Stories Under Question

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The story reported by Herodotus about Africa being circumnavigated around 600 BC had doubt cast upon its authenticity when a forgery was recognized by Professors Erman and Schaefer [1]. An unspecified number of weeks prior to October 1908 there was an announcement read in front of the French Academy that contemporary evidence had been discovered for the event reported by Herodotus. The evidence was two scarabs cut into stone with an inscription that chronicled the end of the voyage. Erman had already seen the fruits of the discovery and concluded that they were a forgery. When he found out that the French Academy had been shown the discovery, he hastily submitted a full explanation to Berlin’s Royal Academy as to why he believed that the records were forgeries. He argued that the anachronisms in the language and the grammatical structure were the results of cherry-picking from genuine records of Egyptian sea voyages and making a false story out of them.

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[1] – “A Scientific Forgery.” The Biblical World, vol. 32, no. 4, 1908, pp. 287–288. JSTOR, Accessed 29 May 2020.

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