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#21 Fortigurn

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 01:24 AM

Or maybe there is some truth to the legend.


We need evidence that there's truth to the legend. We can't progress from 'Catholic historians accepted the story' to 'It must therefore be true'. We would be compelled to believe all kinds of idiotic things without evidence (and contrary to evidence). The evidence indicates the explanations I provided are more likely.

Opponents of the story would have us believe that NONE of the many papists who testify to her existence in their histories and chronicles were interested in checking their facts.


Which opponents? Could you quote a few?

Worse still, every last Reformer who cites the story is accused of having no interest in the facts.


Again, who says this?

I admit that the information provided by today's scholars does seem overwhelming (only because they all say the same thing, original and secondary sources surely not searched out and inspected independently by each and every one of them), but have you looked at Spanheim's witnesses?


The only copy of Spanheim's work I've found is in French, and I don't read French. The information provided by today's scholars is independently verifiable, and has been verified independently by a number of them.

I noticed in all the wiki and dictionary articles that have been provided by you and Dave, no mention is made of Spanheim at all. Why not?


Most likely because people have simply never heard of him. Is he supposed to be worth reading? Did he have any relevant qualifications? Did he cross-check multiple independent reliable sources? Does he list all his sources? Does he differentiate between primary and secondary sources? Does he provide any explanation for the complete lack of evidence for the existence of this legendary individual? Is he a reliable source?

Have you searched through the Chronicon of Polonus? If not, how can you genuinely ask where the evidence is for his claim, and then accuse him of making stuff up?


I can't search through the Chronicon of Polonus to prove what Polonus is saying, that would be submitting to the fallacy of self-quoting; 'It's true, and it's true because I say it's true'. What I need is an independent source to prove that a decree was made that 'Joan' not be listed in the official records of the popes. Is there any such source at all, anywhere? Again, where is the independent evidence for Polonus' claim? Where is this decree recorded?

Why do you think the claim is so outrageous?


Because it is incredibly unlikely that he even checked 500 chroniclers dating between the 9th and the 13th centuries, let alone found the same story in all of them. If he did, then why doesn't anyone else quote any of these many chroniclers? Why instead do other writers simply point to the same three or four sources? And even if there were 500 chroniclers read by Spanheim, how many of them were independent, as opposed to simply quoting what previous writers said?

I believe you can find out exactly who the 500+ chroniclers are if you search through the work of Spanheim (Histoire de la Papesse Jeanne, 2 volumes).


In French. Which I cannot read.

Why does this matter if what Rhoidis claims Bower said is accurate?


Because it exposes your bias; you're treating any anti-papal sources as reliable.

After all the work you put into defending historicism against this same fallacy put forth by futurists, this line of questioning surprises me.


I'm exposing your bias. With regard to this issue you only treat Catholic sources as reliable when they agree with what you already believe, and you automatically treat Protestant sources as reliable except where they disagree with what you believe.

Why do you need a Protestant witness when a Jesuit readily admits this to have been the case?


Because I need more than one source, and I need an independent source.

So what? Skepticism does not equal repudiation.


I agree. My point was that none of the sources you quoted even acknowledge this skepticism, and one of your arguments is that none of the Catholics ever rejected this story, which you advance as evidence it is true. But it's clear that they didn't all accept this as fact, so that argument is weak. It's weak anyway, because as I have shown it doesn't matter if they all accepted a legend, what matters is the fact that there's evidence that it's just a legend.

John, Joan, Johanna. I don't see that as evidence against the story.
Why isn't she in the papal lists? That's already been answered. I'm sure she's not the only one missing from more than a few of them.
Ninth or eleventh century? I can't say for sure. Some of my sources mention Morozia in support of the latter. As for why the writers don't agree on the century Joan reigned, from what I've read the lists vary on the numbering of the popes.


I'm afraid it's more challenging than that.

1. The story doesn't appear until the Chronica Universalis Mettensis of de Mailly in the 13th century. The female pope is not named, and details are scant; the event is placed in 1099 CE.
2. The names given aren't simply 'John, Joan, Johanna'; de Mailly gives no name, Stephen of Bourbon gives no name, Polonus gives no name, some manuscripts of Scotus give 'Johnanna' (but there is no reference to the legend in earlier manuscripts), the Chronicon of Adam of Usk gives the name 'Agnes', and other later sources give 'Joan'.
3. The earliest source (de Mailly), dates 'Joan' to the 13th century, but Polonus places the event in the 9th century.
4. De Mailly claims 'Joan' was memorialized by the Church with a four day 'fast of the female pope'. Polonus claims that the Church decreed that she was not to be recorded in the official list of popes. It is unlikely that the Church honored her with a feast while simultaneously decreeing she was not to be recorded. Where is the independent evidence for either of these claims?
5. Several versions of the story appear, with differences in name, timing, events, and the response of the Church. Is there any independent evidence for any of them?
6. The story was not used by anti-papists until the Reformers, despite numerous anti-papal individuals using every other weapon at their disposal.
7. There is no room in history for 'Joan' to have been pope between Leo IV and Benedict III in the 9th century as claimed by Polonus. Similarly, the date of 1099 CE given by de Mailly places 'Joan' either at the end of the reign of Urban II (ended 20 July 1099), or at the start of the reign of Paschal II (started 13 August 1099). The dates I'm using are those of the 2001 edition of the Annuario Pontificio, the modern record which is updated and corrected regularly using the work of professional historians. It's clear neither Polonus nor de Mailly even attempted to reconcile their claims with the historical record.

Edited by Fortigurn, 07 April 2013 - 01:25 AM.


#22 Unbound68

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 08:37 PM


3. Although the story was attributed to some 10th and 11th century writers, it does not actually appear in the manuscripts of their work. This shows later writers were making things up.

 

No it doesn't.  That's a non sequitur.  

How do you know the story doesn't appear in the manuscripts of 10th and 11th century writers?  Are you sure the story wasn't in those mss. at all? in any form?  Can you prove your assertion?

 

 

The same is true of Marianus Scotus's Chronicle of the Popes, a text written in the 11th century. Some of its manuscripts contain a brief mention of a female pope named Johanna (the earliest source to attach to her the female form of the name), but all these manuscripts are later than Martin's work. Earlier manuscripts do not contain the legend.

 

Can you prove this from Scotus himself?  Also, are you aware of the importance of the earlier manuscripts of Scotus's chronicle, despite their alleged lack of any mention of Pope Joan?  Here's a hint:

 

When did Leo IV die?

When did Benedict III die?

How long was Benedict III pope?

 

 

 

The story is attributed by some to Anastasius Bibliothecarius in the 9th century, but the only manuscript of his work which contains it is unreliable, and in that manuscript the story only appears in a footnote added by a later writer after the 13th century.

 

Really?  What is the name of the only manuscript of his work which contains it?  Do you know?  Do you know who added the footnote?  Are you aware of the discrepancies in the various mss. of the Liber Pontificalis? Are you aware of the admission made by the Jesuit editors of the first printed edition of the Liber Pontificalis that they removed the account of Pope Joan not only from the printed edition of 1602, but from two of the original manuscripts in which the account of Pope Joan was to be found?  Are you aware of the complaints of the removal of Pope Joan made by the owner of those two original manuscripts which were lent to the Jesuits for the publication of the 1602 Liber Pontificalis?  Are you aware of the letter to Anastasius telling him to remove the account of Pope Joan from official documents?  Are you aware of the fact that Anastasius was papal librarian with easy access to Vatican mss.?

 

 

 

I said:  The majority of writers who relate the story are Papists themselves. Why would they blindly copy and uncritically quote sources (themselves!) that related a story injurious to the Papacy?

 

To which you replied:

 

.....partly because as historians they felt it was necessary to record what they believed was history, and partly because they didn't have robust fact checking procedures.

 

Your statement about "robust fact checking procedures" is laughable in light of the fact that neither you nor your sources seem to be aware of the facts surrounding the manipulation of the manuscripts used for the Liber Pontificalis (among other things).  When you say "they didn't have robust fact checking procedures," what do such procedures look like?

 

 

 

I said:  The Inquisitor Bernard Gui includes [the story of Pope Joan] in his History, after claiming to have discovered and corrected the errors of all the chronicles written by his predecessors.

 

You reply with:

 

This doesn't alter the facts I listed previously, which are overwhelming evidence for a legendary story.

 

More like overwhelming evidence for a legendary cover-up.  It is no coincidence that the mss of the liber Pontificalis all seem to get "confused" around the time of Benedict III.  What makes you think Guidonis was wrong when he said he corrected all the previous chronicles yet still included the story of Pope Joan in his history?  Further, what makes you think the Roman Catholic Church didn't engage in the attempted removal of any and all evidence of a female Pope? 

 

 

 

I can't search through the Chronicon of Polonus to prove what Polonus is saying, that would be submitting to the fallacy of self-quoting; 'It's true, and it's true because I say it's true'. What I need is an independent source to prove that a decree was made that 'Joan' not be listed in the official records of the popes. Is there any such source at all, anywhere? Again, where is the independent evidence for Polonus' claim? Where is this decree recorded?

 

Don’t be ridiculous.  I haven't made a fallacious argument.  I’m not asking you to search through Polonus so he can tell you what he’s saying is true.  I asked if you had searched through the Chronicon of Polonus because you asked: "Where's the evidence for this claim? Where is this decree recorded?"  It's pretty dumb to ask those questions when you've never considered looking at the work of the man who made the claims you're questioning!!!  I refer you again to the quote from James Dale: “To read a book before criticizing it [is] only a hamper to genius!”  

 

By the way, are you aware of the incredible differences between the 1245 edition of Polonus and that of 1277, wherein the former contains two consecutive and differing accounts of the life of Benedict III right after the life of Leo IV?

 

 

 

Most likely because people have simply never heard of him [Spanheim]. Is he supposed to be worth reading?

 

The fact that you have to ask that shows your lack of knowledge on this topic (much like the ignorance displayed by you in the Baptizo thread).  I would bet that your only “research” into Pope Joan was the quick search of Wikipedia you did when I made the OP.  Anyone with even a cursory knowledge of this topic is fully aware of Spanheim and his worth!

 

 

 

(A) Did [Spanheim] have any relevant qualifications? (B) Did he cross-check multiple independent reliable sources? © Does he list all his sources? (D) Does he differentiate between primary and secondary sources? (E) Does he provide any explanation for the complete lack of evidence for the existence of this legendary individual? (F) Is he a reliable source? (Alphabetical divisions mine - U68)

 

(A) Yes

(B) Yes

(C ) Yes

(D) Yes

(E) Yes

(F) Yes

 

By the way, I have nothing against someone asking questions, but it hasn't gone unnoticed that you seem to always deploy this twenty-questions-tactic in order to tarnish the testimony of witnesses with whom you are entirely unfamiliar!  You have done it with Spanheim.  You have done it with Polonus.  You have done it with Bower.  

 

 

 

Because it is incredibly unlikely that he even checked 500 chroniclers dating between the 9th and the 13th centuries, let alone found the same story in all of them.

 

"Incredibly unlikely?"  Says the guy who has never heard of Spanheim, much less studied his works!  You’re obviously not aware of just how many works on Pope Joan were written by Spanheim, nor in how many languages they were written, nor how often he was referenced by others in their own works on the issue.  

 

 

 

If he did, then why doesn't anyone else quote any of these many chroniclers?

 

They do.  You would know this had you put more time into studying the topic than the 5 minutes it took you to look up the wikipedia entry on Pope Joan.  I have nearly 100 works on the topic (including scanned images of original manuscripts), and my collection is still growing with each passing year.

 

 

 

Why instead do other writers simply point to the same three or four sources?

 

Perhaps because there has been a lot of "uncritical copying" going on by your modern sources who aren't willing to put in the leg time required to seriously investigate the issue? (Much like all the journals, magazines and newspapers that wrote reviews of Dale's work on Baptizo while admitting they had never read him!)  

 

By the way, there is a lot your modern sources aren't telling you about those same three or four sources.

 

 

 

And even if there were 500 chroniclers read by Spanheim, how many of them were independent, as opposed to simply quoting what previous writers said?

 

Even if?  It sounds to me like you're arguing from two opposing positions.  First you argued Spanheim couldn't possibly have checked 500 chroniclers.  Now your argument is "even if he did?"  Continually questioning the integrity or truthfulness of past historians, clerics, librarians and various clergy who painstakingly conducted their work and ended up including the real-life Pontificate of Pope Joan in their writings does not bode well for your position, especially when you have no evidence to disprove her existence...other than your misinformed speculations.  

 

And why do you automatically make the assumption that the account of Pope Joan appearing in 500 chroniclers must mean those chroniclers all copied from one another?    Bias on your part?   

 

 

 

[Spanheim is] In French. Which I cannot read.

 

But that didn’t stop you from questioning his qualifications or the conclusions reached in his work, did it?  You did the same with Dale.  Why not find someone who can read French and help you translate parts of Spanheim’s work rather than dismissing his conclusions just because you don't believe in the existence of Pope Joan?  

 

 

 

I'm exposing your bias. With regard to this issue you only treat Catholic sources as reliable when they agree with what you already believe, and you automatically treat Protestant sources as reliable except where they disagree with what you believe.

 

Those are dumb comments which could easily be used against anyone on any topic where there are opposing factions that have a few of their members taking up the position of the other side; e.g., the mode and subjects of Baptism, the identity of the Antichrist, etc.!  

 

In fact, I could level the same charge at you when you say:  “A 16th century Catholic historian and a 17th century Protestant historian provided good evidence that the story was legendary, using similar analysis of the sources.”  What makes you trust the research of *that* Catholic and *that* Protestant over and above the Catholics and Protestants who have done similar research and come to the opposite conclusion?

 

And speaking of Blondel, I'll bet you aren't even aware of the letters he wrote (including one to his brother) about the story of Pope Joan having been removed from all but two copies of the first printed edition of the Liber Pontificalis, despite the story appearing in the original codices?  

 

I'm sure you are equally unaware of the work written in refutation of Blondel by Samuel Maresius (another Protestant)?  Others such as Spanheim (also a Protestant) specifically refute many of the arguments of Blondel in their works as well.  By the way, Maresius lists scores of chroniclers in his work in support of the existence of Pope Joan.  So which Protestant am I supposed to treat as reliable?  The one that agrees with you?  So much for your bias argument.

 

Strangely, Wikipedia doesn't even mention works by Protestants like Maresius and Spanheim in favor of the existence of Pope Joan on their individual wikipedia pages, though it mentions the work against the existence of Pope Joan by Blondel on his page.  I wonder why?

 

 

 

I'm afraid it's more challenging than that.

1. The story doesn't appear until the Chronica Universalis Mettensis of de Mailly in the 13th century. The female pope is not named, and details are scant; the event is placed in 1099 CE.
2. The names given aren't simply 'John, Joan, Johanna'; de Mailly gives no name, Stephen of Bourbon gives no name, Polonus gives no name, some manuscripts of Scotus give 'Johnanna' (but there is no reference to the legend in earlier manuscripts), the Chronicon of Adam of Usk gives the name 'Agnes', and other later sources give 'Joan'.
3. The earliest source (de Mailly), dates 'Joan' to the 13th century, but Polonus places the event in the 9th century.
4. De Mailly claims 'Joan' was memorialized by the Church with a four day 'fast of the female pope'. Polonus claims that the Church decreed that she was not to be recorded in the official list of popes. It is unlikely that the Church honored her with a feast while simultaneously decreeing she was not to be recorded. Where is the independent evidence for either of these claims?
5. Several versions of the story appear, with differences in name, timing, events, and the response of the Church. Is there any independent evidence for any of them?
6. The story was not used by anti-papists until the Reformers, despite numerous anti-papal individuals using every other weapon at their disposal.
7. There is no room in history for 'Joan' to have been pope between Leo IV and Benedict III in the 9th century as claimed by Polonus. Similarly, the date of 1099 CE given by de Mailly places 'Joan' either at the end of the reign of Urban II (ended 20 July 1099), or at the start of the reign of Paschal II (started 13 August 1099). The dates I'm using are those of the 2001 edition of the Annuario Pontificio, the modern record which is updated and corrected regularly using the work of professional historians. It's clear neither Polonus nor de Mailly even attempted to reconcile their claims with the historical record.

 

Your statement that “I’m afraid its more challenging than that” is exactly correct.  You clearly don’t know the half of it!  You’ve only parroted falsehoods from wikipedia and a dictionary.  I’ve actually been hunting down primary sources to see things for myself.  I will respond to your above 7 points first (my numbered responses match your points), which are actually quite simplistic in comparison to the questions I have for you afterward:

 

 

1.  The story appeared before DeMailly, but was erased or destroyed.  Documented admissions of removal by Jesuits and clear manipulations within various Vatican mss. support this assertion.

 

2.  Can you prove all of that first-hand from those sources?  You forgot to mention Anna (shortened from Johanna) and Gilberta.  Why do you suppose various sources came up with different names?

 

3.  Again, DeMailly isn't the earliest source.  He was wrong on the century, but not on the fact of her existence (the two can be mutually exclusive).

 

4.  You say DeMailly and Polonus said "X" and "Y," but can you show me where in their works they say "X" and "Y?"  If you can't, then obviously you haven't seen or studied their chronicles at all, which means you have no grounds for questioning what evidence they may or may not have had when they said "X" and "Y."  Or is it your contention that both DeMailly and Polonus were "making things up" and neither the four-day fast nor the decree to remove Joan from the Papal lists ever occurred?

 

5.  Absolutely.  Manipulated manuscripts, letters that were written to Pope Joan, and papal coins of her time all prove her existence.

 

6.  That's because until the Reformers what they deemed the prophetic significance of a female Pope had never been considered.

 

7.  I believe her pontificate was around 856-858 and came after Benedict III.  Papal coinage and letters support this assertion.  By the way, why didn't you use the Annuario from 2012, rather than that of 2001?  Just wondering why you would choose to use one that was already 11 years old when you made that post.

 

 

 

Now I have some questions of my own.  I'm afraid it's more complicated than you even know:

 

a. Are you aware of the discrepancies in the numbering of the Popes in various editions of Platina, particularly after the Jesuit Panvinio started editing them after Platina's death? 

 

b. Are you aware of the discrepancies concerning Benedict III’s life in the mss. of the Liber Pontificalis, which has led some to believe his pontificate was artificially extended or that he never existed but was put in Pope Joan’s place to hide her pontificate?  

 

c. Are you aware of the 20 missing pages (201-220) from the Liber Pontificalis of Duchesne?  

 

d. Are you aware of the 11th century Vatican ms. 5140 ending the life of Leo IV abruptly in the middle of a word(!) and leaving 2/3 of the rest of the page empty?  

 

e. Are you aware of the same Vatican ms. 5140 having the life of an unnamed pope on the next page where the name of Benedictus was written in the left margin in red ink, but was later crossed out and replaced with the name Nicolaus at the top of the page instead, but not before the first two lines on the page had been completely removed?   

 

f. Are you aware that when the name of Nicolaus was written in place of Benedictus at the top of Vatican ms. 5140 that the letter “L” is in a darker color and in a different script?  

 

g. Are you aware of the strange manipulations that one finds in the Vatican mss. 3764, 3762, and 5516 concerning the lives of Leo IV, Benedict III, and Nicolas I?  (ms. 3762 is the one used for the lives of the Popes today, which is remarkable because it's not the oldest!)

 

h. Are you aware of the fact that the death of Leo IV wasn’t set at 855 until the 16th century (it was only found in the margin of the first printed edition of the Liber Pontificalis in 1602), the original mss. being completely silent on the Life of Leo IV after 853 as well as not giving the year of his death at all?  

 

i. Are you aware of the letter to Pope Joan from Lupus of Ferriers?  

 

j. Are you aware of the numismatic evidence discovered that proves there was a Pope John (Joan) in the 850s (distinct and different from the Pope John of the 870s)?  

 

k. Are you aware of the chronicle of Botho where he reports the crowning of Louis II by a Pope John in 856, who couldn't have been the Pope John from the 870s?  

 

l. Are you aware of the testimony of the Madgeburg Centuries showing that a Pope John had received AEthelwulf of Wessex between 855-856, which couldn't have been the Pope John from the 870s? 

 

m. Are you aware of Harleian ms. 3901 giving two distinct lives of Benedict III immediately after Leo IV, and how that relates to ms. 5140?

 

n. Are you aware of the several different ways in which Anastasius "signed" his name, which makes it very easy to date his writings to various people, including Popes?  

 

o. Are you aware of the 9th century Vatican ms. 5516, like the 11th century ms. 5140, abruptly ending the life of Leo IV (this time in the middle of the page), and a different scribe finishing Leo IV's life 50 years later to fill in the empty space on the page? 

 

 

All of this is just the tip of the iceberg.  You need to dive deeper than wikipedia.


Edited by Unbound68, 29 March 2020 - 11:52 PM.





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