Illig’s Theory

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Illig’s Theory

Postby barry » Wed 06 Jun 2012 3:18 pm

Scandinavian dendrochronologists (http://www.cybis.se/forfun/dendro/index.htm) have found a flaw in Mike Baillie’s work on the Carbon 14 calibration curve. The late BC data needs to move towards present time by several hundred years. 200 years movement would make the tree ring dates line up with uncalibrated C14, but they suggest the shift could be much greater than 200 and cite Illig.
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Re: Illig’s Theory

Postby Phillip » Sun 08 Jul 2012 10:07 pm

I've just been on the Swedish web site. Some nice pictures of trains and sailing ships. Being serious, this is just what we have all been looking for. If the dendro error coincides with the C14 calibration error as found at Nineveh then it would be eureka - well, to some folks at least. Bob Porter on the New Chronology Yahoo forum said that the C14 discrepancy was being put down to a high fish diet - but that sounds a bit fishy to me (forgive the pun). The really interesting thing here is that it ties up with Steve Mitchell's 198 year discrepancy and his various articles on Bede. It may well validate Steve's impulse to say there was a gap - he claims it consists of two Halley periods, 152 years. This seems to correspond almost exactly with the calibration error at Nineveh and possibly with the dendro gap found by these clever folks in Sweden. I always thought there was a possibility of an error in Baillie's dendro simply because he had to scour around to find trees to plug gaps (as outlined clearly in his book 'A Slice Throught Time').
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Re: Illig’s Theory

Postby Trevor » Sun 30 Sep 2012 3:45 pm

Gunnar Heinsohn, who has been a long-time supporter of Illig's theory, is now arguing that, in addition to Illig's 300 phantom years at the end of the first millennium AD, there is also another 300-year phantom period near the beginning of the same millennium. The transcript of Gunnar's recent talk on this subject at the 2012 quantavolution conference may be read online at: http://www.2012-q-conference-naxos.graz ... index.html.
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Re: Illig’s Theory

Postby Phillip » Fri 05 Oct 2012 9:31 pm

Steve Mitchell is still thinking in terms of two 76 year periods, or 152 years being deducted from the period prior to 540AD, but it has occurred to me that this will not always manifest itself in the same place everywhere in the world. For example, Jewish chronology loses a period of time in the Persian period and in India there is an apparent C14 anomaly that can be seen in action as the destruction that brought it to a close does not occur at 2300BC or 2151BC but somewhat later, nearer 2000BC. This difference, it seems to me, ties in with the C14 anomaly found in the destruction layer at Nineveh, attributed to a diet of river fish. That was about 150 years too and if we start by assuming we are looking for a 150 year gap in the histories of the world, not necessarily at the same point in time, we may be getting nearer the mark. A lot of Velikovskian (and SIS) literature on the differences between C14 dates for the New Kingdom, dates rejected as too recent, appear to also be around 100 to 150 years. Orthodox chronologists were not prepared to lower their dates and the outcome, or so it seems to me, and this might be a conspiracy theory, that the calibration methodology was designed to keep the Egyptologists onboard.
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Re: Illig’s Theory

Postby Trevor » Sun 07 Oct 2012 7:52 pm

Heinsohn's new theory maintains that a 300-year phantom period had somehow been added to history, beginning shortly after the reign of Caracalla, an early 3rd century Roman emperor, so that Cassiodorus, who lived during the reign of the Ostrogoth king, Theodoric the Great, and emperor Justin I, conventionally dated to the 6th century, had actually been a near-contemporary of Caracalla. A major problem with this theory is that it is contradicted by all surviving chronicles and histories of the period. The existing manuscripts of the chronicle of Cassiodorus himself indicate that: (a) from the death of Caracalla to the accession of emperor Diocletian, there were 69 years; (b) after that, there were a further 92 years to the death of emperor Valens and the accession of Theodosius I; (c) from that point to the death of emperor Theodosius II and the accession of Marcian there were 72 years; and (d) there were then another 69 years to the end of the chronicle in the 25th year of Theodoric, which was the first year of Justin I, and the 302nd year since the death of Caracalla. Generally consistent with that, the 4th century "Chronographia of 354", "Aurelius Victor Epitome" and chronicle of Eusebius, and the early 5th century history of Orosius, give 72, 67, 69 and 72 years, respectively, for period (a) above. Similarly, the Jerome extension of the Eusebius chronicle gives 93 years for period (b) above, the Orosius history 91 years, the 5th century chronicle of Prosper of Aquitaine 94 years, and the 7th century chronicle of Isidore of Seville and the "Chronicon Paschale" give 94 and 92 years, respectively. For period (c) above, the Prosper and Isidore chronicles and the "Chronocon Paschale" give 72, 73 and 72 years, respectively, the 5th century Hydatius chronicle 74 years and the 6th century Marcellinus Comes chronicle 72 years. For period (d) above, Marcellinus Comes, Isidore and the "Chronicon Paschale" give 69, 69 and 68 years, respectively, and the 6th century Victor of Tunnuna chronicle 63 years. There are some discrepancies between these various sources, and so legitimate doubts about matters of detail, but could these extend to the possibility that 300, or even 150, phantom years have been mistakenly added to history between the reigns of Caracalla and Theodoric?
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Re: Illig’s Theory

Postby barry » Mon 08 Oct 2012 7:47 am

The 150 years of the Nineveh dating (and a similar example from Gordium for 690 BC) is the difference between the raw C14 date and the Dendro 'calibration'. The C14 agrees with the historical date, so it has always looked as though the calibration was at fault. The Scandinavian guys seem to have found that dendro glitch.

The more I look at the astronomical data the more I am convinced that there were no significant changes in the positions of the earth and moon in historical times. The work of Stephenson on Deltat shows a consistent set of solar eclipses back to 763BC and in the first millennium BC, Deltat increases steadily showing that the rotation of the earth was constant. Then there are the El Lahun lunar data,which was used for Sothic dating. Whatever we think of Sothic dating, the lunar data shows 10 lunar cycles in 296 days in the Egyptian 12th Dynasty.
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Re: Illig’s Theory

Postby Steve » Mon 15 Oct 2012 4:01 pm

I seem to have been slow of the mark on this one but thank you Philip for reminding me of the Forum and my thanks to Laurence Dixon for sending me the link to the Naxos Conference.

I am preparing a response to Gunnar Heinsohn's paper which will aim to show that there is a gap in the history of the first half of the first millennium AD but it is not as long as he proposes and is not in the same position ie not 300 hundred years between 180-ish and 480-ish. I will be arguing that there is a hiatus of around 150 years from 440 to 590 which was recognised by Bede in his Ecclesiastical History of the English People. This hiatus can be recognised in the archaeology of Britain and it is shown clearly in the mysterious horizon found in Roman digs around the country now known as 'dark earth'. However, I think Gunnar is some way off the beam in his description and interpretation of it. This hiatus was caused by rapid flooding up to around 25m OD which is shown in silt deposits which sit on top of the late Roman street. But only in isolated examples. In other places this silt is intermingled with organic 'soil' (a mixture of cess, ash, building debris, pebbles, silt, sand and pot sherds). The fact that the tell-tale silt layer does not survive in the vast majority of sites is because pigs were active and were the authors of the intermingling just mentioned. Was this dark age accompanied by the absence of human beings? The answer is a resounding NO. The human inhabitants of late Roman London and Leicester all moved out and uphill into the countryside. Their numbers declined but they were there. Were they around for the whole of the 150 years? That is more difficult to answer.

I agree with Gunnar that there was a catastrophe of sorts around the date of Caracalla but it did not wipe out history. So there may have been disasters at more frequent intervals than has been otherwise understood but where is there a period of 150 years of fictive history? My money is still on the period from around 250 onwards but not later than 449. The fictive history need not have arisen in one continuous narrative block. It might well have been smaller separate episodes. This makes it so much harder to find. Is it really there or am I (and Gunnar and Illig) all chasing phantoms? Up until recently I was an agnostic. Then I started to analyse Bede's other Chronicle which he finished in AD 725. Like other writers in the milieu he lived in he left clues as to the underlying truth in his history. He leaves a massive clue in his introduction (which his contemporaries would have instantly recognised) and a succession of further clues dotted around his work. He is telling us two things of import. Firstly, he has had to make a radical alteration of the early Catholic story so as to protect the emerging Petrine dogma that St Peter was 'crowned with martyrdom' and secondly, and much more profoundly to tell us that Niceae was not held in AD 325 because if you looked up Dionysius' computus his lunar tables overshoot by nearly 150 years. Bede does not hold back (although it is hidden to all but the cognescenti) that Dionysius had made a huge blunder when he fixed the Birth of Christ as AD 1. It should have been AD 150. On this point I am very close to Hunnivari who claims the BoC to be AD 197, however Hunnivari starts his calculation from the Julian Calendar Reform. I am still trying to work out how 150 years of fictive history has been added to the first millennium AD but there are many tantalising possiblities to work on.

I am not quite sure where Cassiodorus enters the fray but then Gunnar is not shy of tossing the proverbial grenade into the conventional historical fabric. Cassiodorus never published any dates but by internal evidence his last three letters are thought to be written in AD 536/7 and lucidly describes the midday sun as being too weak to cast a shadow. This is Baillie's 'dust veil' event. This places Cassiodorus squarely in the mid C6.
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Re: Illig’s Theory

Postby Trevor » Tue 16 Oct 2012 7:41 pm

There are still a lot of email discussions taking place about Gunnar Heinsohn's new theory. One lively topic has been whether the narrow tree rings attributed to AD 237 and 536 represent the same or different events. Mike Baillie has given several reasons why they represent different events, but, assuming that he's right, what other evidence is there for environmental crises at these time? The AD 536 narrow ring corresponds, of course, to the dust-veil event described by several writers, including Procopius, who dated it to the 10th year of Justinian I (Procopius book IV chapter 14.5), but what about the not-quite-so-narrow 237 ring? In the conventional chronology, it would correspond to the year immediately before the very remarkable one when five Roman emperors were on the throne, of which only Gordion III was alive at the end of it. Similarly, in a period of 4 months ending in January 236, there was a succession of three popes, the first two being executed. Thus there seems to have been a very eventful 3-year period, centred on AD 237, but none of the sources I'm aware of mention environmental factors - all attribute the mayhem of those years to human failings. Does anyone know of a source which refers to the environment at this time?

Another topic has been the historical evidence for the 3rd century being a duplicate of the 6th. Gunnar accepts that the histories and chronicles of the period present a different picture, but argues that this must be questioned because of the strong evidence of duplications of history. In particular, he has drawn attention to the fact that Treboninanus and Triboninanus, men prominent amongst the Romans, lived supposedly during the 3rd and 6th centuries respectively, at a time when there was a great plague, and when Rome was trying to annihilate the Goths. I've pointed out that the details of Treboninanus (presumably the person generally referred to as Trebonianus Gallus) and Triboninanus (presumably Tribonianus, also known as Tribunianus) given in historical records were very different from each other, as was the context in which they were operating.

Trebonianus, according to the records, was born in Perugia, Italy, and became a politician, serving as senator and consul before being appointed governor of Upper Moesia in the Balkans. By this time the Goths, inhabiting lands to the north of the Black Sea, had begun to make advances to the west, across the Danube, thus threatening Roman interests in the Balkans. Emperor Decius led an army to the region to deal with the situation, but he and his son were killed in battle. The army then declared Trebonianus emperor in succession to Decius. He soon made a peace treaty with the Goths, according to the terms of which they would be paid an annual tribute to stay east of the Danube. This proved unpopular to the Roman people, and Aemilius Aemilianus, his successor as governor of Upper Moesia, refused to pay the tribute, so the Goths crossed the Danube again. Aemilianus raised an army and drove them back, after which he was declared emperor by his soldiers. Trebonianus led some troops north from Rome to secure his throne, but when he had reached no further than Interamna (Terni), word arrived that Aemilianus and a large army had already crossed into Italy. The fearful troops of Trebonianus then mutinied and murdered their leader. This was in AD 253, after Trebonianus had been emperor for just two years.

Emperors then rapidly came and went, but the problems in the Balkans persisted. In AD 269, a widespread Goth attack on Roman territories led emperor Claudius II to take decisive action, and he won a great victory at Naissus in Moessia. That subdued the Goths for a time, but they continued to be seen as a threat to the Romans. Constantine the Great took measures to contain this threat, but the situation was then exacerbated by the migration of Huns from the east into the lands of the Goths, driving many across the Danube into Roman territory. Further conflicts ensued and, in one of them, emperor Valens was killed by the Goths in a battle in Thrace. Seeking a new homeland, the Visigoths under Alaric sacked Rome in the 15th year of western emperor Honorius, and then headed for Spain. The Ostragoths stayed where they were, as subjects of the Huns. However, after the fall of the western empire, and the decline in Hunnish power, they established their independence. Then, at the instigation of eastern emperor Zeno, Theodoric (the Great), the Ostrogoth king, who had been raised in Constantinople, conquered Italy and established his capital in Ravenna.

Tribonianus, according to historical sources, was born in Pamphylia, in Asia Minor. He became a successful lawyer in Constantinople, and was then appointed by emperor Justinian I to be one of the commissioners for the preparation of a new imperial legal code. Soon afterwards Tribonianus became the legal advisor of the emperor. During the Nika riots of AD 532 (according to conventional dating) he was accused of corruption by some of the participants, and removed from his post, but then re-instated when the riots were quelled. He remained in office until his death from natural causes 13 years later. Relations between Justinian and the Ostrogoth rulers of Italy deteriorated after the death of Theodoric the Great and, starting shortly after the Nika riots, there was a 20-year campaign against the Ostrogoths, which eventually succeeded in destroying them. Apart from some skirmishes in Dalmatia at the beginning of this period, leading to a rapid retreat by the Gothic army, all the fighting took place in Italy and Sicily.

Finally, let's look at the evidence of plagues. Pandemics were not uncommon during these times, but the ones of the 3rd century (known as the plague of Cyprian) and the 6th (the plague of Justinian) caused a greater loss of life than anything that supposedly occurred between them. Could they have been the same event? It would seem not, because the descriptions of the symptoms are different. The Justinian pandemic was a classic instance of bubonic plague, characterized by swollen lymph nodes in the armpits and groin region, but there are no references to such features in accounts by Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, an undoubted contemporary of Trebonianus. According to modern epidemiologists, the "Cyprian plague" was most likely a severe outbreak of smallpox.

So, is there clear evidence of a duplication of history in historical accounts?
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Re: Illig’s Theory

Postby Trevor » Thu 18 Oct 2012 3:27 pm

It's great that Steve is now contributing to this Forum, and I look forward to reading his response to Gunnar's presentation in due course. I trust that this response will also provide justification and evidence for his own claim that there were 150 phantom years between AD 440 and 590 (essentially the period Steve has previously referred to as Bede's "Meanwhile gap"). There's no disguising the fact that it will be a big undertaking to present a plausible case for this.

It's true that Bede, in chapter 47 of On the Reckoning of Time (written in AD 725), which was apparently a defence of the AD chronology of Dionysius Exiguus, seemed to drop hints at the end that there were actually problems with it. He was never explicit about where he thought Dionysius had gone wrong, but if we take this book together with his Ecclesiastical History of the English People (written in AD 731), the nature of the supposed error becomes apparent. In the latter book, he dates the accession of emperor Maurice to AD 582. In chapter 66 of the former, in which he gives his "World-Chronicle", he dates the accession of Maurice to AM 4536 and the birth of Jesus Christ, in the 42nd year of emperor Augustus, to AM 3952, i.e. 584 years before the accession of Maurice. Following three of his main sources, Eusebius, Orosius and Isidore, Bede accepted that Jesus was born in the 42nd year of Augustus, but that came two years before AD 1, the implied date for the birth of Jesus in the Dionysian system.

Bede was clearly in a quandry. He fully supported the Alexandrian method used by Dionysius for computing Easter dates, but these had become linked to his AD dating system. To try to modify the AD dating system would cause confusion, leading some people to celebrate Easter on the wrong day, putting the immortality of their souls in jeopardy. Bede thus took the pragmatic approach of retaining the AD dating system of Dionysius, while signalling to those alert enough to spot his hints that it wasn't quite what it claimed to be. To him, the present and the future were more important than the past. As Bonnie Blackburn and Leofric Holford-Strevens wrote in The Oxford Companion to the Year (p. 780), "Although Bede the computist equates Dionysius' Incarnation year with AD 1, Bede the chronicler had set the Incarnation in 2 BC...Despite finding Dionysius' era useful, Bede rather accepted than justified it."

Turning to the "Meanwhile gap", Steve, in Workshop 2008:1, pp. 7-8, praised Bede for his knowledge of what had been happening on continental Europe between the reigns of emperors Marcian and Maurice, and thus not being led astray by the almost complete absence of historical evidence of anything taking place in England between those reigns into thinking in terms of a phantom period of over a century. Bede dated the accession of Marcian to AD 449, with the death of his co-emperor, Valentinian III, coming a few years later, and, as noted above, he wrote that Maurice came to the throne in AD 582.

Gregory of Tours, in his History of the Franks, written during the reign of Maurice, provided a very detailed account (485 pages in the Penguin edition) of the Franks in Gaul from the death of Valentinian III to his own time. Isidore of Seville, in his History of the Goths, gave details of the reigns of 12 kings of the Visigoths in Spain, from Theodoric II (said to be a contemporary of Marcian) to Reccared I (a contemporary of Maurice). The Liber Pontificalis provided accounts of 19 popes from Leo I (a contemporary of Marcian) to Gregory I in the time of Maurice. The World-Chronicles of Bede and Isidore, as well as the Chronicon Paschale from Constantinople, all placed the reigns of Leo I, Zeno, Anastasius I, Justin I, Justinian I, Justin II, Justinian II and Tiberius II between those of Marcian and Maurice.

Steve's thinking has obviously changed significantly since he wrote his article in Workshop 2008:1. I'm sure he has found good reasons for this, and I'll be very interested to know what they are.
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Re: Illig’s Theory

Postby Phillip » Tue 23 Oct 2012 6:37 pm

I wouldn't have thought the 237 event was the same as the 536 event as they spawned different migrations. The former resulted in people from Scandinavia and the Baltic zone to move south, coming up against the Danube frontier, while the latter event was mainly due to pressure from the east - and far away steppes. In various books on ancient plagues, and without checking them immediately, they appear to be different kinds of epidemic. However, it is quaite clear that the 237 event resulted in more than just the spread of a disease. The frontiers of the Roman empire everywhere came under pressure - but Rome was united and there was no rival capital, such as Constantinople, and therefore the response was in the end successful as the environmentment quietened down, and the old raiders and migrants were superseded by their offspring (growing up in new lands). In Britain we have a very interesting period of history in the third century. A pirate and raider from what is now the Netherlands or Germany harassed Roman shipping in the channel as the Romans were generally preoccupied in other parts of the empire. He then established control over a large area of what had been Roman Britain and minted his own coins etc, very often turning up in coin hoards. Coin hoards are a symptom of troubled times and until the Romans got around to restoring order and contral some 20 years or so later Britain was effectively outside the Roman empire. When life resumed in Roman towns it was at a much reduced rate suggesting a steep fall in population, and they never grew back to their former size and status. Some of them were completely rebuilt. Villas were abandoned and so on. At one time this confused archaeologists as they thought the decline marked the end of Roman Britain, after the declaration of UDI in around 405ad. So, some early archaeology books have Roman dates out of kilter, leading to some uncertainty when trying to fathom what was going on. The situation appears to be quite distinct to what happened around 450 (or should that be 536?) when it was the Saxons, a mass migration or perhaps an invasion by a military elite, that gained power - and they did not restore the Roman towns. They did however inherit the manorial system which is remarkably similar to the way villa estates were laid out - and possibly this goes back to the Iron Age. The Roman period, from ad44 to 237, is marked by a different emphasis in farming. More fields were cultivated and cereals were grown to a much greater degree than they were in the preceding or following periods. They also introduced a number of new crops. The farming they favoured was Mediterranean and they got away with it because the Roman Warm Period was warmer than it is now or during the MWP. It was unusually warm. The 237 event changed all that - weather reverted to the normal rain drenched summers and wet winters. In that kind of environment British farming is best suited to livestock farming (quoting Francis Pryor) which was very big in the pre-Roman era and the post-Roman era. In the modern era, fairly warmish, the eastern side of the country is best suited to arable farming but the western side of the country is still very much livestock orientated - and Ireland even more so. What all this has done is confuse archaeologists - but modern archeologists, and the subject of landscape archaeology, has changed all that - climate is recognised (see Petra Dark for example). So, I think the evidence is there that two events occurred. However, a reduced period along the lines of Steve, rather than Illig, is worthwhile exploring as in Britain there is virtually no history, or archaeology as such, from the Romans to the time of Bede. Something might be amiss. Orthodox historians have the tendency to put all this down to Arianism and efforts by the church to wipe out all mention of Arianism - even by eradicating history. However, this is not the situation that Bede presents. He claims the Saxon ascendancy was initially pagan - and Christianity had ceased to be practised in lowland Britain. The period is ripe for exploitation from a revisionist angle - but there is conversely, a lot of history going on the other side of the Channel.
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