuck with like texts which had no author statement and ‘just inherited it”  I for one am interested those who participate in this heresy.  Certainly this is a group participation activity, those who write , those who place an authors name upon a text and those who repeat it..   Erasmus  questioned the authenticity of these letters.  but does not suggest who forged them?…I must pass this along.

[Spuriously attributed to James Gray]IMG_1180287J   Pseudo-Eusebius of Cremona (423), Pseudo-Augustine, Pseudo-Cyril of Jerusalem, And  Pseudo Augustine (again)

Saint Jerome in his study by Pieter Coecke van Aelst and Workshop, Walters Art Museum



INCIPIT ,Ep[is]t[ol]a   b[ea]ti  Eusebij  Ad sanctum  Damasum portumensem ep[iscopu]m  & ad Theodomum Romanor(um) Senatorem demorte glorioissimi  confessoris Hyeronimi doctoris eximij.

IMG_1165Bound with:

Incipit liber de  reprobatio[n]e amoris

IMG_1170 2.jpeg

Collation: unsigned  a14, b14,c14,d14,e12, f10 (d 11&12 blank and missing) fº 78:(at the center of each gathering there are vellum supports.)

Bound with

A12. fº12.  90 Leaves (at the center of each gathering there are vellum supports.)

Spuriously attributed to Eusebius of Cremona


a1r- d3- fº1- 38“Patri reuerendissimo Damasso Episcopo et christianissimo Theodosio Romanorum senatori …”;


fº 38 Explicit Transitus Feissinum Jero[m]I Incipit ep[ist[ol]a Beati Augustini [H]yppon[i]en….

IMG_1181fº38– “Gloriosissimi [ch]Xri[sti]anae fidei Athlete s[an]c[te] matris Eccl[es]ie Lapis L’angularis In quo admodum firmata consistut ….


fº45 Incipit Ep[isto]la Sanct Cyrill l{{{{“Liber cyrilli de.      ( miraculis diui) Hieronymi ad beatum Augustinum init [


fº45 “Uenerabili viro Ep[iscop]orum eximio Augustino [Hi]yp[p]onensi Presuli Cyrillus Hierosolymitanus Pontifexet

  1. The book begins with a life of Jerome in his last St. Eusebius of Cremona was a friend of St. Jerome, whose translations of the Old and New Testaments — known as the Vulgate — served for centuries as the official Latin version of the Bible.Eusebius was born in the fourth century at Cremona, Italy. He and Jerome met in Rome while Jerome was Pope St. Damasus’ secretary. Eusebius so identified with Jerome’s call for asceticism that he begged to accompany him to the Holy Land. The Epistle of Jerome to Pope Damasus I  supposedly written in 376 or 377 AD, is a response of Jerome to an epistle from Damasus, who had urged him to make a new translational work of the Holy Scripture. The letter was written before Jerome started his translation work (382–405).

Jerome agreed that Old-Latin translation should be revised and corrected, acknowledging the numerous differences between every Latin manuscript such that each one looked like its own version. To remedy the problem, Jerome agreed that they should be corrected on the basis of the Greek manuscripts. Jerome explained why the Old-Latin order of the Gospels (Matthew, John, Luke, Mark) should be changed into the order Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, because it is relevant for the Greek manuscripts. Jerome also explained the importance of the Eusebian Canons and how to use them.

In the early 14th century, forged letters allegedly written by Eusebius of Cremona, St Augustine and St Cyril of Jerusalem discussing the circumstances of St Jerome’s death, his miracles and the development of his cult were copied and widely circulated, their authenticity unquestioned and undetected.

Bound after these texts.

Is this anonymous  text, Incipit liber de reprobatione amoris. I have not been able to Identify an author ,pseudo or otherwise. It is 27 leaves .

IMG_1170 2


More than likely  previously owned by Mrs. Elmer J Stokes Pres Woman’s C(lub) of Lincoln 3/3/31



* The Oxford English Dictionary reports the phrase was first used in English in 1678. Edward Gibbon was particularly fond of the phrase, using it often in his monumental and controversial work The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire in which he criticized the likelihood of some of the martyrs and miracles of the early Christian church.

*In Isaac Newton’s dissertation, An Historical Account of Two Notable Corruptions of Scripture, he blames the “Roman Church” for many abuses in the world, accusing it of “pious frauds”