We may still hold the opinion of Dollinger that it was intended to impress the barbarian Pippin and justify in his eyes the Frank intervention in favour of the pope in Italy; or we may share the view of Loening (rejected by Brunner, Rechtsgeschichte) that the forgery was a pious fraud on the part of a cleric of the Curia, committed under Adrian I., 4 with the idea of giving a legal basis to territorial dominion which that pope had succeeded in establishing in Italy.
This book was long the storm-centre of Pentateuchal criticism, orthodox scholars boldly asserting that any who questioned its Mosaic authorship reduced it to the level of a pious fraud.
This theory gives some plausibility to the charge that the book is a pious fraud.
A lot of pious fraud went on in writings of the ancient world.
Her profession of a desire to be instructed in the doctrines of Anglican Protestantism was so transparently a pious fraud as rather to afford confirmation than to arouse suspicion of her fidelity to the teaching of her church.