For example I was reading about the Privilegium Maius, and was wondering what other instances of document forging were there in the middle ages ?

  • 3
    Hoaxes of the Middle Ages is a category on Hoaxes.org. Also look for forged genealogies! – Peter Diehr Apr 25 '16 at 22:27
  • Not sur if you'd count that as a forgery, but someone wealthy enough could make himself pass as a noble by behaving and dressing like one. – MakorDal Apr 26 '16 at 9:21
  • @MakorDal: That's a bit dodgy - you wold have to bribe a School of Heraldry in order to obtain a sigil, and even then there was no great likelihood of non discovery. – Pieter Geerkens Apr 28 '16 at 3:13
  • @PieterGeerkens I agree. But people would seldom ask to see those things. It was firstly in the behaviour and a few generations down the road, someone would give your family a title anyway. – MakorDal Apr 28 '16 at 3:45

Forgery was common in medieval time, beginning with the most famous one: the Donation of Constantine.

Very common objects of forgery were holy relics which were traded in great quantities. Europe was full of the itinerant merchant selling these relics.


The Pseudo-Isidore is a case in point. Peter Heather has a very interesting account of it, in one of his books.

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