Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Premodern Fakes and Forgeries

One-day workshop, Friday November 4th, 2022

What is a fake? Why do they matter? And what do they tell us about the premodern world? These questions are common to a range of fields of premodern history. Historians of art, science, medicine, scholarship, and sociability have all turned to fakes as a way of illuminating major themes of early modernity, from religious polemic to global trade. This one-day workshop will bring these approaches together so that they can illuminate one another. Each speaker will discuss a particular kind of fake, from friends to gems to medical texts.

Venue: FAB5.03, Faculty of Arts Building. All welcome.


12-12:45pm - catered lunch

Session 1 (chaired by Stefan Bauer):

12:45-1pm - Introduction by Michael Bycroft (Warwick, History) and Stefan Bauer (KCL, Warwick; History)

1-1:45pm - Caroline Petit (Warwick, Classics & Ancient History), Uses and Abuses of a Great Name: The Intriguing History of Pseudo-Galenic Texts

1:45-2pm - Comfort break

Session 2 (chaired by Michael Bycroft):

2-2:45pm - Lucia Raggetti (Bologna, Philosophy and Communication - remote speaker), Shrewd Craftsmen and Skilful Inspectors: the Mediaeval Islamic Market as Stage for Adulteration and Forgeries

2:45-3:30pm - Aysu Dincer (Warwick, History), ‘Adulterate, Imitate, Fabricate’: Fake Aromatics in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe

3:30-4pm - Afternoon tea

Session 3 (chaired by Stefan Bauer):

4-4:45pm - Naomi Pullin (Warwick, History), False Friends and the Importance of Enemies in Early Modern Friendship Literature

4:45-5:30pm - Michael Bycroft (Warwick, History), The Place of Fakes in Enlightenment Mineralogy

Please direct any queries to Michael Bycroft ( or Stefan Bauer (

Comparison of an ‘upright man’ and a ‘counterfeit crank’ from Thomas Harman’s A Caveat or Warning for Common Cursitors, Vulgarly Called Vagabonds (1566).