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The article is devoted to the comparison of the work of Mabillon «Diplomacy» with the «Introduction to the distinction between fake and authentic letters» by Papebrokh. Through a consistent thematic comparison, we explore the question of priority in paleography. Mabillon's work is considered to be fundamental for paleography and diplomacy. Today, the work of Mabillon, despite the fact that it is recognized as a classic, remains poorly understood. «Diplomacy» is remarkable in that Mabillon gave the systematic approach to the study of ancient monuments characteristic of the science of rationalism. It seems that the innovation of Mabillon can not be assessed without finding out to what extent it is a new word in relation to the preceding scientific tradition and, first of all, to the work of Papebrokh, which served as a direct reason for writing the work of Mabillon. Through an essential analysis, we will demonstrate that Mabillon’s work is completely independent in relation to Papebrokh’s «Introduction» as far as the approach to the study of material and conclusions is concerned. Mabillon's «Diplomacy» is a work devoted specifically to the problems of diplomacy and paleography, unlike the Papebrokh’s work, in which the problems of authenticity and dating are only interesting as one of the methods of genealogical research. We will also show that Pepebrokh's refutation was not the main goal of Mabillon. It should be noted that most researchers focus exclusively on the event canvas, there is a widespread interpretation of the controversy between Mabillon and Papebroch as a purely legal dispute – as if writing «Diplomacy» was primarily caused by the desire of Mabillon to protect the authenticity of Merving letters stored in the Abbey of St. Denis. Such a study would help to draw conclusions about how innovative Mabillon’s work is. Although Mabillon and Papebroh consider many features of monuments (print, monograms, material, etc.), in this article we limit ourselves to a comparison of their views on the letter.

About the authors

M. A. Shchekochikhina

Lomonosov Moscow State University

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7045-4310

postgarduate student, Department of General and Comparative Linguistics


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