Phantom time hypothesis

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The Phantom time hypothesis is a theory developed by Heribert Illig (born 1947 in Vohenstrauß) in 1991. It proposes that there has been a systematic effort to make it appear that periods of history, specifically that of Europe during Early Middle Ages (AD 614–911) exist, when they do not. Illig believed that this was achieved through the alteration, misrepresentation and forgery of documentary and physical evidence. [1]

In addition to Illig's hypotheses, there exist several variations. Notable examples include those of Anatoly Timofeevich Fomenko, who hypothesized that history - as is generally accepted - consists of a series of events that have been recorded multiple times from different perspectives, with each iteration being assigned to a different time period, thus making a few events over a short period appear to be many events over a long time period. [2][3] Uwe Topper hypothesized that most of the world's history was written after the 16th century, and that much of that which occurred prior to AD 1400 should not be considered factual. Other notable proponents include Hans-Ulrich Niemitz, Christoph Marx, Angelika Müller, and Manfred Zeller.


[edit] Gregorian calendar

The theory also stems from a claim of Illig's to the effect that by the time the Gregorian calendar was introduced in AD 1582, the old Julian calendar, introduced by Julius Caesar, should have produced a discrepancy of thirteen days between it and the real (or sidereal) calendar, while the astronomers and mathematicians working for Pope Gregory found that the civil calendar needed to be adjusted by only ten days. From this, Illig concludes that it appears that the AD era had counted roughly three centuries which never existed.[4]

In fact, the Gregorian reform was intended to bring the calendar in line with the Julian calendar as it had existed in 325, the time of the Council of Nicaea which had established a method for determining the date of Easter Sunday which involved fixing the Vernal Equinox on March 20 in the Julian calendar, and not with the Julian calendar at the time of its introduction by Caesar. Illig's "three missing centuries" thus correspond to the period between the origin of the Dionysian era in AD 1 and the fixing of the Easter Date at the Council of Nicaea in AD 325. By 1582, the astronomical equinox was actually occurring on March 10 in the Julian calendar, but Easter was still being calculated from a nominal equinox on March 20. The Gregorian reform did not restore the relationship between calendar date and astronomical equinox to what it had been at the time of the institution of the Julian calendar in 45 BC, 369 years before the council of Nicaea, when the astronomical vernal equinox took place around March 23.

[edit] Variations

Various scholars and authors have proposed their own alternative time lines and phantom time hypothesis, some varying only slightly from the accepted time line, and others rewriting or reordering it significantly. Phantom time hypotheses are typically disputed, and rejected, by historians. A common criticism is that they serve as vehicles for the promotion of alternative agendas favoring one or more groups/causes with which the writer is associated. [2][3][5]

[edit] Illig

The basis of Illig's hypothesis is the paucity of archaeological evidence that can be reliably dated to the period AD 614–911, perceived inadequacies of radiometric and dendrochronological methods of dating this period, and the over-reliance of medieval historians on written sources.

For Western Europe, Illig claims the presence of Romanesque architecture in the tenth century as evidence that less than half a millennium could have passed since the fall of the Roman Empire, and concludes that the entire Carolingian period, including the person of Charlemagne, is a forgery of medieval chroniclers, more precisely a conspiracy instigated by Otto III and Gerbert d'Aurillac.

[edit] Hunnivári

According to the Hungarian Calendar hypothesis, developed by Zoltán Hunnivári, an additional 198 years have been added to the western calendar. [6]

[edit] Fomenko

According to the New Chronology set out by Russian mathematician Anatoly Timofeevich Fomenko, approximately 1000 years of history as recorded by modern historians can be explained away as single events from other time periods that have been recorded multiple times from different perspectives, and thus mistaken for different events occurring at different times.

According to Russian history expert James Billington, Fomenko's variation on the phantom history hypothesis was an attempt to rewrite history in a way that was more favorable to Russia. Specifically, so as to make it appear that Russia and Turkey were part of a single greater entity, and to pass off the conflicts between Russia and its neighbors as being fabrications/misrepresentations by western historians. [5] Similarly, Sheiko held that Fomenko's belief in phantom history was not academically sound, instead labeling it as part of a Russian's search for a distinct identity during the post-communist period. [2]

[edit] Rohl

Using Archaeoastronomy as a means of dating events, Egyptologist David Rohl proposed that dates in the history of ancient Egypt, Israel and Mesopotamia have been incorrectly recorded. Rohl's system modifies the chronologies of the 21st and 22nd dynasties, and moves the time of the 19th dynasty forward 350 years in order to match events in Egyptology up with events in other branches of archeology. [7]

According to J.G. van der Land, editor of the Dutch language publication "Bijbel, Geschiedenis en Archeologie" (Bible, History and Archaeology), Rohl's time line would resolve some archaeological anomalies surrounding ancient Egypt, but creates conflicts with other areas that make it untenable. [8]

[edit] Jehovah's Witnesses

Jehovah's Witnesses assert that the destruction of Jerusalem occurred in 607 BC[9], whereas historians date the event to within a year of 587 BC. Their chronology produces a 20-year gap somewhere between the reigns of Neo-Babylonian Kings Amel-Marduk (rule ended 560BC) and Nabonidus (rule began 555BC) in addition to the intervening reigns of Neriglissar and Labashi-Marduk, despite the availability of contiguous cuneiform records[10].

[edit] References

[edit] Debate on the issue

  • Illig, Heribert: Enthält das frühe Mittelalter erfundene Zeit? and subsequent discussion, in: Ethik und Sozialwissenschaften 8 (1997), pp. 481-520.
  • Schieffer, Rudolf: Ein Mittelalter ohne Karl den Großen, oder: Die Antworten sind jetzt einfach, in: Geschichte in Wissenschaft und Unterricht 48 (1997, pp. 611-617.
  • Matthiesen, Stephan: Erfundenes Mittelalter - fruchtlose These!, in: Skeptiker 2 (2002).

[edit] By Illig

  • Egon Friedell und Immanuel Velikovsky. Vom Weltbild zweier Außenseiter, Basel 1985.
  • Die veraltete Vorzeit, Heribert Illig, Eichborn, 1988
  • with Gunnar Heinsohn: Wann lebten die Pharaonen?, Mantis, 1990, revised 2003 ISBN 3-928852-26-4
  • Karl der Fiktive, genannt Karl der Große, 1992
  • Hat Karl der Große je gelebt? Bauten, Funde und Schriften im Widerstreit, 1994
  • Hat Karl der Große je gelebt?, Heribert Illig, Mantis, 1996
  • Das erfundene Mittelalter. Die größte Zeitfälschung der Geschichte, Heribert Illig, Econ 1996, ISBN 3-430-14953-3 (revised ed. 1998)
  • Das Friedell-Lesebuch, Heribert Illig, C.H. Beck 1998, ISBN 3-406-32415-0
  • Heribert Illig, with Franz Löhner: Der Bau der Cheopspyramide, Mantis 1998, ISBN 3-928852-17-5
  • Wer hat an der Uhr gedreht?, Heribert Illig, Ullstein 2003, ISBN 3-548-36476-4
  • Heribert Illig, with Gerhard Anwander: Bayern in der Phantomzeit. Archäologie widerlegt Urkunden des frühen Mittelalters., Mantis 2002, ISBN 3-928852-21-3

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ Fomenko, Anatoly (2007). History: Chronology 1: Second Edition. Mithec. ISBN 2913621074. 
  2. ^ a b c Sheiko, Konstantin (2004). "Lomonosov's Bastards: Anatolii Fomenko, Pseudo-History, and Russia's Search for a Post-Communist Identity, Ph.D. Dissertation". written at NSW, Australia. University of Wollongong. 
  3. ^ a b Sidorov, Dmitrii (2006). Post-Imperial Third Romes: Resurrections of a Russian Orthodox Geopolitical Metaphor. Geopolitics 11. pp. 317–347. 
  4. ^ Illig, Heribert (2000). Wer hat an der Uhr gedreht?. Econ Verlag. 
  5. ^ a b Billington James H. (2004) "Russia in Search of Itself", Johns Hopkins University Press
  6. ^ Hunnivári Zoltán (2002) "Hungár Naptár (Translation: The Hungarian Calendar)", ISBN 9632021037 and
  7. ^ Rohl, David M. (1997) Pharaohs and Kings: A Biblical Quest". Three Rivers Press, ISBN 0609801309
  8. ^ van der Land, J.G. (2000) "Pharaohs and the Bible: David Rohl's chronology untenable"
  9. ^ What Does the Bible Really Teach?, page 216, Watchtower Bible & Tract Society
  10. ^ Let Your Kingdom Come", Appendix, page 187: "Business tablets: Thousands of contemporary Neo-Babylonian cuneiform tablets have been found that record simple business transactions, stating the year of the Babylonian king when the transaction occurred. Tablets of this sort have been found for all the years of reign for the known Neo-Babylonian kings in the accepted chronology of the period.", Watchtower Bible & Tract Society

[edit] External links

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