Codex Sinaiticus and Constantine Simonides timeline


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This thread is for cross-examining the Constantine Simonides claim that he wrote the Codex Sinaiticus at Mt Athos in circa 1840 A.D.

This thread is specifically dedicated to the timeline of the facts about the real Codex Sinaiticus and discrepancies in the Simonides false narrative.

Don't post off topic.

Post away.
November 11, 1824 (twice)
November 5, 1820

Kevin McGrane, Page 82, Footnote 185
Simonides’ own ‘canonical’ account up to the end of 1862 was that
he was born in Hydra in 1824. The Biographical Review published August 1859 states (p.2) ‘Constantine
L. Ph. Simonides was born in the island of Hydra, in the year 1824’. In the appendix to that work is a
detailed description of the activities of Simonides’ father from the outbreak of the Greek Revolution
commencing 1821, in which he was wounded. ‘On his recovery he returned to Syme, in 1823, and was
then married to his betrothed, Maria…[and] soon after returned to Hydra, with his wife, and here
their son Simonides was born, November 11th, 1824.’, p.74. Since the beginning of the Greek
Revolution in 1821 is a fixed date, then unless this is all a pack of lies (always possible!), Simonides
was born on Hydra in 1824. He stated his age as 33 (=32 in ‘English’ reckoning) in Leipzig in 1856. In
England in 1861 and 1862 he both stated that he was born November 11, 1824 and that he was 15
when he arrived at Athos in 1839. He appears on the UK 1861 census, living in Formby, Lancashire in
the home of his Greek friend Constantine Pappa. His place of birth is given as Hydra, Greece, and his
occupation is listed as ‘Author of various books’. His specified age, 33 as of April 1861 however,
would indicate a date of birth of 1827. The Panteleimon monastery states that he was a мальчик (a
male child not completed puberty) when he arrived in 1839, almost certainly under 16, which
indicates a birth date no earlier than 1824. In a letter of December 13, 1861 to The Athenaeum (see
December 21, 1861, p.849), Simonides had written, commenting on the article of December 7 that he
‘came from Syme’: ‘If you have any curiosity to know the place of my birth, I may tell you that I was
born in the town of Hydra, in the island of Hydra, on the 11th of November, A.D. 1824.’ In Simonides’
1864 work The Periplus of Hannon, Simonides forges a change to his birth date when directly quoting
from the 1859 Biographical Memoir and from his 1861 letter published in The Athenaeum: it is now
November 5, 1820, though the place of birth remains Hydra. A switch to a birth date of November 5,
1820, and on the island of Syme, was made in early 1863. About this time Simonides was forging
correspondence with his imaginary Kallinikos, backdated to 1852-3 and supposedly lithographed in
Moscow and Odessa in 1853-4, the purpose of which was to fake a visit to Mount Sinai in 1852, move
his birthday back to 1820. The forged Kallinikos correspondence is seen to be in transition: the
birthplace is still Hydra, but the date has become November 5, 1820. Simonides first mentions these
lithographs in March 1863. Concerning these, Farrer in his Literary Forgeries (London, 1907) p.62 asks,
‘But were these letters really lithographed in the years assigned to them in the frontispiece? May they
not have been concocted by Simonides in 1863 and then antedated by ten years in order to support his
claim?’. Indeed so. They were concocted between October 1862 and March 1863.
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November 11, 1824 (twice)
November 5, 1820

Kevin McGrane
Page 84, Footnote 191

K. Simonides, Ἡ πρὸς τοὺς ἐξ Ἑβραίων πιστοὺς Ἐπιστολὴ τοῦ Ἀποστολικοῦ πατρὸς ἡμῶν Βαρνάβα (Smyrna, 1843 claimed; probably England, 1863). “The Epistles of the Apostolic Father Barnabas.” In Smyrna, in 1843.
Note the claim that it was ‘discovered complete’ by Simonides in 1838, the year before his first arrival in Athos as independently attested and according to his own accounts until at least 1860.
After 1862 Simonides advanced his arrival at Athos to extend his time for writing the Codex to 20 months from his originally stated 6 months, and to make himself older and fully experienced in calligraphy. He thus later claimed that his arrival at Athos in November 1839 was his fifth visit to the holy mountain! This evidence in Barnabas thus points to a post-1862 production. [Emphasis added]
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Who Faked the "World’s Oldest Bible"?
By David W. Daniels · 2021
Pages 81-87
Apendix A : Timeline of Events

1735The Loge of Verona was established in Italy
1751-1778Masonic charter granted fora lodge in Smyrna
1771Academy of Cydoniae founded according to one source
1773Ayvalik/Cydoniae granted autonomy from Ottoman rule; Edict of Religious Tolerance issued by Catherine the Great of Russia
1776Ioannis Kapodistrias born
1780Virgin of the Orphans church built in the lower district of Cydoniae;
the College of Cydoniae built in its courtyard by Ioannes Oikonomos
1782First Greek Lodge, “Beneficenza,” setup on Corfu Island
1784Vissarion of Symi began teaching at the College of Cydoniae

Masonic lodges set up in the Ionian Islands;
the French Revoltion began
1790Rigas Feraios created the Masonic-based society, Kaloi Exadelfoi
1799Vaticanus brought from Rome to the National Archives of Paris; the French Revolution ended
1800Veniamin of lesbos begins to lead the Academy of Cydoniae;
Konstantinos Rados started the Masonic-based Carbonari in Naples
1802Ioannis Kapodistrias founded the National Medical Assocation on Corfu Island
1803Veniamin of Lesbos condemned by the Patriarchate in Constantinople
1804Constantine Alexandrovich (Porfiry) Uspensky was born
1805-1830Constantius (1770-1859) was Archbishop of Sinai
1809-1810Catholic Priest Johann Leonhard Hug viewed the Vaticanus in Paris
1810Hug wrote De Atiquitate Codicis Vaticani Commentatio
1811Two Masonic lodges on Corfu merged into the Phoenix Lodge;
another Phoenix Lodge founded in Moscow, Russia by Iaonnis Kapodistrias
1813Ioannis Kapodistrias officiated at the establishment of the Masonic Hellenoglosso Xenodocheio tn Paris, France

Three Greeks founded the Masonic/revolutionary Filiki Eteria to raise an army to overthrow the Ottoman Empire and establish a Greek State
1815Lobegott Friedrich Konstantin Tischendorf was born
1819Veniamin retires from teaching at Cydoniae and becomes the monk Benedict atEsphigmenou monastery;
Simon of Stageira (Simonides’ father) married
1820November 5, Constantine Leonidas Photios was born; Neophytos Doukas joined Filiki Eteria
1821Lachmann began teaching criticism of the Received Text; Academy of Cydoniae destroyed;
Ayvalik/Cydoniae invaded; beginning of the 1821-28 Greek war of Independence;
the “Moscow edition” typeset Greek Bible produced
1824Simonides’ cousin Constantine born;
Simonides' brother Photius born
1827Ioannis Kapodistrias became 1st governor of the Independent State of Greece
1828Tischendorf finished standard schooling;
Mai started work on Codex Vaticanus;
Benedict taught on Spetses Island;
Kapodistrias commanded Benedict to teach 12-15 Greek youths on Kalavria Island;
in September Kapodistrias hosted meetings on Kalavria to draw borders of the new Greek state;
the Zosimas brothers founded a Greek high school
Uspensky became a tonsured monk;
John Roothan became Jesuit General 1829-53
1830The London Protocol of 1830 drawn of Greek boundaries;
Constantius I became Ecumenical Patriarch 1830-34
1831Karl Lachmann published his first anti-Received Text Greek New Testament;
October 9, Kapodistrias was assassinated
1832Prince Otto became king of Greece under the London Convention of 1832;
Simonides, twelve, called “young Stelokopes” by Grigorios Konstantas
1833-45July 14- John Newman created the Tractarian Society, having been forbidden to become Roman Catholic by the pope's emissary
1834Tischendorf began at Leipzig University;
Uspensky became an Archimandrite
1835Tischendorf’s father died;
Andreas Koromelas established the first Greek printing house in Athens
1836Tischendorf’s mother died
1837Simonides came to Mount Athos to study;
Dying monk Gregory handed over a secreted stash of manuscripts to Benedict;
the library of manuscripts discovered;
Simonides as “Sophronios” on Athos;
1837-39 Benedict prepared manuscripts to be written into a single codex
1838Tischendorf said to have received a PhD (like a Master's degree?) only 4 years into study at Leipzig University;
Mai allegedly completed work on his Vaticanus book
1839Benedict finished preparations for his Greek Bible;
Simonides sailed from Athens to Panteleimon;
Simonides began writing the Codex;
Simonides was 19
1840March - Anthimus IV was made Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople;
Kallinikos on Athos while Simonides wrote the Codex;
Benedict died August 29/September 10;
Tischendorf began deciphering Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus in October;
Simonides stopped work on the Codex in November/December;
My theory: The Codex at this time had corrections by Benedict and fellow monks of Athos
Early 1840sMonk Cyril/Kyrillos exiled from Athos to St Catherine's monastery
March 27/April 8 - Monk Kallinikos worked with Simonides on a project;
Before May - Simonides met Anthimus IV and Constantius I with the Codex;
Before August - Simonides sent the Codex to St. Catherine's by way of Antigonus, Island;
The monk who transported the Codex was named Germanus
August 13/25 - Constantius I wrote to Simonides after receiving the Codex;
October 12/24 - Anthimus IV wrote a letter of recommendation for Simonides;
November - Simonides left for Odessa


My theory - Callistratus returned the partially-corrected Codex to Panteleimon for Simonides to correct;
Simonides was at Panteleimon monastery, having compiled 7 different versions of Barnabas from the 1837 stash;
Germanus IV became Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople

1842 – early 1845

Germanus IV exiled Cyril/Kyrillos to St. Catherine's where he became the librarian


January - Tischendorf lauded for deciphering Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus;
January - Tischendorf set out for other locations for manuscripts;
February - Kallinikos saw Simonides working on the Codex;
Simonides went over the text of Barnabas;
Late February - Tischendorf arrived at the Vatican;
My theory - March-April - Simonides wrote his name in the Codex numerous times when he wanted no part in any changes to Great Uncle Benedict's work;
Before May - Simonides sent the Codex back to Callistratus at St. Catherine's;
My theory - May or later Callistratus decided to use the expensive vellum for other projects when Simonides did not accompany the Codex;
May - Tischendorf granted a private audience with Pope Gregory XVI;
Sometime after May - the Codex was left under the care of Cyril/Kyrillos at St.
Catherine's library until it was removed in 1859;

1843 Cont.

June 15/27 - Simonides wrote to G.D. Rodokanakis about the Codex (now at St. Catherine's) and his Barnabas book;
July 22 Rodokanakis wrote the preface to Simonides’ Barnabas book;
After July 22 Simonides’ Barnabas book published in Smyrna;
August 1 - Ad about Simonides’ Barnabas placed in the Star of the East as an addendum
My theory - Simonides’ goal to copy the final corrections into the Codex for the [...]

Page 84

Not Available (Google Preview) “Page 84 is not part of this book preview.”


[…] Volume 1, pp. 213-216;
Tischendorf made a list of people who could move the Tsar to pay for a 3rd trip to St. Catherine's


Tischendorf published glowing statements recommending Simonides
Evidence published favoring Simonides’ 1820 birth date;
Uspensky published a book about his 1845 visit to St. Catherine's;
Autumn - Tischendorf visited St. Petersburg to meet Russian Minister Norov to get sponsorship to travel to Egypt

Uspensky published a book of art, including drawings of St. Catherine's and
transcriptions from Genesis 24 and 1 Corinthians 13

Summer - Norov drafted a letter of Tischendorf’s proposed 3rd visit, to give to the Tsar's wife;

Charles Stewart's Biographical Memoir of Simonides was published
January 5 - Constantius I died at 99 years old on Antigonus Island
January 11 - Tischendorf set off for Alexandria, Egypt;
January 17 - Tischendorf wrote from Alexandria;
Tischendorf wrote he had “heard again of the stories told by Simonides”;
January 23-31 - Tischendorf sped from Cairo to St. Catherine's;
February 2 - News of Constantius’ death reached the monastery;
February 15 - Tischendorf made a “private agreement” to get the Codex;
Tischendorf acquired the remainder of the Codex;
Tischendorf claimed he then found out it contained Barnabas;

1859 Cont.
By this time the Codex had Arabic notes;
Sometime this year the remainder was stained and no longer white;
April - Tischendorf’s “discovery” was written up in a Leipzig newspaper;
August - Tischendorf went to Constantinople to get Russian assistance to get the Codex;
September 22 - Ambassador Lobanov wrote that Tischendorf wanted to borrow the Codex to copy it;
September 28 - Cairo monks wrote that they wanted to donate the Codex to the
September 16/28 - Tischendorf took the Codex without waiting for Cyril/Kyrillos’ ordination as Archbishop of Sinai;
October 5 - Cyril/Kyrillos left for Constantinople to plead his case to become
Archbishop of Sinai, against Cyril II the Patriarch of Jerusalem's objections;
October 16/28 - Germanus reported about Egypt’s monks to Cyril/Kyrillos
1859-66 - Cyril/Kyrillos stole valuables from St. Catherine's
Mid-November - the bulk of the Codex arrived in St. Petersburg,

1860 - 1865

Archbishop Cyril/Kyrillos assumed the rights to income from monastery property in Bessarabia


November 9 - Kallinikos wrote to Simonides that Tischendorf had proclaimed the Codex as genuine and the oldest of all known Codices in Europe;
Simonides asserted that he had written the Codex, according to Falconer Madan

January and March - Journals published of Simonides’ expertise;
February 1 - Charles Stewart wrote of Simonides’ manuscript collection;
April - The Homilist published that Simonides was born in 1820;
Tischendorf Published Codex Sinaiticus Petropolitanus;
Tischendorf wrote in the Sinaiticus Introduction that the parchment pages were “sufflava” -yellow- and not white
July 3 - Tregelles wrote that he found the Arabic notes were “very recent” in the Codex;
October 7 - Simonides wrote to a Cambridge librarian that he had made the Codex and that many witnesses are still alive;
October 15 - Kallinikos wrote that the Codex had been “cleaned” with a solution that weakened the letters and changed the color yellow;
October 15 - Kallinikos wrote that he saw Simonides working on the Codex in February 1843 in Athos
October 15 - Kallinikos wrote that Constantius had wanted the Codex corrected and transcribed by Simonides and dedicated to the Tsar on his own behalf;
December 16 - A letter from Simonides claims he saw the Codex at St. Catherine's, but I theorize that this is false

January 21 - Simonides wrote of erroneous dates ascribed to him and of his years of study
January 23 -J. E. Hodgkin wrote that Simonides had said a colophon was a memorandum from a codex that had some good readings;
January 25 W. A. Wright wrote “no part of Genesis has been recovered”;

1863 Cont.
February 1 - Wright wrote that Simonides claimed he did tracings in 1852;
February 2 - Simonides invented another visit to St. Catherine's in 1844;
February 2 - Simonides wrote to the editor that he and Dr. Drakakes both saw
Simonides’ four tracings of acrostics with his name on the Codex;
February 4 - Simonides challenged Tischendorf to bring the CFA and Sinaiticus to London, where he'd prove that he wrote the Codex;
February 17 - L. Deacaches wrote of proof Simonides was born in 1820;
March 11 - Hodgkin quoted Simonides' letter to Stewart about his messed-up dates;
March 16 - Simonides wrote about the Stewart family there in London;
April - The JSL published the debate between Simonides and scholars;
May - Tischendorf did not show up to confront Simonides;
July - Simonides wrote that he had taken the name Sophronios at Athos
July - Simonides asked again about when Tischendorf is coming;


F. H. A, Scrivener wrote A Full Collation of the Codex Sinaiticus with the Received Text of the New Testament

Uspensky was promoted from Archimandrite to Bishop;
The monks of St. Catherine's were fed up with Cyril/Kyrillos’ criminal activities;
Tischendorf finally came to England, but not to find Simonides;

August - Cyril/Kyrillos was deposed by his own monks

Tischendorf published Novum Testamentum Vaticanuum;
July 3 - Patriarch Cyril II of Jerusalem convened a council on Cyril/Kyrillos’ actions, but Kyrillos didn't show up;
July 9 - Cyril/Kyrillos removed as Archbishop in absentia;
Tischendorf published When Were Our Gospels Written... with a Narrative of the Discovery ofthe Sinaitic Manuscript;

March - Tischendorf rushed to Moscow to try and settle the Codex gift issue

June 22 - Ambassador Ignatieff wrote that “Cyril's kindred had time enough to rob a little”;
Callistratus got to become Archbishop of Sinai in exchange for saying nothing about the Codex. And his monks received 9,000 gold rubles for the “gift”;
Revisers began work on what became the English Revised Version

Tischendorf published Die Sinaibibel

May 5 - Tischendorf suffered a stroke that left him bedridden

December 7- Tischendorf died

April 24-Tregelles died;
Scrivener wrote Six Lectures on the Text of the New Testament including discussion of Sinaiticus

John Newman was made a Catholic cardinal


The English Revised Version is published
Notice that Nikolas Sarris's expert opinion for 2008 New Finds discovery of the Joshua fragment from the Codex Sinaiticus, with it's cut off date of 1727 A.D. for the volume's cover manufacture, is also not included in the early part of Daniel's timeline either.
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Yes. He is said to have died in 1840, but his name appears in the Lampros catalogue showing he was supposedly at Athos in 1844.

Daniel's (above) isn't certain of the day for some reason. He gives two dates:

  1. 1840, Benedict died August 29, or
  2. 1840, Benedict died September 10

His uncertainty probably stem's from some inconsistency in Simonides ever shifting storyline.
Yes. He is said to have died in 1840, but his name appears in the Lampros catalogue showing he was supposedly at Athos in 1844.
Avery is at a loss to explain that, as well as how Simonides is shown in that same catalogue to have been at Athos on Easter Sunday in 1841, a year that Simonides claimed he wasn’t there, and Easter Sunday didn’t occur on the specific day listed in the catalogue for 1841.
Avery is at a loss to explain that, as well as how Simonides is shown in that same catalogue to have been at Athos on Easter Sunday in 1841, a year that Simonides claimed he wasn’t there, and Easter Sunday didn’t occur on the specific day listed in the catalogue for 1841.

Can you provide more information please?

Do you have the reference material (details)?

Let's explore that in more detail.
Avery is at a loss to explain that, as well as how Simonides is shown in that same catalogue to have been at Athos on Easter Sunday in 1841, a year that Simonides claimed he wasn’t there, and Easter Sunday didn’t occur on the specific day listed in the catalogue for 1841.

Do we know what part of Athos in 1841? For example, which monastery?

Because Monk's at one monastery (X-something or rather = by a foggy memory) reported that Simonides visited and was caught tearing out pages of manuscripts and, even worse, adding his own fraudulent notes into the margins of mss.

And where exactly (Book, Letter, page etc) did Simonides say he wasn't there?
Avery is at a loss to explain that, as well as how Simonides is shown in that same catalogue to have been at Athos on Easter Sunday in 1841, a year that Simonides claimed he wasn’t there, and Easter Sunday didn’t occur on the specific day listed in the catalogue for 1841.

Daniel's doesn't mention the Lampros catalog entry about Simonides being on Athos in 1841 above in his timeline at all.

Hmmmm ?