ALEXANDER THE PAPHLAGONIAN, a celebrated impostor and worker of false oracles, was born at Abonouteichos (see Ineboli) in Paphiagonia in the early part of the 2nd century A.D.
After a period of instruction in medicine by a doctor who also, according to Lucian, was an impostor, he succeeded in establishing an oracle of Aesculapius at his native town.
Away in the East Cyrus had been succeeded in 529 B.C. by Cambyses, who had annexed Egypt and on whose death in 522 a Magian impostor, Gaumata, had seized the throne.
They would indulge in prophecies of the last judgment, and back their threats with a string of strange, half-frantic and utterly unmeaning sounds, the sense of which no one with any intelligence could discover; for they were obscure gibberish, and merely furnished any fool or impostor with an occasion to twist the utterances as he chose to his own purposes.
Historical truth need not be taken into consideration in the matter; and if, notwithstanding James Gairdner's essay appended to his Life and Reign of Richard III., there are still credulous persons left to think and assert that Perkin was not an impostor, they will derive little satisfaction from Ford's play, which with really surprising skill avoids the slightest indication as to the poet's own belief on the subject.
In reality the younger son of Ivan the Terrible had been strangled before his brother's death - by orders, it was said, of Godunov - and the mysterious individual who was impersonating him was an impostor; but he was regarded as the rightful heir by a large section of the population, and immediately after Boris's death in 1605 he made his triumphal entry into Moscow.
The chief con spirator, Shuiski, seized the power and was elected tsar by an Assembly composed of his faction, but neither Shuiski, the ambitious boyars, nor the pillaging Cossacks, nor the German mercenaries were satisfied with the change, and soon a new impostor, likewise calling himself Dimitri, son of Tsar Ivan, came forward as the rightful heir.
In 35 he dispersed a number of Samaritans, who had assembled near Mt Gerizim at the bidding of an impostor, in order to see the temple vessels buried there by Moses.
An impostor, who claimed to be a son of Antiochus Epiphanes, Alexander Balas (reigned 150-145), was installed as king by Ptolemy Philometor and given Ptolemy's daughter Cleopatra to wife, but Alexander proved to be dissolute and incapable, and when Demetrius, the son of Demetrius I., was brought back to Syria by Cretan condottieri, Ptolemy transferred his support and Cleopatra to the rightful heir.
The two personages - the "old and foolish king" and the "poor and wise youth" - have been supposed (by Winckler) to be Antiochus Epiphanes (175-164 B.C.) and Demetrius (162-150 B.C.), or (by Haupt) Antiochus and the impostor Alexander Balas (150-146 B.C.), or (by others) Demetrius and Alexander; in favour of Alexander as the "youth" it may be said that he was of obscure origin, was at first popular, and was later abandoned by his friends.
English impostor, was probably the son of a tradesman at Oxford.
He encountered formidable opposition from different quarters, but in every case he was successful, the severest struggle being that with the impostor Mosailima, who was finally defeated by Khalid at the battle of Akraba.
At first he professed to rule only with the advice of a council formed of the nobles, but when his power became established he dispensed with this show of republican government, and then gave himself the appearance of a legitimate title by protecting an impostor who professed to be the caliph Hisham II.
Barton turned out afterwards to have been an impostor, but she had duped More, who now lived in a superstitious atmosphere of convents and churches, and he had given his countenance to her supernatural pretensions.
It is difficult to tell in any one of these cases how far the story is an entire fiction and how far some ingenious impostor took advantage of the existence of the myth.
Among Johnson's associates at this time may be mentioned Boyse, who, when his shirts were pledged, scrawled Latin verses sitting up in bed with his arms through two holes in his blanket, who composed very respectable sacred poetry when he was sober, and who was at last run over by a hackney coach when he was drunk; Hoole, surnamed the metaphysical tailor, who, instead of attending to his measures, used to trace geometrical diagrams on the board where he sat cross-legged; and the penitent impostor, George Psalmanazar, who, after poring all day, in a humble lodging, on the folios of Jewish rabbis and Christian fathers, indulged himself at night with literary and theological conversation at an alehouse in the City.
These definitions being thus various, the Eleate notes that the sophist, in consideration of a fee, disputes, and teaches others to dispute, about things divine, cosmical, metaphysical, legal, political, technical - in fact, about everything - not having knowledge of them, because universal knowledge is unattainable; after which he is in a position to define the sophist (7) as a conscious impostor who, in private, by discontinuous discourse, compels his interlocutor to contradict himself, in opposition to the Sn,uoXoyucos, who, in public, by continuous discourse, imposes upon crowds.
About this time an impostor named Mahmud b.
The story of James de la Cloche is indeed itself another historical mystery; he abruptly vanishes as such at Rome at the end of 1668, and thus provides a disappearance of convenient date; but the question concerning him is complicated by the fact that a James Henry de Bovere Roano Stuardo, who married at Naples early in 1669 and undoubtedly died in the following August, claiming to be a son of Charles II., makes just afterwards an equally abrupt appearance; in many respects the two men seem to be the same, but Monsignor Barnes, following Lord Acton, here regards James Stuardo as an impostor who traded on a knowledge of James de la Cloche's secret.
In 1561 the adventurer and impostor Jacob Basilicus succeeded with Hungarian help in turning out the voivode Alexander Lapusheanu (1552-61 and 1563-68) and seizing on the reins of government.
In 1436 an impostor appeared, professing to be Joan of Arc escaped from the flames, who succeeded in inducing many people to believe in her statement, but afterwards confessed her imposture.
She found the impostor useful as a means of injuring the king of England.
Rumour got abroad, owing to the secrecy of his end, that he was not really dead, and an impostor long lived at the Scottish court who claimed to be the missing king, and was recognized as Richard by many malcontents who wished to be deceived.
Lincoln and Fitzgerald were slain; Lovel disappeared in the rout; the young impostor Simnel was taken prisoner.
Few joined the impostor save the earl of Desmond, and he was repulsed from Waterford, and dared not face the army which the lord deputy put into the field against him.
As often happens when someone we have trusted is no longer before our eyes, it suddenly seemed quite clear and obvious to him that the sergeant was an impostor, that he had lied, and that the whole Russian attack would be ruined by the absence of those two regiments, which he would lead away heaven only knew where.