Annius of Viterbo (Latin: Joannes Annius Viterb(i)ensis; c. 1432 – 13 November 1502) was an Italian Dominican friar, scholar, and historian, born Giovanni Nanni (Nenni) in Viterbo. He is now remembered for his fabrications. […]
In perhaps his most elaborate pseudo-archeological charade, in the autumn of 1493 he undertook a well-publicized dig at Viterbo, during which marble statues of some of the most dramatic of the mythical figures associated with the city’s legendarium appeared to be unearthed; they had all been “salted” [ed., deposited] in the site beforehand. […]
He was notorious for his text depicting the history and topography of ancient Rome from the “most ancient” authors. His Auctores vetustissimi printed at Rome, 1498, was an anthology of seventeen purportedly classical texts, all of which he had written himself, with which he embarks in the gigantic attempt to write a universal history of the post-diluvian West civilization, where the Etruscan people and the town of Viterbo/Etruria, custodian of the original knowledge of divine nature, takes on the leading role in the march of Man towards the future. Annio’s map of Rome as founded by Romulus is a loose interpretation of one of his own forgeries. It prominently features Vicus Tuscus, the home of the Etruscans, whom Annio and his fellow Viterbans claimed as their ancestors. Part of the forgeries were motivated by a desire to prove that Viterbo was the site of the Etruscan Fanum Voltumnae. […]
The content was falsely attributed to Berosus, Fabius Pictor, Cato, Manetho and others.
Source: Annio da Viterbo – Wikipedia